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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National day of the Sami – Sweden’s indigenous people

Happy National Day to you, all the great Sami people in Sweden! Any Sami people out there in the blogosphere? I love all the Sami languages, Sami culture, Sami music, I admire the Sami for being so determined and fighting for their own rights and their language(s) still surviving despite all that they’ve been through. So today I’m celebrating with them, and listening to lots of Sami music. And sharing this post so that you all can learn a little bit more about these people. I’m glad that Sami people also have their special day.

Watching the Swedes

Today is theNational Day of Sweden’s indigenous people – the Sami. So I thought I would share this blog again that I posted last year.

Did you know that Sweden has an indigenous people? I know, isn’t that cool?!

Just like Australia has the Aborigine and China has the Pamiri – Sweden has the Sami. For about 5000 years, the Sami people have lived way up in the arctic north of Sweden in thehomeland they call’Sapmi’. Today Sapmi actually covers not only Sweden, but also Norway, Finland and Russia. Historically, the Sami werereferred to as Lapps, but today this is deemed a derogatory term.

Today,February 6th,is the National Day of the Sami. Today,the Sami flag should be flown and the Sami national anthemis sung in the local Sami language.The first time this day was celebrated was in 1993 in Jokkmokk, Sweden.

The Sami are the only indigenous people in…

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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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Ice, ice baby: 15 Swedish words for ice

I didn’t even know that!… And I thought I can speak Swedish! 😶 It’s fascinating for me, especially that I’ve always been so fascinated with ice!

Watching the Swedes

Currently in the depths of winter, the Swedish landscape is covered in snow and ice.

I previously published a blog about 50 Swedish words for snow. So I became curious about how many words are there to describe ice.

I was surprised to find an enormous number of words. I guess it’s not so surprising for a Nordic country with so many lakes, rivers and waterways that there are many words to describe the different stages and shapes of frozen water.

Here are 15 of the words I found: 15 words for ice.

  1. Is – the standard word for ice
  2. Blankis – ice that shines like a mirror
  3. Nyis – ice that’s only a couple of centimeters thick and transparent
  4. Fast is – thick ice, often not transparent
  5. Issörja – when the air is cold but the water is moving, a kind of ice slop forms
  6. Tallrikis – plates of…

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Jack Vreeswijk – “Gull Är Död” (Gull Is Dead).

Hi guys. 🙂

Today is Jack Vreeswijk’s 55th birthday, if I count correctly. Happy birthday, Jack!!! 😍To avoid any confusion, and I guess it can be a bit confusing for the uninitiated, everyone in my surroundings who doesn’t know Jack, so most people, get confused which Vreeswijk is which and, especially that I love the name Jack, they usually think it’s Jack who is my crush. Jack is the son of Cornelis, and he is also a singer, and Cornelis is – besides Jack’s father – the one on whom I’ve had a crush, and whose poems I’ve been trying so desperately to translate to Polish, and he passed away over 30 years ago when Jack was 23 I believe. But Jack is still alive. I think Jack is also great, although luckily in his own way and not a copy cat of his dad, I’m glad he has his own individuality, even though he has made some covers of Cornelis’ songs, I like him a lot. And I think the song I’m going to show you is interesting. As for Gull, it’s a feminine Nordic name. So, let’s celebrate Jack’s birthday and listen to some of his music. 🙂

Song of the day (4th January) – Jon Henrik Fjällgren ft. Aninia – “En Värld Full av Strider”/”Eatneme gusnie jeenh dåaroeh” (A World Full Of Battles).

So here’s Jon Henrik Fjällgren’s and Aninia’s song from Melodifestivalen. 🙂 Honestly I think “The Reindeer Herder’s Joik” is much better, and this one seems like made much more for mainstream, which it surely is, but I still like it and it’s cool. While Sami language is on my list of languages to learn and I love it dearly, I have no idea whether indeed “Eatneme gusnie jeenh dåaroeh” means the same as Swedish “En Värld Full Av Strider”, as I can only utter a few words in Sami, but at least I know for sure that “En Värld Full Av Strider” means a world full of battles. So here it is.

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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Ida-Lova – “En Stund På Jorden” (A Moment On Earth).

And the song for today is from another teenager. I say another ’cause as you may remember a couple of days ago I shared a song from 15-year-old Norwegian girl Emma Steinbakken, and today we have another teenager, this time from Sweden, and her name is Ida-Lova, Ida-Lova Linn. The song is in a different style though. I heard it for the first time quite a while ago and although I don’t know if there’s anything really really special about it, it somehow captured me and my brain, and I think there is something nice and charming about it and I just simply like it a lot.

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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