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Scandinavia Countries FAQ



Frequently Asked Questions about Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

This FAQ about Nordic countries was compiled and written by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson with numerous contributions by others.

-1.1 An ASCII map of Scandinavia
Well, if you can't recognise your own country/province/suburb/house ...
-1.2 So what's this FAQ thing anyway?
This is the so called Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ) file for ...
-1.2.1 A notice to spaghetti publishers
A spaghetti publisher [n.] is one whose philosophy at publishing is ...
-1.2.2 What are FAQs?
FAQ is an acronym for Frequently Answered Questions. (...
-1.2.3 Who are the net-gods and goddesses of s.c.n?
These are some of the people who have helped and provided material ...
-1.2.4 Why are all the names and stuff garbled?
The Nordic alphabets contain letters that aren't in the ...
-1.2.5 What should I know about copyright laws and the Usenet?
Don't worry, you don't have to wade through law books, but there are ...
-1.3.1 What sort of a group is it?
If you're interested in the Nordic countries, and don't like ...
-1.3.2 What's all this flaming about?
Sometimes the group may seem like a battle-ground, but don't be ...
-1.3.3 Well, are there any positive things about this group?
Absolutely. After the possible initial shock :-), I think you ...
-1.3.4 Whatever you say. So, what sort of postings are o.k. in here?
Despite all our helpfulness, please keep in mind that we're ...
-1.3.5 What about cross-postings?
If only possible, avoid them. They generate threads that ...
-1.3.6 What languages are welcome in soc.culture.nordic?
English, naturally, is the most common choice, but threads in Swedish,...
-1.3.7 What should I do when someone posts a flamebait?
If you come across a posting that is an outrageous attack on truth,...
-1.3.8 I have this bridge in Stavanger that I'd like to sell.
Can I post an ad here?...
-1.4 Looking for a Nordic girl-friend?
A frequent FAQ is How do I say 'I love you' in your language? It'...
-1.4.1 Contacts through the Net
About once a week, some cretin mistakes soc.culture.nordic for ...
-1.5 Complaining to a person's postmaster;- how, when and why?
Even though ignoring is often the best approach to bad net-behaviour,...
-1.6 The same procedure as last year...
[ I'm including this already classic article by Lee Choquette in ...
-1.7.1 Which are the related newsgroups in the international hierarchies?
There aren't that many. Soc.culture.nordic, as I said, is so far ...
-1.7.2 Which are the related newsgroups in the Nordic hierarchies?
In the national hierarchies all discussion is in the Nordic languages,...
-1.7.3 What about mailing-lists?
Honestly, keeping track on mailing-lists isn't really ...
-1.8 What are Nordic graphemes?
(by Tor Slettnes)...
-1.8.1 How are these represented in Usenet postings and E-mail?
The mother of all modern character sets for computers is ...
-1.8.2 Pros and cons of the different representations
If you have been a reader of this group for a while, you may ...
-1.8.3 How do I set up support for 7-bit ISO-646 representation? ({|}, [\])
The ISO-646 sets are still supported via varoius fonts and ...
-1.8.4 How do I set up support for 8-bit ISO-8859-1 representation? (æøåäö, ÆØÅÄÖ)
The ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1) set is currently the most common ...
-1.8.5 References
For an index to other literature on internationalization, try:...
-1.9.1 Why is it advisable to use the metric system in s.c.n?
Because you'll get flamed if you don't, that's why. :-> The ...
-1.9.2 How long is a Nordic mile?
John Mortison writes:...
-1.9.3 A warning about decimal commas and delimiters
Although most writers in s.c.n. ought to know the English usage ...
-1.9.4 All XXXs are YYY, ain't that so?
Probably not. Never trust the net for drawing conclusions about ...
-2.1 How does one define "Scandinavia" and "Nordic Countries"?
It may seem a bit silly, but this is actually a topic that every ...
-2.1.1 Background
The Roman historian Pliny the Elder mentions in 67 CE an island ...
-2.1.2 What is "Nordic"?
Another term used of the countries covered by this FAQ is, of course,...
-2.1.3 What is "Scandinavia"?
The word Scandinavia presents a bit more difficulty. In ...
-2.1.4 What is "Baltic"?
Baltic as a single word is in itself a bit vague, because it ...
-2.2 What makes Nordic countries a unity?
From the Viking age onwards, the Nordics have fought each other,...
-2.2.1 Culture
Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland shared a more or less ...
-2.2.2 Religion
The Germanic pagan religion has left its mark on customs ...
