Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Every Man's Right

Every Man's Right

The true Swedish spirit can be understood by taking a look at 'Every Man's Right' – the Swedish version of 'It's a free country.' Every Man's Right has been used as everything from a sale's gimmick by German travel companies selling Swedish charter trips to an excuse from my neighbor to allow her daughter to pitch a little tent right below my bedroom window for over a week, because she didn't like the way the tent looked in her backyard.

According to the Swedish constitution (Did I even know there was such a thing?) everyone in Sweden is entitled to Every Man's Right – that is the right to explore nature, to sleep outdoors, and to eat wild berries and things wherever one my find them irregardless of who own's the land. This may sound frivolous at first, but remember that in the US I am pretty sure we have the right to shoot those who trespass against us first, and ask questions later. So a little roaming is a bit of a luxury, is it not?

There are a few exceptions – from what I can ascertain (from my battle with the neighbor mentioned above)

  1. The tent you are pitching must be a certain distance from houses/living accommodations
  2. You can only pick what is reasonable for you to eat as an individual

There is a rumor that German travel companies sell 'Every Man's Right licenses – but you don't need them. The rights are good for everyone.

Another real perk about Sweden is that Heart-worm is pretty non-existent here. Although with globalization I expect it will be here shortly, there isn't a great risk of eating wild berries and other goodies. So you can enjoy them all the more. But it would really suck to be the first known case of Heart-worm caught in Sweden.

Oh and sticking with our gender perspective, I should probably be calling this Every Man and Woman's Right.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is a neat thing. We roam all over the forest and other people's cow pastures and whatnot, and it's so fun. People even put little gates in their fences so people can wander.