January 2023 for families in geneva

January 2023 for families in geneva

The new year is here! It starts with weather that goes from spring to winter and autumn in between. This means it is problematic to plan the usual winter fun, like sledging. But hey! Parentville’s got you covered.

In this article, I gathered the best events happening in January 2023 for families in Geneva. For all ages, all wallets, all tastes and for every weather!

Ready? Let’s do it!

ANIMALI, ages 1-4, free

Funny show at La Julienne! Every year Plan-les-Ouates prepares an interactive exhibition for the little ones. This year, the space is designed not only to entertain the kids, but also to honor the italian designer Enzo Mari and his puzzle « 16 animali ». The space is made of several beautiful stations, where kids can play with these wooden animals and create scenes. There is also a soft reading corner. It’s a truly beautiful, fascinating space where kids can come to play, explore, discover and relax. Two workshops will accompany this event – to attend, you are asked to enroll (details here).

Entry: free.
Website: here.
Address: Route de Saint-Julien 116
Dates: January 11 – February 12
Opening hours:
Tue, Thu, Fri: 14h – 18h
Wednesday: 9h – 12h; 14h – 18h
Weekend : 10h – 16h

GENEVA LUX, all ages, free, outdoors

Every winter, once Christmas decorations bore our eyes, Geneva starts to shine! Geneva Lux is an open-air exhibition of light sculptures and installations spread around the lake. Some of the works come back every year, others visit the city one time only. Different routes are possible to observe the art pieces, two of them are especially planned for families. There’s a separate article about it on Parentville, you can read it here.

Dates: January 27 – February 5
Location: Geneva city center, all outside
Entry: free
Website: Geneva Lux.

Les Allumées, all ages, free

Quartier Libre by SIG brought us a new great, interactive, playful exhibition. Les Allumées is an exhibition about the energy of nature. It is beautiful and thought provoking and especially pleasing to kids. It’s a feast for eyes and imagination! Almost every piece is interactive, letting the visitors enter inside the art. Trust me, kids will love it!
Entry: free
Location: Quartier Libre at Pont de la Machine
Website: here it is.
Dates: till april 30, 2023
Opening hours: every day, 11h – 17h

« La montagne, laboratoire des savants », all ages, free

This temporary exhibition by the Museum of the History of Science is looking into what attracts people to the mountains. What attracts a scientist to the particular universe of the mountain? Why attempt to climb the highest peaks when you are a scientist? What measurements and experiments to do there? The exhibition explores the link, woven since the 18th century particularly from Geneva, between the mountain and the human, to better apprehend and understand the mechanisms that govern our world. A big plus: the museum is located in the beautiful park Perle du Lac, by the lake, walking distance from the Jardin Botanique – all together can make a great day! Also: it’s open on Mondays!

Parentville’s note: officialy marked as for all ages, I personally think it’s best for ages 8+.

Entry: free
Location: 128 rue de Lausanne
Website: here
Dates: till April 23, 2023
Opening hours: from Wednesday to Monday, 10h – 17h.

DISNEY ON ICE, paid entry

Watching Disney movies is fun but attending the Disney on Ice show is another level of excitement! Coco will be there with her kingdom of colorful spirits, the sea will be explored with Moana. Kids will watch Belle in the sky as the enchanted chandelier comes to life, and sing along with Elsa from Frozen! The show’s description also mentions Aladdin, Toy Story and the Little Mermaid.

Dates: January 20-22
Location: Geneva Arena
Website: here you go.

VIVA FRIDA KAHLO; Lausanne, paid entry

This is an amazing, breathtaking, immersive take on Frida Kahlo’s work. It is presented currently in the Beaulieu in Lausanne. The exhibition invites visitors on a journey through Frida’s creations. A first-person narration by a voice incarnating Frida Kahlo guides visitors through the rich iconography and associated themes. A musical score specially created for this project accompanies the visit. Thanks to high-definition video, the Beaulieu exhibition space will be illuminated with images allowing for total immersion in this spectacular device.
Isn’t it a great reason to visit Lausanne?

