Scandinavian Julbord

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Traditional Scandinavian Julbord with Christmas food served smorgasbord style including Lucia performance, entertainment and Christmas tree lightning tickets adult $25, children under 12 $15 and children under 5 free including beer and refillable sodas. The event hosted by the " title="Scandinavian Trade Association" target=_new>Scandinavian Trade Association
Event will be held on Saturday, December 3 at 6pm at the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, 139 37 Monroe Business Park Tampa, FL 336 35.

Snus - a Swedish Quintessential

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Follow the snus or snoose and you will find the Swedes. This tobacco product made to perfection by generations of Swedes for centuries is still going strong with a big number of users in Sweden. Snus is made of grind tobacco, water and salt. Tobacco from all over the world is blended for different varieties of snus. This product can not be compared with either the US chewing tobacco or snuff as the Swedish snus is spit free and also, just like Swedish coffee, much stronger than its American relatives. First time users often get so dizzy they have to lie down and some have suggested it would even be called Swedish marijuana.

Read this excellent short story by Strindberg

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Strindberg's short story "Ett halvt ark papper" or the official translation "Half A Sheet Of Foolscap" is available online. I do not understand why the translator used an obsolete word to translate a perfectly modern and straight forward title A Half Sheet of Paper. Anyways read the short story and get some Strindberg into your life, you will feel so much better.

Swedish Tomas Transtromer wins Nobel Prize in Literature

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Tomas Tranströmer has been nominated for the prize since 1993 and is a well known writer in Sweden, he is published in 60 languages including English. I will be interesting to read this great Swedish poet in English.

9/11 post 9/11 - US in a nutshell

Themepark style museums and souvenir mongering, give to the rich, take from the poor and sick, lack of communication, inefficiency and corruption, obsolete infrastructure, the post 9/11 events depicts how the US works today, in a nutshell. The World Trade Center has become a big money maker for many, including the contractors, amongst them Swedish Skanska, lawyers, non-profits, politicians and government officials have enriched themselves from the billions of taxpayer dollars that have been pumped into various 9/11 projects. At the same the US government claims that more than 60 000 people that were engaged in rescue, clean-up and rebuilding are at risk from having inhaled the toxic dust from the collapsed towers, 28 000 of them have had their health checked and so far 18 500 get medical treatment for physical and mental conditions, for many those conditions are permanent. Not all the sick people have health insurance to cover treatment and medication and some have ended up in misery as the government hasn't been able to approve compensation funds to help the people that used to be called heroes and now are crippled and broke from their exposure to dangerous debris from ground zero. Some Republicans have argued that "it would put the nation's finances at risk" if Congress gave sick 9/11 responders a permanent guaranteed program to ensure they get health care.  There were no such objections when the war against terrorism, including the war against Afghanistan was launched. Yet, again, when the New York police and fire department asked for a modernization of the emergency communication, amongst that emergency radios that during the 9/11 attack were hindered by faulty equipment and overloaded transmissions. Many firefighters in the WTC towers didn't hear the orders to evacuate before the building collapsed, many NYPD radio dispatchers still have nightmares about them hearing the police officers calling for help and not being able to answer. Today, a decade after the attack, followed by hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and floodings, emergency crews from different jurisdictions still can't talk to eachother. The technology to solve these communication problems exists but the US Congress hasn't been able to fund a technology that would save lives and bring the emergency technology into the 21st century. One would suspect that most of the government resources goes to communication technology for the US military, still fighting the ghosts from 9/11 in countries far away. One wonders who and what they will blame when the embarrassing multimedia documents display the desperate lack of information and lack of coordination between the civil and military aviation authorities are finally made available to the public . Contrary to the government officials assurances that fighter pilots had been in pursuit of the hijackers and ready to shoot down the airplanes by order from President George W. Bush, of the four flights, the military had nine minutes notice on the one that flew into the WTC and did not learn about the other three hijacked planes until after they had crashed. Fighter pilots were sent east of Washington in pursuit of of American Airlines flight 11 one hour after it had crashed.  There is  only one factor that differs the 9/11 post 9/11 from todays' US is that the attack actually created jobs - jobs, jobs, jobs.