-2.2.3 Geography
Norway, Sweden and northern Finland form the Scandinavian ...
-2.2.4 Language
Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese are ...
-2.3 The Sami people (not Lapps!)
This section by Kari Yli-...
-2.3.1 Who they are
The Sami people are one of the aboriginal peoples of the ...
-2.3.2 Sami history
The origins of Sami people have been researched for long but ...
-2.3.3 Sami cultures
Sami people have always settled thinly in a large area, making ...
-2.3.4 Sami mythology
Living of the nature has formed the original conceptions of the ...
-2.3.5 Sami languages
As there are several Sami cultures there are also several ...
-2.3.6 The Sami as citizens
Before the 1600s the Sami lived their own life more or ...
-2.3.7 The Sami Today
For centuries the majority population has had a patronizing ...
-2.3.8 SANA - The Sami Association of North America
(from: Ruth M. Sylte)...
-2.3.9 The Sami in Internet
(I'd hate to say this, but... this chapter is still very much ...
-2.4 What do we know about Scandinavian mythology?
Not very much, I'm afraid, and we're lucky to know even as much as ...
-2.4.1 Short introduction to the sources
Although the Vikings were, in theory, a literate people, the ...
-2.4.2 The World Tree Yggdrasill
This world had for its centre a great tree, a mighty ash ...
-2.4.3 The Creation of the world
The tree formed a link between the different worlds. We are never ...
-2.4.4 Asgard, the realm of the Gods
Once heaven and earth were formed, it was time to set about ...
-2.4.5 The Gods
As to the gods who dwelt in Asgard, Snorri twice gives their number ...
-2.4.6 The Goddesses
There were also certain mighty goddesses. Frigg was the wife of Odin,...
-2.4.7 Trolls and other beings
Except for the Gods, who haven't belonged to the Nordic reallity ...
-2.5 Introduction to the History of Norden...etcetera, etcetera...
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, as the ice-cap already ...
-2.5.1 Norden in prehistoric times
Ice has covered almost all of Norden most of the last 500,000 years....
-2.5.2 Iron Age
Around year 100 B.C. Lombards are believed to have migrated ...
-2.5.3 Where did the Vikings go?
There came to develop clearcut borders between the zones of ...
-2.5.3b Place names in Old Norse
The Vikings had Norse names on a lot of towns and markets, of which ...
-2.5.4 What about those horned Viking helmets?
Surprising though it may sound, the Vikings have never worn even ...
-2.5.5 Common Nordic History; Medieval times
Western Scandinavia 1066-...
-2.5.6 Christian and pre-Christian laws
The Christianization of Scandinavia came in particular to ...
-2.5.7 Modern Nordic history
Western Scandinavia 1536-...
-2.5.8 Political history & cooperation
The forming of what we today know as the Nordic countries is a ...
-2.6 The essence of Nordishness
The Nordic states, cultures or languages are of course very ...
-2.6.1 What is Janteloven?
The word Janteloven occasionally pops up in s.c.n, often with ...
-2.6.2 A Nordic national character?
Since nordishness can be depicted only in contrast to other ...
-2.7 Sex, drugs and censorship
Usenet being what it is, dominated by Americans, makes some ...
-2.7.1 Sex in the Nordic cultures
Section 2.7.1 is unwritten....
-2.7.2 Domestic partnership (Same-sex "marriages")
In all Scandinavian countries (i.e. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and ...
-2.7.3 Pornography
[ Lennart Regebro writes: ]...
-2.7.4 Censorship in the Nordic countries
[ Gunnar Medin writes: ]...
-2.7.5 Drugs in the Nordic countries
This is a controversial theme, which maybe can be illustrated by ...
-2.8 Nordic Socialism and welfare
The Nordic societies can be characterized as countries with ...
-2.8.1 Wouldn't the Nordic economies gain from abolishing Socialism?
Let's make a few things straight!...
-2.8.2 Don't the Nordic states have huge welfare expenditures?
Welfare in this context has nothing to do with welfare as the ...
-2.8.3 But you do pay terrible taxes, don't you?
Also people who are Conservative, by Nordic standards, support ...
-2.8.4 Now, when the Soviet Union has fallen, you are free to liberate your economies!
What often seems to be forgotten is that the Nordic countries have ...
-2.8.5 What are the differences of the economies of the respective Nordic countries?
Norway - the oil incomes, the fish industry....
-2.9 Valborg, Midsummer and other festivals
-2.9.1 Valborg
Val Davies wrote:...
