The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, based on the book by late Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson, comes out next week. But it’s hardly the first fantastic thing from Sweden to wash up on American shores. Indeed, this Scandinavian wonderland has brought us much to celebrate in recent years. Witness these 11 reasons Sweden takes a back seat to no one when it comes to sharing awesome-ness with the rest of the world.
Lykke Li: Born in Sweden, raised in Lisbon, Morocco, Nepal and India, this rising singer-songwriter blends pop, indie rock and electronic music to blow our minds.
Spotify: We hate illegally downloading, er, going to our favorite traditional brick-and-mortar record store and buying music as much as the next guy. Thank you, Sweden for Spotify.
Disfear: Sweden has a thriving, vibrant music scene. Along with Li at the top of the heap is this hardcore/metal band, fronted by high school teacher Tomas Lindberg, formerly of At The Gates.
Ikea: Sweden brought us Ikea, a place where you can furnish a kitchen better than the rest of your friends on a shoestring. We don’t recommend taking up residence in any of those faux bedrooms, though.
Volvo S60: Volvos are affordable, dependable, safe and stylish, like pretty much everything else from Sweden.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The Bosnian-Croatian sensation, who was born in and plays for Sweden, nearly decided to be a dockworker instead of a footballer. As he now rakes in $17 million a year as a striker for Italy’s AC Milan, we’d say he made the right choice.
Soccer fans: Just book a flight now, dude.
Malin Akerman: Thank you, Sweden, for sending a then-two-year-old Akerman to British Occupied North America (a.k.a. Canada), which is basically part of the United States. We love her in everything from Watchmen to Children’s Hospital.
The Millennium Trilogy: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the first of this epic trilogy by Larsson. Back home it is called Män som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women), proving that Sweden has some catching up to do when it comes to picking catchy titles.
Pannkakor: Swedish pancakes. It’s all about the lingonberries, people.
The Swedish Chef: “Gersh gurndy morn-dee burn-dee, burn-dee, flip-flip-flip-flip-flip-flip-flip-flip-flip.” ’Nuff said.