• Sweden edition
 
Swedes brace the chill in 'no pants' subway ride

Swedes brace the chill in 'no pants' subway ride

Published: 14 Jan 2013 09:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Jan 2013 09:00 GMT+01:00

Over 100 Stockholmers ignored below-freezing temperatures on Sunday and bared their legs for an afternoon on the city's subway system - all in the name of a bit of cheeky fun.

If you felt there was more Swedish flesh on show than usual on the weekend, you're probably right.

Scores of Stockholmers shed their pants and inhibitions on Sunday afternoon - despite the thermometer pointing to minus 11 degrees - and took part in the annual No Pants Subway Ride.

"It's always been a success since we started with just eight people back in 2009," organizer Betty Jarra told The Local.

Related gallery: Click here to see more pantless Swedes on the subway

"And it works because it makes people happy, and it gets them to react. It doesn't matter how they react - as long as they do."

According to Jarra, people typically react with surprise, followed by a laugh, and then inquiry into the commuter's sanity, she explained with a laugh, adding that the public's reaction is part of the fun.

"People get engaged more than they usually do in Stockholm, and we think that's important," she said.

Video from the 2012 No Pants Subway Ride in Stockholm

While Jarra explains that it's mostly elderly women who have the courage to strike up a conversation, the participants try to act casually, and often just respond with "I forgot my pants" as if it's the most normal thing in the world.

But why show off your Scandinavian thighs and knobbly knees in the first place?

The idea was founded by a comedic performance art group based in New York City called Improv Everywhere. The organizers created the event in 2002, but it really got legs five years later when it was imitated worldwide.

Stockholm was one of approximately 60 cities worldwide to take part this year.

And for those worried about public hygiene following the bout of near-nudity, the group had strict guidelines to ease the minds of other commuters.

"If you don't have proper underwear you will be breaking the law and that is not our intention," the organizers warned on the group's official Facebook page.

When asked if the event will continue next year, Jarra responded without hesitation.

"Of course it will, it's always good for a laugh," she told The Local.

"We're creating happiness with the No Pants Subway Ride, and that's the most important thing."

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:05 January 14, 2013 by johan rebel
The guy who delivers mail to my sister's apartment in Stockholm always wears shorts. Well, almost always. The one time I saw him wearing long trousers the temperature was -18°C
11:55 January 20, 2013 by KReativarchitect
There are many here in the UK who wear shorts, whatever the weather. Newcastle nightlife is renowned for participants under dressing in cold weather. Perhaps it's a Northern 'thing'?

Having 'no pants' means something else in English of course, 'pants' is the shortened form of 'underpants' or 'panties' or 'knickers' :-)

I was expecting a very different article!
Today's headlines
Eco-conscious Swedes in hen house trend
Chickens photo: Shutterstock.

Eco-conscious Swedes in hen house trend

Fresh eggs from the hen house at the bottom of the garden is the latest eco-friendly fad being pursued by Swedish urbanites ready to run the risk of a little neighbourhood friction to keep their Saturday pancakes organic. READ () »

Football fan father leaves baby in sweltering car
Parked car photo: Shutterstock.

Football fan father leaves baby in sweltering car

A baby was saved from a car parked in the stifling heat outside of a football stadium in western Sweden on Sunday with the child's father believed to be at the game. READ () »

Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash
A coastguard vessel involved in the rescue operation. Photo: TT

Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash

Stockholm police are investigating criminal negligence in connection with a crash involving a small taxi vessel and a giant Finland-bound ferry on Friday which left three people needing rescue from the icy waters of Stockholm's archipelago. READ () »

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning to put vegetarian meatballs on the menu in an attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint, the company has announced. READ () »

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement. READ () »

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party has stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Advertisement:
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

722
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com