The more I learn about Sweden, the weirder it gets

Date:October 20, 2003 / year-entry #102
Orig Link:
Comments:    10
Summary:It must be really boring in Sweden in the winter. Things to do: Speed across the snow at 70kph by strapping a paraglider engine to your back. Eat rancid herring and call it a delicacy. (Fourth story.) Defend the northern border against invasion. Military service in Sweden is compulsory for all males. When your country...

It must be really boring in Sweden in the winter. Things to do:

Military service in Sweden is compulsory for all males. When your country has not participated in any wars for two hundred years, you have to pass the time somehow. Apparently one of the exercises is to assess how Sweden would fare against its nearest neighbors. The general consensus (at least in Sweden) is that they could take on Finland and Norway, but if the Danes were to invade, Sweden would eventually succumb, but not before doing the Danish army serious damage.

Pass the herring.

Comments (10)
  1. Andreas Magnusson says:

    Hehe, I’m Swedish and I’ve been around the world and eaten things most people are disgusted by, but the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten is the rancid herring. Still I even gave it a second chance…but no, it’s not for me.
    And what do you mean we would succumb under the Danes? We haven’t lost a war against the Danes since 1613. ;)

  2. e8johan says:

    The swedish military service is not compulsory, but the draft tests (mönstring) are. Some are not accepted due to their physical or mental health, others get a placement but no training (such as me, my reason to skip it was the university), others get a training ranging from 230 days and upwards depending on rank and type of service.

    Just to bring up the part about the Danes, large part of southern Sweden used to belong to Denmark, so we won the last time… :o)

  3. Surströmming tastes ok, but the smell is awful.

  4. I thought eating the surströmming was just an excuse to drink beer and aquavit ;)

  5. Raymond Chen says:

    Well, that was the consensus military assessment of Sweden vs. Denmark when I talked to some students who had just completed their military service. They did neglect to offer me any herring, so maybe they were just Danes in disguise.

  6. erlando says:

    Hey! Denmark could kick Sweden’s a** anyday! Darn herring-eating freaks.. ;-)

    The closest thing Denmark and Sweden has been to a war in the last 400 years or so is the soccer-matches we used to have every year or so.

    The Swedes may think they won the last one.. The truth is we let them win so we wouldn’t have to pay maintenance for our vacation-resort.. ;-)

  7. jbilger says:

    One of my Swedish collegues (let’s call him Jonas) told me a funny story about his military service days. Here’s how the story goes:

    The Swedish military decided to have a "War game" in, of all places, Djurgarden in Stockholm. Jonas was in charge of a light unit consisting of one or two armored vehicles. The outcome of the war game was already pre-decided but Jonas and the other soldiers decided that it would be fun to not play by the rules. They proceeded to "capture" the Gamla Stan and refused to play by the rules. Evidently the brass was not amused.

    I think I remember Jonas mentioning a comment from one of his commanders who said that Sweden wouldn’t last 5 minutes if an invasion occurred.

  8. Peter Lund says:

    Slightly less than 200, actually. That’s how Norway became Swedish (more or less) for about a 100 years.

  9. Housted Harsta says:

    Hi. My friend is swedish. Hes a visible minority. He moved here a few years ago, and he wont leave. I’d call him a WOP but hes not italian. Whats a good swedish insult that’ll make him cry?


  10. Crazy Swede says:

    Va Fan Gor Du?

Comments are closed.

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