So I know I brought up Sweden in my rant last week, but Sweden is really important to me, so I like sharing things that people may not know. So in this post, I will let you know 5 things that Sweden is famous for. Some of them you might already know, some of them you might not. These are not necessarily what we’re most famous for, just a few things I’ve picked out.
A lot of music is coming out of Sweden right now. Sometimes I don’t even know who’s from Sweden and who’s not seeing as I’ve been living in New Zealand for the last 7 years almost, but in the last couple of years, we’ve had a lot of success overseas. Here is a list of Swedish musicians you might have heard of: Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Alesso, Tove Lo, Galantis, Axwell, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, Lykke Li, Robyn, Jose Gonzales, Peter Bjorn and John. And then of course the ones from a while ago, such as ABBA, Ace of Base, The Hives, Europe, Roxette, The Cardigans and Alcazar. I’ve probably missed some.
We’ve also got Max Martin who is a songwriter and producer. He has written and produced songs for many of the most famous pop artists out there, such as Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Jessie J, Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding and Ariana Grande. Some people call Sweden the Pop Mekka of the World, and apparently we are the #1 exporter of chart music in relation to GDP.
Worldly known, IKEA sells cheap furniture, and the catch is that you have to put them together yourself. It’s like a dream to me, because I love building furniture. Fun fact, the only book that has more copies printed than the bible is the IKEA catalogue! Or at least it was a few years back, not sure if it’s accurate any more. Swedes try to pretend that they don’t like IKEA furniture, but they are lying.
Every Swede I know owns something from IKEA. I could spend hours there. Unfortunately there is no IKEA in New Zealand, but we managed to buy some things in Australia and bring it back. IKEA also has a restaurant where they sell Swedish foods. Something that annoys me is that they serve the meatballs with fries or mash in Australia. That’s just not right, it’s meant to be served with boiled potatoes and brown sauce.
- Vehicle brands (Volvo, Saab and Koenigsegg)
I’m not really a car person myself, but Sweden founded Volvo (which if you didn’t know what it means is latin for ‘I roll’). It’s meant to be a very safe family car, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never had one, haha. Saab is also from Sweden. Unfortunately they are not doing so well lately.
My dad used to work in a Saab factory, and unfortunately they had to let people go because of the lack of business. Fortunately, my dad was getting close to retirement age and decided to retire a bit early! I don’t know much about Koenigsegg, except for the fact that they talk about it on Top Gear every now and again. They make high-performance sports cars, also known as hyper-cars. They look pretty sweet, you click the link and have a look.
- Technology (Spotify and Skype)
Spotify was launched in Sweden in October 2008 and has since then done really well. I use it myself everyday, and I’m a premium member, which means that I pay a certain amount each month. I really don’t mind paying as long as I’ve got all my music in one place, it’s easy to use, and it’s got a good selection of music. It annoys me when artists (such as Taylor Swift) removes their music from Spotify, because that means I will simply not listen to it. I can’t be bothered buying individual songs, when I can pay for a subscription that will get me what I want.
I suppose we have to share the glory for Skype with Denmark and Estonia, but a Swede was one of the creators of the software. I don’t really know anyone that doesn’t use Skype these days and it’s understandable as it provides you with a super easy way to keep in touch with family and friends.
I don’t know about anywhere else in the world, but I know that Rekorderlig has really taken off in New Zealand. It came as a surprise to me when I first saw them selling it here, but it became super popular for some strange reason. I mean, it’s tasty, but still. Not only that, Kopparberg has started selling here as well. Not too sure how well it’s doing, but I definitely prefer Kopparberg over Rekorderlig personally. Even though it’s not a cider, we’re also very known for Absolut Vodka. Although, in saying that, a sales person at a liquor shop here in Wellington told me that it doesn’t sell very well and that they were phasing it out. I still see it everywhere in bars though.
So those are a few things we’re quite known for. If you want to know more about Sweden, feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Of if you feel I left something out that should have been mentioned, let me know and I could potentially do a part two to this post.