One thing that strikes me as I walk the city streets, is the size of children in pushchairs. They are humongous! Kids that can obviously walk are transported about by Swedish parents all over the city. I don’t know if the kids are lazy, or the parents, but they are huge!
I’ve always thought that the parents weren’t willing to accept that the children were growing older. That they wanted to keep them young and ‘babyish’ for as long as possible. My theory was given credibility with the fact that Swedes remain as students for longer than many other nationalities and there is a high proportion of grown adults still living at home.
This is why I was surprised to see the see the results of a recent survey from the University of Kent, in the UK. The survey was about when different cultures think that we stop being young.
According to the survey, Swedish people think that we stop being young at 34. This is much younger than in many other countries.
In the UK, we think we are young until 35, apparently. And in Cyprus – the age where youth ends is 45.
In fact, Portugal is the only surveyed country that thinks that our youth finishes earlier than the Swedish average.
So, my argument about why big Swedish kids are still in pushchairs doesn’t hold.
Or maybe it does.
Given that their youth ends earlier than most other countries in the survey, it’s necessary to hold on to it while you’ve still got it.