What Nordic people think about each other?

Discussion in 'Nordic Countries Discussion' started by Tod, Feb 11, 2002.

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  1. Karoline Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2001
    star 4
    I was thinking of Simpsons as well :)
    When I was on vacation in the US a couple of years ago, I happened to get into a conversation with this popcorn-selling guy. He asked me where I came from, and I said Norway. He looked at me as if I'd just said something in greek. "Where's that?"

    I thought he was joking with me, but now I'm not so sure.
  2. Leto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 4
    Once on the Jay Leno show he was out asking historical questions at an amusement park.
    Things like:
    1 What does remember the Alamo mean?
    2 Where is the Alamo?
    3 Who started World War 2?
    4 Who was ruling Germany during WWII?
    5 Who did America fight in WWII?

    One woman they asked was really dense, even with the help of her friend it took them three minutes to answer the fourth question.
    They got Hitler, but his they thought his firstname was George. [face_laugh]

    If you can find it please PM me, I´ve forgotten most of it. :)
  3. Joey7F Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 4
    That segment is called "Jaywalking". As well as you all speak English, I bet you don't know what Jaywalking is. It is when you cross a street without crossing at the intersection.

    It hardly ever gets ticketed anymore...

    Anyway, Jaywalking is a showcase of the most ignorant people here. Notice they are often from Hollywood ;)

    Karoline it is hard to believe that someone has never heard of Norway. Did you say Norway or "Norge" (or maybe even Noreg if you are speaking Nynorsk ;))

    That truly is pathetic...

    --Joey
  4. JediLynx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2000
    star 5
    I know what Jaywalking is! :D
    Does that mean that I've seen too many Hollywood movies?
  5. Lilu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 3
    Nope, just too many bad sitcoms, like me ;)
  6. Quiet Queen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1999
    star 4
    I've long wondered what's up with the American educational system? The fact that Americans are so poorly informed about the world has cultural reasons, but you'd expect such a rich country's educational system should at least be able to teach basic skills, which it doesn't seem to be able to do!

    As Joey7F points out, there are Americans who are quite well educated, and a delight to talk to. But a frighteningly large group is totally clueless!

    The US' peculiar construction, which makes the states highly autonomous within the nation, is a root cause for the American restricted international perspective.
    Where other nations get national and international news, American media presents state, national and international news. To a mindset where a different state, not to speak of the esoteric political doings in Washington, seems alien, not much interest can be spared for the even more alien foreign goings-on?

    I don't think a European should be expected to be able to place every US state onto a blank map? Nor do I think an American ought to be able to place every British county, Swiss canton, or German federated state within those nations.
    Knowing where the countries are ought to be a part of basic education, though!

    And Joey7F, don't be so certain we can't follow colloquialisms! Be aware that the Swedish movie/TV repertoires are something like 60% US/British, 30% Swedish, 10% other countries.
    That enables you to stay on top of things nicely? ;)
  7. Leto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 4
    I saw a show, ( alright, it was friends ) where they tried to namn all 50 states, appearently it´s harder than you think.
    Unless you do like Joey and get 56 states :)
  8. Joey7F Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 4
    Oh I know where your entertainment comes from. It is just that Jaywalking is very obscure. I said that to two of my friends a few days ago and they said, " uhh, oh jaywalking ok..."

    Let's just say they didn't seem really confident...

    You would have to watch a lot of Andy Griffith and such shows ;) (Like me!)

    Quiet Queen brings up a good point, Because our country is so large(in size and population), the states are almost like countries themselves. Too put it in perspective, California is the size of Norway. In some ways it is easy to understand, how much news is dedicated to Europe? For you all, take out all the European related "foreign news". What percentage is it then?

    Another thing that Europeans are not used to, is how we view a country. You all think of a country the way we think of a state.

    Now is a question for you all. What does English sound like? I have been hearing English from the time I came into this world, so I do not know how it sounds.

    For example, to me, and I know this will shock (and offend :p) some of you, but Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish all sound like the same language. I hadn't heard swedish at length (more than 30 seconds) until I saw the Pernilla August interview.

    Norwegian/Swedish/Danish sounds like German spoken by an Italian.

    Wow..long post...

    --Joey
  9. Quiet Queen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1999
    star 4
    Joey7F: The US? preoccupation with the state has less to do with the size of the states in question, but is a logical consequence of how the US constitution is written. The large autonomy of the state, coupled with the fact that all every-day issues ? such as schooling, policing, and so forth ? are the state?s jurisdiction.
    This means, of course, that the citizen often encounters state authorities during the course of daily life, but needs to be quite aware to notice the impact of the national authority in his/her life.

    On how English sounds to non-native speakers?. Can?t remember a time when I did not speak the language. Anyone else?

