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Swedes and the US: a love-hate relationship?

The Local · 30 Nov 2011, 12:19

Published: 30 Nov 2011 12:19 GMT+01:00

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While Sweden has long embraced elements of the culture of the US, to some the influence is not at all benevolent or welcome, complaining of cultural imperialism.

The Hollywood remake of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" will no doubt illustrate this duality when it goes on release in December and while tickets will no doubt be in high demand, the critics will not be far behind.

While Swedish opinion may be divided on the country across the pond, one thing is certain - the US demands, and is given, its share of attention.

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Your comments about this article

13:06 November 30, 2011 by philster61
"liberal and distributive society" I nearly passed a kidney after reading that.....When and in what dimension did Sweden ever become "liberal and distributive"?
13:36 November 30, 2011 by ?????
Well, by seeing the people around me dressing with American brands, eating McDonalds everywhere "Sweden has the highest number of McDonald restaurants per capita in Europe", listening to American music and watching American movies, voting against Palestine in the UNESCO as the USA did...hmmm, how much do the Swedes hate Americans? Well, they might hate them but they love their "culture".

I guess it should be the other way round though. Americans themselves aren't bad people at all...
14:02 November 30, 2011 by ELaimins
LOL, why is it love and hate as in black and white??

I've spent a heck of a lot of time in Sweden, and I love the country. Sure, some folks are stuck up, but so are lots of New Yorkers and Los Angelinos, and both countries have lots to be proud of.

A few friends from Sweden I have had over here in the States loved the place (except New York City - but so do a lot of Americans as well...)
14:02 November 30, 2011 by mamegoma
Being an American living in Sweden, I can Swedes do embrace American culture. Like "?????" said, they love American brands, McDonald's and Burger King are huge hits, they watch and listen to American movies and music and love American celebrities. They love American cars and food. They have even started to pick up certain holidays such as Valentine's Day and Halloween which are hugely blown up in the US and since the few years I have been here the holidays have started to really pick up. Swedes like the "fun" American traditions and culture.

Though, Swedes also do love their own culture and want to embrace it strongly. Since Sweden is becoming a big melting pot for cultures, it seems they strongly embrace their traditions and don't want to change some ways since that is what makes them "unique" and typically Swedish. Nobody wants to truly leave their culture behind. I celebrate Thanksgiving here because I love the tradition and I don't plan to end it just because I moved here. It's a part of me and I have invited my husband's family for the celebration as well and they really enjoy it.

Swedes will pick and choose what traditions they really like and what makes a positive print on their personality. Not everyone likes American traditions. A lot of people don't like McDonald's. But the idea behind McDonald's is one you can't really fight about... a fast food joint which in many cases are open all night long, something that a lot of young Swedes embrace now since they can stay out late and go home without worrying about food. It also created jobs. So, like I said, probably more positive than good.

America has such a huge imprint on the world and the world on it.
14:12 November 30, 2011 by GLO
This American Swedish Guy found a big family in Sweden. They love us, in fact we are having a First ever joint family reunion this summer. I see so much of Sweden in my American family, Sweden family is so alike in many ways. I wish America would be more like Sweden, Sweden should slow down on America culture.

I would close the Big Bridge, stop all fast food, american music, and keep your culture...... Your Laws are just NUTS... But I love every trip to Sweden.......

Wish I could retire in Little Sweden....... Will be back in June for more!!!!
14:18 November 30, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
america says 'jump!', and sweden asks 'how high'.

just look at TPB trial and the Julian Assange trial.

it does not get any more transparently corrupt than those two very high profile court cases.
15:48 November 30, 2011 by Åskar

You seem to have listened to far too many conspiracy theorists.
16:23 November 30, 2011 by JoanDoe
As an American (of Swedish descent) who spent 7 of my formative years in another country, I have to admit that there is not much I actually like about my home country. But the thing is, it's so easy to find the negative wherever you go because people are people the world over. There will ALWAYS be greener grass over the hedge, until you get there, then you will see that it's just as brown as your own lawn. There are good and bad things about both the US and Sweden, just as there are good and bad things about EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY on this planet. The problem is that too many people want to focus on the negative, instead of looking at the positive.

