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Foreign family told they 'eat too much dough'

David Landes · 24 Aug 2011, 16:59

Published: 24 Aug 2011 16:59 GMT+02:00

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Last winter, a social services investigator paid a visit to the family, which was awaiting deportation and had been judged in need of additional assistance in coping with the extended wait associated with their deportation.

During the meeting, the investigator started making critical comments about the family's diet.

“Foreign families eat too many perogies and dough,” the investigator told the family, according to a complaint sent to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

The investigator then insisted that the family put away the cookies they had offered in conjunction with the visit, adding that the members of the family were “too hefty”.

The complaint was filed by a psychotherapist based at a treatment centre in Skövde in central Sweden who claims that the family was “deeply offended and concerned” by the investigator's accusations.

The family had received support previously for their daughters, both of whom suffer from type-1 diabetes, but when the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) relocated the family, the assistance stopped.

In the complaint, the therapist voiced concerns that, despite the family's need for help, the municipality's social services has refused to provide it and there is no way for the family to appeal the decision because no formal decision was taken.

She goes on to inquire as to what sort of guidelines govern how social services handle such decisions for which no written record exists.

According to Elis Envall, an investigator with the National Board of Health and Welfare, the social services representative appears to have acted “unprofessionally and unethically”.

Story continues below…

“It sounds very generalising and that's not appropriate,” he told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, but added that social services version of events remains unknown.

The head of the child and family division of the municipality where the incident occurred was unaware of the case and refused to comment on the social services investigator's alleged insults, according to SvD.

“But if I had had it described for me as you say it, I would have reacted by saying that you can't say that,” the division head told the newspaper.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:37 August 24, 2011 by Osk
Hey come down to the coast in summer and theres plenty of porky Swedish born for generations who have been at the pies.
18:29 August 24, 2011 by conboy
This from the people who gave us Falu Korv and Kropps Kakor please!
18:36 August 24, 2011 by skumdum
I agree with the inspector. The government should not support this kind of eating disorder,
18:59 August 24, 2011 by soultraveler3
Lol, outside of Stockholm and maybe the Skåne area, the vast majority of Swedes are overweight.

It's hardly fair for a Swedish inspector to complain about the eating habits of foreigners. This is the land of falukorv, meatballs, cream-based sauces and cakes, fika bread multiple times per day, across the board binge drinking and the highest consumption rate of sugar in the world. It also has more pizza, kebab and hamburger places than any other country I've seen.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
19:44 August 24, 2011 by Imperor
Of course they should complain. FAT people are disgusting and SICK. Destroying your kids for life should be a major offence! People need to understand that they have a responsibility to both themselves and their kids. Too fat is TOO FAT!!! It is very well known that it is unhealthy and in this case the kids had even gotten diabetes! That is gross negligence whichever way you look at it! Because we know that poor food will result in poor health and these parents have simply disregarded that because they are addicts! This is just as bad as a junkie mother feeding her kid heroin to shut it up!

TL: This is Sweden and "profanity" does not exist here, more or less, please stop being pathetic about it, this is not the 1700s and they're just words!
19:48 August 24, 2011 by ReluctantSwede

it just shows the complete lack of self-awareness, multicultural tolerance and flexibility that governs the authorities in Sweden...they don't even have to be responsible for their acts, they are unreachable to justice....in most other countries official and bureaucrats are responsible for their actions and can be held personally responsible for their deeds, not so in Sweden....grow up Sweden! take responsibility for your actions!
20:25 August 24, 2011 by Imperor
What do you mean "ReluctantSwede"? You're full of it and don't know what you're talking about! A fattie yourself maybe?

Sweden does have a growing problem with obesity and shutting everyone up about it isn't going to help!

That "everyone outside Stockholm and Skåne are fat" is total unfounded BS as well. AND there's the point that almost half of Sweden's population lives in Stockholm and Skåne...

Obesity is a serious problem and coddling people about it isn't going to help!

