10 things Swedes share in common with Vulcans
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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.