Are Swedes really that horrible ?

27 May
2009

I came across this site from another blog about Sweden. This guy (I presume it is a guy), is livid with the Swedes. Hates them. He thinks Swedes are rude, self centered, boring, etc etc. When I read the blog, I couldn’t help but wonder if he’s ever visited other major metro cities (he claims to have). Last I checked, Parisians are rude, Upper East Side New Yorkers are extremely snobby, Beverly Hills folks are bitchy. So why are you getting your panties in a knot with Swedes? Especially Stockholm Swedes. And especially Stockholm Swedes in Stureplan. That’s like bitching that people from Monaco are snobby; of course they are!

Anyway his blog is called http://swedenson.com/. I tried to make a comment on it, but I guess I am not approved to have dissenting opinions. Most people who commented on the site were pretty big Swedish haters.
Some quotes:

What heartless fucking assholes have you Swedes become?

Ouch.

Face it, Swedes are the rudest, lowest class folks on the planet.

Swedes are slime now?

But swedish people does not understand very simple things, because that would require some kind of self-reflection and critical thinking. Swedish people lack self.

That’s pretty funny.

Yes, quite a bit of Swedes are rude, cold and callous! You only need to come and visit and see what kind of service you will get, as a tourist in this town. I mean they do not even greet you when you walk into the shops, its like you are dong them a big favour!

I think we all know customer service is not big here. But it’s not big in France either. And according to many Swedes, they find American customer service intrusive. So when did Americans get the right to push our values onto culture?

Sweden is the only country in the world where I have seen more public spitting than in China.

Fail, go to India idiot. You will get spit on there.

The question is, Do you hate Swedes? Is Stockholm a tourist friendly city or do they all suck?

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110 Responses to Are Swedes really that horrible ?

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Pontus Olin

May 27th, 2009 at 19:48

I don’t really have much to say to that. That much hostility and venom is hardly even worth acknowledging. I give him about as much credibility as the http://www.godhatessweden.com/ web site (=Sweden is a nest of sin and homosexuality, yada yada yada). I prefer not to waste too much energy on spiteful assholes like that.

And like you said, he complains about shallow, rude people and yet he goes to Sturecompagniet to party!!!! Plus he goes to Handelshögskolan which isn’t exactly known as a bastion of self-reflection and humility. And some things are just cultural differences, just like you say. Like the fact that you have to ask to get customer service in Sweden. Conversely, like you mentioned, I can actually get a little annoyed if the customer service is too intrusive. I’m simply used to being able to take my time in a store without someone hassling me. Again, cultural differences. However, I did live in New York for a short while and if you went into one of the big stores there you got customer service comparable to that of Stockholm. No big difference.

I *do* hate the spitting, though. Even though it’s nowhere near the chinese. :-)

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Eli

May 27th, 2009 at 21:21

My experience in Sweden was similar to that of other European cities. And yes, much like in New York, the service was slow and less-than-attentive. Shopkeepers and waiters were not overly eager to please the customer, but I was in no way offended. As an American, I saw it as a breath of fresh air. Service can’t be taken personally, and Americans are entirely too bent on the perfection of every tiny detail. Personally, I feel like the Swedes in my own country: suffocated by store attendants and wait staff who won’t leave me alone to do my shopping or eating. I appreciate that you can sit at a cafe in Sweden for a long, leisurely meal without getting dirty looks from a tip-hungry waiter. And people-watching in a land of beautiful people isn’t bad either!

I agree with Sapphire – there are shallow, conceited people all around the globe. There are also good people all over. Fixating on a few bad apples will blind a visitor to the real gem, the society’s culture. It seems to me that Swedes aren’t shallow, they just worry about the little things. It’s always good to get another perspective.

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Mike

May 27th, 2009 at 23:27

i’ve got to say what the guy had said is totally bullshit, i live with a swede , he’s so nice,kind,sometimes crazy though which i think coz wanna be so nice!

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Jesica

May 28th, 2009 at 02:39

I was living in Sweden for almost 6 months and I think is a very nice place to live, in the beginnig you can think that people is too cold, that their customer service is not good, but we have to remember that we are the “aliens” in their country and we have to get used to their way of life.

I was in Linköping and after a couple of weeks I was “accepted” in a group and actually I have excellent swedish friends.

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Sapphire

May 28th, 2009 at 17:44

@Pontus – Yes, this guy reminds of the God Hates Sweden people. Although I doubt he is a fanatic or psychotic, just a very snobby person from the US who expects everything to be as he wishes.

@Eli- For sure, sometimes a break from over-friendly waiters and customer service people is all I want. Now that I have it in Sweden, I wouldn’t mind a little extra friendliness, but it is not the end of my world.

@Mike – Good for you Mike! Are you living in Stockholm and here for long in Sweden?

@Jesica – Well put. We are the aliens in their country; we should learn to be a little more open.

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Robinson Leloup

May 29th, 2009 at 15:12

Haha,
I guess he got drunk in Solidaritet, got kicked out after trying to hit on a Swedish girl and was pissed!!

I’m French and I can tell you Parisians are not the nicest persons on Earth and being a foreigner in Paris can be a nightmare!

Anyway, I agree with Pontus, it’s not really necessary to give him any credit.

Puss och Kram


Rob

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Delhiite

June 2nd, 2009 at 13:12

As Robinson pointed out, most likely he tried to pick up a girl at Sturecompaniet and got blown off…Must have been a big hit to his American Ego….

I have been living in Stockholm for a few months now (been visiting for almost 8 years) and Yes, Swedes have a different personality but by no means are they rude. You really need to get to know them better and once you take that effort, they are your best friends.

Anyways, if he hates it so much…why ain’t he packing his bag and heading back to where he belongs?

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Yvonne

June 16th, 2009 at 07:59

Everytime I have been to Paris the Parisians have been so kind and lovely to me. I do not understand the notion that they are rude.

