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Are Swedes like Hobbits?

Is Sweden doomed to be a social backwater?

dave.smith
post 26.Dec.2012, 11:26 AM
Post #1
Joined: 12.Jan.2007

I am generally a huge supporter of Sweden. In global terms, it's clean, safe, and has low levels of poverty. Noone can seriously argue these points. After many years, though, I am starting to see downsides with respect to social life in the country, especially in rural areas and small towns.

It seems Swedes have a very "Hobbitish" attitude to social life. Family plays a big part, and like Hobbits, they don't like to go on any adventures or have anything unexpected happen. The majority of Swedes will get drunk on weekends and perhaps go to Thailand for a holiday once in a while, but doing anything spontaneous (with a few exceptions) is beyond their understanding. Even their family get togethers and dinner parties are muted, over-comfortable affairs.

They are honestly surprised when not everyone wants to do it the Swedish way, and they have a very Swedish-centric world view, all of which leads me to believe that Swedes would make perfect Hobbits if they were shorter.

Don't get me wrong, this is an ideal country for a family, but gosh, after a few years the overly chilled attitudes can get a bit much. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of upsides - less chavs, crime, more polite and reserved (yes, I consider them linked - I don't care if a fat chav woman says "excuse me / sorry", she's still a rude chav. I'd prefer silence and respect to fake words of politeness).

But still, it's a very sleepy society - what's your opinion?
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nlidukdese
post 26.Dec.2012, 11:36 AM
Post #2
Joined: 31.Jan.2007

Exactly how long did it take you to develop these staggering insights?
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beefpatty
post 26.Dec.2012, 11:36 AM
Post #3
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 3.Feb.2011

You say this like it is a bad thing?
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johnjohn
post 26.Dec.2012, 11:37 AM
Post #4
Joined: 10.Dec.2010

Hmmm...Dave Smith is questioning social norms and social interactions. This should be interesting.
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Migga
post 26.Dec.2012, 11:53 AM
Post #5
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

I think you are entitled to your opinion but I also think you are way of when you generalize and stereotype. Swedes are human just like everyone else. Yeah they probably share more traits with eachother then other people which make them swedish but it shouldn`t be valued in terms of good and bad or described as a social backwater. And what you define as spontaneous or adventurous could have a different definition in Sweden. Swedes can be all that you describe in a different way then what you are used to and you would never see it. Swedes are per capita one of the most well-traveled people in the world, they don`t sit in The Shire all year round. I think Sweden is a great country even though it isn`t perfect, no country is.
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Hamsterdam
post 26.Dec.2012, 12:00 PM
Post #6
Joined: 25.Mar.2012

Another brilliant social observation from David.Smyth. Priceless.

However comparing to The Hobbit is ironic when he should be wondering more who his girlfriend is Goblin.
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Seamus Sean
post 26.Dec.2012, 12:01 PM
Post #7
Joined: 4.Oct.2009

My Swedish girlfriend has to shave her feet every other day and is in the habit of having more than one breakfast per day...does this count? tongue.gif
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byke
post 26.Dec.2012, 12:14 PM
Post #8
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Coincidence?
You be the judge. (look at the eyes and mouth)
 
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dave.smith
post 26.Dec.2012, 12:44 PM
Post #9
Joined: 12.Jan.2007

You know, I find it hilarious that someone else can start a thread calling Swedes dumb have so much support, yet my thread criticising a much smaller part of the Swedes' identity manages to gain mostly snotty comments from the peanut gallery.

For those cretins who don't understand English properly - I am not insulting Sweden, just making some observations. I didn't even say that what I have observed is all bad. I am just pointing it out and asking what others on the forum feel about said observations.

How did I gain these insights? This year my family came to visit us in Sweden, as opposed to us traveling to the UK and SA as usual, and the cultural differences are difficult to miss when compared side by side.
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Hamsterdam
post 26.Dec.2012, 01:24 PM
Post #10
Joined: 25.Mar.2012

Shut up you mug. You have earned your reputation for being a social moron time and time again. No one cares what your opinion is.
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Svensksmith
post 26.Dec.2012, 01:50 PM
Post #11
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

Your generalizations do have a ring of truth to them, but is it wrong for the Swedes to behave that way? You and I may prefer a more outgoing, spontaneous society but since when are our preferences the gold standard for the world? As you readily admit, the calm, relaxed attitude of the Swedes does offer some advantages.
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Hamsterdam
post 26.Dec.2012, 03:42 PM
Post #12
Joined: 25.Mar.2012

QUOTE (Svensksmith @ 26.Dec.2012, 01:50 PM) *
... the calm, relaxed attitude of the Swedes does offer some advantages.

Not another Smith totally misreading something blink.gif For certain Swedes generally do not have these traits.

Swop for introverted and stressed at the tiniest thing and you are much closer to reality. Calm and relaxed hahaha never.
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oddsock
post 26.Dec.2012, 03:56 PM
Post #13
Joined: 19.Dec.2008

I have been a foreigner in one country or another since I was four years old. This has made me grow a healthy distrust of tradition, as for me it's just another way of reinforcing tribal group think. Most white, homogenous nations really value traditional celebrations as a why of reinforcing their tribal group think. Sweden is especially so. I get dejavu every year. Lussebullar season, kanelbullar season, semla season, Lucia, Midsommar, Allsang pa Skansen, Christmas... all these holidays are celebrated in a very traditional, regimented and socially homogenous manner. Everyone drinks the same drink and dances around the pole in a certain direction, all have the same kind of star in the window, everyone walks around in white capes holding candles. I dunno, it all shows a general lack of imagination and individual expression. It's a form of brainwashing that you see it in most white European countries, but the conformity towards tradition in Sweden is more regimented and orchestrated than in most other countries. Like hobbits, I guess.

Mardis Gras, now there's a celebration that throws tradition out the window and everyone is free to interpret how they want.
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oddsock
post 26.Dec.2012, 04:01 PM
Post #14
Joined: 19.Dec.2008

QUOTE (Hamsterdam @ 26.Dec.2012, 03:42 PM) *
Not another Smith totally misreading something For certain Swedes generally do not have these traits.Swop for introverted and stressed at the tiniest thing and you are much c ... (show full quote)

Perhaps. They are very good at having meetings at my work about small things like reorganising the rooms in the building or minor changes to regulation. But when there's a major crisis or the shit hits the fans a disappearing act often happens and I am the one getting things done.
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Svensksmith
post 26.Dec.2012, 04:41 PM
Post #15
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

I don't think Hamsterdam likes Smiths much. Discrimination in the worst form.
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