Dates: till March 19
Location: Avenue des Bergières 10, Lausanne
Website: just click here.

PETIT BLACK MOVIE

The film festival Black Movie comes back again in January! And so is its version for kids: Le Petit Black Movie. It will present many movies for different age groups and in many locations in the canton. Some screenings will be available to watch online on specific dates. You can find all information and book your tickets here.

Dates: January 20 -29.
Location: many locations.
Website: here of course.

THEATRES

This month at Amstramgram is time for kids ages 8+ and a musical « Biais Aller-Retour ».
For younger children (ages 4+) the Theatre des Marionnettes presents « Le Petit Bout Manquant ».
But it also great time to book your tickets for Simply Theater’s special show: « Peter Pan », it will be presented in Casino Theatre in February with some crazy special effects!

There are many more events and workshops coming up, because Geneva is never boring! You can find all that I can find in Parentville’s special events calendar:

Geneva Lux

Geneva Lux

Geneva lights up not only for Christmas. No, no, no. The end of January marks the start of the Geneva Lux Festival. It will last till 05.02.2023. Illuminated pieces of art in the streets of Geneva are a perfect reason to dress warmly and make good use of the early nightfall. And please do! It is a beautiful visual feast!

Geneva LUX makes the city colorful, artful, and joyful in the coldest weeks of the year!

Autonomous, kinetic, participatory

There are many novelties to see this year. Some will only light up if public is present close by. Some are interactive in a surprising way, others consist of light and movement, many have sound effets too. Normally, every year I say which are my top picks to see this year. But when it comes to Geneva Lux 2023 it is impossible without seeing everything first. The presentation of this year’s works is fascinating! 

FOR FAMILIES

There are 2 family trails already programmed on the map! So how about an evening out with a hot cup of something chocolate (for example from Pages&Sips or Ladurrée)?

Both family trails are doable with a pram and not too long for older kids. They also lead to the artworks that children will enjoy the most.

How to plan the adventure?

The official website has an interactive map, where all the artworks are pinpointed and described. It also lets you choose from several trails, two of them were especially though for Families (fingers crossed that next year we will also see a wheelchair-friendly trail).

PRACTICAL INFO

Location: the streets of the City of Geneva
Dates: 27.01.2023 – 05.02.2023
Website: Geneva Lux 2023

January holiday week 2023

January holiday week 2023

This year started with record-high temperatures. For many families, this end-of-the-year holiday has always meant sledging and snowman-building somewhere in the nearby mountains. This year it’s only possible if you’re up for driving farther and higher. But! There’s a lot to do in Geneva with kids this January week.

This list contains ideas for all ages, abilities, wallets, and all types of weather.

Ready? Let’s do it!

1.

Quartier Libre. A new playful, educational and interactive exhibiot brought to us by SIG, straight from Paris. It tackles the theme of light and the energy of nature. Brace yourself to be captured in the spider’s web, trigger wind, grow flowers on your head, and marvel at fireflies! As soon as it gets dark, two outdoor projections are added to the exhibition!

Entry is free, the venue is open every day. There is a treasure hunt available to help kids discover this exhibition. Pedagogical file and treasure hunt available on request at exposition@sig-ge.ch.

2.

It’s the last week to see the Cirque de Noel! Accrobations and tricks prepared for their show this season are really cool, some wowing, others thrilling! all in all, a good show. Get your tickets and enjoy this faily outing that kids will talk about for weeks to come.

Tickets here. Location: Plainpalais. Combine with a stroll in the Old Town, or a stroll through Carouge Magique exhibition after dark.

3.

The Science History Museum‘s current temporary exhibition is all about the mountains. What attracts a scientist to the universe of the mountains? Why attempt to climb the highest peaks when you are a scientist? What measurements and experiments to do there? The exhibition explores the link, between the mountain and the human.

This taming of a hostile and dangerous world was made from observations, stories of pioneers in the 17th century already, but it was the Age of Enlightenment that opened wide the doors to the exploration of « glacials » and from the high altitude and more particularly from the highest European peak, Mont-Blanc. This adventure dating back more than 2 centuries continues today, with the Alpine ecosystem remaining a valuable laboratory for understanding climate change.

