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Reality TV show seeks Swedish-Americans

The Local/kh · 28 Feb 2011, 12:03

Published: 28 Feb 2011 12:03 GMT+01:00

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With a nationwide casting call underway in the US, Swedish producers have put the shout out for fun, outgoing Americans with Swedish ancestry to participate in a new reality television series “The Great Swedish Adventure.”

The series seeks to take Americans, who have even the tiniest fraction of Swedish lineage, on a journey throughout Sweden to discover the land, the culture heritage and their roots.

“It's Americans who come here and seek their origins. Their experiences and surprising encounters with our culture also will reflect the image of Sweden," Mathias Engstrand, Entertainment Manager for Sveriges Television (SVT) told the Metro newspaper.

Chosen participants will travel to Sweden and compete in extreme cultural challenges to discover their roots while trying to win the grand prize: meeting their Swedish relatives.

“The Great Swedish Adventure” will be shot and broadcast in Sweden and potentially other countries as well.

The show will be produced by Meter Television, producers of the Swedish version of “American Idol” and “Minute to Win It.“

“It’s sort of like ‘The Amazing Race’ with a ‘fish out of water’ hook,” Christer Åkerlund, producer of the project, said in a statement.

From 1846-1930, about 1.3 million Swedish people immigrated to America in hopes of building a better life for their families.

Story continues below…

According to US Census data from 2000, about 4 million Americans claim to have Swedish heritage.

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The Local/kh (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:35 February 28, 2011 by Eagle63
How aboot Canadians he..? Can we participate..?
12:40 February 28, 2011 by Nemesis
This will be a good excercise in culture clash.
12:46 February 28, 2011 by philster61

Arent many Canadians Scottish?
13:48 February 28, 2011 by ilockitdown
what about canadians? who dont have swedish ancestry :P plzzz
14:15 February 28, 2011 by buschmann
As an american with swedish heritage, I have lost interest in visiting sweden. It is difficult to see how I could connect with my ROOTS in a country that has expierenced mass immigration over the last 40 yerars. Perhaps this show is a way to get americans interested in swedish tourism before it is common knowledge in the U.S. that there is nothing left of the swedish culture that their great grandparents would have reconized.
15:00 February 28, 2011 by Bumblebeetuna
Cool! I think I have a faction in there somewhere.

I would think Canadians would also be welcome. It's on N. American with similar immigration statistics, eh?
15:08 February 28, 2011 by Rishonim
Buschmann. come back and rediscover your Swedish ancestry. If you have immigration phobia then you can always travel up to Tärnaby, Jokkmokk and you will see those places are still the same as it was 1000 years a go. ;-)
15:43 February 28, 2011 by mukiwa
I would be interested.....säkert
16:04 February 28, 2011 by matona1
From 1846-1930, about 1.3 million Swedish people immigrated to America in hopes of building a better life for their families,what were they lookinig for then,are they immigrants too?
16:12 February 28, 2011 by Tanskalainen
What about horny Danish-Americans?
18:55 February 28, 2011 by Bettyinsweden
I do hope more Americans can connect with their Swedish roots. I started looking for my ancestors in the late 1990s. It is much easier that you think if you have a little bit of information. I have discovered many decendants of my ancestors. Because I started searching I have also found a wonderful man.

I have been living in Sweden since 2000.

I have also started helping Americans find their ancestors. One of the things that surprised me is the fact, that as I got to know the Americans and the Swedish part of their family, they were very similar in their likes and dislikes.

I had a dingy one in the USA and the family here is just as dingy, another pair were dog lovers, science seems to be foremost in a recent search. I hope that I am like my family here as I think they are great.
19:53 February 28, 2011 by Trebla

"outgoing Americans with Swedish ancestry"

that seems like an oxymoron. shouldn't be more than a dozen or so..
19:55 February 28, 2011 by buschmann
@Rishonim: My great grandfather "Anton Peterson" came from förslöv skåne. As I understand it, Förslöv is in the heart of the occupied territories (sverigestan). Anton married my great grandma "Marit Mikaelsdotter" who came from Hattsfjelldal Norway. Hattsfjelldal is very near the swedish border, and not at all too far from Tärnaby. You may have provided me with a new avenue of research. I suspect that region is fairly safe to travel about.
20:16 February 28, 2011 by Swedesmith
@tans or horny Americans who like Danish.
03:15 March 1, 2011 by Larry Thrash
How about Larry Hagman from Dallas? Jake Gyllenhaal (decent of Swedish Nobility). There are lots of great every day people of Swedish decent here in Texas and America.
06:13 March 1, 2011 by technoviking
@ buschmann

Then how about you do us a favor and stop posting your clueless opinions of Sweden and it's culture which are based on nothing but your imagination and admitted ignorance. You have NOTHING worthwhile to say about somewhere you've never even visited. Literally nothing.

I am about as anti-immigration as it gets, but your delusional, fantasy portrayals of Sweden and it's "vanishing" culture are absurd and indicative only of your ignorance on the subject.

Swedish culture is far from disappearing. There is a proudly traditional and deeply historic culture rooted here that's not going anywhere. INFINITELY moreso than in America. Many of us would like to keep it this way, hence the debate.

This sort of arrogant ignorance is why people dislike Americans. Leave these boards for those of us who actually live here and have something relevant and reality based to say.