    Americans, as a group, have not got a well-developed language aptitude. With an entertainment industry that either dubs or remakes foreign productions, not to mention news where foreign interviewees are dubbed over by a speaker, you are not accustomed hearing other languages.
    Also, foreign language studies are begun much later than we do? If a second language is studied at all!

    No wonder you think the closely related Scandinavian languages sound the same! :p
  10. Lilu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 3
    How English sounds...? Good question, I can't remember a time where it was completely ailen to me. My family has told me that they noticed that I understood alot of it when I was 6 years-old - and translated all of the cartoons into Danish for my friends infront of the TV when I was 8.
    My problem with English is the spelling - It can really drive me nuts. Having the same kind of sounds, but usind different combinations of letters to expess them.
    (Oh, and I once had to speak to a guy from Texas over the phone. Man, that was hard to understand.)

    I think it has more to do with who is speaking it. Australian, British and American are all types of English, but they sound so different that I don't think you would know that if you heard them for the very first time.
  11. Wanlorn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Can't say. I have lived a lot abroad, so I have adopted some sort of basic english before school.. however, there are many acsents, and it's quite funny to listen some redneck from mid-west or Scot or..
    But about swedish.. When I started to study it, the way our teacher used the language (swedish, instead of the version used in Finland) was rather funny. To this day I think it's rather stupid way to speak, but I have lived most of my live hearing it talked pronounced like finnish.. and that does give some expections..
    Sorry if I offended somebody.

    When Joey talked about the newspaper thing, I went and check. I am know talking about Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest paper in our country.. yesterday it seems to have been 50 pages; let's see; politics of Finland; 1 page. 6 pages about news inside Finland. Umm.. then several pages about sports and culture, then other six pages about foreing things.. looks like maybe third is about US. The rest is about EU and Israel... then some small news, of course.
    Economics. Three pages, 1 conserning the steel tax in US.

    Rather well, conserning that there has been idea of making EU of it's one section in similiar way as the State/Nation/Foreign in US.

    And there is in world a lot more than EU, Finland, Israel and US.. and if remember that in world there is much more than these three nations (if EU can be sayd to be one), the score of US is mighty high.
    Oh, Helsingin sanomat is one of those big papers, with so big pages that you need a table to be able to read it..
  12. Joey7F Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 4
    To me British and Australian sounds way more similar than British/American. I think that is because the Brits hung on to Australia longer.

    I started to learn Spanish at age 12 which is considered very early compared to most people. I eventually quit because they emphasized grammar rather than vocabulary. I would rather be able to speak a lot like a moron than speak a little like a member of Spanish royalty.

    However, because my father's side is from Cuba I have heard Spanish growing up and that (I think) assists my understanding.

    I am unlucky to pick up any Norwegian when I watch tv2.no over the web. I Dag and snø are about the only words I understand. Admittedly, I have only been studying Norwegian somewhat aggressively since Christmas and school often stops me from doing more.

    Quiet Queen can you imagine if a country this size had as strong a central government as Sweden? Nothing could get done! Picture that the EU had a central government in say Beligum, and they made the laws concerning schools and etc for all of Europe. It is easy to see that it would be very ineffective. Each State has to control a chunk of its regulation. I would prefer if it was mostly handled at the city level. The closer you are to the representative the more influence you have.

    For example, my family was thinking of putting in a swimming pool. (No not all floridians have one ;)) So anyway, we are required to put a fence around the pool to stop unsupervised little kids from falling in. This is not to stop other unattended rugrats this is to stop kids in your own house. The only problem is that the youngest member of our clan is 17 years old. Yet we are still required by the state of Florida to put up a fence to protect ourselves from ourselves. That is likely to cost 9000 NRK or about 1000 dollars!

    --Joey
  13. Leto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 4
    We have the same rules concerning pools in Sweden. My uncle bought a pool and thought it would be finished in a week ;)
    It took 2,5 months plus they had to dig the holes for the 2,15 meter fence themselves. But it´s finished now and it´s gre<t to be able to go there for a swim in may in 25 C warm water. :)
  14. Quiet Queen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1999
    star 4
    Further on the US constitution: I did not express any opinion as to whether the autonomy of the states in the US is beneficial or detrimental. I only pointed out the fact?

    The reason for this autonomy, however, is due to what the founding fathers were aiming for. They wished to create near-independent states, and a weak central government. The only thing, which has in any way altered this set-up, is the hegemony the US achieved after WWII. What had once been marginal responsibilities, defence, foreign policies and international trade, became pre-eminent, something which strengthened the Presidential power and somewhat overshadowed the state autonomy.

