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I lived in Sweden for a year while studying abroad and it is one of my favorite places in the world. This is written with love and in jest 🙂

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If you have ever pissed off a Swede, then you must be an absolutely insufferable human being. You can annoy, disturb, and bother a fair share of Swedes, but to actually bring one of those model-esque creatures to frothing, red-faced, pissed off anger would take a real rabble-rouser. This is a country known for its neutrality in war conflicts. Swedes are not people who are quick to show negative feelings, or any feelings at all. Yet, nobody is perfect and they are sure to slip every once in awhile, especially if you do any of the following.

Mistake them for Switzerland

sweden_switzerland

When I came back to America, after my year of studying abroad in Sweden, the amount of people that asked me how I liked the Swiss Alps was appalling. Yes, both countries start with the letter “S” and are located in Europe, but that is where the similarities end. Don’t ask Swedes for some Swiss cheese or if they love living in a country with such famous chocolate. Sweden has its own cheese and while, Swiss chocolate may have notoriety, Sweden’s Marabou chocolate is in a class of its own. Make a joke about a cuckoo clock in an effort to bond with them and you’ll be met with a glare as cold as an Arctic wind.

Smile at strangers in the street

 A Swedish friend once said to me, “If you are smiling at people out in the street, we think you are either drunk or crazy.” Coming from California, I’m used to smiling at everyone, whether it’s a real smile or not. It’s just good manners, but in Sweden there is no need to flash your pearly whites at every passing person. Swedes find it strange and suspicious. They don’t know you and they definitely don’t want to now that you are grinning manically at them. Besides, they’ve got better things to do than smile at everyone.

Don’t know how to dress for winter

Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.

Translated to English, this Swedish proverb says, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”

proper swedish clothing...right?!

proper swedish clothing…right?!

Sweden can be said to be plagued with “bad weather”, with its northern tip in the Arctic Circle and snow and ice freezing the land every winter. When the temperature drops to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, most people would want to stay at home under covers, cursing the frigid winds, but Swedes put on their uniform of stylish and practical, muted H&M winter clothing and live life as usual, biking to work or strolling outside. As you walk by them, grumbling about the crappy weather and blowing your nose, in your bright blue Columbia jacket and Ugg boats, they’ll look at you like the idiot you are.

Get them drunk

 A good way to forget the cold is to drink and no one needs to tell Swedes twice. These Swedes may seem reserved and distant, but as soon as they start to party and their livers become saturated in that good old Absolut vodka or powerful snaps (a clear, fiery, hard alcohol that made me forget many cold winter nights in Sweden), you’ve got a whole other creature on your hand. Someone you’ve known for months, who never let loose a single personal detail, will suddenly be yelling at you about his or her family issues and then scream at you to give them a cigarette. Luckily, if you get in a drunken fight with a Swede, they probably won’t remember it tomorrow.

Don’t nod your head or sing before taking a shot at a dinner party

this is the size of gasque dinners so it is no wonder that people get smashed.

this is the size of gasque dinners so it is no wonder that people get smashed.

Swedes like to dress formal and as a student, I went to many gasques, or formal student dinners, where we would dress fine, celebrate Swedish history, listen to choirs, and then, get smashed off our faces. Shots of snaps are drank throughout dinner, but you must not drink this shot before turning and nodding to the people left, right, and in front of you. Not doing this is rude and you will stick out like a sore thumb. You must also stand on your chair, before drinking, and loudly sing a song in Swedish called “Helan går”, which I always assumed meant “hell and gore” and was a warning about drinking too much snaps, but really, the song tells you to take the whole, rotten, thing down.

Be overly conservative or religious

 Sweden may have some breath-taking cathedrals, but Sweden is said to be one of the most atheist countries in the world, with the younger generation hardly going to church, or only going out of tradition. Swedes are fairly tolerant of religion, but if you push your beliefs on them or try to convert them, they will snap on you and debate the issue until you no longer have the energy left to argue. Being atheist also leads most Swedes to have liberal views on politics and social issues. They strongly believe in gender equality and Socialism, which provides them with free healthcare and university. Swedes see America, with its fear of the evils of Socialism, Obamacare, and lack of fair wages and ample maternity leave for women, as medieval.
Don’t Fika with them

 The word “fika” is not translatable into English, but it basically means “drinking coffee and having something small to eat.” The act of fika is a Swedish institution and most Swedes will fika everyday, usually on a break from work in the early afternoon. It’s a time to unwind, relax, and enjoy a cup of coffee and perhaps a kannelbullar, or cinnamon roll, with friends. Fika is not meant to be rushed and if a Swede asks you to fika, you must accept. There is ALWAYS time for fika and if you refuse, then it seems like you don’t care to spend time with them. You won’t want to refuse though, because fika is one of the best parts of being in Sweden. The fikas I had with friends, where we gossiped about last night’s drama, while eating sandwiches, cheese on knäckebröd (crisp bread), and keeping warm with many cups of coffee, were the times I remember most fondly.

 

don't get me started on this shit

don’t get me started on this shit

If you dress well, eat your fika like a good boy or girl, and keep your politics to yourself, then you have a good chance at getting along with the ever-lovely Swedes. Just remember: Switzerland is the other way.

 

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370 thoughts on “How to Piss Off A Swede

  1. I’ve been living here for almost a decade and do not recognize the “don’t smile to strangers on the street” advice. Maybe it’s a city thing, but in the small town where I live even many Swedes say Hi and/or smile when making a walk.

    What I find more difficult is getting a Hi from someone I actually know… When I pick up my children at school and meet parents from my kids’ class mates, they have an incredible talent to ignore me and not say anything at all, despite the fact that we have never had any arguments or something. I still tend to say Hi on such occasions but don’t get any reply. That’s pretty rude and unfortunately it’s a type of behaviour I see with the majority of people here in my town.

    The strange thing is, many of these parents do say Hi next time I see them at Ica.

    • Hi!
      I agree totaly with Tom, I’m Swedish and have the same experience of not getting a hi back from other parents at school (and day care, when my children went there). I don’t give a shit aboute them, just saying hi to them every time I se them. We have a saying, trägen vinner. It means, if you keep saying hi to them maybe they get the picture and start saying hi back to you and to others, don’t give up.

      And if you live in a big city, (read Stockholm) don’t smile to unknown people. They live there becouse they don’t want to meet or talk to strangers when they are sober.
      But if you live in a small town och country, smile. 🙂

      • We don’t smile at unknown people i Stockholm because then we wouldn’t have tme to do anything else than smile at people all the time! I don’t see people smiling at everybody they meet in other big cties either (New York, Tokyo, London, etc). This is not a Swedish-phenomenon. It goes with the size of the city.

  2. As a swede living in Sweden I must concur, even I don´t understand when you´re supposed to say hi or not. I have similar experiences of non-responsiveness to greetings at dagis but sure enough at ICA they might say hi. Same thing with neighbours in different settings. I don´t get it.

