A Blog Post about Switzerland’s Floral Emblem, the Edelweiss

Edelweiss: The Secrets Behind Switzerland's Floral Emblem

April 17, 2017

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Switzerland's Floral Emblem

Hello again, this is Naho. When summer comes I'm always in the mood for outdoor activities. On a hot day like this, for example, hiking sounds like a great choice to get freshened up.

Edelweiss, widely known as Switzerland's floral emblem, is a mountain flower that flourishes at extremely high altitudes. Today I would like to write about this unique flower, where the name "edelweiss" came from, and Switzerland's languages as well as its popular tourist destinations.

Beautiful White Flower Grown in the Alps

Switzerland's floral emblem, the edelweiss is a darling, innocent flower nicknamed the "Swiss Alpine fairy." It features firm leaves and stems covered in thin hairs that allow it to survive under severe circumstances.

A song named "Edelweiss" was featured in The Sound of Music, a popular American musical, and the flower of edelweiss has since become famous all over the world.

The name "edelweiss" comes from the German word Edelweiß, meaning "noble white." As a matter of fact, the idiosyncratic "Swiss German" is spoken in some regions of Switzerland that are near Germany, and some say that it's one of the reasons why Switzerland's national flower has a Germanic name.

Edelweiss patterns can often be found on Switzerland's domestic products such as snacks and groceries, and there is even an airline called Edelweiss Air. I guess one could say that, as a floral emblem, the edelweiss has truly been integrated into the everyday life of people living in this country.

Switzerland: A country with Abundant Nature

Encompassing a great diversity of landscapes, Switzerland has a wealth of tourist attractions. Apart from its "three great summits" - the Jungfrau, the Matterhorn and the Piz Bernina, the country is also home to the Lavaux Vineyard, one of the world heritage sites.

Connecting these mountain resorts is the Glacier Express, also known as the slowest express train in the world. Travelling through the mountainous areas overgrown with trees, the Glacier Express runs at a "staggering" rate of 35 kph on average. That being said, it has a great reputation for providing a relaxing journey where one can be immersed in the beautiful landscapes.

Multilingualism in Switzerland

Located in Western-central Europe, Switzerland is surrounded by different countries such as France, Germany and Italy. Because of that, Switzerland has always been a multi-cultural nation where various ethnic groups live and thrive together.

Depending on the region, languages that are mainly spoken include Romansh, French, German and Italian. Recently, however, with English learning made compulsory in schools, there has been an increasing number of young people who are able to speak English fluently.

For those who would like to know how to say "Switzerland" in Japanese, it's "suisu", which sounds very similar to "Swiss." Also, the city of Zurich is pronounced "chuuri" here. A little confusing, but I'm sure you'll do fine!

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