Being FAT is sick and disgusting and the ONLY cause for it is personal irresponsibility! Kids who grow up in families where eating rubbish is the norm can't really help themselves as their parents teach them that the fat comes from somewhere else. Or what DO they tell the kids to explain why they are obese and disgusting compared to their friends?
21:09 August 24, 2011 by neoz717
@ Imperor

It depends really, in my case i use to be 80kg 185 cm tall male, now i am 144kg use to be 150kg i gained 70kg in 2 months !!! It was because my hormones where out of wack... and too much stress hormones that slow the metabolism...

If you come check my meals its a damn joke, for example, i ate 2 bowl of soup yesterday only !!

Today a sandwich and a bowl of soup.

Sometimes all i have the whole day is half a pizza...

It is not always due to eating too much!

I am unhappy about my weight and doctors can not find me a solution to losing weight,,,,

Anyways ive taken the matter into my own hands and only extreme measures have worked so far but way too slow around 1kg a month... Now that i moved i will go to a bunch of new doctors + a dietian in hopes of finally getting fitter again...

But health wise i myself doctors find me very healthy, and they said i have the heart of a lion...
21:31 August 24, 2011 by ReluctantSwede
@Imperor I agree, give the authorities more power to control peoples life and demand a law that makes it possible for the social service to decide; the body weight of people, what people should wear (in cooperation with H&M), how fast they should walk and what to think....it would become a model society...a model for any sect wanting to control a bunch of brainwashed poor me'ers! Maybe you can start a new party; Socialen Partiet...you can rehire Mona as leader!...or Mao!
21:34 August 24, 2011 by StockholmSam
Sometimes, the truth hurts.
21:37 August 24, 2011 by Iraniboy
Food for thoughts!

Food for immigrants!

Food for racists! :D
21:38 August 24, 2011 by jacquelinee

Swedish fare....... Pizza, potatoes, sandwiches, more potoates, falukorv, more sandwiches, cheese, more potatoes,meatballs, carrots, polarbröd, korv on korvbdröd,eggs and bacon on bread,smörgåstorte, knäckebröd, couple more sandwiches, french fries, sil and potaoes,another pizza, shrimp ang egg on more bröd............. That is just a whole mess of dough that's been baked and a lot of starch as far as I can tell.

Seems like a bit of the old "Kruka calling the vattenkokare black."

p.s.pictured................ Perrogies and browned onions. YUM.

Made of flour, poatoes, eggs, onions and somtimes bacon. Gosh. Actually those ingredients sounds a lot like the ingredients in so much Swedish food.

Maybe the Sociallyrestin should quit wasting time judging other cultures meals, and get the H - - L over to the elderly deathcare homes where they are beating up the elderly and shoving vomit down their throsts. How is THAT for a healthy meal?
21:44 August 24, 2011 by Shibumi

The 2 daughters in the article suffer from type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is mostly genetic and lifestyle factors (like diet) are thought to have very little or no influence in causing type 1 diabetes. So your contention that the parents' "gross negligence" is to blame for this is born out of ignorance.

On another note: why so much hatred for fat people? Such epithets and contempt, and even the use of ALL CAPS... why these strong feelings?
21:45 August 24, 2011 by mkvgtired
How sad that they were "deeply offended" as they were stuffing those tax payer financed cookies in their fat faces. I am assuming since they are asylum seekers they are on government aid. It seems the majority of people on government aid are overweight. When Illinois (US state) tried making its LINK card system (government food aid) not work for junk food like chips and soda all the fat welfare recipients were in the streets protesting. Pretty sure it never passed. The accused of the state of taking away their "rights". Sorry if taxpayers are paying for your home, transportation, food, healthcare, university (if you choose to go), etc. at least you can minimize the cost by not being a fat slob that has to go to the doctor 4 times per week.

As one poster said too, it is one thing for not to care about themselves, but making their children fat lazy slobs like themselves is doing them a huge disservice.
21:58 August 24, 2011 by Imperor
neoz: Yes, Iknow that there are extreme cases, but these are extremely rare and and simply cannot affect any sort of statistics or whatever. I have a friend who went from Olympic swimmer to 150+kg because if a kidney collapse (and other issues, don't remember the ultimate cause). And she has stapeled her stomach now and dropped a lot!