Yes, the US has issues. Yes, Sweden has issues. You already know this, just accept it and move on.
16:47 November 30, 2011 by Eagle63
Sweden or the US ?

How about CANADA ?

In many ways its the best of both worlds...
16:55 November 30, 2011 by Abe L
@philster61, +1000

I couldn't word it better. Sweden is not liberal in anyway and few of the remaining liberal nations in Europe are becoming more unliberal by the day.
16:56 November 30, 2011 by AR-US-SE
OK, a tip for the Local: all these pointless articles, that you obviously create with headline-bait to generate more clicks, and more advertisements shown, are all wrong! You should make people have to re-load the page after every paragraph to continue to read. THEN your ad display revenue will make you rich!

Instead you produce these half-&ss "articles" that are not news, not even gossip. They are just slowly driving me away from this site...

but i clicked, i read, and commented... i guess a sucker IS born every minute!
16:59 November 30, 2011 by AmericanSwede16
It's a no brainer. You can't compare the countries. Might as well compare US to all of Europe. As far as liking each other, well US doesn't really hear much about Sweden because there isn't much to talk about there. Sweden doesn't affect the US. The US however, effects Sweden's daily lives in almost every way whether it be culture, food, travel, technology, and everything else.
17:12 November 30, 2011 by 15U
from the position of Russian who lives in Sweden - Swedish people are crazy about USA. Sometimes it's even fun
17:13 November 30, 2011 by AmericanSwede16
Also most Swedes will see America in their lifetime because it's a popular destination. Americans don't even have Sweden on their top 20 countries to visit and if they do make it out to Europe, they will probably visit France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece before going to Sweden.
17:18 November 30, 2011 by J Jack
Just check out wheels 'n' wings in Varberg and see how many student girls wear Converse shoes in summer. Then there is the Swedish brand of decaf rock 'n' roll, it's everywhere! As a Swedish medborgare living in the US right now, I often see Swedes with burned faces rushing into 'Ross' to get their US brands before heading back to the airport & their miserable apartment lifestyles of darkness. I think it's nice that the US offers a haven for depressed Europeans even if to just take home a trademark to embrace a memory until the sun comes out again.
19:09 November 30, 2011 by texeg
I've spent a good amount of time in both countries and it seems that Swedes are told by the media and some politicians to hate us here in US, but then they have a taste of the openness of culture and and meet some Americans and it makes that very difficult. If you try and lump all 300 million Americans into a single group, it's easy to say "I hate America", but you quickly see that we are the most diverse country the world has ever known and this becomes impossible. It's like saying you hate all the colors of the rainbow because you're not fond of green.

As far as Americans hating Swedes, not a chance. Most Americans don't know enough about Sweden to have an opinion. The ones that do know something about Sweden appreciate their relatively simple lifestyle, love of the outdoors and polite nature. I've found that Swedes are oftentimes more open with Americans than they are with other Swedes, particularly Swedes they don't know very well.
20:11 November 30, 2011 by Alohart
If you asked many Americans about Sweden, they would tell you the very little they know about Switzerland.

The comments about Sweden not being liberal could be confusing because the meaning of "liberal" has changed over the years. How about "progressive" instead. As an American living about half the time in Sweden and the U.S., Sweden is much more progressive than the U.S.
20:17 November 30, 2011 by Twiceshy
Swedish politicians dance as American play, why? possibly because of arm trade or something similar. There are always people who will follow politicians, although I saw more Americans who speak against Bush than Swedish who speak against their government. So, Americans are not obedient as Swedish or simply there are many Americans so there is bigger diversity.
20:17 November 30, 2011 by umeasauri
To: (Carolina Correia)

