Another year has gone by. 2020 will go down in history as one that brought the globe to a crippling halt. A year marked by losses of lives and livelihoods, the economic downturn, the making and undoing of Trump, Brexit, the Covid-19 conspiracy theories, earthquakes, and natural calamities. A year that brought humanity to its knees. Yet, for a brief period, the earth breathed. The air cleaned up. Nature’s flora and fauna came truly alive. Yes – 2020 has presented each of us with challenges, mixed emotions, realisations, and more.

For the Indian diaspora in Switzerland, one landmark change was notable – the arrival of Ms Monika Kapil Mohta, who took office in Bern as the new Ambassador of India to Switzerland in August 2020. The Covid-crisis distanced our face-to-face interview. But Ms Mohta graciously obliged us by virtually addressing our readers with an in-depth interview and a video message. Aradhna Sethi says, “Thank you, ambassador” and wishes her all the best.

Among the turbulence of 2020, there has also been a new baby boom of sorts. The ‘Coronians’ have arrived, and this puts the spotlight on mothers who have had a slightly difficult time. Gayatri Muthukrishnan meets Dr Sonali Mohanty Quantius who has recently been awarded the ETH for Development (ETH4D) Research Challenges Grant for ‘Digital Solutions for Perinatal Depression in India’. Interweaving her professional and personal experiences, today, she is helping postpartum women through an unspoken difficult time in their life.

However difficult, however unique – let’s together embrace 2021 with a huge dose of hope and oodles of positive energy. And for that renewed outlook, Shinta Simon takes you into the adventures in the white winter wonderland that are still possible while keeping within the Covid-19 safety measures, and staying responsible.

Chetana Parameswar creates a rainbow pizza – a fantastic way to keep those veggies and their goodness flowing into the family in a fun way. Apt to today’s situation and her colourful meal, she quotes Gilbert K. Chesterton “And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”

After your fiesta, you might want to go in for your siesta. Perhaps tuck in with a book? Samvidha Srinath shares her personal favourite reads. There might be something in this selection for you!

Or you could use some time to join Deepty Mundhra as she gets set to renew her deco in a fun way by using readily available materials to create a pretty and practical and multifunctional holder.

In our children’s section Young Voices Nayana Bhattacharya takes a look at good things in 2020, festivals and events this month.

In order to inspire yourself further, be sure to read Aryavardhan Mundhra’s review of Harry Potter, Kanhai Vaidya’s story about the two sisters, Violet and Rose and their adventures with a magical door, Anvika Chatterji’s op-ed about 2020. Don’t forget to visit Samanvay Ray’s ode to Buddha in the children’s art gallery where you will also find Navya Dhammi’s hope for a Covid-free future.

Take our monthly interactive quiz, created exclusively for our readers, by the quizzing consultancy, Qwizzeria.

Check out and stay tuned to Namaste Switzerland!

Team Namaste Switzerland thanks you for your support, encouragement and contribution. We look forward to hearing from and interacting with you this year – and we wish you all a very happy, safe and peaceful New Year!

If you would like to join our growing community by contributing as a writer, you could write into us at team@namasteswitzerland.ch. Follow us for updates and news on our social media handles:

Illustration by Sharanya Mageshwaran

Disclaimer: Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any financial, reputational, legal, misrepresentational or other obligation or liability which may arise from the content of this article.