“It’s hard to listen to a Swiss complain”

The Swiss Abroad on Instagram

Professional mountain biker Ariane Lüthi has lived in South Africa for eight years. As a woman, the 35-year-old says she has had to fight harder there than in Switzerland. She thinks that Swiss who have never travelled don’t appreciate how much Switzerland has achieved when it comes to societal issues.

My job: I became a professional mountain biker through my ex-husband. I’ve been lucky to celebrate some good successes during my career. I will probably never be rich in terms of money, but I love my job. It has enriched my life with beautiful, intense memories which have made me a happier person at the end of the day.

My South Africa: Being a mountain biker, the dry and warm weather is a great advantage to clock up the miles without catching a cold. But the biggest difference to Switzerland is probably South Africa’s cultural diversity, which is much greater than at home. There is a reason why South Africa is known as the rainbow nation.

My Switzerland: The Swiss are extremely well off. As poverty is pretty rare in Switzerland, people don’t really value what they have. Once you have seen how people can be happy with very little, it’s hard to listen to a Swiss complain. Looking at how wealthy Switzerland is, I think we should do more to alleviate the great suffering in the world.

My heart: When I left Switzerland and got married soon afterwards, I thought I’d probably stay in South Africa. Now that I’m divorced, I’m contemplating Swiss residency again. I miss my Swiss friends, my family, chatting away in Swiss German and the beautiful Alps, which I miss in the South.


The original interview was published on swissinfo.ch, the online service of the Swiss Broadcasting Company, which is available in ten languages. Do you live abroad too? Then tag your Instagram photos #WeAreSwissAbroad.


Comments (2)
  • Michel Piguet
    Michel Piguet at 25.01.2019
    Cher Ariane
    Je ne me plains pas trop de la vie en Suisse, mais du peu de respect de la minorité romande (je laisse aux italophones le soin de défendre leur beefsteak) Je vis à Prague depuis ma retraite, Souvent je mesure ce que la Suisse a perdu en refusant de faire partie de l'Europe, mais passe encore. Ce qui me gêne le plus, c'est notre représentation diplomatique et surtout consulaire.
    7 consulats en Autriche, 0 en Tchéquie et plus le respect de la langue minoritaire n'existe pas beaucoup, presque tout est pour les germaniques.
    Show Translation
    • Ariane Rustichelli (OSE)
      Ariane Rustichelli (OSE) at 28.01.2019
      Cher Michel,
      merci pour ce commentaire, il est toujours utile d'avoir l'avis de nos compatriotes qui vivent à l'étranger.
      L'Organisation des Suisses de l'étranger qui défend les intérêts de 750'000 Suisses dans le monde est très attentive à la question de la représentation diplomatique et consulaire dans le monde. Nous pouvons compter pour cela sur un réseau de presque 100 parlementaires fédéreaux. Mais il est difficile, en tant que fondation de droit privée indépendante, de changer la politique du gouvernement. Nous faisons cependant de notre mieux.
      Avec mes meilleures salutations
      Show Translation

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