The documentary series “The Norden” takes a closer look at the Nordic welfare model and the Nordic society from an outsider’s point of view.
The Nordic values and Nordic society are examined with an outside person’s eyes in The Norden. Six guests, six themes. The guests come from another country and through the eyes of the outsider, the viewer experiences the values and moral we have in the Nordic countries compared to the guest’s homeland. The programs shows the prison, our work, gender, religion, police and the family.
The guests seen in The Norden are experienced people from another country in one-week study visiting in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Based on their own work experience, they respond and reflect on our Nordic welfare model.
What happens when a rugged and experienced warden from Attica State Prison, New York, visits the almost luxurious Norwegian prison Halden – hailed by Time Magazine as the “most humane prison in the world”?
How does a pastor from a congregation in Alabama feel when he’s almost alone in the church during a Sunday service in Copenhagen?
In this six-episode series, we look at the Nordic welfare model from an outsider’s perspective. We tackle issues like equality, family relations, social security, and civil rights.
YLE Co-production with DR,NRK,RUV and SVT with support from Nordvision
Part 1: Prison
James Conway, retired Superintendent from Attica Correctional Facility in New York, visits four Nordic Prisons. What happens when an American prison warden visits Nordic prisons and learns about humanism, prisoners’ rights and unarmed guards?
Part 2: Work
The first question we ask about each other when we meet is: “And what are you working with?” We Nordics define us from the profession. But at the same time we work very little. The Nordic labor week is actually the shortest in the EU. How Japanese Eri Tsutsumi is experiencing Nordic working life? How does Eri from hierarchical Japan react to the Nordic company without manager or management?
Part 3: Religion
Marty McLain, a conservative pastor from Douglasville in Georgia, USA, visits the secular Nordic countries. What role does religion have in the Nordic society? How do the Nordic people relate to God, faith and spirituality, and how does it differ from the US?
Part 4: Gender
Maria “Masha” Kopchenova from St.Petersburg, Russia, thinks that a man should be a man, and a woman should be a woman. There are gender differences, and there’s no problem with that. What happens when she visits a gender-neutral kindergarten in Sweden? What will she discuss with a Finnish feminist and a Danish masculinist? And what on earth is snowploughing from a gender perspective?
Part 5: Family
Carlo Patti from Sicily looks at the social competence of the Nordic countries. He meets the lady who announced in the newspaper her wish to celebrate Christmas with someone, and the priest who worries for relatives who do not have time to arrange funeral for their loved ones. How does Carlo respond to the fact that more and more Nordics are evicting a funeral ceremony, not to trouble the relatives…?
Part 6: Police
Police captain Peter Whittingham from LAPD visits Finland, Sweden and Norway. How are suspects treated? What equipment do Nordic police officers carry, and how are they allowed to use it? What role does the police have in the Nordics?