Statistics from the [Nordstjernan] survey 'Swedish on facebook' between Aug. 18 and Aug. 21, 2010.

Our overall sense is "so far, so good." We'll do everything possible to increase our mutual, common reach and are working on creating a 'real time tool' to enable you to connect or meet up with like-minded in your area, any area, of North America. We'll put effort into making our events listings even more comprehensive and will prepare ways to answer questions from the community faster.

1.
How satisfied are you with the content of Nordstjernan on facebook?

49% -Very satisfied
46.5% - Satisfied
3.5% - Neutral
1% - N/A

2.
Would you recommend Nordstjernan to friends?

67 % would definitely recommend Nordstjernan, 28% probably and 5% were not sure

3.
Are you American, Swedish?

50.5% are Anerican with Swedish roots
25.5% are Swedish
23% are American with an interest in Sweden
1 % Overall curious

4.
What do you miss most from Sweden or, are you most interested in?

From candy, food, Bregott, to family, family dynamics – away from the me-me consumerism of the US – to barnbidrag and parental leave – Sweden’s love of children…
As for Swedish born, “living abroad makes you appreciate your native country much more..”
38% mention they miss family or connecting with relatives
34% mention they miss language, culture, traditions, food
15% mention “Allemansrätten,” picking blueberries in the woods.. svenska sommarnätter and the smells of summer, tastes and scents.
12% mention having never been to Sweden but feeling Swedish and ...everything new they learn about it make them feel “even closer to their roots.”
5% mention semlor, princesstårta or a specific food (mostly cake or dessert or typical Swedish junk food.. but, also “filmjölk”)
27% mention an interest in lifestyle, life, the resourcefulness and future challenges that face Sweden today
17% have an interest in Swedish design, recent creativity and why so many new products and creative solutions come out of Sweden today..
3% mention the royals as an interest

5.
Which aspect of Nordstjernan on facebook do you enjoy most?

56% enjoy the overall content
17.5% Swedish related events or activities
12.5% news updates
10.5% traditions and trivia
3.5% quotes and translated Swedish sayings

6.
Do you miss something important at Nordstjernan on facebook – if so what?

48% don’t miss a thing.
There seems to be a lot of interest in Swedish activities in every area, not just the major cities. There’s a sense that we mostly cover main cities – we’ll work on it!
25% were mentioning the need or wish to meet up with “like-minded” in their area in one way or another. The events listings at our website, www.nordstjernan.com/calendar/ are by far the most comprehensive in the “Swedish North American universe” – we’ll work to make it even better.
22% were new to the page but “so far enjoy what they see.”
Other than that, there are voices for more sports, more recipes, food traditions, history… wind turbines (partially did that: http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/nordic/2300/ and on the effect on wildlife: http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/educationresearch/2469/ ) a handful of readers mention translations into Swedish and the other way around and some mentioned the urge to have a newspaper in their hands to allow random access and a leisurely read… Throughout our 138 years we have probably covered everything one way or another - some of it is online, search www.nordstjernan.com if you have a specific interest or send up a request through facebook or the 'Contribute' function at the URL.

Priceless comment: “..every post makes me happy!”

7.
Where else do you get “Swedish” information?

Really too many and too varied sources to cover in a comprehensive way. Every Swedish daily was mentioned, as was Swedish radio, the Embassy, the local, as were most of the official gateways to Sweden.

We found it interesting that
63% mention online
31% mention family and friends or relatives in Sweden.
18% mention local institutions or stores, also IKEA.
17% subscribe to something we publish other than fb
8% didn’t answer or said ‘nowhere’

8.
Most important Swedish tradition or custom?

39% - Christmas (Jul) Christmas eve, Lucia, the food and preparations around Christmas
23% - Midsommar, Midsommarafton, Midsummer in itself or together with Christmas
17% - mention traditions in general.

Other than these, entries cover anything and everything from fika to Kalles Kaviar on hardboiled eggs, crayfish, livig healthy, feeling guilty… warmness, openness “salt lakrits” to Lisbet Salander (of Stieg Larsson Millennium fame)

9.
What it means to be “Swedish” (Scandinavian) today?


Many more (60% plus..) answered this than we expected, your comments are all good and quite interesting but defy creating statistics. Some things that reappear in one form or another:
Social consciousness, love and respect of nature, to be stubborn, empty your plate and not inflate yourself. Innovative, creative living.

Other than that, some samples from comments:

Swedes are:
“Well educated about the rest of the world, so important these days”

To be Swedish is or means:
“..to be open and liberal about people, places and things. ..to be frugal.”
“..we honor true friendships, we are straight forward - what you see is what you get, we are hardworking..”
..”to be quiet - able to be alone without being lonely. Immensely curious - ready to take new ideas and engineer them into something good. Love of the outdoors - love of the water..”
“A rich history of traditions. People helping people.”
“..strong and passionate but reserved and to the point.”
“On either side of the ocean, it seems that both the Swedish people and those who have hung onto their roots have a sense of chasing after the dual goals of excellence and modesty, both in their personal lives and in their society.”
“..to be neutral in all things. Just enjoy life and stay out of the business of others!!”

'Epiphanies':
“[I have] ..a clear sense and pride that Scandinavian culture is peace loving, calm and wise, and has had a great influence on American culture..”

“..I’m married to a Beautiful (inside and out) Swedish woman. ..One of the most beautiful parts of my wife is her thought process that comes from the way Swedish people live. I have learned more about myself in the past 7 years than I was able to do on my own in 34 years.”

And, a bit on the humorous side:
“Forcing that nasty surströmming, sill and nubbe down.” Or, enjoying the small things in life (from postings):
“It's slicing cold meatballs from yesterday in half, placing them on a buttered slab of knäckebröd and calling it lunch.”
“..being a Swede, PRICELESS!”

Wise:
“To be proud of where you are from...(but never belittle other countries, especially where you live!)”

And, as it seems, shared by most:
“I just know that I'm very proud to be of Swedish ancestry.”