Dia Nacional da Suécia 2015


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Dia Nacional da Suécia

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Consul General Renato Pacheco Neto, 07.06.2015

Jag hälsar alla välkomna till Sveriges Nationaldagsfirande i SP

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends, good afternoon everyone and welcome to the 2015 Celebration of the National Day of Sweden.

First of all I would like to thank, on behalf of the Consulate General, our guests of honors’ presence.

State Authorities and representatives:

  • Ambassador of Sweden Per-Arne Hjelmborn
  • Consul General of Denmark Eva Pedersen
  • Consul General of Finland Jan Jarne
  • Former Consul General Barry Bystedt, in whose name I also welcome all former Nordic Countries’ representatives who so well served their people and communities.
  • Consul General of China Chen Xi, representing (Asia)
  • Consul General of Canada Stéphane Larue (N. America)

Swedish and Nordic Community leaders

  • Pastor Lasse Svedberg from SKUT – Swedish Church
  • Joanna Willott – President of Scandinavian Church
  • Anders Norinder – SwedCham vice Chairman
  • Jonas Lindström – SwedCham’s MD
  • Sven Blickstad – f. President and Treasurer of Nordlyset
  • Rodrigo Santini – new Exec. Director of Childhood Brasil

Let me start by telling you that I have good and bad news. The good news is of course the fantastic weather outside. The less good news is that you probably know most of the things I would tell you. Most of national day parties look the same, the anthem, the flags, the formalities, so let us then focus on the people.

You. All of you who came here today on Sunday at the end of a long holiday. Swedes, Brazilians and also the guests from other countries. We all have something in common. We are all inspired by a multicultural approach.

We like to get to know new values and share common views on cultural exchange. So, be welcome to one of the most innovative countries on earth: Sweden, a land of innovation, inventors, ideas, social progress, ethics, transparency, democracy & peace.

Sweden and Brazil. In 2014 the Consulate organized elections for the EU and Swedish Parliaments. The Science without Borders program together with other initiatives like CISB in São Bernardo do Campo also sent more students abroad.

Last year we had the visit from former Prime Minister Carl Bildt and this year from Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and also from Minister for Industry Mikael Damberg. Apart from them many other authorities, as Ambassador Per-Arne Hjelmborn can explain much better than I – are still to come during this year.

Swedes in SP. When we started contacting Swedes, we planned to have a cocktail party, rather than a lunch, so that we can better walk around, talk to more people, have our children play outside, and innovate the format. 500 active e-mail addresses were checked by the Consulate and we are happy that so many of them could join: we have approx. 200 people here today.

On behalf of the Swedish Consulate General in São Paulo, I congratulate all Swedes living here on the Swedish National Day and thank you for your important presence this afternoon.

I also want to warmly thank our Sponsors naming each of them, whose generous funding enabled this event today:


I also would like to register a special thank to companies who supported the event with gifts for the raffle at the end of today’s event:


I also especially thank the Organization Committee who personally committed:

  • Pastor Lasse Svedberg from Scandinavian Church for the service.
  • Jonas Lindström from SwedCham, for being our Toastmaster.
  • Cornelia, Johan Norén from BuS for music, pictures, flags, aquavit.
  • Oscar Carvalho from Primeway for the fantastic IT & web support.
  • Mario Henrique for the always great commemoratory photos.
  • Vera & Osnir from Svanen for the good food and cocktails.
  • Our team from the Consulate General: Danielle, Richard and Alexandre for the whole coordination and organization.

Last but not least: There are two people missing. You probably observed that this year we do not have anyone playing the piano. Yes, Ulf Olsson left us last year, but we did not leave him.

He is the Swede in SP, whom the Consulate General would like to pay tribute to and honor with a simple but very much deserved homage. Peter Hultén will address some words after I finish.

And now the second person missing: She could not come because her son is getting married within less than 10 days, and she is having a lot of work to organize a much bigger party. Guess who she is:

I received on Friday a special greeting from Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, which I was requested to read to you.

“Till alla medlemmar i den svenska kolonin i São Paulo vill jag önska en fin Nationaldag! Mina barndomsår i Brasilien är ett kärt minne och det är därför extra roligt att den svenska kolonin uppmärksammar Sveriges Nationaldag.” Silvia, Kungliga Slottet den 6 (sjätte) juni 2015.

