Saturday, 15 December 2007

IKEA instead of Goethe

There is the German Goethe Institut, the British Council and the Alliance Française, all promoting these nation’s languages and culture to other people. The Chinese recently started up Confucius Institutes with the same mission. We Swedes do not have anything of the kind or, rather, that is how it seems at first sight.

In reality we have IKEA and I doubt that any other country’s institutions can match their rate of expansion. Very few of the products they sell are manufactured in Sweden, but we do not care. There still is something Scandinavian about their design and the botiga sueca as well as the restaurants offer some of our national specialties to the whole world.

This is where our chamber of commerce organizes its traditional Christmas party and lets us enjoy Corallerna’s Santa Lucia procession. A home away from home for Swedish ex-patriates.

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