If you're a long-time Rockford resident, you're probably aware that Rockford boasts more people of Swedish ancestry per capita than anywhere else in the world. If you're one of many who can trace your roots back, why not take a minute and call a "random Swede?"

From NBC News:

In a bid to introduce its people to the world, Sweden's Tourist Association set up "The Swedish Number." The idea is that anyone can call up and they'll be put through to "a random Swede," or at least one who has downloaded The Swedish Number app, NBC News reported.

The project was set up to celebrate 250 years since Sweden became the first country to constitutionally abolish censorship. More than 11,000 people have called since it was launched Wednesday, some 35 percent of them from the United States.

There are a couple of ways to call the Swedish number. One way is to call this number:


However, you should be warned, that number might cost you some money as it is an international call. Don't let that dissuade you from calling, though. The helpful folks in charge of tourism in Sweden have also made it possible for you to call using your nationwide long-distance, which is free (depending on your carrier and phone agreement):

(301) 276-0600

Here's how it works:

Michael Koolidge and I called the number this morning, and were delighted to be connected with a 21 year old student in Stockholm named Tanya. She was wonderful to talk to, with an outstanding command of English, and a great sense of humor. She told us a bit about the weather, what people in Sweden do during the summer and winter months, and hilariously informed us that Swedes get along fine with Norwegians, but that Danes are not that well thought of, since Sweden has fought "many wars" against Denmark. She then mentioned that there hasn't been a dust-up with Denmark in 200 years, so things are pretty okay between the two countries.

She also told us that people from all over the world have been calling to learn more about Sweden. She said they've all been very nice, but when I asked her about a call she got from Finland, she told us that the Finns always sound "pissed off," even if they're not.

Good to know.

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