You said "The US Love us" "We hate them" are you serious? I wonder what have you been smoking! since when does the US have a love affair with Sweden? it is apparent that you either have never been to the US or know American culture! never have I heard a American rushing to a college to learn Swedish or have heard Swedish words in our daily TV shows like you Swedish do, you may have been thought "Brit English in school but your obsession and and infatuation in our American culture has never been more apparent than it is now in Sweden, I think you suffer the little man sindrome, my wife is from Sweden and I love Sweden but you dont speak facts! I think it's more like "The US likes Sweden and "Sweden wants to be like America" .
20:29 November 30, 2011 by rumcajs
Well, you ain't got to love or hate the whole thing. I really like Burger King and hate Mc Donalds from the deepest corner of my stomach. I like a lot of US brands and rock bands and have a lot of very cool American friends, but I really hate the corporationism and foreign policies of US.... together with most of the presidents they've had .... Obama inc.. There are all kinds of people in every country and all of them do their bit.... we decide what we like and what we don't.
20:39 November 30, 2011 by Ivan Juric
It' love....Sweden is doing everything possible to shunt Julian Assange to some hell hole prison in the US.
20:56 November 30, 2011 by umeasauri
You are very right there are positive things and negative things with every country, what ever you or the Swedish people decide to like or not like about America or it's people is really irrelevant to us as it does not affect us in any way or do we care in any way, the negative thing about being born in a country that is a super power is that it affects the whole world the way our politicians make decisions, we as a country wish our our decisions and actions affect us in a positive way to our home land and our home land alone but that is something we as citizens cannot control, America as a people and culture are competitive and our politicians and corporations want to establish their presence and domination to a global scale and that is something that to us as citizens really don't benefit from, to what benefit is to us that we have a military presence worldwide or fighting wars spending billions of our tax payers money when that money should be put to use in our back yard, our salaries and quality of life doesn't improve of that result, so I can understand when people of other countries like or dislike America but it's not our people it's our foreign policies and corporate presence around the world as citizens we are just like you but we just wish our government could think less about you all and think more about what we need at home.
23:37 November 30, 2011 by godnatt
Considering about 25% of the entire population of Sweden moved to the US during the mass migrations, the midwest was practically a Swedish commune.

After the UK and Ireland, the US owes Sweden for a large part of its cultural heritage.
23:58 November 30, 2011 by Schwoebel
godnatt, I hope by large you mean "very little".

Swedish people are some of the most stuck up arrogant people on earth.

Instead of saying "I'm awesome" their cultural heritage makes it so they have to say "You suck".
00:06 December 1, 2011 by umeasauri

Pretty soon you will see your precious Swedish culture with the red carpet welcoming of all the african and middle eastern refuges, soon Swedish people will not be blonde anymore! and no you to must be smoking something if you think we owe Sweden for our culture, I think maybe you wish you were American! come visit America one day as it seems you know nothing about our Empire! Oh and by the way the only Swedish heritage we have in the US is the budget furniture from Ikea
00:53 December 1, 2011 by swenrika
I don't think it just Swedish love hate.. there are many more nations in the same position.

It is good to have personal freedom, bad to let get as bad as the US and then even worse to let MONEY rule it all. and the worst is to commercialize heath care.

It is one of the things most are after, the "American Dream" making millions and millions, but what really counts in life ?

Money? Happiness?

Some of the poorest nations are smiling more that the super rich, they have more fun and they share what little means they have with anybody in need and they are happy, could use a bit more, but overall happy.

Makes one think what counts in life ?

I'd rather die happy than a miserable millionaire that has to watch which family member is taking too much, who is trying to cheat him, and.. and.. and..

It seems the Americans forgot a lot about Value of life, not the monetary value..

Go Sweden, you done good so far, relax on the boose law though ... :)
01:39 December 1, 2011 by SarahLauren
Since America is such a large country with so many different people residing in it, one should not lump all American's in together. Not all of us eat McDonald's and are greedy capitalists. I will agree that with such a large population though, that America does have a great deal of uneducated/ignorant people who will never take the time to learn about anything that is not right in front of their face. (Even then it's questionable...)

With that said, I am American by birth and of Swedish heritage, my grandparents and mother came from Sweden to America in the 70's. I grew up in both countries and whole hardheartedly embrace Nordic culture. I have not met an overwhelming number of these "stuck up swedes," as so many posts boast and must point out that there are stuck up people all over the world; Being proud of ones heritage and not wanting to lose touch with it does not make one smug/stuck up.

