A Man Called Ove
A Man Called Ove is a Swedish comedy-drama film, released to cinemas in Sweden 25 December 2015. The film was written and directed by Hannes Holm, is based on author Fredrik Backman's 2012 book of the same name. In the leading role as Ove is Rolf Lassgård; the film was nominated for six awards, winning two, at the 51st Guldbagge Awards in 2016. It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Makeup and Hairstyling categories at the 89th Academy Awards. 59-year-old widower Ove Lindahl lives in a townhouse neighborhood, where he used to be the chairman of the neighborhood association, until he was replaced by Rune, his former friend. Rune is now paralysed after suffering a stroke, being cared for by his wife, Anita. Ove is depressed after losing Sonja, a schoolteacher, to cancer six months previously. Having worked at the same company for 43 years, he is pushed into retiring, his attempts to hang himself are interrupted by Iranian immigrant Parvaneh, her Swedish husband Patrick and their two children, who are moving into the house across the street.
During another suicide attempt, Ove flashes back to his childhood. His mother died when he was a child, leaving him alone with his quiet father, a mechanic at the train company, his father shared his knowledge of engines with Ove. Having done well at his exams, he reports his results to his father, so anxious to spread the news that he fails to take care and is hit by a train and killed. During another attempt to kill himself, this time by carbon monoxide poisoning, Ove is sitting in his running car in a garage, again recollects the past, when he began working at the train company. Two men from the local council, whom Ove dubs "The Whiteshirts", arrive at young Ove's home and declare it should be demolished. Ove instead fixes the house, his neighbors' home catches fire one night, Ove saves two people, but sparks from the fire cause his own home to burn, The Whiteshirts prevent the fire from being tackled because they plan to demolish it in any case. With nowhere to go, Ove sleeps in a train at work.
He is smitten with her and returns to the same early train each morning. After three weeks, he finds her again, they begin dating, she encourages him to return to school, he earns a degree in engineering. Ove's attempt to kill himself is interrupted by Parvaneh banging on the garage door, wanting a lift to hospital because her husband has had an accident. Ove takes care of Parvaneh and Patrick's two daughters and Nasanin, while they are there, is made to sit outside after he causes a scene. Ove goes to the train station, planning to jump in front of a train. However, when a man on the platform faints and falls onto the tracks, Ove jumps down and rescues him. Parvaneh asks Ove to teach her how to drive, he agrees, he takes in a stray cat which he had found an annoyance. He tells Parvaneh about his past friendship with Rune, how they worked together to establish rules and order, with Ove chairman of the neighborhood association board and Rune the deputy chair, they grew apart over the years because of Rune's preference for Volvo cars and Ove's for Saab), until Rune organized a "coup" and replaced Ove as chairman.
He begins to bond with his new cat. He repairs a bike he confiscated from a neighborhood teen and returns it to Adrian who works at a kebab shop with another youth, called Mirsad. Ove notices Mirsad's eye make-up and asks him if he is "one of those gays", but does not shun Mirsad. Despite his improved relations with his neighbors, Ove has an altercation with two "Whiteshirts" who are attempting to force Rune into a nursing home. Ove tries to commit suicide using a shotgun, but is interrupted by Adrian and Mirsad ringing his doorbell. Adrian says Mirsad had been kicked out of his house after coming out to his family and needs a place to stay. Ove reluctantly invites Mirsad in. Ove tells Parvaneh how Sonja, when pregnant, wanted to go on vacation before the baby arrived, she and Ove traveled on a tour bus to Spain. Sonja lost the baby and was confined to a wheelchair, which made her unable to take up a job as a teacher; when the local authorities ignored Ove's pleas to build a wheelchair ramp, he went to the school in the night and installed one.
Ove is taken to the hospital, where he lists Parvaneh as his next of kin. Parvaneh will survive. Laughing, she tells Ove he is terrible at dying, before herself going into labor and delivering a boy. Ove gives gifts to Parvaneh's daughters. Several months Parvaneh wakes to a winter storm and looks out of the window to see that Ove's drive hasn't been cleared and Ove is not up at his usual time. Parvaneh and Patrick run to Ove's house to find. Ove, having found peace, has left strict instructions for his funeral; the film ends with Ove waking on the train where he first met Sonja, to find her there waiting for him. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 91% based on 109 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A Man Called Ove's winsome sincerity — and Rolf Lassgård's affectingly flinty performance in the title role — keep it from succumbing to excess sentimentality." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."The Washington Post
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries. The city stretches across fourteen islands. Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago; the area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is the capital of Stockholm County. Stockholm is the cultural, media and economic centre of Sweden; the Stockholm region alone accounts for over a third of the country's GDP, is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita. It is an important global city, the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region; the city is home to some of Europe's top ranking universities, such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city's most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia.
