The Local Sweden

'The most drunken country in Europe': Read this and you might like Systembolaget a whole lot better

Sweden's tempestuous relationship with liquor goes back more than 500 years and can make the country’s state-run alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget, seem like a nirvana. In fact, it wasn't too long ago that anyone wanting to purchase strong alcohol, such as liquor/spirits, in Sweden would have had to deal not only with an alcohol monopoly, but also with strict rationing.
The Local Sweden

History dies deep in the woods: The forgotten Nazi concentration camp survivors in the forests of Småland

History has a way of being forgotten, whether by accident or design, especially when it’s painful. Histories with straightforward and happy endings make us feel good about ourselves and more hopeful about the outcome of our own uncertain times. Those that lack resolution or defy the need for an optimistic conclusion frequently exist in varying degrees of figurative darkness – ignored, neglected, forsaken. Sometimes, the darkness is also literal – a place so tucked away from view that the eyes of the collective consciousness barely need to look away to forget.
The Local Sweden

Why being an immigrant parent in Sweden is not for the faint of heart

As an immigrant parent, I am also something of an alchemist. I have transmuted two of the most simultaneously difficult and wonderful things I've ever done – parenting and living abroad – into one big, simultaneously difficult and wonderful thing. In the great alchemic tradition, my discovery is remarkable, but not entirely what I expected. Sometimes it seems like it might be pure gold. Other times, it is as unpredictable as primitive gunpowder.
The Local Sweden

'Folkhemmet' – how a revolutionary political idea changed Sweden for good

The concept of the People's Home – which embodied a political approach that was midway between Capitalism and Communism – drove Swedish economic, social and political policies for much of the 20th century. It helped transform Sweden from a country with major class inequalities that was struggling to meet new industrial demands into a modern nation consistently ranked among the best in the world. And while it is no longer the mainstay of Swedish political thought and identity, it still carries enormous significance today.
A Bit of History

Countess Emilia Plater and the Perpetual Anomaly of the Woman Warrior

Joan of Arc, Countess Emilia Plater, Wonder Woman: Singular women placed on a pedestal, carefully arranged and served on a silver platter of inimitable exceptionalism, meant to be admired for their sacrifice, but not duplicated. These are the flawed foundations of the stories of “heroic” women that have helped insure that the concept of the women warrior remains an anomaly more akin to a fictional superhero than an accepted reality.
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