Rus Articles Journal

Features of national character or what Scandinavians love ice cream for. Part I

One Norwegian scientist makes many years experiment. During lectures which he gives in the different countries, asks audience to perform a simple task - to draw the map of Europe. As a result he is an owner of several thousand such cards, any of which is not similar to another, and all together - to the real geographical Europe. It turned out that each people have it, Europe, - the, and even it all perceive outlines differently.

of the Scientist - the Norwegian, naturally, substantially was concerned by a question as Europeans perceive its native land. Exactly here the difference was especially noticeable. If the Norwegian students drew the huge ledge hanging over very modest sizes the territory, and the British Isles, for example, in general quite often forgot, then other Europeans, carefully drawing in detail the states of continental Europe, sometimes absolutely lowered those lands which are called the Scandinavian Peninsula, - as the roles which are not playing large in the real Europe.

It is valid, these Northern lands always stood independently, out of the general course of history, and lived in itself. Populated if to trust archeological finds and rock paintings, more than 10 thousand years ago, they very late appeared on the European scene. Even curious Greeks and fans of others territories Romans left only vague notes about some Northern lands, populated whether the wild people which have hairy animal legs (somehow to be warmed in the cold winter), whether beautiful fair-haired people - the elves living in an eternal holiday and pleasure.

the Vikings who suddenly appeared in Europe drew with

In the 8th century close attention of Europeans to the Scandinavian region. The first blow about 790 was accepted by England, and “The Anglo-Saxon chronicle“ mentions the first appearance of aggressive northerners - the pagans who plundered and destroyed the large monastery on North - the country East. It is necessary to tell, Vikings with great pleasure plundered monasteries - was, than to profit and did a good cause from the pagan point of view.

Three centuries Vikings, they are Normans, they are Varangians, the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish soldiers - kept all Europe in suspense. They appeared in its most different parts (distances were for them not a hindrance), directing awe at locals. In the Southern Italy still not numerous part of the fair-haired and blue-eyed population considers itself as descendants of ancient Scandinavians. In heart of France, on coast of Loire, in the 9th century underground locks, with powerful defensive works were under construction to reflect possible attack of northerners. In far Byzantium stay traces there of unruly soldiers as well as in hot Spain, and in Russia gaining power remained. In a word, all Europe was included into active interaction with until then almost unknown people.

Interaction it, to be fair we will note, was not only in the form of robberies and robbery which so colourfully zhivopisut modern movies and novels: huge blue-eyed savages destroy everything on the way, keeping life only to beautiful maidens who immediately fall in love with them without memory. Besides, there were both a trade, and colonization. Iceland, Greenland were populated and even attempts to promote still to the west - in Vinlandiya, modern America are made. Many states began the new life with Norman governors - Rurik came to Russia, England was subdued by William the Conqueror. Interestingly, medieval school students as if drew the map of Europe, they could ignore existence of vigorous northern neighbors in those days?

I suddenly after three centuries of vigorous political activity again - hibernation, oblivion, boondocks of Europe. Well, really, occurred in Norway, Finland or Iceland from XV to the XVIII century? Nobody, except experts, definitely knows and there is nothing to know there: caught fish, grazed deer and quietly dozed, ignoring the main European currents, - there was neither knights era, nor the Renaissance, nor Education here. For Russia still though the Scandinavian presence - neighbors all - was somehow felt, and all Europe safely forgot about their existence.

here the end of the 20th century gave

A a new surprise: this “the sleeping northern beauty“ woke up again. After the periods of dependence and mutual submission when the power over various Scandinavian states periodically passed to Denmark, to Sweden, and even to Russia, the independence found at the end of the second millennium suddenly bore unexpected fruits of wellbeing. It became clear that exactly there, in the far and unfamiliar North, the most convenient conditions for the population life - both in political, and in economic, and in social plans ripened. The European states which are torn apart by modern problems with some envy began to glance at the until then imperceptible neighbors: and ethnic problems do not exist there, all states excessively of a gomogenna, and an overpopulation - there is enough place, both the most perfect social protection of the population, and the income per capita everything grow. Of course, it does not mean that there are no problems, they are everywhere and always, but against general difficulties and the conflicts Scandinavia looks a certain oasis of wellbeing.


According to researches of the European statistical bureau “Eurostat“ Scandinavians actively develop the education system. They invest in it 9% of a gross product (almost twice more, than, for example, Great Britain). About 4/5 finance in the majority of the Scandinavian countries leave on compensation of teachers, the rest - on arrangement of school buildings and the educational equipment.
the concept “Scandinavian Countries“ is quite confused by

today - absolutely precisely officially it includes the former states of Vikings: Sweden, Norway and Denmark united general historical past, uniform parent language and ethnic proximity. Finland, whose language as well as the ethnos, belongs to absolutely other group, often stands independently, and even guides to the region are usually divided into “Scandinavia and Finland“ - that readers were not mistaken and did not consider all this as a whole. There is still a merging of the northern states including all aforesaid four components plus Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Aland Islands in the Gulf of Bothnia. At last, geographically on the Scandinavian Peninsula three states - Norway, Sweden and part of Finland are located.

