Thursday, April 24, 2008

International Hug-a-Swede Day--Svenska Kram Dag!


it's true.

it's for real.

it's not a joke.

admittedly, i once thought it was. seeing that it originated on Facebook, and was an idea so outlandish, so completely random, so far beyond the realm of any sense of normality, i honestly had no other opinion than to think it an utter absurdity.

but you see, that's the beauty of it.

it is outlandish, it is random, it is beyond the realm of much so that it actually swings right back around to the borders of making complete and perfect sense.

of course, if you ask me to explain the logic, all i can tell you is: it's like when Moses was on Mt. Sinai and asked Yahweh how he was supposed to explain the existence of God, and Yahweh answered "i am that i am." yeah, it's just like that. it is that it is.

and just what is it?

it is Svenska Kram Dag!!!!!!!!!!

yes, your translation is right: International Hug-a-Swede Day!!!!!!!!!!!!
it's a stroke of pure genius. whoever came up with it should be awarded the Nobel Prize for ingenuity--and yes, i know there's no such thing, but seeing that it's a Swedish award created by a Swedish inventor known for his uniquely Swedish resourcefulness, there damn well in the name of Thor's hammer and Freya's golden hair should be!

you can reference the official Facebook page:

officially placed on the calendar as April 24 of every year, International Hug-a-Swede Day is held in honor of all Swedes (in truth and in spirit) everywhere. on this day, you are supposed to locate your nearest Swede--or at least, your favorite one--and give him (or her, or according to some other Scandinavians, it) a nice, long, warm, loving, tight, comforting, affectionate, caring hug great enough to make Odin proud.

because, you see (*sniff* *sniff*), as the Facebook tagline says: we're the only people who haven't gotten hugged yet.

yes, that's right, beneath that stoic burly gruff bloodthirsty hair-curling storm-roaring exterior, we Swedes are really all just soft, cuddly, fuzzy-wuzzy sensitive souls deep inside.

and even Valkyries need love, too.
so reach out to your dearest Swede, and let them know you love them. and while you're at it, give them something to ease their homesick yearnings for the good land--a tankard of mjöd (mead) will work, as will a bowl of jorgubbar (strawberries...the might Viking fruit if power!!!!!), or better yet smultron (wild strawberries...the closest thing to ecstasy short of sex, and even then it's a close call), and of course some prinsesstårta (princess cake, made with marzipan) will always seal the deal. they'll thank you for it--in ways that only a Swede can (there's a reason we're good for keeping warm on cold winter nights...).

tack so mycket!
and just in case you're still suspicious as to just how soft and cuddly Swedes can be, i'm attaching a recent news item about the Swedish appreciation of the hug:

and oh yeah, in case the link doesn't work, i'm including the full text of the article below.

Study: Swedes Hug Anyone Except Their Boss

Associated Press

While Swedes have a reputation of being reserved, a new study shows they'll hug just about anyone except their boss.

Nine out of 10 Swedes embrace somebody at least once a week, with women aged 30-44 being the most active huggers, according to the study presented Thursday by the Swedish Red Cross.

About 70 per cent of the 1,036 people interviewed between Nov. 5-8 said they had hugged their partner or spouse that week, while 59 per cent said they had hugged a friend or acquaintance.

One-quarter had hugged a work colleague of the same sex, while 14 per cent had embraced a co-worker of the opposite gender.

Only four per cent hugged their boss.

The study by the Synovate polling institute also found that there is a certain etiquette to Swedish hugging traditions.

More than 80 percent said it was appropriate to hug a person in mourning, while 55 percent said they would hug a stranger who had just found their wallet.

Sixty percent said hugging a vague acquaintance at a party was not OK.

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