Go give your "opinions" on a physics board or some other topic you know nothing about instead of trolling here insulting Swedes and their great country.
12:46 March 1, 2011 by Roy E
It's tragic to witness what the Swedish immigrants to America helped to build coming undone. That was an entirely different breed - a generation on both sides of the Atlantic that did not expect to be coddled and things to be given to them

I doubt they'd be impressed much by the mentality of reality-TV. They'd have more constructive things to do.
14:21 March 1, 2011 by buschmann
@technoviking: Thank you very much! I have done my very best to poke the bee hive to see if I could get any real swede to express some pride in their culture and heritage. This reality show should be interesting. the key line is " who have even the tiniest fraction of swedish lineage" That means 1/64 or great great great great grandparent should be good enough. Of course the producers would have no problem finding some 100% or near 100% good looking hockey/nordic ski type, swedish american or canadian, but That would not be very interesting for american tv viewers.They will send a bunch of american to sweden to party and get laid. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but of course sweden will be made to look like a country full of clowns for the amuesment of an american audience.
14:41 March 1, 2011 by Roy E
@ buschmann 'sweden will be made to look like a country full of clowns for the amuesment of an american audience.'

It could just as easily go the other way. Television shows are manipulations.

Anything the producers wish to project can be accomplished by the cast they selectively assemble, sins of omission.

There's nothing 'reality' about it. They are contrived and carefully crafted fabrications designed to advance a particular and usually very narrow point of view.
16:02 March 1, 2011 by Dimetrodon61
The name "Rambo" goes back to the Rambo homestead in Sweden (to take one example of "roots"). The name "Gandalf" first enters the sagas as a king living in the town Alvhem ("Elven-home") on the banks of Göta river.

The brief colony "New Sweden" had many Swedes and Finns who were absorbed into the anglo-saxon population as first the Dutch, and then the British took over what is today much of Delaware. People there probably do not know of their Scandinavian ancestry, as the language switched over to English. -I am told the greeting/word "Hi"/"Hey" may be a surviving language trait that spread to American English.

The later 19-century emigrants often brought with them a fervor for religion which as since faded in the old country (although some may say that Scandinavian countries offer a secular version of many values of the judeo-christian tradition. You would have to look long and hard to actually find someone who is starving).

-A cool fact is that there is a continuity of people from stone- and bronze age through the iron age up to the medieval period and finally to the present. You can find some old wood church in Norway that is 1000 years old, and one or to buildings in Sweden of nearly the same age. Alas, I cannot prove that those who made 3000-year old rock carvings in my home village are direct ancestors to those living there today -the records only go so far...
16:08 March 1, 2011 by buschmann
@ Roy E: Good point, there are many U.S. tv shows that mock americans, Family guy, Simpsons ect. Just who plays the fool is most often based on gender/ethnicity. I am not a fan of any pop culture tv programming, but I think I may tune into this one.
20:14 March 1, 2011 by mojofat
Let's have these "swedish-americans" try and get an apartment or buy alcohol...haha, that would be great TV.
09:48 March 2, 2011 by Åskar
@Dimetrodon61, Are you sure about "Rambo"? I have read that the place is called "Ranebo".

While we're at it. The Bronx is a derivation of "Bronck's estate" named after Jonas Bronck, an immigrant from Småland in Southern Sweden.
11:24 March 2, 2011 by Marc the Texan
This is going to be embarrassing.
14:20 March 2, 2011 by americanska
They will edit this to make American's look stupid. It will have a huge appeal in Sweden.
21:14 March 2, 2011 by rymagnusson
Well, americanska, it doesn't look like they'll need to edit much to make "American's" look stupid.
23:46 March 2, 2011 by buschmann
Free trip, free beer, cheap sex, be on T.V. I"m sure the americans actors will have no problems doing whatever they are asked.
00:19 March 3, 2011 by mibrooks27
I'm not just a Swedish-American, I speak Swedish and used to visit regularly. With Ny and the Swedish prosecution of Assange, however, I wont set foot in Sweden. You could say I've already voted in this new series with my wallet.
00:36 March 3, 2011 by buschmann
@mibrooks27, Whats the worst thing these americans might have to endure? Let me see...... Hmm. You want me to take another bite of surströmming, NO PROBLEM.... Just keep the beer and the girls comming, get me a 15 year old this time... Ride Sally Ride..... I mean Elin.
13:07 March 3, 2011 by Åskar
@mibrooks27, So you mean that Assange must be above all suspicions?
20:24 March 3, 2011 by Kevtravels
Sounds like a hilarious series. But would it not be hard to find those with Swedish ancestry? I mean it's 1 thing to have a Swedish grandfather or great-grand mother but they will be accepting folks whose ancestry came over 200 years ago? I'd doubt very much those care a lot about their history.
17:53 March 4, 2011 by OCGuy
I certainly hope that the participants are not required to attend a surströmming-tasting party. There are a few elements of Swedish culture that are best left avoided by would-be reality show contestants!!
05:12 March 12, 2011 by 2tnvols
I'm an American with Swedish ancestry, and I just applied for the casting call! My great grandmother came over in the early 1900s from the Helsingborg area. I don't care how much surströmming I have to eat - I WANT TO WIN!!! :-) Never been to Sweden before, but I'd love to see where my relatives came from.
21:06 April 5, 2011 by casting call hussey
This is great idea on mixing cultures. I really appreciate this and glad to be part of the event. I'm sure both the americans and swedens will get along just fine. . . just like at iAmAnArtist.com
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