Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How to Cure a Scraped Knee

As part of my attempt to learn Swedish, I borrowed books from our lovely Solna Centrum library. Children's books to be exact. The level you would get for a kid who can't really read. Babies, actually.

And that is how I came upon the photo below, which left me quite confused.

Page before: little girl's nose is hurting. Next page, father blows on it. What is this about?, I wonder. 

Upon asking my in-house Swede, I was informed that in Sweden, when kids get hurt, rather than kiss the pain, as is done in the US, parents blow on the injury. In the case above, I wonder about bad breath issues, which surely arise when blowing directly on someone else's nose. But in other circumstances, it actually makes some sense. Scraped knee? Mom isn't going to kiss the scrape. But maybe blowing on it will make it hurt less. Cut finger? Same thing. 

It's interesting to notice these small cultural differences. Perhaps a combination is the best solution? 


  1. Of course, another consideration with kissing or blowing on an open injury (like a scraped knee) is the potential for bacterial contamination. Alas, our lives have become so complicated....

    You are in a great position to observe many cultural differences! Thanks for the info.

  2. Yes that's very true. And it is so interesting to hear about these tiny cultural differences!