The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for the decor of its stations. Sweden's national football arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. Ericsson Globe, the national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city; the city was the host of the 1912 Summer Olympics, hosted the equestrian portion of the 1956 Summer Olympics otherwise held in Melbourne, Australia. Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government and most of its agencies, including the highest courts in the judiciary, the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister; the government has its seat in the Rosenbad building, the Riksdag is seated in the Parliament House, the Prime Minister's residence is adjacent at Sager House. Stockholm Palace is the official residence and principal workplace of the Swedish monarch, while Drottningholm Palace, a World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Stockholm, serves as the Royal Family's private residence. After the Ice Age, around 8,000 BC, there were many people living in what is today the Stockholm area, but as temperatures dropped, inhabitants moved south.
Thousands of years as the ground thawed, the climate became tolerable and the lands became fertile, people began to migrate back to the North. At the intersection of the Baltic Sea and lake Mälaren is an archipelago site where the Old Town of Stockholm was first built from about 1000 CE by Vikings, they had a positive trade impact on the area because of the trade routes they created. Stockholm's location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, in Heimskringla in connection with the legendary king Agne; the earliest written mention of the name Stockholm dates from 1252, by which time the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name means log in Swedish, although it may be connected to an old German word meaning fortification; the second part of the name means islet, is thought to refer to the islet Helgeandsholmen in central Stockholm. According to Eric Chronicles the city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl to protect Sweden from sea invasions made by Karelians after the pillage of Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren in the summer of 1187.
Stockholm's core, the present Old Town was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen from the mid-13th century onward. The city rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Gdańsk, Visby and Riga during this time. Between 1296 and 1478 Stockholm's City Council was made up of 24 members, half of whom were selected from the town's German-speaking burghers; the strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On 8 November 1520 a massacre of opposition figures called the Stockholm Bloodbath took place and set off further uprisings that led to the breakup of the Kalmar Union. With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the establishment of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching 10,000 by 1600.
The 17th century saw Sweden grow into a major European power, reflected in the development of the city of Stockholm. From 1610 to 1680 the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634, Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories. In 1697, Tre Kronor was replaced by Stockholm Palace. In 1710, a plague killed about 20,000 of the population. After the end of the Great Northern War the city stagnated. Population growth halted and economic growth slowed; the city was in shock after having lost its place as the capital of a Great power. However, Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III. By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged and Stockholm was transformed into an important trade and service centre as well as a key gateway point within Sweden.
The population grew during this time through immigration. At the end
Stockholm City Theatre
Stockholm City Theatre is Sweden's most popular theatre stage. It was created in 1956 but the first performance was delayed until 1960, it had not yet been decided at that point where in the city the theatre would lie so the Folkets hus building at Norra Bantorget, with a temporary stage, became the first solution. However, this "temporary solution" lasted for nearly thirty years until the autumn of 1990, when all activity moved to the present location at Sergels torg. Stockholm City Theatre is situated in the heart of Stockholm, in the building known as Kulturhuset, the large lighted glass building at Sergels torg, near the Sergel fountain and the Stockholm City roundabout. Kulturhuset is one of Stockholm's most popular public buildings and, besides the theatre includes small cafés, book shops, a bar and a restaurant, a library, various exhibitions, public debates, book signings, a small medieval museum, workshops; the theatre is Sweden's most popular stage and the theatre with the highest bookings, as well as the constant "competitor" in Stockholm to the Royal Dramatic Theatre.
Stockholm City Theatre produces 30-40 productions each year on nine stages. In 2005 there were 450,000 visitors, a high rate considering a population of 9 million. Popular Swedish actors of the Stockholm City Theatre ensemble include Helena Bergström, Göran Ragnerstam, Ingvar Hirdwall, Sven Wollter, Ann Petrén, Anna-Maria Hallgarn and Jakob Eklund. Stora scenen - main stage.