What is wrong is people just guzzling down whatever crap they can get their hands on and then trying to call the people who call them out for being fat and stupid about their own health "haters"! Or as the case of the obviously severely retarded "ReluctantSwede". Fascists/communists who intrude on people's "liberties"... If people are mistreating their kids because they don't know better it is primarily the fault of their parents AND the school system for not correcting the stupid s**t their parents taught them. It should NOT be ignored as RelutantSwede seems to think In some families it's totally normal to "have sex" (TL censores every word that is normal in everyday talk because of ??? Christian values? Retardation?, Would have written FfUuCcKk, if I could have!) your own kids, but teaching them otherwise must be a communist/fascist violation of their human rights now isn't it?

It is exactly the same when you teach you kids a lifelong affliction that is going to affect their lives negatively.

Bad eating habits are definitely a good example of this, beating your kids, which according to ALL research results in them beating their own kids, and wives, and others in general, is another. Teaching them that dogs are dangerous, or heights, water, squirrels, whatever, even without being aware of it because of your own psychosis, IS definitely BAD parenting and should be dealt with by the government! Personal liberty only goes so far...
22:11 August 24, 2011 by wxman
It's no body else's business what you eat. Damn Nazis.
22:22 August 24, 2011 by Imperor
Shibumi: Because it's your own fault and you try to make it out to be "normal" or blame society for providing "too much food". It's just ridiculous. Fat people have even less of an excuse than junkies but are treated as some sort of "precious minority" to be taken care of... Junkies have been known to die because they have been denied care at hospitals and died (in Sweden) while fatties get "the royal treatment" to take inspiration from another article... ;-) As someone who has beaten addiction and had "no problem" (it's not fun, but necessary sometimes) loosing the 15kg I gained from medication (which I stopped) I feel that I have the authority to tell all the fatties to "GROW UP AND QUIT EATING RUBBISH YOU DAFT ****"!!!

I understand that "grow up" might be kind of comical here, but I mean that an adult takes responsibility for his own actions AND adjusts them accordingly!

And if the diabetes is inherited... Have you heard about epigenetics for one and for another, is it a good idea to feed a diabetic an extremely sugar-based diet? (Yes, wheat flour is very rapidly transformed into sugar and that is the reason "they" say it's bad for you). That is especially bad if you ask me! Because they MUST have known about the disease and been informed about it.

(And "all caps" means ALL CAPS, I just "highlighted" certain words).

jacq (spelling as ....): It's not about "traditional Swedish fare" or anything like it. Eating a calorie intensive food as Swedes TRADITIONALLY do (do you actually know ant Swedes and have any inkling as to what they actually eat?) is very appropriate when living in such a cold climate and doing real labour as we used to. Swedes are known for being tall and well built while Indians are known for being short and scrawny. Science tells us that that is because we have had a good diet with lots of proteins, while they have eaten rice... (You're probably sort of a racist, even if you don't know it, but in this case resources are more relevant than genetics).
22:29 August 24, 2011 by neoz717

In some parts i agree but in some i do not for example beating your kids is bad and i agree with that, but it does not mean or justify why that kid will grow up and do it to other, i was beaten and many other things as i was a kid, but now i am married i have / would never lay a hand on my wife.

Another thing about Government dealing with crap ! are you blind if you see Swedish schools what the Government has done and dealt with to protect children has hurt society much more!! Schools children and many other things are out of control in Sweden.
22:53 August 24, 2011 by Polarbear
Once again the indoctrinated Swedes blindly spout what the authorities tell them. Absolutely incredible. Like robots they repeat: There is no obesity in Sweden. Can they not read and observe and come up with logical independent thought? Is there no critical thinking here?

Obesity is rising in Sweden as in all Western countries:


More and more Uppsala-area teenagers are overweight, the Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) reports.

The situation is most serious for boys in their second year of high school, 23 percent of whom are obese.

Another quote:

More than 17 percent of five-year-olds were heavier than they should be, with "12.9 percent overweight and 4.3 percent obese," the report said.

The study, conducted by doctoral student Karina Huus at Linköping University and released on Tuesday, tracked 17,000 babies born in southeastern Sweden between October 1997 and October 1999.

