Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lästips: Svenssonskolan

While leafing through a copy of Gringo Grande at my favorite coffee shop this afternoon, I came across an article, or rather a series of articles, that were very much in the spirit of "Kommissarie Curiosa." It addresses questions such as integration, cultural identity, and what it really means to be "Swedish." Gringo is a monthly insert in the morning paper, Metro, that attempts to add some diversity to the traditional Swedish media. This series, entitled "Svenssonskolan", that is, "Swedish School," written by Fia Lien, has several articles on what it takes to really be "Swedish." The entire series is witty and amusing to read, and it's even better that it's written by Swede. It's written in Swedish, but I've translated a few of my favorite quotes.

Lesson 2: The Swede and Nature
Tell a Swede that something is 'natural,' and you can get her to do just about anything...

While Bush and Kerry invoke God and morality and run around supermarkets kissing as many babies as they can, what do Swedish politicians do to win voters?

Plant trees.

Lesson 6: The 'People's Home' that disappeared
'The People's Home,' which during the 1930s until 1946 under the protective wings of Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson, was the beginning of the holiest of Swedish cows: welfare. In Sweden, even the most liberal of liberals cannot criticize welfare. Social benefits, the social safety net, and peace, financed by the highest tax burden in the world, was the ground upon which all of those red and white summer cottages are built...

Lesson 8: Everyone should think alike
There is a reason that politicians only socialize with each other. Regular people don't want to know what 'uncomfortable' opinions you have. Because if someone disagrees [god forbid], it might, you know, result in a discussion...

There are laws and rules for how you should behave in many different situations in Swedish society; where you should park, what color you can paint your house, where you can smoke, and at what times you can play loud music. All of this is so that people won't end up on a collision course with each other, and to keep the atmosphere calm and composed...

In order to avoid unwanted discussions, we have an unwritten rule: always let a public authority take over if there is any chance of trouble.


Blogger Anna said...

haha, precis, pussa bebisar funkar aldrig här!

9:53 PM  
Blogger oscar said...

Fredrik Rheinfeldt ser ju dock ut som en bebis så skulle det räcka om Göran pussade Fredde?

10:12 PM  
Blogger Johan Sundström said...

Regarding 2, we find an even worse extreme in the nature starved Germans. :-) Ecotopianism does come naturally to many of us, though; no argument there.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Swedish Girl said...

True, true. And it annoys me no end when those unruly foreigners stand to the wrong side of the rolling staircase.

"I tried to organise freedom, how Scandinavian of me." Björk

5:18 PM  
Blogger Curiosa said...

great quote, swedish girl.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when do sweden have the highest tax burden in the world?

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Freddemann said...

Jantelagen is the shit around here.

1:48 PM  

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