Scandinavia--Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland--is blessed with five distinct, yet related, cultures.

Learn about the stories behind the legends, about the countries, and most of all about the people.


"We sailed our ships to any shore that offered the best hope of booty; we feared no fellow on earth..."
Saga of Arrow-Odd

What is Gjetost?
A town in Sweden.
Brown goat cheese.
The word for "hello" in

Roasted fish.
The word for ghost in

Correct answer?
OSLO - Norway

Clustered around the head of the 68-mile-long Oslofjord, Oslo is probably the most spacious city in the world. Its 175-square-mile metropolitan area consists of over 75 percent forests and five percent water. Its fine deep harbor, Pipervika, stretches into the heart of the city and from it leave ferries to Denmark and Germany.

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Feature: Stavanger
Featured City: Oslo
Food: The Great NordicDiet
          Swedish Semla
          Norwegian Cuisine
          Canned Sardines
History: The Round Tower
Arts:   Vigeland Park, Oslo
          Georg Jensen
People: Henrik Ibsen    
News: Happiest Countries          

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Cloudberry Cream

A member of the rose family, cloudberry bushes produce delicious orange berries that are smaller than blackberries and raspberries. Red before ripening, the fruit turns soft and orange at maturity. Scandinavians pick them from the end of July through the beginning of August. In a good year, the Swedes, alone, buy and sell about a 1,000 tons of them. Scandinavians call the abundant berries the "The Gold of the Bogs," eat them fresh in season or make them into preserves. They also use them to make liqueurs and as a filling in chocolate candies, as well as making a tea thatís rich in vitamin C. For this reason, people at cloudberries during the 18th and early 19th centuries to combat gout and scurvy.

A favorite dessert among Scandinavians is to smother creamy vanilla ice cream with warm cloudberries. And Americans love to spread cloudberry preserves on a fresh toasted bagel spread with soft cream cheese. But for a real treat, try making some heavenly cloudberry cream.


1 pint of whipping cream 
1 small jar of cloudberry preserves or 3 tablespoons per serving

Whip the cream lightly, then carefully fold in the preserves. For additional sweetness, add additional sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon into small bowls or stem glasses and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Serve ice cold with a vanilla cookie if desired.

OR for a low-calorie alternative, substitute

1 container of fat-free non-dairy cream topping for the whipping cream

If following the low-calorie alternative, fold the preserves lightly into the fat-free topping. For additional sweetness, add a small amount of artificial sweetener. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon into small bowls or stem glasses and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Serve ice cold with low-fat pretzel sticks if desired.

Makes: 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes

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Every year about 95 000 people die in Sweden and, according to the law, everyone must be buried. There must be room for everyone in the cemeteries, therefore the future needs of space have to be predicted. Because of this funerals must be part of the planning process.

Read more about Swedish burials

News from Norway
from Aftenposten
News from Denmark
News from Sweden
from the SR International 
News from Finland
from Finnish News Agency STT
News from Iceland
from The Iceland Review
All news is in English


In the early Middle Ages, driven by famine at home and the promise of wealth to be had in other lands, the Vikings set out from Scandinavia to conquer parts of England, Ireland, France, Russia, and even Turkey. Bolstered by their successes, the Vikings pushed westward, eventually crossing the North Atlantic and founding settlements in Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland in Canada.
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