Tibetan Swiss

Last updated
Swiss Tibetan
Die Schweiz fur Tibet - Tibet fur die Welt - GSTF Solidaritatskundgebung am 10 April 2010 in Zurich IMG 5703.JPG
Total population
8,000+ [1]
Regions with significant populations
Zurich, Geneva
Tibetan, Chinese, German, French, Italian, English
Related ethnic groups

Tibetans have been in Switzerland since the 1960s, when the Swiss Red Cross helped resettle 300 Tibetans in Switzerland. In addition, approximately 150 Tibetan orphans were adopted by Swiss families.

A number of Tibetans settled in the mountains of the Swiss Alps, because of its homelike terrain. [2] The Tibetan children had some difficulty in school, due to the massive language barrier between German and Tibetan. But soon enough, the Tibetans were able to gain enough fluency in German, and were able to sit in the same class as regular Swiss children. [3] Many of these Tibetan children would assimilate into the Swiss society, and would become "culturally confused". [4] Some Swiss people even learned to speak in some Tibetan. [3]

In 1968, in the village of Rikon im Tösstal, the Tibet Institute Rikon was established. It is the only Tibetan monastery in Switzerland.

With over 4,000 residing in the country in 2011, Tibetans make up the second largest Asian immigrant group in Switzerland, right behind Filipinos. [1]

In the Tibetan diaspora, the Swiss community is the largest in Europe and one of the largest outside of the Himalayas and United States.

In 2018, the community numbered 8,000 individuals. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Diaspora Widely scattered population from a single original territory

A diaspora is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion of Jews from the ancient Kingdoms of Israel and Judea. Whilst the word was originally used to describe the forced displacement of certain peoples, "diasporas" is now generally used to describe those who identify with a geographic location, but now reside elsewhere.

Tibetan people East Asian ethnic group native to Tibet

The Tibetan people are an East Asian ethnic group native to Tibet. Their current population is estimated to be around 6.7 million. In addition to the majority living in Tibet Autonomous Region of China, significant numbers of Tibetans live in the Chinese provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan, as well as in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan.

Tibetan art Art of Tibet

For more than a thousand years, Tibetan artists have played a key role in the cultural life of Tibet. From designs for painted furniture to elaborate murals in religious buildings, their efforts have permeated virtually every facet of life on the Tibetan plateau. The vast majority of surviving artworks created before the mid-20th century are dedicated to the depiction of religious subjects, with the main forms being thangka, distemper paintings on cloth, Tibetan Buddhist wall paintings, and small statues in bronze, or large ones in clay, stucco or wood. They were commissioned by religious establishments or by pious individuals for use within the practice of Tibetan Buddhism and were manufactured in large workshops by monks and lay artists, who are mostly unknown.

Polish diaspora People of Polish heritage who live outside Poland

The Polish diaspora comprises Poles and people of Polish heritage or origin who live outside Poland. The Polish diaspora is also known in modern Polish as Polonia, the name for Poland in Latin and many Romance languages.

This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the German language, regardless of the legislative status within the countries where it is spoken. In addition to the German-speaking area in Europe, German-speaking minorities are present in many countries and on all six inhabited continents.

Zell, Zürich Municipality in Switzerland in Zürich

Zell is a municipality in the district of Winterthur in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland.

Tibetan Americans are Americans of Tibetan ancestry. As of 2020, more than 26,700 Americans are estimated to have Tibetan ancestry. The majority of Tibetan Americans reside in Queens, New York.

Buddhism in Switzerland Overview of the role of Buddhism in Switzerland

According to the 2000 census of Switzerland, 21,305 Swiss residents self-identified as Buddhists. About a third of them were born in Thailand.

Tibet Institute Rikon

The Tibet Institute Rikon is a Tibetan monastery located in Zell-Rikon im Tösstal in the Töss Valley in Switzerland. It was established as a non-profit foundation because Swiss laws resulting from the 19th century secularization movement did not allow for the establishment of new monasteries until 1973

The Albanians in Switzerland are Albanian migrants in Switzerland and their descendants. They mostly trace their origins to Kosovo, North Macedonia and to a lesser extent to Albania and other Albanian-speaking territories in the Balkan Peninsula. Their exact number is difficult to determine as some ethnic Albanians holds North Macedonian, Serbian or another Former Yugoslavian citizenship.

