August 1 is Swiss National Day. As I am in Las Vegas for Cosmoprof (and there really is nothing Swiss about Las Vegas), I thought it would be nice to speak to someone who understands Switzerland and the special significance of August first. Below, my conversation with Chrisine Sager, the wife of Manuel Sager, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Hudson, Ohio and Syracuse, New York
How long have you been in DC?
Since November 2010… already 9 months.
What is your favorite place in DC?
I haven’t had much time to sight see, but I am always deeply stirred when I go to the monuments around the Reflecting Pool.
What is your favorite place in Switzerland?
I can never name a ‘favorite’ place…there are just too many wonderful spots. I do love Bern, it has everything from a beautiful medieval city center to lovely parks and easy access to recreation.
What is your number one beauty necessity?
I guess that would have to be a great moisturizer, without it one’s skin cannot look its best. I like Alchimie Forever’s Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream.
What is your greatest self-indulgence?
Deep tissue massages for my back and neck.
What do you do to stay physically fit?
I work out three times a week at the gym.
What is the quality you most admire in a man?
A true respect for women.
What is the quality you most admire in a woman?
Selfless care and concern for others.
How will you celebrate Swiss National Day?
First, with the Swiss Club here in DC, of course. Then we depart for Switzerland on the 31st of July, arriving on the 1st of August in Switzerland. There we will celebrate with family. My husband’s nephew has become something of a pyrotechnic and puts together great fireworks shows.
Do you have a favorite Swiss tradition?
I love the very rare occasion when, hiking in the mountains, you suddenly hear a distant beautiful sound echoing through the valleys from a hilltop…someone has carried his/her alp horn all the way up there to enjoy nature’s auditorium for which this instrument was made. I struggle enough getting myself up there, let alone an alp horn.
Do you wear a watch? If yes, which one?
Which topic could you talk about for days on end, if anyone would listen?
While we were living in London, our work took us to Central Asia…specifically to Turkmenistan and Kirghistan….and I developed a close relationship to some artists there. The lack of hope that so many expressed, led me to found an organization to represent about 25 artists from these countries, by putting on exhibitions and promoting awareness for that region. I would love to do something to help them here in the US as well, but have not yet found the right contacts.
If you could have dinner with 1 person, who would it be?
What is your favorite treasured possession?
My glasses (couldn’t do without them) and my Bible.