Thursday, August 19, 2010


Photo © Viktor Trappsteg

The American weekly magazine NEWSWEEK has made a list of the best countries to live. Finland comes first, then Switzerland and then Sweden.

This might come as a surprise to most Swedes who maintain a healthy skepticism towards their own country. There is no room for expressions in the public dialogue such as "I am proud to be Swedish" or "God bless Sweden". It would be considered over-the-top or simply peculiar. Hard to explain to Americans maybe, but so it is.

This is August and the end of summer. People have returned to work after four weeks vacation. An article in the local paper interviewed people how they "coped" at work with the abrupt change from leisure. Most people actually liked being back at their old routines.

August is also a wonderful time for Swedes to use their right (to public access) to take long walks in nearby green areas and forests to pick mushrooms. August is also a popular month for paternity leave.

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