All these components are in difficult interaction. On the one hand, the general history and geographical proximity give rise to similar problems and stimulate active cooperation. - as often happens to another between close people - there are both a jealousy, and the critical relation to each other.

such joke is popular

In Finland. On the bottles of beer sent to Sweden on a bottom write “To open on the other hand!“ It is interesting that just the same joke exists in Sweden - about Norwegians, and in Norway - about Finns. All these people united by the conditional name “Scandinavians“ both similar, and very different. And character at them - at everyone the, though in something and reminding the neighbor.

we Will try to understand

that unites and distinguishes, for example, Norwegians and Finns. Why them? Perhaps, because they most brightly embody at the same time contrasts and similarity of “Nordic“ characters. Besides both of these people historically border on Russia, so, cannot but interest the Russian person.


Already in the relations with Russia show the first features of characters of two of these people. Norway and Finland - two northern neighbors of Russia having with it the general border. But on it similarity comes to an end. The close ties with Norway relating by the time of vikingsky campaigns most often were based on mutually advantageous conditions - joint business was done, the Norwegian soldiers for strengthening of forces of the country were invited to Russia.


our people and the romantic history quite characteristic of the time, the first half of the 11th century. Norwegian Harald Surowy is the fearless soldier, the conqueror if to trust sagas, infinite treasures, a royal title and female hearts, fell in love with Yaroslav the Wise`s daughter Elizabeth. However, some unromantic researchers claim that the love was at all at anything here, and Harald who in youth became the exile and dreaming to receive the Norwegian crown belonging to him as he considered, by right, hoped for Yaroslav`s help.

Anyway, Harald made everything to win the beloved`s heart (and at the same time and to raise funds for future life and fight for a throne). He went to Constantinople, was at war much and plundered even more, it was mixed in the Byzantine intrigues and even sat from - for it a little in prison. After long wanderings Harald returned to Russia - already the man of means, life experience and sufficient forces for race for power in own country. On the way to darling he composed verses - the pleasure visa singing of it feelings and was burned with impatience.

Yaroslav who is not incidentally nicknamed Wise in this new situation counted

possible to give the daughter in marriage to the winner. So Elizabeth became Norwegian, and other daughters of Yaroslav - Anna - French, and Anastasia - Hungarian. Harald soon became the king of Norway (by the way, about wisdom - except moral support the father-in-law helped nothing to the son-in-law). One of important features in the relations between Russia and Norway can consider peaceful co-existence throughout a long time. That is problems, of course, arose, but business did not reach serious collisions and usually they were resolved by peaceful manner.

Alexander Nevsky sent to

embassy to Norway for settlement about collecting a tribute from Sami who were gathered by both Norwegians, and Russians. The question was settled without excessive delays that, however, was not too reflected in a sad fate of Sami, just double tribute received lawful justification. He signed the first official contract with Norway in 1251. The second contract - - fixed 1326 already really developed overland border between the states, actually since then and not changing the outlines, and not broken never by military operations.

After World War II when Norway became the member of NATO, the intense moments arose from time to time, now write about difficulties of 1968, but the frank conflicts everything is it was possible to avoid. At last, peaceful co-existence in Soviet period of two states with different ideological systems on the cold island of Spitsbergen where the Norwegian and Soviet working settlements side by side got on (it is characteristic that in 1941 from this Norwegian island 900 Norwegians and 2 000 Russians were evacuated), speaks for itself. And now poorly - it is poor, but nearly a half of the population of the island are made by our compatriots.

Self-defense According to the data of the review of small arms provided by the independent project which is financed by the governments of 12 countries residents of the Scandinavian countries are armed with

better than other West Europeans. Finland where 39 “trunks“ are the share of 100 citizens, Finns and on the scale of the whole world “at height“ is in the lead in this question, giving way to the two first only to the United States and Yemen.

When and in what form communication of Russians with Finns began, it is impossible to define. The interlacing on the map of northern Russia Slavic and the Finn - Ugrian names demonstrates accommodation of our people side by side from time immemorial. Let`s give the floor to the Russian historian V. O. Klyuchevsky who gave the description of the first historically reliable meeting of Russians and Finns:“ How they met and how one party worked on another? Generally speaking, this meeting had peaceful character. Neither in written monuments, nor in national legends of members of the party Great Russia memories of persistent and universal fight of newcomers against natives did not escape. The character of Finns promoted such peaceful rapprochement of both parties. Finns at the first emergence in the European historiography were marked out by one characteristic line - peacefulness, even shyness, downtroddenness. Thucydides in the „ Germany “ says about Finns that this surprisingly wild and poor tribe which is not knowing neither houses, nor the weapon. Iornand calls Finns by the mildest tribe from all inhabitants of the European North. Finns made the same impression of the peace and compliant tribe also on Russians“.

the Peace meeting long time remained guarantee of quite peaceful co-existence. However, Finns soon got under the power of Swedes that could not but irritate the Russian neighbor. However hostility and hostility were shown generally in relation to owners - the Swedes who made of the country the base for military operations with Russia than to Finns, dependent on them, for whom at us felt sorry rather.

