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The Scandinavian Countries 343

denmark, people, land, norway, sweden and country

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THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES 343. Closely related peoples.—Three European countries, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, are all called by one name, Scandinavia,—because their people are so much alike. The Scandinavians are a big, tall, strong, fair-haired people. They are well-educated. The three languages are so much alike that it is not at all hard for the people of all the three countries to understand each other. Each of the countries has a king, but as in England, the people's Parliament really rules. Christiania is the cap ital of Norway, Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, and Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark.

Scandinavia is made up of two peninsulas and many is lands. The southern pen insula, Denmark, is level and swampy, with a soil that in many places is poor and sandy.

The Danes are a sensible people. While other nations have been busy getting ready for war, they have dug ditches and drained swamps; they have planted trees on their sandy land that was too poor to raise crops; they have improved their herds of cows and pigs; and best of all, they have made good schools all over their little country. The Danes love their country very much.

344. Denmark is a land of farmers.— Farming is very popular in Denmark. Even one of the sons of the King has taken up farming. The governments of the United States and of other countries have sent people to Denmark to learn how to take care of cattle, to make butter, and above all, to find out about the Danish country high schools (folk schools), in which the children of Denmark have learned how to do things and to be patri otic and love their country.

Copenhagen, the capital, has factories where fine pottery and many other things are made. Danish steamships sail from Copenhagen to the United States and to many other countries.

As colonies, Denmark has Greenland, and the Faroe Islands north of Scotland. She once had Iceland. These lands pro duce little but fish, grass, and hay. The people keep many sheep, which eat the grass and furnish wool and skins for export.

345. The Scandinavian peninsula.—Nor way and Sweden occupy a peninsula mere than twice as large as the United Kingdom, but it has only one-sixth as many people. This is because it is not nearly so good a place in which to make a living as is Eng land. Stony mountains take up much of the land; glaciers once covered it all and have made most of it rough and rocky like New England. It is so far north, that it is cold, and the winters very long. In fact, it is as far north as is Greenland, which is covered with a solid icesheet. There is just one thing, the west wind from the warm Gulf Stream, which keeps Norway and Sweden from being covered with ice as Greenland is. The Gulf Stream comes out of Florida Strait and goes up to Norway, making the coast waters so warm that, even while the St. Lawrence in Canada is frozen shut, ships can sail into all the ports of Norway.

This does not keep the snow from cov ering the ground for many months, and this cold climate is bad for crops but not for men. In the long winter evenings, family groups often sit around the lamp, sewing, or making fish nets or wood carvings, while one of them reads aloud to the rest. Nor wegians are fond of their winter sports of skating, coasting, and skiing. It was they who taught the people of Canada how to use skis.

346. has five things of great interest—snowfields that cover the highest land, great waterfalls, large moun tain forests for lumber, little patches of level land for crops, and the sea for codfish and herring. west wind, blowing against the mountains, makes heavy rain and snow, and so the mountains are covered with forests, like those of south Alaska.

The coast of Norway has many long, deep bays, called fjords. For miles and miles ships may sail into these bays, which seem like rivers with mountainous shores. The sides are so steep that there is rarely room for a house along the shore.

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