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10 things Swedes share in common with Vulcans

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What could Vulcans, the fictional race of aliens portrayed in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek,and the Swedes, the real-life earthlings that inhabit the Nordic land known as Sweden, share in common?

Well, more than you might imagine.

1. Honesty:

Vulcan’s commitment to logic dictates that they never lie.Swedish honesty, a cultural cornerstone, permeates all levels of Swedish society from bicycle sales to tax payment.Once I witnessed an Italian exchange student ask a bike salesmen if he would put a bike aside until she could return with the money the next day.

“Take the bike home,” said the bike salesman “ and bring me the money tomorrow.”

“But what if I don’t?” the Italian asked

“Then you are a bad person.” replied the bike salesman

Try that anywhere else.

The average Swedes would never even consider cheating on their taxes as compared to some of their Euro neighbors whom seem to excel at fudging the excel sheet.

According to Wikipedia this comparative scenario plays out in Sci-Fi’s Star Trek world as well between the Vulcans and their cousins the Romulans.

‘ The Romulans also act as a counterpoint to the logical Vulcan race, whom they resemble and with whom they share a common ancestry. As such, the Romulans are characterized as passionate, cunning, and opportunistic — in every way the opposite of the logical Vulcans.’

The Vulcans on the other hand are known for their computer programming, serious nature, and fondness of herring.

2. Skin Color:

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Vulcans’ skin gives off a greenish or bluish appearance due to their copper based blood.Swedes’ skin appears pale and opaque due to the long, sunless winters.  However some Swedes’ glow with gingerbread orange sheen a result of spray tanner, overexposure in tanning booths, or all-inclusive Thai vacations.

3. Logic:

Vulcans follow a rigid adherence to logic.Swedes follow a similar code of reason, which they call ‘Always being right.’Recently a woman rang our apartment asking for the Svenssons when my wife explained, “You have the wrong number.”

The women said immediately, “No I do not. I need the Svenssons.”

“Sorry, this is not the Svenssons household,” my wife calmly explained again, ” You have rang the wrong number.”

“No I haven’t,” the women chirped.

She then phoned back twice, eventually forcing us to disconnect the phone as she left five messages asking for the Svenssons.

Her “Always Right” logic clearly dictated that whatever record she was following was correct, and therefore Svenssons must be lying Romulans.

4. Contained emotions:

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Vulcans control all emotions except for every seventh year during Pon Farr, a time when “instinct and emotion dominate over reason.” During this they are driven to mate and experience Plak tow or Blood fever that results insanely intense emotions.

 

Swedes compartmentalize their emotions and let them loose during ritualized yearly events known as Midsummer, a time when the gloves come off and anything goes. This allows anything from talking to strangers, dancing, smiling, mating, fighting, fireworks, house fires, etc.

5. Violent history:

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Vulcans, once a warring species, turned away from their violent nature and followed the path of peace through controlled emotions.Swedes once pillaged their way through Europe, fighting for centuries until the path of peace and profiteering from the sale of food, raw materials, weapons, and pop music became more appealing.

6.Telepathy

Vulcans posses the ability to read minds with the Vulcan mind meld.Swedes can identify one another when outside the home world innately.Once while visiting The American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, a museum employee took one look at my Swedish wife and began speaking to her in her native tongue.  When I asked how she knew, my wife responded, “ Steven, we just know.”

Swedish telepathy also works on bike lanes where Swedes can be seen haplessly stepping onto the bike path without looking. Yet rarely do Swede cyclist to Swede pedestrian crashes occur.

7.Sex appeal:

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Swedish

8.Technologically advanced:

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Vulcans boasts the Vulcan Science Academy and pioneered warp drive technology leading to space exploration.Swedes have a penchant or innovation, both inventing and improving patents throughout history.  Their contributions included ship propellers, safety matches, dynamite, multi-barreled machine gun, refrigerators, gamma knife and Skype. Sweden’s Institute of Technology in Stockholm helps advance the international Swedish brand.  Once they pioneer warp drive technology I’m sure it will continue to pioneer the international Swedish brand. 

