200 years since the last war

200 years ago today was the last time a Nordic country was at war with another Nordic country. That calls for a celebration!

Foreningen Norden (an organization to promote Nordic cooperation) celebrated this event by posting this picture on their Facebook page:

200 years since Nordic countries were at war with one another

200 years since Nordic countries were at war with one another

Are you familiar with all the flags?

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Support the production of a new Viking movie!

Imagine you’re an ordinary 13 year old boy minding your own business, when Thor (the God of Thunder – not the Marvel character) suddenly appears in a stroke of lightning and takes you to Valhalla. And imagine that the Norse mythology is not just a mythology – it’s real!

This is the beginning of the book Erik Menneskesøn (Erik Son of Humans), written by Danish Lars-Henrik Olsen. Now there are plans for making this book into a movie – a movie I really want to see!

The reason why I want to see it is not because I liked the book (well, I did but I was not really in the target group for the book when I read it). I really want to see this movie because the director seems to take history seriously. And she seems to be thorough with the details, making this a (hopefully) historically correct movie – maybe the first historically correct Viking movie ever.

Check out how she sees the movie:

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Vikings had sick pay

Scandinavia is known for our generous benefits for people who get sick. You can take time off from work with full pay (you’ll need your doctor to sign some documents if you’re sick for extended periods of time) or almost full pay if you get sick. A common cold or cancer – you have a right to keep your job and to keep your monthly income.

One would think that this was something new. You know – crazy Scandinavians and our welfare state – but actually it’s not. I found an article that referred to the first mentioning of sick pay. Guess when that was? Around year 1000. Go Vikings! (no, not the football Vikings – the real ones).

King Magnus Lagabøte's (1238-80) law.

King Magnus Lagabøte’s (1238-80) law. Not the first law that addresses sick pay.

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Yay! I’ve been nominated!

This blog was originally made by Reefchic because she thought I should have a place outside Fanfiction.net for my fanfiction. I’m so grateful to her but my blog has developed into a blog about Vikings and Scandinavia – two things I LOVE to talk about  – more than fanfiction. I haven’t even moved all of my stories over here yet.

But now I want to turn everyone’s attention back to fanfiction because I’m so thrilled that I’m practically jumping up and down. I’ve been nominated to “All Time Favorite True Blood Fanfiction” (yes, yes, I write Southern Vampire Mysteries fanfiction but we’re often lumped together) by Fanatic Fanfics Award.

Dead with the Vikings - a Thyra10 Fanfiction

Dead with the Vikings – a Thyra10 Fanfiction and an Alby90 banner

So many great fanfics have been nominated in so many interesting categories and I’m truly honored to be mentioned among them. It’s my most popular story, Dead with the Vikings, that has been nominated.

Sookie Stackhouse wakes up one morning to find herself thrown back in time to when Eric Northman was alive and breathing and not yet turned into a vampire.

Read Dead with the Vikings at Fanfiction.net.

I want to thank everyone who’s been emailing, Tweeting and PMing me about this nomination. I would never have known if it wasn’t for you guys! I also want to thank Rascalthemutant for betaing this baby. I wrote it back in 2010 but it’s still one of the stories I’ve had the most fun writing. I love the Viking age (as some of you might have guessed) and my story is probably based on my secret dream of waking up in the Viking age myself one morning. It hasn’t happened yet, but who knows?

If you want to vote for my story – or any of the great stories nominated with mine – you can do it here.

 


The new general secretary of NATO – Jens Stoltenberg

Apparently NATO has turned it into a habit of picking former Scandinavian prime ministers to the important post of being their general secretary. The current GS is a former Danish prime minister and the next one is a former Norwegian prime minister.

So what is the world getting when we have Jens Stoltenberg looking out for us? We’re getting this guy (Putin, be afraid. Be very afraid):

Jens Stoltenberg - muscles from Oslo

Jens Stoltenberg – muscles from Oslo

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So You Want to Study in Scandinavia?

