June 20, 2018 | Leave a comment
Things Scandinavians obsess about
June 20, 2018 | Leave a comment
Things Scandinavians obsess about
April 5, 2018 | Leave a comment
23 ways to annoy a Scandinavian person
We’ve updated our list which now includes no fewer than 23 ways on how to annoy us. So, if you ever find the need to want to really get to one of us, this is a helpful start. Proceed with caution.
1. Sweden, Norway and Denmark, it’s all the same, right?
Not right. Different countries, cultures and languages. Yes, really, and don’t make it worse by tilting your head to one side and saying ‘oh really?!’ as if you don’t believe us.
(Finland is sometimes included, but officially, it’s not really Scandinavia).
2. Ah, you’re Dutch, are you?
When you insist that Danes are Dutch. As in: “Oh, I love Copenhagen, I always wanted to go to Holland for my holidays”.
3. Ah, you’re Swiss? Sweden, right?
No, Swedish, like ABBA and Volvos. The Swiss have cheese with big holes, an army with small knives. We have blondes and meatballs. They speak five languages, not one of which is Swedish.
4. Do you have polar bears in Oslo?
Sure thing. They also roam the streets of Copenhagen. Some of us keep them as pets, next to our penguins.
5. Scandinavian? Do you eat herring, like, all the time?
No, we mostly eat sharks and whales, covered in liquorice.
6. When you sing the Swedish Chef song from Muppets.
When you go hurdy, gurdy bork bork bork, we die a little bit inside.
7. When you kill the cheese
Seriously, it’s a cheese, it needs to be respected. Get a proper cheese slicer and do NOT make a ski slope.
8. When you say: “To be honest, you don’t LOOK Swedish/Norwegian/Danish…”
I don’t? And you don’t look English, either.
9. “Ahh, you’re Swedish? I used to have a Norwegian girlfriend once…”
Fail. Go back to start and read point one.
10. When you don’t remove your shoes before entering our house
Because we don’t like dirt being dragged all over the house. It’s the ultimate sin.
11. Refuse our offer of coffee
Hva?! Don’t you like COFFEE? Don’t you know we drink more of it than anyone else in the entire world and we don’t know what to do if you don’t want coffee?
Our bodies are full of caffeine. It’s like a Eurovision final in our veins and we’re wired, from morning to night, from drinking litres of strong filter coffee. We even drink coffee at 9:30pm.
12. When you talk to us in a queue
13. When you refuse to go outside because, well, THE WEATHER!
It’s just weather. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Suck it up, dress for it and get out side.
Even worse: When you claim you can’t get to work because of snow/wind/rain/leaves/sun.
14. When you say: “You’re cold? But you’re Scandinavian!”
Yes, and we feel cold. Just like you, fellow humans. Our veins are not made of ice, they are filled with hot Eurovision coffee, remember?
15. “So, what do you all get up to in the sauna, then? You’re all really NAKED?”
Yes. We don’t have an issue with nudity. It’s really just skin. The sauna is for health reasons (And also for drinking home brew aquavit, but we’ll never tell you about that).
16. “And here’s your new bathroom, the sink has separate hot and cold taps…”
We are Scandinavian: this does not please us. We cannot function with separate hot and cold taps, we grew up with mixer taps and water at nice temperature… We invented Ikea and we are the kings of common sense design in houses.
See also: Showers with no water pressure, carpets in bathrooms, cold floors…
17. “Kvikklunsj, it’s just a KitKat, right?”
Say that to a Norwegian and they are unlikely to invite you for any more hygge candle evenings up at the Hytte (cottage). KitKat is nothing like a Kvikklunsj, except that it looks the same. It’s better, far superior and the taste test has been won more times than we care to remember. Don’t go there.
Photo: The Guardian
18. When you tell us we invented Hygge and Lagom just to be cool.
Ehh… you took our words and made candles, socks and underpants out of them.
See also: People who pronounce hygge to rhyme with jiggy (you’re dead to us)
19. When you question our milk consumption
It’s perfect normal to drink a massive glass of milk with your breakfast. And dinner.
20. When you laugh at Eurovision
We know that it clearly is one of the highlights of the year – alongside Christmas and Midsummer and all our birthdays put together.
