After having been here for a few months and having gotten to know some Swedes I feel compelled to write a little bit about “them”. I´ve heard a lot of stereotypes over the years, some of which are more true than others in my opinion. You can find part 1 here
Loving the animals
So many Swedes have animals and they seem to care for them a lot. Like: A LOT lot. This also reflects in the huge animal stores and big vet clinics they have in Stockholm. Actual pet clinics that are as big as a small hospital for humans. I made the experience that Swedes are absolutely crazy about their pets.
Equality is very important
This is something that dawned on me only recently but it appears that equality between genders is a very important thing here and people are actually very much focused on it. It feels like there are a ton more women working in fields that would usually dominated by men in other countries of the EU. This is only my personal view from everyday experiences, I did not research the numbers.
Culture and education for everyone
I already wrote about the free language and culture courses you can take. But did you know there basically is a whole island dedicated to museums and education in Stockholm? Many of the museums and exhibitions of all kinds here are free! Check out Skeppsholmen and Djurgarden if you get to Stockholm. LOTS to be seen and discovered there!
Progressive and forward oriented
While the rest of Europe is arguing about if XYZ is a good idea, the Swedes just go ahead and try it. The first thing that got my attention was only hours after entering the country seeing so called Gigaliners on the road. Extra long trucks, transporting more goods than normal sized ones. I know that for years Germany has been debating if they should allow them or not and have still not reached a result. Meanwhile Sweden went ahead and tried it. Here you see them everywhere, so it seems to work.
An official day for a sweet treat
Lovers of pastry, strap yourselves in: Sweden has the “Kanelbullens dag” – This is a national day for cinnamon rolls! I´m not taking the piss here, friends, I would never joke about cinnamon rolls because they´re the best. And Sweden has given them a dedicated day. Don´t believe it? Check this: http://kanelbullensdag.se/
Learning the language is hard BUT…
I find that Swedes react super nice and even proud when you learn their language. I just walk up to them and speak Swedish now. I know my Swedish är inte bra (not good) but they help me, explain things, correct me and answer my questions. I speak Swedish to the guys in my gym for example and they´re super happy somehow when I walk in there with my crappy Swedish and wrong sentence structure. They´ve had a few good laughs at my expenses I guess 😀
Why is this all salty?!
Popcorn, nuts (no pun intended), ice cream, licorice, sweets of all kinds – it all comes in a salty flavor. Swedes just love to make things salty to the max.
Does every Swede own a holiday home? I get the feeling that this is so.
Köttbullar and Cheese
We Germans call our beloved Dutch neighbors “Cheese heads” but compared to the incredible amounts of cheese you´ll find in a random Swedish supermarket the Swedes seem to be the real cheese heads. You will also be able to find Köttbullar in virtually every restaurant and café in Stockholm.
Everyone speaks English
It does not matter if it´s the 75 year old grandmother in the café, a cashier in the supermarket or a bank clerk. Everyone here speaks a high quality level of English. Funny enough I have had several encounters where people got offended when I asked them if they speak Swedish because “of course, we all speak English, this is Sweden!” 😛
Catch ya later,