-2.9.2 Midsummer
Midsummer's eve is The Greatest Festival during the year. This ...
-2.10 Nordic alcohol customs
There are a few facts which often tend to be forgotten when ...
-3.1 Denmark Fact Sheet
Name: Kongeriget ...
-3.2.1 Denmark Geography, Climate, Vegetation
Denmark is the southernmost of the Nordic countries. Located ...
-3.2.2 Denmark Economy
Denmark is one of the smaller states of Europe, only slightly ...
-3.2.3 Denmark Government
According to the constitution Denmark is a constitutional ...
-3.2.4 Denmark Population & Culture
Denmark was settled already 10,000 years ago, when the ice ...
-3.2.5 Denmark: The Danish language
This is a brief description of some of the characteristics of ...
-3.2.6 The Danish alphabet
Danish has three additional letters compared to the English alphabet:...
-3.3.1 Denmark: A Chronology Of Important Dates 430-1200
-3.3.1 Denmark: A Chronology Of Important Dates 1200-1800
1201-
-3.3.1 Denmark: A Chronology Of Important Dates 1800-now
-3.3.2 The list of Danish monarchs
Denmark is probably the only country in the world that can produce ...
-3.3.3 Denmark during world war II
This section will probably get more material. Actually, this is one ...
-3.3.4 Denmark: Southern Jutland through the times
The medieval history of Southern Jutland (Danish: Sønder Jylland) ...
-3.4.1 Denmark: Getting there and getting around
...
-3.4.2 Denmark: Copenhagen
Copenhagen's metropolitan area is the home of more than 25% ...
-3.4.3 Denmark: Zealand and surrounding islands
...
-3.4.4 Denmark: Bornholm
...
-3.4.5 Denmark: Fyn and surrounding islands
* Odense, the largest town of Fyn, has Hans Christian Andersen'...
-3.4.6 Denmark: Jutland
Compared to Sealand and Copenhagen, Jutland has not many castles etc....
-3.5 Danish literature
Skaldic poetry in the Danish language no doubt existed already ...
-3.6.1 The Faroe Islands Fact Sheet
...
-3.6.2 The Faroe Islands: General information
-3.6.3 The Faroe Islands History
ca.600 ?...
-3.6.4 The Faroe Islands Main tourist attractions
You can get to the Faroes by air from Copenhagen daily (Maersk Air ...
-3.6.5 Faroese literature and language
The Faroese language resembles both Icelandic and Western ...
-3.7 Books for learning Danish
Dictionaries:...
-4.1 Finland Fact Sheet
Name: Suomen Tasavalta / Republiken Finland [ Fi / Sw ]...
-4.2.1 Finland Geography, Climate, Vegetation
Finland (Finnish: Suomi) is the fifth largest country in Europe,...
-4.2.2 Finland Economy
Forests are Finland's most important natural resource, and paper,...
-4.2.3 Finland Population
Finland is a bilingual country (with a Swedish-speaking ...
-4.2.4 Finland: Who is a Finn?
Believe it or not, but this question does raise heated discussions ...
-4.2.5 The Finnish language
Whatever the roots of Finns are, a fact is that they speak a ...
-4.2.6 Finland: Culture
Finnish culture could be characterized as a mixture of Swedish ...
-4.2.7 Finland: Government
The Finnish constitution was adopted in 1919. Finland is a republic,...
-4.2.8 Finland: The School system
Parents choose between placing their children in the Finnish-...
-4.3.1 Finland: A chronology of important dates 1100-1600
(A brief chronicle is to find in the section 4.3.3.)...
-4.3.1 Finland: A chronology of important dates 1600-1800
-4.3.1 Finland: A chronology of important dates 1900-now
-4.3.2 Grand Dukes and presidents of Finland
For a list of kings and queens of Sweden-Finland, see Part 7 ...
-4.3.3 Finland: Viking Times And Before That
Finland as an entity did hardly exist before the 14th century....
-4.3.4 Finland in the Swedish realm
[ see also the sections 7.3.3 - 7.3.5 in the Swedish part ...
-4.3.5 Finland as a Russian Grand Duchy
The time as a Grand-Duchy under the Russian Emperor ...
-4.3.6 The independence of Finland
As the political situation in Russia gets increasingly ...
-4.4 The Finnish parliament, government and political parties
...
-4.4.1 Finland: The political parties
The Centre (Keskusta, abbr. Kesk) was called Agrarian ...
-4.4.2 Finland: The 1995 general elections
The Finnish parliament is unicameral, elected by citizens ...