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beenaround

August 3rd, 2009 at 16:05

Sweden has the world fooled with it’s peace, love and harmony image. The people are BORING lack any motivation to work or get to know people outside their circle. Immigrants don’t get much of a chance to better themselves in Sweden given they are segregated to undesirable places to live, thanks to the first hand contract nonsense which is a cesspool of Swedes only helping people they know. Customer service is a JOKE, the weather is grey and rainy, to the point you may just grow web feet. Swedes drink too get drunk and don’t understand the concept of moderation. School age children call teachers by their first name, and it’s very difficult for teachers to get any respect from their pupils- heaven forbid a teacher actually take a bullish child and gives him/her the third degree. Work hours- what is that? They sure love their coffee break and employees know it is nearly impossible to get fired,therefore lack any incentive to excel. Rather funny- they even have a saying for this “lagom” meaning not too much and just enough. Note: this rule does not apply to alcohol consumption, but applies to anybody trying to get ahead in life- why would you want that? Now you are just showing off and we are all equal in Sweden- except the immigrants. Shhh don’t tell the world that we like for them to believe we care. Really we do. We accept asylum seekers quite readily- then after a few years when they have assimilated into our country we kick them out. Let’s face it, yes their are alot of perks in Sweden, but there are no checks and balances. Corruption among the people and politicians is rampant. C’mon when was the last time you met a Swede who had not cheated the system. I am not talking about the stuff everyday people do in a civilized country. I am talking about a good majority of Swedes who out right plan how they are going to cheat the system, so much thought goes into this. From getting friends to say you were employed with them so you can get enough points to collect maternity, to hiring under the table , to lacking the desire to conduct job interviews and throwing half a stack of applications away without opening them, so your work time is now reduced to half. Ah this list is truly endless. We may have it backwards in the West- but we DO HAVE accountability for the people. In Sweden the people walk around with blinders on. Politicians can get away with the worst of scandals, it’s reported in the media once, maybe twice and then the blinders come on. As long as my security net is not taken away, I will remain, anti-social and pretend all is good in this great country of mine. I will not protest and see the injustice for so many and I will walk by the old lady who clearly needs help, or the mother struggling with her baby stroller to get on the bus. I don’t see you. Really I don’t. It’s not my problem. Lastly, in an era of globalization, Sweden will undoubtedly be left behind-they may have the technology down but their people skills are that of a pack of wolves. When places like china and India take over and the world becomes a blend of brown- these blonde, blue eyed socialist idiots will wonder “where did it all go wrong”. Look within Sweden, reflect on your socialization skills and your inability to think outside your own pre-packaged world. Take a page from Canada, now there is a country worth it’s weight in gold!

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krrishtiano

August 27th, 2009 at 01:00

@ Sapphire.

Have you ever been to India mate. Please feel welcome to visit so, I will be your host and protect you from getting spit on! Mind you, we are a very diverse set of people. You will find all sorts of people and those too in a large number considering we are 1.2 billion in all. I agree spitting happens in India, but is centered to some places (esp the northern regions) and guess what…history has it that those people migrated from Europe, maybe after getting tired of the whether or each other (do a google on the subject – aryan invasion theory). Maybe it runs in your genes!

I have no hate against the swedes, i am part of a family that has been host to a swede for the past year and all of us have had a very good time, ignoring the minor quirks :-)

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samantha

November 28th, 2009 at 02:36

so i hate sweden. the people there are boring and the girls and the SUUUUUCK!!!!! i bet you like my grammer too.. hehe :) the swedish people have nothing to do and that what makes then suck.

the country is cold…
the men their have small waankers…
they are all so pale and they look like fetal alcohol sydrome…

the girls lose their virginity at 14 yrs old and have the high alcholism and aonorexia rates in the world.

i hate sweden and everything about it. i live there and i hope the place blows up and everything there just dies. KABOOM! lol.

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Jen

November 28th, 2009 at 09:08

beenaround-myself living in Canada is nice but I think alot of countries have alot of learning to do from eachother, I’m sure Canada could be self sufficent and extreame green power wise and could be a excellent example to others but Canada lacks the balls to take hold of what it’s capable and of what all of its natural resources could provide and get hung up on silly things like tar sands and alberta oil, so stupid

Samantha- Country of course can be cold and it being winter and look how far North Sweden is! As for small johnny I’m doubtful I’m sure its relative to stature but its not fair throwing the baby out with the bath water saying all Swedish men are lacking in that department and as for being pale i think its very nice to see people of all variations of colour but i think pale is alot better then having skin cancer and looking like a leather bag or being pumpkin coloured from fake & bake or other fake tanners, people should be proud of the skin they were born into and not feel like they should be some tanned copper colour to be beautiful.

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Simon

January 3rd, 2010 at 10:47

Ha ha, hes just another reject, I bet some really hot girl slapped him down a notch. Most people may think Swedish girls are easy, thats a no no, (Swedish girls not saying all of them) are not sluts, I can admit there are Sluts everywhere, but thats not the case in sweden.

People might think swedish people are cold and boring, but thats not the case, swedes are not as much into drama as other people, and they have a hard time showing feeling compared to other countries, but the people closest to them gets to see the real person behind the mask.

Remember theres hate everywhere, never belive anything you read, people that have hate against swedes might have been unlucky to meet the worst pieces of shit in the whole country, there are bad and good people everywhere, just be sure to find the crowd that fits you.

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emma-lee

April 13th, 2010 at 21:15

come on people. have you met ALL of the Swedes that excist?
I’m Swedish and everyone is not as you discribe them. Sure, some are kind of boring but THATS BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW THEM !
USA is known for beeing snobby, just after money, ego, rude but also really friendly and nice. and why is it so? ITS BECAUSE THERE ARE DIFFRENT KIND OF PEOPLE IN AMERICA. Sweden has its own kind of coulture (is that spelled right?) and the rest of the countries in the world has its own. STOP BITHCING. Just because someone lives in a certen country doesn’t mean that they are as you think. Have you even been/lived in Swe?
Do you have many swe friends? If you have only met one och two swedes then SHUT UP!

thank you
/ Emma-Lee

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Gem

April 14th, 2010 at 14:05

I have to agree with emma-lee, there are all kinds of swedes, I personally have been in the country for 6 months and I have met some really incredible people and some really weird people aswell, but I guess that is part of life, I mean during this time back in my hometown I would have probably met the same different people.
Yes the people dont look extremely friendly on the street, but…again which people look extremely friendly on the streets of big cities, I have also been to the countryside of Sweden, and when walking I usually get the “hej, hej” by complete strangers, and eventually I get a smile from the older ladies that live in my “big” city. Maybe people also react to the attitude you have towards them?
Also, the attitude changes when the sun is up :D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For all of you in Sweden now, lets enjoy the sun after a looooooong cold winter :D
Cheers!

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PTBAS

April 24th, 2010 at 18:22

If someone HATE Swedes so goddamn much, >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>DON’T TRAVEL TO SWEDEN!!!!!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<. End of discussion.