9. Fighting with neighbors

Although committed pacifists Vulcan history contains a long history of fighting with their neighbors the Andorians.
According to Wikipedia:

In contrast to their tradition of peaceful exploration, the Vulcans have also had a long history of border skirmishes with the neighboring Andorians. The Humans helped negotiate a peace between the two over the disputed Class D planetoid known to the Vulcans as Paan Mokar. (ENT: “Cease Fire”)’

Similarly peace loving and confrontation avoiding Swedes will throw down or go viking over misunderstanding regarding the rigidly scheduled apartment laundry room time/tvättstuga tid.

10. Quality of life:

Live long and Prosper and enjoy the meatballs! The Vulcan’s core philosophy demands the pursuit of a long and prosperous life.
Swedes also value high living standards and invest in it with universal medical care, paid parental leave, numerous holidays, etc. This results in consistently high rankings in global quality of life indexes. Now when I see Spock, hand extended in the Vulcan salute with the mantra “ Live long and prosper.”, I think of Swedes. They might not live as long as their Sci-Fi counter parts (average Vulcan life expectancy 200 years) but they sure share the same calm and steady approach to living.

Comments ( 21 )
  • Tara

    So dead on you deserve a PH.D !

  • Alexander

    You have exposed our secrets to the blissfully unaware public, we will now send our greatest champion, the Gunde-Cowboy to destro you.

  • Bertil Hjelm

    As a Swede i can just nod, smile and agree. When it comes even to conflicts two counterparts can even discuss about (nice and calm) which part who has the most “logic” approach on a shared problem. The general common sense is that the one who approaches the problem with most logic and lack of “feeling”, is right. Is that Vulcan or what? 🙂

    Many phrases are opened with the sentence “The logic approach…”

  • Pelotard

    #11. Finns describe Swedes as “over-emotional”. This could be Vulcans as described by Lt. Cmdr. Data.

    • Yes, I love that Spock envied Data’s lack of emotion and did not understand his wanted to have emotions.
      Also the Finnish drinking toast which reflects their ‘efficient’ use of language = look at the ceiling!

    • Faidros

      Finns reminds me more of Klingons. Emotional, but in a very “un-sissy” way. 🙂

  • Bertil Hjelm

    An “over-emotional” Swede is either drunk or mentally ill. We like it best when something is “lagom”, which means “Perfect; not to much, not too little”

    • mrza04

      Lagom means moderate, though at the same time something that have been “moderated” is probably not “lagom”.

      • Bertil Hjelm

        Yes, that is a good translation.

      • Per

        “Perfect, not too much and not too little, just about the right amount” is closer to an accurate translation than “moderate”.

        Lagom may be close to an extreme on a scale if the person expressing that opinion thinks that is indeed the right amount. Moderate would be closer to a midpoint.

      • szticks04

        I would use the English phrase ‘just right’ to translate lagom. It’s not perfect but comes close enough as I see it. Lagom is always based on specific situations so it’s actually impossible to translate perfectly into English.

      • James Macbeth Sutherland

        “lagom” can also have connotations of mediocrity – or lowest common denominator – i.e. embalmed in the guilt that Swedes feel if they are seen as better than someone else.

  • Cathy

    I personally think lagom translates as “just right“ not too much and not too little (or “spot on“)

  • Jenny

    Spot on! One minor correction – the Swedes have a “penchant” for invention (word imported from French to English), not a “pension”.

  • Thorbjörn Andersson

    Kul att läsa “andras” synpunkter på oss Svenskar.. det mesta stämmer faktiskt väldigt bra=
    It’s fun to read “other people’s” views of us Swedes, most of it is actually quite accurate

  • Lizzie04

    Your marvellous story and comparison seems to be well-founded. Honestly I do not remember much of the Vulcans and Spock, but I prefer to believe you. Makes me feel rather proud of being Swedish. Thank you.

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