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19 Dec

Engelsk och svensk jul - jämförelse i juletid

2016-12-19 15:10
Engelsk och svensk jul - jämförelse i juletid
Lucia, lussebullar och smörgåsbord är självklarheter för oss i Sverige, liksom att dela ut julklappar den 24:e. För en engelsman, som väntar till den 25:e för att öppna julklapparna och serverar brödsås till julmiddagen, är det traditionella svenska julfirandet ibland lite besynnerligt.
Jämförelse i juletid
Engelsk och svensk jul - jämförelser i juletid  

K - Hej och välkomna till Mr and Mis Understanding! Det här är ett avsnitt i en podserie där vi jobbar vidare med engelskan. 
M – Exactly. It could be about how you say things or about what we call false friends and other things that can come in handy. 

K- There are a lot of differences between your British way of celebrating Christmas and our Swedish. You don’t even open your presents on the 24th!
M - No, we open our presents on the 25th.
K- Why do you do that?
M – Because Jesus Christ was supposedly born on Christmas Day – not Christmas Eve. And we are not the only country to celebrate Christmas on the 25th. We are in good company with Ireland but also Italy, the States, Australia and of course New Zeeland. 
K – We celebrate His birth on the 24th; it goes back a long time, since long before they had mechanical clocks actually. A new day started at sundown, instead of at midnight as it is today.  
M – Is it just Sweden which celebrates on the 24th?
K – No, Scandinavia, Germany and some other European countries do as well. I’ve heard the term Christmastide, for the days around Christmas time – is that a phrase I could use?
M - Yes you could, and you could also use the old fashioned yuletide, which is a bit like the Swedish “juletid”.  But I can ask you; what is this strange tradition with Lucia? What is its significance? 
K – It is a long story which I will simplify a lot here; it is connected to the winter solstice. The tradition is a mix of a heathen light bringing goddess and Sankta Lucia. She was a saint who died in Sicily during the three hundreds. Sankta Lucia remains a symbol for light, something much needed in our Nordic winter darkness. 
M – Oh I would agree! Is there a connection between Lucia and “lussebulle”?
K – Yes, you bake Lussebullar in time for the Lucia celebrations. They are made of bread coloured with saffron and we bake them in various traditional forms. 
M – What food do people eat at Christmas in Sweden? 
K – it is a bit of a smorgasbord. This is really the original smorgasbord, with a lot of pickled herring in different sauces, salmon, prawns, fish roe, and then salted, boiled and roasted ham, prince sausages, meat balls, potato casserole with anchovies called “Jansons frestelse” and if you feel able to fit it in, you can even have a little rice pudding and some sweets to finish it off. 
M- What do you drink with that?
K – You could do a Mumma, of porter, beer and port wine and spice it with cardamom. And then the traditional Nubbe or course; a glas or two of snaps. 
M – That all sounds very good Karina, my mouth is watering. 
K – What do you eat on a traditional Christmas table?
M – Well, of course stuffed turkey and sometimes a bacon steak with bread sauce or cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts and other vegetables and of course gravy. 
K – What? You mentioned bread sauce and gravy, isn’t gravy sauce?
M – No, well, gravy is always a meat sauce. Bread sauce is a white sauce made with white bread, cream, onion and seasoning. 
K – Is there a second course?
M – Well that should be enough, but then we move on to Christmas pudding, sometimes known as plum pudding where the basic ingredients are dried fruits – sultanas, a drop of Brandy. And talking of Brandy; Brandy butter.
K – Eh, what?
M – Butter, icing sugar, water and of course plenty of Brandy beaten together and spread over the Christmas pud. We wash our Christmas meal down with red or white wine and after the meal we might drink a glass of port with our Stilton cheese. 
K – Oh, I could try that! 
M – Your meal sounds good too, lots of choice!
K – Yes, I think the word “choice” is the clue that you don’t have to try every dish. 
Mike, what is your favorite Christmas carol? 
M – Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la!
K – Thank you Mike, I think we stop there! Merry Christmas!
M – And the same to you Karina!
M – Ho, ho, ho!
K – Ho, ho, ho!

Hint: This chapter gives you some useful insights into what to expect if you are Swedish visiting friends in Britain or if you are British visiting Sweden over the festive season.