-4.4.3 Finland: The rainbow cabinet
The new cabinet appointed by president Ahtisaari is ...
-4.5.1 Finland: Helsinki
Helsinki (Swedish: Helsingfors) is the capital and largest ...
-4.5.2 Finland: Turku, the old capital
Turku (Swedish: Åbo) is a port city in southwestern Finland ...
-4.5.3 Finland: Tampere, the third largest city of Finland
...
-4.5.4 Finland: Jyväskylä
...
-4.5.5 Finland: Porvoo
Porvoo (Swedish: Borgå) on the coast of the Gulf of ...
-4.5.6 Other places of interest in Finland
Åland islands (Ahvenanmaa in Finnish) are a ...
-4.6 The Finnish Sauna
...
-4.6 Finnish Sauna Q1 Why is sauna something special in Finland?
Mostly because of ancient traditions. Wherever there ...
-4.6 Finnish Sauna Q2 What is a Finnish sauna like?
The basic parts are the stove (kiuas), filled ...
-4.6 Finnish Sauna Q3 How are you supposed to bathe?
There are no rules, only guidelines. Finns like ...
-4.6 Finnish Sauna Q4 How hot is it in there?
This varies according to the bathers' wishes. Usually ...
-4.6 Finnish Sauna Q5 What is a smoke sauna? How does it differ from the usual one?
A smoke sauna (savusauna) is perhaps the most ...
-4.6 Finnish Sauna Q6 Do Finns really jump out naked into the snow in the middle of sauna bathing and roll around in winter time? Or go swimming in a frozen lake?
Some do, most don't. This is a habit that requires ...
-4.6 Finnish Sauna Q7 What about sauna and sex?
Even though people are naked in sauna, Finns do not ...
-4.7 Finnish Literature
Most of the text below is reproduced on the Project ...
-4.7 Finnish literature: Early writers in Finnish
The first great prose writer in Finnish - considered by some ...
-4.7 Finnish literature: Modern writers in Swedish
Finland-Swedish modernism was introduced by Edith Sö...
-4.7 Finnish literature: Modern writers in Finnish
Joel Lehtonen, Volter Kilpi, and especially Frans ...
-4.8 Finnish Dictionaries and other study-material
...
-4.8.1 Finnish Grammars, primers, phrase books: p1
-4.8.1 Finnish Grammars, primers, phrase books: p2
Artem Davdijants Inge Davidjants, Eugene Holman, Riitta Koivisto-Arhinmäki:...
-4.8.1 Finnish Grammars, primers, phrase books: p3
Fred Karlsson: Finnish Grammar (tr Andrew Chesterman, WSOY,...
-4.8.1 Finnish Grammars, primers, phrase books: p4
John B. Olli: Fundamentals of Finnish Grammar (Northland Press, ...
-4.8.2 Finnish Dictionaries
-4.8.3 Finnish Readers
-4.8.4 Material for teaching Finnish
-4.8.7 Acknowledgements
-5.1 Iceland Fact Sheet
Name: Lýðveldið Í...
-5.2.1 Iceland Geography, climate, vegetation
...
-5.2.2 Iceland Economy
Fishing produces Iceland's main exports, although it employs only ca. 12% ...
-5.2.3 Iceland Government
Iceland is a constitutional republic governed by a general assembly, ...
-5.2.4 Iceland Population and language
Iceland's population is a homogeneous mixture of Scandinavian and ...
-5.3.1 Iceland History: A Chronology Of Important Dates
ca.
-5.3.2 Iceland: Greenland
Greenland is said to have been discovered by a man called Gunnbjörn ...
-5.3.3 Iceland: Vinland; L'Anse aux Meadows
According to the sagas, Vinland was discovered when ships went off ...
-5.4.1 Iceland: Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the most northerly capital in the world and the largest city ...
-5.4.2 Iceland: Einar Indriðason's travel tips
[ From: Einar Indriðason ]...
-5.4.3 Iceland: More tips from various articles
The following part is from Dirk Grutzmacher ,...
-5.4.4 Accommodation in Iceland
Summer hotels:...
-5.5 The sagas, Eddas, and subsequent Icelandic literature.
The first Icelandic literature was written down some two centuries after ...
-5.5.1 Iceland: The Sagas
The sagas are without doubt Iceland's most important contribution to ...
-5.5.2 Iceland: The Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda
The Eddas are two collections of Old Icelandic writings, and together ...
-5.5.3 Later Icelandic literature
The epic Icelandic tradition climaxed in the 13th century. Pre-...