    If there had been a desire to create the US as a traditional centralised nation, this would have been eminently possible. The union is large, but far from too large for centralised rule.
    Compare with the only other nation hereto larger than the US, the Soviet Union, which had a very centralised rule!

    The end result is that it fosters a very isolationist mindset. Whatever you think about that, from a intellectual standpoint, in reality it is quite dangerous.
    It means that the most powerful nation in our time, the only nation which can intervene in large-scale conflicts around the world, is largely populated by citizens which doesn?t know anything about the rest of the world, who does not care to learn, and are proud of their ignorance!

    Talk about nightmare-inducing thoughts!
  15. Joey7F Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 4
    You have pools in Sweden...?;)

    Darth Queen, size is very important. I looked at the Soviet Union, oh wait... it thankfully doesn't exist anymore! ;)

    I don't think we are proud of our ignorance, we are merely apathetic. It is totally irrelevant for most people what the capital of Brazil is, what language they speak in Luxembourg, the type of Government of Norway etc. It is also irrelevant for most people that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other to sides. If it doesn't come up frequently it gets dropped from our mindset.

    If Florida, were a completely different country ie the Spanish refused to sell, where we all spoke Spanish, and in Louisana they all spoke french perhaps in New York, nothing but Italian, Norwegian in Minnesota etc. It would create what Europe has, very distinct cultures across borders.

    That seldom happens in the US. No matter where you go, Americans are, for the most part, very much the same.

    I think it is hard to get children interested for a few reasons, one, I think it helps to travel. Let's face it, you all probably left your country when you were 10 or 11. Most Americans are lucky to leave it twice in their life! Therefore it doesn't become "real". Then if you can get the kids interested, the parents often can't help.

    "Mom what is the capital of Switzerland?"

    "Uh.. I don't know, why do you ask?"

    "Oh it is for some assignment for school"

    "You don't need any of that stuff in the real world"

    You can substitute "the capital of Switzerland?" for any math course and still get the same response.

    Most of my friends at one time or another had to fill in a map of the world for a geography class. They have forgotten most of it. (to be honest so have I, I used to be able to name and locate all the African countries now I can name about 20).

    But more than geography we don't get exposed to the culture. If when they were talking about Nordic countries they said "Norway and Sweden are both large fishing nations. In fact it is not uncommon for breakfast or Frokost to have eggs with salmon (I never knew what Lax was before studying Norsk :)) on a piece of bread called an 'Open Sandwich.' They also do well in the Winter Olympics and have pretty girls".

    That kind of thing makes it more than just words on a page, it makes the country come to life.

    --Joey
  16. Lilu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2000
    star 3
    Nahh.... You don't really need math in the real world. ;)

    Who cares if they are cheated out of 2/3 of their money because they can't figure out where they'r missing.

    (At least that's how my uncle to me go study math when I was a kid)
  17. Leto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 4
    I think I´ve had salmon with scrambled eggs for breakfast one time, on christmas morning no less. And I´ve never used the phrase open sandwich.
    Does that mean a normal ssndwich or what ?[face_plain]
  18. Quiet Queen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1999
    star 4
    Leto: A 'open sandwich? is what we?d call en smörgås, to separate it from ?a sandwich?, which has bread both on the bottom and the top, i.e. en dubbelsmörgås.

    Joey7F: Ummmmm?. When did I change my name?
    I?m writing a full reply to your latest post, so hang on! :)
  19. Leto Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2002
    star 4
    Nice, you learn something new everyday. :)
  20. Joey7F Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 4
    You didn't Quiet Queen, I had two forums open in different browsers and there was confusion. Hehe...

    Yeah an Open Sandwich is a Smoerbroed.

    It is strictly unique to Nordic countries.

    --Joey
  21. Tod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 1999
    star 4
    How many of you have eaten finnish "mämmi"? I believe it's called Finnish Easter pudding in english. That's brown, sticky stuff and for some reason foreign people usually are somewhat suspicious about it. But it sure is delicious.
  22. Wanlorn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    I have! But can I be counted?
  23. Tod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 1999
    star 4
    Wanlorn, you don't count because you're Finnish. I hope there'd be at least one non-Finnish person who has eaten mämmi.
  24. Joey7F Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 4
    I don't believe I have even heard of it (the finish or English version). See, if more of you Nordic types stayed when you came to the new world we would know more about you. I guess, unlike the Puritans, you didn't have a reason to leave.

    --Joey
  25. menilma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2001
    star 4
    well then have any of you tasted soured milk, or filmjölk? perhaps you eat it in finland too, but people outside scandinavia seems to think it's disgusting. acctually when you think about it, it is. it's basically old milk... and yet they serve it in our schools..
    anyway I like it, but no I have never tasted mämmi or even heard about it. what's in it?
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