The Swedish lifestyle brings together a love of nature, good housing, environmental thinking and lots of culture — all tied up with awareness of health and a strong sense of equality. Efficiency is combined with a laid-back attitude, and old traditions blended with openness for new technologies. Swedes in general work hard but treasure their free time and enjoy long relaxing holidays.
The Swedish lifestyle varies greatly with the seasons. During the darker winter months, there are lights in the windows, evenings in the cinema, and winter sports during the day. In spring and summer, life is lived outdoors: music festivals, outdoor theatres and open-air museums are popular. Not only are the flowers blooming, the Swedes themselves are too.
Traditions such as June’s Midsummer and December’s Lucia are of great importance to Swedes and are celebrated just as enthusiastically today as they have been for generations. This sense of heritage is mixed with an open-mindedness for other cultures, due to the facts that one-fifth of the population has roots in other countries, that Swedes travel a great deal, and that they speak other languages. The most innovative country in the world, as highlighted by numerous reports, is not only the home of inventors and entrepreneurs but also a creative hub for fashion, music and food.
You’ve landed in Sweden and taken care of all the paperwork. Next up is making some Swedish friends and building a social life. But being a 'new kid on the block' is always challenging and Swedes have a reputation of being extra tricky to get to know. So how do you make Swedish friends?
by Po Tidholm
The nice thing about customs and traditions is that they are constantly changing. When no longer of use, they are either forgotten or re-cast in a different mould. They often have ancient roots, and some date as far back as pagan Sweden. Many traditions have been introduced from other countries, for example by German traders or by the Protestant church.
Every tenth book published in Sweden is a children’s book. Covering a wide variety of themes from dancing cows to single urban fathers, Swedish children’s literature inspires, informs and entertains young readers.
“Less is more” accurately describes much of Swedish fashion. There’s a fondness for discreet colors and a pared-down, refined look. As with so many aspects of life, Swedes tend to take a practical approach to what they wear, but this doesn’t mean there is any lack of creativity.