Sweden’s landmark new proposal will stop the world from mixing it up with Switzerland
Honestly, do you know the difference?
After over a thousand years of peaceful relations, European semi-superpowers Sweden and Switzerland may finally address a lingering issue between the two nations. But the problem isn’t either country’s fault. The point is that the rest of the world can’t tell them apart. They simply don’t know their kroppkakor (Swedish potato dumpling) from their birchermüesli (a Swiss breakfast dish).
This confusion on the European continent has played out in countless ways.
Swedish people who move to the United States often complain of being introduced as Swiss. The New York Stock Exchange has fallen victim to the confusion, and a French hockey team once greeted their Swiss opponents, SC Bern, by playing the Swedish National Anthem and raising the Swedish flag.
Skämtar du med mig? (“Are you kidding me?” in Swedish)
To help the world finally recognize the differences between the two nations, Sweden has created a landmark proposal to end the confusion once and for all.
Sweden (not Switzerland)www.youtube.com
“If people struggle to separate our two countries, we need to help them. We can’t change the names of our nations, but we can become more distinct. Sweden offers the luxury of a different nature, that’s why we think it’s time to decide who promotes what, and hopefully, we can reach an agreement,” said Susanne Andersson, CEO of Visit Sweden.
The Swedish proposal is simple and practical, just like its citizens. The country hopes to make a clear distinction between the two countries by deciding who talks about what. “We will be able to communicate things like sandbanks, rooftops and silence. Meanwhile, Switzerland will focus on banks, mountain tops, and loud noises,” Andersson said in a statement.
The Northern Lights in Sweden.Photo: David Schreiner/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se
The Swedes hope that people will learn to distinguish Switzerland's technological advancements, such as particle accelerators and luxurious watches, from Sweden’s natural phenomena that, instead of winding you up, help you wind down.
The first draft of the official settlement was presented to Switzerland and can be read at the Visit Sweden website. “We’re hoping that Switzerland will negotiate with us on this important matter. But if they want contemporary fashion, the answer is no. They get to have leather couture, and we think that’s fair,” Andersson said, referencing the yellow-painted leather pants traditionally worn by herdsmen in Appenzeller.
If Sweden and Switzerland come together on an agreement to distinguish their national identities, it’ll be a big win for the entire world. But, until then, the best way for you to truly learn the difference is to visit Sweden yourself.
Sweden’s calming, beautiful nature will refresh your spirit like no place on Earth. Imagine sailing on its pristine lakes while a sharp breeze runs through your hår (hair). Enjoy a hike in perpetual daylight during the Midnight Sun Period, or feast your ögon (eyes) on the mesmerizing Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland.
Looking for some high-altitude adventure? You and a friend could even take a yodeling tour in the Alps in the shadows of the magnificent Matterhorn. Sounds like fun? Sorry, got you. The Matterhorn is in Switzerland, and Swedish people don’t yodel; it throws off their lagom—a unique brand of Scandinavian chill.
Find your lagom by planning your trip to Sweden today.
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