Sunday, May 16, 2010

Being Nordic and being British

Like many English men, I can wheel out all the prejudices about the Scots, Irish and Welsh for the sake of a cheap laugh. After all, the Scots are heathen alcoholics, the Irish are fighting thieves, and the bumpkin Welsh have an unhealthy attraction to sheep. I can also argue persuasively that England is the dominant nation, our football team are the best (not hard, I'll grant you), and the majority of international perceptions about Britain originate from England. And I know the Scots, Irish, and Welsh tend to dislike us more than they do each other but, hey, I can live with that.

What's interesting though, is what happens when we are all abroad. On holiday, on business, or just on the road. You see, there is a common bond. We gravitate toward each other. We buy each other a drink. We have things in common. We share the same sense of humour. We help out. We build friendships.

Cross the North Sea, and you will find exactly the same thing happening with the Nordic nations. Forget language differences, forget heads of state differences, I call it brotherhood.


  1. Interesting thought, Shaun. So the concept of being Nordic can work then - but only outside of .... the Nordic countries!

  2. Perhaps. But it is no different to being British!

  3. Unfortunately, we tend to live in 'blame' cultures. When something goes wrong we have find out who made a mistake, blame them and probably fire them. That's why some people are finding the volcanic ash so difficult. Can't really sack a volcano. So, if the Scots, Irish and Welsh love to blame the English..... who is the most popular blame target across Nordicland.... and why?

  4. Goes without saying - the Swedes. Biggest market, highest-profile. Plus the fact they like to think of themselves as kind of default leaders of the region...which doesn't exactly please the others. Take Stockholm's claim as "The Capital of Scandinavia" and you might start to understand why.