Swedes living abroad

Are you a Swede living or studying abroad? Are you travelling the world?

Either you’re about to move, travel, study or just visit for a while, you might feel the need to get in touch with other Swedes. There are both groups to join and lots of website with helpful information.

Online groups and websites

There are many different groups online, especially on Facebook. You’ll find some of them here: Swedes abroad

Utrikesdepartementet, UD (Department of Foreign Affairs) can help both private persons and companies in various situations.

On the website for the organisation Svenskar i världen (Swedes in the world) there’s a lot of interesting information and helpful links.

One of the largest organisations for Swedes living in America is SWEA. Here is a link to the latest issue of Swea News. Här hittar du SWEA i Sociala Medier.

Gothenburg Horse Show

Gothenburg Horse Show is considered to be one of the most prestigious and best indoor horse-shows in the world. The event has been reoccuring every year since the first show in 1977. Since then, over 3 million visitors have visited this amazing event in Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Emma Emanuelsson, winner for Sweden 2014

Photo: Peter Zackrisson, Gothenburg Horse Show

Gothenburg Horse Show is a spectacular sports event where only the best riders, and the best horses, from all over the world get to compete. Both competitors and audiences have stayed true to the event, which is seen as one of the main reasons it is still such a prestigious competition.

Sweden has managed to win the tropy no less than five times thru sensational performances by Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (1996, 2005 and 2019), Emma Emanuelsson (2014) and Peder Fredricson (2015).

Peder Fredricson, winner for Sweden 2015

Photo: Peter Carlsson cafe.se

All the winners from 1977 – 2020

1977 Gerd Wiltfang, Germany
1978 Eddie Macken, Irland
1979 Hugo Simon, Austria
1980 Harvey Smith, Great Britain
1981 Fritz Ligges, Germany
1982 Bernie Traurig, USA
1983 Nick Skelton, Great Britain
1984 Eddie Macken, Irland
1985 Rob Ehrens, The Netherlands
1986 Ian Miller, Canada
1987 John Whitaker, Great Britain
1988 Franke Sloothaak, Germany
1989 Thomas Fuchs, Switzerland
1990 John Whitaker, Great Britain
1991 Hervé Godignon, France
1992 Nick Skelton, Great Britain
1993 Nick Skelton, Great Britain
1994 Eddie Macken, Irland
1995 Jan Tops, The Netherlands
1996 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden
1997 Alison Firestone, USA
1998 Stefan Lauber, Switzerland
1999 Willi Melliger, Switzerland
2000 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany
2001 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany
2002 Toni Hassmann, Germany
2003 Marcus Ehning, Germany
2004 Robert Smith, Great Britain
2005 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden
2006 Jessica Kürten, Irland
2007 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Germany
2008 Jessica Kürten, Irland
2009 Edwina Alexander, Australia
2010 Abdullah Al Sharbatly, Saudi Arabia
2011 Philippe Rozier, France
2012 Marcus Ehning, Germany
2013 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany
2014 Emma Emanuelsson, Sweden
2015 Peder Fredricson, Sweden
2016 Marcus Ehning, Germany
2017 Aldrick Cheronnet, France
2018 Robert Whitaker, Great Britain
2019 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden
2020 Daniel Deusser, Germany

For more information about previous winners, events, photos, statistics etcetera.

Petra Roman, freelance writer and CEO at PR Text&Bild

Falu red

There is this certain color, a very specifik red nuance, which is called Falu red, or Faluröd as it’s called in Swedish.

Falu red paint is mainly used to paint the exterior of a house, and usually on smaller cottages and/or summer houses. You’ve probably seen pictures of the idyllic little Swedish cottage with a white wooden fence and white house knots?

The Falu red houses are obviously common in Falun, but they do also appear frequently in the small fishing villages on the West Coast of Sweden.

By Petra, PR Text&Bild

Easter in Sweden

The Swedes have been celebrating Easter, originally according to the Gregorian Calendar, since 1844. Until 1969 everything was closed on Easter Friday (in Swedish “Långfredag”, or Long Friday) – grocery stores, cinemas, restaurants, clothing stores etc. Of course due to the memory of Jesus Christ.

The last supper

According to Christian tradition Jesus arose from the dead during the Jewish “Pesach” (in Swedish “påsk”). In Sweden Easter is a holiday/tradition in which folklore, ancient Nordic tradition and Christian tradition are mixed together.

Photo: pixabay.com

Easter is celebrated sometime between March 22:nd and April 25:th. Many Swedes see it mainly as an opportunity to gather friends and family, eat lots of good food and sweets etc.

Traditional food and drinks

The Swedes like to shoot fire crackers during Easter, which normally lasts for five days: Skärtorsdag, Långfredag, Påskafton, Påskdagen and Annandag Påsk.

Traditionally we have Påskmust, Påsköl and snaps to drink and pickled herring, smoked salmon, kavring, eggs, meat balls, cheese and lots of sweets to eat (see my post on Swedish candy).

Decorations

Easter is also a celebration of light, since the Swedes are coming out of a long, dark winter period. Easter means spring is around the corner, and the flower markets are filled with people longing for floral beauty.

Fettisdagen

Fettisdagen, or White Tuesday, is a Christian tradition celebrated 47 days before Easter. That means it can be celebrated between February 3:d and March 9:th.

Fastlagen – The Fast

Fettisdagen is the third of the three days in “Fastlagen” – the days heading up to the fast: “Fastlag Sunday”, “Blue Monday” and “White Tuesday”.

According to Swedish tradition the fastlags bun, in Swedish “semla”, is baked, sold and enjoyed all over Sweden during White Tuesday. This year (2020) it means February 26:th.