    • Well the rule is simple. It goes like this: If you are only ‘acquainted’ and happen to meet in an environment in which you are ‘likely’ to meet you don’t say hi. But in a grocery shop it’s more of a surprise to see the same person, and compared to the other people in there you almost know each other. Then you will get a “Hi!” Let’s say you would happen to meet the same person in Thailand, then you would without doubt get invited to dinner in their cottage.

      • And how awful that would be. Swedish meatballs ja? And monotonous excruciatingly tedious conversation – ah ah ah ah ah ah – bollocks!!!!!!

  3. if someone is biking in 30 degrees (a temperature that is not so common) that person is MAD! O My god, i would stay inside if the temp got that low.

  4. Yes the smile/don’t smile is definitely a city thing! As a Swede living abroad (UK) I have the conversely weird experience of saying “How are you” to English speakers, who always insist they are “fine” even when we meet at the local doctor’s surgery (office)? Whilst Swedes on the other hand, tends to give you the truth, no matter how unpalatable… Another thing, that might have something to do with the daycare parental “ignorance”, is that Swedes in an work environment will generally only greet each other once but on subsequent meetings (in the corridor, at the copier, etc) you just ignore each other, Brits on the other hand, say “hi”, “hello”, “you ok?” every time you meet, and never waits for an answer….

    Ps: Cykling in Winter is fine as long as you have the right tyres, even if it drops to -30°C never mind 30°F. This link is to a photo of a Norwegian postal worker http://www.postennorge.no/nyheter-og-media/nyhetsarkiv/nyhetsarkiv/_image/11007.jpeg

  5. What is so hard to understand with the “Hi”?
    If you say Hi you basically say “I’m available for chat” and at least I don’t have time for that when meeting other parents at daycare.
    As it’s considered VERY rude to say that you got to rush and don’t have time to talk the “Hi” is the codeword for asking for time.

    Also, while avoiding conflicts at all cost swedes got there limits and are stealthy about it. If your kid cut in line and you don’t tell them to behave you might very well find yourself without a jobb in 3months. If you don’t follow the unwritten rules swedes tends to make your life to a hell.
    This is also the hardest part for people from other cultures to understand, just because noone tell you that what you doing is wrong don’t mean you will get away with it.

  6. I’m living in Norway now, and It’s nearly similar here if we look at it with a smile and not som seiously. Maybe more smile and Hi back in Sweden, but i think It’s much up to You and me. It was nice written, i loved it

    • I am Swedish and when I was 25 I moved to Oslo and lived there for ten years, and went to Friskis & Svettis a lot, as well as swimming at the local pool. In the changing room and in the shower (being naked) people (girls) would look me in the eye without any shame, just saying Hi and not noting the NAKED-thing. When I moved back to Gothenburg, and had been thoroughly norwegian-ized, I continued looking people in the eye in the shower. Big mistake! They all thought I was after something untowardly. I got very nasty stares back indeed. Very sad! Louise

  7. Soooo funny and true! I’m born and raised in Sweden, but have lived the last 18 years in the US. I especially like the paragraph about conservatism and religion, which is why we are looking into relocating to a more liberal place (the US coasts are a better alternative). Here in beautiful mountainous Colorado, 90% are unfortunately Bush-loving, gun crazy churchgoers. 😀

  8. Sweds are whery strange people, i lived here now for 26 years. I am from Germany and there is a big difference between both countrys.
    Living in Stockholm i found them very cold and difficult to get contact with them. Very strange kind of people.
    In fact in all those 26 years i lived here i have not only one swedish friend, its incredible, my friends are allmost from different countrys.
    In summertime sweds are getting friendlier or when there drink.
    Alcohol is a big problem here, even very young people are drinking too much inspite of the high tax for alcohol.
    Hope moving soon back to Germany, nicer place to live.

    • Awful mate that story and one I know only too well. I have a laugh at work but outside of that very little. The language is so strange as well. Only around a third of the words in the English dictionaries but the Swedes use very little of that. They just say the same few words to everything – ah,ah,ah,ah,ah.
      They never really have differences at work. Just plod through life in a dull and unimaginitive way.

      • haha, Richard and Chris. You’re both so wrong. 😛
        We’re not cold, we’re reserved. Getting to know a swedish person is not hard it only takes the understanding off how we work. We don’t want to listen to whining or other peoples problems, not untill we know you. To get to know us is rather easy but we do not like when people are pushy. So be gentel about it.
        And Alcohol is not a big problem here. Thanks to the systembolaget you can not buy alcohol in your everyday store, You have to be 20 years of age to buy liqour to take home.
        Our language is rich and have plenty off words, but it might feel lesser since we put the words together to create one word to describe someone. Alot of our words are simply 2 or 3 seperate words put together to one.
        And finally, “They never really have differences at work” ? what a load of bullshit. We have our differences, our fights and our disagreements. However we’re polite enough to realise it is most of the time not worth the waste of energy to fight about it openly and thus we shut up about it and learn to forgive and forgett. Something more poeple in this world could need to learn too do.
        There is a saying in swedish who perfectly sum up how we are as people.
        “Lär dig livets stora gåta. Älska, glöma och förlåta”
        Translated it says.
        “Learn the riddle of life, Love, forgett and forgive”

        Regards, A “cold” swedish woman.

      • How odd that you swedes actually like the control the state has over you. Why would anyone want only one small shop in a town supplying alcohol? Utterly ridiculous. No chilled lager or champagne. Police waiting outside undercover in the hope of catching a drink driver!!!!!!!! Wow? Can’t you be trusted to make your own decisions? Obviously not but instead of revolting against this control you pretend to welcome it with open arms muttering rubbish about maintained quality. It is true that there is no particularly bad wine in Sweden in comparison to Britain but can’t we as consumers decide what and where and when we buy? Civil rights.
        Are you not embarrassed about this control. I know I am when entertaining my friends from abroad.

      • I would just like to comment on this free health care and education. First of all the health care system is crap!. People die here waiting in line to be seen. They are sent home from emergency rooms and die because of bad diagnosisees. And it is in the paper every week. I have experienced this personally. I had a simple leg break which was left to fester. They wanted to amputate my leg so I had to go to the USA to have a new leg bone made. Luckily, it was a huge success, but the American Doctors were appalled at the lack of training and education the Swedish Doctors showed in my care. I have had other instances just like this one where my care was pathetic at best. I even had a meeting with the Landstingets Chief and the head of the Orthopedic department about my leg and they asked me what I wanted. I told them all I wanted was accountability and they told me that I would never get that in Sweden. I have found that to be the absolute truth.
        As far as free education goes, Sweden tells the world how great their education system is. My daughters went to school in America and then in Sweden. I have had foreign exchange students from many other countries live with me in Sweden. They all say the same thing. The Swedish education system sucks. Kids do not start school until late and they never catch up. It was my experience that my girls were so far ahead in their academics and yet they were forced to stay on grade and be bored during their general education from first through 12th. No child is ready to decide their lifes work in 9th grade and many drop out and have to restart high school over from the beginning if they happen to change their minds mid high school. And it is not free to go to college. My daughters went to college and had to have student loans which they have been paying on for years and will have to continue to do so. I am so sick and tired of hearing about the free education and health care in Sweden. It is so not the truth.

        uSA

      • Hello Kim
        Mate your story gets more sad. I totally concur with what you say on the health service. An absolute joke. I have amst no confidence in the general practitioners that I have come across in Stockholm. Very few are Swedish and once when I asked for stronger painkillers similar to a previous prescription from England I was told by the GP ” if you ask for a particular drug you will not get it”
        This country absolutely treats it’s inhabitants with contempt. They are highly taxed and have very little choice in how they spend their surplus income. When they reach their pension age the state continues to treat them badly making them pay doctors visits and prescription charges. A ridiculous plastic society that survived by pushing patriotism down the throats of people from an early age. What have they got to be patriotic about?
        I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first came here

      • Well, yes, the health system is not perfect. But if the mistakes are few enough to be observed in the newspapers it’s not so bad, is it? Imagine the opposite, when every success would be worth a notice, would’t it be worse?

