Well, the Icelandic dude thread garnered some interest and I don’t think I’ve ever done an “ask the X” thread, so here goes.
Up front:[ul][li]We have a market economy. Really.[/li][li]Yes, we have a king. I don’t have to like it.[/li]I have never seen a polar bear in the wild.I have seen the midnight sun, though.[/ul]Ask away.
I live at the southern tip of Sweden, so we have the brightest, shortest, mildest winters in the country, which probably still seem Arctic to someone from San Diego. I don’t find them that bad and never have, but it was worse when I went to school and when I had an ordinary 9-5 job and I got up when it was dark and got home when it was dark. I work nights now so I have days off and get my sunlight when I can.
My main problem with the winters now is that they tend to be cold enough to really bother me but just warm enough to not be the gorgeous vast-fields-of-untouched-snow winters of my childhood.
Not a question, more to say that having been to Sweden I can say it more than lived up to my expectations. I went to Gothenburg earlier this year and couldn’t believe just how good looking all the people were. I was also pleasantly surprised by how at how clean, orderly and pleasant the town was. If it weren’t for your winters I’d seriously think of moving.
Politeness: I hope you don’t mind others chiming in, Priceguy.
I grew up in Luleå (northern Sweden, about 100 km south of the polar circle), and I kind of like the contrasts. It’s not fun when every hour of sunlight is spent indoors in school or at work of course, and more generally you start missing the light (and the dark, and the stars, during the summer), but long anticipation makes it all the better when you get what you want, you know? And the nice thing about anticipating astronomical events is that, barring world destroying cataclysms, you’re never disappointed.
I don’t have Seasonal affective disorder, though. I imagine I’d feel differently if I did.
I grew up in Sweden but moved away a few years ago, just before the last elections. I have thus had pretty limited insight into the impact that a right-leaning government has had, apart from what I’ve read on the internet (dn, svd, abl, expr*) and what friends have told me.
What would you Swedes say are the biggest differences? Are there really any noticable ones?
*Swedish newspapers (for you foreigners)
For me, personally, that I’ve noticed? No. Then again, I’ve never been one to count my money as long as there is enough of it to keep me happy. I understand that some services are more expensive and some taxes are lower, but it’s not really something I’ve noticed myself.
There is one thing that’s had some effects, though. You can now hire cleaning services and get a tax rebate amounting to half the cost of the cleaning service, which has driven under-the-table-type cleaners out of business and given legitimate cleaners a big boost. Lots of people take advantage of this. Personally, I’m split on the issue.
I’ve heard two Australians say that they were told by Swedes that the character is the Norwegian Chef in Sweden. Let me just say that this is totally false and must be part of some conspiracy among Swedes who go to Australia. For what nefarious purpose I cannot begin to speculate.
I did watch the show and I found the character funny, no big deal.
I didn’t know they live in Sweden, not considering zoos.
Is Scandinavia anything like the emptier parts of the United States? That is, could Sweden or Norway in any way be compared to places like Kansas, Montana, and Idaho? What I mean is that, in the United States, those areas tend to be more conservative socially and culturally. Historically, they also seem to be a little more prone to coercive legislation with regard to such things as drinking. On the other hand, in just the same sorts of areas, a strong libertarian streak may manifest itself which counteracts the societal pressure.
By making such a comparison I am thinking of Scandinavia in contrast to the rest of Europe.
Interesting, especially since “Stupid Swede/Norwegian” jokes made it to America. In the small immigrant farming communities of the northern Midwestern states, a hundred and more years ago, when most people still spoke Swedish or Norwegian. Small time comedians working those areas would adjust their material to fit the town they were in.
Sweden certainly has stricter alcohol legislation than most of Europe. We also have anti-prostitution laws (criminalizing the buying but not the selling) and fairly strict gambling laws (I have to admit that it gets even my goat a little bit that the only legal casinos are government-run). This isn’t true for Scandinavia as a whole though; Denmark has more liberal laws on at least the first two points. Not sure about the third.
I definitely don’t think we’re more socially conservative than the rest of Europe. Same-sex civil unions became legalized fifteen years ago and there was basically no debate, no backlash, no fanfare.
Yes. I don’t have any figures, but my parents and grandparents have talked about being snowed in, which certainly doesn’t happen anymore. Heck, even I remember winters in the mid-80s the likes of which we haven’t seen since. How much of this is natural variation and how much is a permanent change? No idea.