The Scandinavian nation of Sweden is located in Northern Europe where it has a territory of 450,295 square km. Sweden hosts a population of around 10.2 million. Ethnic Swedes constitute the majority of the country’s population. Sweden Finns and ethnic Finns are the largest ethnic minority groups living Sweden. The Sami people, a nomadic group who are associated with reindeer herding are a small indigenous ethnic group living in North Sweden. The country also hosts immigrants from several other European countries and from other parts of the world. Christianity is the religion of the vast majority in Sweden. 61.3% of the population is affiliated with the Lutheran Church of Sweden.
Although Swedish cuisine in modern times is influenced by global cuisine, traditional Swedish dishes are still hugely popular in the country. Significant differences in the cuisine of northern and southern Sweden is also visible. Meats like those of the reindeer and other game are highly popular in the North while dishes rich in fresh vegetable are common in the South. One of the traditional dishes of Sweden is meatballs served with cream sauce, lingonberry jam, mashed potatoes, and pickled cucumber. Swedish pancakes, Surströmming (fermented herring accompanied by salad and boiled potatoes), Gravlax (raw salmon cured in sugar, dill, and salt), and Pitepalt dumpling are some other famous traditional Swedish dishes.
The Rök Runestone was the first literary text from Sweden. It was carved at around 800 AD during the Viking Age. Latin writings by Christian monks became common in Sweden in the Middle Ages. Following the standardization of the Swedish language in the 16th century, literature in the language flourished. In 1541, the Bible was translated into Swedish. Over the years, Sweden produced many notable authors including the Nobel laureates.
Although most Swedes wear modern clothing that is internationally influenced, traditional Swedish folk costumes are occasionally worn. The Sverigedräkten is one such costume that is worn by royal women on some formal occasions. The yellow and blue colored version of the dress was established as the National Costume in 2004. Different regions of the country have their own folk costume designs.
Sweden has a lively music and dance scene. Around 600,000 of the country’s inhabitants belong to the various choirs. The country also has a rich traditional folk music and dance scene. Most of the folk performances happen during traditional festivals and ceremonies in the country.