Before I get accused of being racist and biased and other things, please note that I’m doing this post in a light hearted way – not meant to offend any Danes or Swedes If you want to do that, I invite you to read some Norwegian jokes (always told at the expense of Swedes and usually at the expense of Danes as well).
Some background on this little comparison: I am British, I have visited Copenhagen and Stockholm and am basing these on the locals that I have talked to, the items they sell in their shops and other first hand things, rather than just being racist! It’s all in good fun!
One of my favourite things in the whole of history is the Vikings. The are a Scandinavian people that went on to create loads descendants in the United Kingdom and Ireland – we love the Vikings, even though generations and generations ago they came and pillaged our towns and set fire to things and raped our women blah blah, but I’m pretty sure most British people wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Vikings
When I was in Copenhagen (and surrounding areas) a lot of their ‘tacky tourist merchandise’ is based around the fact that they are all descended from Vikings. It’s awesome! They had people in the streets dressed like Vikings and loads of supermarket brands with names like ‘Vahalla’ (ice cream) and ‘Odin’ (vodka) – now, maybe these are present all over Scandinavia and the Baltic – I don’t know, but I only ever saw these kinds of brands in Denmark.
Sweden, on the other hand, did have SOME Viking related stuff – I mean, I went to a Viking themed restaurant when I was in Stockholm. But when you get to the tourist shops, there’s not an awful lot of Viking related stuff, not compared to Copenhagen anyway. You’re more likely to see this everywhere:
This one I understand a little more. Tove Jansson, the creator of the Moomins, was a Swedish speaking Finn, who studied in Stockholm. Sweden tries to claim her has ‘theirs’ much the way France tries to claim Tintin (he’s Belgian). I find it very funny, that although the Moomin series was popular all over Scandinavia (I presume) it’s only Sweden that tries to take advantage of the fact of her being ‘Scandinavian’ rather than just ‘Finnish’. We went into a store (I believe it was SWE of Stockholm) and had a long conversation with the man at the till about the Moomin glasses we were buying and about how his favourite character was ‘The man that comes with the spring’ (in English we call him ‘Snufkin’ – he’s my favourite character too – so much so that I’ve drawn a picture of him.) and he was such a lovely guy.
I suppose the same could be said of Hans Christian Andersen, but the difference is, he was actually Danish, rather than Jansson who was Finnish
I have never seen so many bicycles as the number of bicycles I’ve seen in Copenhagen! Except maybe when I went to Amsterdam, but that was when I was a child. I expected that Stockholm would be the same as bike-mad Copenhagen, but obviously not! I love the way that there are so many bicycles in Copenhagen that there is just isn’t any point in stealing one, everyone seems to just leave them anywhere they can! Coming from Leeds which has a lot of hills, Stockholm also seemed like a perfect city for bicycles, but obviously not! (too many bridges?)
Stockholm is the only place I have ever seen that sells Eurovision CDs in a month that is not May. I’m serious. They take Eurovision very seriously over there, I even heard Israel’s 2010 entry playing in a café one day in Feb 2012 – mental! In Copenhagen, sure, we heard Germany’s winning entry, but that was what, less than a month after the contest was over? Mental. However, I must say, I love Eurovision myself (and Sweden’s Melodifestivalen) so this isn’t a bad thing.
OK, Swedes love sandwiches too. But Danes really love sandwiches, especially big tall open sandwiches that are more like a work of art! Incredible!
If any one else has some good examples, I’d love to hear it!