Young Swedes in New York.
If you’re a young Swede in New York, you know that living in the Big Apple is not (always) a rose garden. Don’t let the big city get to you, fortify yourself by joining other Swedes. Unga svenskar i New York meet at the Swedish Church, and you can join their online group at, where you can get more news and information about their activities. On April 12, for example, they will meet for påskpyssel, on April 19 they show a movie, and on May 3 the young female pastor, Anna Kuoksu, and Miche Turner at the Swedish Church will lead a guided tour to Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Riverside Church.

The secret of a räkmacka.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…. Swedes love their shrimp sandwiches — or räkmacka or räksmörgås as we call them —more than words can say. But exactly what should a räkmacka entail? Recently På tested Stockholm’s räksmörgåsar but found nothing that was quite good enough. For a really, really good räksmörgås, the experts agreed, you simply have to go to Göteborg. But what is the secret of such a räkmacka anyway? Master Chef Erik Lallerstedt lets us in on it: “You begin with a slice of Challah (which in Stockholm is called “bergis” and in Göteborg “barkis”). The slice should be about half an inch thick. Spread it with a thick layer of homemade mayonnaise, upon which you sprinkle a layer of finely chopped red onion. After that you slice a hard boiled egg with a sharp knife (do NOT use an egg slicer). On top of the eggs, you put another layer of mayonnaise – but less thick this time. And then time for the shrimp! 16 thick, beautiful shrimp in beautiful rows! Top that with some fresh dill. “What makes this particular räksmörgås so delicious is the onion,” says Lallerstedt. “The onion offers something chewy and plays down the fat of the mayonnaise as wells as adds taste. You can also exchange the shrimp for some cold, smoked salmon. Almost as delicious!”

Lotta Lotass at Seat No. 1.
Britt Inger Liselott Lotass, better known by her pen name Lotta Lotass, is a Swedish writer and PhD of literary criticism who was officially announced to succeed the late Sten Rudholm at Seat No. 1 of the Swedish Academy. Lotass is thereby its youngest member. “It’s a great honor,” Lotass said about being voted in. “A great honor and an enormous possibility for me to work on exciting and fun things.” Lotass was born in Västerdalarna in 1964, but lives in Göteborg. She will take her seat in December. The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III and is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. It is modeled after the Académie Française and has as its motto: “Snille och Smak (Talent and Taste)." The primary purpose of the Academy is to further the “purity, strength, and sublimity of the Swedish language (Svenska Språkets renhet, styrka och höghet)." To that end the Academy publishes two dictionaries; it has 18 seats, and its members generally serve for life.

Make way for the Baffin Babes.
A Swedish-Norwegian quartet which calls itself the “Baffin Babes” is up for adventure. They recently began an 80 day ski expedition through Baffin Island, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world, situated in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. While these types of exhibitions are common enough among men, they are less so among women. The Baffin Babes – Vera and Emma Simonsson of Sweden and Ingebjørg Tollefsen and Kristin Folsland Olsen of Norway, began their 870 mile journey on skis to record the effects of global warming on the remote Arctic island. They’ll be stopping at three Inuit villages along the way. The four women are all experienced athletes and have been training for months at home and in Greenland to ensure they’ll be strong enough to pull all their gear and supplies behind them in pulkas. “Many people wonder how we will be able to do this,” said Emma Simonsson. “Adventures like these are a bit macho, and the average person to do an expedition like this, is usually a weathered man with a beard.” The young women face polar bears (particularly hungry at this time of year), unexplored glaciers, and a climate of about –40 C. You can help sponsor their adventure or simply follow them via their blog at We wish them luck.