A gorgeous little village in Switzerland is embroiled in a battle over the country’s traditional cowbells.
Locals in the charming village of Aarwangen are reportedly fed up with the constant tinkling sound.
Located an hour from Bern, Zurich, and Basel, the village has a population of 4,700 and sits on the bank of the beautiful river Aare, with the Bernese Alps in the distance.
It boasts a medieval castle and an attractive centre with a church and traditional farmhouses.
However, the cowbell sound has upset a few locals. At least two families complained formally to the village council, asking for the bells to be removed at night, reported BBC.
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But the issue has left the long-term residents outraged.
According to village mayor Niklaus Lundsgaard-Hansen, the village’s remaining farmers were outraged at what they felt was an attack on their traditional culture.
The farmer who owned the herd in question viewed it as a “personal insult to him and his cows”, said the mayor.
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Following the outrage caused, a petition was organised, gathering signatures for a vote to keep the bells because, it reads, “we, the Swiss [want to] preserve and maintain our lived traditions in the future”.
Andreas Baumann believes that the bells are an essential part of the Swiss soul. He points to Zurich airport’s international terminal, where new arrivals are whisked to baggage pick-up through walkways with alpine scenes and the sound of cowbells.
He said: “As soon as I hear them, I know I’m back home. Anyone disturbed by the bells had “too romantic a notion of rural life.”
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Over 1,000 signatures were gathered for the petition in just a few days. They were handed over to the village authorities at a formal ceremony, accompanied by traditional sausages donated by the farmers.
Switzerland is also famous for some of the strictest noise regulations in the world. In many areas, it is forbidden to take a shower after 10pm in case the sound disturbs the neighbours.
This is not the first time that such issues have been raised over the cowbell.
In 2015, a court in Zurich ordered a farmer to remove traditional cowbells from his herd because they are keeping his neighbours awake at night.
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