The Russian tick

We had just moved back from Spain to Sweden and we were sitting in the car, listening to Swedish radio for the first time for a couple of years. The presenters were talking about how to protect your pets during summer. They were talking about ticks and one of them exclaimed:
Yes, and now there are the Russian ticks as well, they are lethal!
My husband and I couldn´t help but look at each other and laugh. Not about the ticks, we know that we need to protect our dogs and cats from parasites that can give them and us different diseases, but when they start talking about Russian ticks as some kind of murder machines, we found it amusing.

To use "Russian" to describe something that is scary or bad is not unusual in Sweden. The tabloids often write:
Nu kommer ryssvintern! /Here comes the Russian winter! 
 and we all immediately understand that it will be an unusually cold and hard winter this year.

The frost by the Russian painter Igor Grabar

The use of the word "Russian" in media as a scary adjective can seem harmless and even amusing but the desire to scare us in the name of profit or to shape opinion, is not fun at all.

Some time ago, the big hype in media was to scare us about neo nazism. At other times the focus has been on incest and on serial killers. An even longer time ago we were supposed to be afraid about what rock music could do to us.

Now it is - I am sure you have noticed - muslims and islam. Muslims are what we are supposed to be afraid of now, they are the ones we are supposed to condemn and dislike. We are supposed to think, believe and agree that all muslim men think rape is normal and that most of them kill their sisters or daughters to protect their honor.

Let´s make a bet. I bet that in a few years from now, muslims will no longer be a hot topic in media. Something else will for sure be considered scary and terrible, but then it will be something else, someone else.

You do as you please with all the information about things that are terrible and supposedly scary.

I choose to stand up tall, use my common sense (Do ticks and seasons have a nationality? Hardly. Are all muslims rapists and killers since some are? Since I know there are Swedes who rape and kill, but I also know most Swedes do not, I do not find this likely), I say like the Parisians did in November 2015:

Meme pas peur!


  1. TBE=tick born encephalitis
    aka Russian spring and summer desies

  2. Jag antar att det är Taigafästingen dom har pratat om på radion. Den bär på en värre variant av TBE som kan vara dödlig, men som tur är kan inte Taigafästingen (såvitt jag vet) reproducera sig i Sverige.

    1. Stämmer, det är den som avses. Den sägs ha "dödat" hundratals ryssar.