Coming to Scandinavia to go to school or study may be a great way to get under the skin of Scandinavia and Scandinavians. If you’re from outside the EU, it’s easier to get a student visa than a work permit or a residence visa but the main advantage of coming here to study is that it may be a perfect way to get to know Scandinavians.

Coming to Scandinavia to work can be a lonely affair as most Scandinavians head out the office (if your job is at an office) doors as soon as the clock strikes four because we have kids that need to be picked up and cabins that need to be visited. We might socialize for “Friday beer” or “pay-day beer” (for some reason our socializing always involves beer) but, in general, you might find it hard to find friends at work.

Not so if you come here to study.

Meet Scandinavians - go to school with them

Meet Scandinavians – go to school with them

Two main roads

Of you’re over 18 you can pick two main roads (if you’re under 18 you would probably need to go to high school and that’s quite a different topic) – University/college or Folk High Schools. Don’t let the name of the latter discourage you. Folk High School is a poor translation of Folkehøgskole (Norwegian), Folkhögskola (Swedish) and Højskole (Danish) and has absolutely nothing to do with high schools. Folk High Schools are a type of school that you’ll only find in the Nordic countries and they are a kind of free thinking boarding schools.

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Do Scandinavians understand one another?

When I was a kid in Denmark my grandfather told me this joke (he told it to me around 100 times since this was his favorite joke):

A Swede asked a taxi driver to find him a place that was ‘rolig’. The taxi driver took him to the nearest cemetery.

Now, this joke may not sound very funny to you but the whole point of the joke is that ‘rolig’ means ‘fun’ in Swedish but it means ‘quiet’ in Danish (and Norwegian).

Scandinavia united - but do we understand one another?

Scandinavia united – but do we understand one another?

When I first met my Norwegian husband I liked him immediately but we were having a hard time finding our way from being just friends to moving our relationship into something more. Imagine my surprise when he helped me unbuttoning my coat while saying, “kneppe, kneppe, kneppe”, which means, “fuck, fuck, fuck” in Danish. In Norwegian it means, “unbutton, unbutton, unbutton” (and to this day he`s still not entirely sure why he was chanting the infamous fuck/unbutton word but I guess he was a bit nervous).

Later, when my husband and I had actually managed to kiss and move in together, he was to celebrate Christmas with my family in Denmark. That had my mother-in-law write my parents a letter saying, “It’ll be ‘rart’ to celebrate Christmas without my son.” My mother thought that was a peculiar message to get. Why is that? Well, in Norwegian ‘rart’ means ‘strange’ or ‘odd’ whereas in Danish it means ‘nice’. So my mother figured my husband must be a terrible person for his own mother to find it nice to finally have a Christmas without him :-D

These three stories describe one of the problems we Scandinavians face when we leave the comfort of our own country to visit our dearly beloved neighbors. Our languages are very similar but there are a handful of words that have the complete opposite meaning. And we have many more obstacles to face when we want to have a chat with those lovely Danes, Swedes or Norwegians.

Finland and Iceland are NOT Scandinavia

Before anyone starts a huge argument: Finland and Iceland are not a part of Scandinavia and will therefor not be a part of this blog post. I love both countries very much and am proud to call them my Nordic brothers and sisters but they are not Scandinavian. Language wise Finland is the country that differs the most from the rest of us here in the North. Their language is part of the Uralic (at least that’s what the translator called it in English) language group together with Hungarian and Estonian. Icelandic is also a bit different from what we speak in Denmark, Sweden and Norway but if you want to know how the old Vikings spoke, Icelandic is probably the modern language that comes closest. Faroese is fairly similar to Icelandic.

For the purpose of this blog post I will not deal with other languages than Swedish, Norwegian and Danish even if other languages are spoken in Scandinavia (Sami and Kven, for instance).

We Scandinavians have a lot of opinions on the languages spoken by our Scandinavian neighbors. I’ll explore the claims and prejudices we nurture in this part of the world and it’s all brought to you because Gyllene asked me if I could write a blog post about the Scandinavian languages.

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