So I wish all amazing mamas a truly Happy Mother's Day! My sister and I celebrated our beloved mum with some hand picked Lily Of The Valleys, a home made cake, a "Best Mum" mug and a Mother's Day Card. We also made her dinner. :-)
Mother's Day treats my sister and I gave our mum.
Now the custom of celebrating Mother's Day, which of course is a special day when children celebrate their mothers, began with an American woman, teacher Anna Jarvis (1864-1948), in Philadelphia in 1907 who wanted to celebrate her deceased mother's memory with a sermon in church. Jarvis wanted the sermon to focus on the fourth commandment and mother's love, which it did. The church was also decorated by Jarvis herself and white carnations where given out to all visitors, her mother's favorite flower. In the coming years Mother's Day spread throughout the rest of the United States and in 1914 it became an official holiday.
In Sweden, Mother's Day was celebrated for the first time in 1919 at the initiative of author Cecilia Bååth-Holmberg (1857-1920), who in the journal "På Vakt" - "On Guard" brought up the tradition. Bååth-Holmberg also suggested that Mother's Day should be celebrated on the last Sunday of May instead, because flowers would be in bloom in most of the country by then. She actually also published a "guidance" on HOW to celebrate one's mother.
So in 1920 the booklet "Instructions for the celebration of Mother's Day" was sent out in Sweden. In it were six points to show Swedes how to celebrate this new tradition. And the six points were:
1. The Swedish flag is hoisted from the home's flagpole.
2. Mother is greeted in the morning with singing by the children.
3. She is offered, before getting out of bed, great coffee and bread prepared by the children. She is being honored with flowers and a small gift.
4. She is given, as far as possible, rest and freedom from all the housework during the day. The children make beds, sweep, cook and wash dishes.
5. At afternoon coffee or in evening a small ceremony is held where the father of the family is involved. Something beautiful is read aloud by heart, and a heartfelt thank you is given to Mother, who is the home's cohesive force. The children ask for Mother's forgiveness for disobedience and lack of gratitude for everything that has caused Mother sorrow, groans, troubles and difficulties.
6. Absent child greets Mother via letter or telegram or postcard, that has been especially made and provided for Mother's Day.
I just love when I find little treats like these, so funny to read how they thought back then. Anyway, despite this lovely booklet it was not until many decades later that Mother's Day was recognized to a larger extent in Sweden. And today Mother's day is actually celebrated in 46 countries around the world, though not on the same date.
But even though we do not celebrate Mother's Day on the same day in all parts of the world, I do wish all Mothers out there a (perhaps again) Happy Mother's Day! I mean, you really cannot celebrate or appreciate a mum too much. At least not in my book. :p
Something I can certainly vouch for. In fact, I read in the news recently that in Sweden we eat about 11.5 liters of ice cream per person per year. Only Finns eat more ice cream than us in Europe. On the other hand, we only eat half as much ice cream as the Americans. Either way, I must admit that I can indeed relate to these statistics, because I do love ice cream! Especially during warm lovely summer days, like today. Which is why I, instead of lunch today, went into town here in Karlskrona and got in line to buy ice cream from our most popular ice cream shop here in Karlskrona in Sweden, Glassiären.
Here I am in line to buy ice cream at Glassiären today.
Now the ice cream shop Glassiären is only open during the summer season and is popular mainly because of the HUGE ice cream's they serve. One scoop there is actually about four scoops. Which is why you don't order "one scoop" but "one flavor" of ice cream.
The ice cream menu at Glassiären.
The ice cream flavors at Galssiären.
And my ice cream!!! Flavors I chose: salt licorice, caramel/marshmallow and pistachio, topped with soft ice cream. However, I did not eat that monster ice cream myself though. I shared it with my lovely mum. :p
I also thought I share a few other facts about Sweden and ice cream:
Sweden's first ice cream factory was founded in 1934 by the Milk Central in Stockholm. However, the big breakthrough for ice cream on a stick in Sweden came during the hot summer of 1955.
- The total Swedish ice cream sales were estimated to reach 97.9 million liters in 2010, according to Swedish Board of Agriculture.
- And below are stats over how much ice cream some other European countries eat every year. The stats are in terms of liters per capita per year (2009):
Now, it is a good thing for me that I have only started to work on my estimated ice cream quota per year. Because that means that I have many more delicious cold treats to look forward to devour this summer. Yuuuummm!!! I can't wait to continue to represent these statistics. :p
In this post I will write a bit about how the health care system in Sweden works. I will also give examples of how much it can cost to visit a doctor at a local health care clinic or hospital emergency room, buy medicine and other health care related costs.
