The importance of saying “Hej!”
Say “Hej!” (Hi!) to your colleagues at work and make everybody happier! If you work at Blekinge Läns Tidning, a local Swedish newspaper, you actually have to say "Hej" or hello – there’s a written instruction. “There’s a much better atmosphere here (since we introduced it),” says Pernilla Berghé, administrative editor at the paper. After the sports editorial office at Blekinge Läns Tidning was united with that of competitor Sydöstran, problems began – people stopped saying hello, which led to irritation. The editorial management decided on a number of measures, among them a written recommendation on how to behave. In the Health Profile, it says to say “Hej!” to everyone you meet first time in the morning, if you meet that person again later in the day, it’s enough to greet him or her with a nod or a smile. “Sure, some felt it was a bit silly to begin with but it works,” continues Berghé. “Now people say hello to each other in almost an exaggerated way, but always with a twinkle in the eye.” Behavioral expert Torsten Heinberg at Arbetsmiljöverket (the Swedish Work Environment Authority) says he feels that a “policy to say hello” sounds a bit strange, but adds: “A change in behavior may even change the underlying attitude. And to say hello is important, we all have a need to be seen and heard.”

Why IKEA founder is no longer on top
Why, we wonder, is Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) no longer among the absolutely richest people in the world? This year he’s descended from being the 11th richest to the 162nd richest on the list put together by Forbes Magazine. Kamprad’s wealth has been valued at “a meager” 40 billion SEK ($6,322,028,213.52), compared to last year’s 150 billion SEK ($23,741,458,497.50). What happened? Did Kamprad go on a shopping spree? No, it is Kamprad’s much-discussed “secret” foundation Interogo in Liechtenstein, which is currently worth about 100 billion SEK ($15,824,456,318.27) that’s behind the fall. It is through this foundation that Kamprad controls his enterprise. Kamprad’s lawyers have produced documents showing that neither Kamprad himself nor his heirs have access to the assets of the foundation. Thereby Kamprad’s personal wealth lessens, and he’s said to be one of Forbes biggest losers of the year. Incidentally, the richest Swede on Forbes list is Stefan Persson (owner of H&M). Forbes list 'The World's Billionaires'

March 14 in history
Today, March 14, in 1889 was the day when August Strindberg’s classic play “Fröken Julie” (“Miss Julie”) had its world premiere in Copenhagen, Denmark at Studentsamfundet (presumably a student organization), with Strindberg’s wife Siri von Essen (billed as Siri Strindberg) in the title role, Viggo Schiwe as Jean and Anna Pio as the maid Christine. The play, which had been published a year earlier, opened to poor reviews. Malmö journalist Carl Julius Correus wrote in Dagens Nyheter: “Even though the auditorium consisted almost entirely of men, the author had to take out much of his original text. The final curtain fell, or rather was drawn, rather tiredly.” Evidently not the success Strindberg hoped for. “Miss Julie” is a play that deals with class, love and lust and the battle of the sexes and power. It is set on the midsummer night of 1874 on an estate of a Count in Sweden, the young woman of the title, attempting to escape an existence cramped by social mores and have a little fun, dances at the servants' annual midsummer party, where she is drawn to a senior servant, a footman named Jean, who is particularly well-traveled, well-mannered and well-read. The action takes place in the kitchen of Miss Julie's father's manor; here Jean's fiancée, a servant named Christine, cooks and sometimes sleeps while Jean and Miss Julie talk. The Swedish premiere of the play took place in 1906, on September 18 at Akademiska Föreningens teater in Lund. The anniversary of author August Strindberg’s death (1849-1912) is coming up in 2012. In spite of the author's importance it seems, only pennies have been earmarked for the event Strindberg 2012 - too little and too late?