Original title: Orden som formade Sverige
Original publication: Natur och Kultur
Genre: Non Fiction

Scandinavia is trendy. The word “hygge” escaped from Denmark and tours the world, promoting the Danish idea of happiness and covering up for the high usage of anti-depressives there. Something similar is going on with the word “lagom”. In a race with other Swedish identity concepts of older sorts, like IKEA, meatballs, Roxette and Ibra, the concept of “lagom” has completely taken over.

The word “lagom” means enough or good enough, and is used to promote Sweden as modern, pleasant country with good taste in design, music and crime literature. But actually, Sweden isn´t “lagom” at all. On the contrary, the Swedish way of living and the basic values are extreme compared to rest of the world. Ingmar Bergman being Swedish is no coincidence, the same goes for the fact that Sweden is the country which had 63 888 of its citizens sterilized – a Swedish record not many have heard of. Only Nazi-Germany beats it. Nothing “lagom” about that.

By the way, I love this strange country in which I happen to be born. But my love isn´t blind.


Elisabeth Åsbrink


Magdalena Hedlund
Phone: +46 70-669 05 68