-6.1 Norway: Fact Sheet
Name: Kongeriket Norge (Bokmål)...
-6.2.1 Norway: Geography, climate, vegetation
Norway is located on the Scandinavian peninsula; its long, ...
-6.2.2 Norway: Economy
Only about 3% of Norway is arable land; for this reason Norway's ...
-6.2.3 Norway: Population, language, culture
Norway's population is primarily Germanic. The largest ethnic ...
-6.2.4 Norway: Government
Norway is a hereditary constitutional monarchy, with a ...
-6.3 Norway: History
Norway's history is divided in two parts: Before 1387, and after 1814....
-6.4.1 Norway: Bergen
Bergen located about 300 km west of Oslo, on a sheltered inlet of ...
-6.4.2 Norway: Oslo
Oslo lies at the head of Oslo Fjord, about 97 km from the open sea....
-6.4.3 Norway: Trondheim
Trondheim, a city on the west central coast of Norway, is ...
-6.4.4 Norway: Hurtigruta
Anne Lise Falck wrote:...
-6.5 Norwegian Literature
The earliest Norwegian literature, the Poetic Edda, was composed ...
-6.6 Sons of Norway
-6.7 Norway: Dictionaries and study-material
Nynorskorboka (Det Norske Samlaget) and Bokmå...
-7.1 Sweden Fact Sheet
Name: Konungariket ...
-7.2.1 Sweden Geography, Climate, Vegetation
[ By: Ahrvid Engholm and Antti Lahelma ]...
-7.2.2 Sweden Economy
Sweden's most valuable assets are forests, mines (especially iron, ...
-7.2.3 Sweden Government
Sweden is a constitutional Monarchy, but the monarch only acts as ...
-7.2.4 Sweden Population
The nation has its roots in the different kingdoms of the Viking Age, and ...
-7.2.5 The Swedish language
Swedish is a Germanic language, very closely related to Danish and ...
-7.2.6 Sweden Culture
Swedes work hard, pay high taxes, try to be open minded to other ...
-7.2.7 Sweden Local Democratic Traditions
If Swedes aren't proud of the violent past with vikings, wars and ...
-7.3.1 Sweden History: A Chronology Of Important Dates
829 The German bishop Ansgar introduces Christianity to Sweden....
-7.3.2 A list of Swedish monarchs
the late viking age:...
-7.3.3 Sweden History: The Medieval Time
500-
-7.3.4 Sweden History: The Consolidation Of The State
1560-
-7.3.5 Sweden History: Toward Democracy
1718-
-7.3.7 Sweden History: Social Security
1945-
-7.4.1 Sweden: Stockholm Area
Stockholm was originally established (c. 1250) by Birger Jarl as a ...
-7.4.2 Sweden: Uppsala
The city of Uppsala, a major Swedish cultural center, lies about 70 km ...
-7.4.3 Sweden: Malma
Located in Skåne, the southern tip of Sweden, 26 km across the sea (Öresund)...
-7.4.4 Sweden: Gothenburg
Göteborg (Gothenburg), founded in 1621 by Gustav II Afolf on the site of ...
-7.4.5 Sweden: Gotland
Gotland is the the largest island (3,023 km²) in the Baltic Sea and has ...
-7.4.6 The rest of Sweden
In the north, people appreciate the beauty of the mountain ...
-7.5 Swedish literature
Swedish writing dates back to 11th-century runic inscriptions, but ...
-7.6.1 Sweden: Skåne and Skåneland
...
-7.6.2 Sweden: Miscellaneous facts
The populations of the four provinces are today:...
-7.6.3 A Few Marks In History of Scania
An event that was in people's minds for a long while was that in 1612,...
-7.6.4 Scania International status
Scania is a member of the national minority organization ...
-7.6.5 The Scanian Flag
The Scanian flag is red with yellow ribbons and is more square than both ...
-7.6.6 Scanian Culture
Scania is associated (mostly nationally) with certain hallmarks like ...
-7.6.7 Scanian Language
Many people today think that the language spoken today is a dialect ...
-7.6.8 Scania Membership in the European Union
In October 1995, Sweden voted a slight yes to become a member of ...
-7.6.9 Scania Cooperation with Sjælland and the bridge over Öresund
There is since a few years a lot of talk in all kinds of sectors in Skå...
-7.6.10 Scania A politically united region
In Skåne, there is a certain amount of dissatisfaction with ...
-7.7 Books for learning Swedish
* Holmes, Philip and Serin, Gunilla: Colloquial Swedish, New York:...









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