The Official Gateway to Sweden
Government Office of Sweden
Sweden Information Smorgasbord
I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Sweden, as it is customary in that country to remvoe shoes when entering homes.
I do love Nordic countries. There is plenty about them to dislike, but I still love them all the same.
My choice this week was inspired by England playing Sweden in the World Cup the other day. The score was 2:2, a draw, but apparently an acceptable outcome according to the complicated system of World Cup Soccer. Not that I like Soccer in any way.
Sweden was in the seventeenth century the greatest Protestant power in Europe. It controlled a powerful empire in northern Europe. However, it was decisively beaten by Peter the Great of Russia.
The Swedes have lived under one of the most expensive and extravagant welfare states in the world. However, they seem to be slowly realising that all that welfare has a cost.
The Swedish welfare state goes hand in hand with authoritarianism. Smacking children is illegal in Sweden, a very unfortunate policy. In fact, there is even an official list of names for children. Parents can only give their children names from this list. I bet my preferred choice of Seraphim does not feature.
On the other hand, homosexuality is tolerated. In fact, a few years ago, a Pentecostal pastor was jailed for preaching against homosexuality. However, he managed to sucessfully appeal against his conviction.
The other day I met an evangelist from Sweden. He said his application to study at the main theological college in Sweden had been refused because he had signed a letter to staff and students there affirming Biblical views on homosexuality. He said he was bringing this to the European Court of Human Rights.
I do love the Scandinavian minimalist style of inteirior design. I think it is very tasteful.
The Swedes have given the world Ikea. These shops sell some quite beautiful things, but unfortunately they all come in horrible flatpacks that are a nightmare to assemble.