      • Richard, I´m so sorry to hear you can´t make swedish friends. You seem like such a positive and charming person. Can´t understand why that would be.

      • Richard, really dont know where you from but what i’ve understood you’re from England. Being from England and talking about us being controlled by the state seems a little bit hypocritical dont you think? Doesnt London have millions of cameras to “keep the citizens safe”? I dont like it either that the state tells me what and when i can do things but when your own country is even worse i dont feel the bashing have the right aim. When you have sorted out that cesspool of shit you call home you are more than welcome to keep bashing. But until than keep your unfiltered bs to yourself.

    • Chris, I’m a foreigner with middle eastern looks living in Sweden for a looooong time. If it is hard for a German to become friends with a Swede, imagine how it is for us haha. I love Swedes and Sweden, they really are among the best people on earth but as you say, they are just different. I usually say if you take 2 people from 2 of ANY countries in the world (besides Scandinavia) they are more alike than anyone else and a Swede. Even if you take an Iraqi muslim and a christian American, they are in many ways more alike than the American and the Swede, for example, they would laugh hard at the same jokes while the Swede (even if he got it) wouldn’t think it’s funny :). ps. i see a BIG difference when i’m in Germany, you are not at all like the Swedes so i understand what you’re saying.

    • Hi Chris, sad to hear you havent found any friends in 26 years. Im from the next biggest city and even i got surprised about how cold people are in Sthlm. I asked the person next to me on the tram once what they said in the speakers cause i had my headphones on and she looked at me like i just killed her mother. Not all Stockholmers are like this and i guess Gothenburg is more like a really big small town. Anyway, you are more than welcome to Gothenburg. I can befriend you mate :).

  9. I am a Finn living in Sweden since many, many years back. In Finland I was born In Österbotten where the real men neither talk nor kiss. So, compared to them the Swedes are very very talkative, friendly…..
    After these years here I have learned both talking and kissing.

  10. Ha ha ha. This was fun to read and intresting aswell. Iwas borned and raised in a small town st the southern tip of our largest lake Vänern. I moved to Gothenburg a decade ago and i can honstely say that its hard to get to know new people here. All My true friends are back home. Socialising in sweden is tricky but most of us tend to be very acomondating to tourists who needs help. But if you move here you better learn our customs fast cause we expect you to care enough about our country that you actually make an honest Effort about it. Swedes dont act it but we are proud of our country and most of us are silent patriots, we value our traditions and we care deeply about our civil rights. But we also love pop culture. We belive to be a country of high moral and truly free. America is fun to visit but horrible to live in. Englishmen are nice but eats horrible food at talk jibberish. Australiens are to cool for school and we love crocodile Dundee and that poor Steve earving Thailand is the place we Go to escape the horrible winter (trust me we dont like it anymore than you do) and we Go to greece to get skinn cancer cause our own summer is mostly shit.

  11. I am just wondering where Norse and Professor Åke came up with the date of 1397 for the founding of Sweden. In all my research, I did not find that date except for the Kalmar treaties. I want to be accurate in relaying this infomation to my American/Swedish ancestors that there were no Swedish vikings. Oh yeah, Sweden does have way too many government controls. It is stifening to say the least.

    • There were Vikings in Sweden, but most of them were merchants and not very violent camparing to the norwegian or danish vikings. Sorry to hear that you don’t enjoy Sweden. Have you maybe tried moving away from such an *awful* country? Just so you know; every country has its flaws.

      • Sadly, I have had some horrible experiences since living here. We are waiting for my husband to retire and then we plan to spend most of our time somewhere else. You are right about every country having its flaws. I have simply stated facts and things that I have learned over the many years living in Sweden. I have also learned quite a few things about Swedish history from this post and also that pissing off Swedish people appears to be quite easy.

    • Hello Kim. You are correct, there were acctually no Swedish vikings. There were vikings all over where we now call Sweden but at that point Sweden were just land with different tribes. In one way you can say there were Swedish viking because they lived where we lived but in the other it wasnt named Sweden yet.

      • There are no Swedish vikings because there were no Swedes? The vikings were Danish and Norwegan, with accessability to the oceans. And yes, Sweden had kings, Knut den Långe king over Sweden 1229-1234. Birger Jarl 1210-1266 united Sweden. Where do you all get your historical information? Wikipedia? The Swedish explanation to the Swedish national character, Keep quiet and mind your own business sort of manners -stems from war fatigue after Gustavus II Adolph, and Karl XII wars to conquer land in the Baltic region. The bad manners originally comes from being so far off from sophisticated countries like France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Italy … After Per Albin Hansson and Socialdemokratin, bad manners became a rule, today every Swede believes he is his own king – and doesn’nt “need” to bother about others. To rise when elderly people enter the room, help someone carrie groceries, hold the door.. was unfashionable after 1968. After that… The slippery slope went ” sloppier”..

  12. Ehm… Swiss guy here…
    Cookoo clocks are not from Switzerland either… They are from southern Germany, from the Black Forest (Schwarzwald).
    Just sayin’ 😉

  13. Nice description, although I have to correct you: We don’t stand on our chairs when singing “Helan går”, you must mix it up with “O, gamla klang och jubeltid”, which is the song when we stand on our chairs. I’m not very pissed off, but a bit annoyed because of your fatal mistake. 😉

    With love from Amelie.

    • Am I mislead then, to think that in USA people have better health care? I seem to recall hearing about hundreds of thousand of people who don’t have health insurance, becaure they are too poor to pay for it. What happens to these peope (and their children) when they get sick? It is my understanding that if you have money then you can take care of your illness, but only then. Taxes pay for many things, among them reduced costs for child care, health care, dental care (my sons braces cost us nothing), generous parental leave and so on. Please don’t say we are a socialist country, it offends me. We are a democratic country, even if we are a bit shy and reserved in our personality. Deal with it!

      • Louise,

        I heard the sometimes overly honest Prof. Gruber tell his audience that for the people with good insurance, U. S. health care is among the best in the world. As with incomes, the average is comparable with Sweden, but the distribution is much wider.

