Dancing Genitals on Swedish Children’s Channel
A few weeks ago a new season of the Swedish Children’s Program ‘Bacillakuten’ launched. And what better way to hype the start off their body theme than a catchy music video …Of a galloping penis and an elegant vagina (literally translated). So obviously geared at 3-6 year olds that YouTube immediately censored the content as ‘adult only’. A restriction Swedish National TV later badgered them into removing.
As a long-term expat in Sweden I’m not sure my reaction to this video can be labelled ‘typical British’! I have three children, a 7 year old at primary school and a 4, and soon to be 2 year old both part-time at Swedish nursery. As such, there was a time a year or so ago that Miss 3 was as likely to count and announce the number of vaginas and penises around the table, as she was to state the number of girls and boys.
We’re currently in-between phases. Miss 4 has stopped with the almost compulsory matter of fact phrases
”He’s a boy, he has a penis
…She’s a girl, she has a vagina”
And I guess it will be at least another six months before we’re hearing it from Mr 1.
So no, they haven’t seen the music video. I’m more than happy to enjoy the temporary change of subject 😉
Until a little while ago I had naively presumed that Swedes had always had ‘neutral’ terms for sexual organs. After all, what list of the ten most defining characteristics of the Swedish culture wouldn’t include a liberal and free attitude to nudity …Sex, and by default, sexual organs, of course!
It would seem I was wrong.
The Swedes have had the same issues finding a common, familiar, unoffending term for the female sex organ as is still the case in English.
So what do you do about it?
Launch a competition! …Or a few competitions; first, RFSU (Swedish National Organization for Sexual Information) in 1992, then the state owned Pharmacy in 1995. Both resulting in different winning terms (snäppa, and smula – incase you’re interested). But it took the whole of the 1990’s to finally see todays term ‘snippa’ headlining an evening newspaper.
The term finally found its way into the dictionary in 2006, after a rocketing career at the beginning of the 21st century. And in 2007 word spellcheck stopped trying to auto-correct it.
And we’ve come such a long way! Today across Sweden, children, parents and nursery staff alike are humming in unison to:
Here comes the galloping penis.
And the vagina is cool, believe me,
even on an old lady
it sits there so elegantly
So different but nearly the same thing
they both pee pee.
Please note, if you’re at work, you’re reaction – whatever it might be – is likely to disturb your colleagues. You may want to step outside.
Dancing genitals anyone?
The article is in Swedish, but if you’d like to know more about the origin of the term ‘snippa’, click the link to check out this post from Språktidningen.
And if you love the music video so much you’d like to colour in the genitals, you can do that at Bacillakutens homepage, here.
What do you think about it? Enlightening or over the top?
…Would you like to sing along with your children whilst riding the bus?
Linking up this post with #BrillianBlogPosts, #PoCoLo & #FamilyFriday