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The melting pot

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?

Posted by Bruno

Speaking Swedish

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?

Posted by Bruno

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.

Posted by Bruno

About pink power

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.

Posted by Bruno

Swedish news

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:

Posted by Bruno

Swedish achievements

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.

Posted by Bruno

Politics for fun

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.

Posted by Bruno

Finns vs. Swedes

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 Umeå (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.

Posted by Bruno