Free entry. Location: Perle du Lac. Non accessible with prams or wheelchairs.

Combine with: playtime in the park, Jardin Botanique, a ride ona mouette.

4.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the famous Hameau du Pere Noel and the Grand Park d’Andilly before Christmas, now it’s the perfect less crowded time! It’s in France, a quick drive from Geneva, and a must-visit. Both places are wonderfully designed and make visitors feel as if they entered a fairy tale world. I wrote about it here.

Tickets here. Location: France. Combine with: a visit to the great Maison du Saleve.

5.

Have you ever visited Vivarium in Meyrin. It’s a rather small but fascinating place with reptiles, spiders, and amphibians. It’s easily reachable with public transport, and absolutely worth your time.

Tickets: here. Location: Meyrin. Combine with: Jardin Alpin in Meyrin or CERN.

6.

Geneva’s Cathedral is a great place to visit, even better if you plan to visit it from the underground way up to the tower. Climbing the north tower to benefit from the magnificent view of Geneva is great! But di you know you can also visit the archeological site located under the cathedral? It’s fascinating, interesting and such a boost for kids’ imagination.

Tickets and practical info here. Location: Old Town. Combine with: Maison Tavel, Parc des Bastions.

7.

This one is for older kids (minimum 8 years old): all sorts of escape games and challenge rooms. We tested and can recommend: Sensas, Game Over, Cube Challenges, and Ultim Escape (Meyrin).

Game Over and Ultim Escape are escape rooms. Sensas is not about solving puzzles but challenging senses – absolutely thrilling! Cube Challenges on the other hand is a mix of several small escape games, and senses tasks. All are great and all available in English and French!

8.

How about a movie? Check what’s on in Pathe, Cinema Bio in Carouge, Grutli, or les Scala. When choosing Pathe in Balexert or Arena in La Praille you can combine the outing with bowling to make the day fully fun and adding a physical activity.

There’s one more cinema to consider: DreamScape Geneva. Parentville has not yet tested this VR cinema’s adventures but it looks cool and we will surely give it a go soon!

9.

There are two ways to feel the winter in January 2023 in Geneva: go high up to the mountains or… try ice skating! Best places to try ice skating are: Vergers in Meyrin, Vernets in Geneva, and Place de Sardaigne in Carouge. All are equipped with everything you need, there are bars, snack bars or restaurants at the venues. Remember to bring gloves as they are an obligatory safety requirement.

10.

The weather is perfect for hikes/walks in the canton! There are so many beautiful places, adventurous paths, and spots to see! You can start with the hikes I gathered in this article. This is the best adn totally free activity for all. If you’d like to discover pram/wheelchair friendly walks in Geneva check this article on Parentville.

AND SOME MORE

How about visiting wonderful BioParc in Versoix, or Musee du Leman in Nyon? You can also stick to Geneva and go to CERN, Musee des Pompiers, burn some energy at Airloop, get crazy in Luna Park at Plainpalais, visit animals in La Gavotte or Bois de la Batie (combine with viewing rivers melting into one from Viaduc de la Jonction).

Hay! It’s a very Polish Christmas!

Hay! It’s a very Polish Christmas!

I was talking to my British friend the other day about our families’ Christmas traditions. The amount of singular dishes that traditionally have to be placed on the Christmas table got a bit of a giggle, but it was the hay placed under the tablecloth that got her choking on her lunch. So, just in case, please no eating while reading.

10 things you possibly didn’t know about a Polish Christmas.

1. The most important day is Christmas Eve. We actually do everything Christmasy on that day – you’ll see. Christmas Day, and the next day (that is also a holiday) are either to lie in bed, see friends, or meet with parts of the families that couldn’t sit at same table with you on Christmas Eve. Oh, and Christmas Eve is not a holiday,  (though whoever is able to takes at least half day off) – keep that in mind.

