Rather love than gifts for Valentine’s
What do you really want for Alla Hjärtans Dag (all hearts’ day), Saint Valentine’s Day? Roses? A new fragrance? Some jewelry probably wouldn’t hurt. The best gifts, though, as always, are free and cannot be bought in a store. When asked what they wanted for Valentine’s Day, most Swedes said they wanted tenderness and respect; also high on the list were time and care. “It’s nice to know that it’s immaterial things like these that top the list,” says Marie Malmros, information officer at Fritidsresor, a travel agency, which polled about 1500 Swedes on what they felt are the most romantic gifts. Lo and behold, classic Valentine’s gifts like jewelry and perfume were easily outdone. “This might be interpreted as a reaction to our hectic society, where we are constantly pressed for time,” says Lars Plantin, professor in social work at Malmö University. “Many people feel guilty that they cannot take time off to be that perfect partner, the perfect parent, and at the same time be perfect at work.” Valentine’s Day is often criticized for being too commercial, but perhaps that is changing? “It’s gestures like these that are considered more important than things,” Plantin says. The ten most romantic gifts (according to Swedes): 1. Nearness and respect (43%) 2. A trip for two (35%) 3, 4. Time and care (7%) 5. Security (6%) 6. Breakfast in bed (3%) 7. An experience shared as a couple (2.5%) 8. Flowers (2%) 9. A beautiful piece of jewelry (1%) 10. A luxurious perfume (0.5%).

Zlatan’s book criticized
Zlatan Ibrahimovic—the Swedish soccer player who currently lives and plays in France—is being criticized, but not for his soccer. It is Ibrahimovic’s memoirs that are being slammed by French journalists who feel the Swede has an old-fashioned view on women. In a televised debate on the French channel Directe 8, a panel of debaters was in agreement: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an arrogant male chauvinist pig. Ouch! The French were horrified to read that the Swede proudly has his wife at home taking care of the children. Famous French TV-journalist Audrey Pulvar agreed, but added that Ibrahimovic should be forgiven considering the fact that he had a difficult childhood, and therefore needs a trustworthy wife who always stays at home. And many French papers, such as L’Express, believe Ibrahimovic’s book (which is called “Moi Zlatan” in French) is an entertaining and easy read, “like a modern Cinderella story.” And what is that if not praise?