• Sweden edition
 
Swedish-Americans set for small screen return

Swedish-Americans set for small screen return

Published: 26 Oct 2012 14:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Oct 2012 14:31 GMT+02:00

With a second season of Swedish reality television show "Allt för Sverige" set to start on Sunday, The Local catches up with two of the Swedish-American contestants who return to Sweden to explore their families' past.

“Maybe we’re Swedes with strong American influences, or we’re Americans with strong Swedish influences,” explained Anna Brita Mohr, one of this year's contestants, tells The Local.

Season two of the hit TV show "Allt för Sverige" ('Everything for Sweden') was filmed over the summer and host Anders Lundin returns to Sveriges Television (SVT) to guide ten new curious contestants through a competition to give them a peek into their families' past.

For participants Vernon Neil Ferguson, 42, and 32-year-old Mohr, being selected was an emotional roller coaster.

”I cried. It was a lifelong dream to come here. I was very close to my mormor [maternal grandmother], who died 18 years ago and this was a way to reconnect with her,” Ferguson explains.

RELATED PHOTO GALLERY: 'Allt för Sverige' second season contestants

Ferguson's grandmother came to the United States with her Dutch husband, but as she never spoke about Sweden, her grandson knew little about his heritage.

With the first episode taking off in an area near where several contestants have family roots, the picturesque High Coast (Höga Kusten) of northeastern Sweden, the group delved into their past from the very first day.

All contestants were given photos of their ancestors, with a key and very little extra information - an overwhelming experience for many of the contestants.

”In English, you would call it 'rubbernecking'. We were constantly turning our heads at everything. All the sights, the smells, and the road signs that were in Swedish,” Ferguson says.

”Those first days were just full of adrenaline,” Mohr adds.

Finding out more about their ancestry triggered similar emotions, and both contestants agree that the new family findings rounded out their knowledge of themselves.

”There is a relief when you find out certain things, but that is accompanied with more questions,” Ferguson explains.

”Putting stories to the faces and resolving the question of why my family left Sweden was something that had to be answered, but it was not a happy experience. It was more just facts,” he admits.

Mohr, who is half-Swedish and has always been labelled as ”the tall Swedish girl”, adds that coming to Sweden felt like coming home.

”I felt like there were a lot of things that were very familiar,” she says.

Despite experiencing some culture shock, Ferguson agrees, saying that ”during that first week, everyone began to feel at home.”

Ferguson recalls that their group bonded well and ended up feeling like a family in Sweden, in their own peculiar way.

"We were all very different people, but we bonded because of this one shared experience,” Mohr adds.

“Feeling at home with a group of strangers was probably the most meaningful experience, combined with finding out about my country and my family.”

“We had such a good group, we've definitely become lifelong friends,” adds Ferguson.

Having returned to the United States, all contestants have taken bits of Sweden home with them. Particularly, Ferguson and Mohr agree, the word lagom.

“It’s an ideal, I definitely gained an appreciation for that,” Mohr explains.

“Before coming to Sweden, I would have described that word as Goldilocks and the three bears; you know everything is just right,” Ferguson tells The Local.

“But it’s not that – it’s a whole way of life.”

Season two of "Allt för Sverige" starts on Sunday, October 28th at 8pm on SVT channel 1

Sanne Schim van der Loeff

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Erik the Holy's skull and the crown, believed to be Sweden's oldest. Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

King Erik the Holy died 854 years ago, but scientists have just unveiled his skull at Uppsala Cathedral. READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

Swedish girls report more eating problems
Teen girls. File photo: Chloe Chaplin/Flickr

Swedish girls report more eating problems

A youth wellbeing report from Save the Children found that more teenage girls than in previous surveys reported having an eating disorder. READ () »

'Zlatan will be back for finals': PSG coach
Photo: AP

'Zlatan will be back for finals': PSG coach

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc said on Tuesday that he believed Swedish goal machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic will play again before the end of the season. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Advertisement:
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

712
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com