More people should take the time to educate themselves on the world as a whole and not just live in the bubble that is their nation, then pretend that they are so knowledgeable about the world around them.
02:32 December 1, 2011 by godnatt
@ umeasauri

I AM an American you redneck tw@t.
05:43 December 1, 2011 by Bolante007
Love and hate yes political speaking but not in the general public, just because there are companies in Sweden from the US it doesn't mean that Swedish people "love" american products, they buy it because they have a name, is popular in other words, also generally speaking american products are the worst by far I mean the only good thing they have come up with is airplanes and computers, other than that every product is made in China. I do have to say though a lot of people in the US will confuse Sweden with Switzerland, also they don't know where it is, the first thing people will say when they hear Sweden is the Swedish Chef from Sesame Street then IKEA. US people don't have a lot of things to say about Sweden but Swedish people about US citizens yes, I mean they feed crap entertainment to EU that's for sure no wonder some EU kids are becoming dumber.
09:06 December 1, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
@ #9 asskar,

i think u need to read up on the cases i mentioned.

stick to the facts and we both will come to the same conclusions.

as far as america - sweden?

let's see, america is in debt waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past their eyeballs, 60% of the country is overweight with 30% (ithink) being obese, america has a terrible foreign policy, many are against a swedish style health care system (which is beyond me), their banks are out of control **cough economic crisis cough cough ** and most importantly, does the average american even know where sweden is?
12:35 December 1, 2011 by HYBRED
@Carolina Correia #3 Proper British English? I will remember that the next time I hear keith Richards of Rolling Stoneshire speak.

@Liquidmonkey #8 The last I checked Assange wasn't on trial for anything. He is instigating the proceeding's in the UK, nobody else.

@Eagle63 #11 Canada also has the worst of both worlds.

@Abe L #12 Although I agree with very little or anything else you say, I agree with you here. And would also add that native Swedes are some of the most 'tight@ssed' people I have ever seen. They especially like taking shots at immigrant's because it is somewhere to blame all they're personal problems and shortcomings. Kind of like a schoolyard bully.

@AmericanSwede16 #14 I agree with you as well. Most Americans probably know very little or nothing at all about Sweden. But why should they? On the world stage Sweden is as about as significant as Crete. f either one was to fall off the planet nobody would notice or miss them.

@Liquidmonkey #32 "let's see, america is in debt waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past their eyeballs, 60% of the country is overweight with 30% (ithink) being obese, america has a terrible foreign policy, many are against a swedish style health care system (which is beyond me), their banks are out of control **cough economic crisis cough cough ** and most importantly, does the average american even know where sweden is?"

Due to immigration, a good share of the "overweight/obese" could actually be Swedish.

With the massive tax's you pay in Sweden you should have good health care. With the excessive tax money the government takes from you in Sweden health insurance can be purchased in the USA.

And again; why would any American care where Sweden is?
14:23 December 1, 2011 by cogito
"If you asked many Americans about Sweden, they would tell you the very little they know about Switzerland." (#19)

Here's the big news: most of the world confuses Sweden with Switzerland.

Except in Europe, where they confuse Sweden with Norway or Finland.
22:21 December 1, 2011 by Investor612
Sweden is inconsequential to the US. It's just a matter of size. Just as Missouri or Kansas are inconsequential to Sweden.

To the person mystified that Americans don't want a Swedish sytle healthcare system. Being familiar with the quality of health care our family members in Sweden have received and comparing it to what we've recerived here in the US, I wouldn't trade.
08:20 December 2, 2011 by azcapi
Why is it that liberals feel that those who achieve and provide jobs should be punished with higher taxes. The communists tried wealth distribution and it totally failed. Less government succeeds by allowing individuals to create their own future. I'm not rich, but I don't expect government to force someone else to give me a share of what they have earned.
11:58 December 2, 2011 by parabola
A lot of people are saying that Sweden isn't liberal. Maybe people who have lived here their whole lives feel that way. But you have to realize that to Americans this is pure socialism, at least if you believe everything Fox News tells you. Whenever there's a movement for health care or taxes or anything to benefit people's lives, they point to Sweden and Scandinavia in general and say "We can't be socialist like those people over there. That's not what America is about." Never mind the value of the particular program and whether it will work. It's just "un-american".

