Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Easter Advertisements in Stockholm, Sweden

Easter is coming up. Half-day of work tomorrow, no work on Friday, then I’ve got the weekend and no work on Monday. The Swedes sure know how to celebrate these religious holidays. And being the religious person that I am, I’ll bow my head and revel in the miracle that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rising from the dead.

That’s not true. I’m not religious at all. Easter means gummy bunnies (hint, hint to the parents back home), eggs, and ham. Always ham.

The Swedes don’t seem all that concerned with the whole religious aspect of Easter either. And nothing demonstrated this better than an advertisement I saw on the subway yesterday on my way to work. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera. But the ad was so incredible that I brought my camera along this morning. I walked along the subway cars peering in at all the ads before getting on. I nearly missed my chance and snuck in just as the doors were closing. But I got the car with the most glorious Easter ad ever.

I’ve taken one picture that shows the entire ad. The text reads: “Passa på att ha kul i Påsk!” Basically, “Make sure to have fun this Easter!” Keep this in mind as you look closely.

To your left is a Rubik’s Cube, some people might find this fun. I find it frustrating. And it’s just not good for my self-esteem. The ad claims that the ‘80s are back making the Rubik’s Cube an exciting way to spend your Easter apparently. Fine. It can be considered a toy and might bring someone hours of entertainment and joy.

But it wasn’t really the Rubik’s Cube that caught my eye. It was the nose hair trimmer. And the Shocking Gun. I zoomed in just a bit and focused on those two for your viewing pleasure.

Because I can think of no better way to spend my Easter than trimming my nose hair. As a hairy man, I find it necessary to get on in there and trim the nose hairs every now and again. Back in the US of A, as I drove to work, I would often pull my nose hairs by hand. Anyone driving beside me may have thought I was picking my nose. They would have been wrong. Had they looked more closely they would have noticed the tears in my eyes. The building sneeze. All the result of pulling nose hairs.

It wasn’t exactly the safest thing to be doing while driving. Luckily, my dear mother, in her infinite wisdom, or disgust at my behavior, bought me an electric nose hair trimmer. I haven’t looked back.

Now for 100 SEK you too can free your nose from those rogue hairs that have managed to finagle their way out into the open. And just in time for Easter. Because Jesus, being the well kept man that he surely was, would appreciate nostrils free from ungainly nose hairs.

As if trimming my nose hair wasn’t enough fun on Easter, the advertisement offers me an even more exciting option. I can be electrocuted. Or be the one doing the electrocuting. Just look at how happy he is. The one doing the shocking that is. Seldom will you see such unbridled joy on a young man’s face. Give him the opportunity to electrocute another man though? That’s the spirit of the season. As long as you’re the on the right side of that Shocking Gun.

Welcome to Sweden. Where Rubik’s Cube, a nose hair trimmer, and a Shocking Gun are all you need for a happy Easter.

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  1. förstår du svenska?! eller måste jag skriva på engelska? Vi kör på svenska, toppen. Din blogg är jätterolig att läsa! ...och jag har aldrig fått en nästrimmer i mitt påskägg. :(

  2. Swedish works quite well, but I usually respond with English.

    Glad you've been enjoying the blog, but I must say... I'm a little disappointed you haven't received a nose hair trimmer for Easter.

    Clearly, your Easters just haven't been as exciting as they could have been.

  3. That's Teknikmagasinet for you. They're Sweden's main supplier of junk.

  4. Im glad that there is one store in Sweden that takes care of the country's junk needs.

    I'm tempted to go into one of these stores now just because.

  5. Here you go a nose hair trimmer! trim your nose out!

  6. the perfect gift for any easter celebration.

  7. That is very crazy and very entertaining! I think you should check it out ;).

  8. lol great post! We're pretty big on these religious holidays in Spain as well. We also don't give each other nose hair trimmers for Easter though...or anything for that matter(except maybe a good hangover).

  9. Michael huddingeApril 9, 2009 at 5:50 PM

    Gosh! look how many funny stuff are arround me and i'm not aware! it's only cause of not speaking Swedish:(
    i've got to go to one of these SFI courses!

  10. Possibly, that ad is ironic. If it is, it's really funny. Intentionally funny. Not as I first thought, unintentionally funny. I just love the idea of a nose trimmer being fun, though..

  11. @anonymous - with amazing easter deals like that, how can you not want to check it out?