        If you have no insurance or money, hospitals still has to provide emergency care. If you are severely impoverished, disabled, or over 65 there is government provided insurance. Most significantly, the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) provides for subsidies to people without employer provided insurance in the lower income brackets. However, the bill passed in a hurry, the are holes in the coverage, and a political gridlock preventing the fixing of them.

        Bengt

      • I just have to say that your response to my paragraph on the horrible health care I received in Sweden as a Swedish Citizen is typical and shows a huge problem in Sweden. Where is your compassion? Instead of perhaps saying, I am so sorry for what happened to you, you like every other Swede I have met said first that the USA has horrible health care and millions go without any, spewing out inaccuracies. The fact that MILLIONS in the USA go without health care is BS. Everyone, even people in our country illegally, all 15 million of them, have access to free emergency care. The poor, unemployed and elderly have government subsidized health care. Period. No matter what your country and others in Europe want the rest of the world to believe. Those are the facts and instead of thowing out crap about America which has the best medicine in the world and people travel from all over the world to get the best medical care, you should be looking at yourselves and trying to improve the horribleness you have in your own country. And find a little compassion, will ya?

    • Most people that I’ve encountered in America are against Obamacare, which I think is just silly and sure, the health care might be good (not everywhere, I assure you), but there’s only so much the insurance will pay for and some people has a million $ debt because of hospital bills. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take the next to free health care (and mind you, not ALL of them are bad, Kim, you just had bad luck) than having to pay thousands of dollars and being in debted for the rest of my life.

      • Sandra, it was not just bad luck. I told you that I was told by the head of Lanstighet that there is no accountability in Sweden. Take last year for instance. I went to the dentist to have an old amalgam filling replaced with a new ceramic filling simply for cosmetic reasons. I have really nice teeth. I never had any pulled and I have taken really good care of them. They put the filling in badly so it cracked the same day. I went back and they said to come back and that they would have to do a root filling or root canal. I had to see a specialist and she broke the drill bit off in my tooth and I still had to pay. They said I had to see another specialist to have the tooth pulled buy it would take a year for me to be seen. I had to live with the pain and agony and walk around with a drill bit in my tooth root for almost a year. Then they pulled my tooth. I have never had a tooth pulled in my life. People here just do not care. Not the Doctors, not the Dentists, no one and they are not accountable for their horrible training and what it does to others. This has nothing to do with luck. It is crappy care.

      • Well said Kim
        I agree that the health care is a bit hit and miss. The worst thing with the swedes is their inflated opinion of themselves and their country. They actually think that their system, culture and country is superior to others and get shocked and upset when told otherwise.
        Haha

  14. U.S.Americans should be familiar with Canadiens and those are a bit like Swedes. Unless dressed to go outdoors the may be mistaken for some unusually boring american. In an episode of Southpark they were running out of Canadians and having none left to make fun of they had to import new Canadians from Europe – and guess from where – Denmark!

  15. To Kim

    Sorry, but you were the first one to throw BS around about my country. I did ask if I was mislead, and clearly I was. Let’s clear up the misunderstandings and educate one another, instead of badmouthing each other! The stereotype view of Sweden is that we are all cold socialists (which is crap) and of USA that you don’t give a shit about poor people, and that you all run around with guns. I know there is another side to USA, I went to Richfield Junior High School in Minnesota, where I lived. This debate seems to be a love-hate-thing. There are good and bad things in both our countries. So, no one’s perfect, right?

    • I am sorry but I do not know what BS I wrote about your country. I simply wrote the truth about what happened to me while living here and what happens to hundreds, if not thousands of Swedes everyday. Your health care system sucks and you do not have free or even good education based upon my daughters whom I have raised here and the foreign exchange students I have had stay with me from other countries. In the almost 21 years I have lived here, I find Swedes to not be reserved or shy. They are cold, hard to get to know and slow to open up. This is not a friendly place at all. I think during all my travels around the planet I have never met a more spoiled, whiney, excuse making, selfish people. I used to like Midsommer but like all the other holidays here, it was taken over by drunken Swedish people and forced to not be celebrated in our area. Now we celebrate alone in our summer stuga as far away from other Swedes as we can be. Sweden needs to start taking a good hard look at itself and see what mistakes they are making and how to improve and learn from the mistakes of others.

      • You tell ’em Kim
        Swedes have such an overinflated opinion of themselves and their fucked up country amazingly thinking that they are the innovators of everything good and all other nations do things wrongly.
        Unbelievable..,,
        I couldn’t understand it when I first arrived. Now I wish I’d never come here.
        Shithole
        Shit people
        Shit climate
        They harp on about being Vikings but can’t answer questions about their cowardly stance in the war…..
        They tell everyone about their wonderful child care program and subsidized nursey care but the real reasons are that they need all the adults in the workforce and in the big cities where most of the work is, families need 2 incomes to survive.
        Never come across so many Double standards as this country operates.
        Innovators of the seat belt. Safety first…….. And then the street lighting is so weak without any lighting at all on the majority of pedestrian crossings. No wonder so many are injured and killed on Swedens roads.
        A complete joke of a pretend country

      • Do you mind actually mentioning the mistakes we are making as a people? Also, not everybody gets so drunk on midsummer (like myself). And yes, if you want to get friends around here then you’ll have to start with showing respect, which you obviously don’t have so naturally nobody wants to be you’r friend, poor little you. lol

      • I have eight friends here from other countries. Three are from the USA, one is from Canada, two of them are from Thailand, one is from Mayasia and one is from Great Britain. All of them have been treated badly. All of them have said the same thing about Swedes and living in Sweden. And we all live in different parts of Sweden. Some it the cities and some in the country. You are not kind to people. You are not friendly. You do not open your hearts or your home to others. I did not shut down the area where the maypole is raised every summer. The Swedes did because the drunks kicked an old man in the head when he fell down. The drunks just took over the place Gammal Gården and trashed everything. And just because I tell the truth does not mean that I am not respectful in spite of the way I have been treated. And I do have a few Swedish friends. I have many other horror stories I could tell you if you would like to hear them.

  16. @Kim there were indeed Swedish vikings, but whereas the Danes and Norwegians went south and west to the British isles and western Europe, the Swedes went south and east to Finland, the Baltic countries, Poland, Russia and even Constantinople and Persia. And Sweden existed long before 1397, the old name from Viking times was Swiþjoð, Swedish people/realm.

    @Eero Rauma: a Nykaabypojk here, my experience was much the same as yours

  17. Kim, Richard… Before leaving this brainless discussion, I only want to add one thing: It is not Sweden and the Swedes who think they have to save the world. And if we do, we don’t go there guns blazing. We think democracy and equality is the way. Cheers from “a complete joke of a pretend country”. (Actually, how dare you? I suspect you are just jealous.;) )

    • Haha
      That is exactly the point I am making. So typical of a swede to think real people would be jealous of your horrible country and culture.
      And I dare because my pseudonym is ” Colin Contraversal” the man who dares say it!!!

      • You’ll have to come with something of substance as well as with an adult attitude to get around in my country, so I’m sorry kid. Please go home. You make all of what you say seem like such an unintelligent conversation.