I'll put it like this: Our Democrats would probably be equivalent to the Moderaterna. And the Republicans in their crazier iterations are something like the Sverigedemokraterna. We have no viable equivalent to Socialdemokraterna, and you have none to the Tea Party (at least I hope you don't). So that is why we think Sweden is super liberal.

Out of the people I know, except one friend who is of Swedish descent, all midwestern Americans know about Sweden is Ikea, Absolut, blonde people, saunas, fish, cold, ice, polar bears roam the streets, and it's dark all winter. Or that Sweden is actually part of Switzerland, as most of my family thinks. Sweden doesn't really register on anyone's radar. But I think it's a bit creepy that Swedish people can love so many American things. Things like fast food that should have never been exported in the first place. Some of the stuff is just crap I wouldn't have bought at home, let alone here at twice the price.
13:50 December 2, 2011 by Marc the Texan
In general, I think their is a natural rapport between Americans and Swedes and becoming fast friends comes easy between Swedes and Americans. Probably even a natural attraction. Two cultures that generally always hit off together right away. Then over time the Americans think Sweden would be even better if they did just a few things a little more like us. And the Swedes think America is great, but could be so much better if they did a few more things the Swedish way.
21:01 December 2, 2011 by Thomas VH
Sweden and America go way back -- farther than most Swedes even know. In fact, before the United States was even a set of British colonies, Sweden had a settlement in America, this was back in the 1600s. The Swedish colony was at what is today called Wilmington, Delaware. It was first taken over by the French (no shots fired and the Swedes there adjusted to French rulership in the interest of peace) and then by the British (again, no shots fired and the calm and reasonable Swedish colonists simply adjusted again to another country's rulership.

Of note, many of the Swedish colonists arrived in America on a ship called the Kalmar Nyckel -- a reproduction of that ship flies a Swedish flag (!!) and rests in Wilmington's harbor. One thing most Swedes would be shocked to know is that distant ancestors of George Bush came to America FROM SWEDEN on the Kalmar Nyckel....

21:42 December 2, 2011 by Catarin
You have to remember how huge the United States is. There are distinct cultures in the Southwest, the South, the East Coast, The West Coast and the heartland. I live in Minnesota, the heartland, which has Scandinavian roots, but unfortunately not as much as fifty years ago. Almost everywhere here has a lot of immigrants from Africa and South America.

I suspect when you frown at American culture you are mainly thinking about the excesses of the West and East coast. With Hollywood on the West Coast and Wall Street on the East coast they can generate a lot of negative publicity.
23:48 December 2, 2011 by Los Lubricano
Where is Sweden and who cares what you think about the USA. On the other side of the coin why would Sweden give a rats butt about what the USA thinks of them. But if I ever hear Dancing Girl again in my lifetime it's time for Shock and Awe.
00:11 December 3, 2011 by jvtx3232
If you want to find out about the relationship between Swedish-Americans, and Sweden, then you can watch the "Allt för Sverige!" television program.
03:04 December 3, 2011 by pietari_spb
I can tell you why the Russians began to hate the Swedes. First of all Sweden has become the slave of the United States in foreign policy. Despite all the confrontation between Russia and Sweden in the past, modern Sweden have always been liked by the Soviet and Russian citizens. Olaf Palme murder shocked the Soviet Union, he was neither friend, nor foe - the Soviet Union has always respected the neutrality of Sweden.

And what happens now? Sweden run the Chechen separatist terrorists server "Kavkaz-Centre". You can tell me about freedom of speech? Then why Sweden climbs in the internal affairs of Russia, and specifically in the electoral process?

Today, Russian NTV showed the secret documents - the instruction for the Swedish Embassy in Moscow about how "secretly", "without causing resentment" to organize groups of disaffected young people in Russia for the anti-government campaigns. Moreover, there were shown the video which proves how the Swedish employee of the Swedish Embassy (an ex-spy in the Soviet times) had arranged such a "tea parties".

Tell me who cares? The Swedes?
05:38 December 3, 2011 by FreudianSlip
As an American I ask only one thing.

Everyone in Sweden please face towards Washington DC and spit.

