We find it difficult to understand the Swedish culture.
The country of universal prosperity for half a century keeps a delicate balance between personal liberty and equality, independence and social justice, for all. What else surprised the Swedish Kingdom and his subjects.
They don’t like Carlson
Unbelievable but true: “beautiful and intelligent man in the Prime of life” in the homeland do not like, preferring him to another character of Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking. With a light hand, the interpreter and friend of Swedish writer, Lilianna Lungina Carlson became a good-natured prankster, and master was comrade to harmful and selfish. Thanks Lungina in Russia learned little man with a propeller: in a few years she went to different publishing houses with a translated book and asked to publish it. When the Swedes saw illustrations of Soviet publishing of books of Astrid Lindgren, they did not like. Carlson portrayed and a good round as he is not — puts yourself in the spotlight and acting like a child but grown up. When Lindgren was asked why she made Carlson so selfish, the writer said, “He just got that.”
They eat salty sweets
Swedish happiness certainly not in pies, and the combination of incongruous. The herring is marinated in a sweet sauce, lingonberry jam served as a condiment for meat or traditional meatballs, and sugar added, even in those where it is least expected. In the past the Swedes lived a difficult life: sugar was very expensive, and to afford it could afford only wealthy people. Over time, this product became available, and now everyone in the country eats 47 kg of sugar per year (the average Russian is a little less than 40 kg at the rate of 28 kg). But for the holiday table serves Swedish sandwich cake with seafood and cream sauce, and chocolate salt. A separate theme — salty licorice with a specific taste of medicine. But as good! Lollipops prepared on the basis of an extract of licorice root, which we normally treated the cough. Black licorice candy is sold everywhere, it is added even in ice cream, liqueurs and vodka. And in 2013 in Stockholm, the annual festival of licorice.
They are in no hurry to get married
Baptized children together and were married — a typical Swedish history. Man and woman can live together for decades, maintain a common household, raise children, and the formalities to procrastinate. This is called sambo (Samba), and essentially means civil marriage, which in Sweden is equivalent to formal: it is enough to be registered at the same address and live in the same household. Why get married if sambo partners the same rights and obligations as married? A beautiful wedding is also costs and practical Swedes prefer to spend money on something more useful. Another form of relationship — sarbo (Serb). It is a sort of guest marriage: man and woman live apart, each on its territory, but spend some time together — holidays, a weekend or a few days a week. Such relationships are also legally recognised. It is not surprising that only a third of the Swedes married.
They have men on leave
In the family and society there is complete gender equality — men and women are equal in everything and everywhere: at home and at work. And it’s not a private matter, and public policy issues of integration and gender equality in Sweden is handled by a special Ministry. Even leave to care for the child parents can take in half, so after a few months after the child’s birth mother can return to work (according to statistics 75% of Swedish women go to the office six months after the birth of a child), but dad will stay with the baby and share with my wife all the joys and challenges of motherhood. The children are equal partners and full members of society, to be feared and respected, and in any case not to scold, not to punish, and nothing to solve for them.
They leave children with grandparents
But to wait for help in the education of children from the older generation is not — who in Sweden do not meet, so that caring grandmothers. No, they are not against to visit, but would not sit with her grandson every day and pick him up in the summer. By and large, it is not necessary: in a year or so later the kids go to kindergartens, while the child goes to kindergarten, some of the parents working half a day to pick him up early. And grandparents better than a rest in warm countries or to improve their health in the gym as a sport the Swedes are doing even at the age of 75. Everything is logical: everyone has a guaranteed right not only to a happy childhood, but to a decent old age.
They do not compete with each other
And in kindergarten, and in high school the learning process is based on dialogue, group work, and theoretical classes alternate with practical school prepares you for real life, and it is primarily the life in the team. Students have no creative contests and Olympiads, and the only reason for competition – sports competition. At work decisions are made together, is highly regarded the ability to cooperate. The symbol of moderation of the Swedish word lagom, depending on context, translates as “at the time,” “neither more nor less” or even as “not-low”. Promotes universal equality and the Protestant ethic, and a progressive tax scale, when the incomes are rising, and taxes. In General, everything is done to reduce social stratification to a minimum.
They celebrate Day of summer
Favorite holiday of Midsommar Swedes celebrate mid-summer. In pagan times it was celebrated at the summer solstice, since the mid-twentieth century — Saturday between 20 and 26 June, the main celebrations are held the night before. Something similar is and at the Slavic holiday of Ivan Kupala. But if for us it is rather a forgotten tradition for the Swedes, not spoiled by the sun, Midsommar is on a par with Christmas and Easter. This day is celebrated throughout the country, usually outside the city. A pre going to the cottage or in the village, in the cities everything is closed, on the streets — not a soul on the roads — many kilometers of traffic jams. Midsummer eve, the Swedes meet in a large company of relatives and friends, not sleeping all night, traditional meals, drink snaps, sing drinking songs and dance in a circle around the “may pole” decorated with flowers and wreaths.
They rarely give gifts
Holidays the Swedes love, but gifts not so much. Pleasant exception — Christmas and birthday, the rest of the holiday — an excuse at best for a bouquet. Even at Christmas, the husband and wife can give each other symbolic things, and as the main gift will buy a new sofa or TV. No fur coats, diamonds and machines on March 8 — equitable society is simply unthinkable. For the same reason, the woman usually gives the man a gift in return. In recent years, consumer attitude to holidays is not encouraged, and instead of another gift, the Swedes can transfer a certain amount to charities. But their neighbors in the European Union — the Dutch gift. Unusual, for example the family budget.
They choose domestic
The Swedes are known for their tolerant and friendly attitude towards foreigners, but this does not prevent them to remain staunch patriots. National flag waving on flagpole garden and houses, decorate greeting cards and holiday pies and, of course, emblems and logos of Swedish companies. The descendants of the Vikings love their harsh Northern nature, but most appreciate Swedish quality. They sincerely believe all the local best: cars, clothes, food. And although Swedish brands tend to be much more expensive than other European residents give preference to domestic manufacturer.
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