This is Sweden.
The early history of Sweden begins around the 9th century when Swedes were merchant seamen well known for their far-reaching trade.
You know them as vikings.
And, “viking” actually means “to go on an expedition” or “to go raiding”.
Modern Sweden begins in 1397 when the Scandinavian nations were collectively called Kalmarunionen.
Or, in English, The Union of Calmar.
But, during these years, diverging interest gave rise to a conflict that would hamper the union and ultimately leads to a definite breakup in 1523 when Gustav Vasa
became king of Sweden.
Sometime after Gustav Vasa descended the throne, something called the Swedish Empire was formed.
And then, we had a galactic war spanning several decades, fighting against the Swedish Republic and the Jedi vikings.
DARTH VADER: Luke, I am your father.
But, that's for another video!
No, but seriously, during this time, Sweden was actually one of the great European powers, and this time is even referred to as "Stormarktstiden", which roughly
translates to “The Great Era of Power”.
But, in [the] early 18th century, Sweden took part in the Great Northern War, which was disastrous for Sweden, to say the least.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Sweden lost most of its previously conquered territory, and these would later begin the formation of Norway and Finland.
But, despite its long history of war and conflicts with neighboring countries, Sweden has stayed neutral ever since 1814.
Sweden is one of the most Internet-active countries in the world. In fact with a population of 9.5 million, there's about 500,000 who are not using the Internet in any way.
So, statistically speaking, we're 4th in the world only beaten by a few percent by Norway, Iceland, and Falkland Islands.
Sweden also has the largest proportion of personal computers in Europe with 500 PCs per 1,000 people.
The world's largest scale model of the solar system exists in Sweden.
It is in the scale of 1 to 20,000,000 and stretches 950km from the capital Stockholm all the way to Kiruna.
The huge spherical building named Globen in Stockholm represents the sun,
and then the planets as well as dwarf planets along with some larger asteroids are spread out across the country.
Swedes are apparently very good at recycling waste products.
In fact, only 4% of all waste generated ends up on landfill.
But, all of this may seem like it could only be a positive, and maybe even inevitable achievement compared to countries where this is a problem...
...Swedes are actually TOO good at it.
We're so good at recycling waste that we have to import MORE waste from Norway.
80,000 ton[s] every year, to be exact.
This is because Sweden relies on waste to heat and provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes through a waste-to-energy program.
So, we're basically recycling our fuel.
In Japan, there's a town called Sweden Hills, and it's exactly what the name suggests; a town that looks exactly like a regular Swedish neighborhood.
The idea began after the Swedish ambassador visited the town and remarked how similar the atmosphere and scenery was to his native Sweden.
Only a few years ago, video games were considered to be played by, should I say, nerds.
Today, gaming is everywhere with people on YouTube, for example, making a living simply by letting people watch them play video games.
But, you truly must realize how far gaming has come when only last year, a school in Stockholm, Sweden started introducing compulsory Minecraft lessons.
This was done by teachers hoping the Swedish computer game would help children to further develop their thinking.
Like any other country, Sweden is the source for a lot of inventions and companies that are widely popular today.
For example, Anders Celsius was the inventor of the now called Celsius thermometer scale.
Alfred Nobel invented dynamite as well as instituted the Nobel Prize.
Nils Bohlin invented the safety belt.
Gideon Sundbäck invented the modern-day zipper.
Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters invented the refrigerator.
One of the first mobile phones was invented by Swedes in 1956.
IKEA was founded in 1943.
The Swedish site, The Pirate Bay, is the largest BitTorrent site in the world.
Spotify is one of the largest music streaming sites in the world.
The popular car manufacturers Volvo, Saab, Koenigsegg, and Scania were all founded in Sweden.
H&M, which actually stands for “Hennes och Mauritz”, is the second largest clothing retailer worldwide.
And Absolut vodka is the third largest brand of alcoholic spirits in the world and is sold in 126 countries.
Sweden is one of the few countries in the European Union to still retain its own currency and not use the Euro.
The currency is called krona which was introduced in 1873. $1 ≈ 6.5kr.
But, Sweden is actually obligated to adopt the Euro at some point since it joined the European Union.
However, using a loophole in the law, it's been able to declare itself ineligible.
The only other two European Union countries also to refuse to adopt the Euro are Denmark and the United Kingdom.
The shortest name for a location in the world exists in Sweden as well as Norway, and only consists of one letter.
The letter called Å.
Because, in Swedish, we have three extra letters at the end of the alphabet. Namely, Å, Ä, and Ö.
Ö can mean "island" and Å is a word for "river".
We all know that my English is absolutely flawless!
Beautiful pronunciations such as “shäräktör” (characher), “Daanysh” (Danish), “gellow” (yellow), and let's not forget...
Sweden actually has a higher percentage of English speakers than Canada, and it's only about 8% behind the United States.
This has a lot to do Sweden's tendency to prefer subtitled content over dubbing.
But, English has also been a compulsory subject for Swedish students since the 1940s.
And, on top of all this, Swedish was not announced [as] the official language of Sweden until 2009.
♫ I natt jag drömde något som ♫
♫ jag aldrig drömt förut ♫
♫ Jag drömde det var fred på jord ♫
♫ och alla krig var slut ♫