Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Yellow Knickers, Live On!
On Saturday, I was transported to another world. A world where guys wear yellow knickers and don't rush home to take them off. A world where cows have the right away on roads. And a world where men young and old yodel with themselves--even when no one else is around. On Saturday, I went to the Alpabzug in Urnaesch.
Yes, it was exciting seeing the procession of cows and people come down from the mountains and yodel through town while all the tourists took photos of them like they were some kind of show. But the impressive thing is, it wasn't a show. It was just what these guys do.
My husband and I ended up following a group of them all the way back to their farm. We were the only foreigners for miles by this point (because no one else would be brave enough to endure so much cow poop), but the men continued on their way yodeling and and marching like they were doing it for a crowd. When they got home, they stood in the driveway of their farm in a circle and yodeled amongst themselves. They didn't rush inside to put on something more comfortable. They didn't change demenour when away from the tourists. They were just themselves. What the tourists saw in Urnaesch was really who these guys are.
I don't know about you, but I find this refreshing and somewhat amazing. It seems like so many things listed on tourist calendars these days are shows put on especially for tourists without having any real meaning behind them anymore. But the Appenzell area of Switzerland has really retained its authenticity--even if the rest of Switzerland tends to make fun of the traditional farmers from this area. But instead of making fun of them, we should congratulate them for keeping their traditions alive in a world that slowly seems to becoming the same.
Below you'll find a video of these guys at home, yodeling. It was taken from across a field as to not be too intrusive, but you can still hear their yodeling and get a sense that these guys are the real deal.
For some other great stories and photos of this event visit:
Swiss Family Mac
Peterthals in Zurich
Do you have a post on Alpabzug too? Let me know and I'll add you to the list!