The Local List

Ten Swedish things you should be talking about instead of Abba

Ten Swedish things you should be talking about instead of Abba
The stars of hit Swedish drama The Bridge, Sofia Helin and Kim Bodnia. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
Tired of people trotting out the same old stereotypes about Sweden? As the country launches its new brand identity, The Local offers up a list of the top ten things that should come to mind when you think of modern-day Sweden.
What comes to mind when you think of Sweden? Ikea? Björn Borg? Meatballs? Abba? 
 
For too long, people have reacted to the word Sweden with these kinds of clichés, or perhaps with decades-old jokes about blondes, Volvos, or Pippi Longstocking. And while all of them have helped build up Sweden's image abroad, we here at The Local think it's time to for an update to "brand Sweden".
 
Earlier this week, the Swedish Institute unveiled its latest effort to cut through the branding commotion caused by all the symbols associated with Sweden, settling on a design based on the Swedish flag.
 
 
While some observers panned the "lagom" design as "lazy", others praised it as reflecting the "glorious history in the world of design".
 
Kudos and criticism aside, the new brand Sweden redesign got us thinking, why are so many iconic symbols of Sweden seemingly stuck in the 1970s?
 
It's 2013, after all.
 
Abba hasn't performed together for almost 30 years, Saab cars has gone bust, and there's a heckuva lot more to Swedish cuisine than meatballs.
 
So here is our list of the top ten things the world should think of when they hear the word Sweden.
 

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