Friday nights in Sweden = ‘Fredagsmys’!

Funny that I only heard about a similar thing in Denmark, from a friend who used to live there, – don’t know how they call it there but he told me they like to have it hygge at Friday evenings, eating yummy food and watching the telly – but never knew it’s a thing in Sweden too! What a powerful thing for marketing it must be! But even though, it really sounds good to me to have such a nice and cosy end of the working week and start to the weekend. What do you think. Shouldn’t fredagsmys be introduced to other countries too? 🙂 I’m all for it! It somehow appeals to me despite I am usually not too crazy on all those newly invented traditions created mainly for marketing reasons as I feel like they are often a little artificial.

Watching the Swedes

fredagsmys2

I was just in my local supermarket doing a quick bit of food shopping. Although the place was relatively empty at that time of day,  I noticed that a few of the aisles were the most popular. Throngs of people gathered in the TexMex aisle, the soft drinks aisle and the aisle displaying crisps.

Of course, I thought! It’s Friday! And in Sweden, that means Fredagsmys!

‘Fredagsmys’ is loosely translated as ‘Friday Cosying’, and it is a relatively modern ritual in Sweden established in the 90’s. Prevalent up and down the country, ‘fredagsmys’ is when friends and families gather together to mark the end of the working week. it’s mostly associated with families and children and traditions differ family to family. However,  one common denominator seems to be that food should be easy and quick to make. In other words, Friday night is a huge night for tacos and pizza in Sweden.

Gathering around food for cosy…

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22 Swedish farts

🤣 🤣 🤣 Well oh gosh, what a fart-obsessed country. As a non native English speaker I sometimes wondered a little what Anglophones in Sweden must think of all those farts and sluts and others being so prevalent everywhere and about Swedes being so uninhibited and open about their farting habits, but never analysed it so closely. It’s ridiculous hahahaha. 😀

Watching the Swedes

outfart or infart dr heckle funny wtf signs

One of the fun things about learning a foreign language are the words that are rude, or funny in your own language.

Swedish has a few of them: slut, kräpp, plopp, kock, spurt

But the funniest one is probably the most purile; it is the ever prevailing ‘fart’, especially when you see it on street signs. This is the word that has most visitors to Sweden holding their sides with laughter.

Even after all these years, I can still have a little giggle when I think about the word ‘fart’ and its various usages in Swedish. In Swedish, ‘fart’ can mean a lot of things such as speed, drive, route, pace, spirit, vivacity, rate. But it is when it is put together with another word that it becomes amusing. Childish, I know…but here we go…

  1. utfart – ‘out fart’ – exit from a building
  2. uppfart – ‘up fart’ – driveway

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The National Day of the Sweden Finns

Wow! :O I didn’t know they have their special day too. 🙂 How great! Happy National Day to all Sweden Finns out there in the world! I love both Sweden and Finland, so both these nations and both these languages are dear to me, and I find the Finnish Swedish accent very endearing and cute, one of my favourite Swedish accents or dialects actually.

Watching the Swedes

In Sweden, you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting somebody Finnish or of Finnish heritage. Almost everybody knows somebody with a Finnish connection. In fact, there are so many Finns living in Sweden that they have their own commemorative day. And today is that day.

Today, 24th February is ‘Sverigefinnarnas’ Day, (Sweden Finns Day) – the day that celebrates the roughly half million people who live in Sweden and have Finnish as their mother tongue.

So why are there so many Finns in Sweden?

There has been a long history of emigration between the two countries, especially in the border regions of the north. However, a larger emigration happened when 70,000 young Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden during WW2. 15,000 are believed to have stayed and an unknown number to have returned as adults.

Then, in the 1950s and 1960s the migration from Finland to Sweden was considerable, chiefly…

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Question of the day.

What kind of books do you like to read?

My answer:

Overall, anything that is somewhat related to my interests, books which can help me develop them and learn more about them. Other than that, I’ve always loved girly books, with my favourite author being Lucy Maud Montgomery, I liked authors like Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Eleanor H. Porter (the one who wrote Pollyanna or the book about that other girl Billy), and other such, and I still like this kind of books. I also love authors like Bronte sisters, Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell. I love Scandinavian literature as long as it’s not crime novels or alike. My most favourite Polish author is Małgorzata Musierowicz and I really like her style, but I also sometimes read other similar authors, just light stuff that could be read by pretty much whole family. I like some authors who wrote definitely for children, with Astrid Lindgren being my absolutely favourite in this category. I like anything to do with folklore – myths, legends, fairytales, etnographic books about some aspects of culture or folklore. – But folklore is actually one of my interests so I’ve already said that. I like historical novels but not all of them, same about other historical books, it really really depends on lots of factors and I’m very picky here. I like to read to develop myself spiritually so I often read some Christian books too, same about books about psychology/mental health but that’s also among my interests. So, very basically, that would be it, I suppose. I am a bit picky when it comes to literature, but I think I am also fairly eclectic. I usually stay away from crime novels, most of science fiction and modern fantasy.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

What kind of shows do you like to watch?

