There’s much more to Scandinavia than Ikea and top crime-drama television programmes.
- Punctuality is very important in Norway due to the culture of fairness and equality. Everyone’s time is equally important. Trains, ferries and buses nearly always leave on time. It’s important to be punctual on time, and not too early or too late.
- The imaginary “Per og Kari” (“Mr and Mrs Norway”) represent the average couple with two children. They frequently feature in adverts and news reports. “Mr and Mrs Norway” and are used by market researchers and pollsters about their opinions on particular topics, the cars they drive, where they go on holiday and so on.
- Danes often refer to their partners who they live with as “husband” or “wife” whether or not they have undertaken a marriage ceremony.
- The Danish monarchy is the oldest in the world. The Danish Royal family can trace its lineage in an unbroken line back to Gorm the Old in 950 CE.
- Hygge is an important part of the Danish home. Difficult to translate into English, the term suggests ideas of cosiness, warmth, relaxation and hospitality to name a few. This concept means that Danes have well-insulated homes with double glazing and an abundance of candles.
- Finns consume the most coffee in the world – more than 11 kg (24 pounds) per person per year. Coffee can be enjoyed at events such as weddings, during meetings and in the morning and afternoon. Café culture is also big, especially in the capital Helsinki.
- Silence is respected as a normal part of a conversation. Silence is thought of a sign of wisdom, whereas talkativeness is a sign of foolishness. It is disrespectful to answer immediately to a speaker because Finns weigh up what has been said before giving their contribution.
- Because of Sweden’s affinity with the sea, fresh seafood is a part of the cuisine throughout the year. One of the most notable dishes is salmon cured with salt and dill.
- Stockholm has over 50 museums including the Royal Palace, Skansen and the Vassa Museum.
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