Rus Articles Journal

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


What they, our far and close northern neighbors? Different historical destinies defined distinction of characters. Though it is necessary to begin all - with the similarity which is defined first of all by similar geographical and climatic conditions.

Quite considerable territories of both countries (Norway - about 324 thousand, Finland - 337 thousand km 2) are rather seldom populated (in Norway there live about 4,3 million inhabitants, in Finland - 5,12 million that makes population density from about 13 to 15 people on 1 km 2). But at the same time the population of the countries is very ethnically compact and uniform - in Finland there live in the basic Finns (93,6% of the population), in Norway - Norwegians (95%), and generally Scandinavian people enter other percent.

Both countries are located

in the north of the European continent, and the part of the territory of both countries lies behind the Polar circle, both are cut geographically off from world around, Norway - the seas, Finland - the sea and border with Russia. Both in that, and in another the countries differences of light and darkness in literal sense are considerable: in many regions long polar night is replaced after short spring in the cool summer when the sun does not set for the horizon at all. However, the climate of Norway is considerably softened with Gulf Stream so even behind the Polar circle in the middle of winter temperature most often sticks to about zero - to the Russian measures, just indecently warmly, but fans of a frost will be always pleased by Finland where in the north frosts under 50 ° at all not a rarity.

Similar conditions generated also some similar traits of character. For example, relation to the nature and environment. Both Finns, and Norwegians with pagan respect treat the world in which live. Love and respect which they test to the woods, lakes, mountains, hills and the seas it is sincere and are natural to these people. The attentive relation to ecology is perfect at anything, it here for those who perceive the nature detached, pragmatically. For the Scandinavian to litter during picnic or without need to break a tree, or to pollute the lake it is equivalent to causing damage or a mutilation to the close family member. Or perhaps it is even worse.

the Aspiration to keep and support the native nature in original state became the reason of creation of numerous reserves both in Norway, and in Finland, and the quantity them steadily grows. The status of the reserve does not allow to use lands for any commercial purposes, to cut down trees, to drain lakes, say, to interfere with their natural state. On the weekend in both countries of crowd of inhabitants direct on the nature and selflessly merge with it. In these cases you will not hear the drunk shouts (which are quite often associated in our consciousness with rest “in the open air“), all grandly walk on specially laid footpaths with such look with what in other countries people go only to church. However, for the Scandinavian the nature really the temple, but not a workshop. Environment not just object of a worship, is connected with it all life of Finns and Norwegians. The nature in turn is on friendly terms with the Scandinavian people.

the Family and life

As women in the Scandinavian countries regularly go to work, games with children, almost always washing of ware (they cover and clear the table) and a linen ironing most often belong to household chores of their husbands. women are in turn capable independently, to change an automobile wheel without the aid of husbands, to hang up eaves for curtains, to lay out a tile a bathroom or to move furniture. And here works on house cleaning and care of the spouse`s garden, as a rule, halve.
it is possible

, life in an environment of the severe and majestic nature brought up such distinctive feature of character which is pulling together Finns and Norwegians as restraint and briefness. Finns are especially famous for it. The visiting professors giving lectures at the Finnish universities complain of the difficulties connected with total absence of any emotions on faces of listeners. You are inspired, joke, are fond of idea, use rhetorical receptions - result one, death silence and the stiffened persons. Lecture ended, and also silently your students pack things and leave audience. Many take offense, consider the Finnish students silly and insensible, and business is simple in traditions and in features of character - the lecture, the more deeply and more validly silence is more interesting.

Restraint extends not only to behavior, but also to the relation to life. The private episode from life of the Russian traveler well illustrates this general provision. Once the married couple from Moscow appeared on the small and far Norwegian island. Green landscapes, the dazzling sea, cozy houses, fish everywhere - such Norwegian idyll continued until the husband suddenly did not get sick. Couple of days he suffered from terrible pains, hoping that all by itself will resolve until at last by four in the night (white) it became clear to hours that not to do without doctor. As often happens in critical situations, crisis came on Sunday. Despite it, the doctor, pleasantly fragrant morning coffee, arrived quickly enough and reported that all this is very similar to an appendicitis attack.“ You, of course, as you want, - he joyfully told, - but I would advise to go to hospital“. Any panic, any disorders, any car with flashers. You do not want - it is not necessary, your business, but is better to go.

