Swiss National Day was a grand event (Pakistan Observer)

IMPRESSIVE a small word but if read together with joyous and grand it does assumes special meaning. Yes sir, that was it. The 724th National Day of the Swiss Confederation, as week-end celebration, was a special evening, not only for the Swiss Consul General Emil Wyss or his lovely wife Arie, but also for those present to share its joy with their tremendously hospitable hosts.

These are not empty words. They do carry a lot of weight, but its importance could only be gauged properly, if you were there to understand its dimensions. It assumed that significance in terms, real and genuine, because not only Emil or his Indonesian wife, but the entire staff of the consulate, including commercial secretary Jordan Din, CG’s secretary Sophia, and Kimberley, all spent hours together, three days and three nights, to make it such a success.

The Swiss are themselves very hospitable people, love to entertain their guests, try and make them happy as far as possible. Those lucky to be in Switzerland, and there must be quite a large number of them in Pakistan, know that well In this particular case, however, the event was celebrated by a diplomat, who possesses unique characteristics of being a humane and naturalist at the same time. Emil loves nature, as well as adventure. He visits orphanages, blood donation centres in congested areas, where others fear to be there for security or comfort reasons.

The couple also loves to have handicapped cricketers and poor children at their office-cum-residence premises. This is something rare and we are lucky to have such a person in our midst who possesses multi dimensional qualities. A special stage was set for a group of young and ordinary people to sing the national anthems of Switzerland and Pakistan. A young girl, hardly 10 or 11,, waived paper flags of the two countries as their national anthems were sung live before a galaxy of guests.

The consul general made brief remarks, avoided long speech and what really was a great attraction for those invited to the ceremony, was few young children, attired in their folk dresses, something, which many European States, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, like Switzerland, are proud of.

That is their heritage and speaks volumes of their centuries-old history and culture. We in Pakistan, India, Bangla Desh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Japan, as Asians,too like to proudly present it before the world. Heritage is history, and history needs to be jealously guarded.

Among the guests were consul generals of USA, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the acting consul general of UK, Turkey Brian Heath, Ma You, Hadi Santoso, Gill Atkinson ( the deputy high commissioner John Trucknott is on home leave now), Onart, and quite a large number of business, and intellectual elite. French and Russian consul generals Francoise and Oleg Avdeev are too on home leaves. Their representatives were their too.

The passage to Marquee at the local hotel, was lined with Swiss slogans, and commercial pan flexes of Swiss firms, engaged in building Pakistan economy. But all this was brain child of Emil who takes pride in projecting his country to Pakistanis, and projecting Pakistan to Swiss confederation.

Well done Emil. You, and Arie need to be congratulated for hosting a memorable and delightful evening.