Each culture has its own quirky habits and bright ideas. Ranging from stealing other people's mushrooms and imitating the frogs to giving brilliant excuses not to work, Sweden's Adelina Storkaas, through Wanderlust, shares the Scandinavian country's secrets we could all learn from.
1. How to...Not get ideas above your station
The Swedes always describe their country and cultures as lagom. The word cannot be translated in any other language but it means something is just the right amount, neither too much, nor too little. The famous "Law of Jante" described in a 1993 fiction novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks by Aksel Sandemose has influenced the Swedish culture. The law tells the people that they should not be better than anybody else. In short, a Swede is somehow forbidden to stand out in a crowd.
2. How to...Conserve smells
The Swedes are well-known for conserving their food, and the tinned sour herring, surströmming, which can be located in the north of the country and eaten on crispbreads, smells worse than rotten eggs. In 1600s, the poor Swedes makes use of salt to prevent raw fish from rotting and the tradition still exist up to now. It's also said that it is best to open the tins of this Swedish 'delight' outside or it can be a great cover up to hide an unwelcome smell in a room. The smell of surströmming definitely overpowers anything.
3. How to...Not work when you're at work
Want to start a workday with a break when you just arrived at the office or have a few more breaks as the day goes by? Sweden is probably the best place for you to live in. The Swedes consider themselves as hardworking folks, but one of their favorite activities is fika, which roughly means an excuse to chat with friends, have a drink (non-alcoholic of course) and, on a good day, eat something sweet such as a biscuit. The Brits love their tea, the Italians their espresso and the Swedes like their fika indeed.
4. How to...Steal someone else's mushrooms
In Sweden, it's fine to stamp around in someone's back garden and even pick some mushrooms or berries as much as you like, as long as the owners cannot see you and you are not doing anything to disturb them. The Swedes have roamed freely for years and today, it's part of the culture to use the right of public access, Allemansrätten, to embrace nature wherever you are.
5. How to...Jump like a frog
During midsummer (sometime in June), the Swedes sing about frogs and pretend to be one while jumping around a midsommarstång, a wooden cross with two wreaths decorated with flowers and a symbol of fertility. Watch how this is done on the video below:
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