Maybe you will help drown some of them.

Thanks for your support and assistance in our time of need.
06:45 December 3, 2011 by Highdomer
Its easy to paint American's with a broad brush as arrogant and stupid. However, I think the best posts are from people who have perspective by having lived in both countries. I think most Swedes who have lived here would say American's are pretty engaging and a few of us actually intelligent.
13:31 December 3, 2011 by USARoadWarrior
LOL@FreudianSlip..and have to totally agree with him...and as a former resident of Washington DC, it could use a good cleaning...

I visited Sweden last year and did not notice any disdain for the USA. Now, I did try to speak some Swedish (very badly) and I think that was appreciated.

I was very impressed with Sweden...and probably the only thing I had to adjust to were the unisex bathrooms in Stockholm.

As for pervasive US influence...I think you see that everywhere now. And, historically, other nations influencing others is nothing new. For many centuries, France was the prevailing influence...even many royal families in Europe spoke French either exclusively, or to others in royal circles. Of course, France did not have McDonalds or CocaCola then.

Although the Swedish influence on the USA may not seem great...Americans who shop at IKEA will beg to differ. And, anyone from (or has travelled) in the American Midwest, is aware of Swedish influence. Oh, if you were ever in Minnesota...it looks so similar to Sweden...
14:41 December 3, 2011 by franchise
For Americans who've never been to Sweden, or perhaps Europe, I'd say the usual view depends on where the are from. Midwesterners are likely to think of great-grandma, and her frugal, humble ways. Those Americans tend to lump Swedes with Norwegians, and maybe also with Danish or even Dutch, as northern Europeans, protestants, hard-working, old-fashioned, honest. New generations, and perhaps more along the coasts, are more likely to not necessarily know much at all about Sweden, except some of the stereotypes (ahem, not that anything I wrote above was stereotypical).

As someone who had traveled extensively before moving to Sweden 8 years ago, I'd still stay I knew remarkably little about this tiny country of less than 10 million. But more about Sweden than Bangladesh, Kenya, or quite a few US states with well more than 10 million people. Small Europeans countries do tend to have a "we are more important on a per-capita basis because we are independent countries" mentality.

As for Swedes, they know a ton about the US, which is no surprise given technological gains and American dominance of pop culture since essentially WW2. The probably would have known as much or more about Germany or Russia had history gone differently the last few decades. And if the "early mover" mentality of Swedes continues to hold true, I suspect they will be ahead of the game as well in regard to China going forward. The folks above 60 are quite likely to speak some if not fluent German, under 60 all of them speak at least decent English (usually American), and the next generation will probably lead western countries in % that actually learn to communicate with Chinese.

Good for them!
15:05 December 3, 2011 by Roy E
Making sweeping generalizations about the United States or Americans is very silly. The country is simply too big and comprised of many very different separate and distinct subcultures who for the most part have better things to do than kill each other.

But that said, American Pop culture as advanced by mass media has devolved into a repulsive in-your-face style of sleaze, dysfunction, commercialism, and rudeness over the past 20 years or so. It's a complete moral inversion since the 80's that people are quite right to consider repugnant. Anyone who bashes America on these grounds will get no argument from me.

But that's the image projected by the very dubious mass media and entertainment industries. It's not the substance of the nation. Fortunately.
18:58 December 3, 2011 by Streja
pietari_spb, why do you believe and swallow everything that your state controlled media tells you? It's about the Russian elections really. Putin is scared because so many Russians think this election will be rigged in some way.

But I suppose you think Putin is God and that everyone should bow to him just like your ancestors did to the Tsar and Stalin.
10:23 December 4, 2011 by Mark737408
Sweden fckn loves america they want to be like them so mutch! i fckn hate america
18:52 December 4, 2011 by Bumblebeetuna
Franchise and Roy E. have put it in a way I would have. I guess I'd add that ignorance does go both ways. If you find yourself comparing Sweden as a whole to the USA then you are quite simply guilty of generalizing. You could always take cross sections of America to compare to Sweden and defuse any argument. Sweden is more like a State. We could get much better comparisons if you compare to say Washington state, Oregon or something with similar population. Keep in mind that's 1 of 50 states.
22:04 December 4, 2011 by Thomas VH
That's the interesting thing -- Sweden is so small and Swedish is one of those languages that is virtually useless outside of its home territory. America, however, is a huge country -- Sweden fits nicely within just the state of California (without even stretching the borders or coming close. And the entire population of Sweden is less than Los Angeles. Of course, America is hugely influential on a global basis.