The semla

The “semla” is a traditional wheat bun seasoned with cardemom, filled with mandelmassa and topped with whipped cream.

The reason why the semla is quite heavy is the period of fast that follows – you’re supposed to “fatten up” in order to go through it successfully.

Lösgodis – Swedish candy

Lösgodis is various kinds of candy (see photos) that are sold separatly. People pick their favourites and put them in a “candy bag” or a “candy cup” before they weigh it and pay for it.

In Sweden people eat quite a lot of sweets and candy. Or as we call it: lösgodis (or smågodis). 2009 the Swedes ate more candy than any other population in the world* – around 18 kilos per person (about 40 pounds).

Swedish lösgodis is now spread globally, mainly through the Swedish furniture store Ikea, but also through export. 2014 Ikea sold lösgodis in 20 or more European stores, and the plan was to offer it in North America and Asia too.

*The large consumtion of candy is one of the reasons that obecity is an increasing problem in Sweden, especially among younger people.

Jan Eliasson

Former politician, diplomat and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson was born in 1940 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Jan was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by the Swedish government in 2006, and worked as Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly between 2012-2016.

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Photo: aftonbladet.se

In the early eighties Eliasson worked as advisor in the war between Iran and Irak, and in 1988-1991 he operated as ambassador to the UN in New York City. In October 1994 Jan had a role as a mediator in the war between Armenia and Azerbajdzjan. 

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Photo: Getty Images

Eliasson went back to New York as ambassador for The UN assembly between 2000 and 2005, and in 2005 he was the first Swede ever to be elected Secreteray-General of the United Nations.

 

Statistics

Weddings

During 2018 about 51 000 people got married, a number that has been consistent for the past couple of years. 2001 the number of marriages hit a low point with just 39 000 weddings. In 2010 there was a peak and about 57 000 people got married. 

Divorces

During 2018 about 25 000 people got divorced, a number that almost doubled compared to year before. The number of divorce has varied during 2000, but statistics show the number is rising consistantly.

In 2005 the number of divorce was lower than in many years with “only” 21 000 divorces. In 2013 there was a peak when around 27 000 couples went their separate ways.

The average number of years couples stay married is 11,3 years.

Households

There are around 10 million inhabitants and close to 5 million  households in Sweden. Close to 1,8 million of these households consists of one person or a single parent with one or two children. The rest of the population share a household with a partner, a family or one or more friends. 

Relocations within Sweden

During 2018 people moved close to 1,5 million times within the country. Often people don’t move very far, and two out of three relocations are made within the same area.

The past couple of years moving has become even more common, probably due to the increased number in population and divorces.

Relocations to other countries

During the last decade the number of relocations outside of Sweden has varied. In 2018 about 47 000 people left Sweden to settle down somewhere else. The most common countries  for Swedes to move to are Denmark, Norway and Great Britain.

Common baby names

In 2017 Alice and William were the two most common baby names. The number of babies named Maryam and Matteo was higher than ever the same year.

Alice was the number one name for girls in 2016 too. For boys it was Oscar. These two names have been on the top of the list five times each since 1998.

The statistics are from the Swedish institute of statistics, SCB

 

 

 

 

Sweden´s economy

The Swedish parliament

The Swedish parliament contains of 349 elected representatives whos main responsibility is to enact new laws and make decisions about the state maintenance. Their job is mainly to consider proposals and questions from the various committees and from the government.

In order to keep the proposals separated they use different terms: proposals from members of the parliament are referred to as “motioner” (motions), while proposals from the government are referred to as “propositioner” (propositions).

The Swedish government is currently led by Head of State Stefan Löfven (leader of the Social Democrats party) and his 22 ministers. Magdalena Andersson (Minister of Finances), Ann Linde (Minister of Foreign Affairs) and Anna Ekström (Minister of Education) are three of them.

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The Swedish Parliament in Stockholm

Photo: Pixabay

The Department of Finance

Or the treasury, handles the state budget, various taxes, the government´s administration, consumers politics and many other matters that concerns the Swedish state´s economy.

The Swedish government is divided mainly into four areas:

– The Head of state

-The Parliament

-The Government

-The Courts

Various authorities are also included when referring to the state of Sweden. Within the Swedish state there are four main constitutions: The governmental constitution, The order of succession, The freedom of speech and The regulation of press.

The Minister of Finance

The Department of Finance is currently led by Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson, Civil Minister Lena Micko and assistant Minister of Finance Per Bolund.

Magdalena Andersson has a long and solid education within the field of finance. She´s also done a lot of research specializing in national economics. Andersson studied at The School of Business (Handelshögskolan) in Stockholm in 1992, at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna in 1994 and at Harvard University (USA) in 1995.

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Swedish Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson.

Photo: Kristian Pohl

Andersson´s Curriculum Vitae is quite impressive:

Spokesperson for The Social Democrats between 2012 – 2014

Director General at The Tax Authority between 2009 – 2012

Domestic policy adviser for The Social Democrats between 2007 – 2009

State Secretary at The Department of Finance between 2004 – 2006

Liljeholmens

Liljeholmens Stearinfabriks AB is the largest candle light producer in the world as well as one of the oldest, still active, companies in Sweden.

The history of Liljeholmen goes all the way back to 1839, in a small wooden cottage in Liljeholmen, Stockholm. After time the method of producing candles by hand developed into industrial produktion, which increased the productivity immensly.

At the beginning of 1900 the use of gas and electricity became more common and the use of candle lights lessened. Liljeholmens survived thanks to the development of new products and in the 1960:s the interest for candles started to grow again.

Photo: liljeholmens.se