Students organise quiz and exhibition to mark the bond
CHENNAI: Social, wealthy, innovative, all-round and dashing. Asked to abbreviate Switzerland as part of a school quiz competition held here on Tuesday to mark 60 years of Indo-Swiss Friendship Treaty, these were a few of the terms that the winning team from Jawahar Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School used to describe the central European country.
In seven rounds of questions on Switzerland and the Friendship Treaty with India, the three Jawahar Vidyalaya students beat the teams from other five participating schools – Amritha Vidyalaya Senior Secondary School, Springfield Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Velankanni Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Krishnaswamy Matriculation Higher Secondary School and the host Vani Vidyalaya Matriculation School in Virugambakkam.
From the capital of Switzerland (Bern), the four official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh), the population (7.4 million), the country’s current president (Pascal Couchepin), to the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863 (Henri Dunant) and the two men that signed the Indo-Swiss Friendship Treaty in August 1948 (Jawaharlal Nehru and Armin Daeniker) – most questions were answered correctly.
There were only a few difficult questions, for example the name of one of the oldest German language newspapers that was founded in Switzerland in 1718, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (New Zurich Times), and the abbreviation of Switzerland (CH), that none of the students or anyone in the audience could answer. The quiz was part of the year long events organised all over India and Switzerland to celebrate the 60 years of friendship between the two countries. Honorary Consul for Switzerland in Chennai R. Muthu, who took part in the event, said that the friendship treaty is an important symbolic bond. “Switzerland was the first country to sign such a treaty with India after independence. Jawaharlal Nehru already knew the country from several visits and felt a special relationship with Switzerland. After this treaty was signed, many other countries followed,” Mr. Muthu said.
The Vani Vidyalaya also hosted a student art exhibition on the themes ‘60 years of friendship between India and Switzerland’ and ‘Switzerland through my eyes,’ in which students from 10 different schools had contributed.