Diplomats tell us what Kiwis need to know about their homelands.

The thing you probably know about my country is:

Cows, cheese and timepieces.

But the thing you really should know is: The political system and the people's direct involvement and, of course, the educational system with an elaborated vocational training.

Over there, we think Kiwis are: Fruits or birds.


On a short visit, you should: Not miss the Alps.

On a longer visit, you should: Also visit at least Bern, Lugano and Neuchâtel.

Our national sport is: In winter time ice hockey and skiing and in summer time football, "Hornussen" and Swiss wrestling.

The one food thing you really should try is: Cheese fondue or raclette, risotto or rösti.

Make sure you avoid: Having to go home too soon.

Best way to get around: Public transport like train and buses.

A handy word you should know is: Grüezi - Bonjour - Buongiorno - Bun di (Hello in all the four official languages).

Jürg Bono is the Deputy head of mission for the Swiss Embassy.