Tack så mycket, Thank you & Muito obrigado.

* * *

Renato Pacheco Neto
Sveriges Generalkonsul


Speech at National Day Celebration in Sao Paulo June 7th 2015 By PerArne Hjelmborn, Ambassador of Sweden to Brazil

Ladies and Gentleman,

It’s great to be in Sao Paulo and to meet with all of you. And I am really glad that my wife Anette is joining me this afternoon.

Today we are celebrating the National Day of Sweden. This is a day of great symbolic importance to Sweden, but it is only until lately that we are starting to celebrate it with some of the intensity that other countries do. Why’s that so?

Well, one reason is that the National Day is one of the few holidays in Sweden without much history or tradition. It only became an official holiday in 2005, which is part of why people are somewhat at a loss as to how to celebrate it. Few people grew up with it, and it is difficult to compete with all the other longstanding holidays, not least with Midsummer that will come in just two weeks and is the most typically Swedish tradition of all. Before 2005, National Day was just called “Flag Day,” and you didn’t get time off from work for it, which obviously means it’s not much of a holiday.

Another reason is that unlike many other countries, our national day is not tightly connected to some sort of unlikely victory at a crucial point in recent history like the 4th of July in the US, Bastille Day in France, Independence Day of Brazil. They are all celebrating hard-won freedom from an external power. In the case of Sweden though, the truth is that we have never really been in the position of the rebel underdog.

However, after a slow start, I would say that the festivity mood is increasing somewhat every year in Sweden.

Now, what are we actually celebrating on June 6?

In fact there are a number of important moments in Swedish history that have taken place on that date, but the two that are emphasized for the purposes of Sweden’s national day are June 6, 1523 and June 6, 1809.

June 6, 1523, is the date when Gustav Vasa was crowned king, which laid the foundation of Sweden as an independent state. June 6 1809 is the date when a new important constitution was adopted. This changed Sweden from an absolute monarchy to a system of shared powers: the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches. This transition also allowed for new political rights, among them the rights to freedom of the press, religion, and speech.

Now this year I think we have good reasons to celebrate our National Day a little bit extra here. Not only is it ten years since it became an official holiday, but more importantly because the Sweden Brazil relations are perhaps better than ever before.

One reason for that is the Swedish government’s increased focus on Latin America and particularly on Brazil. The visit by the Prime Minister Stefan Löfven Brazil in January and the visit by our minister for Enterprise and Innovation together with a high level delegation of 60 people two weeks ago are a testimony of that. Sweden is also high up on Brazil’s priority list and we expect several high level visits to Sweden the coming months including the Defense minister and hopefully also the president.

Another reason is the sale of 36 Gripen fighter jets to the Brazilian Air force. This is a game changer which means that Sweden and Brazil will cooperate closely together the next 30-40 years.

Also the Sweden brand in Brazil is incredibly strong. Without bragging too much we are considered as a global champion of innovation, creativity and sustainability. From the embassies side we work actively to promote this image Sweden, not least through social media and TV. But all of you are in a way Ambassadors of Sweden in Brazil so your contribution as representatives for industry, academia, culture, or just as ordinary Swedish citizens means a lot to build the Sweden brand here.

So all in all we have a unique position in Brazil just now. And it is important that we, Team Sweden, the embassy, our consulate, Swedcham, Business Sweden work tightly together to build on this in order to promote our interests in Brazil and help open up new opportunities for all of you.

I look forward to a very busy second semester full of visits and important events. And around the corner we have the Olympics in Rio waiting for us which once again will put the global spot lite on Brazil. I hope that both Swedes and Brazilians will have plenty of good reasons to celebrate during the competitions.

In the meantime let’s use the summer break to recharge our batteries. I personally look forward to back to Sweden soon for my holidays. I just hope that the weather improves because so far the spring has been pretty awful – the coldest May in half a century and lots of rain.

Let me end by wishing you all a happy National Day and I hope that we will have a very pleasant afternoon together.

Thank you!

* * *

Per-Arne Hjelmborn
Sveriges Ambassadör


7 de junho, 2015