    2. We don’t decorate the Christmas tree in November. We don’t even do it the first week in December. We, traditionally, decorate the tree on the morning of Christmas Eve, or maximum a day before. Some clever person decided we would have one day to decorate the tree, work, cook, and eat early dinner. Us Pole’s are very good at multitasking!

    3. The most important meal of Christmas time – the Christmas Eve dinner – is actually a meal at a time between lunch and dinner. Traditionally, we are supposed to fast on that day, so over time people realised it was hard to wait until 5pm (all whilst working, decorating a tree, cooking…I can see you sense a theme here). Traditionally the meal should start when the first star starts shining in the sky, so in some houses it starts even earlier (yep, in the north Poland it can be around 3:30 pm).

    4. Before we eat, everybody gets a piece of Christmas Wafer (yes, it’s a thing) to share with each of the other family members gathered together (we starve all day and the first thing we get is a wafer – but it’s a great one!)  We take that second to wish everyone one of them a Merry Christmas, and add a more personal greeting or wish. But the whole point is not to let them take too much of the wafer – it’s actually super delicious. 

    5. We add one additional seat (and plate) for a strayed wanderer, to commemorate Holy Mary and Holy Joseph not being able to find a place to stay. To be honest, it’s always been quite funny as it’s not that we would actually let a stranger into our house (you never know which political party they support and all that).

    6. At one corner of the table there’s always a bit of hay under the tablecloth. Don’t ask me why. My British friend suggested it was for a stray reindeer (?) who came in with the stray wanderer. Those Brits have some imagination. 

    7. Exactly 12 dishes of food must be placed on the table, and while that may be easy to do with big families, a family of even 8 might struggle with eating so much. So, to ensure we are in line with tradition (because we Poles are big when it comes to traditions), we count everything (sauces, salads, etc.) to meet the final 12. 

    8. We start the meal with a soup (either a special Christmas version of a borscht with mushrooms and special dumplings, or a mushroom soup) then dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms. Then the table is filled with all the kinds of fish; with the common Carp being the most common Christmas fish (in my childhood they were bought alive at the market by my grandparents, and would be kept swimming in the bath for few hours or even a day before being cooked).

    9. After the dinner we try to drink tea, but kids are already anxious – Santa will be here any minute! Every family has a different trick to make the gifts suddenly appear under the tree.

    10. The gifts arrive! We unwrap, we smile, we thank each other, and we carry all the packaging to the recycle bins- after all, despite what you’ve read above, we are a modern nation, not barbarians 😉

    What are some of the things the rest of us may not know about your Christmas or holiday season? I’d love to know!

    Letters to Santa the Swiss way

    Letters to Santa the Swiss way

    Who wouldn’t want to receive an answer to their letters to Santa? Every year thousands of children on both hemispheres write letters of wishes to Santa in hope, not only to get the gifts but also to hear back from the old man. Then, the parents already busy by all-month Christmas preparations try to answer these letters in at least slightly creative way.

    But not in Switzerland.
    Abroad versus Switzerland

    Parents in Switzerland do not have to burn the margins of the page or try to learn how to write with a feather. They don’t need to attach the ready answer to their kids’ letters like in the US (seriously, what is the point?), or pay someone to reply. Parents in Switzerland enjoy their fondue while the letter is being answered by Swiss Post.

    The most amazeballs Post Service on the planet issued 19,448 replies in 2017. It’s pretty impressive, especially for a small country of milk and chocolate.
    Swiss Post Santa Op

    It’s not a new invention, or a scam powered by some high-tech Replies-From-Santa Generator. The Swiss Post has been on this secret mission for over 60 years now and has been very serious about keeping it mysterious.

    All we know is that all the letters addressed to Santa in any way are directed to the Christmas branch in Chiasso (yes, the Swiss Post has a Christmas branch, but it will be moved next year to a more modern location), where several employees answer all of the most important letters of the year.

    How does it work?

    Let your kid write the letter, or write it together. Remember to include your postal address, so that Santa knows where to send his reply. Then, put it in the envelope and address it to Santa. You can make up an address, not include one, your choice.

    You can write a letter in English, French, German, or Italian.

