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Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:20

Good Reads 16/02/12

Each week, two E&M editors share their favourite European reads. From blog posts to essays, it can be anything that amused them, worried them or got them thinking about Europe.

carmen

Carmen, Brain Editor

ENVIOUS OF THE SWEDISH AND NORWEGIAN PAST

While the "Occupy" movement is still silently going on without much media attention, maybe it's time we cool our heads and think about how to distribute the world's wealth better (utopian thoughts – I know) without shedding any more blood. The article "How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the '1 percent'" not only gives an insight into the under-reported historical struggle of the working and the middle class in Sweden and Norway, but also shows the possibility of achieving an "enviable standard of living" with the 99% in charge. Although I'm sceptical about how this historical movement can be applied to the present situation, at least this is something you can use as a conversation starter with a Swede or a Norwegian at the next party.

HUMOUR KNOWS BOUNDARIES

Ever wonder how humour works differently in different European countries? What a Greek finds funny does not entertain a German; and what the German population has found funny (for decades) seems to puzzle the British. In the article "What's German for funny?", author Philip Oltermann looked into the iconic German Christmas comedy sketch "Dinner for One," which was based on a British production. Ironically, even though the British public failed to understand what's really so funny about it, this same sketch has been played in Germany during Christmas time every year, since 1972! Thought that humour had its own language? Think again!

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