Arctic Allure: 33 Interesting Facts About Life in the Nordic Countries

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1Recycling

Recycling

Sweden is so good at recycling that it does not have enough rubbish to recycle and therefore imports 80,000 tons of trash a year from Norway.


2. Due to high-tech automation at the Lego factory in Denmark, when you open a set of LEGO, you are the first human to look at the bricks.


3. Iceland has such a small population that they have an anti-incest app so you don't end up hooking up with a family member on a night out.


4. It takes 3 years of higher education to become a police officer in Norway. The training takes place at a university college and each graduate gets a bachelor's degree in "Police Studies".


5. Norway will allow any student from anywhere in the world for free to study at their public universities.


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6Elfdalian

Elfdalian

In a remote valley in Sweden, people still speak an ancient dialect of Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. It's called Elfdalian and they still used runes (ancient writing system) up until the 1900s.


7. Only one person has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944.


8. There are about two million saunas in Finland, enough for the entire Finnish population to take a sauna at the same time.


9. On Oct 28, 2013, wind power not only provided 100% of Denmark's power, but on that day at 2:00 AM, wind power produced 122% of the country's energy needs.


10. Iceland is extremely protective of their language. Instead of loaning words from other languages, they repurpose old ones. Telephone is 'simi', meaning thread, jet plane is 'thota', meaning to zoom and the word for computer, 'tölva' translates to number priestess or numbers witch.


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11Homosexuality

Homosexuality

Homosexuality was still classified as an illness in Sweden in 1979. Swedes protested by calling in sick to work, claiming they "felt gay".


12. Sweden was the first country to find out about the censored Chernobyl accident when one of the workers at the Forsmark power plant in Sweden set off evacuation alarms when radiation detectors went off after he had walked through grass that had been contaminated from radioactive rain picked up from Chernobyl over 800 miles away.


13. People who wanted to commit suicide in 18th-century Denmark were afraid to take their own lives because they believed it would send them to hell. Instead, they resorted to killing other people to receive the death penalty and repented before execution, believing that doing so would send them to heaven.


14. In Finland, they have 'National Sleepy Head day', where the last person in a family to wake up is thrown into a lake or the sea by the rest of the family.


15. In Iceland, the phonebook is sorted by first names because everyone's surname is basically their father's first name followed by -son or -dottir.


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16Linje Akavit

Linje Akavit

Linje Akvavit is a flavored liquor from Norway. It is shipped from Norway to Australia and back before being bottled. The sloshing and temperature change the liquor. Experiences on the ship impart certain flavors to the beverage. Akvavit is traditionally served as a holiday drink.


17. Helsinki cunningly survived World War 2. In 1944, USSR began a massive air attack on the city to force Finland to leave the war. Finns used fires and searchlights to trick Soviet bombers into dropping bombs outside the city. Russian diplomats were surprised to find an intact Helsinki after the war.


18. The parliament (Althing) of Iceland, established in 930 A.D., is the oldest active parliament in the world.


19. When Underdog Iceland reached the quarter-final of the 2016 Euro Cup, 10% of Iceland's population traveled to France for the game. The team coach was also a dentist.


20. In March 2003, Denmark became the first country to regulate trans fats in foods (2% limit on ingredients) and has since seen a 50% decrease in ischemic heart disease.


21Stockholm

Stockholm

Stockholm, capital of Sweden, is built on 14 islands, and that the city center is "virtually situated on the water".


22. The United States has more people of Norwegian descent than Norway.


23. In the 1982 Swedish Hot Line Riot, the teens in Sweden hacked the landline system to create a massive party line unbeknownst to adults or HTE phone company. Over 1,000 14-18 year olds then decided to meet at one location with no plans. A riot ensued.


24. Earlier in 2016, Sweden released a telephone number that would put you in touch with a random Swede. More than 32,000 Swedes agreed to take the calls by downloading an app, answering upwards of 180,000 calls from all over the world.


25. In 2001, a teenager in Sweden was arrested on suspicion of treason after throwing a strawberry tart at King Carl Gustaf.

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