Malmö is the largest city of the Swedish county of Skåne County, the third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg, the sixth-largest city in Scandinavia, with a population of 312,012 inhabitants in 2017 out of a municipal total of 338,230. The Malmö Metropolitan Region is home to over 700,000 people, the Øresund Region, which includes Malmö, is home to 4 million people. Malmö was one of the earliest and most industrialized towns of Scandinavia, but it struggled with the adaptation to post-industrialism. Since the construction of the Øresund Bridge, Malmö has undergone a major transformation with architectural developments, it has attracted new biotech and IT companies, students through Malmö University, founded in 1998; the city contains many historic buildings and parks, is a commercial center for the western part of Scania. The earliest written mention of Malmö as a city dates from 1275, it is thought to have been founded shortly before that date, as a fortified quay or ferry berth of the Archbishop of Lund, some 20 kilometres to the north-east.
Malmö was for centuries Denmark's second-biggest city. Its original name was Malmhaug, meaning "Gravel pile" or "Ore Hill". In the 15th century, Malmö became one of Denmark's largest and most visited cities, reaching a population of 5,000 inhabitants, it became the most important city around the Øresund, with the German Hanseatic League frequenting it as a marketplace, was notable for its flourishing herring fishery. In 1437, King Eric of Pomerania granted the city's arms: argent with a griffin gules, based on Eric's arms from Pomerania; the griffin's head as a symbol of Malmö extended to the entire province of Scania from 1660. In 1434, a new citadel was constructed at the beach south of the town; this fortress, known today as Malmöhus, did not take its current form until the mid-16th century. Several other fortifications were constructed, making Malmö Sweden's most fortified city, but only Malmöhus remains. Lutheran teachings spread during the 16th century Protestant Reformation, Malmö became one of the first cities in Scandinavia to convert to this Protestant denomination.
In the 17th century, Malmö and the Scanian region came under control of Sweden following the Treaty of Roskilde with Denmark, signed in 1658. Fighting continued, however. By the dawn of the 18th century, Malmö had about 2,300 inhabitants. However, owing to the wars of Charles XII of Sweden and to bubonic plague epidemics, the population dropped to 1,500 by 1727; the population did not grow much until the modern harbor was constructed in 1775. The city started to expand and the population in 1800 was 4,000. 15 years it had increased to 6,000. In 1840, Frans Henrik Kockum founded the workshop from which the Kockums shipyard developed as one of the largest shipyards in the world; the Southern Main Line was built between 1856 and 1864. In 1870, Malmö overtook Norrköping to become Sweden's third-most populous city, by 1900 Malmö had strengthened this position with 60,000 inhabitants. Malmö continued to grow through the first half of the 20th century; the population had swiftly increased to 100,000 by 1915 and to 200,000 by 1952.
In 1914 Malmö hosted the Baltic Exhibition. The large park Pildammsparken was planted for this large event; the Russian part of the exhibition was never picked down, owing to the outbreak of World War I. On 18 and 19 December 1914, the Three Kings Meeting was held in Malmö. After a somewhat infected period, which included the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian Union, King Oscar II was replaced with King Håkon VII in Norway, the younger brother of the Danish King Christian X; as Oscar died in 1907, his son Gustav V became the new King of Sweden, the tensions within Scandinavia were still unclear, but during this historical meeting, the Scandinavian Kings found internal understanding, as well as a common line about remaining neutral in the ongoing war. Within sports, Malmö has been associated with football. IFK Malmö participated in the first edition of Allsvenskan 1924/25, but from the mid-1940s Malmö FF started to rise, since it has been one of the most prominent clubs within Swedish football.