Svenska Hollywoodfruar - Swedes are not glammy, bitchy or nutty enough

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The Real Housewives series created by Bravo is addictive, at least the NY Housewives and the Hollywood Housewives. The American housewives manifest an extraordinary nastiness combined with a total lack of intellectualism, humanism or even sense of humor in their way of living the plastic, fantastic American dream. I cannot stop watching these group of women though, they are, to a Swede, fascinating in their pure nastiness, complete lack of style and etiquette, and open greed and jealousy. One of the most hilarious characters is the woman who titles herself Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, just like her name,  she is a bizarre mix of US mobile park dweller with good looks that has taken a few tours in the fine rooms of Europe and now is telling everyone at all times how they are supposed to behave in the most rude way possible and doesn't mind embarrassing her guests with remarks on their short comings in style and finesse. Anyways, fun to watch and make me feel good. The Swedish copy aired on TV3 is bleak to say the least. I watched the first episode online and was very disappointed, being spoiled with the American Housewives the Swedish cast is not bitchy, crazy or glamorous enough to entertain.
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Fortunately, Jesus doesn't take the wheel in Sweden

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In Sweden, one of the strongest economies in the world, where a high-tech local economy, a comprehensive system of welfare benefits and more than 70% of the workers unionized, fewer and fewer ask Jesus to take the wheel. According to a recent study, only 15% of the members of the Swedish Church believe in Jesus and see the role of the church to care for the poor and to maintain traditions such as weddings. Of 9 million Swedes, 300 000 regularely attend church sermons. In a modern and progressive society, competing on the global market, maybe it is not such a good idea to ask Jesus to take the wheel afterall. For the US currently is the methodical exctinction of the middle class so that the corporate economy handily can continue to feed a increasingly ignorant mass with unhealthy food, overpriced drugs and Jesus- take- the- wheel, the-government-will-kill-your-grandma propaganda will assure a continuing downward spiralling of the US economy and global competetiveness.

Midsummer in Tampa Bay

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Gustav Vasa enters Stockholm on Midsummer Eve 1523. Carl Larsson.

Midsummer is not as magic in Florida as in Sweden but you can still eat great Swedish food and hang out with Swedes to celebrate the big day here. If you want to eat a lot of salmon such as gravlax, poached salmon, smoked salmon and herring as well as the smorgasbord bestseller hardboilded eggs with shrimp you can go to IKEA tomorrow, they offer a generous Midsummer buffee for less than $10. On June 25 at for pm in Fort De Soto Park the Swedish Club of Tampa Bay has their midsummer celebration, bring your own Midsummer dish and enjoy the beautiful Fort De Soto Park with Swedes, Sill and Schnaps.

Is Stockholm the Capital of Scandinavia?

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I love the SAS tagline "It's Scandinavian". Very clean, very strong and very true about SAS. Boarding a SAS plane anywhere in the world you always feel right at home as a Scandinavian. Now, as I have mentioned before, Scandinavia is less strong as a brand than Sweden according to Anholt Nation Brand Index.
Some weeks ago I had the great honor to speak to some eight graders about linguistics and multi culti issues, it was interesting for me to learn that the kids had a much better idea of the world map than their parents and they are also well aware of the world's general view on the US and Americans. I talked about the history of the English language and asked where the Vikings came from, with no exception the kids said Iceland, and on my question on what Scandinavia is, none of approximately 100 kids had heard about Scandinavia. So a tag line like the Capital of Scandinavia would be confusing for many speakers of English as they could not place Scandinavia on the world map.  Stefan Saidac, a brand strategist has some comments on the Stockholm tag line in a column published today in SVD. Saidac is very critical to the tagline as he thinks that it doesn't say anything about Stockholm and that it is time to come up with a better slogan for the capital of Sweden.

Oscar to Denmark's Hämnden - Swedish hunk Persbrandt not invited!

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Persbrandt, not happy.    Photo: Nordisk Film

The Danish film Hämnden (A Better World) starring Swedish hunk Mikael Persbrandt won the Oscar for best non-English fim at the Oscars yesterday. Director Susanne Bier received the Oscar and mingled with the film start in LA and  Persbrandt had to stay in Sweden sulking for not having been invited. Pretty cheap of the Oscar committee to not invite the stars of the foreign films, especially a Swede!  While I was nurturing a bad sunburn from having spent the day at the polo fields I watched the red carpet walk up to the Kodak Theatre on TV, I realise that number one, I never learn how strong the Florida sun is in the spring, number two I do not understand red-carpet-fashion, I found most of the dresses worn by the megastars hideous. Especially beautiful Nicole Kidman had a dress and hairstyle that made her look like a mean hockey- momster.  Well, I am not a fashion blogger so I will not dwelve into the fashion flops of the Oscars.  