Our local health care clinic, pharmacy and dental care clinic here in Lyckeby in Sweden.
Now the health care services in Sweden are mostly funded by county and local community taxes. So the fee we pay, for example, for a doctor's appointment is just a small part of what it actually costs. Each county in Sweden decides what fees to charge for the health care services it offers. But overall, most fees are quite similar in the different counties. The fees are also the same at the county's own health care clinics as they are at private clinics of which the county has an agreement with.
Furthermore, most counties offer free health care to children and adolescents up to their 19th birthday. But again, each county decides which age limit should apply for free health care in it. For example, in Örebro county the age limit for free health care is 25 years old, whereas in Stockholm county the age limit is 18. Örebro county also offers free contraceptives for everyone up to 25 years old.
Some other health care services that are always free, no matter where you live in Sweden or how old you are, are school health services and vaccinations offered at schools. Prenatal care and visits to maternity and child health care clinics are also free. As are health care and medication needed for treatment for a so-called public health hazard according to the Communicable Disease Act.
Examples Of Patient Fees For Adults In Sweden 2012
There are of course patient fees for most health care related visits and treatments in Sweden when you are an adult though. So below are some examples of how much it can cost for an adult to visit a doctor at a local health care clinic or emergency room at a hospital. The fees below apply for each county's own clinics and private clinics of which the county has an agreement with. Entirely private health care clinics may have different fees.
Prices are listed in Swedish Kronas, SEK, and US Dollars, USD.
Currency today: 1 USD = 7.1 SEK
- A doctor's appointment at a health care clinic costs about 150 - 250 SEK or21 - 35 USD.
- A visit to a hospital emergency room costs about 200 - 380 SEK or28 - 53 USD.
- Admission to a hospital costs a maximum of 80 SEK or11 USD per treatment day.
- Some counties charge a fee for transportation by ambulance or helicopter, whereas it is free in others.
- Mammography for early detection of breast cancer and smear examination of the cervix, a so called gynecological health control, can cost up to 200 SEK or 28 USD. But if you live in Stockholm for example, mammography is free if you have been called from the county for a check up.
- Some health care clinics reimburse the visit fee if you have had to wait a more than a certain amount of time from when you had your appointment. In Stockholm for example, the limit is 30 minutes.
High-Cost Protection And Free Pass
Although some health care is free, medicine prescribed during these visits are not. However, there is a limit for how much you will have to pay for prescribed medicine, health care, medical travels and technological tools per each twelve month period in Sweden. This is called the high-cost protection. Also here each county decides its ceiling costs, but they are roughly the same in all counties.
- For example, the high-cost protection for health care, medical care and some dental care is roughly 1100 SEK or154 USD per twelve month period. Which means that if your first doctor's appointment was on May 1st, 2012, and you reach 1100 SEK in medical care costs by September 1st, 2012, you will not have to pay for any more medical visits until after May 1st, 2013. You get a so called free pass for the rest of that twelve month period. This principal also apply to the other high-cost protection areas.
- The high-cost protection for medicine prescribed by doctors, nurses or other authorized health care personnel is roughly 2 200 SEK or308 USD per twelve month period. (Non prescription medicine is not included in high-cost protection.)
- The high-cost protection for medical travels is roughly 1400 SEK or196 USD per twelve month period. (Medical travels means trips between your home and a caregiver, such as physician, physiotherapist, dentist or counselor. All medical travel is based on a medical assessment. The health care provider decides if you qualify for medical travel.)
- The high-cost protection for technological tools is roughly 2000 SEK or280 USD.
Even though you cannot add medical care costs and prescription medicine costs under one high-cost protection area, children and adolescents who are under 18 years old and belong to the same family share high-cost protection. This means that the fees for all children in the family are counted under the same high-cost protection area. For example, if a family has three children and two have needed prescribed medicine where the cost adds up to more than 2000 SEK or 280 USD within a twelve month period, all three children will receive free prescribed medicine for the rest of that twelve month period.
Health Care For Foreign Citizens While Visiting Sweden
So I have written a bit about how the health care system works if you are a Swedish citizen, but of course foreign citizens are also entitled to emergency care in Sweden. However, not the same rules apply.
