22 jan. 2013

How to be swedish - A guide for southern Europeans

Good morning friends!I found this picture on facebook this morning and I thought it was so funny so I had to share it with you. Later on I googled "How to be a swede" and I found this.
Here is a few drafts that Christina Lörnemark has written on swedish people, please let me know what you think about it?! 

"The Swedish mentality!
Ake Daun, a professor of ethnology at Stockholm University have written a book; Swedish mentality (1989) which is a gold mine for someone interesting in this issue. He has examined how the Swedes are perceived by other nationalities and come up with the following:
Swedes are perceived as chilly and distancing. Many of those who responded to the survey say that they have great difficulties to understand the Swedish temperament. The Swedes are also perceived as “socially closed” and “spiritually empty”. And because they are often quiet they are also perceived as smug!
Show feelings
I am afraid that there is the same here. The Swedes do not show their feelings in front of strangers if it can be avoided! If we for some reason don’t like a person, we show our dislike by simply avoiding that person. We show our dislike by not saying "Hi", we will look down or if possible, just avoid meeting that person. But being the other person you will never know why, because there isn’t going to be an explanation or a confrontation. That is, unless you have really made the Swede angry!
To show aggression in a Swedish group is such a taboo. Getting really angry in public will lead to many puzzled and a little condescending glances. You must know how to behave and restrain yourself or you will be regarded as a man/woman without self control.
We usually do not cry in public, or if we do we try to stop crying, or hide that we are crying. Crying is mostly seen as a sign of weakness or lack of self-control. Laughing in public is OK though, and it is very common. I can’t really tell if we laugh more or less than other nationalities. We are not so good at showing warm feelings to people who we don’t know so well. To show feelings complies mostly with relationships among friends and family.
We have no problem to talk about feelings or sex
The Swedes have no problem with public discussions about feelings or sex, in those cases we are very open minded and it takes a lot to make a Swede embarrassed.
We believe that the society should provide safety for us
This can be seen as a dependent for the government and that we blindly obey the government. But I see it more as we have confidence in something that actually work, our respect for the authorities will not be a fear of someone who decides above our heads, but more a feeling rooted in an experience that we made a collective agreement with the community! Democracy is very important and deeply rooted in Sweden.
Sporadic contact with relatives
Compared to other nations, we have a more sporadic contact with parents which are something that many immigrants interpret as callousness.
Feminism and equality
Feminism is strong in Sweden and equality has come a long way. Some argue that gender equality has gone a little bit too far, and if man and women become too alike it will kill the eroticism between the genders.
The Jante Law or the Law of Jante!
And one can’t forget to mention the Law of Jante or as we say the Jante Law! Jante Law is actually a fictional law and has had a great impact in Sweden. The writer Aksel Sandemose lived in Denmark but wrote the book in which Jantelaw is described in Norwegian. Jante formulated in words the unwritten law that says you should not be different or think that you are better than anyone else in any way. Jantelaw was of greater importance in the past when most people lived in rural areas compared to today when the Law of Jante has lost its importance increasingly. Some say it is the downfall of Sweden and instead of the Law of Jante we will have a mentality that says, look out for yourself only and don’t care about others which is the opposite of Jante. But the law has also been very negative and sort of pressed people down by making them think that they are not good at anything. Anyway, Jante Law may be on its way out and be very weak now, but it has yet influenced the Swedish style of today and is the bases for the Swede’s restraint."

What do you think? Is this your idea of a swede/yourself? Would love to hear what you think!

2 kommentarer:

Caroline sa...

Eat eggs every day? Wear stripy shirts? Che? *

Isabel Lindström sa...

Haha, JAG VET! Det är tom. inte bra att äta ägg så ofta... Och jag hänger verkligen inte upp några stjärnor så fort det blir mörkt och vinter ute, vem gör det liksom? ;)