I found a board game a few weeks ago in the apartment that...

Haitinatinatal Says...

I found a board game a few weeks ago in the apartment that belonged to my grandmother.

I vaguely remembered it from my childhood.

The cardboard game was most likely produced in the 1930s by Maggi, the Swiss company famous for its soups and seasoning cubes.

It shows a map of Africa along with parts of Asia and Europe.

The hero in the game is a pilot who takes off from Kempttal (Zurich), which is where Maggi had its main factory, and goes on to have all kinds of adventures on three continents.


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Does Switzerland have a moral duty to confront its links to colonialism?

How should it do this?

Switzerland had no colonies of its own, but it was able to profit from colonialism and the slave trade.

It remains a commodities trading powerhouse.

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This content was published on Sep 29, 2020
Sep 29, 2020
Colonial stereotypes
What I didn't notice as a child, because it corresponded to the usual stereotypes in children's books at the time, was the way the people encountered by the hero are represented.

Almost all inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa don't wear any clothes apart from a basic sort of kilt. Some strike dance poses, others have rings in their noses and cook in cauldrons hanging over a campfire.

The aircraft pilot tells the natives about Maggi products, and receives gifts and thanks in return.

In French Sudan (now Mali) he finds "excellent herbs for soup", which he tells Maggi about.

From Calcutta (now Kolkata) he sends the company rice for soups.

Passing through Afghanistan, he gives a talk about Maggi products to a women's club in Kabul.

Posted September 26 2023 at 7:44 PM

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