Last week we took our warmest caps and scarfs and travelled to the Arctic Norway. Do you know all the things that this beautiful country has for you? Have a look at these 8 facts about Sweden, which will for sure make you want to go visit it:
- The main language is Swedish, of course, but English and Finnish are widely spoken. Here you have some useful sentences in Swedish:
- Hej! = hi!
- Tack! = thank you!
- Var ligger toaletten? = where is the toilet?
- Sweden is one of the largest countries in Europe (the fifth, more specifically) and, however, it has about 10 million inhabitants: the same amount as Portugal, which is 4 times smaller! Compare the sizes of Sweden (yellow) and Portugal (blue), amazing!
- As you can now imagine, 97 % of Sweden’s area is uninhabited, so the Swedish government makes sure that the nature is protected. Most of the natural areas allow public access, you could walk around freely in nature, camp overnight, enjoy mushrooms, berries, flowers… Swedish people are very environmentally conscious, recycling is fundamental and the government is very active in trying to find sustainable resources.
- In terms of climate, the north and the south of Sweden differ a lot. The record temperature in the south is +38º, and, in the north… -53º. In fact, in the Arctic Circle, the daylight conditions are extreme: in winter you can have 32 days of darkness in a row and, in summer, 32 days of sun. How do they decide when to go to sleep?!
- Sweden is the birth place of many people that you probably know. Remember the song “Waterloo” or “Mamma Mia”? Yes, the music band ABBA is Swedish! And now one that is a bit more contemporary: DJ Aviccii is Swedish too! In fact, Sweden is the world’s number one exporter of music. Sweden also has great sports people: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, former Barcelona player, was born in Sweden.
- It is one of the world leaders in terms of equality. Sweden wants everyone to have the same rights, and actively fights against discrimination based on gender, origin, sexuality, political conviction, religion or disabilities. It was one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriage!
- In Sweden, apart from the typical Christmas or Easter, they celebrate some other traditions that we don’t have in Spain: for example, Valborg consists in the celebration of spring and involves bonfires and singing; for Midsummer, people gather to eat, sing and dance around a pole; in August they celebrate the Crayfish party, a feast focused on crayfish and, why not, schnapps; Lucia is a pre-Christmas tradition marked that involves candlelight and singing: who wouldn’t like to have two Christmas?
- Think about a typical Swedish animal. 3, 2, 1… did you think about the moose? Yes! There are more than 300,000 moose in Sweden, but they’re not protected, so many are shot during hunting season. Moose are the largest of all deer species: a male can weigh 850 kg! A fun fact about moose is that they are great athletes: they are great swimmers and can run as fast as 60 km/h!
Have you ever travelled / wished to travel to Sweden?
If you visited Sweden, where would you go, to a city such as Stockholm or to the northern part?
Which Swedish traditions do you like more? Which one would you like to participate in?
Do you know any other famous Swedish person?
Why do you think Sweden is so concerned about the environment? Should the Spanish people do the same?
Why do you think the Swedish equal-rights system is so successful? Do you know more countries like Sweden?
Do you know what the difference between a moose and a reindeer is?
What else do you know about Sweden, and what else would you like to know?