Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April A-Z Challenge: ABBA and Abacinate

See that girl, watch that scene; digging the dancing queen!

Let's talk ABBA. Arguably the most famous Eurovision winners ever with the possible exception of Celine Dion, I think we can all agree that ABBA is Awesome.

You know what I can't stand about ABBA though? If you ask someone to tell you what they know about Sweden, they'll say one of two things: ABBA, or IKEA. (Unless they're American, in which case they'll give you a blank stare and ask you if that's a town in Mexico.) I have a huge problem with that. (The ABBA/IKEA thing, not the town in Mexico thing, because Americans and geography are two things I put firmly under the category of Too Broken to be Fixed.) Sweden should be known for its music and its design, yes, but it has so much more to offer the world, not to mention the fact that Sweden's music scene is a huge archipelago (if you want to laugh today, go ask an American what that means) of which ABBA is just one tiny island and that Swedish design has much more to offer than what lands on our tables in an admittedly beautiful IKEA catalogue every year. Sweden is a music and design giant, competing with the likes of the United States and the United Kingdom despite its smaller population, general obscurity in most of the world, and smaller though stronger economy.

To me, though, Sweden is so much more than design and music. It's Melfest and Midsomar and fika and that uniquely Nordic passion for protecting and providing public access to nature. It represents the very best the world has to offer in terms of social justice and equality. It is, I think, one of the elite countries who have come the closest to creating that ideal society we all strive for. Is it perfect? No. But it's miles deeper than ABBA.

And on that note, let's finish this post with a feature you can forward to in each one of these daily posts:

Seriously Obscure Words For Ridiculously Specific Things: abacinate - to blind by putting red-hot copper basin near the eyes


  1. As an American, I assure you, we've not only heard of Abba, some of us have even bought an album or two... Although I admit it's been a while since I've actually listen to it. I love Sweden; one of my favorite authors is from Sweden, John Ajvide Lindqvist (it's torture waiting for the English translation of his books). To be fair, if your country hadn't given me such great stories, I probably wouldn't know where to find it on the map...I can't be bothered to learn about a place that doesn't contribute to my addiction...

    Found you through, AZ Challenge!@Get Lost in Lit

    1. I probably shouldn't be so harsh towards Americans. It's just that geography is one of my great loves and the vast majority of Americans I've met know little about maps and foreign countries and such. And while I may joke, I truly don't mean it maliciously.

      I took a brief look at your blog and I like it. I'll definitely go check it out further when I get a few more moments. :)