    @Xoán-Wahn - Im a little bummed to hear that nose hair trimmers aren't given as gifts throughout europe over the easter holiday. clearly this is an issue that must be addressed.

    @Michael - it does help being able to speak the language a bit. the university offers classes as well though, so its not just sfi. you should give it a look.

    @robban - if that ad is ironic, it is hilarious. if its not it is still hilarious but from a different angle. but youre right, the nose hair trimmer just puts it over the edge. no matter the intention of the ad.

  12. yeah, i know ! and i registered for the summer time,it's not granted though! since they put the exchange students first:( !
    i don't know why this word"exchange students" is creepy to me!
    hey tell me any idea how to spend this holiday gap!

  13. by the way hairy! this is the shot i took in KTH you might like it just check this out

  14. Haha, hilarious. Who says the Swedes have no sense of humour? That gun looks like a tazer. Imagine tazing someone for Easter. It's supposed to be a celebration of when Jesus resurrected and the Swedes are tazing each other. Classic.

  15. To answer your question thisissweden, I guess people like you say that...

  16. @michael – that’s kind of a bummer about the classes. That is a glorious video. And disgusting. But mostly glorious.

    In terms of the holiday… just enjoy the sun. its been beautiful out there lately.

    @thisissweden – seriously. And hes so happy to be using it to. Absolutely amazing advertisement really.

    @thisisaswede – spoken like a true swede

  17. Hey, my name is Néstor and just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog for quite sometime and I love it. I am in a similar situation to you, I was born in El Salvador but emigrated to Canada when I was twelve, but I've never gone back to live there permanently. Funny thing is that we actually did have a chance to go to Sweden instead but since my parents had friends and job connections in Canada already it was easier for us to come here. I feel very Canadian at heart although I still speak Spanish fluently and do observe some of the customs but my way of thinking and acting is very Canadianised (Hee hee funny British spelling I know). I always wondered what it would be like to go back and live there. One of my brothers did it and he did okay but ended up coming back after three years. Best of luck to you...and by the way, I thought I was the only one that pulled my nose hairs by hand!

  18. Oh boy - that was your funniest blog post yet, I've been laughing out loud reading all of it! I love how you open my eyes to the strangeness and bizarre ways of my own country and city - thank you and Happy Easter!

  19. @anonymous (Néstor) – glad you’ve been enjoying the blog. It sounds like you are in a very similar situation. Its always interesting hearing about how other people in similar situations experience the different cultures and countries.

    Especially considering your brother went back to El Salvador for a few years. Its amazing that so many people feel that same pull from a culture that they left long ago.

    I think we nose hair pullers are a silent bunch. We go about our business, quietly pulling our nose hairs by hand. But we must come together.

    Come back and comment more often!

    @terander – Glad Påsk! It was an amazing ad, look for it next time you are on the subway. It’s absolutely incredible and needs to be enjoyed by as many people as possible.

  20. Jag är en svensk tjej men bor I USA sen många år och uppskattar verkligen din Blog !
    Jag skickade den här till min bror och han svarade : )

    "Väldigt roligt skriven och, Ja, jag vet precis vilken reklam det är. Har själv sett den många gånger på väg till jobbet utan att ha reagerat. Men han har ju naturligtvis rätt, det är ju sjukt. Som tur är är det inte Kyrkan som annonserar utan Teknik Magasinet som lever på att sälja onödig tekniksaker."

  21. glad youve been enjoying the blog.

    First, I'm pumped that other people notice the advertisements on the subway. Even if they might not react as strongly as I do sometimes.

    But I think your brother touched on something that is absolutely right... at least this wasnt the Swedish church trying to advertise for Easter. Of course, that would have made this ad even more amazing.

  22. Härligt med näshårtrimmer.

    Om hårstråna blir långa nog kan man passa
    på att rädda miljön (med tanke på
    batterierna och plasten i klipparen) och
    rycka ut stråna med fingrarna. På det här
    sättet förbättras också fingrarnas
    möjligheter att utföra finrörelser.

  23. But see that's the thing - I've seen the ad so many times and never thought of how bizarre it is! Now that I'm biking to work I shall however have to wait for you to enlighten me on what's "showing" ;)

  24. @james - I love your case for picking nose hair by hand. I might never use my electricnose hair trimmer ever again.

    @terander - Ill keep my eyes out, although I cant guarantee that something that good will pop up again any time soon.

  25. Oh my lord, I laughed so goddamn hard when reading this! :D