Discover the fascinating Sweden culture
Swedish culture is definitively native in both origin and influence. In more recent years an influx of immigrants and the invention of radio and TV has resulted in some more unusual influences on art and architecture. However Swedish culture still remains intrinsically Swedish.
Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and Icelandic's speak a very closely related language - which means that when it comes to languages Sweden has remained largely unchanged for many years. Only the Finns have a language that is so different that a Swede and Finn would struggle to converse with each other. For this reason, the main language in Sweden is Swedish. However there are a few minority languages spoken in the country. Sami is one of these. It is the language of the oldest ethnic minority and still spoken in parts of northern Sweden. Because of migrations the languages spoken in the country have become increasingly diverse. However, Swedish remains the only major language in the country. English is taught as a compulsory second language in schools and much of the TV, music and films shown in Sweden are in this language.
Because much of Scandinavia was somewhat isolated from the rest of Europe in the early years, traditional folk art motifs and handicrafts have been the source of inspiration for further development and designs. This has impacted all facets of life and 20th century Scandinavian designs are now exported all over the world. Generally speaking, Swedish design is very functional yet it often still has a personal touch to it.
One example of a unique scandinavian design is that of tiled stoves. In the past, these unusual cooking stoves provided an economical way to heat homes. Woodcarvings are also very Swedish and have played a large part in Swedish art history due to the abundance of wood in the region. The Calecarlian horse is one of the more famous wood carvings of Sweden.
Glassworks and paintings have also made their mark on Swedens' artisitic heritage. Though glassware is not produced on the same scale it once was, there are still several high-quality glassware companies who are renown for their artistc glassware. Swedish painters gained fame in during the late 19th and 20th centuries. The artworks artists such as Anders Zorn and Carl Larsson are on display both in Sweden and in galleries around the world.
The Swedes also have a very notable culture of reading. Each year, millions of books are borrowed from public libraries as the people of Sweden soak up the information or stories contained on their pages. There are quite a few Swedish writers who are very popular in their native country. Perhaps it is this culture of reading and creativity which has lead to the Nobel Prize being won by Swedes at least 29 times over the years.
The Swedes also have a very rich musical, theatrical, operatic and balletic culture. The performing arts are embraced in this country and this has resulted an incredible diversity in what is available in this regard. Sweden is perhaps most famous for its musical export