To be a little different, of a certain kind, a bit special and not like the rest, peculiar but loveable, odd but pleasant, strange but in an appealing way. All of this is to be what we in the north of Sweden call eljest.
When you pass an oversized cheese slicer along the E4 in Västerbotten’s coastal land, you know that you’ve ended up right. There is only one place on earth where the Västerbotten cheese can be made. Right here, in Burträsk.
In Standard Swedish, the word ”fara” is used solely when someone makes an extended trip. You can, for example, ”fara” to Australia. In the north, however, you use ”fara” for any kind of trip, whether it’s to the mountains, to the office or your next-door neighbor.
People of the North generally do not care all the much whether the grammar is one hundred percent adequate or whether the one you’re in dialogue with is slightly offended. If you don’t feel like doing something, you let them now by bluntly saying so: ”jag ids int” (I cannot be bothered).
Nalta means little. In Vänsterbotten, there is a proverb laconically clarifying how nalta is best used: Harta borti harta jer brano, harta borti he, he jer nalta. (You may want to Google it, or better still, ask someone from Västerbotten).
We’ll eat, you’ll cook. So it goes, the chant (ramsa, in Swedish) that is taught to Swedish children in school to remember the names and order of rivers in Halland. To remember the name of the dark water that forms a tributary to the Umeå River, no need to chant. It’s called, in short, Ramsan (”The Chant”).
Welding – Svetsa in Swedish – is a fabrication process that joins materials by using high heat to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool, causing fusion. If you live in the north of Sweden and don’t know how to weld – it might be a good idea to consider moving somewhere else.