      • That was a joke. Obviously something that you are not familiar with. As far as intelligence is concerned who are you to question mine over writing a few home truths about sweden?

    • Actually, I am not jealous of Sweden. My first week in Swedish language school taught me about svartsjuka(black sickness) which I had never heard of before. But it permeates all of Sweden and many Swedish people. My Swedish teacher explained it as a dark, deep, black jealousy which I did not understand. Now that I have lived here for so long, I see how bad it is and why I had to learn it before the Swedish alphabet. No one is happy here. Really happy. You people certainly do not know how to have fun unless you are drunk. The fact is Sweden has one of the highest rates of alcoholism in the world as well as one of the highest suicide rates. I am not happy about how it is here and the things I have to say about Sweden. My parents and their families are all from here. I was baptized as a small child here. I visited with my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins throughout my life before moving here to marry my childhood sweetheart. I have given it my best shot trying to blend into a society of people who cannot even say Hi or smile on the streets. I have been all over Sweden. It is no different in the big cities than in the country, other than the country gossip which is outright cruel. I would love to be able to say it was different. One thing I do know is that Sweden has far too many government controls. Swedish people are misled by their government and politicians. And, you do not have to be sheep people and simply follow along. Make a change by starting with yourselves. And quit blaming everyone else for all your problems.

      • jeesh, i’ve never come across people who whine as much as you two, we smile when we flirt, it makes it a little bit special. We live our own lives, we value eachother by what we can contribute. Government and politicians? We choose this as this is what we want, we would gladly pay a little extra money so that the single mother of two children can get wellfair when she gets sacked from work. We accept everyone but that doesnt mean we want to have a chit chat every single day with people we dont know and dont give a shit about, maybe we are cruel. In this country YOU dont matter to us as much as we wouldnt want US to matter to you. And by the way “Swedes have such an overinflated opinion of themselves and their fucked up country” Yeah okay, right back at ya. And by the way ’emergency’ health care doesnt cut it. For the police waiting and checking if you have been drinking while driving….. erhmm… yeah? ofc they do, otherwise some fuckwad would certainly do it. Trust us? We are shitheads or atleast a small % and you know what? We have to play to the one procent who are such fuckwits they ruin it for the rest of us, we have to walk as slow as our slowest person to keep society functional, thats how society works. Now you can cry about shit that happned to you as much as you want but you know what? i couldnt give a single, even a little teeny tiny piece of fuck. I have friends, my leg is completely fine, i smile at people whenever i fucking feel like it. Cus you know what? this is my life not yours. Thats how swedish people think. now stop your crying and go the fuck back to Murica, try not to get shot by some teenager whilst walking past any schools now yeah, take care.

      • I am kind of bitter because life here is so not what I expected, I knew it would be a challange and an adjustment, but I never expected the people to be so unfriendly and uncaring. I had traveled back and forth several times before, but only for short visits with family. It came as a shock to me the first week I was here and was treated so unkindly and I wanted to turn around and go home. Over time I think I got used to unfriendly neighbors and no friendly greetings upon meeting people on the streets, buses, train, etc. I was here for five years before I was able to return home again. My family and I were in a grocery store the first day we arrived, stocking up on supplies and someone who worked in the store walked by and said “Good Morning, How are you!” We were all shocked and a little bit frightened because we were not used to friendliness and cordiality. It was a shock. And it saddens me a lot. What would it take for a culture to be friendly? To be kind? You are definitely a compassionate people with giving of your monies donating to numerous charities. I do not understand why you cannot be kind to eachother and others. I think it would be wise of you to consider learning how to be kind as now you are allowing more and more refugees into your country. You cannot keep them isolated in ghettos forever. They will never learn to blend into Swedish society. I have had an opportunity to meet many of these refugees because I was in Swedish Language school with many of them during the Kosovo Crisis. I walked with them down the middle of town on an assignment for SFI school where we had to go to the bank and to the Post Office to buy stamps as a part of learning to speak everyday Swedish. Swedish people walking down the streets yelled racial slurrs at these people who were dark skinned and dark haired. It was horrible. I made an amazing friend who was a refugee from Ethiopia and she was treated horribly here. That makes me very sad as I am lucky enough to have dual citizenship and Sweden is my home now. My kids and grandkids live here and were raised here. I do not go around complaining to Swedish people about how unkind and unfriendly they are. But I do take the opportunity when one presents itself. Not that any of you Swedes ever listen. You just keep walking around with your sour faces and bad attitudes, unfriendly and unkind to every stranger you meet. I just feel badly for all of you and me.

      • Kim, I think it is very unkind to lump all Swede’s into one category. I have lived both in the country as well as a big city. I have never had anyone turn me away when I asked for help or needed directions. I am sad for you that you have only met unkind and uncaring people while living in Sweden. I am a happy person, and I usually greet people when I see them, or smile at them, and most of the time, I get a smile or a nod back. Maybe they feel uncomfortable with you, and that’s why they don’t respond. I do know that Swede’s usually mind their own business, so if they don’t ask you question or dig into your personal life, it is just because they don’t want you to think their being nosy. I know for myself, I don’t ask people about their personal stuff, if they want to tell me, then we can discuss it, otherwise I leave it alone. Hope this helps a little. The friends I have from youth are still my friends today and I have made many more along the way. Hope you have a great day.

      • Thank you Inga. I try not to lump all Swedes into one category as I have a few friends here. But, over the years and my living in different parts of Sweden, they are all pretty much the same. I do not expect Swedes to be interested in me or anythiing about me. They have not been. But I do expect them to be kind unless given a reason to not be. My children and I, plus eight of my non Swedish friends living here have all met and talked at length about our treatment by Swedes while living in this country. As have my foreign exchange students. All of us have been treated equally badly. I do not do anything to make people feel uncomfortable except for perhaps this article and trying to tell you the truth. I have people to my home for dinners and I entertain often in my home. I have started Halloween parties with my community for the kids and parents including going to schools and showing how to carve pumpkins before you even had pumpkins here. I bake and cook special meals for sick and I have taken in Respite care kids whose Swedish parents were unfit to care for them. I have considered for many years that perhaps there is something wrong with me. But after speaking with many people who are not from Sweden and hearing the exact same thing from all of them, not visitors but people who live here due to their circumstances, and they have all been made to feel the same way as I do because they are treated unkindly here. I get along with most everyone, except the Swedish people including my Swedish cousins who do not have time for me or my family. It feels as if they are afraid or something. I have never told them how I feel and have been to see them, but they never come to see us. I have had the same experience inviting people to my home for dinner who I hear afterwards from others that they enjoyed the food and our time together. But they never, ever invite us back. I remember my Mormor and Morfars faces when I was a little girl and their friends faces were always sour. I do not think Swedes even realize how sour they look. I will probably spend the rest of my life living in Sweden at least part time, but I do not think Swedish people will be kind or show kindness. Recently a friend of mine crashed her car slipping on the ice. At least 20 cars drove bye and no one stopped to help her. I just do not get it. Perhaps I never will.

