June 2, 2010
I often refer to myself as a Scandinavian (a.k.a. Scando), which is strictly defined as Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I identify with the simple design aesthetic of almost everything in their culture (architecture, furniture, art etc…). The truth is, I’m Dutch which makes me Benelux (and, well, Benelux doesn’t seem as hip as Scandinavia). Which means, those of us that are Benelux, need to do a better job hippin’ it up. Damn my own arguments!
Anyway, back to my point (which is that Holland should be included in Scandinavia). Denmark is included in Scandinavia. Really? Just because they jut out into where the North Sea meets the Baltic Sea a little more? Holland can practically reach out and hold hands with Denmark. I bet if that pesky little portion of Germany wasn’t in the way, they’d let us into the party. No offense to Germany. I have a bit of German heritage as well…
So why isn’t Holland included in what Wikipedia considers the “extended usage” of the term Scandinavian? Since it’s clear the definition of Scandinavia has gotten looser over the years (now that Finland and sometimes even Iceland are considered part of Scandinavia), I’m going to keep calling myself a Scando.
What do you think?
This isn’t to say I don’t love the Dutch culture and aesthetic. I do. I love that Holland was ahead of the game with wind power (windmills are cool), and I love the fiercely strong bike culture. Tulips are one of my favorite flowers and I used to have wooden shoes as a kid. I also love that they have Amsterdam. I think we all want a little piece of Amsterdam.
I’m sure you are wondering what brought on this conversation. Some friends of mine have started a Scandinavian-mod brand called Sur Flicka and they are now offering a line of clothing and accessories. We’ve had the “what it means to be Scandinavian” conversation at many a happy hour and they have agreed to let me be an honorary Scando… at least in their eyes. Thanks M & E!
Check out their new line of products at Sur Flicka. I have no doubt they will be super successful in their new venture. Come join the fun at the launch party this Friday, June 4th at the Swedish Cultural Center here in Seattle. I will see you there!
This is Jaime Broersma, a proud Dutch girl AND Scandinavian, signing off.
hori hori dig dig!