The new Swedish words
The Swedish language has expanded. The year that passed has given us new words. Språkrådet has put together its annual list of new words that has entered Swedish. “Preferably the new words should hint at events that have taken place during the year, but it can also be other words that somehow are current,” says Birgitta Lindgren, who is responsible for the new words at Språkrådet. Språkrådet collects words throughout the year, by reading newspapers and by having people like you and me send in their suggestions. “Anyone can send in suggestions,” explains Birgitta. “We are happy to hear from people who suggest new words.” Some words have short shelf lives, but others linger. Some of the new words from 2010 are: app (as in an application that can be downloaded for a mobile phone), askänka (literally “ash widow”, a person who awaits her spouse who’s been prevented from traveling due to the volcano on Iceland), bloppis (sales of second hand stuff online), kaffeflicka (a young girl who is invited to somebody’s house as something “sweet to the coffee”) and kalsongbombare (a terrorist who hides a bomb in his underwear). Here are some other words you definitely need to know: http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/education|research/2572/

Swedish newspapers raise terror alert
Some of the major Swedish newspapers, Expressen, Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, are raising their terror preparedness after the arrest of several Swedish terror suspects in both Sweden and Denmark. Those arrested are believed to have planned terrorist attacks against, among else, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that published the Mohammed cartoons in 2005. In 2006, Expressen and its different local editions published the same cartoons. The local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda has recently been threatened due to their publication of artist Lars Vilks’ drawings of Mohammed.

Young Swedes drink less
Alcohol consumption among young Swedes, especially men, is decreasing. Older Swedes and women drink as much as before whereas young men more than before say no to alcohol, according to researchers at Centrum för socialvetenskaplig alkohol och drogforskning, SoRAD (Center for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs). “It’s not the same booze culture today,” says Viktor Wiberg, 22 years old, who has not drunk alcohol in 3 years. SoRAD base their information on answers they’ve received from the 18 000 people who were asked about their alcohol habits. These answers show that not only do Swedes consume less alcohol, they also buy less alcohol when abroad. But there’s a difference. “One social group is different from another,” says Mats Ramstedt, researcher at SoRAD. “Among women it’s not all that evident. And while younger Swedes drink less, older Swedes in general drink more. There’s no decline there.” Wiberg quit alcohol when he was 19, and says he was inspired by hardcore and punk rock to do so. “There was a culture there of not drinking, and I realized there was an alternative. I always thought it was a bit disgusting and not so much fun (to drink), and now there’s a reason not to drink again.” Ramstedt at SoRAD can’t see a clear reason as to why the alcohol consumption has decreased however, but believes the fact that Sweden has invested so much in prevention might be one reason. But Wiberg doesn’t agree: “I think it has more to do what your friends do, than what they teach you in school,” he says. “I suppose it’s a way to take a stand against society. You want to change, and begin by saying no to alcohol.” Victor Wiberg hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in 3 years and doesn’t plan to drink more. “It doesn’t feel necessary,” he says.

Taxi Stockholm most expensive in the world
The Swedish capital has the highest taxi fares in the world, according to a new travel study. Sweden in general has gotten more expensive in relation to other countries. Since last year in June, the country has advanced from 16th most expensive country to vacation in, to 7th most expensive. Most expensive is Norway, followed by Switzerland, Denmark, Japan, France and the United Arab Emirates. When it comes to taxi fares in general, Norway is more expensive than Sweden, but Stockholm is more expensive than Oslo when you need to hail a cab.

Daniel’s surprise speech
Prince Daniel made a surprising appearance and held an even more surprising speech at his old church in Ockelbo on Christmas Eve. The traditional midnight concert at Ockelbo church went on as planned and despite the severe cold, some 400 people showed up. Little did they know, that Prince Daniel was about to make a surprise appearance. “It wasn’t planned at all,” says Kajsa Cederwall Westerman, a pastor in the parish. “His life guards came up half an hour before and asked if Daniel could say a few words and I said sure.” For almost 7 minutes, Daniel talked to the people of Ockelbo about his love for Ockelbo and thanked them for the warmth and kindness they had showed him and Crown Princess Victoria. He also thanked them for their wedding gifts. “It was very nice,” Kajsa continues. “The main message was: Thank you for your support and your loyalty.” Daniel spoke of his love for his hometown, and how he always likes to return there. He referred to Victoria as “frugan” (the wife) and “fjällan” (the girl) to the joy of all who listened. He also mentioned an incident when he and “fjällan” were visiting Ockelbo and the press photographers came a bit too close for comfort and a neighbor aimed his lawn sprinkler at the open car window of one of the photographers. “The neighbor understood that now Daniel has ‘fjällan’ on a visit and he had to make sure they were left in peace,” said Daniel. Kajsa adds: “He’s an amazing speaker. He speaks from his heart. It felt honest and loving.”