Is Sweden the most boring country in world?


Blackleaf
#1
England play Sweden tonight in the World Cup a team who, mysteriously, England haven't beaten since 1968 when England were the World Champions. Thankfully, though, tonight's game isn't a must-win game.

But what of the nation itself? Isn't it a little cold and.....boring? That's what Helena Frith-Powell, a former Swede but is now a British citizen thinks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------




Is Sweden the most boring country in world?
by HELENA FRITH-POWELL, Daily Mail

20th June 2006




Envisage a country where it is dark for most of the year. Imagine a place where the snow is so deep you can't leave home without a snow-plough.

Imagine somewhere so cold that if you go out with wet hair, it freezes and breaks off. And a glass of beer costs around £5 — if you can find one.

Welcome to Sweden; a country of nine million people but so dull that even Sven Goran Eriksson left.

Tonight, he will be reminded of his homeland when England play Sweden in the teams' final game of the group stages of the World Cup. Neither side needs to win, so the game could be… dull.

I was born and brought up in Sweden. As a child, I thought it was perfectly normal that it snowed from October to April. I didn't grumble when I was fed raw fish and bits of elk, or when I had to travel to and from school in the dark.

I thought, like all those around me, that Sweden was great. I imagined I would live there for ever, marry Thomas Ostman from the next village (even though he hated me) and have lots of little Annikas and Bjorns.

Until the age of 16, I knew no better. Then I visited England. Suddenly jumping in a freezing lake at the end of April to celebrate spring's arrival seemed eccentric, if not insane.

Hurling myself naked from a sauna into a snowdrift no longer felt like a great way to spend the weekend.

I also discovered there was a world out there that we Swedes were rarely told about. And that there was this thing called the sun that didn't only come out in June, July and August.

It didn't take me long to decide to move permanently. I would go home to Sweden for holidays, full of stories of London. 'Do you want to stay here for the rest of your life?' I would ask my friends, looking around at the snowdrifts and elks.

'Why not?' they would reply. 'There's no place like home.'

The image of Swedes is that they resemble their most famous vehicle, the Volvo; reliable, steady and safe.

But unlike the Volvo, they are prone to eccentricity, like Sven's fabled love life. They are an unnerving mixture of deadly dull and totally eccentric.

Of course Sweden has its upsides. When it's lovely, it really is divine. The sun shines, the air is fresh, the flowers are bright and the lakes are inviting. There is hardly any traffic and it all feels clean and rich.

Swedes do have reason to be patriotic and now, from a distance, it's one of the things I most admire about them.

how they can find so much to be pleased with themselves about is beyond me — especially now Volvo is owned by the Yanks. But good luck to them; we could do with a bit more of that pride in England.

I still go back there regularly. My husband and I were married there eight years ago today. For our honeymoon we went to an island close to Gothenburg. Of course it rained for the whole two weeks, but luckily we had the World Cup to watch.

Sweden is rather like a drug; you think you need it until you escape. People are brought up with the endless propaganda, which I suppose is why so many of my compatriots stay there.

As children we learned songs about snow. 'Yippee, it's snowing,' run the lyrics of one gem. 'Isn't that fun? Hurrah. We'll get our skis on and take our sleighs out and won't we have a blast.'

Well, hello! It may seem like fun for a day or two, but it snows for seven months. Call me perverse, but in my view there's only so much fun you can have on a pair of skis.

Some enlightened Swedes know this and have left. Ulrika Jonsson, Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo to name a few.

Interestingly, Swedes are taught from an early age that they are the only people in the world who can run anything.

I admit that if you look at Ikea they have a point. Where else can you get a plate of meatballs, furnish your kitchen and stock up on aquavit all at the same time?

Though, of course, you won't find any aquavit in Ikea stores in Sweden. Oh no. Alcohol is dangerous and is only sold from a state-owned shop called Systembolaget, which closes at 3.30pm, so you need to plan the fact that you'd like a bottle of wine with dinner before lunch.

Of course, Swedes don't complain about it. They are used to being obedient.

For example, on September 3, 1967 at 5am, the whole country went from driving on the left to driving on the right, despite the fact that 80 per cent of the population had voted against the change in a referendum.

Sweden is the only place in the world where this could have happened because everyone there is used to doing as they're told. Imagine trying the same stunt in Italy or France.

It is a myth that Swedes are jolly, happy people. If this is what you think, it's because you have probably only met Swedes abroad. And of course they're happy overseas; they're not in Sweden any more.