      • Kim, I apologize for the people that had treated you bad or been mean to you. I am Swedish and have not had your experience not in Sweden not in any country I have lived in. I am pretty outgoing and am not afraid to brake the ice. I do admit that a lot of Swedes are very reserved, and that might come across as uncaring. So next time you pass a Swede, just smile or say hi, and watch their reaction … it won’t cost you anything, and certainly will surprise the person you do it to. Take the first step and see what happens. As far as your relatives, tell them how you feel, they are not mind readers, just open up. Even if nobody reacts, you will feel better … I promise you.

  18. This was fun to read and i think pretty spot on in general.

    But the formal dinner thing though, that is ONLY a student thing and ONLY a certain type of student.

    Swede from Gothenburg

  19. @Kim You’re just making stuff up now. For average annual suicide rates, Sweden is 35th, USA is 30th; in terms of alcohol abuse, Sweden is below the UK,

    • Jason, during the 20th century Sweden had the highest suicide rate in the world. It has lessened a little but suicide in Sweden is still one of the highest in the world and along with Denmark the highest in Europe. As far as alcoholics and alcholism Swedes are known for their binge drinking. The State tries to limit consumption with controlling the sales of alcohol. Between 2003 and 2007 women alcoholics increased to 50% of 100,000 and with males it was 25% of 165,000. Sweden has a hidden drinking culture that is never spoken of. The Swedish Government refuses to acknowledge this. I have seen this personally. And I can tell you it is horrible.

      • Kim, as Jason just wrote: your numbers about Swedish suicide rates are not facts, but tainted by your negative experiences about Sweden. Google and read statistics instead. WHO last listed Sweden on 58th place in the world with 19 European countries having higher suicide rates.
        My advice: move away from Sweden or see a therapist or somebody who can help you with your negative thoughts.

  20. I love it when this Kim mentions educations not being free because we take student loans. Does he think food, rent, clothes, transportation, and so on, is free as well? This is a problem we have in this country, there are too many foreigners coming here thinking they’ll get everything for free… lol.

    I also enjoyed reading about this guy saying the country is shit because of the climate, lol. If you can’t take our climate, then that’s just you being shit due to excessive weakness.

    All I can hear in these conversations are the mad overconfident amricans which also is the exact reason why I dislike americans, they always think way too highly of themselves. I welcome people from any background to come here to my country and start a life but if you act like this, then you should be on your way to wherever you came from. You do not deserve to be part of this developed society.

    And yes, we created systembolaget mainly in order to fight alcoholism and limit the ability for many young people to get alcohol, now tell me that this is bad. If you have any reliable facts about statistics which compare mine with your country about anything you find bad about sweden, then please provide it.

    I’ve had a few operations with broken bones and such, and it cost me about $10 USD each visit. If this is not free healthcare then what is? It seems pretty free to me. The dentist do cost quite a bit though.

    • Richard, many things of what you say simply isn’t true. Read the first part of the blog post, and then the comments from yourself. That part of the blog post describes perfectly why I don’t want you in my country. Get educated or get lost, k thx bye.

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  22. Instead of arguing about which of our countries are the best thing under the sun and which are utterly vile, uncaring and hell on earth, let’s look at some data:
    http://www.prosperity.com/#!/ranking

    According to this ranking US does have better health care and education. In the other measured fields Sweden scores higher and also has a higher total. It is interesting that Sweden is the number 1 country in entrepeneurship and opportunity, despite its supposed state control of people. US is just #11 in this field. Sweden is ranked #7 in personal freedom, US #21. So much for socialism charges.

    Sweden is also much more economically equal than the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

    and its citizens live three years longer on average, despite worse health care rankings: http://www.who.int/gho/mortality_burden_disease/life_tables/situation_trends/en/

    I can imagine people coming to any country in the world and be miserable because of cultural differences. We are all shaped by the values and customs we were reared with. Whether you thrive in a new country probably says more about your own adaptability and predispositions as well as the circumstances you happen to find yourself in than it does about the quality of life in a country.

    I think it is very rude to hate on each others’ countries in the comment field of such a funny and entertaining blog post. If you are not happy where you’re at, better do something about it. Either relocate or learn to deal with your situation. Don’t attack the cherished home of others just because it doesn’t happen to suit your preferences.

  23. avundsjuk – jealous: is when you can’t enjoy other peoples success, wealthy, luck or happiness

    Svartsjuk – black sickness: only occur between love couples ( or when one person is in love with an other person – the love don’t have to be from both sides) it’s when you fear that person for your love might betray you. This is nothing specific for Sweden, it’s world wide, we just have a word for it.

    To Kim and Richard – Sweden would be such a better place without you.. Thinking about it, the world would be such a better place without you two.

    • That is not what I was taught in Swedish language school by a Swedish teacher. It is a jealousy that permeates the whole of an environment and the kind of jealousy here is not found any where else that I know of. It is the kind where Swedish people are not happy for others probably because they are not happy themselves. Even family members get almost sick with jealousy if you make a better income than them, if you buy a bigger house, if you have a nicer car, if you are more successful. I see this everyday in Sweden. The Swedish teacher may have taught me the wrong name for it, but it is what it is, and I have never found anything like it anywhere else on earth. As far as being better off without myself or Richard, this is something that someone very ignorant would say. I have not used foul language nor told any lies about your country. I have researched my facts and listed a very few instances of truths that have happened to me while living in Sweden. My family is from here and I have been coming to Sweden since I was a small child. I have never once compared the US to Sweden because you cannot compare the two. I have lived here a very long time now. I have learned the language, the culture and quite a bit of the history of Sweden. I have been a Avlast family(Respite Care) for poor Swedish children and I have had foreign exchange students live with me. I have raised two daughters of my own here. And I am married to a wonderful Swedish man. But Sweden is not a nice place to live because Swedish people are not friendly. No matter how much you want or try to fit in here, if you are different they will never let you be happy.

      • Kim don’t worry about these people. Just enjoy your family. The swedes are fundamentally extremely boring people who exist rather live.
        They don’t have a sense of humour and it’s blatantly obvious that it’s easy to “piss off a swede” by explaining how things appear to foreigners.

      • I think you are right Richard. I have tried to be polite and yet accurate in my comments and the behavior I see from the Swedish side is sadly, what I have come to know about them. They have no defence so they end up swearing, accusing and threatening. Bye the way, I saw in todays paper that they are now offering courses at Stockholm University on Suicide in hopes that it will lessen suicide amoung young people by half. I hope it works. It is so sad that they have to offer classes on this subject. But perhaps they are trying. I give up. But thanks for your support.

