Nordic & Scandinavian

Ordinary Time 4 – Monday

[ now playing? ] Yohanna – “Is It True?” | Kings of Convenience – “I’d Rather Dance With You” | Robyn – “Giving You Back” | Sofia Jannok – “Irene” | Titiyo – “A Change Is Gonna Come” | O’Spada – “Ten Strikes (Single Version)” | Sofia Finnilä – “You’ve Changed” | Robyn – “Be Mine” | Sondre Lerche – “I Know, I Know” | Sofia Jannok – “Árvas”

I have gone all European the last few weeks. European bands/artists, authors, design.

But I’ve gone particularly Nordic and Scandinavian. There is a difference between the two terms.

Strictly speaking, Scandinavia = Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Nordic = Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland & the Åland Islands.

I’m browsing slowly through a book on Danish design that I picked up for half price at a book clearance centre. I’m planning a trip in 2011 to Sweden and/or Denmark. This will either be in addition to World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid. Or instead of WYD2011 in Madrid. Or if I do go to WYD2011, then the trip to Sweden and/or Denmark will be in 2012. I’m starting up a teach yourself course on Swedish in preparation. It’s the Routledge Colloquial Swedish course if you are interested in which one I’m using.

I’m particularly interested in visiting a lot of the Danish and Swedish design galleries in Copenhagen and Stockholm. To satisfy the inner aesthete in me. And the food is another reason too. I haven’t had a smørrebrød in a very long time. And I have a soft spot for pickled herring. All the medieval churches and cathedrals will be a boon for me too along with museums and art galleries. If I get a chance, I’d love to go up to the northern part of Norway and Sweden to experience Sami culture too (maybe a sidetrip to Tromsø in northern Norway could be integrated into my big one).

I have always had a fascination with Scandinavia more than I have had about Asia. When I was younger (like around 4-5 years old), it was mainly due to the books about Denmark, Sweden and Norway that my parents got for me to help me out with learning geography and world cultures.

Now as I get older, there is a certain je ne sais quoi about Scandinavia and the Nordic countries generally. The beauty of the landscape is comprised of the stunning scenery as well as the starkness in certain places. Their contribution to the world of design has been immense. Objects are both functional yet have a certain beauty about them. Lutheran theology as interpreted by the Church of Sweden (Svenska kyrkan) in years gone by is also something that has made me appreciate Scandinavia’s religious heritage as well. Bishop Gustaf Aulén’s “The Faith of the Christian Church” is required reading on my list of recommended theology textbooks. It’s just a pity that it is hard to find these days; I got my 2nd hand copy (which is in very good condition) from the Lifeline Bookfest for $5 last year.

I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit to the fact that Scandinavians and Nordic peoples are some of the most attractive people in the world. There is a certain part of me that hopes to be swept up by a gorgeous Scandinavian valkyrie while there and the two of us elope (assuming that I haven’t already found someone by then). Sad aren’t I?

I wonder if there is anyone from Scandinavia who may stumble across the blog and may want to help an Asian guy from the other side of the world out with learning Svenska. Or Dansk or Norsk.

If so, leave a comment.

+ 2219hrs


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