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Finns vs. Swedes

Ume?, SE (View on map)
Posted 30 Sep 2007:

After writing about Finland`s languages and finding out about the position of the Swedes there, I spend today trying to find out about the differences between the real Finns and the real Swedes. In the meantime, I am finding my way from Vaasa (Finland) to Ume? (Sweden) by ferry. Four and a half hours travelling time, moving one time zone west and, once more, a new flag in the upper right corner of the Us Europeans website.... Read more

Politics for fun

Ume?, SE (View on map)
Posted 1 Oct 2007:

After years of social democrat heritage in Sweden, conservative parties have recently taken hold of the political arena. Which, if it happened in an other country, would not be much of a conversation topic amongst young people. In Sweden it is. Many youngsters are politically active, either through membership of a political party or by participation in a wide choice of demonstrations. Politics are part of popular TV programs like `Parlamentet`, a parody-kind of debate program involving the country`s leading comedians. Beside that, Sweden has a separate party for almost each political preference, up to the point where you can elect a party that wishes to grant people the right to illegally download MP3s from the internet.... Read more

Swedish achievements

Ume?, SE (View on map)
Posted 2 Oct 2007:

I am taking the Finnish statement about Swedish arrogance for a promise, and hit the street with the objective to find out what the Swedes are proud about. That question seems a lot harder for most people than I expected, leading me to confirm what I had been told earlier: the mentality in the north of Sweden is very similar to the one in Finland.... Read more

Swedish news

H?rn?sand, SE (View on map)
Posted 3 Oct 2007:

Getting access to the latest news is easy in Sweden. For many people, newspapers are part of the daily routine. The evening news is one of the most popular TV programs. Here`s a brief overview of what the Swedish news supply looks like:... Read more

About pink power

H?rn?sand, SE (View on map)
Posted 4 Oct 2007:

The same jobs and the same salary for men and women: reality in many EU countries is very far away from this. Sweden is leading the dance when it comes to equal rights for both sexes on the work floor. The remaining difference is still the subject of debates, especially so for the widely supported feminist movement in Sweden. I am wondering how young Swedes think about that and how much sympathy the feminists can count on.... Read more

Playing Monopoly

G?vle, SE (View on map)
Posted 5 Oct 2007:

Poker may be one of the most popular games in Sweden at present, old-time Monopoly is still played as well. In families, by friends and also by those leading the country. Government involvement has decreased over the last decades, however. Car manufacturer Saab was sold to General Motors, and the railway system and national telecommunications companies have been privatised. Three domains remain under strict government control: alcohol, medication and gambling.... Read more

Speaking Swedish

G?vle, SE (View on map)
Posted 6 Oct 2007:

As a foreign tourists in Sweden, basic knowledge of English will be sufficient to get you around the country. While many other countries struggle to improve education in foreign languages, Swedes take pride in speaking the accent of their choice in English. Making a difference requires a second or possibly even third foreign language. A bless for tourists, but what does the Swedish language itself actually look like?... Read more

Swedish Royalty

Uppsala, SE (View on map)
Posted 7 Oct 2007:

Few countries in Europe or even worldwide have been able to maintain the slightly outdated concept of a monarch as head of state. Sweden is one of them. Carl XVI Gustav is the current King of Sweden, assisted by his wife, Queen Silvia. Their powers are largely representative and non-political, but that does not keep me from wondering how the Swedes feel about the royal family, and especially: how they fit it into their continuous strive for equality.... Read more

The melting pot

Uppsala, SE (View on map)
Posted 8 Oct 2007:

So the Swedish arrogance is not really what the Finns promised me. Swedes are a little more talkative and sociable, that`s for sure. But bragging is as `not done` in Sweden as it is in Finland. Being special and, most of all, expecting special treatments are not accepted. Still, the country has produced a fair amount of heroes: football players, industry leaders, music bands. How are they perceived and how much different can one person be from the next?... Read more

08 Stockholm

Stockholm, SE (View on map)
Posted 9 Oct 2007:

My arrival in Sweden`s capital obliges me to write about the what Stockholm is like compared to the rest of the country. During previous interviews, people have been repeating that Stockholmers are considered a different kind of Swedes: more progressive and more open, but also arrogant and hasty. ... Read more

Independent life

Finnhamn, SE (View on map)
Posted 10 Oct 2007:

Many Swedish films and books are trying to make people believe that Sweden is the perfect place for children to grow up. They may not be far from the truth. Parents can take lengthy time off work to see their child grow up for the first year and a half, while the social security provides ample financial aid until children leave home. School yards, even in the big cities, produce lots of lively and happy sounds. But how do the kiddos themselves experience life and how do they spend their days?... Read more

Meat balls and more

Finnhamn, SE (View on map)
Posted 12 Oct 2007:

Supermarkets in Europe are starting to look more and more alike. Products get imported from all over the place, but there are still distinctive differences in what`s on the shop shelves and especially: how it ends up on a plate. Sweden may be best known for Ikea`s meat balls, but there`s more than that to keep the Swedish stomach satisfied. Here`s a quick round up of some people`s favourite dishes.... Read more


Stockholm, SE (View on map)
Posted 13 Oct 2007:

Every country has its special days of celebration. Some are know internationally, like the Octoberfest in Munich or Queen`s Day in The Netherlands. Others may he smaller in scale, but they still have the power to mobilise the country for collective celebrations. Which days in Sweden qualify as such? I am trying to find out what day of the year people like most.... Read more

IKEA mentality

Eskilstuna, SE (View on map)
Posted 13 Oct 2007:

IKEA is a big hit across Europe. Young and old people who are looking for good value-for-money know where to find the blue and yellow coloured IKEA outlets that are scattered over the continent. Also in Swedish households and even lots of commercial venues, the IKEA brand is everywhere. Today, I am trying to dig into the Swedish culture to find out how the IKEA concept fits in with the Swedish way of thinking, because it most obviously does!... Read more

Racism beat it

Stockholm, SE (View on map)
Posted 14 Oct 2007:

Before twenty years ago, the Swedish society was almost entirely made up of Swedes. The situation has changed since then, and Sweden is now one of the countries that allows the most foreigners in. Too many, say some. They claim that the new Swedes do not integrate with the local population and that their odds of keeping up with the Swedish society ideals are slim. ... Read more

The EU Dream

Stockholm, SE (View on map)
Posted 15 Oct 2007:

Sweden joined the EU only a little over ten years ago. Its position as an entry member was quite different from the countries that joined in later admission rounds: Sweden was already had a well-working democratic tradition and showed solid financial figures. One can wonder what Sweden expected to gain from EU membership and many Swedes actually do wonder about just that. If they wonder at all.... Read more

Crossing over to Sweden

Malm?, SE (View on map)
Posted 12 Jul 2008:

Hello from the South of Sweden! I am back in country number 6 of my trip, just making a quick excursion from Copenhagen. My previous stay in Sweden only included the part North of Stockholm, while about half the Swedish population lives South of the country`s capital. I am happy to use that as an excuse to pay a second visit to my favourite country in Europe. Question of the day: how are Northern and Southern Sweden different from each other. Answer: quite.... Read more

Cem from Malm?

Malm?, SE (View on map)
Posted 13 Jul 2008:

According to tourist brochures, Malm? is a very international city with more than 170 nationalities represented within its borders. Reality is barely different from that. A big share of the people walking around in the centre today does not have a particular Swedish look. I feel invited to do the opposite from what I usually do: instead of looking for a typically local person to interview, I try my luck aiming for a non-local. I partly succeed, but the story is nonetheless an interesting one:... Read more

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