Coffee Hour with Beat

Having spent almost exactly half of my life in the United States of America and the other half of my life in Switzerland, I am often asked which country do you like better. And it is a question to which I do not have the answer. I love America and I love Switzerland. 

Switzerland and Florida are very different places. There are beaches here and there, there are mountains.  Here there are new towns, there, are historical old towns.  However, there are many things both countries have in common. 

Switzerland and the US are the only countries in the Western world, who have never had a King. The US and Switzerland have an identical system of House of Representative and Senate (called Nationalrat und Staenderat in Switzerland) 24 states (cantons) are the equivalent of our 50 US states. Switzerland is the European headquarter of many well-known, large US corporations, such as Google, General Motors, Dow Chemical. Likewise, the US is the second largest market for Swiss products in the world. 

And I believe that both countries cherish their traditions. 

Switzerland celebrates its 731st birthday on August 1st, and if it would not be for different flags and different languages the celebration of our Independence Day on July 4th are strikingly similar.  

I personally think America shows and celebrates its traditions even more than the much “older” Switzerland. When I see the US flags on many personal homes and commercial buildings, it always gives me that feeling. 

When people speak of divide, economical and other challenges, the more important it becomes to be proud of the accomplished. There are so many things we can be proud of. 

Almost 20 years ago we started events in Avalon Park.  At first with a few dozen residents, gathering at Founder’s Square for the holiday festivity, 4th of July and many others. And over the years the events have grown, and Avalon Park grew to become the cultural downtown of East Orlando.  

It is because of these traditions like the 4th of July festivities at Avalon Park and its famous fireworks, that Avalon Park became such a wonderful neighborhood, where people can live, learn work and play. 

We cherish our traditions and look forward to growing them even more. 

Happy 4th of July. 

Beat Kahli