Yet another:

Researchers from Karolinska University Hospital and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm analyzed the weight patterns of more than 1.5 million Swedish young men in the period from 1969 to 2005.

By the middle of the current decade, the prevalence of moderate obesity among Swedish males at the age of military conscription had almost quintupled, reaching a level of one in twenty young men.

Morbid obesity was found to have increased tenfold over the same period, with one in every hundred men affected, said the researchers in a statement.


Since 2004. some 100,000 women have joined the ranks of the obese, according to figures from the National Institute of Public Health (Folkhälsoinstitutet).

Three years ago, 378,000 women - or 11 percent of the adult female population - were classified as obese.

But by late 2007, 490,000 women (14 percent) were found to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, which is the cut-off point for obesity.

Need I go on? What baffles me is that this is well known and documented but the well conditioned Swedes keep on repeating the party line. What would be interesting to find out from a sociological standpoint is how does Sweden manage to successfully brainwash such a large group of people?
23:07 August 24, 2011 by johnny1939
Most swedes are slim compared w/ other nations.
23:08 August 24, 2011 by fridae
I'm only 52kgs and 1.67m tall, so it can be hard for me to understand what it's like being fat. But one can try to understand. Has it ever occurred to anyone that this family probably can't afford anything healthy? Refined carbs and sugar cost the least here, and it's probably the only thing they can afford that makes them feel good. The body and mind gets addicted and before they know it, they are already fat. These people need advice and encouragement from doctors and some assistance to afford healthy food. Until that happens, it's unethical to accuse them of being gluts.
23:41 August 24, 2011 by Dr. Dillner

Try eating NO pizza and have more salads and fresh vegetables. THAT is how to drop some of those pounds -- oh, and exercise will help your anxiety and metabolism too.
23:47 August 24, 2011 by lovedealer76
I'm a foreingner also but i think the social services investigator was correct on his/her advise.

Not everything we have to be critical of the swedes,let us all be fair here,though the swedes them selves are not very known to be healthy eaters,let's give this poor inverstigator a break here,pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
00:03 August 25, 2011 by riose
@neoz717 70 Kg in 2 months mean more than a kilo a day.

That is impossible unless you were eating 1kg of butter with cream, caramel and topped with chocolate. A day.

Or drinking 5 glasses of oil a day.

Check your numbers.
00:47 August 25, 2011 by neoz717
@ Dr. Dillner

Seriously the half a pizza i had once in like couple of months is the reason i am gaining weight are you kidding me ?

And between i do have enough salads and vegetables in my diet.


Dont tell me what is possible or not, i use to wear a size M, i went to the doctors and they where baffled too...

it does not mean it just means uncommon, not impossible i have proof that i showed the doctors and they where surprised about it too... Nothing is really impossible...

Anyways i do not really have to justify my weight gain health or anything i just said what i said to explain it is not always food related.
01:31 August 25, 2011 by Luke R D
@reluctantSwede, "@Imperor I agree, give the authorities more power to control peoples life and demand a law that makes it possible for the social service to decide; the body weight of people, what people should wear (in cooperation with H&M), how fast they should walk and what to think....it would become a model society...a model for any sect wanting to control a bunch of brainwashed poor me'ers! Maybe you can start a new party; Socialen Partiet...you can rehire Mona as leader!...or Mao!" - They pretty much are doing just about most of those things already, good ol' Socialism.

Agree for the most part with your first comment too. Nice to see not everyone's fooled by these "leaders" ;-)
02:05 August 25, 2011 by jimfromcanada
I think that obesity is more related to lack of physical activity. Too much sitting in front of a computer or video screen for most people.
02:46 August 25, 2011 by GLO
When you invite a pig to dinner and let stay,Well! you get a FAT pig......
03:26 August 25, 2011 by Svensksmith
The US has the fattest poor people in the world. I don't think Sweden wishes to emulate this sad statistic.
03:39 August 25, 2011 by Da Goat
Give the poor deportees a break they are just fattening up on the last of the Swedish hospitality before being given the boot back to poor ville

Instead of making a huge fuss about this just pop them on the next plane back home (the last hospitality they will see for some time)
05:18 August 25, 2011 by anonymous4
Diabetics are supposed to keep their weight down!!! People on the dole should not take advantage of the system. I agree with the Social Services decision.
09:03 August 25, 2011 by Douglas Garner
I find the comments to the immigrants quite frustrating... Okay, they may be overweight,,, they could be huge, even.

