Swedish Culture, Food and Diet Edit

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Tradition and preservation of a national heritage is what makes the Swedish culture, a great culture. One can find influence of England, Finland, Germany and Russia on Swedish culture. The Swedish culture exhibits a spirit of friendship and willingness to march towards the modernization, at the same time preserving the past. Swedish is the main language of Sweden. It is the official language of Sweden. Other languages spoken are Finnish, Lappish, Norwegian, Arabic and Danish.

Apart from Lutheran Christianity, numerous churches and sects are found in Sweden. A large number of immigrants are either Catholics or Muslims. In recent years, Hindus and Buddhists immigrants have settled down in Sweden.

Sweden is most well known as home to the world famous Nobel Prize, named for Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. The Nobel Prize is awarded every year for excellence in the field of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine or Physiology, Literature and Peace.

Sweden is also home to Carolus Linneaus who had succeeded at classifying all the plants and animals into different species giving them individually unique names. Major occupation in Sweden is agriculture. About 74% of population rely on agriculture. Adults are mainly employed in industries and office work in the public sector.

Major festivals that are celebrated in Sweden are, Nyarsdagen, Swedish New Year Day, Trettondag Jul (Twelfth Day, Epiphany or Holy Kings' Day) comes on January 6. Tjugondag Knut (Saint Knut's Day) on January 13, celebrated with dances and, finally, by dismantling the Christmas trees lighted for the last time on this night, Fastlagsafton (Shrove Tuesday), Fastlagen (Lenten Period)- The forty day fast (excluding Sundays) that precedes Easter. Skartorsdag(Holy Thursday) The Thursday preceding Easter, LANGFRED AGEN (Good Friday) The Friday preceding Easter, Paskdaken (Easter Sunday), Annadag Pask (Easter Monday) The Monday after Easter, Marie Bebadelsedag (Annunciation, Lady Day) March 25 etc. Midsummer is perhaps the Swedish greatest festival.

Traditional Swedish cooking cannot be compared with the sophistication of French or Italian cuisine. Swedish food is usually simple and considered as healthy. One can eat lots of kinds of food in Sweden. Husmanskost is the name of the most regular dishes. On the east coast, the most important food is strömming (Baltic Herring). A small silvery fish. Salmon, Trout and Whitefish are other important fishes.

Norrland, offers a large variety of food. In Lappland, the dark gamy reindeer meet and åkerbär, the rare berry that grows wild along roadsides and ditches are well known dishes. The hjortron or cloudberry is another fine Norrland fruit. Other Norrland specialties are tunnbröd, the thin white crispbread, and långmjölk (sour milk). The Swedish smörgåsbord is famous world over for its taste. Crayfish and surströmming is served with potatoes, sourcream, Onion and white crispbread. Kalops (Swedish Beef Stew) is serve with boiled potatoes, pickled beets and tossed salad.

Swedes are well known for coffee drinking. Swedes rank second in the world (per capita, of course). People usually drink coffee for breakfast, after lunch or during the highly esteemed coffee breaks. Special coffee parties(kafferep) are too arranged.

Pytt i panna, prepared with a hash of fried diced meat with onions is served with fried eggs and slices of pickled red beets. kåldolmar, or stuffed cabbage rolls, a dish brought home by King Charles XII (Karl XII) after an involuntary residence in Turkey, nearly three hundred years ago is a great dish to taste.

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