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Moonlight

April 25th, 2010 at 02:24

Interesting… Its more than obvious to me that the people who hate Sweden have never been to Russia or Ukraine:))) I havent been to Sweden, but I can bet my years wages that it isnt bad at all if we are to compare Sweden to, lets say, Ukraine. I stayed there for over a week and it was enough for me:) At first, I had to hold on to my dear life in a taxi from the airport – the drivers are maniacs!:) Having survived that, my friend took me on a tour round the city centre, I came back with quite a few bruises and close to tears because people are extremely rude to strangers in the streets – if you’re in someone’s way, they’ll just push past you at the best, at the worst you’ll get heavily sworn at and if you say smth back – you’re a likely candidate for a beating. If someone hears you talking in a language other than ukranian or russian – you’ll get EVERYONE staring at you. Worst case scenario – you’ll get beaten up just because your foreign (and most likely robbed as well). Customer service????? Me and my friend sat at a restaurant table for nearly an hour, the waitress going past us about a dozen times and ignoring us. Waving or any kind of gesture indicating that you would like to be served will result in the waiting person rolling eyes, sighing and yelling from a distance that s/he is too busy. When our order eventually arrived – it was a wrong order as well, we decided not to bother getting the waitress’s attention back, we were too hungry by then and just ate whatever she brought us:) I could go on and on about that “disaster” trip, but I never even thought about hating ukrainians or the Ukraine itself. Its their country, their customs, their rules – at least there was no artificial sweetness, no fake smiles out in the streets, if someone smiled – you knew they meant it. And yes, I would go back there for a holiday again – Crimea is a paradise!:) £3-a-bottle vodka is also an advantage:))) ;) :D :P

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Slapchops

May 16th, 2010 at 19:41

You’d go back? So then a week wasn’t enough for you then..

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David

May 22nd, 2010 at 01:21

Yvonne, you said that when you went to Paris they have been kind to you. That is because they want to take you home, take off your clothes and be very kind on top of you, doggy style, cowgirl, on the stairs, in the kitchen, on the couch…..
The ONLY thing wrong with Paris is that it is full of rude asshole french who would all be singing happy birthday Hitler if it weren’t for English speakers and the bastards still dont show respect. Thank you.

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Dano

May 24th, 2010 at 11:25

David..as you stated “English speakers” and not the usual “America”..I’ll have a guess and say you’re a Brit?
You have to remember that if you remove America from the equation then England and France have been at war and hating each other for centuries!
England ruled France for a time…France ruled England for a time.We burnt Joan of arc alive!We killed thousands and thousands at Waterloo and Agincourt! To name just a couple. Unless we’re helping them out of a sticky situation,they don’t like us! So they certainly arn’t going to be polite and kill themselves to learn English just for our benefit.
It’s like you being Jewish and having had half or most of your family (at that time)gassed in the camps.Come the year 2010…you’re unlikely to say “ok enough times gone by.I’ll learn German and be nice and helpful whenever i meet one!”
But yeah,the short version is…they’re rude ignorant arseholes lol.

As for Swedes? Truth is i’ve never been to Stockholm yet.I’m ensconced down south in Skåne,but i’ve heard the tales from other swedes i know about them being ignorant and rude and elitist etc.I do meet a lot from Stockholm though,as they come down here for their summer vacations and as a metal detectorist i tend to attract attention like flies around shit,lol!
I admit,the ones i’ve talked to have been polite,curious,not at all put out at having to speak English,and in general…very pleasant.
I guess you have to live there or be around them a lot to understand fully.Here in Skåne they tend to be very snobbish at times too with everyone..which i find odd for a place that depends on tourism,well maybe not depends…but helps a damn lot,but have found once they realise you’re still here longer than your 2 week vacation,they become a little more pleasant.(It’s a little awkward down here due to history.Half of them still want to be Danish,lol)

It is odd though.Swedes i met on vacations in spain and other places(even before the beer and sangria kicked in) were always pleasant,happy go lucky,and game for a laugh,while actually living here has been a bit of an eye opener.

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gina

June 6th, 2010 at 00:08

There is good and bad everywhere .
Sweden is a beautiful european country , with it’s own unique culture and way of life . If you visit their country , accept them for what they are , and show respect for this . If you “want” and “expect” them to be like you , why bother to go there ??? Stay home !
Sweden has many good things , so look for these , and be nice to their people , and they will be nice to you .
In any event , hate is a negative emotion , that serves no use for life improvement . Being nice is far better , for all .

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Jax

June 15th, 2010 at 08:42

Well, I’m an American woman, and truth be told, we are all different. There is no single standard to go by. This is due to it being the grand melting pot. Most everyone is a mix of something, and they bring all that background and heritage into their particular part of Americanism. No two snowflakes are the same, and neither are two people. When others speak of Americans, they are either talking through assumptions, rumours from political agendas, or understanding of their own personal experience with a certain group of people; but no one knows everyone, and therefore it can not be expected to explain a whole country of people. The same goes for Sweden, no doubt. I have heard enough to know that they are all unique individuals; and to place a people in one standard is not just incorrect, but downright ingnorant. I know only one Swede, a male from work, and so far he has turned out to be very sweet. He seems a bit shy and quite sincere, does “the stare”, and is very kind. If I didn’t believe he was married (Not certain, but I’m putting it together), I would definitely consider a future with this man. Of course, if I just went by the hate speech, I would have run the moment I saw him walk through the door! So, the point comes down to, if you don’t know everyone, your negative speculations on the whole becomes unsubstantiated, clueless, and unworthy of giving a second thought.

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Dano

June 16th, 2010 at 12:57

Wise words…but i don’t think anyone’s “hating” on Swedes.These are just our observations because we live here or have/ had/want relationships with a Swede.Each country has it’s own little (and sometimes huge)quirks,and no doubt there’s total differences around each street corner.

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Freddie

June 21st, 2010 at 14:32

I am happy to see that this thread is a bit more reflective and positive than the “Rude Swedes are not an oxymoron” thread.

One aspect that sometimes is overlooked is the fact that the “cold, reserved, shy and boring” Swedes are not native English speakers. It is not always easy for them to express themselves in a foreign language. If the roles were reversed and you knew a little Swedish and had to engage in an interesting conversation only using Swedish you might also feel that it is not all that easy express yourself as usual and maybe you would even be a bit self-conscious and shy.

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Dano

June 21st, 2010 at 15:27

Very true!

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Owlrus

July 9th, 2010 at 09:36

I find it quite amusing that all the messages from Swedes defending Swedes as not being rude basically either tell those criticizing Sweden to “shut up” or that they only say this because they got rejected by a Swedish girl. Yes, that’s a very convincing argument to say your people are not rude.

I am an American going to Sweden for the first time this summer, and I sure was excited until I started reading about others’ experiences…..I sure hope to be proven wrong! I’m already pretty convinced that if I have a bad experience the Swedes will just say it’s “because you’re an American and Americans are shit.”

:/

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Dano

July 9th, 2010 at 14:26

Can’t argue with a swede who sees things as they really are Owlrus! :P

A trip to Sweden is like a trip anywhere else in the world..be yourself (with respect)and what will be will be!
One person will have a terrible trip to the dentist,another person will have a good trip to the same dentist.It’s what happens to YOU here that counts,not what happens to US!
Swedes can be the same as anyone else,anywhere.The ones i meet down here in the south west can be inquisitive,polite,pleasant,and can have a really good sense of humour and understanding of it..which takes some doing when there’s a Brit around! lol
Just remember,most swedes under 30 know English.They may not all speak it well due to being uncomfortable with a native speaker,same as us trying to speak Italian to a Italian..but most will understand it.So be careful when calling them names and such! lol.
Oh,and there’s a lot of muslim immigrants here,so as an American there’s a chance you may be kidnapped,have your head lopped off and the video put on youtube..but don’t let this spoil your trip! :)

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Mo

July 29th, 2010 at 07:17

Always intresting to read what other people think of sweden.

As a swede and living in stockholm, i dont really recognise that we are that rude except maybe if you party at stureplan.

What i feel we are is a bit reserved to foreigners(people you dont know) in generel and it takes time for us to melt,but i think most people love to chat with people coming from other countries,cities and whatnot.

Also people behave diffrently in diffrent cities in sweden, stockholm in general is a bit more cold until you get to know someone .

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Clara

August 16th, 2010 at 22:52

I have to admit: yes they are cold, boring sometimes rude, grown up in divorced families, simply sweden is a great country, what a pity the people are that much cold and boring!

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Alexander

September 16th, 2010 at 12:30

This has been a very interesting read, I must say.

As a Swede, living in central Stockholm, one of the main points I enjoy most about us and our contry is the lack of formality. There´s no real rules to think about (excluding common sense :-)). For example you don´t need to go around and use “Sir” or “Mr.InsertLastName” no hidden rituals.

While people might spit on the pavement Stockholm is probably more clean than most other big cities in the world.

Also, we are not native english speakers, but most people do like to speak english and to speak/help a tourist while speaking another language is a thing most actually enjoy.

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Jessica

September 16th, 2010 at 13:54

Just to point out something to beenaround, In The Netherlands it is also very common to address your teacher by their first name, There is absolutely no discipline in schools and children swear at the teachers and talk to them and their parents at home in the most frighful way. This problem has become so bad that there is a shortage of teachers and the problem is rapidly becoming a crisis. Students studying to become teachers are subsidised heavily by the government and given a lot of leeway at schools and can also take as long over their studies as they want basically. Other students aren’t (which is not a bad thing but still).

Once an employee has a permanant contract in The Netherlands, he is not allowed to be fired so most people just lean over and do bugger all at work. This is a big problem and has resulted in companies not giving anymore permanant contracts anymore and people having renewable contracts for three years and are then booted out.

The Dutch girls (mainly the lower classed and lower educated girls) are right tarts and at 14 years old have the reputation of being Breezer sletjes (Breezer sluts) because they would have sex with any guy who bought them an alcoholic beverage called Breezer.

What I am trying to say, there is a lot of negativity about Sweden on this site and it seems to me to be by people that are experiencing another culture other than their own for the first time. As has been said before, it is a pity to say Sweden sucks because you had a bad experience. A lot of Dutch people swear by the Scandinavians, but that is probably it is just not possible to be ruder than a Dutchman!

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Sven Svensson

October 26th, 2010 at 17:28

My opinion is that you can’t say you hate the Swedes until you’ve met all of them! And the same is for all countries. Sure, some Swedes are rude but so are people from other places. I’m from Sweden and i think I’ts a wonderful country.

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omeganeu

December 25th, 2010 at 18:56

Hi, I have been living in Sweden for two years and I think swedish people are very polite and nice although of the spitting and all the disgusting habits! yes they have this very disgusting thing of cleaning their nose right infront of you making loud disgusting noise especially when they are eating, I do not know what is the secret about it, but to me this is very disgusting and rude and in my first days there I imediately loose my appetite! but I like swedes! they are a little bit cold but in a good way I think, this coldness protect them from being rude with others and prevent them of hurting other people , which is good. the weather is strange but Interesting. And do not let me start talking about Swedish men, they are realy gentlemen! I realy like Swedes!

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Dano

December 28th, 2010 at 11:34

I’m assuming you mean the Swedish men who DON’T clean their noses in front of you and DON’T make loud disgusting noises when eating..are gentlemen..right?

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omeganeu

December 30th, 2010 at 19:44

well, I was lucky to meet some swedish gentlemen who were nice, friendly and helpfull people. Although some of them do some things disgusting me, but it seems to be they are not disgusting in their culture and I respect that . I think it is important to respect other cultures and try to understand them especially if you are living in their country. And I think no one is perfect, I assume may be all of us do strange things some times which we do not think it is strange or disgusting but other people do.

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lili

January 25th, 2011 at 16:08

Hi
I have lived for 2 years in Sweden and I have to admit that most of them (not all) are racist and really that much horrible

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Swedish Girl

March 11th, 2011 at 23:38

I’m a native Swede and I have to clarify some things.
The majority of Swedish people don’t really intend to be rude, we just give off that vibe. In reality we’re just very introverted, shy and afraid of not being good enough. Especially if you’re speaking English, most Swedes are fluent in English but don’t have the confidence to speak it. The fear of pronouncing words incorrectly is too big. So we come off as self-absorbed and intimidating.

There is a certain unwritten rule in Sweden that’s so common for everyone here, outsiders can’t quite comprehend it, You don’t talk to strangers! You keep away from Strangers at all costs. Why is this absurd rule of existence here? I don’t really know. When I’ve been abroad there is a different atmosphere, people seem to take more notice of each other’s presence. I’m actually planning on moving out of Sweden in the near future, I want to befriend people who aren’t Swedish, I need some variation from my current friends.

@lili : I doubt most of us are racist, only a few are, besides the increasing of racism lately is connected to the recession, when it’s gone it will pass.

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Trish Boland

May 2nd, 2011 at 00:34

I’ve been to Sweden, and met a lot of interesting people there, found them very helpful and pleasant. Was in Denmark also, had the same experience. Haven’t been to Norway, but I guess it would be virtually identical as all three Scandinavian nations are, except maybe in terms of temperament..if Im correct? The point Im making is you should not judge a nation by a few rude people you meet, or any bad experiences you have – this could happen anywhere.

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gregory

July 6th, 2011 at 15:52

I am from South Africa and went to Sweden for a holiday. When I went to Sweden I met some of the rudest, most arrogant people I have ever come across in my life who treated me like dirt and barely aknowledged my existance. On the flipside though, I also met some of the dearest, sweetest and kindest people whom I am still friends with to this day, and who I consider to be “family”…true life impacting people. I guess that pretty much sums things up…

Some people are ass wipes, some people are angels… just like in every single country and city in the world. A few people’s misbehaviour is not reflective of an entire nation.

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Kara

July 15th, 2011 at 14:41

I’ve been to Sweden many, many times (about every 6-9 months) and currently have two Swedish teens and their mother staying in my house right now for a few weeks (this is the 5th time they’ve visited). What I’ve found from these experiences is that Swedish men do NOT have the manners of American men (holding doors for you, helping you carry heavy items, getting you something to drink at home, giving you a seat on the train/bus, etc). Swedish teenagers are downright RUDE. They never say “please or thank-you”, they will push past you to get into a shop, they will never help around the house (their own house or when visiting) and are pretty pampered being given an allowance to shop without having to work at all for it. I’ve also noticed that most Swedes I’ve met are very “well fed” if you know what I mean? My family & friends are on the thinner side and while it’s true I’ve not met “every Swede in Sweden”, I’ve met quite a few and all but a small number of them have been overweight (so much for the Fat Americans thing, eh?)

The biggest issue is that if you are not a native Swedish speaker, forget ever learning the language. 95% of all Swedes I’ve met will NOT speak Swedish with you one they realize you speak English. I don’t know if it’s because they want to practice their English or can’t be bothered teaching someone else to speak they dying language of Swedish. I’ve found them to be very impressed with expensive things, showing off how much money they have by constantly telling you that they only buy “the best quality” of everything. Which, good for you if you can afford it, but not everyone can. And there is a lot of “In my country” or “Back home we” statements comparing how much better things are in Sweden. Well, I’ve been there & I know it’s not that much better. They have the highest taxes in the world and soon, with the influx of immigrants, Swedes will be working to pay for others to benefit in the free healthcare, university education (because education is free in America too and we attend compulsory schooling for a longer period of time, have difficult entrance exams to be able to attend university & children aren’t admitted to good universities based on grades alone – you have to show you can work, volunteer in the community, be involved with your school AND get good grades – a well-rounded person). My feeling is, if you’re going to visit a foreign country, don’t go there and constantly tell how much better it is in YOUR country – just go home! Otherwise, open yourself to new experiences, appreciate the differences, don’t degrade the country in front of your host, etc. I can’t imagine coming to Sweden & doing those things but hosting many Swedes over the last 8 years or so, I’ve dealt with their Nationalistic Swedish Pride too many times.

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Annette

July 16th, 2011 at 13:01

Swedes are arrogant bastards and I’ve travelled the world, I have NEVER met anyone anywhere as rude as those people. It was dreadful in Stockholm, which was a shame as the city was very attractive.

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johannes

July 27th, 2011 at 01:21

you can search on google for any nationality and add “are rude”, and you will find a discussion why americans, french, englishmen, norwegians etc. are rude. so i guess the whole world is rude, or we just have a hard time understanding other countries social culture. also saying that swedes are boring, that’s just stupid if you don’t understand the language.
#kara: for an american to call sweden nationalistic:0 i mean c’mon, you should really take a look at your own country before throwing out such allegations. what you call patriotism is really just plain old nationalism, GOD BLESS AMERICA! screw the rest!
I am sincerely sorry if some of you have had some bad encounters with swedes. i can assure you we’re not all bad, and if you say otherwise then you are a racist…hehe…not kidding though.

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Michael

August 17th, 2011 at 13:05

I half agree with the sentiment of this article. I’m an Aussie and i’ve lived now in sweden for about 3 years. There is a lot of rudeness here – people never apologise if they bump into you, or shove you aside, service is appalling and rude….I could go on. My fiancee and I have banned ourselves from bitching about Swedes anymore, there’s just no point.

BUT there are some really lovely people here, and it helps to learn the language. It’s hard to get them to speak Swedish to you if they detect an accent or you’ve muffed some of the grammar, but when you eventually get them to, some of them can be surprisingly pleasant. I think for the most part a lot of Swedes are awkward and don’t know a lot of social morays that we take for granted. A lot of ex-pats i know from England, USA, ireland, Italy and Spain will never go back to their respective countries because the quality of life here is just so good.

So lighten up!

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Nick

October 3rd, 2011 at 13:16

I have lived in Sweden 3 years and 2 months and 3 days I don’t live there now thank god, I have been travelling to Sweden for over 40 years too.
I love my Swedish wife, as for the rest of you I think you’re the least wonderful people on earth.
Lecturing, Holier than thou, ignorant, unfriendly, boring, tightfisted, humourless, soulless, and that’s just some of their better traits

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Coffe

November 24th, 2011 at 15:25

Have someone of your ever asked a randomly person a question on the street? if you try that, likely 90% will for sure do their best to answer it. Swedish people are very helpfull and yea sure they might be a be “shy”, but if you breaking the ice then swedish people are rly good!

In Sweden you can “chillout” and take your time. There is such more good things about Sweden.
But the one who says swedish people are rude, they thats a rumour that isn’t true. What I learned for 22 years of my life, is that we are very helpfull…

girls…… no more words! :)

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Annon

January 4th, 2012 at 11:34

I’m sorry but I totally agree with that. Swedes are very rude, impolite and disgusting.
Example: I’m living with a bunch of swedes.

Swede number one is a boy and blows his nose in the shower, he’s not even subtle about it, I can hear it from my room and everybody in the apartment can hear it.

Swede number two is also a boy, he whistles and hums to himself all day long. It’s a total nightmare listening to this guy, he never stops.

Swede number 3 is a girl. She spits and does that disgusting “grrrrrrrrrrr” sound gathering all her mucus, then goes to the toilet and just *spit*.

All three of them are very rude, towards me and towards others. All three have a superiority complex of “I’m better than you, I don’t know why, but I am”.

Also, all Swedes that I met love “suggesting” me what to do. I wish they would just mind their own fucking business, also, everytime I tell someone I’m not a Swede I (ultimately) get the question: “So… when are you leaving?” or “So how long will you be staying in Sweden?” – it’s like they want me out as soon as possible.

With this kind of attitude I’ll be on my away really soon.

I don’t care how rich or well off Sweden is, it’s not a happy place.

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Erik

January 5th, 2012 at 21:23

I guess everyone have different experiences. But my experience with swedes have been really bad. Overall swedes are quite rude and have no manners, many swedes think they are better than everyone else which is disgusting. Swedes does also tend to be jealous people, if you got something better than someone else then people will be bitter, angry and jealous. And yes swedes are shallow.

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Adriana

January 15th, 2012 at 22:23

I love the swedish. I was in Stockholm for a few weeks this summer, and I’ve never felt so at ease in an european capital. I am quite shy, and the swedish are the least intrusive people I’ve seen. I could walk in a busy street and no one looked at me, or made snarky comments or whatever. People just let you be on your own, which is rather liberating. On the other hand, I had to ask for directions a few times, and people were more than helpful and nice.
I don’t know about that guy, but I don’t think he has the legitimacy to call anyone “rude”, when he’s the one who’s making a sweeping offensive generalization of an entire country.

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MenVadIHelaJävlaHelvete

January 24th, 2012 at 20:38

Hej,

It’s a bit shocking reading all this hateful comments about Swedish people and Sweden.
One thing that people don’t get is that our reaction to things is also a big part of our humour.
We are extremely dry and ironic, sarcastic in Sweden. The facial expression doesn’t always change that much when we make a joke. That’s why many people doesn’t follow.
I could go on the whole day but i have to go being, lecturing, ignorant, unfriendly, boring, tightfisted, humourless, soulless and a bit of a racist like a true swedish person!

If you think Swedes are the rudest and most boring people on earth it probably says more about yourself!

Best wishes from a Swede!

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joycer87

January 26th, 2012 at 17:15

Hi All,
I have some insight to share. The article is extreme and the writer is obviously writing it while having an emotional reaction to his issues with Swedish culture. Here is what I have experienced since moving to Stockholm from Boston 6 months ago:

Firstly, I am a very social person. I thrive off of social interaction, its how I energize. When I interact with anyone, even a stranger, I treat them as I would want to be treated, with warmth and my full attention. I also approach everything with this mindset “I could meet a new friend today, or a future girlfriend, or a fellow musician, Ect” The world is full of amazing people, why not meet them?

Fast forward 6 months later. I have given up that attitude. I really don’t want to seem like an arrogant American, but I have to give it straight up. Stockholm people are cold. And Rude. Its difficult to meet anyone when you automatically get negativity and a thick wall to break through. I have met many nice expats from many different countries here, but I have not made a single Swedish friend. And I am good at making new friends. They just won’t let me in.
To me its not something to get angry about, its just quite sad for me, its not my way of life. how do people meet, become friends, fall in love in this country? I can’t figure it out.

I guess I find it sad because I moved here willing to fully give myself to new people and accept many new friendships. I guess my advice would be to not expect that and meet expats!

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Simone

January 27th, 2012 at 13:58

I have the same experience as joycer87. I have lived for many years in Sweden (different big cities) and always got along better with other foreigners or immigrants. Swedes are so reserved that it takes years to get friends with them. I also have a feeling they are quite judgemental, if you are different or express different opinions the theirs, they won’t accept you. I am also from a country that they don’t find cool (like the US for example) and I feel that matters as well.

I find Swedes nice to work with though, they are usually helpful and try to keep a nice atmosphere at work, without unnecessary conflicts.

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Alex

January 30th, 2012 at 18:27

I dont really know why we swedes are so reserved. I think its becouse that we are very picky with who we let close. Maybe we are very stiff and suspicius with a great need of “private space” becouse of that. And mayby thats why we love to get drunk, becouse we loosen up and have easier to open up to others.

And it kind of funny, i can get irritated if someone wants to be too helpfull when shopping. And by too helpful i mean, “do you need help? Do you find what you looking for?”. If i do or if i dont, i ask you myself!
I have never been to the US, but i suspect that it would be a nightmare for me. A too friendly stranger wants something from me and cant be trusted. Also he interfers with my personal space if being too pushy.

But once friends we trusts eachother 100%. And ofc, you cant trust every friendly person who you meet. Thats why we are so reserved i think.

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William

February 1st, 2012 at 17:00

Well, not all swedes are rude and ignorant, and thinking that is..well, ignorant. and rude.
If you want a tip – Don’t visit Stockholm the first time you travel to Sweden, visit one of the smaller cities, like Karlstad, Jönköping or Malmö.

In Stockholm, you usually meet the rich, prude swedes, that believes they’re better than the rest.(with some exceptions ofcourse.)

The swedes in the smaller cities, such as the one i live in, are much more friendly.
Sure, we’re not likely to walk up to you and start a conversation, as we swedes are very “shy”.
We do care alot about our personal space.

If you decide to go to Sweden, do visit the smaller cities first, believe me, it’s much better.

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Louise

February 2nd, 2012 at 20:36

Hej!
I’m a swede, and it’s true that we are kind of stiff and “boring” people – IN OTHERS EYES.
when we say jokes, we say it with a straight face, which makes the whole joke only silly.
I – personally- don’t like obvious jokes like :
– two tomatoes walked over a road…etc. they are just no fun i look like this everytime i hear those : <:|
every country have their own sense of humour, and in sweden, the humour tends to be sarcasm, ironic and not so obvious jokes. we like it that way, and if you've gotten aquantainced with some swedes you should know that. everyone of you "haters" only appears blind to me.
I am a swede, and I ALWAYS say SORRY or FORGIVE ME if i bump into a person! every person I know (swedish friends) do that too.
if you're living with a swede and they tend to be sloppy and disgusting, they probably feel comfortable around you. and that they feel that you don't judge.
and that our country is cold- is not something that the swedish population can do anything about. let me tell you, we scandinavian countrys are famous for actually having seasons. when it's winter we can have -25C. (some winters, also this one didn't have any snow at all :/)
when it's spring, the snow melt and the trees gets flower buds, and such stuff. it's full of colour.
when it's summer we can have really hot ones (atleast in my eyes) the last summers It's been like 25-35 C!
and in autumn, the trees gets naked.

Swedes can appear stuck up and have that aura "i'm too good for you" but it's almost always girls in their puberty :/ they have a lot of make-up on and look arrogant. as a girl who don't wear make-up, they can even appear scary and judging to me :(
but I've been told that it's never like that! (okay, assholes exists in every country, and i've come across some here too but whatever)
I finally got to talk to this girl that always seemed to bitchstare me, and she was amazingly nice 8| we became friends, and one day I told her that I didn't like her so much before, and I was scared of her since it seemed like she didn't like me and she was like "WHAT? what are you talking about? I only stared at you because I liked your clothes.."

I am a pretty big observer too, and I somehow likes to guess the reason for people's actions…
so I would like to start to say sorry to every foreigner that have felt like they've been ignored and hated on.
because, swedes often avoids contact with people – especially foreigners. that's because foreigners (not all) can be loud and noisy. and if we're dealing with some stubborn ones they can start calling random people on the street racist. I saw foreigners treat swedes badly on a train once. it was horrible. it was a group of guys that walked up to two swedish guys, mocking them and started an unreasonable fight. they screamed "Svennejävlar" (kind of like swedish swines) to them, and started to kick them on the ground and abusing them. I was alone, so the only thing I could do was to call the police… it was so scary, and I was only 13 at the time. since then I've always been a little scared of foreigners, since they often seem like they are looking down on us…

there's a lot of nice foreigners too, but what I want to say is that we are only afraid of people, we are scared to not be enough. we don't want to hurt the other person (also why we act kind of cold, if we do that we can't accidentally hurt someone) And I've had a lot of bad experience with people's worts sides too. being bullied, my friends have treated me badly and done many hurtful things to me ( that's past though) but right now I'm on good terms with them :)

HAHA and a funny thing my brother experienced:
he was just walking down the street, minding his own business and then he passed by some foreigners and suddenly one of them turned around and yelled "CARROT HEAD" to him! he was like "haha, funny fella" he's a ginger for your information.

and if you're going somewhere for the first time… if you're looking for nice views, you can go to Stockholm, but the people there are rich and yes, they act kind of stuck-up.
if you're looking for nice people, you should go to smaller cities. they are friendlier, northern sweden have funny fellas! they accent is so weird XD

Sincerely
A 15 year old friend from Sweden.

P.S I don't know about other people, but I always say thank you when i receive something. doesn't matter what! And okay, i'm sorry if many appears dry and racist, but personal experience can be a reason for that, and i'm sorry that some of us don't want more refugees here. but seriously, even I wouldn't want my people to be a minority in my own nation. is that so weird?

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Sapphire

February 2nd, 2012 at 20:50

@Louise – Sorry dear, I haven’t read your whole response yet but regarding your question about minor vs minority, it is minority. I fixed it for you.

I do like the winter in Sweden :)

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Sam

February 7th, 2012 at 16:09

If you talk to a group of Swedes and tell them you’re from another country, they will most likely be nice to you. Unless you’re a complete asshole.
My experience is that some Swedes are very nice and friendly, and some are not. Just like everything else.
I’ve been in Sweden four times and I think it is a very beautiful country with a lot of beautiful girls and handsome boys. (yes I’m bi, do not judge me)

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Gregory

February 8th, 2012 at 05:34

I am not swedish but I live in Malmö. All I can say is that Sweden is an almost perfect country. A few years ago, before the things that have happened lately with muslims especially here in Malmö, the swedish society was voted as the best society in the world. And yeah, it’s just perfect. You don’t get hated here like in other places of the world (like the US for instance) if you wear something that is not really common or if you do something that is rather uncommon. People here are very open minded (especially swedish, but immigrants too, I am in good terms with everybody, wether he/she is a christian, atheist, muslim, jewish and so on). The only thing that makes it being “almost perfect” and not perfect is that everything is so expensive here. A bread here is about 6 to 10 times more expensive than in my home country. But if you manage to work here, then you’ll get a good income too.

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Katarina

February 25th, 2012 at 21:45

why does this people take it so obvious that swedes are so mean? doesn’t that make them mean to say that?

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Linnéa

March 27th, 2012 at 22:02

I think the people that write these things just are plain morons. Even though they might have met some Swedes that are really rude doesn’t give them the right to judge us all. :P I wouldn’t know anything about the spitting though, I’ve only been to Stockholm once and can’t say I really remember anything. ;)
Maybe you just have to get to know us, and we’ll be more open :3

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Estelliane

March 28th, 2012 at 21:57

I have found the Swedes very friendly. I have not (yet) experienced anyone being rude to be in Stockholm. :-)

I work remotely with a Swedish from Göteborg and she has even put me in touch with one of her colleagues in Stockholm as I am in the quest to move to Sweden :D

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trisha bracken

April 17th, 2012 at 15:58

hi have been reading all d comments, oh by d way im Irish.

only ever had d opportunity 2 visit Sweden once, Gottenburg i found ppls 2 be nice helpful, polite, i am outgoing friendly though
reserved at d same time.it was a nice experience, every countrys culture is different and when we visit we must respect, it would be a very boring world if we were all d same. oh by d way i am very proud to say that im of nordic ancestry. love 2 sweden. trica xxx

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fish776

April 24th, 2012 at 06:20

I’m American–living in Sweden for several years. Sweden in beautiful and magical. Stop being obsessed with America, you guys…it is creepy and besides, Sweden is waaay nicer. Consider yourselves lucky.

I agree with many gripes said here about Swedes. Most things are a matter of perception and opinion–but some are just plain truth…like spit on the ground. There IS a ton of spit on the ground and it’s gross. Spit on the grass, damn. That crap evaporates and spreads airborn germs…and while we’re on the subject–please cover your mouths when you cough/sneeze too! Teach your billions of little kids to cough into their elbows. I don’t want your perpetual cold–no spank you. Not everyone can go to the DR for every little thing and take paid sick days to be spent at home watching futbol..LOL.

Whoever said that bit about people not stopping to either intervene or help out in drastic public situations was right. God forbid human interaction is required, lol. I have been appalled on many, many occasions by this, myself. If an old person needs help–HELP THEM! lol…it is your duty as a young person to at least offer…dang. You are lucky to be young and strong. If a kid is getting picked on and smacked around by much older kids…speak the hell up and help that child!! I don’t give a damn if it is your kid or not…it is your responsibility as an adult to watch over the children of your community and protect their rights to safety and fair treatment. Many Swedes DO just walk right on by with their eyes averted…la la la…pretending to see/hear nothing when they should be speaking up. It’s totally strange and I dare say–seemingly pathetic. I say *many* because I don’t know ALL Swedes…not because I have actually seen a single one intervene in these kind of situations–I have not.

A very mild example–in a line for the toilet on an SAS flight bound for Copenhagen. So it is my turn pretty soon (most likely as the line is a bit scattered due to lack of proper line forming room) I notice several VERY old people in front of me…a couple of which were literally SWEATING and bright red and panicked looking. Do you think ONE other person noticed this and let them go first? NO CHANCE. They shoved past the old people and took their turn as the more aggressive and in the name of divided lines (they *were* before them). There were kids under 5 bouncing around holding their crotches too. Did anyone let the babies go first? NO. I’m thinking…ummm…um, ok…what the hell?? Is this for real? Old people and babies can’t hold it as good as you bastards! Duuuh…So my turn came and I systematically allowed each and every old person and kid to go before me…though I had to pee badly, too. I soon caught on that the either socially inept or far too polite Scandinavians behind me weren’t going to say a damn thing about it…LOL…suckers. They could go around me to one of the other 6 toilets…and they did (mostly after I’d point them in that direction)…but this toilet right here…that was MINE…haha…and so I abused my powers of first in line for about 15 minutes. I went with the natural arrogance of my American upbringing and just went with it. It was awesome you guys. At 20 years old I thought…holy shit…check it out…No one is speaking up against me…I’m literally deciding when they can use the toilet…my power is unchallenged and supreme…I will reign just and fair…I bet I’ll totally be like…king (I’m female but who cares) of Scandinavia in like…a week. LMAO.

In a nutshell–your social skills are for shit. Don’t take my constructive criticism as just complaining about you all…I am a nice and tolerant person who is certainly not without many faults of my own…I am doing you a favor by suggesting you focus your energies more on teaching your future generations more well balanced social skills. I am a borderline introvert and, as an American, I’m all of a sudden the most outspoken person around in Swedish situations. It sucks…I don’t want to be…I want to mind my own business in a country that is not my own…quietly learn your ways and how to show that I want to respect them…but if you don’t speak the hell up in your own country when any decent person simply MUST…well…I’m not going to bed that night feeling like a coward just because taking a stand probably made me look like a loud, stupid American. How can this be avoided, anyway?

When all is said and done–this is not my country and I don’t expect it to be. If I want to feel like I am in my own country–I will go home. I’m still here.

