Swedish drinking

Malmo Travel Blog

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Who would have thought that Swedish scientists would live up to the national stereotypes? At the conference dinner our Swedish hosts poured everyone a glass of akvavit then broke into song:

Helan går, sjung "hoppfadiralla
helan går, sjung "hoppfadirallanlej."
Den som inte helan tar,
han heller inte halvan får,
helan gååååååååååår,
sjung "hoppfadirallanlej".

Then down the hatch with the akvavit. They provided us with an English translation, which was not overly informative:

Hell and gore
Chung Hop father Allan Allan ley.
Hell and gore
Chung Hop father Allan ley.
Oh handsome in the hell and tar
hand hell are in the half and four.
Hell and gore
Chung Hop father Allan ley.

I asked my Swedish neighbour what this actually meant. She told me that "Hell and gore" was a full shot and a half shot, and what it basically means is that if you don't drink the full shot you won't get the half shot either. The tradition is to sing the song and drink a full shot at the start, after which it is okay to drink half shots. I'm told that every Swede knows this song and that when Sweden's ice hockey team won the World Championships the team sung Helan Går instead of the national anthem.

They then broke into singing Abba. I kid you not.
Transitory says:
I do not need to be drunk for ABBA!
Posted on: May 22, 2009
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photo by: the_bill