Although, if you come from another EU/EEA country and have a European Health Card, you pay the same fee for emergency and necessary care as citizens registered in the county you are visiting. Without a European Health Card, you pay the entire cost yourself. For instance, a visit to a doctor at a local health care center will cost about 1700 SEK or238 USD and a visit to an emergency room at a hospital will cost about 2100 SEK or294 USD in Sweden.
Also, Sweden has an agreement, a convention, with a number of countries and provinces outside the EU. So depending on which country and region you come from, different rules apply. Read more about which rules apply to you at -->vardguiden.
Now there are of course many more aspects to how the health care system in Sweden works, but my intention with this post was to give a rough idea of its basics. However, I feel that I should also mention that even though our health care system and patient fees are pretty affordable here in Sweden, there are constant discussions and debates regarding how well the Swedish health care system actually care for its patients. But that is an entirely different post. Either way, I do indeed appreciate the health care system we have here in Sweden - even though it might not be a perfect.
Yesterday was Ascension Day here in Sweden, a holiday in the Swedish calendar. And although it was mostly a rainy day yesterday, I thought it was a great opportunity to snap some shots by my mum's garden pond. It looked so fun when the raindrops hit the surface of the water there. So together with my sister's dog Diva, who loves to stare at the fishes in the pond there, we spent quite some time outside by the pond in the rain yesterday. Below are some of the photos I captured.
Diva keept an eye on the fishes in the pond.
While I tried to capture the raindrop dance performed by the lovely raindrops.
Yesterday when I drove home with my dog Lisen after a visit and barbecue at my mum's we passed some absolutely stunning golden fields. So of course I just had to stop and take a little stroll by them with Lisen, and take some photos. :-)
The Golden Fields.
Filled with dandelions.
Lisen strolling along the fields with me.
As well as looking over them.
She even decided to take a little stroll through them.
My treasure. :-)
Looking pretty in the fields.
Now because last week was a very busy week for me with more work than usual, I even had to leave Lisen at my mum's for a few days so I could get it all done on time, it was very nice to finally get my head out of blind work mode yesterday and truly enjoy the sights I saw outside. I mean, even though I must have driven passed these fields a few times last week when I was dropping off and picking up Lisen, I really only actually noticed them yesterday. But hey, it is not easy to find treasures with a busy mind I guess. A problem I hopefully will not have this week though. :-)
A few weeks back I took my dog Lisen for a walk to, and in, the Wämö Park here in Karlskrona in Sweden. Now the Wämö Park is more than 100 years old and has a lot of fun things and animals in it, like goats. And although Lisen does not really care that much about other animals, except if she can chase them perhaps, she, after some consideration, did decide to take a closer look at the cute goat in the park.
And below are some photos from our visit to the Wämö Park here in Karlskrona in Sweden.
The entrance to the Wämö Park.
A map and info about the park at the entrance.
Where you can read a bit about the park and its history.
In we went.
All the way to this little guy.
The coolest goat ever! Lol.
Now Lisen was not entirely sure about whether or not she wanted to say hello to Mr. Goat though, hm..? (The white dots on her is snow by the way, this was about one month ago.)
But after some consideration, she decided to give it a go.
Unfortunately Mr. Goat and Lisen did not get much closer to each other than this. Because just as we were approaching Mr. Goat, a little boy and his dad came up to the goat as well. Actually, the dad seemed more intrigued by the goat than his son did. Lol! Anyway, Lisen did not seem to mind the interruption however, so on with our walk through the Wämö Park we went.
Where there were lots of other little animals to check out.
Eating ice cold chocolate fudge/vanilla ice cream and drinking green herbal orient tea in the beautiful warm sun on the balcony, with my lovely dog Lisen of course.
And what made this moment extra special today was that I could eat the ice cream outside in the sun for the first time this year here in Sweden, without freezing. Such simple, but precious luxury. I just love moments like these. (Lisen also had some ice cream of course.) :p
I saw this sign in a garden store today and could not believe my eyes, you can now grow white strawberries that taste like pineapple in your garden. Huh!?
So when I got home I Googled it. And according to Wikipedia, these white strawberries are known as Pineberries and are a hybrid between the two modern garden strawberries Fragaria chiloensis, originating in South America and Fragaria virginiana, originating in North America. Ah, ok. A concoction, that made sense. And I must say that they do not look at all as appealing as neither strawberries nor pineapple. Though I did get curious about whether they actually taste like pineapple. Hehe. So I hope I can buy some this summer somewhere here in Sweden, just to see if they really do. :p