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Scandinavia 2017: Out with Old, In with New


The three main Scandinavian countries are all trying out 'something new' for the coming year, though not everyone is happy.

As of midnight Friday, checks will disappear from the Danish financial system. As in the rest of the world, credit and debit cards and mobile payments have made writing checks in stores and elsewhere has become an increasingly rare choice, and especially so in Denmark, where nearly anything gets paid for with Dankort, a national debit card system. As of January 1, the only place you'll be able to write a check is at your own bank, to get cash.

A less obvious candidate for oblivion is FM radio, But starting January 11 in northern Norway, and moving steadily south, Norway's FM stations will shut down, replaced by Digital Audio Broadcasting. The DAB+ format is aimed at providing better reception with less bandwidth.

Surveys indicate that the switchover is unpopular, although it's been in the works for years; Surveys indicate 2/3 are opposed and only 17% support the move, which will, among other things, make 8 million FM radios obsolete. Many other countries are at various stages of transition, including Denmark and Sweden, and they'll be watching closely.

Sweden's news, meanwhile, emphasizes the new, as the Swedish Language Academy gives its approval to 43 new Swedish words to describe our changing world—for instance 'pokenad' to describe the practice of going for a walk to find Pokemon characters (pokemon+promenad). Others includ 'trumpifiering' (trumpifying), and 'mukbang' (a Korean style of live smartphone video). For more, from, click HERE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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