Do you want to eat some real Swedish candy?
I’m not talking about some lame version of Swedish fish you get in your hometown.
I’m talking about the real stuff, the good stuff. I’m talking about salty and sour licorice, the cars, the bars. I’m talking about the creamy chocolate and the fishermen’s pipes. What? Yeah, you heard me right — pipes. Curious?
If you are, then get ready — because I am officially launching From Sweden’s first official contest – the Real Swedish Candy Contest.
It’s really simple.
All you have to do is tell me why you are interested in Sweden.
The person who has the best — the most entertaining, the funniest, or craziest, or most interesting story — will in no time at all be chomping down on some real Swedish candy.
Just write in the comment field below or post a video on YouTube and attach the link. Or, if you know how, send a sound file.
The lucky winner will not only get real candy, from Sweden, made by Swedes. But you’ll also get a chance to tell your story.
So, why not take a few minutes now to share with us why you love Sweden, or why you hate Sweden, or why there’s just something about Sweden that has got you all pumped up?
Do you have Swedish ancestry? Maybe you read the “Millennium Trilogy” and got hooked? Are you dating a Swede or do you want to come here to study or work?
Tell us your story.
The Real Swedish Candy Contest runs until the end of April. (I, and I alone, will pick the winner.) And I personally will send the lucky winner a package of Swedish candy.
P.S. If you don’t like this offer, then you can continue to eat the old, boring “Swedish” fish sold at your local supermarket.
P.P.S. If you want to learn more about the crazy world of Swedish candy, check out this introduction to Swedish candy at the Lost in Stockholm blog.
After eight years, I’ve pretty much forgotten that I live in Sweden. But every once in a while something happens that reminds me that, yes, no doubt about it, I live in Sweden. Here’s a list.
1. The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces takes sick leave because he’s stressed out.
2. You just went to the bar, split the bill three ways with your friends and you each paid with a credit card.
3. Both leaders of the Green Party went on parental leave at the same time.
4. You don’t have health insurance.
5. Your 3-year-old is having a temper tantrum at breakfast because you ran out of caviar.
6. You just paid $145 dollars to fill your tank with gas.
7. You know what this (below) is and you like it.
8. It’s almost April and your winter parka is still hanging up in the hallway.
9. You haven’t filled out a form at the doctor’s office in the past 8 years.
10. You take an utfart and an infart and it doesn’t even smell.
This list will definitely have new versions in the future.
Do you have your own list of things that remind you that you live in Sweden? I’d love to see it!
Visit Stockholm and you’ve got to go to Skeppsholmen island. Great views, interesting museums, one of Stockholm’s best islands.
Note: I will be taking a break from blogging for a while as I begin to do some work for Swedish Radio. Thanks for now.
Valborg, or Walpurgis night in English, is a festival that celebrates the coming of the spring. (Although it’s rarely warm in Sweden when people celebrate it on April 30. We all froze this year.)
In Sweden, people celebrate by setting large bonfires and singing songs. I asked a bunch of people what the holiday was for, and they all say it’s some sort of pagan thing, but they didn’t really know more than that.
In practice, people get together and party, especially teenagers.
For those of us with kids, we had a little pot-luck and then headed down to the local bonfire.
More about Valborg.
I found Swedish summer at the Stockholm Airport last week.
Here’s what happened: I had to go urinate and when I got to the bathroom I found that the wall behind the urinals was covered with flowers and tall grass so that it felt like I was peeing into a lovely field on a Swedish summer day.
Swedes, and Stockholmers in particular, have been called conformists and reserved — and in some ways they are. But every once in a while, Sweden surprises me.
Why should bathrooms be serious? They shouldn’t and I give kudos to Stockholm Arlanda airport for having fun with one of man’s most mundane activities — peeing at a urinal.
It’s the little things in life that matter and the illusion that I was peeing in a Swedish field made a big difference for me that day.
The Swedish government is showing no signs of reversing its plans to expand nuclear energy in the aftermath of the ongoing catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan.
According to figures from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, Sweden will boost nuclear power output by over 12 percent at eight of the country’s ten nuclear power plants.
A renewed nuclear debate
Less than nine months ago, Sweden’s center-right minority government narrowly passed historic legislation that lifted a 30-year ban on building new nuclear reactors.
Now opposition parties are once again questioning the government’s strategy. Some nuclear experts are expressing safety concerns with particular aspects of the program. And a new poll shows 64 percent of Swedes opposing the construction of new nuclear power plants.
“The government chose nuclear power over renewable energy,” says Anders Lindgren, op-ed columnist at Aftonbladet, a newspaper whose editorial pages are affiliated with the Social Democrats. “The current situation in Japan is an uncomfortable reminder of how badly thought out that policy was.”
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt defended his government’s position on television last week. He said that the world needed to learn from what had happened in Japan. But he emphasized that all energy production had an impact on the environment. Read More
“They’re just called meatballs in Swedish,” my wife told me, after I asked her how to say Swedish meatballs in Swedish.
That was just one of the thousands of dumb American moments I’ve had since living abroad. I think my wife still loves me though, otherwise she would never continue to make this classic Swedish comfort food for me. I also think she thinks it’s cute when I speak Swedish (My accent is brutal).
At the risk of getting on the bad side of my mother, I have to admit that she also made Swedish meatballs when we were growing up. She, however, covered the meatballs with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. Don’t get me wrong, they were good, but they weren’t Swedish meatballs.
The video and recipe that follows is the real deal, plus you’ll get to learn Swedish.
I’ve been living in Sweden for over five years now, yet every day I still see little aspects — I call them life in Sweden moments – that remind me I’m not in Kansas anymore.
Five things happened recently that reminded me: I’m far away from home.
1. I saw a business man walking down the street the other day. He was wearing green pants – bright, fluorescent green.
2. Anton Hysén became the first elite Swedish soccer player to come out of the closet.
3. My colleagues were watching the Biathlon World Championships on live, online TV. And they were super excited.
4. On facebook, I made fun of semlor, the beloved cardamon buns eaten this time of year, and my Swedish friends went absolutely crazy.
5. A colleague of mind asked his boss if he could move two hours away, work from home four days a week, and come in on Wednesdays. His boss said yes.
If you’re living in Sweden, tell us some moments you’ve had recently.
You wouldn’t be imagining it. Sweden is in the midst of a baby boom. The country has one of the highest fertility rates in the European Union. There are many reasons for it, but one that has been cited many times is Sweden’s generous paid parental leave benefits to parents.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Sweden’s progressive paid parental leave is a key reason for rapid procreation in this country. I think parents have less stress in Sweden. They don’t have to put their kids in daycare when they’re 6-weeks-old. They don’t have to stress out about missing work if their kids get sick or spending thousands of dollars on daycare every month.
Less stress equals more sex. There’s nothing more to say on the matter.
If you weren’t convinced that Swedish parental leave rocks, this Save the Children report is more proof. Sweden was ranked fourth in 2010 on a list of the best places to be a mother, behind Norway, Australia, and Iceland.