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Sweden

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Zebra57
824679.  Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:41 pm Reply with quote

With a population of only 9.3 million (2010) Sweden has one of the lowest population densities in Western Europe. Its capital city is Stockholm and language is Swedish.

Sweden appears to have emerged as a country in the Middle Ages. Previously two distinct nations Sweden and Gothia had co-existed from time to time and had often been in conflict.

By the 1650s, the Swedish Empire dominated the lands of the Baltic. The empire expanded in the 17th and early 18th century. Most of the conquered territories outside the peninsula of Scandinavia were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries as Poland, Russia and Prussia in particular expanded (eg Finland, was lost to Russia in 1809).

1814 saw Sweden use force, arguably for the last time, when Norway was forced into into a union. Since then Sweden has adopted neutrality as a diplomatic strategy.

1995 Sweden joined the EU but like UK has not adopted the Euro.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden

 
Geography Guy
987286.  Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:55 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
Sweden has one of the lowest population densities in Western Europe

The third-lowest population density in Western Europe, to be precise.
For every Swedish square kilometer of land, there are about 23 Swedes to inhabit it(60 per square mile). In Western Europe, only Finland (18 per square km), Norway (16 per square km) and Iceland (3 per square km) have lower population densities.
Nearby Denmark becomes a lot more crowded (130 per square km), plus the UK (260 per square km) & Netherlands (497 per square km).

 
Jenny
987357.  Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:31 am Reply with quote

Welcome Geography Guy, and thanks for your contributions today :-)

 
Zebra57
987875.  Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:00 am Reply with quote

Two unrelated facts about Sweden. The country has the following
recognised minority languages: Finnish, Meänkieli (Tornedalen Finnish), Sami, Romani Chib and Yiddish.

St. Lucia is a nationally celebrated saint and on December 13th the Lussekatt (St. Lucia Bun) which contains saffron is eaten.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucy's_Day

 
CB27
987969.  Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:22 am Reply with quote

Sweden has an interesting place in military history. In the 17th century Charles XI decided to modernise his army because they couldn't count on the number of troops other countries could rely on, and created what became known as the Caroleans.

For the first time in modern history the army was fitted with matching uniforms and all soldiers were expected to be trained to a professional level.

Soldiers were forbidden from stealing, looting and raping (though in a couple of battles looting became necessary), and there were strict rules against blasphemy. A soldier could be punished by death for taking God's name in vain, or even interrupting prayers.

Sweden swelled in size very quickly as they agressively sought to conquer lands, which made them the third biggest country by the mid 17th century, but they provided a warning to future generals by falling foul of the Russian winter and the scorched earth tactics used by the Russians. Their lack of resources at home meant they were unable to hold onto their territories for long.

They did have some very colourful uniforms though :)

 
Zebra57
1027466.  Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:10 am Reply with quote

Sweden has an interesting colonial past, having at various times been present in Tobago, Saint Barthélemy and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean as well as ventures in North America and West Africa. The Swedish West Indies is remembered by the capital of the (now) French territory of Saint Barthélemy - Gustavia.
The Swedish Crown was still benefiting from the Guadeloupe Fund until 1983.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadeloupe_Fund
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_overseas_colonies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_slave_trade

 
CharliesDragon
1027959.  Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:51 pm Reply with quote

Norwegians go to Sweden to buy cheap beer, the Swedes go to Denmark for cheap beer, and the Danes go to Germany for cheap beer. Presumably the Germans just stay home and get pissed.

That's the only thing I can think of that's relatively interesting/funny about Sweden right now, but a look at some Scandinavia and the World comics should turn up other funny happenings. I won't do that now, though, as I was planning on going to bed tonight.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1027972.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:47 am Reply with quote

CharliesDragon wrote:
Norwegians go to Sweden to buy cheap beer, the Swedes go to Denmark for cheap beer, and the Danes go to Germany for cheap beer. Presumably the Germans just stay home and get pissed.


Frequently on Danish beer, as it happens.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Alfred E Neuman
1027976.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:53 am Reply with quote

The benefit of a strong economy?

 
Zebra57
1027982.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:33 am Reply with quote

A joke told to me by a Dane:

Why do Swedes always drink a carton of milk they buy in the shop?

Because on the top of the carton it says oppnas har (open here)

 
suze
1028062.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:49 am Reply with quote

I discover that the Swedish joke is in general the Danish equivalent to the Irish joke. Finns and Norwegians to tell Swedish jokes, while Swedes tell Norwegian jokes. Icelanders tell Danish jokes.

Almost every country in Europe has its own equivalent. The Dutch and the Belgians target each other, and so do the Spanish and the Portuguese. French people ally with the Dutch in telling Belgian jokes, while the Germans ally with the Belgians and tell Dutch jokes.

Germans tell Polish jokes as well, although it seems that - except in border regions - they got this idea from the Americans. Poles have at least three different types of ethnic joke - Germans have no sense of humour, Ukrainians aren't very bright, and Swedes have small willies. Poles also tell grammar jokes; only people who speak infernally complicated languages do this sort of thing, so Finns probably do it as well.

Most other Slavs go for Estonian or Bosnian jokes.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1028079.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:32 am Reply with quote

Nope, the German equivalent of the Polish joke is not the Dutch joke but the East Frisian joke. The German Polish joke is a different genre, mostly going back to the early Nineties when the German car theft trade was reputed to be firmly in the hands of Polish crime gangs. Intranslatable example:

Woraus sind Volvos gemacht? Schwedenstahl.
Woraus sind Mercedes gemacht? Kruppstahl.
Woraus sind polnische Autos gemacht? Diebstahl.

Or maybe it does translate?
What are Volvos made of? Swedish steel.
What are Mercedes made of? Krupp steel.
What are Polish cars made of? Just steal!

The Irish version of the American style Polish joke is the Kerryman joke, btw.

Why was the Kerryman sacked from his job as a lift operator?
He kept losing his way.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


Last edited by AlmondFacialBar on Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
suze
1028122.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:40 pm Reply with quote

The Canadian equivalent is the Newfoundland joke. If the Newfie speaks in the joke, he always has an exaggerated Newfie-Irish accent and calls everyone "boy". (Mind you, once you get outside St John's this may not be a huge exaggeration!)


Hungarians apparently find Mean Scotsman jokes hilarious. Quite why Hungarians are so fixated on Scots I have no clue.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1028123.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:48 pm Reply with quote

What did the Scotsman say to the fly in his Whisky?

Spit it out!

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Zebra57
1028124.  Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:59 pm Reply with quote

I have heard this joke in many countries.

"What do you call a (insert nationality) under a wheelbarrow? Answer - Mechanic"

This website includes many cross-national jokes:

http://europeisnotdead.com/disco/expressions-of-europe/european-jokes/

 

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