My answer:

Well, like with films, I don’t watch a lot, I just don’t watch a lot of TV in general. But if I do, they’re often some documentaries about stuff that interests me, sometimes talk shows but they have to be really interesting, and sometimes talent shows though I used to much more in the past, now I just can’t really take them seriously and they often feel very cringey. I do sometimes listen to some music from people who have become famous or at least more widely known thanks to some talent show and yes there are some really fabulously talented people but the vast majority is oh so bland, and just the way all those talent shows work is somehow off-putting to me.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you ever eat snacks while watching films? If so, what do you eat?

My answer:

Not that it is a tradition or a must or something, same as watching TV isn’t either for me, but yes, sometimes I do. It’s usually crisps, or crackers, or peanuts, or nachos, or other crunchy, salty/spicy stuff like that. When it’s something longer and rather during the day than at night then maybe popcorn too.

You? 🙂

Question of the day (16th February).

How often do you watch films?

My answer:

As I wrote in the last question of the day post, not very often. Actually, the last film I watched was “Keeping Faith” which I watched in early January. I wanted to watch this film series earlier, it’s a Welsh series, also under the Welsh title “Un Bore Mercher”, not only because it was in Welsh, but also because I supposed it could be quite interesting, and I liked the soundtrack to this film, (actually I once shared one of the songs from that series on my blog and for some very odd reason it became one of the most popular posts on my blog, so I thought it would be good if I knew the film too). But only did it finally when we discovered with Mum that it’s broadcasted on the Polish TV – no, not in Welsh of course, sadly, but still. – Somehow it didn’t make such an impression on me as I thought it would and was a bit of a disappointment, but overall was quite enjoyable.

How about you?

Question of the day (15th February).

After a bit of unintended break I come to you with some questions regarding your favourite films, TV shows, books and music. Here we go with the first one:

What kind of films do you like to watch?

My answer:

Well as I am sure most of you who come here regularly already know, I don’t watch films or TV very often, only when something really really interests me or just to be with my family and not caring too much for what we’re watching. So, if something catches my attention, it’s usually because it’s in one of my favourite languages. It would be nice if the topic interested me at least a little bit too, but most often I’ll be quite satisfied just to hear one of my favourite languages – obviously not counting Polish and English since I have them pretty much all the time. I do like many British films though, and so does my Mum. And some Polish films with good humour, just anything that you can laugh at, but not because it’s so cringey. I am also able to watch a whole crime series even though my interest in the plot itself is little to none, just because the main character is called Misha. 😀 So that’d be it, I guess.

You? 🙂

Yum Yum Sweden!

Which of these delicious Swedish words you like most? It’s so cool they have so many of them! I think my most favourite is mumsig.
I was only for a week in Sweden, so probably don’t have that much experience with Swedish cuisine as I’d like to, but what I can say is that it seems like there is lots of Swedish food I like, and lots of it that I dislike – I’m not a big fan of fish and some of other strange tastes Swedes like, but some are really interesting.
I got to eat absolutely smarrig ice cream during my stay in Stockholm, I guess I’ve never eaten such fabulous ice cream, and my family seems to think just the same! I also love pepparkakor (Swedish gingerbreads), and Swedish chocolate, I don’t know how it’s called but it has big hazelnuts in it and is just so very chocolatey, which you can’t say about every chocolate in the world, right? I got it here in Poland in Ikea. ANd I love those famous kötbullar (meatballs). Jätte smaskiga!
Have any of you, my lovely readers, tasted some Swedish foods? What were your impressions? Curious to hear. 🙂

Watching the Swedes

Working with many non-Swedes, I often hear the complaint that Swedish food is bland, boring and tasteless. But the truth is that Sweden prides itself on its good food and its number of top-notch, often experimental, restaurants.