the Similar situation repeated also in rural hospital where all - was decided to go. There, by the way, nothing reminded of the day off. All were on the place and even worked. A severe look the Norwegian, having come to chamber, strictly looked at the spouse who came to visit sick and in a minute, having murmured something it is gloomy on - Norwegian, put before it a tray with a hot lunch. And again everywhere the full tranquility - “is similar to appendicitis though, of course, there are also mistakes“. The head of family by this moment already was practically in an unconsciousness. The operation, very difficult as appendicitis was purulent was as a result performed, but everything was made as in other places extract a milk tooth - without panic, pathos and a pomp.“ How to us to be now? - the spouse - the Muscovite complained. - We here by car, and I am not able to drive “.“ Well and that, - the Norwegian surgeon cheerfully reacted, being above the patient cut up and down, - in three days he will be able quite to take the wheel “.“ And seams?“ - “Remove, nothing difficult“.

the Tranquility and determination as though outside not the 21st century, but an era of Vikings and to wash out wounds to the soldier who is in a campaign is a piece of cake for his fighting companion.


“Hot Finnish guys“ also in features of a national avtomobilevozhdeniye. They can go quickly enough on the beautiful roads, but once it catches up with other car, they are immediately aligned and with calm trudge one after another, even without trying to shoot ahead. This phenomenon, typical for the Finnish roads. Worse only Norwegians - do not disperse even on absolutely free road. The American drivers usually are indignant - Norwegians just some zombies, trudge absolutely quietly behind some truck, without showing any signs of concern.

If the Finnish restraint is often similar

to manifestation of the unfriendly relation that is, as a rule, deceptive, then Norwegian it demonstrates indifference that maybe the truth more likely. Indifference, of course, the word having a negative shade, but in the Norwegian indifference there is nothing negative, just you are granted the right to live as you want. Therefore if you go without the included headlights across Finland in the afternoon, and in Scandinavia headlights have to burn at any time, then to you each passing Finn - a disorder, threat to favourite Finns will signal. And here in Norway nobody will react - want to pay a penalty, your business.

Business life

Scandinavians obviously prefer collective leadership to individual. Their organizations differ in a small number of hierarchical levels. The gap smallest on a global scale in the level of remuneration of the first head and the ordinary employees is very characteristic of Scandinavia.

Finns are famous among Europeans for the honesty. The household example confirming this situation: in shops in vegetable department buyers weigh goods and glue price tickets, and nobody holds scales with a finger though, apparently, it is so simple. By the way, it is the only country where the similar system of trust works. And according to results of the next international commission for 2002 Finland represents the least corrupted society in the world. However, it does not mean that, traveling around the country, you can relax and trust in locals completely. As from the tourist - a potential source of the income - from you can quite try to extort as much as possible money including not absolutely by fair means. However, cunning of the Finn is a cunning of the peasant, is frequent to itself in damage.

Restraint of the Finnish and Norwegian characters is shown by

also in the relation to such important part of human existence as food. There is no cult of tasty or refined food as in the Romance countries, but there is also no Slavic passion to table-talks when communication becomes more important component of meal, than she. There is also no tradition of the Anglo-Saxon good manners replacing good food in England here. Here eat to be sated, pragmatically and specifically. The Russian wife of the Finnish husband in recently published in one Internet - the magazine to article complained that its beautiful husband in all other relations intercepts all the time on the run and does not understand at all how it it is possible to take seat solemnly all family for a lunch or a dinner.

the Only exception - ice cream. Its these northern people are loved to such an extent that, having gone to the remote village far for the Polar circle, you sometimes can count only on this delicacy firmly. It will be sold by all means in some tent, and small trucks with the huge ice cream drawn by them tirelessly make the way through snowstorm and a storm in the most remote corners of both countries.

One more line which is pulling together these two northern people can consider by

independent position of the woman. Historically the gender equality problem not too concerned these people as it substantially really existed. Wives of ancient Vikings possessed an enviable share of economic freedom, disposed of the property and actively participated in all affairs. The remarkable situation is described in sagas. The Norwegian king Harald famous and the esteemed combiner of Norway, somehow looked to himself for the girl whom he decided to make the concubine.