SWEDISH culture dictates that fika be offered when you have guests... how dare that guest (government representative included) criticise following this tradition!!!
09:06 August 25, 2011 by wolverine2k
I am a vegetarian and I was told by a doctor to start eating meat and fish arguing that the lack of protein will not provide enough nutrition to my brain! He was only taught that protein can only be obtained out of meat. And when I showed him all the different veg stuff that has protein, he asked for an apology.

But the incident just shows how little grey matter the swedes have when it comes to thinking/acting outside of their comfort zone.
09:16 August 25, 2011 by Flappytango
@ On Target - I dont know about your first statement above.

I have yet to meet a swede that has anything bad to say about eating ice cream...
13:46 August 25, 2011 by Marc the Texan
The truth is often at odds with political correctness.
17:56 August 25, 2011 by Tysknaden
The type of diabetes 1, both daughters suffer of, is commonly caused by eating like a pig.
00:17 August 26, 2011 by Shibumi

You appear to be grossly misinformed. Here is what the American Diabetes Association has to say about the causes of type 1 diabetes... note how overeating is NOT mentioned.


Type 1 Diabetes

In most cases of type 1 diabetes, people need to inherit risk factors from both parents. We think these factors must be more common in whites because whites have the highest rate of type 1 diabetes. Because most people who are at risk do not get diabetes, researchers want to find out what the environmental triggers are.

One trigger might be related to cold weather. Type 1 diabetes develops more often in winter than summer and is more common in places with cold climates. Another trigger might be viruses. Perhaps a virus that has only mild effects on most people triggers type 1 diabetes in others.

Early diet may also play a role. Type 1 diabetes is less common in people who were breastfed and in those who first ate solid foods at later ages.
00:22 August 26, 2011 by Tysknaden
If it was the cold weather... the Swedish government should give at least 1.000.000 Kronor tax money to those people. And offer asylum in a McDonalds.
03:06 August 26, 2011 by ReluctantSwede
@Imperor, You just don't get it do you, your total lack of self-reflection just shines through your typical Swedish self-proclaimed righteousness....as you don't have any relevant arguments you just shout out idiosyncrasies and insults…you seem to compensate your complete lack of self-esteem and intelligence with eruptions of condescending abuse trying to make yourself feel better by adopting a patronizing attitude and know it all arrogance belittling anybody who disagrees with you …your utter ignorance and narrow-mindedness are so obvious from your complete lack of linguistic diversity, self-justified use of irreverent language and idio-intellectual statements…you are too small minded to see your own predicament!

And if you're not a Swede….you have adopted very well!
08:14 August 26, 2011 by cattie
The lack of knowledge about Juvenile (or type 1) diabetes on this board is staggering. Skinny little preschoolers get it, and its triggers are not well understood. Do not take my word for it, google it. Obesity and alcoholism are risk factors adult onset or type 2 diabetes.

The social worker was clearly as misinformed about juvenile diabetes and as ethnocentric as the many of the posters to this article. The worker did not reflect education, or cross-cultural respect of diversity in cuisine. But hey, at least she reflected community standards, right?

Type 1 diabetes is a serious and life-threatening medical condition. It requires daily vigilance to keep one's child alive. Since they had two children with Type 1 diabetes, who were alive and well, they must of been doing a decent job of managing the condition. Type 1 Diabetes is unforgiving, so they must have known what they were doing.

As the parent of child with a serious life-threatening endocrine condition I would also be offended by an ignorant social worker coming into my home and condescending to me about something as serious as type 1 diabetes.

Counseling is sometimes needed for parents to deal with the constant fear of the the child dying from juvenile diabetes. I highly doubt that social worker had any concept of the daily fear a special needs parent goes through. Even MORE reason for some professional discretion.

