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Where Is Scandinavia

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Where Is Scandinavia"

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Freshly returned from a great trip to Scandinavia, I can’t help but enjoy the FuckYeahScandinavia tumblr that I was first shown this morning. That said, no fan of northern Europe can avoid observing that several of the countries the tumblr covers aren’t technically “Scandinavian.” Americans often find this a bit confusing but Scandinavia, strictly speaking, only refers to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. If you want to add in Iceland and Finland and miscellaneous extra territories (Åland, Faeroe Islands, Greenland) the word you’re looking for is “Nordic.”

I don’t totally understand why the distinction has been drawn this way—but roughly the point is that Finnish is a very different language from the others and that Iceland is clearly a geographically distinct phenomenon from the rest.

The larger point, however, is that the giant phone in this Robyn video is totally awesome. I also like that in Sweden health care is “under democratic control and financed on the basis of solidarity.”

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