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Swedish Children’s Shows and Snoppen och Snippan Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Culture

Yesterday, Bacillakuten had it’s season premier on Sveriges Television. This shouldn’t really be a big deal. The show is one of those fun kid’s shows that aims to teach children while hopefully keeping them somewhat entertained and happy. Bacillakuten focuses specifically on teaching children about the body. Again, not a huge deal, really. We all have bodies and as children (and even as adults) we tend to have a whole lot of questions about those bodies. Plus, children’s TV shows are a really good way to work on your language skills.

But why are we writing about this show in particular? Why is it a big deal? Because before the season premier, Bacillakuten posted a short music video. An animated music video. An animated music video with a singing penis and vagina. These animated genitals were singing about, well, genitals.

Actually, they were singing about the words snippa and snopp, which are words that children and parents with small children sometimes use. Snopp being the word for penis and snippa for vagina. Sweden tends to be pretty open about a lot of things, especially when it comes to the body. Go to the beach on a warm summer day and you’ll probably see much more skin than on your average American beach, for example. But this video caused a bit of an uproar. Partly because it went viral and all of a sudden over half a million people were watching the video. Children don’t usually cause an uproar, but when adults start watching things, uproar follows.

There were plenty of people arguing from both sides. Some believed it was too crude for kids, others believed it was a way to reduce the stigma that sometimes comes with talking about penises and vaginas. And then there were some people that just think that the producers of TV programs for children are on drugs. For what it’s worth, I’m pretty solidly in the, no problem this is a cute way to get kids comfortable with their bodies.

Here’s the video. Just a warning, when I first tried to watch the video on YouTube without logging in, I was given a content warning. If you’re at work or if you’re sensitive to animated genitalia, beware.

So, now that you’ve seen it, what do you think? Let us know in the comments!

I’ve posted the lyrics below. They’re written by Johan Holmström. A lot of the words are nonsensical sing-song-y words, but see if you can understand what they are singing about!

Snoppen och Snippan
Popi-dopp-pop snippedi snopp!
Här kommer snoppen i full galopp.
Han som inga brallor har
dinglar med snoppen och rumpan bar.
Snippe-dipp-dipp-snippedi-do!
Snippan är häftig, ja det kan du tro.
Till och med på en gammal tant
snippan sitter där så elegant. 

Så olika med nästan samma grej
Kissa kiss igenom snoppen eller snippan om man är tjej. 

Snoppen och snippan vilket härligt gäng
Snippan och snoppen sjunger vår refräng
Snoppen och snippan finns på vår kropp
Snippe-dipp-dipp-snippedi-snopp!

Popi-dopp-op-snippedi-snopp
Hänger och slänger på en liten kropp
Snippe-dipp-dipp-snippedi-do
Snippan är häftig, Baby I Love You.

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.


Comments:

  1. Silvia:

    I’m Italian even though I don’t live in Italy anymore, and I have to say you will never see something like that on Italian tv, they’re so prude and narrow minded about these things there! I think the video was funny, there’s nothing wrong about it and I love the way Swedish talk about sex, genders and so on, to me it’s the best way to teach children to be open about it!

  2. Sarah:

    Hi Marcus, I love all the Swedish blogs. This is hilarious. All these children in the back of the car singing this on the way to nursery and driving their parents mad! And on a serious note why note? The pictures are fun and not explicit. We’re too buttoned up in the UK to ever have such a thing and what a positive message that they’re described as a lovely bunch!

  3. Caroline Green:

    Seems OK to me – that’s the way we are made and it would be hard to imagine that children are not aware of that even when they are quite tiny. Why make them think it is a “forbidden” subject, and in particular if ever any illnesses or problems arose.

    Thanks for the blog – I love keeping up with what is going on in Sweden.

  4. Marcus Cederström:

    I agree, I think it’s a fun and funny way to introduce children to the topic and get people talking. Nothing wrong with that.

  5. Paola:

    I’m also Italian and I also live abroad.
    Silvia you are not picturing a right, or if you prefer, complete image of Italy.
    The video was published on one of the most sold Italian newspaper il Corriere.

    If it’s true dat maybe you won’t see on tv such a funny video it is because it doesn’t fit our humor,… yet.

    I don’t think that we have a problem of prudery. About being narrow minded it depends on the social group.

    On the other side you can find a lot more unnecessary nudity and crude images on tv in Italy during daytime programs than in any other country.
    And I live in The Netherlands which is not known for prudery or bigotry.

    I think we are pretty loose on sensual/sexual matter in Italy, if there is something to do about this subject is developing respect when we deal with sexuality and I’m not only talking about the media world.

  6. neza:

    haha! tack så mycket för info! 😀

    i like the video, its a funny and great way to learn kids about the body. we live in sweden for half year now and i have been wondering how to say this to our two year old 🙂 i know rumpa, but for the “thingy” i said it in my mothers language-kids version of course.

    snippidi snopp 🙂

    this really made my day-thanks! *

  7. Karin:

    Nice blog! I’m always fascinated by people from other nationalities being interested in our small, cold country. 🙂

    A small correction though, if you’re ever in Sweden and in need of these words. Snopp is the word for penis (definite form snoppen), snippa is the word for vagina (definite form snippan) and not the other way around. Also, don’t forget the “a” at the end of snippa, otherwise it won’t make any sense.

  8. Michelle:

    Hi
    I am from Australia. We tend to have PET names for private parts eg pinny for vagina. I saw this being sung live on the tv cast from Liseberg last weekend. My immediate reaction was how fantastic it’s catchy simple and on a child’s level. Wake up complainers maybe spend your time sanctioning PRIME time TV for language and sexual reference. Bravo to the writers & animator.