Sometimes, when blood glucose levels are low, quick food like crackers or even sugar should be eaten immediately to stave of f diabetic coma. Endocrinologist must spend many hours educating parents of these kids. However, as much as the ignorant utterances of social workers, teachers and others need to be tolerated, some education of public servants seems to be in order here. Diversity training can really help to educate workers about how to approach unfamiliar situations.
10:50 August 26, 2011 by Tysknaden
It's just interesting, how much the number of diabetes 1 cases relates in numbers to the number of fat children. (Google yourself.) Political correctness is an Orwell type of thinking.
11:03 August 26, 2011 by Lavaux
When someone acting under color of state law tells you that you're obese because you eat too much dough, then it's coercive, and you're correct in assuming that the state will impose penalties on you if you don't change your ways. Otherwise, I have no problem with telling obese people to eat less dough.

What I found remarkable, though, was the multiculturalism aspect of the story. If the family had been Swedish, then no offense would have been taken other than the obvious threat to individual liberty posed by a state who has the power to take your kids away if you let them get too fat. However, since the family is foreign, people's panties got in a bunch by the obvious cultural insult, i.e. your foreign cuisine isn't healthy. Well, that's true - dough is full of fast carbs that get stored as fat if they're not used to fuel work as they hit the cells. Skip the dough and eat cabbage.
13:48 August 26, 2011 by irridium
If you leech off the government then expect to play their games.
14:03 August 26, 2011 by thomas_w_bowman
Mmmm perogies...

Best to avoid welfare since it invites scrutiny, earn your way and eat what you can afford...
15:54 August 26, 2011 by tadchem
Quick! Lose the linguini and the lasagna! Trash the tortellini and the trenne! Rack the ramen and the rigatoni! The pasta police are on the prowl!
18:11 August 26, 2011 by ReluctantSwede
@Tadchem, The Pasta Police is probably the best police Swden have....only second to SSPP (Swedish Secret Pasta Police) ...alas SocialStyrelsens Pasta Pakt!
20:08 August 26, 2011 by mikewhite
Type 1 diabetes is unrelated to weight or obesity - in fact, commonly (as it is also known as juvenile onset diabetes) the child becomes very thin prior to diagnosis (or death, if undiagnosed) because their body is not producing the insulin required to convert glucose into glycogen and bodily fat.

Nowhere in this article does it give any indication of whether the family members were actually overweight - the standard popular measure is the Body Mass Index (BMI) which would allow some judgement to be made.
20:39 August 26, 2011 by Tysknaden
@mikewhite: You did not read carefully.

"(...)Last winter, a social services investigator paid a visit to the family, which was awaiting deportation and had been judged in need of additional assistance in coping with the extended wait associated with their deportation.(...)"

This is the part, you missed.
23:14 August 30, 2011 by cattie

You must like puns. WEIGHT is the amount an heaviness of mass.. A WAIT is a delay or halt, to await.

These words sound alike, but have very different meanings.

(For example, in Swedish one would never confuse JUL with HJUL...)

Risk factors for type 1 or Juvenile diabetes according to Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic staff

There aren't many known risk factors for type 1 diabetes, though researchers continue to find new possibilities.

Known risk factors

These include:

A family history. Anyone with a parent or siblings with type 1 diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.

Genes. The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes. In some cases - usually through a clinical trial - genetic testing can be done to determine if a child who has a family history of type 1 diabetes is at increased risk of developing the condition.

Possible risk factors

Possible risk factors for type 1 diabetes include:

Viral exposure. Exposure to Epstein-Barr virus, coxsackievirus, mumps or cytomegalovirus may trigger the autoimmune destruction of the islet cells, or the virus may directly infect the islet cells.

Low vitamin D levels. Research suggests that vitamin D may protect against type 1 diabetes. However, early intake of cow's milk - a common source of vitamin D - has been linked to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes.

Other dietary factors. Drinking water that contains nitrates may increase the risk of type 1 diabetes. The timing of the introduction of cereal into a baby's diet also may affect a child's risk of type 1 diabetes.
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Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
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One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
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Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
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Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
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'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
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Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
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