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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why Not the Scandihoovians?

Full disclosure: from what I know of my family tree I'm nearly entirely Northern. There was one Mohawk and a half-French guy back a few gens. The rest were entirely bad-tempered but hilarious people of Sweden and Very Northern Europe. I know how Scottish I am, and also how Scandinavian I am. I don't tan. I have the lifelong hammy arms of the Viking Woman, the sudden red-eyed rage, sarcasm and the bouts of ennui. There's duty drilled into my head and I don't understand irresponsibility, especially when it concerns money. Yes, we had to eat lutefisk. No, I only wore one of those ridiculous costumes once. And I laugh at Bergman movies. Not just laugh, guffaw. It's how I was raised. My father hurt himself when we saw "The Seventh Seal". Which in my neighborhood was not unusual. I didn't know Bergman was taken as drama by all non-Scandinavian-Americans until HS. Ibsen, too. Freshman year, I recommended "A Doll's House" for the drama class' comedy production. Boy did I get looks.

Recently I came across an old book I've had for years, Scandinavian Humor and Other Myths, and found copies online for a couple of friends who are Scandinavian. If you're puzzled by or have a Viking heritage, it explains so much. We're weird people. The only people who really "get" any Scandinavians are other Scandinavians. Even then, we're off the mark half the time.

So when I came across John Cleese's "Norway- Home of the Giants", I didn't know where it would go. Could the great Jack Cheese pull it off? See it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc4oAdiS6UE

And if you are or are not Scandinavian, please leave your opinion of it. I'm interested.

12 comments:

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have not met too many Scandinavians or Scandihoovians either. Do they have a parade? All important nationalities have parades. If they do, is Lief leading them down the street in a boat. I like boats. My ancestors came over here on boats also; they were always in steerage or below, if there is such a place. Some might have been pirates though.

I bet my skin is paler than yours.

Geo. said...

I, for one, have never written the word Viking! without an exclamation mark. For plural, Vikings!!, I use two.

Austan said...

Arleen- The Norwegians have the 17th of May and yes, parades, in the states anyway. There's always a longboat or two. The Swedes don't go for parades and such so much. They prefer sitting around drinking and grousing. Thise are the only Scandihoovians I know well.

Geo- That it as it should be, for all non-Vikings!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Did you say drinking and grousing? That would apply to 75% of the population...we must ALL be Scandihoovian lol. How lovely to find your Nordic roots but that doesn't explain your ability to deal with extreme heat.

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

To Arleen of "Starting Over..."

Many years ago now, I had a friend who was so completely albino that he envied Caspar the Ghost for having better color. Laura is so pale she makes him look tan.

Austan said...

Lawless- I think dealing with the heat is just mind over matter. Ever since AC we've been programmed to only function with it, forgetting that we survived just fine in the days before it. I understand the real need for it in certain places but I live in a fairly rural area in town. It's healthy to sweat a bit!

Stevil- Hahahaha! My first nickname in grammar school was Snow White. And that was among an Irish and Scandinavian bunch...

CarrieBoo said...

I used to get called Snow White, as a teen, Laura! How funny. I think my roots stem from some sort of German Viking(!). Also, can not stand to waste money or food and have a bad temper at times. ;) Okay, I will have to watch this tomorrow. I am melting under my laptop as I try to catch up here. Mind over matter, mind over matter. :)

Austan said...

Boo- See, we're family! :)
Oh hallelujah it's cooled off tonight. Two full days of red alerts about severe storms that never showed. I could sit there and say, "It may rain" and make 100k a year, too. Useless gits.

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Great.
The Scandanvians are almost as dour as the Scots.

PS. The Finns are much, much worse...they're not just depressed, they're paranoid and xenophobic AND depressed.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I thought parts of that video were kinda funny. Like it tickled me when the lady was putting sardines into the can and rolling the top back over them. And some of the stuff about the people wearing skis... like the two passing on the stairway, and the crowd trying to get onto the bus. But what I liked best were some of the comments made about the food... one, where he said it tasted and smelled like it was fixed in the Viking(!) era itself, and the other, in talking about the cheeses, he said they're as hard to translate as they are to eat. My maiden name (Flett) is Swedish in origin, so even though my father and his parents were born in Scotland, somewhere along the line, there's gotta be Swedish blood. Guess that explains why, in a family of mostly dark-haired, dark-eyed people, I ended up with light skin, hair, and eyes. (But nobody ever called ME Snow White.)

Austan said...

TSB- Hahahahahah! All true!

Austan said...

Susan- The Scots bits in my family came from Belgium a thousand years ago, and who knows where before that. Really, you look like part of my family, you'd fit right in! 2 of my brothers were/are light-haired and blue-eyed. There's one pic of a great-grandfather where all of us look related to him moreso than to each other.