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View Poll Results: What is/are the greatest Scandinavian contribution(s) to the world

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  • The world's first parliament (Iceland in 930 and Isle or Man in 979)

    3 42.86%
  • The Celsius thermometer scale and pH scale

    2 28.57%
  • Weapons (machine-gun, revolver, dynamite...)

    0 0%
  • Nobel Prizes

    4 57.14%
  • Children books (Hans Christian Andersen, Astrid Lindgren, Selma Lagerlöf...)

    2 28.57%
  • Lego blocks

    2 28.57%
  • Music (Grieg, ABBA, Cardigans, A-Ha, the Hives, Mando Diao, In Flames, Refused, Röyksopp...)

    2 28.57%
  • Furniture (IKEA...)

    2 28.57%
  • Democratic welfare state systems

    3 42.86%
  • Skype

    1 14.29%
  • Various small inventions (paper clip, cheese slicer, safety matches, spray can...)

    1 14.29%
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Thread: Greatest Scandinavian contribution(s) to the world

  1. #1
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    Question Greatest Scandinavian contribution(s) to the world



    I figured it might be more interesting to group all four Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland) together for this topic since they shared the same Norse origin until the Middle Ages and they have subsequently split up, united again, of partly united for most of their history until the final independence of Noway in 1905 and Iceland in 1944.

    As usual I will wait for your suggestions before opening up the poll.

    Here are a few ideas :

    - World's first parliament (Iceland in 930 and Isle or Man in 979)
    - Celsius thermometer scale and pH scale
    - Lego blocks
    - IKEA
    - Nobel Prizes
    - weapons (machine-gun, revolver, dynamite...)
    - Skype
    - various small inventions (paper clip, cheese slicer, safety matches, spray can...)

  2. #2
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    -furniture in general (not only IKEA)
    -food (roasted onions, kotbullar, smoked salmon)
    -music, from romantic (Grieg) over pop (ABBA, Cardigans, A-Ha etc...) to rock (the Hives, Mando Diao etc..) , metal and goth (In Flames, Refused, Theatre of Tragedy etc...)
    -democratic welfare state systems (providing role models for other social democratic parties in the world)
    -children's books (Astrid Lindgren, Selma Lagerlöf etc...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    -furniture in general (not only IKEA)
    -food (roasted onions, kotbullar, smoked salmon)
    -music, from romantic (Grieg) over pop (ABBA, Cardigans, A-Ha etc...) to rock (the Hives, Mando Diao etc..) , metal and goth (In Flames, Refused, Theatre of Tragedy etc...)
    -democratic welfare state systems (providing role models for other social democratic parties in the world)
    -children's books (Astrid Lindgren, Selma Lagerlöf etc...)
    Good suggestions, except for the food for two reasons :

    - roasted onions and smoked salmon aren't specifically Scandinavian
    - Scandinavian food isn't so famous and indeed it's quite hard to find Scandinavian restaurants (except at IKEA) in most countries, even in Europe. For example, there are nearly 2000 restaurants in Brussels (among which only one third are Belgian or French cuisine), and there are only two Scandinavian restaurants, including a tavern/pub that serves more drink than food. My point is that many world cuisines can be listed as great contribution to the world, but Scandinavian cuisine doesn't rank high in that list.

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    Country: France



    Electronic music (Röyksopp, slagsmålsklubben)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Good suggestions, except for the food for two reasons :

    - roasted onions and smoked salmon aren't specifically Scandinavian
    - Scandinavian food isn't so famous and indeed it's quite hard to find Scandinavian restaurants (except at IKEA) in most countries, even in Europe. For example, there are nearly 2000 restaurants in Brussels (among which only one third are Belgian or French cuisine), and there are only two Scandinavian restaurants, including a tavern/pub that serves more drink than food. My point is that many world cuisines can be listed as great contribution to the world, but Scandinavian cuisine doesn't rank high in that list.
    I wasn't really sure about food either, actually I was thinking about Kottbullar and roasted onions in first place, because that is what everyone associates in Germany with Scandinavian food. Roasted onions are often imported from Denmark or at least advertised as such. Strangely, hot dog street vendors (with hot dogs topped with roasted onions) here are often marketed as Scandinavian, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Electronic music (Röyksopp, slagsmålsklubben)
    I was thinking about Röyksopp, too! But generally speaking, Scandinavians were neither pioneers in electronic music, nor is their market share one of the greatest. France and UK are way more important in that respect!

