Wilander: 'Swedish youth is lazy'
Former tennis pro Mats Wilander thinks young Swedes are lazy, and believes that’s the reason Sweden is now at risk of falling out of the elite tennis division. “Why would young (Swedes) fight hard in a sport like tennis that means you’ve got to make an effort,” he asks in an interview with Belgian daily Le Soir. “Sweden,” Wilander continues, “is a country with a socialistic outlook where everyone is being taken care of by the state. In all families you’ll find two cars, a nice apartment, flat screen TVs, computers, Internet. In tennis you have to get your butt off the sofa. Sweden no longer has any tennis stars, because the country lets its youth become fat.” Sweden fell out of the elite division in tennis in 1999 – the only time it has happened in history.

'Fredagsmys' a closer look at the ritual
If you’ve been out of Sweden for a while you may have not heard of the concept of “fredagsmys” (literally “Friday coziness”). But ask anyone in Sweden, and they’ll give you a knowing smile. “Fredagsmys” means salty snacks, candy, or finger food – all to be enjoyed in the sofa in front of the TV. “We don’t know exactly when the notion was born,” says Lena Kättström Höök, ethnologist and intendent at Nordiska museet in Stockholm, “but there is information that it was around in the late 1980’s, though it didn’t have its breakthrough until the 1990’s.” Kättström Höök is along with ethnologist Jonas Engman at Stockholm University collecting data around the phenomenon. “It’s like a modern ritual, a sort of exception from the rule, something that separates the work week from the weekend,” she continues. And Engman believes it’s something very Swedish. “I think Sweden is pretty much alone in having this concept,” he says. “And that’s why we want to know more about it. We believe ‘fredagsmys’ says a lot about Swedes today.” For the Ahlehjelm family in Täfteå, “fredagsmys” marks the end of the workweek. “For us it begins with dinner, we might have tacos, and then it continues in the sofa with a film and something good to eat,” says Sofia Ahlehjelm, who at the moment is on maternity leave with a 7-month old baby. According to SF (a Swedish film production company ) potato chips and candy are the most popular snacks in the TV-sofa. “I like candy, but am trying to eat a bit more healthy right now,” says Sofia, who is a lawyer. “So we put vegetables on the table, grapes and melon, something our older daughter likes.” Forget regular clothes in the sofa though. “I would never feel cozy in the sofa wearing a shirt and tight jeans,” Sofia says. “I prefer soft and comfortable clothes.” The word was entered into the Svenska Akademiens ordlista (a dictionary published every few years by the Swedish Academy) in 2006.

Wild boar – a danger for car drivers
It’s beginning to get dangerous to drive in Sweden. This time of the year, accidents involving wild animals are increasing, and a growing wild boar population makes for further unsafe roads. A wild boar is not as easily spotted as a deer or a moose. “Human beings are fatalists by nature,” says Calle Eriksson, hunter in Nationella Viltolycksrådet or National Wildlife Accident Council. “We believe in fate and that means we won’t run into accidents.” At the same time, Eriksson points to the fact that wild boars are fast, move in undergrowth and have eyes that don’t reflect light as well as the eyes of other animals. Therefore wild boars are difficult to discover, and for the driver driving at 90 kilometers an hour it’s difficult to pull the brakes in time, Eriksson continues. His advice is to take it easy when driving and staying alert behind the wheel. The wild boar population is increasing rapidly. According to Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund (The Federation of Swedish Farmers) there will be half a million wild boar in Sweden within the next five years. And fall and winter, from mid-September to the end of December, mark a dangerous time with lots of wild animals in the forests. The babies born during spring are now grown and last year’s mild winter means more of them survived. According to The Federation of Swedish Farmers, the road between Ystad and Sjöbo in Skåne is the most dangerous one, as it is here most accidents involving wild animals take place. “There’s a lot of vegetation there and marshes,” says Lars Möller at Räddningstjänsten in Ystad. “And the animals like that.” If you do run into a wild boar, don’t leave your car as the hurt animals may become very aggressive. “They may gore you and they fight with their canine teeth,” Möller says.