For those who talk about spitting toward America, who say they hate America, etc., you're just a bunch of uneducated and narrow-minded people. You might hate this or that about America, but seriously, the country is so large that you can't make such a blanket statement of hatred without revealing yourself to be a petty and small-minded person.

So what do you hate? Andy Warhol? Glenn Miller? Hamburgers? Pizza (invented in New York, not Italy -- bet you didn't know that...)? Jennifer Lopez? The Rolling Stones? Jimi Hendrix? Maya Angelou? Slam Poetry? Wine Coolers? Barbeque? American Steaks? Chevrolet? Ford (which used to own Volvo)? The Internet? Internet II? FTP? Email? Online Forums? Apple? Microsoft? Your iPhone?

Or do you just hate America for what you think its politics are? Ahh, I see.... Hmmm, like you hate how America stood with Sweden against Muammar Qaddafi? Or maybe you hate US development assistance programs for Sub-Saharan Africa? Or the US leadership in supporting the Free Tibet Movement? Or perhaps American politicians like John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King? Do you hate feminism? Equal rights? Freedom of the Press? Modern Democracy?

I don't know -- I'm confused by people who have blanket hatreds, they just seem so... I don't know... weird?
10:01 December 5, 2011 by Hogwash
@Thomas VH

I think you'll find that The Rolling Stones are English, the internet was invented by an English bloke and don't Hamburgers come from Hamburg (that's in Germany)?
13:46 December 5, 2011 by Bumblebeetuna
And jimmy Hendrix is from England too. I think his point is that there is much more than the negative that people outside the US tend to focus on.

Although! Even though Swedes and Europeans focus on negative in US at least they have focus in the modern times. Americans have the outdated fantasy idea of what goes on in Europe and the rest of the world. I mean only 19 million Americans out of over 300 mil even have a passport. We live in a bubble and it's disturbing.
18:03 December 5, 2011 by burlison
My Swedish in-laws are raised in the 60's social democrats. Oh, they loved the US when both of their kids got scholarships to US colleges, and when they visit here and fill up bag after bag of stuff bought at the malls and outlets. But they sneer "america, capitalist, vietnam" when discussing the country. I think that sums up the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too dilemma some swedes have: they want the protections of a socialized system, yet there's a lurking materialism under there that wants to be served.
18:15 December 5, 2011 by cogito
@Bumblebeetuna #54 "only 19 million Americans have a passport. "

Uh, Americans don't need passports because they are FREE to travel from New England to the Pacific Rim (Hawaii) without a passport. That's 8180 kilometers.

Europeans were FORBIDDEN to travel to the country next door without a passport. So, for example, the French needed a passport to go from Menton to Ventimilglia, Italy, a distance of about five kilometers.
21:19 December 5, 2011 by africardo
Perhaps a better "compare and contrast" would have been Sweden with California. The two are almost the same geographical size, with California having about three times the amount of people. So, what would Sweden be like with 30 mllion people in it? Both places are properous, and often produce innovations for the rest of their respective country's population.

. The main difference, stemming from the first democratically elected Socialist government back in the 1930s (sic), is that Sweden has been able to experiment with the social structure (politics, economics, etc.) towards finding better ways to improve the lot of everyone. Indeed, some used to say that Sweden has a "capitalist" way of raising weath, and a "Socialist" way of distributing it. Well, maybe, maybe not.

But in California (or the States at large) there is relatively little change, or at best a gradualism regarding germane issues regarding climate, energy, eduation, and general living standards.

So, it dosen't much matter...this "love/hate" issue...as there are good and bad aspects of each country. At least, there is a choice of what Sweden/America can share or exchange---which is vastly different than what a few other cultures (immigrants) can offer to Sweden.

