Things I find surprising about Swedes

Having lived in Sweden for quite some time, I have learned a lot about the country, its system and society. From my perspective, the country itself is full of opportunities if you have the right skills. Education and healthcare system is of good quality (although waiting time for a doctor’s appointment as well as a queue for schools/preschools can be long at times). Swedes may seem to be cold at first glance, but they are often warm people who are willing to help you once you ask for it.

However, Swedes are also eccentric in many ways. So here come some habits that surprise me:

1. Black fashion

They say Swedish women beat women of many different nations when it comes to fashion. How true is it? From my own daily observations, I can surely say that Swedish women are obsessed with black color: from head to toe they are dressed in black! Ok, sometimes grey:)) No doubt they are beautiful and stylish, but I would barely see any difference between, let’s say, 2 Swedish friends wearing black. Even if they have different garments on them – they are in black that do not stand out from the rest. Black is a color of elegance until you get used to it.

Me wearing black, like every second woman in Sweden:))

I would love to think that the clothing habit is mostly because of Swedish gloomy weather:))

2. Last piece syndrome

Whether at a party or during a break at work, there is always a last piece of whatever is being served on a huge plate. A seductive picture before your eyes, isn’t it? But no one dares to take the last piece even if they haven’t got their own bit. Even that bit Swedes can split a hundred times making sure there is definitely a tiny slice left. Why? For some mythological reasons, taking the last piece is taboo for Swedes. They just don’t want to feel guilty of eating a sacred last bit of an unknown:))


3. Strong sense of personal space

Have you ever seen a bunch of people at a bus station standing at arm’s-length from each other? Then you’ve probably seen Swedes:)) They appreciate their personal space so much that when you join them at the station, there is a big possibility they step aside. And, don’t take it personal, Swedes form that invisible bubble around them, because they feel uncomfortable when someone is too close. Just respect it, don’t squeeze with anyone, and keep a comfortable distance!

Wait for a bus like a Swede:))

4. Swenglish

Swedish sounds more English these days. Using English words and phrases in between while speaking Swedish is common in Sweden. Especially, going on a public transportation, I hear a lot of so-called ”swedified” English words like fifty-fifty, see you, no problem, so bad, bye, it’s crazy and so on. It’s mostly among teenagers and young adults that they mix the languages. This might be because Swedes speak fluent English, like almost their first language.

If you guys want to know more interesting facts about Swedish habits, there’s google for help:))

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