Sean Gallup / Getty Images
Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Swiss try to yodel up a groovier national anthem



More than 200 songwriters have entered a contest to change Switzerland’s national anthem, organisers who want to bin the less than rousing current version said on Monday.

Lukas Niederberger, director of the Swiss Society for Public Good, said that 215 entries had submitted to replace The Swiss Psalm.

The song has only been the country's official anthem since 1981, when it replaced another anthem set, rather confusingly, to the tune of Britain's God Save the Queen.

Niederberger said a total of 129 entries for a new anthem were received in German — the majority language in the nation of eight million people — and 69 in its second tongue, French.

Italian-speakers, the third-largest group in Switzerland, submitted seven, while 10 were written in the country’s fourth official langue, Rumantsch, used by only a few thousand Swiss.

A jury made up of politicians, musicians, journalists and members of yodel clubs, choirs and sports associations will be tasked with picking the 10 best entries, which will be posted online next year so that the public can pick their top three.

The most popular three will be performed at a national music festival in September 2015, when spectators and television viewers will vote for a winner.

That could pave the way for a referendum on the issue in a country renowned for its direct democracy.

Ditching one anthem in favour of another usually only happens after revolutions or other major social upheavals, none of which applies to peaceful, stable Switzerland.

The current anthem was penned in 1841, setting a poem on piety and Alpine beauty to music composed by a priest. It was written in German, with versions reflecting cultural differences later added in French, Italian, and Rumantsch.

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Dirham Stretcher tips for having a baby in the UAE

Selma Abdelhamid, the group's moderator, offers her guide to guide the cost of having a young family:

• Buy second hand stuff

 They grow so fast. Don't get a second hand car seat though, unless you 100 per cent know it's not expired and hasn't been in an accident.

• Get a health card and vaccinate your child for free at government health centres

 Ms Ma says she discovered this after spending thousands on vaccinations at private clinics.

• Join mum and baby coffee mornings provided by clinics, babysitting companies or nurseries.

Before joining baby classes ask for a free trial session. This way you will know if it's for you or not. You'll be surprised how great some classes are and how bad others are.

• Once baby is ready for solids, cook at home

Take the food with you in reusable pouches or jars. You'll save a fortune and you'll know exactly what you're feeding your child.

Getting there

Etihad Airways flies daily to the Maldives from Abu Dhabi. The journey takes four hours and return fares start from Dh3,995. Opt for the 3am flight and you’ll land at 6am, giving you the entire day to adjust to island time.  

Round trip speedboat transfers to the resort are bookable via Anantara and cost $265 per person.  

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