Finland on the special rights was a part of the Russian Empire, and the Russian emperor added to the title “grand duke of the principality Finnish“. It was not a gain, accession happened according to the contract between Russia and Sweden which conceded the possession. Contrary to the developed stereotype of the relation between the Russian and Finnish people during this imperial period were quite friendly as far as they can be in a similar situation. The Finnish reference book even narrates about “unusual success“ of the first 60 years of this union. And now Finns remember that, for example, they are obliged by the fine library which is brought together in Helsinki to the Russian tsar who ordered to send a copy of each printing edition appearing in Russia there without fail. Thanks to it in years when the Soviet Union was fenced off from the West by the Iron Curtain, many scientists came to Finland for work on the “Russian“ subjects.

Idyll, however, was not eternal, and history of the relations between Russia and Finland was saddened by any difficulties, including revolts, terror and wars. Especially “badly it turned out“ in the years of World War II when Finland was used by Hitler as base for attack on the Soviet Union. But also after this relation between the countries kept the proximity - the neighbor is the neighbor. All well remember, as in deaf years when communications with the West were very poor, in our country ate the Finnish cheese and cookies, and the Finnish cervelat on a holiday table was an indicator of welfare of the Soviet citizen. (As well as the Soviet Union) it is possible to call the union of Finland and Russia marriage without love - live together where you will get to, and love a thing in general foggy, from area of feelings. Mauno Koyvisto who in different years was the president and premyerministry Finland in the book about Russia which is quite critically considering the Russian history draws a natural conclusion:“ To live with the good neighbor - it is reliable. To the good neighbor we also want to be the good neighbor“. Such here regularity.


Scandinavians love a herring with boiled potatoes, fish delicacies, pancakes with sour cream, pelmeni, friable buckwheat cereal with oil, sausages with potatoes, ketchup, horse-radish, a pickle, chicken and yogurt, and also slightly fried coffee. they almost do not eat mutton, fried potatoes, macaroni, fig.

Quite often write about the anti-Russian moods existing in the Finnish society supposedly they think of us - savages they and there are savages that from them to take. Really, at the beginning of 1990 - x years when Finland resolutely directed to the bright industrial future, and Russia so resolutely broke up to pieces and lost everything that can only be lost, including world prestige, among northern neighbors was outlined contemptuously - the haughty relation to the former colossus. The Finnish communists felt deceived, and capitalists - disappointed. But crisis was overcome - Finns not those people which will spit in a well from which it successfully drinks. It turned out that big and having permanently reconstructedayushchuyusya it is very favorable to dress, put, supply the country with furniture and paper, and, above all, to feed. Surprisingly and already it is even unclear how we could do without the Finnish porridge, buckwheat, jam, oil, milk - and it only from the most necessary.

In modern Russia at the supporter is watched with great respect, here to you and “poor Finns“ now that, appears, with the country - that can be made if properly to undertake and begin to work. And too once with us together were...

the Similar proximity of the Russian, Norwegian and Finnish people was not, however, guarantee of reliable knowledge of their characters. Customs of far Italians or a manner of British interested Russians much more, than features of national behavior of the closest neighbors. So, Karamzin, coming back from the well-known European travel, described the impressions of Norwegians:“ ... to us the Norwegian fishermen met. The captain waved to them a hand - and in two minutes all deck became covered at us by fish... Norwegians, big drunkards, wanted over money to rum; drank it as water, and as a sign of caress clapped us on shoulders“. Not much further our ideas and of the Finnish character left. M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, having unexpectedly enough highly appreciated honesty and efficiency of Finns, in the second half of the 19th century wrote that “Finns have also an ability to alcoholism though there is no wine here at all, with rare exception the korchemstvo which is strictly pursued. But, having seized upon St. Petersburg, the Finn gets drunk to self-forgetfulness, loses money, a horse, a harness and comes back home as poor as a church mouse“.


All - as the alcoholism subject as we rejoiced was close to us always, having found this weakness in others!

is often written Now that Finns it is not much and drunk that they became “Europeans“ and in this question consume moderately good wine and beer, even bring statistical data into confirmation. But for the Russian person this stereotype not only remains invariable, but also finds feed in personal experience of communication. Many still remember “drunk rounds“ of the Soviet era when, like shchedrinsky characters, Finns came by the whole buses for the weekend to Leningrad of that time, lodged in the best hotels and with pleasure two days deeply drank, enjoying cheap and available vodka. In the evening on Sunday their stacks loaded in the bus and sent home. The set of legends went around these rounds, for example how one Russian by mistake loaded together with the Finnish drinking companions, and it, having overslept, found himself in a capitalist environment without documents and money. And today the Russians who visited Finland in holidays with undisguised admiration tell about national Finnish traditions of consumption of vodka.

Statistically the Internet and mobile communication among all European countries are more widespread

of Communication in the countries of Scandinavia.