Very much it to it was pleasant to

as was beautiful and proud. As it is necessary, he sent to it messengers with a joyful message. And she not - ozhidanno turned obstinate and told that she does not want to spend the virginity for the king, which possession practically nothing. “And me it is surprising, - she told, - that there is no such konung who would like to become the absolute ruler of Norway...“

Messengers got agitated with

from such sharpness and arrogance and accurately reported on the konung - the king that the girl is impudent and in general is unworthy such great person as it. But the king was other opinion and reflected, probably, for the first time in life.“ It seems to me now surprising as it did not come to my mind earlier of what it reminded me, - he told. - I vow and I call in witnesses of god who created me and governs everything that I not will neither cut, nor to scratch a hair, I will not take control of all Norway with taxes, taxes and the power over it yet, and otherwise I will die“. So Norway was united under the power of one king. And all female mind, most, apparently, and it would not come to the king to mind. He really was not cut and got the nickname Shaggy, and then, after association, there was Prekrasnovolosy - the great king of Norway. And the girl everything is became his concubine...

Today women quietly hold the leading posts in these states, in Finland - even the highest. They can be found in the most various fields of activity, even in big business where traditionally it is a rarity. Probably, from - for all this the Finnish and Norwegian women absolutely have no ushchemlennost complex in the rights. They give birth and feed children, without feeling from - for it defective and to someone unequal. And fathers - Scandinavians with pleasure play with the children not to give to the spouse the equal status, and just because it is pleasant to them.

Reserved, silent, severe... and all - they smile. There is no Anglo-Saxon passion to formal and secular smiles, to you will not smile just like that in shop, on the bus-stop, in the elevator. In these countries smile seldom and in very important occasions. Finns it is wide, liberated and sincerely smile in two situations. In - the first, in the winter on a ski track. In deaf far Lapland and in popular resort southern regions of a flock of the brisk grandmas rushing at a huge speed by all means will favor you a radiant smile which they is simple not for constraining in forces because happiness them is full and infinite. The second situation is familiar to each Russian - it is the Finnish sauna. Here Finns become not only smiling and brisk, but even garrulous. In public saunas there is a dialect, unusual for this country, some important problems, tiny children, one are discussed (!) without parents, with a business look come into this hot room and resolutely strike to park from the gang standing there. Festival of soul and only.


According to data a cart Scandinavians have the strongest health in Europe. They consume twice less antibiotics at the rate on one inhabitant in comparison with French, Spaniards and Portuguese. And here Scandinavians suffer from an adynamy and a nervous breakdown much more often. Doctors connect their tendency to depressions with a ratio dark and daylight, characteristic of the northern countries.

At all similar lines in characters of these two people also important differences exist. One of main is the relation to Europe, the world and to itself. For the Norwegian his world is its country. Here is enough for it in total it has nice (though is older) a fighting past, a vikingsky subject - one of darlings in local souvenirs, probably, that tourists did not forget with whom they deal. It has a powerful economic feed in the form of oil. It has the king who is not causing such disorders and complexes as, for example, the monarch in England, and just good guy, too the skier and the seafarer. At last, that was with whom to communicate at a difficult moment, the Norwegian created the world of trolls and giants in whom he almost sincerely trusts still.

Therefore Norwegians consistently try to avoid any associations with other Europe.

Life, of course, dictates the terms, and all the time it is necessary to make concessions, joining in NATO, in the European economic space, in Schengen. And all - already twice on referenda Norwegians rejected idea about the accession to the European Union. And as for single European currency, it is only necessary to hear that contempt with which the young girl in souvenir little shop in the north of the country responds on a request to transfer kroner to euro in order that the poor traveler could understand whether expensively there are its souvenirs (the answer - always expensively and very much). “It is not our money, we know nothing about it“ - as a last resort to you eventually will transfer the amount in dollars. Of course, in the south of the country, in cosmopolitan Oslo, especially in a circle of business people, on such relation look as at an anachronism, considering necessary and inevitable association with Europe. But meanwhile Norwegians resist and hang out the national flags an eyelo each house as a sign of patriotism and commitment to ideals of the country.

