Self-isolated? Keep up with Swedish culture from your couch

Self-isolated? Keep up with Swedish culture from your couch
If you're feeling cut off from the outside world, here are some tips on bringing it to you. Photo: Staffan Löwstedt/SvD/TT
We're all spending more time indoors than usual, with Swedish and international authorities recommending that limiting social contact is the best way to limit the spread of the coronavirus and save lives. Here are a few ways you can still experience and enjoy the best of Swedish culture without leaving your home.

Ballet and opera

The Royal Swedish Opera has an online streaming service, Operan Play, where you can watch ballet and opera performances from the comfort of your living room. Choose from a full-length opera, the bitesize 20-minute Short Stories, the Life at the Opera documentary and more.

No log-in or payment is required. This service became available on March 4th, as part of the opera's goal of making culture more accessible.


Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

Music

Several Swedish and international artists are helping brighten up their fans' time at home by performing online concerts from their own homes.

Catch up on home concerts from Swedish First Aid Kit or Lina Hedlun's Karantänsessions (Quarantine Sessions) featuring a whole range of artists such as Dotter and Robin Bengtsson, or check out your favourite musicians' social media to see if they've got something planned.

SVT Play

Sweden's public broadcaster allows you to keep up with programmes including crime series, comedy, drama, and reality TV.

The Local's editorial team highly recommends reality TV dating show Första Dejten (First Dates) and comedy drama Bonusfamiljen (The Step-family) for comfort viewing. Combined with language-learning app SVT Språkplay, you can kill two birds with one stone by levelling up your Swedish skills at the same time.

Or for some real meditative viewing, put on slow TV special, Den stora älgvandringen (The Great Elk Migration) and watch the live-streamed migration of Swedish elk. The highlights are collected here, and a new series for this year is starting soon.

SVT's Öppet Arkiv opens the door to the broadcaster's archive, if you would like to get an idea of what Swedish television was like back in your Swedish friends' or partner's childhood days.

Theatre

Stockholm's Stadsteater has closed due to the virus outbreak, but you can watch some of its previous events on Stadsteater Play online, and some plays will have their premieres digitally. 


An empty stage at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern. Photo: Staffan Löwstedt / SvD / TT

Museums

Many museums have closed in Sweden, but it's possible to go on a virtual tour of some of the country's top sights.

Sweden's National Museum, Skokloster Castle, Malmö Art Museum, Hallywl Museum, The Royal Armoury, Gothenburg's Museum of World Culture, the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Röhsska Museum, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, the Swedish History Museum, and the Nordic Museum, can all be viewed virtually via Google Arts and Culture.

Other 360-degree tours of various Stockholm museums, and other parts of the capital, are available at the website Stockholm 360.

And several museums, such as the Royal Palace, have their own virtual tours available on their websites so you can transport yourself from your apartment to more fanciful surroundings.


Explore beautiful Skokloster Slott from your living room. Photo: Jan Collsiöö/Scanpix/TT

Nature

The Public Health Agency has said that even people who belong to risk groups are able (and even encouraged) to go out for a walk as long as you keep a good distance (at least two metres or the width of an average car) from any other people. If you show any symptoms that could be related to the coronavirus (such as a cough, fever, runny nose or sore throat, however mild) you should stay home until at least two days after being symptom free.

But if you're missing your favourite forest walk, or perhaps had to cancel an excursion due to the requirement to avoid non-essential domestic travel, try an online experience. It's not the same, but it's something.

Tourist board Visit Sweden offers several 360-degree tours to choose from on YouTube, so you can pitch a virtual tent, go elk-spotting, and more.

Language

If the recommendation of social distancing means you're spending less time around Swedish-speaking friends and colleagues, you might be looking for other ways to keep up your language skills.

The non-profit organisation Kompis Sverige has launched the initiative Språkkompis, which will match up foreigners in Sweden who want to improve their Swedish with native or native-level speakers.

Books and films

There are plenty of Swedish-language options on the major streaming services — now might be the perfect time to finally see what all the fuss over Bron (The Bridge) is about.

But if you have a library card, you also have access to a large number of e-books, films, and more resources including digital versions of magazines and newspapers.

Check the library website for your municipality to see what online options they offer (for example, find the options in Stockholm here).


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