    This is a nice piece, though:


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    Why you group the nordic countries together as one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    France and UK are way more important in that respect!
    The undisputed pioneers of electronic music are Kraftwerk from Germany. They started in 1970.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    I was thinking about Röyksopp, too! But generally speaking, Scandinavians were neither pioneers in electronic music, nor is their market share one of the greatest. France and UK are way more important in that respect!

    This is a nice piece, though:

    Generally speaking, Electronic music is the only current musical genre where Europeans are leaders.
    Though, French electro is turning too comercial (david guetta, ...) to me.
    I agree with you, Röyksopp is great. I recently discovered slagsmålsklubben (Sweden) who are pretty awesome too.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    The undisputed pioneers of electronic music are Kraftwerk from Germany. They started in 1970.
    Germans have definately been pioneers in electronic music. And today, all clubs in Berlin with a certain reputation play electronic music only. However, I don't know how big it's impact on other countries is today.

    @spongetaro
    I haven't heard about Slagsmalsklubben before, but it sounds very interesting!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    However, I don't know how big it's impact on other countries is today.
    Slagsmalsklubben sounds much like Kraftwerk to me, just better. Take Depeche Mode, the oldest and most famous synth-band from UK, itself claimed to be mostly influenced by Kraftwerk during their first years. I think even modern Techno is considered to have its roots in Kraftwerk.
    There are so many talented and innovative contemporary musicians in sweden, but they are rather late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    The undisputed pioneers of electronic music are Kraftwerk from Germany. They started in 1970.
    Pierre Henry's Psyche Rock is older (1967), though its influence on current elctronic music is indirect.

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    The Classical musical contribution is definately under-rated. Aside from the more well-known Sibelius, Grieg, and Nielsen there are other wonderful composers such as Svendsen, Halvorsen, Stenhammar, Alfven and Gade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mzungu mchagga View Post
    -furniture in general (not only IKEA)
    -food (roasted onions, kotbullar, smoked salmon)
    -music, from romantic (Grieg) over pop (ABBA, Cardigans, A-Ha etc...) to rock (the Hives, Mando Diao etc..) , metal and goth (In Flames, Refused, Theatre of Tragedy etc...)
    -democratic welfare state systems (providing role models for other social democratic parties in the world)
    -children's books (Astrid Lindgren, Selma Lagerlöf etc...)


    Scandinavian contribution to the world is mostly cultural. Tolerance, good taste for art, harmony, work ethics.
    Technically I can't think of anything in the sense that: I badly want this because its Scandinavian.
    The explosives that were invented by Nobel have killed millions of souls so if you want to call that contribution, I am not sure.
    Short: Nothing game changing. Minor contribution in math, machinery, linguistics or sciences in general.
    Ikea is a symbol of overpriced, artless furniture. I have visited the IKEA superstore in NYC.
    Since I am from the south, I have seen a lot of short and deformed Southern people. Scandinavians are generally well proportioned, good looking people,well mannered folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by albanopolis View Post
    Scandinavian contribution to the world is mostly cultural. Tolerance, good taste for art, harmony, work ethics.
    Wouldn't that be social instead of cultural ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkie View Post
    The Classical musical contribution is definately under-rated. Aside from the more well-known Sibelius, Grieg, and Nielsen there are other wonderful composers such as Svendsen, Halvorsen, Stenhammar, Alfven and Gade.
    Scandinavian classical composers are underrated because they only represent a small fraction of the great names of classical music. But Scandinavians shouldn't feel bad. The Brits didn't do any better, and neither did the Dutch, Belgians, Spaniards, Portuguese, etc. Even the French pale in comparison of the Germans, Austrians and Russians. There is not a single French composer in my top 10 favourites.

    It's funny how countries with a lot of Y-haplogroup R1a (be it Germanic or Slavic) tend to produce much better classical composers than other countries. In German-speaking countries, the majority of the great composers are either Austrian (Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, Mahler, J. Strauss I & II, Bruckner) or East German (Bach, Schumann, Wagner, Telemann), where R1a is higher than in the west. Even Brahms, who was from Hamburg, is from a region of Germany with higher R1a than average. The only notable exception was Beethoven.

