Jesus, who?
We’re nearly been drowning in Christmas presents and traditional food this time of the year. So much so, that some of us are forgetting why we’re celebrating Christmas to begin with. That Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus is not obvious to everyone. Only 82% of the people polled in a Sifo survey ordered by the Swedish Church, know why we’re celebrating. ”If we had asked this 40 years ago, then everyone would’ve known,” says Archbishop Anders Wejryd. ”If we were to have perspective on public life, then I’d wish 100% would have known who the main subject (at Christmas) is.” For many, whether they believe in Christ or not, the church fills a function during the Christmas celebration. But while the church visit is more of a nice tradition for secular people, it has become even more important for the believers. Says Viktor Aldrin, Doctor of Theology in Religious Studies at Göteborg University: ”With the secularization, there’s been a sharper focus on what a person believes and does not believe. Therefore, those who do believe have become more active and want to celebrate by going to schurch on a regular basis, sing Christian hymns, put up the nativity scene, and read the Christmas story and so on.” Archbishop Wejryd reminds us that everyone is welcome at the church. ”Many feel there will be no real Christmas without going to the church service or hearing a concert in the church. That’s great.” 1,000 people 18 years and older, were polled by Sifo and they were asked: ”Do you know why we celebrate Christmas?” This is how they answered: 82% replied ”birth of Jesus”, 13% said ”tradition”, 3% said ”old Norse feast”, 2% ”children’s feast”, 1% ”feast of light”, 5% answered something else, and 7% didn’t know.

Still wanted: Eel
The much endangered eel is disappearing from Swedish ”julbord”. The World Wildlife Fund contacted Sweden, and of the nearly one hundred restaurants, boutiques and ferry operators asked, a majority said they do not offer any eel. In the southern parts of Sweden (Skåne, Blekinge, and Öland) however, eel is still sold, also in more upscale food halls. The consumer is usually a person who is over 50 years old, since younger consumers aren’t interested either in eel or in ”lutfisk”, according to WWF. The eel population has decreased with 99% in less than 60 years, through overfishing and a lack of European co-management. There are also obstacles in the waterways, such and turbines and slucies, that are major threats.

Best in vehicle test
Last year, when Svensk Bilprovning checked for manufacturing defects on cars manufactured in 2002 and onward, the make Porsche did best, while Dodge was the worst. 2% of all Porsches checked were found faulty, while 44% of the Dodges were.

SJ, Swedish Railways to save 1 billion
Statens järnvägar (the Swedish State Railways, often shortened to SJ) plans on saving 1 billion SEK ($152 million) in the next three years. This means staff reductions will have to be made. Says CEO Crister Fritzson: ”This is a tough situation. We must act swiftly to strengthen our competitiveness. It’s clear that our expenses are too high in relation to our revenue.”