More Than Meet(ball)s the Eye

What comes to mind when I mention Sweden?

Perhaps a land of tall blonde blue-eyed individuals, reindeer, Vikings, meatballs, smörgåsbords, snow, pitch-black winters and political neutrality? As a consequence of the media with which we are constantly bombarded, these are the stereotypical ideas which we all too often use to essentialise Sweden.

'Stockholm - The Musical' is an interactive advertisement showcasing many of the Swedish stereotypes. Try it out for yourself!

‘Stockholm – The Musical’ is an interactive tourism advertisement, humorously showcasing many Swedish stereotypes. Try it out for yourself!

Essentialising‘ Sweden places the country into a neat collection of components that can be categorised, compiled into a list and ticked off. It disregards true Swedish culture in favour of a more idealistic Sweden that will sell more tickets and occupy more hotel rooms.

The Saami people of Sweden.

Sweden’s Saami people form an integral part of Swedish culture that is often overlooked by tourists.

Sweden’s culture goes much deeper than the typical tourist might imagine, with the Saami culture being just one of many other fundamental characteristics that have moulded Sweden into the country that it is today.

To be a smart traveller and to really profit from travelling is to look beyond the pamphlets and guidebooks and find the hidden treasures Lonely Planet or Frommers neglect to mention. In doing so you can look past a picture-frame Sweden and discover its richness for yourself.

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