Melodifestivalen 2018 Kicks Off in Karlstad, Sweden

Melodifestivalen 2018 kicked off on Saturday night! Melodifestivalen is the music competition where Sweden picks the performer that will represent them at Eurovision in Lisbon this year. This year’s competition started in Karlstad with the first semi-final and will travel around different cities, with the final being held at Friend’s Arena in Stockholm. How does Melodifestivalen work? … Read more

dag wiren

Dag Wirén: National Swedish Treasure

If the name Dag Wirén doesn’t conjure up any melodies for you, do not feel bad. Outside of Sweden, not many people have treated themselves to (or been aware of) the musical creations of Dag Wirén. Collectors of modern and eclectic classical music most likely know his famed Serenade for Strings, Op. 11, although he … Read more

midsummer swedish sin

Swedishness Podcast: Midsummer and the Swedish sin (episode #7)

What does March 22nd and the most famous Swedish holiday, midsummer, have in common? In this Swedishness podcast, Kattis and Phillip interview experts in Swedish tradition, as well as others to dive deeper into Swedes and this sexy holiday of theirs.

As the description says:

This celebration of sunlight and summer is famed for its amorous undertones and is often portrayed as a night of sin and debauchery. After all, what is a Midsummer celebration without flirtation, phallic symbols, a healthy helping of hard liquor and pickled herring?


Do Swedes Actually Work

Swedishness Podcast: Do Swedes Actually Do Any Work? (episode 5)

Well yes! I actually find Swedes to be one of the most efficient types of people (think IKEA). But one may question when Swedes actually DO their work, as the Swedishness episode 5 podcast points out:

Employees in Sweden get more paid holiday than nearly any other country in the world – a guaranteed minimum of 25 days a year. Add to that around a dozen public holidays. When the Swedes actually are at work, they’re bound to spend an average of 25 per cent of their time in meetings, aiming for consensus. And let’s not forget, they’re legally entitled to coffee breaks. So, with all these things considered, when do Swedes actually get any work done?

Good question! And as I read this, all I can think is “no wonder I want to live there!”.

Enjoy episode 5 of Swedisness!


Worlds Oldest Free Press

Swedishness Podcast: The World’s Oldest Free Press (episode 4)

So what? Well, I suppose maybe young people may not appreciate free press and being able to say anything, including the truth. It seems that more and more the freedom of the press is being weighed down by untruths and bias that many are struggling to figure out what is real and what isn’t.

I didn’t know Sweden had the world’s oldest freedom of the press, dating back to 1766. In Swedishness podcast #4, Kattis and Phillip interview Ola Larsmo, the president of Sweden’s PEN chapter which promotes and literature and freedom of expression.

Swedes happiest or loneliest

Swedishness Podcast: Swedes – Happiest or Loneliest People in the World? (episode 3)

SI’s podcast all about Sweden, Swedishness, in podcast #3 looks at the question: Are Swedes the happiest or the loneliest people in the world?

Swedes are known as one of the happiest people on earth, and why not? With 5 weeks paid vacation, and a state that takes care of you (and you take care of it back), there is no wonder.

But are Swedes becoming too independent? Some argue yes.

What are your thoughts Swedish Freaks?

Will Sweden be run by robots?

Swedishness Podcast: Will Sweden Be First to Be Run by Robots? (episode 2)

Swedishness is the newly released podcast from SI, Swedish Institute. Last time Kattis Ahlström and her co-host and Swedish resident for 12 years, Philip O’Connor, discussed parental leave in Sweden.

This time they discuss the point to which Swede’s adapt to technology. They are already headed to be the first cashless country. Now robots?

Kattis and Philip interview Amy Loutfi, a Canadian professor in AI and robotics who specializes in human-robot interaction at Örebro University and Andreas Ekström, a journalist at Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, and an advocate for digital equality.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below!