      • Richard and Sven, I had hoped that by now this blog would have died away. But since that is not the case let me say this. I am so tired of hearing stuff like “Keep your chin up” and “Keep Trying” they will warm up to you. Do you think that after living here for 21 years, that this is going to change. It will never change. Not with your stupid rules of when it is OK to say Hi and when you cannot say Hi. It is ridiculous. This is the kind of people Swedes are. Rules for salutations. And along with all the other examples I have left on this blog, I will leave this one. In October I decided to have my bathroom renovated as the pipes were still on the outside of the wallls making my bathroom look primitive and ridiculous especially with your stupid våtväg. So I did my research and found a supposedly reputable company. They told me immediately that it was too close to Christmas to get started as it was already October. So I waited until after the Christmas Holiday and they said it was too close to New Year. So then I waited until late in January and they told me nope it won’t work as they are going to Thaliand. So I waited for another month and now the company came and tore out my bathroom but the plumber is now on vacation. Then I said well what about the painter. Nope he starts his vacation week after next. So as is typical in this country, I might have a new bathroom by June. That is a full eight months after I hired the company. And I have tried to hire others but they do not want to take the job away from the original company. So I am up the creek. This is so typical for Sweden. It amazes me that anything ever gets done. And you all have the sour shitty attitudes that go along with your crappy work ethics. Try telling me the rules again on when to say Hi and when not to.

      • Yes so right Kim. A bathroom renovation is a 2-3 week job but they charge so much money for it they only need to do 4 jobs per year. Useless… They have taken over 8 years to construct a new junction at Nortull. 8 YEARS!!!!!! It took only 11 years to build the M25 ring road. 180km of motor ways, countless junctions, bridges etc. the Swedes are useless

      • When somebody has so many problems with living somewhere, maybe it’s time to move elsewhere. Only thing you’re doing, is spread the hate. Please don’t. Doesn’t help. I think perhaps you are so unhappy, that you give out signals to people around you and that’s why you’re not treated well or kindly. Let’s make a deal: spread love, not hate.

      • I happen to be an upbeat, happy, optimistic person with many friends. Just not Swedish. Your society spreads enough hate yourselves. You have opportunities to show kindness, but you do not take them. It is not in your nature. You are rude and unkind to eachother. I see it everyday. I am just wondering what it is going to take for you as a society to say to yourselves, “yeah we are pretty rude to eachother. We are not very friendly to eachother or others. We are all wrapped up in ourselves. And maybe someone who has lived in this country, but comes from another country has a great perspective and perhaps we can learn from it and start being better because of it!

      • Kim, if you don’t like it there, then seek an other country to live in. There is a solution for you.

  24. Kim, how come you stay in Sweden for som antände years if it sucks so bad? Its b/c pricks like you that Americans have suck a bad reputation for Boeing stupid and ignorant.

    • Patrik, as I have said in other replys to this blog, I am living here for 21 years and my Swedish husband and I plan to spend part of our year somewhere else after he retires. I have children and grandchildren that live here so I cannot live somewhere else all the time. It does suck living here in spite of all that for reasons I have stated in other replies also. But I do not swear at you or belittle you. This is the kind of treatment I have come to expect from ingnorant Swedish people because you cannot find happiness.

  25. I have enjoyed reading all these comments. I believe every individual har a unique experience and hence unique opinions and after reading I see no reason to modify my belief.
    I lived in California part of my upper teens but I decided that even before coming of age I had become too much European to enjoy life in the US, not even in the nice climate of California. Well, there are 50 states to try but spending two years in each trying them out would mean being 118 before I knew for sure. Might I add that there are several parts of Sweden I don´t fancy either, sometimes for the general attitude of people, sometimes for the climate, sometimes for the lack of population density. As a country, Sweden is in my opinion good enough to defend with my life and motivating spending the whole of my professional life as an Air Force officer on the edge of a union of bad guys (the warsaw pact).

    Having said that, I would like to point out a few facts that shaped Sweden to what it is today. Sweden was late to be industrialised compared to Britain and to the civilised parts of the US (say the east coast). In other words practically everybody was living in small villages in the country. We could trust our neighbours (or we had to) but strangers could not be trusted before we were allowed time to learn their caracter. We travelled since the bronze age to the 1960-ies on the left side of the road so we could carry an axe or a sword in the right hand on meeting strangers. Few people travelled more than, say, 150 kilometers. People were not allowed to make a living in towns unless they had been scrutineered and admitted. The towns were all very small, even centers of nationwide commerse were just small villages seen with modern eyes.
    We were no way totally unique in Europe but it makes it easier to understand us.

    • Well that’s great. Someone’s finally admitting the real route to you swedes problems. You are descendants of extensive inbreeding. Inbreds!!!
      A society bred from incestual relationships resulting in a culture with no excitement or common sense……

  26. Ok, sorry. Absoluto that. But what do you expect if you still decide to live in many years for a country, what ever resanon, and than tell people in this country how bad everything is? That might make you think that its this person who has is sus, not the country. No place is perfect, but you adjust if you decide to live there. Its like me moving to the USA and tell everybody how bad everything is, i dont think that would be appriciated. And as for this guy Richard, how come you dont move back to the UK if everything is so bad in Sweden? Ahhh, pobably b/c you are a negativa person there da well and you cant make friendster there either.

    • Thanks for your Words of advice Pat. I live here 50% and love it here. I just like winding you boring swedes up. You just aren’t used to it plodding through your tedious lives occasionally saying hello to people and avoiding confrontation. Claiming to be descendants of fierce Vikings but never clarifying your cowardice in the war. Pretending that your country has an important role to play in the world but the reality is that the majority of the worlds inhabitants mix you up with Switzerland. Not because of uneducated ignorance but because of the lack of importance of you people as a whole.
      Anyway The main problem with the Swedish culture is that according anthropology Sweden is one of Europe’s most feminine countries as compared to Britain being one of the most masculine. This doesn’t help the Viking claims very much.

  27. So you love in here Richard, thats a bit hard to believe after reading your post. Yes, Swedes are probably boring, sorry you have to spend time with these boring people. Seems like you have a hung up about the Vikings, maybe as an Englishman you are sad that you used to rule the world, now is noting of that left, just that rainy and cold country of yours.

  28. Has anyone noticed that many of the well known or respected “Swedes” emigrate the first chance they get?

    Take the Swedish royal family, many of them don’t even live in Sweden yet they get a budget to live elsewhere. And I am not just talking about Madeline …. Numerous family members and cousins related to the thrown live outside of Sweden. Yet collect state funds.

    Dude from Ikea … he left.
    Dude from tetra park … he left

    And even actresses like Anita Ekberg left (born 1931, emigrated by 1950) lived most of her life outside of Sweden and wanted very little to do with it.

    “Ekberg did not live in Sweden after the early 1950s and rarely visited the country.”
    “She stated in an interview that she would not move back to Sweden before her death”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Ekberg

    Even Alfred Nobel had very little to do with Sweden.
    Yet we constantly see references to people in the press that try to associate famous people to Sweden. When infact many of them had very little interest with Sweden and spent most of their lives choosing to NOT live there.

    Truth is, most successful “Swedes” or people that Sweden claims to be theirs, leave Sweden. While its only the destitute and poor who remain in Sweden living under the false hope of socialism (spongers).

    The most successful people who are branded as “Swedes” are usually not native.
    Or don’t live in Sweden most of the time or have very little contact or association to Sweden.

