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Svenska Skolan Featured on Swedish TV Show På spåret

ASI was featured in popular Swedish TV show På spåret
March 15, 2022 By Lizzy Rode

“Sverigekändisar! Celebrities in Sweden!” ASI’s Saturday morning Swedish language program Svenska Skolan was recently featured on the popular Swedish show På spåret (On the Track).

På spåret, one of Sweden’s most popular TV shows, features teams of celebrities competing to answer geography-based trivia. It’s been running on SVT (Swedish Television) since 1987 and is a common fredagsmys (cozy Friday) activity for Swedes during the winter. Each week on the show, two teams “travel” to different world locations. They have to figure out where they are heading by receiving a series of clues while watching a video taken from a train moving towards the destination. Once they “arrive”, they must answer more questions about the history, music, politics, food, and culture of the location. (To read more about the structure of the show, check out this blog post.)

When På spåret reached out with an interest in filming at ASI, staff suggested they visit a Svenska Skolan class on a beautiful spring day in May 2021. After they filmed, the crew told the teachers that they had no idea which footage would be used or when exactly it would air. Participants in the filming also had a tystnadsplikt – or confidentiality agreement – and were not allowed to discuss the filming with anyone. Staff tuned in every episode for 13 weeks until finally, on the season finale, ASI appeared!

Twin Cities locals may recognize at least one of this season’s competitors. Chef Marcus Samuelsson competed together with his good friend rapper/author, Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité (whose recent memoir “A Drop of Midnight” was translated to English by ASI Swedish Language Instructor Rachel Willson-Broyles). Unfortunately, the duo lost in the semi-final and didn’t make it to the finale.

The finale was still quite exciting, however, and not least because one of the featured destinations was Minneapolis (and don’t worry, they didn’t forget St. Paul!). Filming locations in the Twin Cities included landmarks such as George Floyd Memorial Square, First Avenue, US Bank Stadium, the Stone Arch Bridge, Lindström, MN, Swede Hollow Park in St. Paul, and of course, ASI.

The ASI footage features scenes from a morning at Svenska Skolan with På spåret host Kristian Luuk sharing context about early Swedish immigrants to Minnesota, and about Vilhelm Moberg, the Swedish author of The Emigrants series. They also cut to a photo of a statue of Karl-Oskar and Kristina, characters from Moberg’s novels, which is located in a town just north of the Twin Cities.

At the end of the ASI segment, twins Harriet and Josef, both very active at ASI as participants in Svenska Skolan, Lucia Choir and summer camps as well as at Sjölunden (Concordia Language Villages), ask the question that the På spåret teams must answer: “Vad heter orten som låter som ett efternamn?” (What’s the name of the town which sounds like a last name?)

Do you know which Minnesota town has a statue of Karl-Oskar and Kristina and sounds like a Swedish last name? Find the answer at the end of this post.

The episode will be available on SVT Play until March 27 and can be streamed throughout the US. The ASI segment starts at 12.06, but the entire Minneapolis segment runs from: 4.10 to the end of the music feature at 24.30.

A tip — if you watch the show in Chrome browser and turn on the Swedish subtitles — the little icon at the bottom of the screen — and then click on the Google Translate button in the search bar, you should be able to get an English approximation of the Swedish. Otherwise, just watch and follow along with the familiar landmarks!

Answer: Lindström, MN!