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Paperback, 96 pages 178 x 110mm, £4.99
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The Swedes

By Peter Berlin

What makes the Swedes SWEDISH: A guide to understanding the Swedes that takes the chill out of their cool exterior and reveals the warmth of their inner selves.

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  The Swedes have a dream: to save Nature from Man. It’s as close to a passion as the Swedes ever get.  

Reviews

  • ‘I first came across this after I had moved in with my now husband and was slowly getting used to his strange Swedish ways. There were so many things that I didn’t understand about the culture. We went to one of his Swedish friends for a dinner party and my husband humorously explained things that I found weird. The host then left the room, came back and passed me this book. I took it home and began to read it, I was engulfed in laughter. To make it even better my husband vouched that most of it was true. Wow!’
    Reviewed by ‘kirlykird’

  • ‘The most important book you can get your hands on if you want to understand the Swedish persona. Why spend years trying to figure out their complicated ritual of toasting (skål!)? Ex-patriot Peter Berlin sells out his fellow Swedes’ best kept secrets. We definitely need the edge.’              Reviewer from Sweden

  • ‘Absolutely hilarious! I picked up this book because I will be going to Sweden and wanted to learn more about the Swedes’ foibles and traits. It is ever so enjoyable to read since it is packed with humour and irony. Rest assured, it won’t put you off Sweden or the Swedes. The underlying fondness the author has for his native country is still discernible. Can’t wait to get my hands on the Xenophobe’s guide to the Germans…’          Reviewer from Hamburg

  • ‘I now know why there are 56 words describing a quizzical expression and only one word for laughter, which is the same as the ones for funny and joke. This is an amusing and irreverent trawl through the Swedish psyche. From the land that gave us ABBA, Ikea & Wallander, I’m really surprised that the Swedish seem to be so uptight about themselves. Makes for entertaining reading though. Thoroughly recommend it.’           Reviewer from Yorkshire, UK

  • ‘This is an amusing and enlightening introduction to the Swedes, and gets more useful information into far fewer pages than many more pretentious guidebooks. I shall certainly pop it in my handbag before venturing in to Viking-land.’      Reviewed by RAW

     

     

If you would like to comment or submit a review on the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Swedes please do so in the box to the right.

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Links to make you laugh

Ten weird taboos you must never break in Sweden

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How to glugg the glögg
One drink in particular keeps the Swedes warm in winter: glögg. The beverage has been a Christmas tradition in Sweden since the 1890s. John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe with The Local.

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See Next

Ten reasons Sweden is the best winter country
With winter’s arrival in Sweden, we’ve decided to embrace the frosty season here at The Local. We’ve gathered the ten best reasons why Sweden is, indeed, the best country in the world to spend winter.

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Dining Out Swedish Style
Every nation and culture have their own particular codes of etiquette when dining out. So when in Sweden here are the Top 10 tips to tackle a Swedish dinner party.

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About the author

Peter Berlin left his native Sweden the day after graduating from university, and has always looked back since. He maintains that you have to go abroad to view your country in perspective, for how can one size up a whale from within?

After 45 years in the space business (as in outer space, not office space), he took early retirement to become a full-time writer. Instead, he found himself re-employed to gather intelligence at Siberian and Kazakh space centres previously unknown to the West. He now spends much of his time teaching would-be rocket scientists the pitfalls inherent in building rockets or satellites, and giving seminars in Cross-Cultural Awareness during which he offers living proof that, even after decades of living abroad, your cultural baggage stays with you for life.