    There are also many outstanding Polish and Hungarian composers (Chopin, Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly). Even in Scandinavia, the most famous composer is Grieg, who comes from R1a-rich Norway. And naturally many of the very best composers were Russian (Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Stravinsky).

    I am not implying that possessing an R1a Y-chromosome increases one's genetic predisposition to excel at classical music. But there could nevertheless be autosomal variants found in the ancient R1a gene pool that would have such an effect. If only the full genomes of these great composers could be tested and analysed, it may be possible to find a common genetic predisposition among most of them, and the frequency of those alleles in a population may be roughly proportional to that of R1a.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 26-10-14 at 10:16.

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    How is it that on a post about Scandinavian countries I see no mention of Finland?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabeho View Post
    How is it that on a post about Scandinavian countries I see no mention of Finland?
    Because Finland isn't in Scandinavia. It would be like asking why we don't discuss Ireland in a thread about Britain.

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    I don't think so. Actually, the matter on how to name Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland is not steadfast.

    You can see free variation of the use of "Scandinavia" and "Nordic countries" to define them, although Scandinavia has indeed a stricter sense (including only the kingdoms, but not Iceland) whereas Nordic countries defines them as a whole.

    Considering the contributions above-mentioned, and that even Iceland is mentioned, I think a mention of Finland is due.

    Finland has been integrated into the Nordic mainstream of culture and society. They too have famous Children books (Moomin), design (Arabia, Iittala, Marimekko) as well as a Democratic welfare state.

    They might actually have even more inventions than Norway, as most inventions there actually seem to be from either Sweden or Denmark.

    Just a point of mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabeho View Post
    I don't think so. Actually, the matter on how to name Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland is not steadfast.

    You can see free variation of the use of "Scandinavia" and "Nordic countries" to define them, although Scandinavia has indeed a stricter sense (including only the kingdoms, but not Iceland) whereas Nordic countries defines them as a whole.

    Considering the contributions above-mentioned, and that even Iceland is mentioned, I think a mention of Finland is due.

    Finland has been integrated into the Nordic mainstream of culture and society. They too have famous Children books (Moomin), design (Arabia, Iittala, Marimekko) as well as a Democratic welfare state.

    They might actually have even more inventions than Norway, as most inventions there actually seem to be from either Sweden or Denmark.

    Just a point of mine.
    It's not really a matter of opinion. Scandinvia defines countries of Scandinavian language (a branch of Germanic languages), culture and ancestry. The Finns are an Uralic people, hence not Scandinavian, except if you count the Swedish minority. It's true that Finland used to be part of Sweden for many centuries, but by that logic Belgium is Hispanic then (having been part of the Spanish Empire for as long as Spanish colonies in the Americas).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It's not really a matter of opinion. Scandinvia defines countries of Scandinavian language (a branch of Germanic languages), culture and ancestry. The Finns are an Uralic people, hence not Scandinavian, except if you count the Swedish minority. It's true that Finland used to be part of Sweden for many centuries, but by that logic Belgium is Hispanic then (having been part of the Spanish Empire for as long as Spanish colonies in the Americas).
    In cases where Finland is included, I usually see the term "Fennoscandia."

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    It's still a little bit strange not to see a single mention of Finland.


    If the post were named "What is/are the greatest North Germanic contributions to the world", then yes, no problem. But using the term "Scandinavia" (in the strictest sense, including only Norway, Sweden and Denmark) and seeing Iceland in it, it seems unusual not to see Finland.


    Now culture and ancestry. What exactly unites Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden culturally, apart from them all being of Germanic language? Iceland is partly of Celtic origin, and it's been found that 3 quartes of Finns' genetic stock is of European origin.

    What unites countries better than shared values, which Finland has with the other Nordics? Estonia is usually paired with Finland merely for their language, mentality and fancy for sauna, as genetically Estonians are of another stock. For that matter, it's worth mentioning the famous "Jante law", which is said to be one of the most important concepts that define the Nordic character, is present in Finland and even on Faroe Islands, but not in Iceland.

    Also, comparing the situation of Finland to that of Belgium is not proper. Spanish values didn't get infused into Belgium as Swedish ones did in Finland. It's another situation, better comparable with the case of Slovenia (has received Austrian influence).
    Last edited by Dabeho; Today at 17:44.

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    Fennoscandia is scholarly, in common and colloquial use I generally see "Scandinavia" or "Nordic countries".

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