The Scandinavian kitchen is full of mouthwatering delights such as warm-smoked salmon, creamed dill potatoes and shellfish by the bucket load. No surprise then that there’s a lot of expressions in the Swedish language for food being delish. When we in English might say ‘yum, yum’ or ‘scrummy’, the Swedes also have a plethora of words to use. Here are a few:

  • Smaskens
  • Smaskig
  • Läcker
  • Mumsig
  • Namnam
  • Gött
  • Smarrig
  • Delikat
  • Skitgott
  • Utsökt

So many foreigners might not think that Swedish food is great – but it’s clear that the Swedes do!

Let me know what Swedish food you think is ‘smarrig’!

Follow me on Instagram #watchingtheswedes

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The most popular names in Sweden

Yaay! My curiosity has been quenched! Swedish ranking of most popular names in 2018 has just been released a little while ago! And so I reblog the post from Watching The Swedes about most popular of them. It seems like William and Alice are ruling again. Which ones out of all these mentioned here do you like the most? Off to look up the whole statistics now. 😀

Watching the Swedes

Oliver was the most popular name for male newborns in the UK last year. And Olivia was the most popular female name. In London, it was Amelia and Mohammed and in Ireland it was Jack and Emily.

So what about Sweden in 2018? Just-released information from Sweden’s office of statistics give us the following answer.

The most popular top 5 names for male newborns were:

  1. William
  2. Liam
  3. Noah
  4. Lucas
  5. Oliver

In fact, there are 44010 males in Sweden with the name William. And 58 females!

And for newborn girls it was:

  1. Alice
  2. Maja
  3. Lilly
  4. Ella
  5. Wilma

Interestingly, there are 38957 females called Alice in Sweden. And 22 men!

The names Ture, Lias and Amir are the fastest climbing names in the list of boys’ names. And for girls, Hailey och Bianca. The names Sebastian, Neo, Simon, Emelie, Ellinor, Idun and Noomi have left the top 20 list.

If you want…

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Why Swedes celebrate their names

I’ve always been curious why actually Swedes celebrate names, since they are mostly protestants, and now I finally know! 😀 As Poland is a Catholic country, we also have this tradition here, although I have an impression it’s generally better organised in Sweden, because we don’t really have a universal calendar and even a single calendar can be very repetitive and some names may have multiple days while others are mentioned hardly anywhere despite being used and sometimes it can lead to quite funny situations, or just to a bit of a chaos. As both a Christian and a name geek , I think in a way celebrating your name’s day can be even more fun than birthday. And I was quite surprised to see that Emilia’s nameday in Sweden is 14 November, when in Poland it’s Emil’s day. Though it makes more sense than making separate days for Emil and Emilia. If you aren’t familiar with this tradition, or like me, love Sweden, or names, I highly recommend you reading this post. 🙂

Watching the Swedes

Today is Svea’s Name’s Day. And October 8th is my Name’s Day. Well, not quite….but almost. It is Nils. And since I’m called Neil, well, I take Nils as my day.

Some of you might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about. What is a ‘Name’s Day’? Well, it’s like this. In Sweden, every day has a name, sometimes two. And if your name happens to be represented in this way in the calender, then you can celebrate your day. Strange? Maybe. Unusual? Not really.

A Name’s Day is actually a tradition in lots of countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Ukraine. According to Wiki, the custom originated with the Christian calendar of saints: believers named after a saint would celebrate that saint’s feast day. In Sweden, however, there is no longer any explicit connection to Christianity. It’s been a tradition since the Middle Ages and started…

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Let the light in – Lucia morning in Sweden

I’ve always thought that st. Lucia day celebrations in sweden are such a beautiful and interesting tradition, I think we should steal it and have in Poland too! Anyway, I thought I’d reblog this post for you my readers so that those of you who might not know about this holiday could learn a bit about it. We don’t have any particular celebrations of saint Lucia here in Poland as I said, although she is quite well known as a patron saint of the blind. And we do have gingerbreads at many homes at this time of year because Christmas is coming, but we are more restrained than Swedes and no one eats them yet. 😀

Watching the Swedes

A Chinese proverb says this,

‘It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’.

Never was this more true than today. Lucia day. At the darkest time of the year, when we all are drained by the black mornings and afternoons in Sweden, Lucia pays us a visit. With candles in her hair and surrounded by her handmaidens and boys in a procession, Lucia shines light into the dark depths of our spirits. And slowly, slowly, the day awakens.

I love Lucia. Long live Lucia!

Lucia traditions are celebrated in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Malta, Bosnia, Bavaria, Croatia, Slovakia and St. Lucia, West Indies. But where does she come from and why is she one of the few Saint’s days celebrated in Sweden?

Santa Lucia is believed to have been a Sicilian saint who suffered a martyr’s death in Syracuse, Sicily around AD 310…

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