Olof Palme and why you should know him

During a lecture about Case Study Methodology at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, I learned about Olof Palme for the first time.  It was not an unfamiliar name for me at that moment, as the streets in Sweden are often named after famous people here. When my lecturer mentioned Palme, it was with passion – I could see that Palme is one of the people that inspired him. The lecturer asked my class if we know about Palme, and only 30 percent of the class raised their hands – all Swedes. Truth to be told, I felt ashamed for not knowing such important figure in Swedish and international political scene, so I feel the need to share this information with you. Especially if you are going to, or planning to, come here – it will be pleasant for you to have more knowledge about Sweden than fika and köttbullar. Don’t be like my class!

image by Marko Säävälä/TT

Fun fact: perhaps you never heard of his name, but there are 23 countries which have Olof Palme for their street name.

Starting from Sweden (duh, of course!), Argentina, Turkey, and South Africa look more on the list here. Now, I believe that you have become more intrigued by this man and you might ask, “so who is he?”

Olof Palme is the prime minister of Sweden during the year of 1969–1976 and reelected again on 1982–1986 (until his assassination). He is the leader of Social Democratic Workers Party and was active since the 50s. To quote my lecturer, Palme was one of the people that built Sweden into its current state and achievements. He criticized the US for their involvement in the Vietnam war, as he is an advocate of human rights and democracy. His breakthrough in Sweden was to initiate the state financial aid for studies. Finally, I understand why my lecturer was inspired by this legendary figure in Sweden’s politic, Olof Palme.

image by Swedish Institute

 

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