    As the Swiss Info reports, children do not only wish for objects, « they also long for a more peaceful and fair world, and a home environment where siblings or parents don’t argue or fight ».

    Answers

    Every letter sent to Santa: without any address, or with an imaginary address is answered unless the sender didn’t include his/her address. Though even then those super cool postal angels will try and track down the kid. Unfortunately, it is not always possible, and this is why ‘only’ 96% of 20,188 received a response in 2017.

    Now that the whole letters to Santa operation is so easy-peasy and, at least when done for the first time, way more exciting than any Elf on the shelf, help your child write a letter! Deadline: December 30.

    More details: www.post.ch
    Bonus
    In 2017 the Swiss Post started creating and posting Chhristmas stories (also in English!) – you can check them out here on soundcloud.
    christmas fun for families in Geneva

    christmas fun for families in Geneva

    Christmas family starts now! Use this article to plan outings to step into the Christmas season. There is something here for everyone, for all ages. There are shows to see, parks to visit, and places to enjoy!

    Ready? Let’s do it!

    NOEL AU JARDIN
    November 17 – December 23

    Geneva’s own Christmas market takes place in Jardin Anglais. Christmas by the lake sounds indeed marvelous! It’s an absolute not-to-miss: lots of food, including the famous Fondue Chalet, activities for kids in the yourts, shows, concerts, and local artisanals. In short: eat, have fun, and get Christmas gifts locally!

    More info: here.

    LE JARDIN SECRET DE LA MERE NOEL
    From November 6

    Schilliger Garden Center is an absolute champion when it comes to Christmas decorations. Each year, they chose one Christmasy theme and transform their shops into a Christmas paradise – this year Mrs Santa Claus has got all the focus! It’s beautiful, magical, and accompanied by events for small and big (you’ll find them all in Parentville’s calendar). There are also Christmas bauble from Poland (in Gland only) who can personalize your baulb with anything you’d like – it can make for a great gift, and a great souvenir.

    Great news: the shop in Gland is open also on Sundays till Christmas!

    RECRECREA – Creative kits

    You can easily have Christmas fun at home oo, especially if you’re equipped with creative sets from Recrecrea. There are two this year: one strictly Christmasy for 18 CHF – it is a set filled with lots of different things that will allow kids to create Christmas decorations and whatever else they wish. There is also another set with all materials needed to create a beautiful advent calendar. You can check them all here.

    CIRQUE DE NOEL
    November 26 – January 8, Plainpalais

    Acrobatics, clowns, magic tricks all in Christmas atmosphere. Attention: the show includes animals performing tricks. You can check more information on their website.

    CHRISTMAS MARKET BY KIDS FOR KIDS
    December 7, Bastions

    The traditional Christmas market held by the pupils of the primary schools of the City of Geneva returns to the Bastions. Under the heated Escalade tent, by selling games and toys they learn the value of things, but most importantly to give a new life to old toys. Happiness is not about having the latest gadgets. More info here.

    HAMEAU DU PERE NOEL & GRAND PARC DE NOEL
    Open already

    Hameau du Pere Noel is an incredible place. It’s a village in nearby France (a really short drive) in which Santa lives with all his family. The decorations are mindblowing and the whole setup feels as real as it can be. You can read all about it here. But that is not all! The neighboring Grand Parc d’Andilly was transformed into the Grand Parc de Noel! You can get one ticket to visit both places on the same day (a shuttle bus will take you from to the other) or decide to visit just one. Both places have shops by the exit, with all you may need for a magical Christmas.

    For Hameau du Pere Noel click here.
    For the Grand Parc de Noel it’s here.

    MONTREUX NOEL
    November 18 – December 24

    It is the most famous Christmas market in the region! It’s big, beautiful, by the lake – and not only! Lots of stalls with food and possible Christmas gifts. But the special feautures are what makes it amazing. The first one is « La Maison du Pere Noel » – one train ride up the mountain to the Rochers-de-Naye (at 2042 m) and you’re in Santa’s house. An opportunity to meet Santa, talk to him, and even get a small surprise, and woohoo – a certificate of meeting Santa! More info here. Downside: it can be crowded, and the visit is rather short.