Or you have caught them just before one of the three main social events that punctuate the Swedish calendar and give Swedes a licence to drink as much as they like.

First, there is the last day of April, when Swedes congregate around lakes, break a hole in the ice if they are still frozen over, and jump in.

Then, on midsummer's night eve, when it is light all night, the Swedes dance around a maypole. Should you happen upon this festivity, you must be prepared to sing a song about little frogs which ends with everyone throwing themselves on the ground.

Finally, at the end of August, there is the big crayfish party which marks the end of summer and when — yes — you stuff yourself with this lobster-like creature while sitting outside in the cold and pretending to be in the Mediterranean.

Although Sweden for a child was rather nice — after all, you never tire of building snowmen when you're five — for a teenager, it's not such fun.

In the summer, there was lots of swimming — the country is full of lakes — but there were also lots of mosquitoes.

I spent most of my weekends as a teenager with friends drinking beer, or any other alcohol we could get hold of, by the local lake or hanging out in the only cafe within a 20-mile radius.

The most exciting event was a dance held in the village hall every two months. We would spend hours getting dressed stealing alcohol and drinking it on the way there.

The disadvantage of this was that, for those of us who couldn't hold our drink, we often ended up in a freezing ditch on the way to the dance.

On a normal day in Sweden no one smiles. If you do smile, people look at you as if you're trying to steal their wallet.

I was amazed to find that England was so friendly. I wasn't used to people chatting to me in the street or cracking jokes.

When I took my children to Sweden on holiday last year, I was depressed by it. OK, so it rained for the two weeks, but I found the people so, well, sad.

It is well known that Sweden is always near the top of the suicide ratings for developed countries — even though they have a very good standard of living. Win or lose tonight against England, it won't make any difference to most Swedes: they'll still be miserable.

dailymail.co.uk
 
EastSideScotian
#2
Now that rapeing and pilageing is not cool anymore, they dont have much to do but make crappy cars, and play soccer.....

I think England will beat them....They have a Canadian starting for them..or atleast subbing...I guess he was allowed to suit up for England cuz his Parents were English....
 
Queenie
#3
Wow - what an incredibly boring writer. Perhaps the problem is with her.

She's exchanged never-ending snow with never-ending rain.
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
#4
Quote:

Now that rapeing and pilageing is not cool anymore, they dont have much to do but make crappy cars, and play soccer.....

Crappy cars?

Volvo? Saab? Sadly, both these companies have been bought up by American auto giants but Volvo and Saab are still automotive benchmarks.
 
Jersay
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by EastSideScotian

Now that rapeing and pilageing is not cool anymore, they dont have much to do but make crappy cars, and play soccer.....

I think England will beat them....They have a Canadian starting for them..or atleast subbing...I guess he was allowed to suit up for England cuz his Parents were English....

Being of Scandanavian descent, I say that Sweden and all those Nordic countries are far more interesting then Britain ever could be. They need a Canadian on their team to play.
 
athabaska
#6
I've always had mixed feelings about Scandanavia. They are a contradiction. The laws are quite liberal but when you scratch the surface there is a conservatism that is stronger than any in North America. It reminds me of a statement by Winston Churchill: "there is nothing more empty than an untried virtue'. Otherwise, it's easy to preach racial tolerance and progresiveness, etc. when everyone is white, fair haired and speak the same language.

Anyways, I found Sweden like a Germany without the guilt. Lots of history and so on but not enough 'edge'. Needs a bit of rough bits to break the order and neatness. When I moved back to Canada from Europe I enjoyed simple things like some guy with his head under the hood of a junker car or a few ber cans thrown on the street. Too much order isn't good for the Canadian or American soul. I don't know what society is worse, one with high crime rates or one with no crime. I like a 'real' free society more than a token free society hat you find in much of Europe. They are free as we are to do and say what they want but there is so much societal baggage that everything is 'blah'. There's just no hesitation for me. Give me an Alberta or Montana or Nevada any day over a Sweden or a Norway to live in. I need social room to breathe.
 
dekhqonbacha
#7
Isn't the weather is alike with Canada. Well at least mostly north-eastern Canada?

