Tag Archives: culture

Traveling in Scandinavia: tips and information from guidebooks, cultural guides for Nordic countries

The book Traveling in Scandinavia is a selection of chapters extracted from published travel guidebooks, cultural guides and even from a Nordic cookbook. As the publisher puts it: If something is missing, Finns will invent it (e.g. wife carrying competition), Swedes will sell it to the world (e.g. entire country available on Airbnb), and Norwegians will win the cross-country skiing world championship (again).

I didn’t know that there is a cookbook for engineers, and an entertaining one. It is more than recipes: how to organize a dinner, etiquette, and so on. Lapland has always been one of my favorites, and the book has an entire chapter on Nordkapp / North Cape which is nice. The West Coast in Sweden looks like a hidden gem that only the Swedes have discovered.

This book is all about the northern countries of Scandinavia: Finland, Norway and Sweden. Authors Kim Anton, Erin Dahl, Ari Hakkarainen, Kari Ojala, Russell Snyder and Soile Varis have contributed sections from their books to this collection.

If you are interested in the Nordic countries, and perhaps are thinking of visiting, Traveling in Scandinavia is a good book to start reading about the destination. The book includes plenty of pointers for things you may want to study further.

Free download

Traveling in Scandinavia is a free download for the moment, at least. You can get your copy from this page klaava.com/traveling-in-scandinavia-klaava-travel-guide/.

I read the EPUB, and assuming that the Kindle edition has the same content, it comes with plenty of photos and maps.

Culture shock in Europe: Spaghetti and Sauna

Finns are from Neptune and Italians from Mercury – that is what someone moving from Italy to Finland (or vice versa) might think. The differences in culture, behavior and socializing – not to mention weather and food – are so great that it can drive a normal, healthy person to believe that the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy correctly defined the meaning of life.

Spaghetti and Sauna is a very personal story of a young woman who moved from Italy to Finland in order to study and work in the Nordic country. Her personal story, however, develops into a insightful description of Italian and Finnish cultures. The author believes that these two countries are the remotest countries in Europe culturally. She tells countless funny and humiliating stories how easy it is to misinterpret people who have different background than yourself.

I happen to be fairly familiar with both Italian and Nordic cultures, and I can confirm that the detailed insight in the book on the people, their customs and the way of thinking and behaving is similar to mine. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to understand at least two from the many diverse cultures of Europe.

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