They have won Allsvenskan 23 times in all between 1943/44 and 2017. By 1971, Malmö reached 265,000 inhabitants, but this was the peak which would stand for more than 30 years. By the mid-1970s Sweden experienced a recession that hit the industrial sector hard. Kockums shipyard had become a symbol of Malmö as its largest employer and, when shipbuilding ceased in 1986, confidence in the future of Malmö plummeted among politicians and the public. In addition, many middle-class families moved into one-family houses in surrounding municipalities such as Vellinge Municipality, Lomma Municipality and Staffanstorp Municipality, which profiled themselves as the suburbs of the upper-middle class. By 1985, Malmö had lost 35,000 inhabitants and was down to 229,000; the Swedish financial crises of the early 1990s exacerbated Malmö's decline as an industrial city. However, from 1994 under
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
Scania known as Skåne, is the southernmost province of Sweden. Within Scania, there are 33 municipalities. Scania's largest city is Malmö, the third largest in Sweden, as well as the fifth largest in Scandinavia. To the north, Scania borders the provinces of Halland and Småland, to the northeast Blekinge, to the east and south the Baltic Sea, to the west Öresund. Since 2000, a road and railway bridge, the Øresund Bridge, bridges the sound to Denmark. Scania is part of the transnational Øresund Region. From north to south Scania covers less than 3 % of Sweden's total area; the population of over 1,320,000 represents 13% of the country's population. With 121 inh/km2 Scania is the second most densely populated province of Sweden. Scania was part of the kingdom of Denmark, up until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. Denmark regained control of the province during the Scanian War 1676-1679 and again in 1711. Scania was formally included in Sweden in 1720; the endonym used in Swedish and other North Germanic languages is Skåne.
The Latinized form Scania occurs in British English as an exonym. However, sometimes the endonym Skåne is used in English text, such as in tourist information sometimes as Skane with the diacritic omitted, wrong both in Swedish and English. Scania is the only Swedish province for which exonyms are still used in many languages, e.g. French Scanie and German Schonen, Polish Skania, Spanish Escania, Italian Scania, etc. For the province's modern administrative counterpart, Skåne län, the endonym Skåne is used in English. In the Alfredian translation of Orosius's and Wulfstan's travel accounts, the Old English form Sconeg appears. Frankish sources mention; the names Scania and Scandinavia are considered to have the same etymology and the southernmost tip of what is today Sweden was called Scania by the Romans and thought to be an island. The actual etymology of the word remains dubious and has long been a matter of debate among scholars; the name is derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjã, which appears in Old Norse as Skáney.
According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage". Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem combined with -ör, which means "sandbanks". Between 1719 and 1996, the province was subdivided in two administrative counties, Kristianstad County and Malmöhus County, each under a governor appointed by the central government of Sweden; when the first local government acts took effect in 1863, each county got an elected county council. The counties were further divided into municipalities; the local government reform of 1952 reduced the number of municipalities, a second subdivision reform, carried out between 1968 and 1974, established today's 33 municipalities in Scania. The municipalities have municipal governments, similar to city commissions, are further divided into parishes; the parishes are entities of the Church of Sweden, but they serve as a divisioning measure for the Swedish population registration and other statistical uses.
In 1999, the county council areas were amalgamated, forming Skåne Regional Council, responsible for public healthcare, public transport and regional planning and culture. During the Danish era, the province had no coat of arms. In Sweden, every province had been represented by heraldic arms since 1560; when Charles X Gustav of Sweden died in 1660 a coat of arms had to be created for the newly acquired province, as each province was to be represented by its arms at his royal funeral. After an initiative from Baron Gustaf Bonde, the Lord High Treasurer of Sweden, the coat of arms of the City of Malmö was used as a base for the new provincial arms; the Malmö coat of arms had been granted in 1437, during the Kalmar Union, by Eric of Pomerania and contains a Pomeranian griffin's head. To distinguish it from the city's coat of arms the tinctures were changed and the official blazon for the provincial arms is, in English: Or, a griffin's head erased gules, crowned azure and armed azure, when it should be armed.
The province was divided in two administrative counties 1719–1996. Coats of arms were created for these entities using the griffin motif; the new Skåne County, operative from 1 January 1997, got a coat of arms, the same as the province's, but with reversed tinctures. When the county arms is shown with a Swedish royal crown, it represents the County Administrative Board, the regional presence of central government authority. In 1999 the two county councils were amalgamated forming Region Skåne, it is the only one of its kind using a heraldic coat of arms. It is the same as the province's and the county's, but with a golden griffin's head on a blue shield; the 33 municipalities within the county have coats of arms. The Scania Griffin has become a well-known symbol for the province and is used by commercial enterprises, it is, for instance, included in the logotypes of the automotive manufacturer Scania AB and the airline Malmö Aviation. Coat of arms: Scania was first mentioned in written texts in the 9th century.
It came under Danish king Harald Bluetooth in the middle of the 10th century. It was a region that included Blekinge and Halland, situated on the
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th