Imagine: A Nordic Childhood
By Lucy Peters
This year’s Imagine Children’s Festival takes place as part of Nordic Matters, a year of events inspired by the Nordic way of life.
Many of the 5.5 million children who live in the Nordic countries are said to be the happiest in the world.
In 2013, UNICEF listed Norway, Iceland, Finland and Sweden as four of the top five places on the planet to be a child. Some of the Nordic countries top the charts when it comes to education, while others are considered the best places to be a mother.
But what’s it really like to grow up Nordic? The region is known for its efforts to ensure social equality, using high taxes to support family life and high-quality education. It’s possible to identify a typical Nordic childhood, involving subsidised child-care, free schooling, informal classrooms and plenty of social activities.
Many of the youngest Nordic citizens are independent (a quarter of Danish kids aged 7–14 have part-time jobs) and well informed (Iceland’s children recently helped rewrite the country’s constitution).
Find out more about their lives at this year’s Imagine Children’s Festival, which takes place from Thursday 9 until Sunday 19 February.