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Release Peace: The Magazine

Europe's High North

Across a plethora of subjects, Europe's Nordic countries are admired around the world for their equality, nature, and innovations. We look at what is underneath the surface.

Europe's High North: An exploration of the Nordic countries & societies

Today one of the most affluent countries in the world and a major destination for migrants Sweden was once on the other side of the migration equation. Few other countries in the world have ever experienced such an exodus. And one town in Sweden's South has played a pivotal role in that history.

Truly Unique: The Arctic Council and Indigenous Rights

The Arctic Council is the world's only intergovernmental body that includes the representation of indigenous peoples. The Council is made up of all countries extending North of the Arctic circle. There are 4 million inhabitants in the Arctic region and approximately 500,000 of them belong to indigenous peoples. Their representation is crucial and the workings of the Council might set an example for the world.

To bring you excellent coverage from the Nordics, we partner with local organisations from the region. The editorial authority over all articles lies solely with Release Peace and, just like us, none of our partners works for profit.​

Visit Kokkola

Naturpark Lillebælt

Visit Blekinge

Haparanda Tornio

To bring you excellent and insightful coverage from the Nordic and Baltic region, we graciously receive support from our local partners. Just like us, none of our partners works for profit. And the editorial authority over all articles lies solely with Release Peace, without any rights of our partners to determine our content. Enjoy our stories!

Naturpark Lillebælt

Kokkola

Haparanda Tornio

Visit Blekinge

Denmark and its fascinating Nature Parks

Being surrounded by the sea, it is perhaps no surprise that Denmark has an impressive 8,740 kilometres of coastline. In fact, you are never more than 67 kilometres away from the coast anywhere in the country. One of Denmark's picturesque coastlines is along the Lillebælt on the western edge of Jutland. It boasts an incredible nature park that the world can learn from.

A City of Two Tales, a City in Two Time Zones

Imagine yourself setting off on an amazing 17-hour train journey north from Stockholm through some of the world’s most picturesque countryside. The train winds its way peacefully up through Sweden, following the coast along the Gulf of Bothnia, passing through the isolated landscapes and the vast, verdant expanses of Västerbotten and Västernorrland. And then you reach a destination like no other.

The "King's Crown" and Sweden’s Long Maritime History

Sweden has a strong and proud naval history. In particular the Nordic Viking conquests between 800 and 1066 AD were in no small part the result of the Swedes’ impressive shipbuilding know-how. But it is less well-known that these skills have remained at the forefront of the Swedish repertoire until the present day. Let’s explore Sweden’s long and fruitful maritime history; where its modern era began, how what it has to do with "The King's Crown".

Where do all those picturesque houses in the Nordics come from?

They are the embodiment of the Nordic stereotype: colourful, wooden houses straddling along shores and forest. Their historical and cultural relevance can hardly be overstated. We take you on a journey to some of the best preserved wooden houses in the Nordic region.

A Cultural Treasure: The Wonderful Christmas Traditions of Finland​

In the Middle Ages, ‘the Peace of Christmas’ was declared in Finland, meaning that crimes committed during a three day period around Christmas were given harsher punishments. The tradition began in the 1320s and persists today, intending to incentivise people to behave respectfully and peacefully during the festive period. Today, there are many Finnish Christmas traditions one can explore. And they are a wonderful reflection of Finnish culture.

A sweet secret to Swedish success

This story is about more than sweet Swedish cinnamon buns and coffee culture: A concept called "Fika" is deeply embedded in Swedish culture. This story counters the notion that a 24/7 work culture is good for businesses. It goes to show that a pleasant way of life and a successful economy do not only go hand in hand, but are interlinked. Along the way, we will give you some tips on how to enjoy "Fika".

The Magic of Huldufólk

For centuries tales of the huldufólk, the 'hidden folk' or elves, have been told in the low glow of northern hearths. There is a long tradition of tale-telling on these harsh isles, many about magical beings, particularly in Iceland. Some of the richest troves of Norse myth in the world have been penned by its mediaeval poets, who mention elves ('alfar') alongside such Nordic gods as Odin and Thor.

Hands on: The UN Sustainable Development Goals in Action

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 14 focuses on life below water and calls for member countries to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” Embarking on how the Danish Naturpark Lillebælt offers a great example of SDG 14. Examples like cute-sounding 'fish kindergartens' and the consumption of local crabs show how the UN's ambitions can become alive in practice.

What did the 1850s Crimean War Have to do With a Beautiful Town in Finland?

A town on Finland's eastern coast is a fascinating example of the historical connections spanning far and wide across the European continent. Who would have thought that Britain attacked Finland in 1854? And what did that have do to with the Crimean War happening thousands of miles away at the same time? The remnants of that history are well-preserved, and can be visited and explored to this day.

A Look at Norway's System of Father's Quotas

Soon-to-be parents in Norway are entitled to 49 weeks of combined paid leave. Mothers can take paid maternity leave of 18 weeks, and the “common period” which is 16 paid weeks for both parent. The country has set up a system to ensure both parents are spending time with their new-born and receive paid leave. Does this encourage fathers to stay home? Can it be a case study for other nations?

Tired of Mass Tourism? Let's do Sustainable Tourism

The Nordics are amongst the regions in the world at the forefront of pioneering sustainable tourism. We delve into two destinations that exemplify this concept like few others. What does sustainable tourism mean? How can travellers experience it? And are there any objective criteria or to help find sustainable tourist destinations?

Hands on: The UN Sustainable Development Goals in Action

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 14 focuses on life below water and calls for member countries to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” Embarking on how the Danish Naturpark Lillebælt offers a great example of SDG 14. Examples like cute-sounding 'fish kindergartens' and the consumption of local crabs show how the UN's ambitions can become alive in practice.

The River Torne: 522 km of Astonishing Beauty

The year 1809 marked the year that Sweden lost the areas we now call Finland to Imperial Russia. Prompted by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn, the river Torne was chosen as a border between Sweden and the new Russian Grand Duchy of Finland. The treaty stated that the border should follow the deepest part of the river. For much of its length, the border still follows the longest free-flowing river in Europe. At its mouth, its flows through Haparanda-Tornio, a city which lies in both Sweden and Finland.

What an Odd Event in 1219 Tells us About the Deep Cultural Roots in the Baltic Sea Region

Estonia and Denmark, two relatively small European countries, are good partners in the Nordic-Baltic region, and have ties that go back all the way to the Middle Ages. Specifically to the year 1219. According to legend, the Danish flag originated from Estonia in that year.

How did Sweden turn from trying to develop nuclear weapons itself as a method of self-protection to the becoming the White Knight of nuclear disarmament it so prominently is today? Sweden has continually promoted disarmament policies and spoken out against nuclear testing which has resulted in the Scandinavian nation gaining the nickname the ‘White Knight’ by academics and international institutions alike.

Norway's Place in the World: The "Peace Nation"

Many Norwegians take pride in being perceived as a peaceful country. Their advocacy for open international political dialogues and Norway's involvement as a peace mediator has given the country a domestic and international reputation for being a “peace nation”. What are the different historical, social and geopolitical aspects that shaped Norway’s stance in the international arena and made them a “peace nation”?

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