“The response was overwhelming, with many posts from followers all over the world who commented on everything from the music elements to their own memories of Sweden. We were able to showcase Sweden when it is at its most beautiful, but also conveyed insights into how we are affected by the pandemic”, says Madeleine Sjöstedt, Director- General of the Swedish Institute.
The Swedish Institute’s 24-hour live-streaming national day celebration, Sweden live: National Day @ home, became a global celebration. The program featured music performances, cultural events and at-home greetings. The celebration was part of SI’s work to promote interest in Sweden and create unity between people around the world, during a period of social distancing.
The response from the followers of the Sweden channels in the world far exceeded all expectations. In addition to Swedes, the broadcast had many viewers in the US, Russia, Peru and the United Kingdom. It was broadcast at the Facebook accounts sweden.se (English), ru.sweden.se (Russian) and ar.sweden.se (Arabic). Post was viewed about 1.4 million times on Facebook. Sweden.se had over 459,000 viewers and the website live.sweden.se (where the national day could be seen) had 18,932 unique visitors, of which 44% came from Sweden.
More than 70 Swedish embassies and consulates participated in Sweden live: National Day @ home, broadcasting the celebration in their social media channels, including the foreign authorities in Colombia, US, UK, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Georgia, Egypt and Mozambique. The Swedish Embassy in Beijing broadcast on Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) and received over 87,500 views.
Among the approximately 150 people who participated were, among others, The Crown Princess and Her Family and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven; the chefs Jessica Frej, Camilla Hamid, and Paul Svensson; the musicians Oscar Zia, ionnalee, Sousou & Maher Cissoko, and Jens Lekman. Famous Swedes contributed with home-with-greetings, including Anne Sofie von Otter, Christer Fuglesang, Mouna Esmaeilzadeh, and Anton Hysén. In total, the broadcast consisted of over 120 elements.
“Thanks to the National Day broadcast, we in the US were also able to pay attention to Sweden’s National Day with a nice mix of Swedish culture and greetings from Swedish profiles”, says Karin Olofsdotter, The Swedish ambassador to the US. “It is of great value, in these challenging times, to be able to gather and experience and be part of Sweden. Although the get together became virtual, a strong sense of community and togetherness was conveyed throughout the celebration.”