When I was a student at Stockholm University in the early 1970s, some friends and I were at a table in the Cultural Center at the end of Sveavagen. A stranger approached, looked us over, and then uttered something to the effect that we were "all Americans...and all F___ed Up!", and then ran off. At the time (circa Vietnam War), we Yanks were probably more anti-American (government) than this fellow could have realized. He should have sat down...and learned that, like in most of the 190+ countries of the world, there is a vast difference between ordinary people and their respective governments.
21:24 December 5, 2011 by HYBRED

Jimmy Hendrix is from Seattle,WA not England. Americans do not desire a passport because the country has so much to offer in itself. Europe does not. No need to travel elswhere unless you want to go slumming.
22:55 December 5, 2011 by mibrooks27
The US is mostly a Scandinavian colony, at least most of it is; the entire Northwest, Minnesota, the Dakota's, Montana, Idaho, it was all settled by Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish settlers. I, for one, would like Sweden to claim it all back and fixed the corrupt muddled mess that it has become due to the machinations of the English settlers in the Northeast and Washington DC.
22:56 December 5, 2011 by HYBRED
To all the native Swedish that don't like the Americans and/or Muslim immigrants.

According to Wiki the Muslim immigrant population in Sweden in 2009 was about 500,000. According to augustana.edu the Swedish immigrants that came into the USA totaled 824,000 by 1924. So it's okay for the Swedish to leave when they feel like it, but heaven forbid that anyone comes to Sweden.

It just shows how two-faced and low life the Swedish are.
23:01 December 5, 2011 by Grandson of Swedish Emigrants
Having spent time in Sweden, I would make the following observations:

There are more well maintained 1970's Detroit muscle cars crusing towns in Sweden than in most US cities.

The Swedish Smörgåsbord's I saw included Tex-Mex chili and nacho's.

Just about every Swed I talked to had relatives (they had visited) in the USA.

There is an incredible facination with the American wild west. From bars that call themselves saloon's to gunfighter holsters and cowboy outfits in various clothing stores.

My biggest surprise in Sweden was finding all the people who flew to the US and attended the Sturgis Harley Davidson rally.

Finally, as someone who has spent time in the National Museum and shook his head at the collection of paint stir sticks that washed up on the shore of an island, has looked at the collection of leather paches the museum has that come from the back of blue jeans, and looked at some of the other collections, I can certainly tell why many Swedes find USA culture more apealing.
05:00 December 6, 2011 by ajs42548
Hogwash.. Sorry but the internet was invented in the U.S. It actually evolved from a small network of computers that was set up between colleges by the defense department back around 1969 or so. The network was originally called ARPNET. It eventually was abandoned by the defense department and became the internet.

Thomas VH.. Wrong. Pizza was indeed invented in Naples. It was brought to the U.S. by Gennaro Lombardi at the turn of the 20th century.
14:15 December 6, 2011 by jvtx3232
"So it's okay for the Swedish to leave when they feel like it, but heaven forbid that anyone comes to Sweden."

I don't think it's ok that the Native American populations in what is today the U.S. and Canada were all but replaced by outsiders. A multi-generational slow-motion train wreck.

By the exact same token, I think celebrating and encouraging "multiculturalism" in Western Europe today is unethical, and would be analogous to celebrating the "multiculturalism" that white Europeans were bringing to the Native American populations in, say, the 1600s and 1700s.
19:17 December 6, 2011 by Hogwash
ajs42548 - correct, the internet is an American invention - I was thinking of the WWW.
05:35 December 7, 2011 by marcelj
I love sweden and everything about sweden. Sweden has given much to the usa in music, clothes. style, autos, law, and of course beautiful woman the most beautiful in the world too. My only concern is that sweden will lose its culture language and heritage and become some horrible melting pot of misery. Please sweden don't leave who you are. Don't be deceived into thinking that the grass or snow is greener somewhere else like the usa.....because it it not. Hang on to who you are. What we love about sweden is that you remain swedes....stay pure and stay cool. cool means awesome.
12:26 December 9, 2011 by robban70226
@ Carolina

You are wrong my dear, The USA don't love Sweden, just matipulate it like poppets, The Sad part is the Swedes love it..
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