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About Sweden

A while ago I read an article in Vanity Fair called Nordic Exposure . Written by somebody named A.A Gill. The author is saying that "we" meaning the world or I suspect more like the US is having a "Scandinavian moment" and elaborates on that topic.
I still have that magazine laying around and before I get rid of it, I want to comment a little on that article. You know, I think I have something of substance to add since I grew up in Sweden.
I always thought (got taught this in school) that Scandinavia is made up of five countries - Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. But depending on who you ask and where you look for information, you might get a different answer.
First of all, not everybody walking around in Sweden is blonde, blue eyed and tall. There are many people in Sweden from different countries. But many of the "real" Swedes are indeed blonde, a real blonde, not dyed. I am not considered a blonde in Sweden, though many refer to me as blonde here in the US, in Sweden I would be a brunette to simplify things. Though I would probably say golden brown or honey colored.
I personally LOVE ABBA and Ikea and many other things and traditions that I grew up with.
I know pretty much every ABBA song and when I was little I would sing along to them in the mirror, pretending to be Agnetha.
Yes, you do pay taxes in Sweden, rather high too - around 30 % but it's of course more complicated than that when you break it down. You also get taxed on every item you buy in the store, it's called "moms" and that tax is rather high too. Visiting a restaurant, buying alcohol and cigarettes is also rather costly due to the "moms". Many Swedes make a trip on some ferries that run between Sweden and Finland to buy cartons of cigarettes and bottles of booze, no taxes on the ferry - therefore hefty savings.
But there are also lots of perks when you live in Sweden, such as four consecutive weeks of vacation between June and August and sporadic vacation days throughout the rest of the year. When you have a baby you are allowed to stay at home with the child for well over a year and they also want the father to take part in that time. The parental leave is paid for by the state and your employer if you were employed somewhere prior to getting pregnant. When I lived in Sweden I never worried about paying for school, even university studies and any doctors visits.
I think that's great and basic human rights, I never questioned it - that is just what I was used to.
I never took advantage of the system either. I don't have any kids and I am not on welfare, here in the US or when I lived in Sweden. Some people make a career of popping out kids that they can't provide for - milking the system of everything they can get. I do not agree with that whatsoever.
I also think that Sweden has a too generous immigration policy. That is my personal opinion after seeing what has happened in the country the last couple of decades of allowing way too many people in that do not embrace Sweden, don't want to at least somewhat integrate and basically abuse the country. There has been cases of honor killings in Sweden due to "religious" reasons and that is NOT the Swedish way of life.
It is very common that men and women co habit in Sweden without any plans of a marriage.
I never grew up dreaming of a large wedding and a diamond ring, not that much emphasis is put on that there. I would rather spend money on a long, exciting trip somewhere than a diamond ring. You are protected by co habit laws in Sweden that take effect if you seperate. People look at co habit partners as married anyways, a ring on your finger is just that. A ring. It is a symbol and does not mean anything when it comes to your personal moral compass.
Yes, the views on nudity are more relaxed than in the US. It is common to see topless women of all ages on the beaches and nobody raises an eyebrow. We also enjoy saunas, naked men and women AND children together. Nobody is even thinking about pedophilia. It is nothing sexual about it, because to me and many people in Sweden - nudity and sex are two separate things. That's why I am so relaxed about nudity. Although I know better than to just drop my clothes anywhere. DUH!
But I hear that Germany is even more lax about nudity than Scandinavia. Don't know if that's true or not. If so, good for them!
The standard of living is high and comfortable. Especially in Norway, lucky people in Norway, it's a very rich, beautiful country with not many inhabitants, only about five million. A great place to live.
The one thing about Sweden is that you are supposed to be "lagom". That would be, not too much and not too little. Just right. There is an archetypical Swedish proverb
"Lagom är bäst" - meaning "The right amount is best". That is the standard and generally viewed the best way to be in society, though unspoken of.
Of course there are plenty of people that don't fall into that category either. Sometimes lagom is good and sometimes it's also good to go your own way. A mix of both.
Many people outside of Scandinavia seem to think that suicide is rampant there and that people are depressed and unhappy. I think that fake happiness is more common here in the US, people pretend to be a certain way in public while they are on one or more prescribed medications daily to help them deal with themselves and reality. I keep in touch with my friends and family in Sweden, not many use and abuse drugs, prescribed or not.
I did not come to the US to escape any hardships in Sweden. I had everything there, every comfort that I have here and many more friends btw.
I came to the US kind of on a whim, it was a fairly quick decision and I did have a job lined up in California, NO not dancing (stripping). That happened later. After some years here and an acquired mortgage (the brick around my neck) and my beautiful friend Chhaya I am kind of "stuck" here. I am not complaining though!

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Bil w/1L on :

I like the way you think. I picked up on that vibe right away. I know you like techno music. What internet music do you listen to? I've been grooving on iTunes /Radio/Ambient/SanFM.ruRelax - it's trip-house-ish.

Tatiana on :

Yes, I looooooveeeee techno. But I also like all kinds of other music. I do not listen to internet music actually, lots of times I have no music on at all at home - because it is non stop music at work.

AnnaForrest on :

I've been to Sweden several times and it's one of my most favorite countries. It's true that not everyone is blond and tall there. But still a lot of Swedish men definitely make this country worth visiting:) I've also visited Stockholm in spring and the temperature was 2 degrees C so I didn't see much nudity there lol:)
Anyways, I really enjoyed my trip and I'm longing to repeat it someday just to see those magnificent buildings and trees growing from the rocky land.

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