    Kids will also love watching Santa fly over lake Geneva every day (can only be seen from the Montreux shore) – chek it out.

    CHRISTMAS AT CHILLON CASTLE
    All weekends in December

    This year, Chateau Chillon partnered up with Montreux Noel to bring us a Christmas with the Middle Ages vibe. Tons of Christmas trees, decorations, workshops, storytelling. Even animals will be present. The program sounds fun! It is best to book tickets asap.

    HANSEL & GRETEL
    November 26 – December 18; Simply Theater, Versoix

    Abandoned by their wicked stepmother on Christmas Eve, Hansel and Gretel are lost and hungry. But as they sit, shivering, they glimpse a tiny cottage through the trees… a cottage made entirely of Gingerbread! But what’s inside? Combining laugh out loud moments and toe tapping tunes, come and join Simply Theatre for an action-packed festive treat for the whole family. For more information and tickets press here.

    Sleeping Beauty by GAOS
    November 25 – December 4, Nyon

    A pantomime blended together with energetic singing and dancing, stunning costumes, jokes, and a live band. With rousing participation from the audience, all ages will enjoy a funny, traditional pantomime. This famous pantomime features the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, staged of course with a prince and princess, an evil witch and some surprisingly sassy fairies plus a large cast of talented children and adults. You can find out more and book your ticktes here.

    ESCALADE

    Not at all Christmas related but the most important celebration in Geneva happens in December. It is accompanied by wonderful fun! You can find out all what it’s about in my article here. There is a traditional parade, an opportunity to visit secret places in the Old Town (closed all other days of the year), and much more! The rest of the program is available here.

    ICE SKATING

    The most christmasy urban sport there is! And there are plenty of rinks in the canton. Almost every neighborhood and every municipality provides a rink. For good ice quality check Vernets and Vergers (Meyrin). For charm go to Bastions or Carouge. For fun try any rink closest to you. All ice skating places provide skates for rent. Gloves are always obligatory. All places have an accompanying buvette with hot drinks and simple snacks. Some of them (like Vergers, Carouge, Grand-Saconnex) have accompanying restaurants with good menu and fondue!

    RELATED ARTICLES

    October staycation in Geneva

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    October holidays are tricky for staycation planning – it’s only one week, the weather is tricky, and gosh it’s the whole week. For those of you who would like to explore new places and use this week for some fun outings. I compiled a list of resources already available on this website. It should make your research easier.

     

    Ready? Let’s do it!

    This button will lead you to an article about zoo’s and farms in and around Geneva. Some are in Geneva, some are far. Some have farm animals, some have lions. There is something for everyone!

    This article is a list of several beautiful autumn walks in Geneva and surrounding areas. When the weather is right such a walk can be a great way to occupy the kids! Collect leaves, chestnuts, and other treasures of nature. Prepare a picnic and enjoy the oxygen!

    How about a new sport? Something you could all learn and do together? Climbing is perfect – no rain can spoil the fun, it’s not about speed, and it can be done solo. No need to join a class (maybe 1-2 times to understand some rules). It’s perfect!

    Not a fan of climbing? Maybe accrbranche will make you happy? An obstacle trail up in the trees with ziplines. Kids can do it alone or with friends, or I dare you – with parents. Are you convinced?

    October holidays are just before Halloween! There are many spooky activities taking place. Check out this article to choose the best fun for your kids!

    SOme of you have a school aged kid and a baby at the same time. In this article you can find some ideas that will fit all of you, especially pram-friendly walks in pure nature.

    The best time to visit Santa’s house and the Grand Parc de Noel is now, before everybody’s down with Christmas fever and the place becomes crowded. It’s an amazing, wonderful Christmas wonderland created by people with an astonishing imagination.

    There’s even more to discover in the freshly created Instagram guide about October holidays. You can discover it by clicking the link above. Oh! And don’t forget to followe Parentville on Instagram while you’re there!