Without Eurovision, you’d have no Waterloo, no Euphoria, no nada. Don’t knock it: We gave cheese to you guys. Be grateful.
21. When you schedule a conference call in the middle of our lunch hour. Which is at 11 am.
We like to lunch between 11 am and midday. It’s a thing.
22. When you forget to listen to how we REALLY are
Why ask us ‘How are you’ when you don’t mean it? We do not understand this.
It’s simple: “How are you?” And we reply. Yes, we’re happy to tell you about our dodgy knee, our unfortunate incident at Tesco’s and anything else on our minds. Why do you give us that polite nod? If you don’t want to know, don’t ask us.
23. When you’re late.
As a general rule, Scandinavians are on time. Every time. Not early, not late but on time. Dinner invites, meetings, work: Be ON TIME.
Did we forget any? Leave your comments below.
February 15, 2018 | Leave a comment
How to spot a Scandinavian in the wild
A calm creature at heart, the Scandinavian often blend in perfectly in the surroundings, adapting to local customs with ease. But with this guide, you too can learn to spot one in the wild.
Often classed as a cliché and urban myth – but of course there are some factors that can be indicative of a Scandinavian:
Wearing all black, including a massive oversized scarf, hair in messy bun on top of head (or guys may be sporting a beard worthy of 2010 Hackney Central) – Danish
Trousers worn just that little too tight, with pointy shoes and slicked back hair (the male species) or white converse shoes (or similar flats) and rather hair straightened middle parting hair (females) – Swedish
All-weather practical jacket in bright colours, a practical back pack (containing one orange and a Kvikklunsj chocolate bar) – Norwegian
Scandinavians are not great at small talk, so if you spot one in a queue you can often confirm sighting if they keep a minimum of 1,5 metres away from you and look the other way. Spot 5-6 people standing with distance between then, you may have spotted a flock – especially rare in the wild.
In shops, Swedes especially can often be found looking for ticket machines (those that were popular in UK supermarkets deli counters in the 80’s).
Upon entry to any house
The Scandinavian will remove his or her shoes and leave them in the hallway, without being asked.
In their homes
Apartment with white walls, white floors, white skirting boards and white bed linen and all white kitchen with black counter top? You’ve likely spotted one. There may be some grey tones, too. No curtains? It’s a Dane. Overall, expect no carpets anywhere and a whole host of very practical storage solutions.
All will have an animal skin of some sort draped over a well designed chair. Reindeer, sheep or kitten.
Just joking about the kitten. But did you know a kitten is called a Killing in Danish? A Killing in Swedish means baby goat. See? You learn stuff every day.
Ps if you are planning to get a reindeer skin for a chair: don’t. They shed hairs, like ALL the time, forever. They are not good on chairs or floors, only on walls. You’ve been warned.
No sinks will have two separate taps and the bath has likely been exchanged for a practical walk-in shower for two. The toilet will have water-saving flush on it. It will all be white. You may experience very crappy toilet paper (“it’s better for the environment”).
In the fridge
The Dane will have an old tube of remoulade dressing and some rye bread.
All of them will have a bar of Marabou/Freia and some salty liquorice in the cupboard for emergencies.
Spaghetti with ketchup? Bingo. Other comfort foods include hotdogs with a lot of toppings, open sandwiches of all kinds and fish balls.
The Scandinavian will be at work early because back home, he will start before 8 am. By 9:30 it is time for a coffee break where he will place his mouth under the spout of the office espresso machine and press ‘double shot’ several times (Repeat at 2 pm for afternoon fika).
You can spot him because by 11:30, it is lunch time and he starts to feel it. Packed lunch, with mellemlagningspapir (middle layer paper). Norwegians and Danes are especially fond of packed lunches with sweaty cheese and soggy cucumber. The Swedes, being more sophisticated, can be harder to spot as they happily blend in the hot-lunch crowd.
If you spot someone in your office who is always out the door at 16:31, he or she may be Scandinavian. It is perfectly natural to do this back home, as anyone who stays late is often considered to be a negative influence in the work place. Also known as a ‘morakker’ (you don’t want to be THAT guy).
Drawing by Jenny K Blake/Ikke sant.
