Scandinavian dating introduction

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So the few times we have to use the word ‘date’ (usually to describe something foreigners do) we use the English word for it. So how do we figure on top of these lists of “happiest people in the world,” you wonder?

The Scandinavian word for ‘date’ is really old-fashioned and one my grandmother might have used but probably didn’t because I don’t think she dated either.

No one starts school until they're 7 years old, and dividing children into sets based on ability is illegal.

Kids address teachers by their first names, and no one ever gets more than 30 minutes of homework a night.

I have no idea which of my friends are married and which “only” live together.

But I know from statistics that more people live together than are married – and that is counting all the old people who got married back when that was still something you did (in Norway it was illegal to live with someone without being married up until 1972 – imagine that! Dating a Scandinavian I’ve always been fascinated by American date movies because it’s like watching some weird rituals in some far-away country I don’t know very much about.

We may not have good words for ‘dating’ but we certainly have a great word for that spouse-without-a-wedding-ring we have back home: “samboer.” Which means “together-liver.” And yes, that word works better in Scandinavian.

If we want to do the whole exclusive thing, let's go all out. The idea is that families can then always eat together.

In the Danish film, there was no attempt to hide it. I had to admit, I couldn’t focus on the love scene. In Hollywood – or Bollywood – movies, the male actor is taller because he’s supposed to be in charge, the dominant figure. He is a not a Frenchman who will pursue you to the ends of the earth. My Danish male friends say that after offering to be chivalrous a couple of times and getting turned down in a nasty manner, they don’t want to do that any more. But I’ve since established that beautiful young women don’t get whistled at either. Now, I’m a modern woman, and I like a lot of things about these modern men.

He doesn’t send flowers, he doesn’t buy chocolates. But they can occasionally err a bit on the soft side.

And replace him with Joulupukki, who comes from Lapland rather than the North Pole.

He visits after dinner, on Christmas Eve, in person. In Sweden, the average worker pays close to 60% of his or her wages in taxes and government fees.

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