Rikon im Tösstal Village in Switzerland

Rikon im Tösstal is a village within the municipality of Zell in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland.

Tibetan diaspora Communities of Tibetans living outside of Tibet

The Tibetan diaspora are the diaspora of Tibetan people living outside Tibet.

Tibetan Canadians are Canadian citizens of Tibetan ancestry. Although Tibetan Canadians comprise a small portion of Asian Canadians, Canada holds one of the largest concentrations of Tibetans outside of Asia. Tibetans began immigrating to Canada as early as the early 1970s.

Sri Lankans in Switzerland refer to Sri Lankans living in Switzerland. There are about 46,000 to 55,000 Swiss of Sri Lankan origin and Sri Lankan expatriates living in Switzerland. Most of them are ethnic Tamils.

Kunpan Cultural School Private school in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India

The Kunpan Cultural School, provided by the Swiss-Tibetan foundation ES Tibet, is located in Dharamshala in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa

Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa is an official of the Tibetan Government in Exile. He is the Representative of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile for Central and Eastern Europe and the head of the Tibet Bureau in Geneva. He was appointed as Representative on 1 April 2008, succeeding Kelsang Gyaltsen. He has previously worked for the Tibetan exile government in India and London. He is a graduate of Columbia University in New York, and was born in Nepal after his parents had escaped from Tibet in 1959, after the Annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China.

German immigration to Switzerland

About a quarter of a million German nationals had permanent residence in Switzerland in 2009, rising to some 300 thousand five years later. Accounting for multiple citizenships the number of German nationals living in Switzerlands is much higher, at about 450,000 in 2019. For the Germans, Switzerland became the most appreciated country to settle in, to find work or to study. The "surge" of immigration during the first decade of the 21st century, especially the German one, is a result of the EU-15 opening and, for students, of the Bologna Process.


Eisenvogel is a Swiss book published by the Swiss-Tibetan writer, filmdirector and actress Yangzom Brauen. The full title of the biography "Eisenvogel: Drei Frauen aus Tibet. Die Geschichte meiner Familie", literally means Iron bird, three women from Tibet, the history of my family. First published in 2009, the illustrated book is also distributed as paperback, eBook and audiobook in German language.

Wangpo Tethong Owner and MD of Tethong Kommunikation

Wangpo Tethong He is the owner and managing director of Tethong Kommunikation. He is a former party secretary of the Green Party Canton of Zurich, spokesperson of Greenpeace Switzerland and worked as a senior consultant for a Swiss consultancy company. He is also known as a Swiss–Tibetan activist, writer and member of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile.

Kuhn Rikon

Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss cookware manufacturer based in Rikon im Tösstal, Zell, Switzerland. It is particularly known for pressure cookers sold under the brand name Duromatic, which is often used in Switzerland as a synonym for pressure cooker. The company is a family owned public limited company. The name Kuhn Rikon is also associated with the Tibet Institute Rikon, which was established by the co-founders of the business as a non-profit spiritual and cultural center for the exiled Tibetans in Switzerland.


  1. 1 2 Dhardowa, YC (Feb 2011). "Tibet PM Thanks Swiss for 50 years of Refugee Shelter". The Tibet Post International. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  2. Buchser, Corine (Apr 9, 2010). "Why the Swiss accepted Tibetans with open arms". swissinfo.ch. Berne: Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  3. 1 2 "Tibetans in Switzerland". The Observer. London: Tibet Sun. 27 June 1964. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  4. Hess, Julia Meredith (2009). Immigrant ambassadors: citizenship and belonging in the Tibetan diaspora. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 98. ISBN   978-0-8047-6017-1.
  5. "Visite de quatre jours du Dalaï Lama en terres zurichoises". www.laliberte.ch (in French). Retrieved 2020-11-30.
  6. Brigitta Niederhauser (2014-07-18). "Im eigenen Film". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). Retrieved 2014-11-19.
  7. ""Eisenvogel" – Yangzom Brauens Familienchronik über die verlorene Heimat Tibet". Kulturplatz (in German). SRF 1. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2014-11-19.