Monday, March 24, 2008

Glad Påsk Alla!

Its that time of year again! Easter or Påsk in Swedish is a national event garnering not 2 but 2 and a half days off! Work tends to end around noon on the thursday and most people begin their Påsk festivities early.

Påsk is the remembrance of the death of Jeasus, and a day of soul searching and reflection on this monumental point in history. Of course along with the remembrance, tends to come a lot of Stockholmites going out and painting the town Red.

This long weekend is an excuse for several party goers to celebrate for 4 days in a row, finally relaxing on the monday to prepare themselves for the coming week or work ahead.

One thing that I found interesting when first getting here was how the transportation system functioned so well with so much regularity. Of course along with that it also tends to dictate peoples night time activities being that during the week, the T-bana only runs till about 1am. This is inceased to 4am on friday and saturdays and as such the party tends to continue till the wee hours of the morning.

Taking the T-bana is much preferred to the bus system even though night buses do function all throughout the night granted with much less regularity and clarity as where exactly one should wait for their bus.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A swear is just another word, I doth proclaim

North Americans are sensitive, we wont allow any sexuality on TV and thats the ways wes' likes it. At least this is how we are brought up to believe things should be. You would never want any impressionable young minds being exposed to something as lurid and disgusting as a sexual act on TV or worse yet hearing profanity publicly: OH THE HORROR!

Ironically, this is quite visible here in Sweden to some much of the Media originates from English speaking countries, and more often then not, American sources play a huge role in what type of media is broadcast in Sweden. There are the classic family favorites such as "PIMP MY RIDE" and who could ever forget the heartwarming classic "Grey's Anatomy".

Its not only sitcoms and reality shows however, there is a major American musical influence as well. MTV is a popular station here, which although broadcasting some Swedish content, is dominated by foreign content as well.

Of course being as how much of the media broadcast here is American, it follows the American rules about language, and various other forms of content, but this is where Sweden takes a huge diversion to that of the West.

I have been here for several months now and during my time, I have seen very graphic sexuality being broadcast on what might be termed "PRIME TIME" in the Americas that wonderful period between 6pm and 10pm where everyone typically zones out in front of the TV and forgets their daily worries. In addition to that, I have also noticed the use of "profanity" is also quite common throughout the day. Terms like "Jävla" and "Sjuit" and the like are regularly used in everyday situations, conversations between old ladies and their grandchildren, kids and their parents, Students and teachers.

In fact just the other day, I came upon quite an interesting contrast right in the daily paper, one that is distributed freely to anyone with an inkling to pick one up.

The "STOCKHOLM CITY" Nyheter or newspaper is one paid by advertisers and distributed freely, making the content even more interesting. How many companies do you know of in North America that would want to be associated with the content below?

Translated loosely, it it reads "Playing a Sweet Fuckup". This kinda thing is quite common here in Sweden and personally I LIKE IT.

Why is it that we are so against a word, or sequence of words. Arent we the country of free speech? If we were not so averse to being able to freely express ourselves would our society break down and people would start to riot in the streets causing havoc and destroying everything in sight?

If Sweden is any example, I think not. (and they have been around longer).

There are many lessons that we could learn from the Swedish culture in North America and visa versa.

Well back to the rainy weather, and blonde bombshells, till tomorrow when I plan to write about some other very insightful and intersting tidbit.

THE SWEDISH WORD FOR TODAY IS: Föreslår (pronounced: Foorslor) and it means Suggest