Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 01:35:58 AM EST
Reading through my Bookmarks and came across this:
The Local: Swedish women equate jogging with sex: survey
... according to the survey of 1,774 women between the ages of 15-60, jogging is equal only to sex and time spent with the family. A third of the women replied that pounding the streets was in fact preferable to exercise between the sheets.
Further in my Bookmarks I discovered a background analysis by Moonlight on the Swedish Dating Ritual posted on the Lost In Stockholm blog which starts:
With one of the highest birth rates in Europe, the Swedes seem to be pretty prolific when it comes to making babies, but even after six plus years of living in Stockholm, I'm still not sure how Swedish relationships actually happen.
and goes in an exhaustive analysis of the subject.
I thought would be of interest to the ET community.
She, I assume (no Swedish male or a male having even one gene that once passed through Sweden on its way to the Crimea during the Age of Migration would talk about this stuff,) goes on to analyze thusly [Note: My notes will be in square brackets headed by the word "Note" and a colon ":"; see the notation at the beginning of this Note for an example of how I shall note my Notes]:
In a nutshell, it goes something like this:
[Note: My notes will reside outside the blockquoted blocks. As this one is.]
A) Meet at a mutual friend's party.
B) Get really, really drunk.
[Note: It is a puzzlement why resealable bottles of anything containing ethyl-alcohol is sold or purchased in Sweden.]
C) Make out. Sex is optional.
[Note: Jogging seems to be not an option at this stage.]
D) If you're lucky, you are sober enough to save the other person's telephone number in your mobile, AND to put it under the correct name.
E) Send a text message along the lines of "last night was nice. Shall we have a coffee sometime?"
F) Spend hours analyzing the various ways in which aforementioned text message could be misinterpreted. Get your friends involved.
[Note: this is another hint of girlish origination. A Swedish male may, or may not agonize over being misinterpreted. He would definitely NEVER involve his friends.]
G) Have a "fika."
A "fika" is a Swedish word for an ambiguous meeting that may or may not be a date, or better explained as a non-date, or a date that is pretending-not-to-be-a-date.
[Note: Or that might have been a date, or could have been a date, or will have had maybe have been a date - I'll text you.]
It is also worth mentioning that one can also have a fika with a friend, colleague, family member, or neighbor. Hence the ambiguity of the whole affair.
[Note: Once one has grasped ambiguity in all its tastes and flavors one has grasped the essence of Sweden. Swedish has the words "Yes" (Ja) and "No" (Nej) but they are never used in polite company. In fact, Swedes had to import the word "Ja" from German during the Hanseatic Era (c.13th-17th centuries.)]
During this "fika" Swedish non-date, things are a little stilted and awkward as both parties pretend that nothing happened last Saturday night, and politely and awkwardly ask questions about the other person, usually beginning with "Where do you live?," descending into a discussion about the difficulty and frustration of the Stockholm housing market, and complaining that you have had to move seven times in the course of six months.
[Note: The Stockholm housing market puts paid to old myth Swedes lack a sense of humor. Only a people deeply encompassing and appreciating the entire range of comedy from the most intellectual use of irony all the way to pie hurling slap-stick could even conceive, much less tolerate, the Stockholm housing market.]
Now, where were we...oh yes:
H) At the end of this date pretending not to be a date, give each other an awkward hug, or possibly a handshake, ended with the statement, "Vi hörs!" or "Hoppas vi ses snart!" ("I'll talk to you soon." or "Hope we see each other soon!")
I) Spend the entire next week pondering over who should make the next move. A WORD OF WARNING: It is not assumed here that the guy will take the lead. More likely, the opposite is expected. If the Swedish guy is brave enough open his mouth and say something at all during this date, he may feel that it is now the girl's turn to put herself out on a limb.
[Note: Male genes for emotionality were removed from Scandinavia and Sweden in particular over a thousand years ago. Those males who got easily twitterpatted and bent of shape ended up dead through feud, holmgang, ambush, ship raids, having their house burned down with them inside, & etc. And if you're dead you don't have all that many children to pass your genes along to the following generations.]
J) Spend many more hours analyzing your feeble attempts at text message"flirting," agonizing over whether you should or should not use the word "mysig" (cozy) or "trevlig" (nice), fearing the former may be too much, and the latter may not be enough. Once again, enlist the help of your friends.
K) Repeat Step A.
L) Repeat Step B.
M) Repeat Step C, all the while pretending it never happened the first time.
N) Sometime after several more renditions of Steps B and C, go out to dinner.
[Note: This is why Swedes make such excellent engineers. Recursion, iteration, and negative and positive feed-back loops are inherent in the culture.]
O) Since it's a little harder to pretend you are not on a real date in the formal atmosphere of a restaurant, drink massive amounts of the house wine.
P) At the end of dinner, closely examine the bill to make sure each person pays for his or her appropriate share, including the extra five kronor for dressing on the side.
Q) Get kicked out of your way-too-expensive second-hand rental contract because the person you were subletting from didn't take 10 study points and lost his/her contract for student housing.
R) Get drunk again, and commiserate on the horrors of the Stockholm housing market.
[Note: See Note re: Stockholm housing market, above.]
S) Move in together.
T) Go shopping at Ikea.
[Note: Before the existence of Ikea everybody in Sweden sat on rocks and slept in a fern covered hollow dug into the ground.]
U) Take a romantic trip to the Canary Islands.
V) Move to the suburbs, buy a Volvo and start collecting "Vuxenpoäng."
[Note: "Vuxenpoäng" translates, kinda, as "Adult Points" but it's a much subtler concept. Generally speaking one collects Vuxenpoäng by preforming an act or purchasing a material object voluntarily - Key! - of what is deemed, conceived, or classified to be of an 'Adult-type' attributes or properties. I direct people to Starvid and/or a swedish kind of death for further, and expert, elucidation.]
W) Have a child.
X) Name it Johan, Erik, Fredrik, or Henrik if it's a boy or Sara, Anna, Lisa, or Emma if it's a girl.
[Note: All female names in Sweden end in the letter "a." This was mandatory in the Västgötalagen, (ca. 1225-1250 AD) the earliest text of Swedish Law we have. Anthropologists and archeologists specializing in Scandinavia history suspect a tradition reaching back to the Late Bronze Age Jastorf Culture, 600 BC to 1 AD.]
Y) Two months after you go back to work after having Johan/Erik/Fredrik/Henrik/Sara/Anna/Lisa/Emma, repeat Step W.
[Note: Or, if female as the aforementioned research states, go jogging.]
Z) Enjoy an additional 18 months of parental leave.
Å) Get married for your 20th dating anniversary.
[Note: It makes no sense to rush into anything.]
Reading those two things caused me to bust a gut laughing. At myself. Even tho' I'm three generations away from my Swedish ancestors, it's humorous ... I think it's humorous, anyway ... how much of that cultural patterning was passed down through the family and I imprinted without stepping one foot in Sweden.