CONSENSUS CULTURE

A Danish retail chain called “Normal” offers this Ad on a Swedish storefront. Interesting choice for the target audience.

Conformity, most of the time

dievca runs into dichotomies within the Swedish Culture by pushing individuals to ‘shine’ (or standout) when culturally that act is a social kiss of death. Insisting upon change within a well-developed system?
Slow going….but that’s why they hired her.

The US has long been and remains an invented culture, full of disparate and changing parts. Those parts vary by race, ethnicity, class, and region, to name a few demarcations. Identities in the US are lightly held; there is always the possibility of moving to a different geographical and cultural location and reinventing yourself. Lots of Americans are at any time “on the move” in that way.

Sweden, like many European nations, has an old and deeply-rooted culture that manifests itself in dominant group norms. Reinvention is less possible and, it seems, less desirable to Swedes.

Those norms may have grown from the centralist history of their institutions. Sweden has long had one strong national government, a single state church, one public system of higher education, one set of national employment laws.

You must fit in.
Individuality is not usually prized. This may be one of the strangest traits of Swedes because their contribution to popular culture is so disproportionately huge relative to their small population.

Being a pop music superpower (Sweden is the third-largest producer of pop music after the US and UK) shouldn’t sit easily with a nation that frowns on those who drive flashy cars or exhibit any flamboyance. What about IKEA, H&M, COS, & Other Stories. Pop music, Retail and the arts, in general, are about expressing your creativity. How does this fit in with the country of ‘lagom’ (the Swedish word for ‘just enough’)?

Swedes (like many Americans) think that the way they do things is the best – their university degrees are better, their work practices are better, etc.

Annoyingly, unlike Americans, Swedes’ superiority complex is mostly warranted. After all, the Swedes are ahead of the curve on many issues.

But that doesn’t mean that newcomers to the country cannot offer a fresh perspective. Unfortunately, many Swedes have no desire to consider an outsider’s approach or listen to new solutions to old problems.

The attitude from the local Swedes is very much, “Oh, we’ve always done it this way, and we’re OK – why would we change?”

They just waddle along complacently, happy with their lot, not at all bothered that there is a whole world out there that might just, know how to do some things a little better than they do.

Modified and added to a piece from Paul Connolly – “The Local” August 17, 2015

Undecisive

Photo: Getty

“I get ideas about what’s essential when packing my suitcase.”
Diane von Furstenberg

dievca is having a little trouble with this~


Special

Christopher Kate Black Intarsia Special Sweater

dievca really wants to buy this sweater for a close friend. It would be given with a great deal of humor.

Because dievca is returning to Scandinavia for work, she’s been running around buying hair dye, allergy meds, Coach items, etc. Some are items people have requested and the rest are gifts dievca has found for friends.

One of her very close friends speaks excellent English. But sometimes words take a different meaning in another country.  Like the word “Special” – here’s the Mirriam-Webster definition:

special

adjective

spe·​cial | \ ˈspe-shəl  \

Definition of special

1distinguished by some unusual quality especially:: being in some way superior our special blend
2held in particular esteem special friend
3areadily distinguishable from others of the same category: UNIQUE they set it apart as a special day of thanksgiving
bof, relating to or constituting a species: SPECIFIC
4being other than the usual: ADDITIONALEXTRA
5designed for a particular purpose or occasion

noun

Definition of special

1one that is used for a special service or occasion caught the commuter special to work
2something (such as a television program) that is not part of a regular series
3a featured dish at a restaurant the specials of the day

 

None of these definitions apply to how, dievca’s friend uses the word, “Special”. The friend uses the word to describe someone who is high maintenance and demanding or a little bit crazy. Someone who is a pain-in-the-neck.    that one? she’s special

The word is said with an inferred eyeball roll.

OK – its sarcasm.

Wouldn’t this sweater be great for someone who is (wait for it….) special herself? dievca’s friend would laugh so hard if she received this sweater as a gift.

Do you know anyone who is…..Special?


For the Master or Mistress of BBQ

Master is heading over to a friend’s Brownstone to be the “Master of the BBQ”.
They are European and haven’t learned the fine art of grilling.
dievca heard some mumbling about the grill not being cleaned properly, etc.
she really wants to send over these naughty roasting sticks:

Let’s take a closer look:

There are “kid-friendly” and “transgender” options, too.

Or you can buy a Gay couple, a Lesbian couple, singles….
Available at Amazon: 805 Metal Craft


with head cocked…it looks like a bird

Beak jutting out.
Round belly.
Crested head.

Standing upright.
Dubbing it – “The Bird”
Do you see it?

Photos: Dog – stock, Building in Hudson Yards NYC – dievca 05/2019


Master is helping his daughter move…

He’s Grumpy!
After the move Master is taking on IKEA bookshelf build detail:

dievca is just so entertained with the thought.
IKEA was a “Defining Moment” in Master and dievca’s Relationship.
(When dievca and Master survived an IKEA piece)


PAIN! au chocolat


dievca has a friend who is going through a tough time. The friend is dealing with shingles and setting up a surgery for a detached retina – when she should have flown on Holiday. No flying with that eyeball issue…

dievca sent her information about shingles and potential items to help with pain. The photo above is what she got back. Life is ALWAYS better with a little “chocolate bread” in it. Not sure if that will help with the shingle pain, though…

Pain au chocolat: A viennoiserie sweet roll consisting of a cuboid-shaped piece of yeast-leavened laminated dough, similar in texture to a puff pastry, with one or two pieces of dark chocolate in the center.