Need I really elaborate? Vikings will kick your ass. Everybody has gotten so excited over the past few years over pirates, ninjas, and vampires, but Vikings were the original badasses. Not only did they school much of Western and Central Europe, as well as the Middle East, with their pillaging and plundering ways, but they also beat Christopher Columbus to North America by almost 500 years. Have you ever seen a replica of one of their ships? To be honest with you, I'm not even sure I would feel comfortable using them as a paddle boat on a pond in a state park, let alone sailing across a fucking OCEAN in one of these joints. Vikings have balls of steel:
This shit is hardcore. My friend is Swedish, and her family toasts with Aquavit on holidays and special occasions. If you've ever taken a shot of vodka, imagine a similar flavor, with the added bonus that you can literally feel the liquor crawling down your esophagus before it hits your stomach like a lit match. Each Scandinavian country has its own method of producing aquavit (or akvavit). This shizz will definitely keep you warm on a frigid Nordic night--or at least get you all jacked up enough to make some questionable decisions.
3. Umlaut and Kroužek.
Hmmm...sounds sorta kinky, right? Like maybe some sort of outrageous, inappropriate, Nordic S&M? Settle down, sickos. The umlaut is actually the formal name of the two dots over letters in certain languages (ä), and the kroužek is the name of the ring atop other letters (å). I knew the name for umlauts, but I just learned the word "kroužek" today; actually, the word itself is Czech (Jiri Hudler would be proud). I couldn't find the Swedish name for it online. (OK, fuck it: I am just far too lazy to browse more than three or four links down on Google.)
So, why am I so crazy for a little U&K? Because our language is so boring in comparison. We don't have ANYTHING nearly this interesting to spice up our writing. The Spanish get the tilde (~), and the French hyphenate practically every other letter in every single word, while several European languages, Swedish included, get the umlaut and the kroužek. So. Not. Fair.
Not to mention that in addition to serving as confetti for the written language, these marks make Swedish accents sound amazing. How many times have I watched a Zetterberg interview and found myself nodding off to sleep courtesy of his lullaby of a voice?
Ahhhh, Zetterberg. Which brings me to...
4. Swedes grow freakin' sweet beards. Enough said:
And, my all-time favorite:
5. The cultural contribution that Swedes have given the world for decades. I give you the following: