Stockholm streets with old buildings and woman on a bike
As an expat, there are a few 'typical' Swedish habits that you come to learn about and understand. Here are five pieces of Swedish culture that might seem a little strange to Swedish newbies.
Women at a table talking
The first time I met Michaela, she told me she loved to speak Spanish and had been learning it since she was a child. As a lover of languages myself, I instantly felt close to her and wanted to get to know her better. Michaela and I would laugh together as we exchanged untranslatable words and expressions, like slang...
Kaveh Pakjoo with two teens he works with
Saying hello helps someone feel recognized by letting them know you are interested in interacting further, and while it’s a great start, it’s also just the beginning. Kaveh Pakjoo—a youth leader in Stockholm—talks about growing up in northern Sweden, his time in boys' homes in Stockholm, and explains the effort it...
Becoming a newcomer is never easy. Learning the lay of the land takes time and patience. Yet meeting locals can help smooth the transition.
When you move to a new country you know nothing. You know so little that you don’t even know that you know nothing. Adjusting to life in a new country means you encounter people constantly telling you “how things work here” who realize you have no knowledge with which to defend yourself.
Meeting people in Sweden for dinner
Meeting new people in Sweden can be a daunting experience, especially when you are not sure of the local social codes — those which influence when and how is it acceptable to approach someone, what questions are off-limits and at what pace friendships progress.
Scrabble letters FRIEND
Surprisingly my 3 years, 9 months and 8 days in Sweden have resulted in 2 Swedish friends. If my math is right, and it might very well not be, I have added one Swedish friend to my circle of friends every 686.5 days. Outside of my two Swedish friends, I have 3 Russian, 3 German, 2 Portuguese, 2 Turkish and 1 Jordanian...