- alla – all
- hjärta (def. hjärtat, pl. hjärtan, def. pl. hjärtana) – heart
- dag – day
You’d know immediately that something is up by all the chocolate hearts at the supermarkets. And for those on a strict budget there are boxes of red geléhjärtan (as Mats has pointed out – even though some people and even companies write this word separately as “gelé hjärtan” – that is not correct) on sale, too.
Valentine’s Day came to Sweden sometime in the mid 60s promoted heavily by commercial interests. Of course, as elsewhere in the world, retailers saw it as yet another opportunity to sell more stuff. And what a better excuse than to guilt those buying that stuff and tell them it’s all for love, right? Anyway, with varying degrees of success it kind of seemed to work.
But how do average people on the street feel about Valentine’s Day?
I thought that an informal poll was in order.
I went downtown and in front of a local chocolate store began to ask questions about whether or not Valentine’s Day is seriously celebrated in Sweden.
These were the answers:
- - foreign men with foreign wives (from countries where Valentine’s Day is a long-standing tradition) – “Yes, of course we celebrate it.”
- - foreign men with Swedish wives – “I didn’t marry a Swede to bother with Valentine’s day. If I needed yet another excuse to be forced to buy gifts, I’d stick with my own kind.”
- - Swedish men with foreign spouses – “Of course we celebrate it – I’d be sleeping outside in minus 10 degrees C if I didn’t bring her a gift.”
- - Swedish men with Swedish wives – if the wife was within earshot – “Yes, I guess we celebrate it.” If the wife was nowhere to be seen – “I think I do enough already as it is, what more could she want?”
- - women, both foreign and Swedish – “I hope he’ll do something special for me tonight.”
So there you have it – straight from the mouths of the masses.
As for me, my love promised to fix my computer. And since I missed posting on Valentine’s Day proper, you can easily guess that it ended with promises. Tomorrow my laptop is going to see a handsome computer doctor.