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Scotland vs England

The English-Scottish rivalry goes back a long way in time. There have been countless battles between the two people, many of which have even been the basis for big Hollywood productions. The Braveheart tradition is still present in people`s mind, even though it leads to a lot less violence these days. Football matches between the national teams revive a glance of the old days, but how does all of that go on an ordinary day?

Posted by Bruno

Language challenges

Foreign languages do not come natural to everybody. Finland or Sweden may make it seem like that, but the United Kingdom proves the contrary. Britons can get by speaking English in most other European countries, which for most people takes away the wish to learn another language. How about learning another one?

Posted by Bruno

Big Brother watches U

Reality TV has been a big hit in the UK ever since the first season of Big Brother in the year 2000. It has found its way to people`s daily lives, and not just via the TV screen. Citizens of Glasgow can be sure that they are observed 24 hours a day, in the city centre and residential areas alike. An impressive number of cameras, announced as CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision), have taken possession of the streets. I am wondering how that makes people feel.

Posted by Bruno

Social classes

Money makes a difference. Much more so in Britain than in the previous two countries I visited: Finland and Sweden. The traditional abundance of social layers of British society may have somewhat faded, but everybody is still very aware, or made aware, of the differences that still exist today between working class, middle class and upper class. How does social status influence people`s daily lives? That is what I am trying to find out today.

Posted by Bruno

Haggis, kilts, ginger people and whisky: I exchanged Sweden for Scotland last night and am now trying to get a quick impression of what Scottish life is like. People smile a lot here and they are more expressive than the Swedes. Beer and football seem to make the world go round – everything to have a good time together. What else is happening in Scotland?

Posted by Bruno

Racism beat it

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.

Posted by Bruno

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.

Posted by Bruno

IKEA mentality

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!

Posted by Bruno

Independent life

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?

Posted by Bruno

08 Stockholm

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.

Posted by Bruno