A Scandinavian will automatically reach for a share bag of crisps on a Friday night. There is probably also a bowl of holiday flavoured dip on the side. Holiday is a flavour in Scandinavia where you can get many things flavoured like your last holiday (?!)
Someone who eats half a kilo of pick’n’mix on a Saturday without a hint of shame? Yes, a Scandinavian. It’s called Lördagsgodis and it is always allowed on Saturdays. No other days, though. He or she will have a light dinner, because, well, Lagom.
How are you?
You can single one out quickly simply by saying ‘how are you’? A Scandinavian – Danes especially – will tell you EXACTLY how they are feeling. With all the details. Avoid this test if in a hurry.
Swedes can be easy to spot as they have a habit of announcing to the world when they need to pee. Board meeting, family dinner – it matters not – I NEED TO PEE.
Wondering if someone is Scandi whilst you are at a brunch? Simply go up and cut the cheese in a weird angle. Most Scandinavians will follow behind you and ‘correct’ your cheese slicing crime, often in silence, using the appropriate tool. This is the Scandi contribution to the World Order.
A million candles
The sun goes down and you wonder if the person you are with is a Scandi. Do they walk around turning on many little lamps in the room? (Approximately 7 lamps per 12m2) How many candles? Scandinavians thrive in a cosy atmosphere and will always attempt to create hygge and mys in the dark.
Scented candles? Be vary of a possible imposter as Scandinavians don’t often use scented candles.
If he or she has two single duvets on the bed instead of a large double, you’ve got yourself a Scandinavian. It’s just nicer that way.
Any other things that make Scandinavians stand out? Pop your thoughts in the comments below!
Read more about Scandinavia and Scandinavians in Bronte Aurell’s book NORTH – available here.
June 24, 2015 | Leave a comment
Summer’s here – and many of you Scandiphiles are heading to our native countries for your vacation. We asked our team where their favourite little unknown places are in their home countries – so if you are anyway near, you should pop over and check it out.
Guldhedstornets Café in Gothenburg! Funny little cafe up the top of a water tower, you can have both ice cream AND vanilla sauce with the blueberry pie! In the winter they have only a few lights so each table gets candles and you can enjoy the view over the city with coffee and free refills.
Trelleborg near Slagelse in Denmark. It’s the site of the best preserved Viking ring fortress. It really makes you realise just how big these fortresses were and how cleaver the Vikings were with regards to working the land and the sea. We can trace my family back in this region to 1736 – okay, not quite back to Vikings, but its still a place I like to go for a long walk. It’s absolutely home – and part of my heritage.
Svaneke on the island of Bornholm in Denmark. Svaneke, Bornholm. The town has its own Bryghus (brewery) and ‘silde rōgeri’ (herring smoker) for a smoked herring with radishes and raw egg yolk on rye bread. A must.
My secret spot is Åkulla bokskogar, it is such a beautiful forrest just outside Varberg in Halland (west coast of Sweden). http://www.akullabokskogar.nu
Nearby is also Borrås skåra http://www.borrasskara.se
(it’s like a crack in the mountain) where they filmed parts of Ronja Rövardotter.
The best location for a lovely day out on the beach in Norway would most definitely be at Ingierstrand Bad just a little bus or car ride away from Oslo it is a little hidden gem that most tourists never get to see. If your not dressed too casually (not in a bikini that is) the lovely Ingierstrand Bad Restaurant with its historic people’s house history and funky architecture is also based there and they serve delicious sea food with a view to die for.
Mountain climbing for everyone, close to Hoga Kusten, great experience with lovely scenery – go there and see for yourself!
My secret place to go and visit: It’s a restaurant called “Möruddens brygga” that is on Hammarö (close to my home town Karlstad). They re-opened a few years ago and is located near by Sweden’s biggest lake “Vänern”. They serve delicious seafood and is one of my very special places because of the scenery and food.
Castle and beach – a great spot for all three days of Swedish west coast summer!
One of my favourite places in Stockholm (especially in the summer time) is called Loopen. It is a bit hidden but lies on a bridge by the water in Hornstull. It is a Caribbean restaurant and turns into a dance place at night! Surrounded by palm trees and water it feels like you are in the Caribbean!
