Ignazio Cassis visited Glion as part of the Romansh Language Week initiative. At the initiative's launch on 19 February, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said he was keen to deepen his knowledge of the five Romansh idioms. The Glion class of 12 pupils aged between 15 and 16 took him at his word and offered to give him a taste of the region's linguistic and cultural wealth.
In ferm toc Svizra – an essential part of Switzerland
"I would like to thank the pupils of Glion and their teachers for this invitation. With them, I have returned to the classroom to continue my journey of discovery of Romansh culture and the multiple identities that make up our country," said Mr Cassis, adding that "Romansh, like the other national languages, is 'in ferm toc Svizra' – an essential part of Switzerland." Mr Cassis also let the teenagers in on some ideas for the next edition of the Romansh Language Week, scheduled for February 2022.
Intercultural dialogue and diplomacy
The conviction that promoting intercultural dialogue is right at the heart of Swiss diplomacy spurred Mr Cassis to launch the Romansh Language Week initiative, whose joint organisation with the Canton of Graubünden also drew in numerous Swiss representations abroad. "Switzerland must continue to foster its linguistic landscape, which is an asset in our relations with other countries. Going back to school and learning from young people is one way to do that," he said.
Promoting the minority languages in Switzerland is also one of the priorities of the structured political dialogue that the head of the FDFA conducts with the Canton of Graubünden and the Canton of Ticino, as well as with the Italian-speaking members of the Council of States and the National Council.
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