Royal run. Welcome to Sweden. Bathe no more.
Remember the royal wedding on in Stockholm last summer? Of course you do! Do you remember how Säpo-vakter (Swedish Security Service guards) ran along the cortege through town afterward? They were a bit ridiculed by media then, but not anymore! On the anniversary of the Crown Princess wedding to Prince Daniel (June 19), a so-called Säpo-jogg (a security guard run) has been arranged. The run is 4.7 kilometers long (that is, 2.9 miles) and will start at Storkyrkan at 4:40 p.m., continue through Slottsbacken – Kungsträdgårdsgatan – Hamngatan – Kungsgatan – Strandvägen – Djurgården. A few thousand people have already signed up, and the run’s Facebook page has already gathered 8000 people to like it. But forget running in your sneakers, shorts and T-shirt. The dress code is strict: Suit, shirt and tie (female runners can skip the latter) as well as dress shoes and sunshades. For more information: http://www.facebook.com/pages/s
Welcome to Sweden
More than 500 newly minted Swedes celebrated their citizenship in Slottsskogen in Göteborg on Sweden’s National Day. It has become a bit of a tradition to welcome new Swedes to Göteborg on June 6; last year 2447 citizens of Göteborg also became Swedish citizens, and one in every five chose to participate in the welcoming ceremony. This year the ceremony included speeches and artists and was open for everyone, not only the invited new citizens. The new Swedes received a diploma and a gift from the City of Göteborg in the shape of tickets to a number of events. “A few showed up spontaneously,” said Helene Odenljung, from the Liberal People’s Party, one of 30 local politicians who helped with the welcoming ceremony. “They receive their diploma by mail instead.” All parties were represented except the Sweden Democrats. The ceremony was arranged by Kulturnämnden (the Commission of Culture) as an assignment from the city’s politicians. “It’s a great idea,” says Lydia Fabbah, originally from Sierra Leone, but now living in Bergsjön. “I was with my parents when they received their citizenship, and now it’s my turn. It feels great to be welcomed like this.”
Bathe no more
When freshly baked students invade central Stockholm, many of them make sure to take a dip in the fountain at Sergels torg, something the City of Stockholm doesn’t quite appreciate. Well, there will be no more dips in the fountain—because it will be emptied just in time for the students’ celebration. Does that seem a bit cruel? What, after all, is a dip in a fountain? Well, it costs the city up to 100,000 SEK ($16,200) every year to repair the damages made by the young people. By lowering the water level, the city hopes to discourage prospective bathers. “It’s less attractive to take a dip this way, and you can hurt yourself too, which is obvious,” says Mats Freij, at Trafikkontoret.