I thought Sweden was warmer in winter then in Canada.
 
athabaska
#8
True. Most Swedes experience a milder winter than Canadians do. Like most of northern europe, however, the winters are not as crisp and sunny as in lots of Canada.
 
dekhqonbacha
#9
It's because in nothern Europe there is Norwegian current which is warm; and in north-estern Canada there is labrador current which is cold. In western shore, however, there is current of Alaska which warm too, that's why they don't have harsh winter like in quebec and ontario.
 
Jersay
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by dekhqonbacha

It's because in nothern Europe there is Norwegian current which is warm; and in north-estern Canada there is labrador current which is cold. In western shore, however, there is current of Alaska which warm too, that's why they don't have harsh winter like in quebec and ontario.

A milder winter huh. Interesting. I still think besides having a nicer winter, Sweden is alot less boring then Britain because of its history, and things to do, include making snowmen.
 
dekhqonbacha
#11
Everyone has different taste.

According to HELENA FRITH-POWELL a country where it is dark for most of the year, a place where the snow is so deep you can't leave home without a snow-plough, where it snows from October to April. But it doesn't mean that Sweden is the most boring country.
 
Just the Facts
Free Thinker
#12
Cold! Dark! Full of gorgeous blonde women in need of warmth! Boring? I think not!
 
I think not
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

I think not!

Yes?
 
Just the Facts
Free Thinker
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

I think not!

Yes?

Wanna go to Sweden?
 
I think not
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

I think not!

Yes?

Wanna go to Sweden?

Been there done that.
 
Just the Facts
Free Thinker
#16
OK maybe just a beer in Albany.
 
I think not
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

OK maybe just a beer in Albany.

That's fine, I'm going there next week, we should get together.
 
Just the Facts
Free Thinker
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

OK maybe just a beer in Albany.

That's fine, I'm going there next week, we should get together.

You never know. I may be going to the catskills next month and I was thinking maybe, if time permits, making a hop over to the big apple for a Fallafel.

I'll see how it plays out.
 
Jersay
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf

England play Sweden tonight in the World Cup a team who, mysteriously, England haven't beaten since 1968 when England were the World Champions. Thankfully, though, tonight's game isn't a must-win game.

But what of the nation itself? Isn't it a little cold and.....boring? That's what Helena Frith-Powell, a former Swede but is now a British citizen thinks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------




Is Sweden the most boring country in world?
by HELENA FRITH-POWELL, Daily Mail

20th June 2006




Envisage a country where it is dark for most of the year. Imagine a place where the snow is so deep you can't leave home without a snow-plough.

Imagine somewhere so cold that if you go out with wet hair, it freezes and breaks off. And a glass of beer costs around £5 — if you can find one.

Welcome to Sweden; a country of nine million people but so dull that even Sven Goran Eriksson left.

Tonight, he will be reminded of his homeland when England play Sweden in the teams' final game of the group stages of the World Cup. Neither side needs to win, so the game could be… dull.

I was born and brought up in Sweden. As a child, I thought it was perfectly normal that it snowed from October to April. I didn't grumble when I was fed raw fish and bits of elk, or when I had to travel to and from school in the dark.

I thought, like all those around me, that Sweden was great. I imagined I would live there for ever, marry Thomas Ostman from the next village (even though he hated me) and have lots of little Annikas and Bjorns.

Until the age of 16, I knew no better. Then I visited England. Suddenly jumping in a freezing lake at the end of April to celebrate spring's arrival seemed eccentric, if not insane.

Hurling myself naked from a sauna into a snowdrift no longer felt like a great way to spend the weekend.

I also discovered there was a world out there that we Swedes were rarely told about. And that there was this thing called the sun that didn't only come out in June, July and August.

It didn't take me long to decide to move permanently. I would go home to Sweden for holidays, full of stories of London. 'Do you want to stay here for the rest of your life?' I would ask my friends, looking around at the snowdrifts and elks.

'Why not?' they would reply. 'There's no place like home.'

The image of Swedes is that they resemble their most famous vehicle, the Volvo; reliable, steady and safe.

But unlike the Volvo, they are prone to eccentricity, like Sven's fabled love life. They are an unnerving mixture of deadly dull and totally eccentric.

Of course Sweden has its upsides. When it's lovely, it really is divine. The sun shines, the air is fresh, the flowers are bright and the lakes are inviting. There is hardly any traffic and it all feels clean and rich.

Swedes do have reason to be patriotic and now, from a distance, it's one of the things I most admire about them.

how they can find so much to be pleased with themselves about is beyond me — especially now Volvo is owned by the Yanks. But good luck to them; we could do with a bit more of that pride in England.

