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Sambo and avoliitto The man or woman in an unregistered partnership is referred to as ones sambo in Sweden or as an avoliitto in Finland. It is also relevant to remember that domestic life and marriage customs are not set in concrete, but have in fact changed and developed over the centuries.

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While the older repertoire has traditionally been performed mainly by solo fiddlers, gammaldans have fostered an ensemble tradition in which the instrumentation and arrangements constitute a group performance-style, with well-defined interactions between the melody and the backing section.

Women are highly underrepresented in the written history of the genre, presented as invisible or ‘exotic’ and exceptional.

The Sámi (an indigenous people of northern Scandinavia) have a distinct tradition of joik, a form of chanting evoking the essence of a place, person or even an animal.

Among the instrumental styles of Nordic folk music, fiddle-based dance music has drawn the most attention from contemporary musicians.

Twelfth century troubadours are given the credit for popularizing the notion of courtly love as we know it today.

One thing that makes marriage special in Scandinavia, compared to North America, is that Scandinavians frequently wait to marry until after they have had one or more childrenhence the statistics about children born out of wedlock.

A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock.

Sixty percent of first-born children have unmarried parents, Kurz declared.

No stigma In fact, the argument by Kurz and other researchers in the USA that marriage is dying in Scandinavia is debatable. Perhaps the great British statesman Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) had a point when he remarked: There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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