Casting Swedish Americans for Swedish reality show

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For the next two or three weeks Meter Television producer of the Swedish version of American Idol will search nationwide for fun, outgoing and adventurous Americans with Swedish ancestry that would like to participate in a reality show, the Great Swedish Adventure  filmed in Sweden.  The chosen participants will compete in extrem cultural challenges to discover their rich and fascinating roots while trying to win the grand prixe, meeting with their Swedish relatives. Let's hope we can a Floridian that can represent the Sunshine state in this exciting show.

World Premiere of Danish film at India Film Fest in Tampa Bay

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The India International  Film Fest of Tampa Bay starts today, Friday, February 18 at Channelside Cinemas. Sunday, February 20 at 12.30 the film "A Journey in My Mother's Footsteps" has world premiere. The film is a documentary about the Danish woman Jessie Rosenmeier who worked as an activist to improve the lives of orphans and street children in India. Through her volunteer work about 400 children have been adopted to Denmark and schools, orphanages and sponsorship programs have evolved. Dina Rosenmeier, the youngest of her 6 children sets out a journey in her footsteps. For every person who dedicates their life to a cause, their family makes a collective sacrifice... just like no words could possibly truly describe her mother's experiences, no photos could depict them!

Read this book!

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A Day at the Dali Museum

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Yesterday we went to visit the new Dali museum in St Pete. I have been fascinated by Dali's work since I first saw an exhibition of his work at Centre  Pompidou in Paris in 1978. My kids share the love of this eccentric artist so we have been looking forward to the opening of the new museum, inspired by Dali of course. The new $35 million building, designed by Yann Weymouth, who was involved in the renovation of the Louvre, certainly looks as  futuristic and eccentric  as Dali, eventhough the outdoor landscaping surrounding the building leaves some room for improvements, I am not a math genious but I did not understand how the landscape "married math science or geometrical illustrations".  And where in this vision does the ten dollar trash can and puts and cheap parasols belong?  

Swedish brats all time low behaviour during Gotlandsveckan

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My beautiful homeisland is invaded by brats from Stockholm every summer during what is now called Stockholmsveckan, the Stockholm week. The goal for these brats from the Swedish capital is to show-off their wealth amongst eachother and to everyone else. Last year they wasted money buying expensive champagne in the Visby restaurants and showering each other with the bubbly. Obviously the brats enjoyed this so much that thry had to do it all the time and it became an annoyance tourists and locals. After many complaints the Gotland authorities put a ban on the bubbly showers. The brats then came up with two new ways of enjoying themselves the only ways these extremely limited and uneducated group of people know, wasting money.  The number one obviously to themselves hilarious activity is to order two bottles of champagne and ask the waiter to serve one and pour the other out in the sink. The number two "cool" thing to do is, as reported by some hamburger chains in Visby, to order 50 hamburgers, eat one and throw the other 49 hamburgers in the trash.

A world apart

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Tomorrow the Swedish crown princess is marrying her man of the people, a man from the hicks, Ockelbo and yes I have been there, and the European royalty and nobility is dancing the night away in Swedish fairytale castles. This man is living the Swedish dream, coming  from nothing and getting the woman, the title, the lifestyle of an envied few. The royal marriage has been first page news all over Sweden for many days and tomorrow's wedding will be celebrated by many Swedes travelling to Stockholm to try to get a glimpse of the couple.  This would never happen in the USA.

Yesterday, a man was tied to a chair in Utah, a target was pinned to his shirt over his heart, and a firing squad of five shot the man to death on orders from the US government.  This, would never happen in Sweden.

Some complain over the Swedish royalty, their position, the cost to maintain the royalty to the Swedish tax payers. However, the king and his family, brings a certain air of civilization to a country, I think we can afford to keep our king and his family, to unite the country, to inspire to beautify.

Capital punishment does not belong in a civilization, bloody revenge, horror, death, should not be the deed of a civilized government, only of criminals and deranged people.

Swedish vampire book goes to Hollywood

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The Swedish vampire book Let me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist is being filmed in Hollywood. The book is a success in Sweden and a Swedish film version has been very popular among film critics areound the world. The US version will be released at the end of this year. This is a perfect book for the beach!

Sven - a new magazine for Swedes living abroad

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Is Sven an Alexander Skarsgard or Lill Babs?

The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo - the movie comes to Florida

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THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is the first of a trilogy of novels by the late Swedish writer Stieg Larsson that have become a worldwide publishing phenomenon. Director Niels Arden Oplev’s film version, with a box office of $100 million, has become the biggest grossing European film of 2009.  Subsequent European release of film versions of the other books in the trilogy  – THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST – have extended the success of the franchise.


Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her beloved uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and the tattooed and troubled but resourceful computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) to investigate.

When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vanger’s are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

The film opens on the Florida east coast and Sarasota on April 9 and in Orlando and Tampa on April 30.  I will be at the Tampa Theatre on April 30 for sure. A great place to watch a great film! If you haven't read the book yet, read it!

More about the film here

Scandinavian show at International Business Summit in Tampa

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New York New York

Scandinavian Baltic Trade Association, SBTA's contribution to the International Business Summit in Tampa was a show performed by Scandinavian teens backed up with singers and dancers from Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Arts performed Scandinavian hits from the 70's until today in a Musical Express through Scandinavia.
The show was opened with New York New York as for many Scandinavians, New York is the first port of entry to the USA. The Musical Express then took us to Sweden with an ABBA medley  Norway with the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest, or as it is called in Norway Grand Prix, winner Let it Swing by Bobbysocks, Roxette from Sweden was next followed by Iceland's most famous singer Bjork's Oh So Quiet.

Florida Film Festival 2010

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Do not miss the Florida Film Festival April 9 - April 18 in Orlando. There will be a lot of interesting independent films to view and some cool events to attend as well. Check out the web site here

En makaloes manick

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This cool gadget is made in Sweden, and visited Tampa last Friday, guess what it does!

The Swedish Church in Florida

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     Visby domkyrka my home church

The Swedish church is very present in Swedish every day life, more than 7 million Swedes of a total population of 9 millions belong to the Evengelical Lutheran church of Sweden. Our churches are beautiful buildings with attracitve exteriors and heavenly interiors. Walking into a Swedish church is a very special feeling of greatness and warmth. The church is of course more than the building it is also a sacred place and a place for communion. The Swedish church abroad is not so much about a place but to provide a place for Swedish speaking friendship, a place to worship.

Scandinavian fun art

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This comic strip is called Sister America and is created by Humon

for more fun go to

A visit to Norton Museum of Art

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I took my daughters with me as photographers for an equestrian clinic in Wellington. It was cold to sit outside and watch the riders and instructors so we took a break to visit the largest art museum in Florida, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. We arrived a little bit late and had only a little bit more than an hour to spend in the museum.

Bland Tomtar och Troll by John Bauer

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Titta på dem, sade trollmor. Titta på mina söner! Vackrare troll finns inte på denna sidan månen.
Look at them, mother troll said. Look at my sons! There are no trolls more beautiful than them on this side of the moon.
From Tomtar och Troll by John Bauer 1915

All Saints’ Day and Halloween – how to combine two different traditions

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The Swedes have a different way to remember their deceased than the Americans, however, the Halloween parties are becoming more popular in Sweden every year. November 1 is always the All Saints’ Day. It used to be a national holiday up until 1773 when King Gustaf III removed it as holiday. The All Saints’ Day is celebrated in the memory of the saints and martyrs of the church. The celebration of the saints and the martyrs expanded to be also a day to remember deceased family and friends.  In 1954 the Saturday falling closest to the Allahelgonadagen was declared a national holiday in honor of all deceased forefathers and family members.  On that day, Swedes visit the graves of their family and light candles on their graves. It is a very quiet and beautiful tradition where hundreds of candles are lighting up the dark November night and in silence, people visit the graves of loved ones no longer with them.

The Crayfish party – a perfect occasion to sing a silly song!

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Swedes have had crayfish parties since the 16th century. It was adopted by the nobility from the monks during the 19th century. The monks had crayfish since the Middle Ages as crayfish was allowed to eat during the religious periods of fasting.

Kärt barn har många namn, a Swedish saying that translates a beloved child has many different names – the Swedish kräfta has two translations in English, crawfish and crayfish. Crawfish was used by the first American zoologist that studied the freshwater scavengers. The word crayfish was later introduced by an English zoologist.
The crayfish is popular in the south of the USA, in the Creole kitchen where they boil the mudbugs or crawdads, that they are also called in spices and serve them warm.  

Ladie's Week - Fruntimmersveckan

The week beginning July 18 and ending with July 24 is called Ladie’s Week in Sweden.

Midsummer Eve

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Swedes love nature and in the summertime when days are warm and welcoming and the nights are short, the most beloved tradition is to celebrate the earth’s generosity at the summer solstice.

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