  29. In regards to Swedish Vikings, I want to clear one thing up.
    If a country doesn’t exist, then how can anyone back date nationality or achievements ? You can’t.

    Sweden was not recognised as being Sweden until the union of Kalmar (1397).
    Prior to this, Sweden did not exist.

    It was a break away state, that came almost 400 years after the formation of Norway.
    And from a DNA standpoint, there is no way anyone can say that “Swedes” had a unique genetics that separated them from Norwegians etc.

    Sweden is extremely nationalistic, and this has been reinforced for years through socialism. Simply because Sweden was so late to the table, in breaking free from Norway. Even the term Norse and Norway/Norge share similar linguistic evolution.

    Have you ever heard of a Svenny Viking in the history book of yonder? No.

  30. I lived in Sweden and loved it. I too got the funny stares when saying hi, but paid no mind. I also helped older folks at the grocery store bag their groceries, since they were supposed to do it by themselves at 90…? Odd.

    I also found it odd when you spent time in your neighbors front lawn the day before, playing w/their dogs and kids, and the next morning you see them from your, no curtain kitchen window into their no curtain kitchen window, and you wave good morning. You are ignored. My then boyfriend told me I should not have waved. “You don’t wave from one house to the next and expect a wave back…” More American way of thinking than Swedish. I made plenty of mistakes when living in Sweden. Sure I still don’t have all the rules down. 🙂

    Still, I found people resilient. strong, capable, educated and beautiful. The landscapes gorgeous and all and all a wonderful place to live. No place is perfect, and different cultures have their ways but when you get to know folks they really are wonderful. 🙂

  31. It is not about majority is right concept, you just can’t ignore the fact that such an overwhelming number of foreigners with different culture, education and worldview, have negative experience in this country.

  32. I completely understand the confusion between 2 similar sounding countries. I live in Taiwan (like you) and everyone back home thinks I need to watch out for Thai ladyboys when I go out drinking.

  33. The only way to piss off a swede in order to blow his cork to the ceiling is to criticize anything about Sweden. In other words, they have (sometimes unknowingly) no tolerance for any criticism concerning Sweden. Well, that is quite understandable and normal because from the time they enter the kindergarten as a kid, they are told that Sweden is the ‘’par excellence’’ and has the best healthcare, judgmental/education system, social manners in the universe, corruption is dead and the government is a trustable big brother despite it has monopolized everything and they grow up with this mentality.

  34. So sad reading! Those of you who apparenytly dislike Sweden and Swedes so much – I seriously suggest you move to another country that will make you happy! Why stay on in this horrible country for so long? We are many that actually love living here and do not share your opinions – both naturally born swedes and foreigners who have moved here.
    And regarding the education system. So many Swedish teenagers go to US for a year (usually senior year). The find it so easy and don’t learn much of importance. When they come back to the Swedish school they have “lost” one year. Yes, they have improved their English and alot of other knowledge but nothing that matters to the school subject. The level in the senior year is so much lower in many american schools than the “naturvetenskap”-line in Sweden. So please stop talking about how great your educational system is… it varies ALOT between different schools.

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  36. Having read Richard’s and Kim’s comments, I think Richard is having a laugh and actually quite likes it here. And I understand Kim. I can only talk for myself and my friends and family (my dad is from NZ and we have a lot of NZ, AUS, US and UK family and friends and I have never heard of similar experiences before).

    Yes, I feel that I fit into the mould of being quiet and reserved and this is generally down to being shy (which is the real cause of most Swedes being this way) and a desire not to take up too much space. This often comes across as rude. When spoken to, or in any other case, I consider myself logical, helpful and friendly. As in any other country this will vary by personality, not state mentality.

    Kim, I agree that we don’t have the best or worst of anything, healthcare or otherwise, though many of us may naively think that we do. And for the time being, Sweden has work to do in its health care, policing and other government issues and things are not working as good as they should, and I’m sorry to hear about your leg issue btw (hope you’re fine now). But take the expectations away, and you’ll find it’s probably no better or worse than the equivalent of most other developed countries’.

    If I could give some advice to you Kim, I would suggest you be a bit more thick-skinned. People don’t smile to you in the street. People look sour. People don’t ask what you ate for breakfast in the supermarket. So what? If that affects your personal well being, let it go. I bet you have Swedish friends that make you laugh, invite you to stuff etc. Also, you have lived here for 21 years, have Swedish parents and your husband, children and grand children are Swedish. You married your high school sweetheart so you must have grown up here, atleast partially. In my book that pretty much makes you Swedish. Do your children have the same experiences as you do? What about your parents?

    I personally don’t care about being smiled to, it’s not personal and I probably look depressed all day long. So what? I have a million things to be happy about that most definately isn’t readable on the way I walk or look.

    I know it’s easy and relieving to spill your heart out on the internet, it’s often a vent for anger and frustration and I’m sure you’re not that depressed and disappointed all the time.

    Try going to Russia, Finland or any other Eastern European country and you’ll think Swedes are the most open and friendly people in the world.

    PS. I apologize for the subjective “no it’s not” answers you’ve been getting on here, this is the internet.

    • Thank you CLK for your kind remark. Since I have traveled to a lot of countries, but never lived anywhere but Sweden and the USA, I cannot say how people are in other countries other than as a tourist. But it seems as if most are friendlier than in Sweden to tourists. Take Norway for example. As soon as you cross the Swedish/Norwegien border you notice a difference right away. People smile and talk more opendly and freely. The same in Italy, France, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Germany…….. My Daughters who are grown now share my same experiences right along with me and now it is 22 years that I have lived here and nothing has changed except for diversity and the raising once again of the taxes.

  37. I have lived in Norway for 6 years and they are different to Swedes, but I wouldn’t call them nicer or more polite. They have horrible work ethic and are generally lazy. But this is about Swedes, and Sweden are culturally most alike Finland both in tradition and mentality (though Finns are more call it as they see it whereas Swedes are too embarrassed to be that way).

    I must say I have never heard of anyone sharing your experiences, and I have come across MANY expats in Sweden and Scandinavia. This of course doesn’t take away from your feelings.

    It would be interesting to know what your husband’s views on this are. And also, how old are your daughters? They must be more or less born and raised here – do they consider themselves Swedish?

    Well, you have lived here for 22 years so you have seen lowering of taxes aswell as raising. I assume you would vote right wing going by your comment.

    • Hi CLK, My daughters were 6 and 13 when we moved here and now are 36 and 29. They feel for the most part, the same way I do, especially with the health care system, education, and insurance companies. My Husband is Swedish but has seen the other side of how outsiders are treated. He has seen the health care system in Sweden and that in the USA and was shocked by the differences. The problem for me is that most Swedes do not know anything other than Socialism and what comes with it. Like in Michael Moores’ film “Sicko”. It all looks great if you know nothing else. Taxes have gone down while living here but no where near how much they have gone up. Try being an outsider and live in Sweden. I have many friends from other counbies living in Sweden and it is strange that they all have the same experiences that I have had. They are from Canada, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Germany and others. None of us are accepted by our Swedish spouses families. And some more or less in Swedish Society.

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