Sweden hails friendship with VN

Home Swede home: Swedish people celebrate their national day. — Photo Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.seHome Swede home: Swedish people celebrate their national day. — Photo Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

(VNS) To mark Sweden’s National Day today, Viet Nam News presents an article by the Swedish Ambassador, Camilla Mellander.

Today, on Sweden’s National Day, I ex-tend my kindest regards to all Swedes and friends in Viet Nam and around the world. On June 6, we celebrate Gustav Vasa’s appointment as King of Sweden in 1523, thus laying the foundation for a united Swedish kingdom.

Sweden and Viet Nam have a long history of co-operation in the area of culture. Music is one area where Sweden has a lot to offer. Even though there are only nine million Swedes, we are the world’s third largest music exporter.

Maybe you have heard of Roxette, ABBA, Swedish House Mafia and Robyn to mention a few. Many Swedish musicians have come to Viet Nam and many Vietnamese have visited Sweden. Our two countries have also collaborated a lot in the field of literature with numerous translations of each other’s books.

In 2011, the poet Tomas Transtrumer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and we are happy that a collection of his work is available to the Vietnamese audience.

The Nobel Prize, presented each year in Stockholm by King Carl Gustaf, the 16th is the most prestigious in the world not only in Literature, but also in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine/Physiology, Peace and Economics.

Film has also been an area of co-operation and parts of the Vietnamese film archives were kept in Sweden during the war and subsequently returned.

Celebrities such as Ingmar Bergman, Greta Garbo and the Skarsgrd family have given Swedish film and acting an almost certain place on the red carpet.

I am happy to see that the amount of Swedish tourists coming to Viet Nam is increasing. I have been in Viet Nam for less than a year but I am captivated and eager to keep exploring.

Sweden has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism, which is it’s fastest growing sector, offering a mix of natural adventures and bustling cities full of cool fashion, shopping, culture and five-star culinary experiences everywhere.

Sweden is the third largest country in Europe and our nature is therefore very diverse. “Nature tourism” remains Sweden’s biggest attraction and in the northern part of Sweden, you can experience one of the few remaining untouched wilderness in the world, the winter’s Arctic chill and the mystical silence of the breathtaking northern lights. On the outskirts of our capital, Stockholm, there’s a vast archipelago of almost 30,000 islands to enjoy.

When it comes to education, many people are not aware of the fact that Sweden’s universities offer a great selection of courses in English, both at bachelors and masters level.

Our universities are also world class. In the 2012-13 Universitas 21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems, Sweden came second, only surpassed by the US. Sweden has three universities listed among the 100 best in the world and I hope more Vietnamese students find their way to Sweden.

I am grateful to be in Viet Nam and let me reassure you that Sweden is here to stay. I feel both proud and cheerful saying that next year we are celebrating 45years of diplomatic relations and these years have resulted in a close, longstanding and unique friendship between our two nations. Our two countries might be quite far in distance, but we are very close at heart. — VNS

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