I still go back there regularly. My husband and I were married there eight years ago today. For our honeymoon we went to an island close to Gothenburg. Of course it rained for the whole two weeks, but luckily we had the World Cup to watch.

Sweden is rather like a drug; you think you need it until you escape. People are brought up with the endless propaganda, which I suppose is why so many of my compatriots stay there.

As children we learned songs about snow. 'Yippee, it's snowing,' run the lyrics of one gem. 'Isn't that fun? Hurrah. We'll get our skis on and take our sleighs out and won't we have a blast.'

Well, hello! It may seem like fun for a day or two, but it snows for seven months. Call me perverse, but in my view there's only so much fun you can have on a pair of skis.

Some enlightened Swedes know this and have left. Ulrika Jonsson, Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo to name a few.

Interestingly, Swedes are taught from an early age that they are the only people in the world who can run anything.

I admit that if you look at Ikea they have a point. Where else can you get a plate of meatballs, furnish your kitchen and stock up on aquavit all at the same time?

Though, of course, you won't find any aquavit in Ikea stores in Sweden. Oh no. Alcohol is dangerous and is only sold from a state-owned shop called Systembolaget, which closes at 3.30pm, so you need to plan the fact that you'd like a bottle of wine with dinner before lunch.

Of course, Swedes don't complain about it. They are used to being obedient.

For example, on September 3, 1967 at 5am, the whole country went from driving on the left to driving on the right, despite the fact that 80 per cent of the population had voted against the change in a referendum.

Sweden is the only place in the world where this could have happened because everyone there is used to doing as they're told. Imagine trying the same stunt in Italy or France.

It is a myth that Swedes are jolly, happy people. If this is what you think, it's because you have probably only met Swedes abroad. And of course they're happy overseas; they're not in Sweden any more.

Or you have caught them just before one of the three main social events that punctuate the Swedish calendar and give Swedes a licence to drink as much as they like.

First, there is the last day of April, when Swedes congregate around lakes, break a hole in the ice if they are still frozen over, and jump in.

Then, on midsummer's night eve, when it is light all night, the Swedes dance around a maypole. Should you happen upon this festivity, you must be prepared to sing a song about little frogs which ends with everyone throwing themselves on the ground.

Finally, at the end of August, there is the big crayfish party which marks the end of summer and when — yes — you stuff yourself with this lobster-like creature while sitting outside in the cold and pretending to be in the Mediterranean.

Although Sweden for a child was rather nice — after all, you never tire of building snowmen when you're five — for a teenager, it's not such fun.

In the summer, there was lots of swimming — the country is full of lakes — but there were also lots of mosquitoes.

I spent most of my weekends as a teenager with friends drinking beer, or any other alcohol we could get hold of, by the local lake or hanging out in the only cafe within a 20-mile radius.

The most exciting event was a dance held in the village hall every two months. We would spend hours getting dressed stealing alcohol and drinking it on the way there.

The disadvantage of this was that, for those of us who couldn't hold our drink, we often ended up in a freezing ditch on the way to the dance.

On a normal day in Sweden no one smiles. If you do smile, people look at you as if you're trying to steal their wallet.

I was amazed to find that England was so friendly. I wasn't used to people chatting to me in the street or cracking jokes.

When I took my children to Sweden on holiday last year, I was depressed by it. OK, so it rained for the two weeks, but I found the people so, well, sad.

It is well known that Sweden is always near the top of the suicide ratings for developed countries — even though they have a very good standard of living. Win or lose tonight against England, it won't make any difference to most Swedes: they'll still be miserable.

dailymail.co.uk

Sweden, cooler, better snowman making, better looking women (blue-eyed, blonde), a soccer team that doesn't need a Canadian to play real well against England. And a way better history.
 
I think not
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

Quote: Originally Posted by I think not

Quote: Originally Posted by Just the Facts

OK maybe just a beer in Albany.

That's fine, I'm going there next week, we should get together.

You never know. I may be going to the catskills next month and I was thinking maybe, if time permits, making a hop over to the big apple for a Fallafel.

I'll see how it plays out.

That's cool, come on over, I'll give you the non tourist tour.
 

Similar Threads

66
Is China a third world country ?
by china | Apr 22nd, 2010
2
The Most Corrupt Country in the World
by SirJosephPorter | Nov 17th, 2009
22
The 3rd World Country.
by china | Mar 25th, 2008
no new posts