Tuesday, March 10, 2009

19th & early 20th century southern Swiss migrations

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following came across the news wires this morning. Please address all inquiries to Dale Bechtel, Project Manager, Swiss-Italian Migrations Dale.Bechtel@swissinfo.ch.

"We Shall Not Stay Long" - swissinfo Special on the Largest Ever Wave of Emigration From Southern Switzerland

BERN, Switzerland, March 10/PRNewswire/ -- swissinfo.ch is launching a multimedia networking platform for Italian-speaking Swiss emigrants and their descendants. People from around the world who have their roots in Ticino and the valleys of the southern Graubunden tell of their ancestors. In its Swiss-Italian Migrations special, swissinfo.ch - the international voice of SRG SSR idee suisse - takes an in-depth look at this wave of emigration.

The 19th and early 20th centuries saw tens of thousands of people emigrate abroad from remote areas of Ticino and the Italian-speaking valleys of Graubunden. They journeyed to Australia, the United States and to other countries in Europe in search of a better life.

swissinfo.ch is devoting a multimedia special - in English and Italian - to this emigration wave. The reports, with many videos and slideshows, explain the historical reasons behind the outflow of people from Switzerland. Included are interviews with migration and genealogy experts. Background information and documentary features give readers a clear impression of southern Switzerland then and now. swissinfo.ch also visits descendants of emigrants and reports on how they live now.

The dossier allows people who live abroad but have Italian-Swiss roots to find out more about their ancestors. In addition, swissinfo.ch offers a blog in which they can swap family histories in text and photo form. A genealogy database enables users to search for people and families with roots in Italian-speaking Switzerland. swissinfo journalists reporting Australia, California and Britain will be blogging about their own experiences.

Link to the swissinfo "Swiss-Italian Migrations" dossier


swissinfo is one of the enterprise units of SRG SSR idee suisse, Switzerland's public-service radio and television broadcaster. Its remit is to inform Swiss people abroad of what is going on at home, and to raise awareness about Switzerland beyond its borders. In doing so, swissinfo operates a news and information platform in nine languages at http://www.swissinfo.ch .