Here is the link: www.loopen.se
March 26, 2015 | Leave a comment
This is helpful.
November 14, 2014 | 3 Comments
Okay, so we can’t quite agree where he actually lives. The Danes believe he lives on Greenland. The rest think he lives in Lapland. Or in Finland. Or both. We do know, however, that he lives up here somewhere. He’s one of us.
Father Christmas actually visits us for real. None of this ‘He’ll turn up while you’re asleep’ nonsense: We wait on Christmas eve and there he is. Okay, sometimes he’s had too much glögg, sometimes he looks like your Uncle Björn. Sometimes both. But he’s there, at your house.
Actually, we have house elves all year round, but we believe in them mostly at Christmas time. Little mini elves with red Christmas hats – Lady elves, male elves… They live in our houses and barns and we put food out for them at Christmas time, because if we don’t, every idiot knows they’ll hide the remote control for the rest of the year.
Our Christmas is 24th December in the evening. Some say this stems from Viking times when we believed a new day started as the sun went down – meaning at sun down on Christmas eve, we can celebrate. While everybody else has to wait until morning.
Delicious, amazing Christmas beer from Denmark. The fourth best selling beer in Denmark – despite only being on the market 10 weeks of the year. We have that, it’s a thing. Try it.
It’s also our thing. No, not mulled wine. We don’t add drabs of left over stuff to our glögg, nor do we add half a litre of orange juice. No. We carefully blend spices, sugar and red wine… heat it up and add secret yuletide cheer to every pot. Why is Glögg so much better than mulled wine? Cardamom, pomerans, cinnamon cloves, ginger are the scents of a truly Scandinavian Christmas.
Lucky us, we escape the turkey. Instead we have succulent roast pork… Or delicious sweet ham with mustard. Or dried lamb sticks. Or fish preserved in lye. Eh, yeah, lye. But it’s delicious.
We hide an almond in the Christmas dessert. Find it and get the pig and status of Marzipan Pig Winner. It’s prestigious.
Real, like, from the real forest. We don’t do plastic.
We do clean lines, silver, gold and red. We don’t do flimsy tinsel.
Okay, this is New Year, but it’s as important as everything else. It’s a 10 minute sketch from yonks ago. We like to watch it every year. The same sketch, the same exact one. We always laugh. Its shown the same time every year. Okay, it’s a bit odd…
We like to watch the same old seventies Donald Duck show, every year. At 4 pm on Christmas Eve. Everybody, the same time, every household (at least in Sweden). Also agree this may be a bit odd. In Norway, they watch ‘3 nuts for Cinderella’ instead which is a really old 1980’s Czech Tv movie about Cinderella and her, eh, three nuts.
We hold hands and dance around the real Christmas tree. Together. The tree has real candles on it and someone usually singes their hair a bit. It all adds to the smell of Christmas.
13th December each year, we have the day of St Lucia, the festival of light. Boys and girls dress in white long robes and form processions in every town, bearing candles. This is the darkest night – and the darkest morning, broken by the bearing of light to fend off the darkness and dark spirits. We drink glögg, a girl is the town’s Lucia Bride and everybody knows it’s Christmas again.
We own those. They are ours. We rule at ginger thins.
Swedes go nuts for anything with saffron, especially saffron buns. But other products containing saffron sell out too. Chocolate with saffron, other pastries with saffron. You can probably get saffron shampoo, too. Maybe. And saffron meatballs. Actually, that sounds gross.
Little apple pancakes with no apples in them. So, like, doughballs. Dipped in sugar and jam. Danes go nuts for these. A great way to ensure you can have another Christmas beer.
The Swedish Christmas coke. Outsells coke in Sweden every year. Coca Cola hates that. Swedes loves that. And nobody outside Sweden understands the obsession with Julmust.
See above but replace Sweden with Norway. Norway’s Christmas soda. It’s a Norwegian thing.
Not content with just one, Iceland has 13 Santas, each one a Santa for a different reason and cause. Skyr Santa, Sausage Santa, Door slamming Santa and many more.
We don’t put up our decorations until December. We don’t overdo it in the shops. We don’t put up the tree until we need it. And we don’t take it down on the 26th, either. We keep the tree until well into January sometime.
Fra alle os til alle jer: