Монологи на английском языке с текстом и переводом. №23. Тема: Какие на самом деле жители Швеции.

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A lot of people think of us as cold and reserved, and often depressed, maybe even suicidal, but I don't think this is a good description of us. I suppose it's true that we have a tendency to be rather melancholic, maybe because of our long dark winters, but I don't think our suicide rate is especially high at all.
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I think the Swedes do take life very seriously. And we are very self-conscious, especially in social situations, so maybe we do sometimes appear to be quite shy and cold when you first meet us. But, when you get to know a Swede, I think you will find us to be very friendly and hospitable. Even, may I say, warm.
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I think another very common characteristic of Swedish people is a wish to avoid conflict. It's not a coincidence that the Swedish army has not fought in a war for 200 years. But even in our day-to-day life we always try to reach agreement with each other, we don't like fighting or arguing. Personally, I think that's a very positive feature of the Swedish personality.
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I think as a nation we are very patriotic - maybe because we are such a small country. If you go to Sweden, you will see the Swedish flag everywhere you go: on houses, on the tables in restaurants, even on birthday cakes. We are great nature lovers - we love being in the countryside. In the winter we ski and in the summer we walk and have picnics. We are also very ecologically minded. We also believe very passionately in protecting the environment - we are very good at recycling and at using cleaner and greener technologies.
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Oh, and Swedish men are very good in the house - that's something people always think of us and it's true. It is not uncommon in Sweden for the woman to go out to work and for the man to stay at home looking after the house and after a young baby. I think I can say that Swedish men are very good at changing nappies.
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