Fed up with being mistaken for Switzerlandby the Chinese, Swedish authorities have launched a competition in China totease out humorous ways to keep the two European countries apart.
Swedes invented cheese with big holes andworld-famous chocolate, while the Swiss invented the monkey wrench and the ballbearing.
Or did they?
Nope, Swedes invented the monkey wrench andwhile the Swedes have V?sterbotten cheese and Marabou chocolate, neither are ofnoteworthy fame beyond Swedish borders.
The Anglophones have it relatively easy —Sweden and Switzerland sound quite different, although Americans have atendency to confuse the two.
Spanish-speakers struggle with the Sueciaversus Suiza conundrum.
And that also holds true for the Chinese,where the two European countries' names sound a wee bit too close for comfort.
"You often encounter this,"Swedish Consul General Victoria Li told the TT news agency.
"Sweden is 'Ruidian' and Switzerland is 'Ruishi'.
"The first symbol is the same."
To tackle the name mixup, Li has launched acompetition on social media, inviting people to come up with funny ways to keepthe two countries apart.
The poster for the competition, which isopen until November 20th, is choc-a-bloc with objects and people associatedwith the two countries.
The Swedish map has a Dalecarlian horse (a traditional wood carving) and then asm?rg?sbord selection of male images associated with the country — five in all:A viking, two gay men getting married, Alfred Nobel, and finally a guy onparental leave with a baby strapped to his chest.
Author Astrid Lindgren's flame-haired rebel child Pippi L?ngstocking gets alook-in too.
The rather lacklustre gallery of images onthe map of Switzerland might shed some light on Swedish ignorance of the Swiss,meanwhile, but that's a different story.
At least tennis ace Roger Federer, highlypopular in China, is represented, along with such images as a watch, an Alphornplayer and bags of money nestled with bars of gold (representing Switzerland'sbanking sector).
And talking about sports stars, let's notforget that Swedish table-tennis champ JO Waldner, while perhaps not as wellknown internationally as Federer, is a Chinese house god.
"He's a superstar over there, dubbed'the eternally green tree' or something," said Swedish designer Anna Forsberg who used to live in Beijing and Kunming.
"I was actually quite surprised by howwell acquainted people in China were with Sweden," she said.
"Although, of course, maybe you without knowing it fed people prompt wordslike Volvo if they didn't seem to pick up on the country name inconversation."
Once the Swiss-Swedish competition wraps upin China, the winner will be shipped off on holiday to both destinations.
But they'll have to report back on their impressions.