The Quick Read

This is a list of all 'Quick Reads' in the order they were published. Quick Reads are intended to provide quick, evidence-based information on a particular topic. They are generally short, encyclopaedic entries of about 1000 words on, for example, specific, named companies, brands, organisations, themes within a subject area etc, or entries on particular terms used in Nordic languages which are not necessarily easily to translate without further discussion. To customise your search, use the 'category' buttons, or the search function.

The official flag of Åland since the 1950s. Åland is semi-automonous in that it has its own legislature, but it is a part of Finland despite over 90% of the population speaking Swedish. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Jason Lavery, Minorities, Democracy, Governance

The Åland Islands

The Åland Islands lie at the south-western tip of the Finnish peninsula between Finland and Sweden. This archipelago of 6,500 islands and skerries is demilitarised, an autonomous region and a Swedish-speaking part of Finland.

Logo of the Danish Cultural Institute.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Inken Dose, Culture, The arts

Danish Cultural Institute

Founded in 1940, the Danish Cultural Institute aims to foster intercultural understanding both at home and abroad, and has branches in seven countries with activities and networks in many more. Financed by the Danish Ministry of Culture, private funds and its own revenue, it focuses on diverse themes.

Offices of the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman in Stockholm. The first Swedish Ombudsman was appointed in 1810. Photo: Riksdagens Ombudsman.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Inken Dose, Governance, Democracy

Ombudsman

Originating in Sweden in 1809, an ombudsman is generally regarded as an official body of complaint which protects individuals against abuses of power and maladministration. Finland and Denmark were the second and third countries to establish an ombudsman, and the idea later spread to the other Nordic countries and further afield. The idea of a…

Henning Larsen, concert and congress hall (2011), Uppsala.  The split cubic form with a sculptural reflective metallic and glass façade is referred to locally as the 'Crystal'. Photo: Krysta Mae Dimick

2019.04.24 | The Quick Read, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Prominent 21st century architecture in Sweden

21st century cultural and civic buildings in Sweden offer both place-based and neo-modernist styles.

The education centre 'Glasir' is located on the undulating fjords of the Faroe Islands, with views to the capital Tórshavn, the sea and verdant fells. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj. Courtesy of: BIG

2019.04.10 | The Quick Read, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Prominent 21st century architecture in Greenland and the Faroe Islands

Many civic works in Greenland and the Faroe Islands draw upon the respective countries' dramatic, rugged landscapes and sometimes harsh climate for inspiration.

Housing block in Rinkeby, Sweden, 2009. Photo: Holger Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 3.0)

2019.04.04 | The Quick Read, Dorota Lubińska, Multiculturalism

Urban vernacular in Sweden

Rinkebysvenska or Rinkeby Swedish is a contemporary urban vernacular (CUV) which has developed in multi-ethnic urban areas of Sweden including a suburb of Stockholm called Rinkeby. This speech variety is mainly used by young people in addition to other languages and language varieties depending on context, and its use is reflected in rap and…

While spectacular sites in Iceland and elsewhere draw visitors from around the world (like the remote canyon on the South Coast of Iceland pictured here), being outdoors in an everyday way from kindergarten and outdoor pursuits are generally considered characteristic of Nordic life. Photo: Jonathan Auh, Unsplash.

2019.04.01 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Outdoors in the Nordics

A comprehensive infrastructure caters to both domestic and foreign demand for outdoor activities in the Nordic countries, a demand resulting from swathes of both developed and undeveloped nature, and a widespread perception that being outdoors is character-building and healthy. In recent times, the younger and immigrant populations have shown that…

The incorruptibility and purity of Norwegian nature was one of the most important elements of nineteenth century Norwegian national romanticism. Here illustrated in Brudeferd i Hardanger / Bridal procession on the Hardangerfjord (1848) by Adolph Tidemand and Hans Gude. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2019.04.01 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

The role of nature in the Nordic countries

With a low population density in all Nordic countries barring Denmark, nature has taken on a central feature of everyday life for many in the region. It has also played a role in the formation of national identity reflected in art and the ideal of being outdoors.

3XN, AC Hotel Bella Sky (2011), Ørestad in Copenhagen, Denmark. A powerful expressive work with two inclined and faceted towers connected by a sky bridge. Photo: Krysta Mae Dimick

2019.03.27 | The Quick Read, William C Miller, Architecture & design

Prominent 21st century architecture in Denmark

Booming Danish 21st century architecture includes harbour swimming pools, housing, civic buildings and event houses, with neo-modernist design playing a significant role.

Hunt for pilot whales at Torshavn, Faroe Islands. Photo: Flickr, Bjarne Stoklund (1961), The National Museum of Denmark (CC BY-SA 2.0)

2019.03.27 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Culture

Whaling by Nordic countries

Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands are among the few countries in the world that still permit limited whaling.

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