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Northern lands in Europe, or Scandinavia, are known for tall, handsome men with fair complexity, great tan, and splendid cheekbones, as well as goddess-like, strong, outdoorsy, and fit women. However, like any other region in the world, Scandinavians have their own unique traits and features that are weird to the rest of the world. Discover 6 strange, wicked and quirky “only Scandinavian” things: from Stockholm syndrome to specific baby names.

Single people get the pepper in Denmark

Even though it’s already the ’20s for the 21st Century and the acceptable age limit for being single is shifting to a higher number, the Danish people stick to their weird tradition. An unmarried Danish man is called “Pebersvend”, which means pepper-journeyman, and an unmarried Danish woman is a “Pebermø” – pepper-virgin. This tradition started in the old days, when spices, including pepper, were sold by traveling salesmen. And they were not allowed to get married. Although it was quite a time ago, to this day, all the single people in Denmark get the peppermill as a present for their 30th birthday. Just to remind them of the fact that they are single. I guess this is understandable only for Danish people.

Snus, or the trend of sucking the tobacco in Sweden

When the whole world is smoking tobacco, swedes decided that it would be fun to put it in their mouths. It happened around the XVIII century, when swedes took the powdered tobacco, moistened it, and added some salt for the taste. And then, well, sucked on it. To be more precise, they placed it inside their mouths between the lip and the gums, leaving the tobacco there to extract its magic for several hours. Using the snus became so popular in Sweden that now it is a habit of more than a million people in Sweden.

Wife carrying competition in Finland

Finish men seem to care a great deal about their wives. They care so much they have started carrying the wives and even launched a competition for it. Wife carrying world championship is being held each summer in Sonkajärvi, Finland. Here, men ought to overcome all the obstacles on the track while carrying their female partners. The championship attracts participants from all over the world. The prize is really not a stack of money if you have wondered, but a pretty big load of beer. To be more precise, the beer amount depends on the winner’s wife, as the couple gets the exact amount of beverage as the wife weighs.

Stockholm (Helsinki) syndrome

The Swedish capital is known for its famous Vasa museum, the cozy and colorful Gamla Stan, and stylish Scandinavians. However, a lot of people know Stockholm because of the Stockholm syndrome. It is a psychological condition when the hostages begin to create an emotional connection with their captors and even justify their agenda. This term was first used by the press after a bank robbery in Stockholm in 1973. After being captivated for six days, the hostages bonded with their captors enough that they even would not testify against them in court afterward. Funny enough, there are many folks out there knowing the Helsinki syndrome. Not to disappoint you, but the Helsinki syndrome was just a misleading reference to the Stockholm syndrome in the movie Diehard. If you’re still in doubt, check out what the Urban Dictionary has to say about it.

You are not allowed to die in Longyearbyen, Norway

It is forbidden to die in Longyearbyen, a small town in Svalbard, Norway. Not only for the visitors but also the locals. For 80 years now, there was no funeral in Longyearbyen. Why? Unfortunately, there’s no mystical tradition, just the simple explanation: bodies can’t decompose in Svalbard land because of the permafrost. Anyone who gets seriously ill is obligated to leave the town to die elsewhere (I wouldn’t think of anyone who would be planning to do it, but rules are rules).

Longyearbyen, Norway

Icelanders are weird with their names

Iceland people must have the simplest system of people’s surnames. The majority of the Icelandic population have their surname by their father’s or mother’s name. The surname is composed of a person’s father’s name with the suffix of -dóttir (-daughter) or -son at the end. Well, at least you are familiar with the father or mother of the person who just introduced themselves. Also, if an Icelander wants to name a newborn baby with an unusual name, first, they have to check in with the Icelandic Naming Committee. Icelanders are very strict with their names. It’s because they’re trying to preserve their authentic language. If the Committee rejects the name, the Icelanders have to come up with a new one that is Iceland-friendly.

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