Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Smilin' Scandinavians

Seattle's No. 1 Polka Band call themselves the The Smilin' Scandinavians. They produce under their Lutefisk Records Label. According to their site:

The name 'Smilin' Scandinavians' was inspired by both The Happy Norwegian Myron Floren (of Lawrence Welk Show fame) and pioneer polka performers The Six Fat Dutchmen. Many people find the notion of smiling Scandinavians odd since Scandinavians have a well-deserved reputation of dour stoicism. The band does all it can to show just how much fun Scandinavians are capable of.
Since when were the Six Fat Dutchmen Scandinavian?

This is a good example of what I call the Where-are-you-from-syndrome. It's an ailment that is common in countries with large (historic) immigrant populations. A sure sign of this illness is if you're a Swede in the US and you meet Americans who proclaim, "Wow, you're Swedish, so am I!" Be sure, in Seattle you'll find Americans who are more Swedish than the Swedes themselves. And lutefisk to boot.


Blogger Anna said...

oh no kidding....en hel julhelg spenderades i los angeles med mer översvenska traditioner än hur jag själv firar jul här hemma. Men det var rätt roligt faktiskt....

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see anywhere on their site that they claim that the Six Fat Dutchmen are Scandinavian. It is just a humorous name for an ethnic band.

I don't believe this is a very good example of the "You are what you are from" syndrome. It is just a way for first, second, etc. generations to maintain a tie to their ancestral homeland...seems like a laudable goal

10:35 PM  
Blogger eff said...

Each time someone mentions polka I immidiately think of two things:

1. Weird Al Yankovic.
Epic polka comedy. Polkomedy?

2. John Candy in Home Alone.
"You probably recognize me, I'm Gus Polinski. Gus Polinski? Polka King of the Mid-west? The Kenosha Kickers? We had a couple of hits... 'Polka Polka Polka?' *sings* Polkaaaa polka polkaaaa. No? Well anyway."

Yes, it's OK to laugh and point.

11:45 PM  
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9:46 AM  

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