Another matter - Finns. Only recently appeared full participants of the European game, they very much want that they were noticed, respected or at least paid them tribute. They also entered into the European Union, and into Schengen, and euros entered at once (and not really worry about it). In recent years the Finnish scientists even created the new theory proving on the basis of the analysis of the Finnish genes that they only on a quarter some there unknown Ugra - the Finns who came from - for the Urals, and on three fourth - West Europeans. Some went further away and put forward idea that their language and was the most classic language of Europe.

the European scientists, of course, with great feeling attacked at once on all these conclusions - who it wants that indigestible Finnish was its parent language. In a word, discussion to which so far the end is not visible was started.

without having

in nature of tendency to cherish the historical past (and there is nothing to cherish there especially), Finns are directed in the future and sentimentally will not cry, for example, about the left national currency - brand. To be fair we will note that all this interest and attention in opinion of foreigners on itself distinguish a state policy of the country more likely, than opinion of ordinary people. For many of them - where it, this Europe, and where they?

Life is full of paradoxes: Norwegians, self-sufficient and independent of the European opinion, quite often leave the country and go to work to other states while the Finns focused on Europe are mostly big homebodies and comfortably feel only in a native environment. By the way, both those, and others not bad know foreign languages and quite friendly treat tourists including to Russians.

in recent years both countries considerably moved ahead in questions of welfare of the population. And here we face absolutely various relation to life defining features of national character again. From year to year the Finnish houses get prettier and are decorated. Flowers on a bed at the house became fashionable, additional constructions, except the well-known and inevitable sauna - lodges for children, low-functional arbors, various jewelry appear. Besides, there are new modern houses more and more, and they grow in the sizes. According to strange Finnish tradition each small town has at least two, and even it is more huge food than a supermarket, filled with the same products. Shops are filled up with goods, even in a solitude of Lapland where the number of inhabitants considerably concedes to the number of deer, the choice is huge and various. The Finn who seized upon wellbeing derives pleasure from abundance in which he lives. In total there has to be much, everything has to be the newest, modern. Old it will be converted and updated, new grows by leaps and bounds.

the Neighbouring Norway, the country richer, than Finland, represents absolutely other picture. The lonely little shop in the town will have a stock only the most necessary (first of all, of course, ice cream). Why twenty grades of mayonnaise if only one is really necessary? The tourist campings which in Finland are completely updated and shining with the latest bathroom equipment represent here small sheds in which one conveniences on all. Gloss and abundance are not necessary to Norwegians. Perhaps, matter in the old tradition considering that gold and silver are necessary only for other life therefore old Vikings quite often hid the treasures and so that nobody could find then them how tried. Thus according to a belief they ensured quite good eternal life. And in this, transitory, lives gloss and tinsel interested them a little.

I finally - the episode from personal practice showing distinction of characters of two next people. The fine and reliable domestic car on which we made a trip across Scandinavia, the first time hopelessly died out under the small town in Lapland. Was, naturally, output, everything was closed, but the girl at gas station called the relative - the mechanic who right there arrived together with the discharged wife and reported that we have a problem with the generator, it needs to be replaced. Several hours we went round with it workshops and shops which sometimes on its call opened especially for us. There were many details for the Russian cars, but there was no generator specifically from our model anywhere. Sadly having sighed at parting (the wife sawed our unlucky mechanic for a long time that it is time on a visit), he advised us to wait for Monday when they are able to order a detail from our model from partners in Russia.

the Car by some miracle was started by

and went, and we for some time forgot about the problems until in one not really pleasant day she absolutely to death got up in a deep and dark Norwegian tunnel. This time to reanimate it there was no opportunity, she just died. The Norwegians passing by us stopped and caused some service (believe it or not, but it was Sunday too). In a few minutes there came a savior - the hero by the huge car with the bright inscription “Viking“, with all necessary for our rescue, that is evacuation. Absolutely exhausted and unfortunate, in a presentiment of long sitting waiting for the order from Russia, we outright were surprised when our hero told that everything will be ready next day. “At you what, there is a generator from our model?“ - “And what for? - was surprised in turn „ Viking “ - and „ firm; Bosch “ will not arrange you? Here it is not obligatory to put the at all“. Such here they different, Scandinavians...