Northern Europe

The languages of the Scandinavian countries are from the Germanic language group and people who speak one language can understand the others. Finnish is from the Uralic language family. Almost all elementary school children in the Nordic countries are taught English as a second language.

Most of Iceland’s inhabitants are descendants of Scandinavian Vikings.

Protestant Christianity is the main religion in northern Europe. The Lutheran Church has traditionally been the state church until recent years.

The geographical isolation from the rest of Europe has allowed the northern culture to be preserved for centuries and shape the societies that now exist in northern Europe. Winter sports are part of the region’s heritage due to the colder northern climate.

Fish, meat, and potatoes are traditional dietary staples. Fish in particular is an important food source. The food is not very spicy. Northern Europe has worked hard to integrate itself with the global community and yet maintain its cultural identity.

Culture and the arts are well developed. Examples of Scandinavian cultural contributions include the Nobel Prizes, the stories of Hans Christian Anderson, and the 1970s chart-topping pop group ABBA. Sweden has become a major exporter of music worldwide. Rock, hip-hop, and pop music are common genres. English is a widely spoken language in Scandinavia, so music and cultural trends have a large export market in the United States and Britain.

Source: Northern Europe
By Saylor Academy, CC-BY 3.0

Back to top