Explaining Scandinavia

The Danes think the Swedes are control-freaks
And the Swedes view Danes as laid-back wastrels, and they both see Norwegians as provincial bumpkins. All three think the Finns are weird.

It\’s all going on beyond Calais so why would we worry about it?

13 comments on “Explaining Scandinavia

  1. Having visited Norway, Sweden and Denmark for work, it was always amusing to see the economic forces at work. In this pecking order, the Norwegian’s found it worthwhile to drive to Sweden for their shopping, while the Swedes drove to Denmark. Never did ask if the Danes drove to Germany, but I got the impression many Danes hates the Germans, so I didn’t ask :-)

  2. Don’t the swedes buy butter and bacon (mmmm Bacon) in Denmark because of some health fascists banning it at home? Sure I read something like that recently. I’ve worked in Norway and Finland and both regard the Swedes and Danes with a sort of amused contempt

  3. Swedish bacon is a bit rubbish, which is probably why they resort to getting it from Denmark. Quite a lot of people live in Sweden and commute to Denmark for work too, probably because it’s a lot cheaper to live in Malmö than Copenhagen. The rest of Sweden regards those who live in Skåne as almost Danish anyway!

  4. Denmark looks across the North Sea (and the Atlantic) so it’s best compared to (and has historically interacted with) Britain.

    Sweden looks across the Baltic to Northern continental Europe, so it’s best compared to (and his historically interacted with ) Germany, and to a lesser extent Poland and Russia.

    Understand that and the differences between Sweden and Denmark become easier to understand. The Norwegians are country bumpkins who have found oil and are now richer than everyone else, which is in some ways irritating. The Finns are indeed weird.

  5. There was a shift in shopping patterns a few years back when the Swedish Krona (floating) depreciated a fair distance compared to the Danish Krona (in the ERM and hence fixed to the euro). Whereas Denmark had provided cheap shopping for Swedes, it was suddenly the other way round. A Swedish friend of mine who worked for a ferry company sailing between the two countries told me that her employer changed the timetables as a consequence. While it the ferry times had previously been designed to make it easy for a Swede to sail to Denmark in the morning, do a day’s shopping, and sail back in the evening, this was reversed.

  6. #1: I went on a techie course in Copenhagen in the late 70s, and some of us were in a bar in the city one evening. There was an old boy next to us who had had a few, and in his cups he started addressing us in Danish, so we looked a bit nonplussed. Anyway a young guy sitting nearby explained to us that the old boy, having sussed we were English, was thanking us profusely for saving them in WWII. That’s the first time I really understood what WWII was like for much of Europe.

  7. Anyway a young guy sitting nearby explained to us that the old boy, having sussed we were English, was thanking us profusely for saving them in WWII.

    Meh! You get that in France all the time!

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