    Last but not list, stay on top of everything by checking the events calendar and find the perfect event for your family! There are events forp arents only, or parents with kids, or kids alone. You can choose between ages, themes, and other categories.

    To Hijab or not to hijab

    To Hijab or not to hijab

    This article is dedicated to all Muslim women and girls in the Parentville community and those who want to understand a bit more.

    At the bottom of the text, you’ll find propositions of childrens books about on religious tolerance.

    OH, THE IRONY.

    By now, the whole world knows about the death of Mahsa Amini, hijabs, and the fact that letting your hair blow in the wind is a crime in Iran. But while the Iranian regime forces women to wear hijabs (and the Taliban forcing women to wear burqas, and so on), there are movements in Europe to ban the hijab altogether. Force there, ban here.

    Isn’t it ironic?

    There are many ironic, absurd and sad nuances in these facts. And it all comes down to choice.

    THE STORY OF HIJAB

    I recently met with Shaymaa, a follower who became a dear friend, to talk about hijabs and understand a bit more. Let’s start from the beginning.

    Women have been covering their hair even before Islam came about. Just check the paintings of Holy Mary (a Jewish woman, as controversial as it may be for some, she was Jewish). Then, Islam came about, and Quran (Surat 24, verse 31) stated that women needed to cover their chests (for lack of a better translation) – it did not say anything about the head as it was a custom already. It also reminded men not to gaze/stare at women. Some treated it literally and only covered their chests. In most Islamic (not to confuse with Arabic) countries, this was a loose rule. It was up to the women to choose if they wanted to wear hijab or not.

    Well, up to the point because the Prophet said hijab is obligatory, BUT if women choose not to follow this or other rules it’s between them and God. So it is obligatory but not penalized if not applied.

    Shaymaa then told me about another verse from Quran, or rather a part of a verse: « There is no compulsion in religion » Surat 2, verse 256. The rest of the verse explains it well “the truth stands out clearly from falsehood”. What she has always understood from that is that every person has their choices, according to what they know and what they want, and they will be judged by God and no one else.

    Back to the historic timeline

    In 1979 the Islamic Revolution in Iran changed everything. In the 80s, women were instructed to wear hijabs. You can see photos from before and after the Revolution here. More or less, the same applies to other Islamic countries. With time, the women’s choice of expressing their religiousness and fashion was taken away from them, with Afghanistan having the toughest dress code.

    Mahsa Amini died because her hijab was not correctly placed on her head. This started massive riots in Iran: women are putting hijabs on fire, throwing them out, and cutting their hair short. Shaymaa had a spot-on reflection on that: Does it mean these women are fighting Islam? I do not think so. Again, I think it all comes down to choice.

    RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW

    At the same time, in Switzerland, there is a discussion about banning hijabs at schools. Argument: public institutions must be free of religious symbols. But what about people who voluntarily choose hijab in a religion that asks them to wear it in public places? Does it mean banning necklaces with crosses? Does it mean also mean banning yarmulkes? Or that orthodox Jewish married women will also be forbidden from covering their heads while attending the PTA meetings?

    Some claim that girls and women are forced to wear hijabs. Shaymaa confirmed that some are, but it’s a minority. What about those who aren’t forced and want to wear it? Is banning it for everyone the right way to help those being forced? Or maybe they will not be allowed to leave the house anymore? There must be a different way to help those forced by letting free expression of religion to others. You can check here what Amnesty International has to say about it.

    Another argument is that France already did it. There is already a study pointing out, surprise surprise, the adverse effects of this ban. Reading it is eyes opening. But why trust scientists and experts?

    DIVERSITY.

    What I love about my daughter’s public school is precisely that she will meet and befriend people of different skin colours, religions, cultures, and ethnicities. From an early age, this is her reality. She knows that ethnicity and religion have nothing to do with being a good person, a good friend. I didn’t have that growing up – in my childhood. Everybody looked the same. For my daughter, it is normal for her that some kids don’t celebrate Christmas. She knows what Ramadan is and that the Chinese New Year is different from ours. I love that she knows it just by having various friends.

    Letting diversity thrive is, I believe, the way to build a tolerant society.  If they added more disabled kids to public schools, the world would be an even better place.

    And why, bloody why, is it always about women and their bodies? Abortions, hijabs. Women had to fight barriers to wear pants and ride horses like men. It seems the fight is not over. Men always come back with new ideas about how and what we should wear or do with our bodies. Will it ever be over?

    Women and girls who wear hijabs voluntarily do not hurt anyone with their scarves. Please, let them choose.

    BOOKS FOR KIDS

    “My Religion, Your Religion” by Lisa Bullard and Holli Conger

    “Hats of Faith” by Medeia Cohan-Petrolino & Sarah Walsh

    Who Believes What? by Anna Wills and Nora Tomm

    The Kids Book of World Religions by Jennifer Glossop

    What Do You Believe: Big Questions about Religion from DK Publishing

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Halloween 2022 in geneva for kids

    Halloween 2022 in geneva for kids

    Are you looking for fun Halloween activities in Geneva? Then you’re in the right place! Well. Assuming you’re looking for Halloween in Geneva events in 2022, that is.

    My Halloween hunt for events will continue, and I will be adding them to the events calendar – check here.

    Ready? Let’s do it!

    CANDY TREASURE HUNT IN THE OLD TOWN

    How about a candy treasure hunt in the mysterious streets of the Geneva’s Old Town? Come wearing your costume, discover the secrets of this beautiful part of the city and stock up on treats!
    You’ll receive a spooky game books and stickers to use in the book while you’re hunting for candy. It all involves ugly characters that made the history of Geneva: witches, executioners, bad wolves and tyrants!
    This great game is animated by our infernal witches! You will also be in the company of other families and children, for even more fun! You can choose one of three different trails while mkaing your reservation.

    INFO & TICKETS HERE.

    “Torture and Punishment” candlelight walk

    Ages 10+

    This event will take you into the dephts of a dark and pitiless city. Torment of the strappado, recourse to questioning, beheadings, judicial drownings… the list of tortures and punishments is as long as it is varied. By candlelight, you will set off on a journey to the heart of horror! You will never see Geneva the same way again!

    And to recover from your emotions, a mulled wine with spices (or a hot mango juice) awaits you at Radar de Poche. A seasoned and atypical bartender, Pascal Saiter, is a multi-medal winner! All his cocktails are made to measure, according to your tastes! Unique in Geneva!

    MORE INFO HERE.

    HALLOWEEN PARTY AT SPELL LANGUAGES

    Spell Languages run their first Halloween party last year and kids liked it a lot! There were crafts, candy, and spookiness adapted to different age groups. It is happenning again this year, yey! The party is organized in collaboration with Emys Robot and HB Academie.
    The program and registration details will be announced soon – best is to follow Spell on Instagram or Facebook to have the news and quickly book the tickets.

    CHAPLIN’S WORLD

    The Chaplin’s Museum site will be frightfully decorated till November 6. On top of that the most famous monsters of Hollywood will animate the special Halloween trail. Some of them move/make sounds but everything is well indicated on the map, so you can avoid the interactive monsters if it’s not your kids thing. Special this year: Loup Garou and his cave!

    You can purchase a ticket just for the Halloween animations (it does not give access to the Manoir and the Studio). You can find all the necessary information here.

    HALLOWEEN AT THE PRANGINS CASTLE

    Chateau de Prangins seems to organize more and more rich orogram for Halloween. This year everything starts at 2 pm.  There will be a story time (in French) three times in the afternoon. You can also take a guided tour on the history of witches in the French-speaking Switzerland. They will hold pumpkin curving workshops, activities in the Salle du Potager and in the Kitchen Garden. Oh! And ther is also a possibility of a visit to to the Kitchen Garden to check out the poisonous plants! And that is not all.

    CHECK FOR MORE HERE.

    HALLOWEEN IN THE VINEYARDS (JUSSY, SATIGNY, DARDAGNY)

    Bring your kids to for trick or treating, or rather candy hunting, in the beautiful scenery. These events are great for all families not just kids. The Halloween celebration here includes food, creat