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Pauley

May 7th, 2012 at 08:39

You’ll notice the majority of people defending Sweden are Swedes, which is fair enough, it’s their homeland, and then those who have just visisited or just move here.

After living here for a few years you will see all the shit people are complaining about here, rude, cold, soulless people who are always boasting about their shitty backward country

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lilith

June 16th, 2012 at 20:59

wow… just wow, there is so much hate here…
I mean yeah SOME swedish people can be rude, SOME can be great and as said before it is all about perspective. But I imagine that when you go to a country with a certain picture of it then that is what you will experience because you wont change your mind about it…
As a 17 year old american girl I have been living here for almost a year now. Their school system is great, the teenagers here are nice and treat me very well. And as for the adults, In their eyes I am not a “lazy” american, they don’t give crap if you’re from America of anywhere else god damnit, they really do treat you like anyone else. I just think that there are many here that never adapted to the culture and expect everyone else around them to adapt to them, well that’s not how it works…
And for those living in sweden, don’t you think that the winters are worth it in the long run, I mean come on! December is filled with christmas lights and spirits and i justlove the “Lucia” tradition and when spring and summer comes you have waited for it for so long that it becomes even more beautiful.

Just my opinion
Lilith

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Sapphire

June 18th, 2012 at 13:25

@lilith – Have to say, I do love the winters in Sweden, especially the snowy ones!!! Everyone thinks I’m nut but then, why are you Swedish if you hate the weather so much. (Thailand is only ‘better’ because people visit for 10 days and think they could live it for life, way harder than it looks)

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sofia

June 18th, 2012 at 17:10

i have been living in Sweden for a while and allow me to say that your whole blog is complete bullshit! are you sure that you are actually experiencing the real Sweden and interacting with Swedes? I don’t think so. And another question: Will this “dissenting opinion” appear on your comment blog?? Or are you just like that ‘Sweden hater’ you rant about suppressing every other opinion to keep on living in your bubble filled with ignorance? You are pathetic, people like you should not even be allowed to enter this beautiful country

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Sapphire

June 18th, 2012 at 21:53

@sofia – Funny you think it’s acceptable to insult me and call me names, yet if I say something about Swedes/Sweden, I’m a hater. That’s being a hypocrite.

Perhaps if you took the time to read the blog you would many sides being represented here. What is not acceptable is hate speech and threats. But if you feel like calling me more names then I’ll be keeping a record of it.

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jamie

June 26th, 2012 at 06:39

Im from uk and have lived in sweden 5 years. I quite like that swedes keep to themselves alot as i ejoy not talking much. I know it sounds stupid but i love riding my bike here. theres safe bike lanes everywhere and lots of relaxing trails in the forest. I like all mans right law which means you can camp anywhere. there are great mushrooms and berries. also the drivers are extreamly polite and stop for you to cross (not like england). I love the (hotter than england) summers and cozy snowy winters but my favroute season is autumn.Long distance ice skating is Amazing here and quite magical for me. as is the nature and space..The libraries here are beautiful. I dont like the t.v here though its rubbish, I agree though swedes can be abit too reseved though sometimes, Ive made freinds with both swedes and with people from all over the world that are immigrents here like me. Some of these immigrents seem to think i have it easier than them for some reason just because im British. Teenagers here seem to behave better than in england, but i live in a small town. Sometimes im bored here but its safe and i find most scandinavian people quite trustworthy. Its definatly a calm place. Ive noticed alot of immigrents stick to their own though. I suppose there are good and bad people evrywhere.

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John

June 26th, 2012 at 19:42

@jamie well, you have your head screwed on right. I don’t live here, but am married to a Swede and I have traveled here virtually once–and many time 2-3 times–a year since we were married in 1969. First, let me say what I haven’t experienced. Never saw anyone spitting anytime. Given what others have said, I guess I could have won the lottery with that. I served in the US army and they TAUGHT us to spit mucus out as much healthier than swallowing it, which is the other alternative. So that leaves all the non-serving types all doing the wrong thing health wise and criticizing others. Interesting isn’t it? Second, unlike lots of other countries I have visited–and that’s over 100 and counting–I have never once either encountered a rude Swede. That’s probably due to the fact that I have lived with the culture for so long I can tell the difference between someone who is rude and someone who is shy–sometimes to the extreme, no matter how attractive they may look. Rudeness after all is about 99% in the eyes of the beholder judging others by what would be rude in their own country and culture while it’s not in the one they’re visiting. It’s simply a different form of cultural expression. Thirdly, as has been noted here, Swedes have an extreme sense of personal space and non-confrontational morality. That’s why they seem so reserved to foreigners and even severe looking when they are out and about. In the US, we say it’s putting their “game face” on. In reality, it’s nothing more than how they handle being out and about in their own culture. I am in Stockholm right now for my yearly fillup of Swedish food to port back home. I have stayed at two different bed and breakfasts. At the first, it is a woman with two children who works during the day. Never having met me, she gave me a key when I arrived, said use whatever you like and come and go as you please. For all she knew, I could have been a serial killer but that’s how she treated me. I went to a hotel in between, and she said keep the key and leave what you like here so you don’t have to port stuff back and forth. I am now in the second place. I arrived this morning, met the chap who owned the apartment, given a key and shown around. Once that was over, he announced that he was off to Norway and wouldn’t be back before I left, so just enjoy the place and leave the key in the mailbox when I leave. He has never met me before either. Does that sound the rude, cold Swedes described here? I think not.

Now as for the famous Swedish women. The vast majority of the immature young male twits that come here have the usual Swedish myth in their heads that is complete bullshit. Sure, you can meet arrogant females here, but they are few and far between, except at Sturecompaniet where they flock to bore each other. Who wants them anyway? Then, you can also go to bars and meet ones who are totally soused and take advantage of them. That makes you a real man and lover doesn’t it. Do you rob drunks on the street too? Neither of these situations is anywhere close to the average Swedish female–they are huge exceptions to the rule. BUT, of course, those exceptions are very aware of how foreign males view them, and to them they are looking at them as loose sluts. Gee, why would that turn any of them off of you if that’s what they think you think of them? Sure Swedes have preconceived ideas about foreigners and different countries, and if you play right into those perceptions, don’t be the least surprised by the treatment you get back. Swedes basically react to other people the way they judge their character. If they think you are an empty shell, you will certainly be treated like one because you most probably are. If you go around bragging about your country–implying you are superior to theirs–of course you aren’t going to get a positive response anymore than you would give a foreigner in your country doing that the time of day. As an American who has traveled extensively, I have become annoyed at how loud many Americans are. Go to a Swedish restaurant and see how people are quietly talking to themselves. Then go to an American one and see if you can even hear yourself think. Who wants their meal ruined by a bunch of loud mouthed intrusive idiots anyway? And whoever it was that commented about service in America is exactly right. I don’t want some server hovering over me and asking me every 5 minutes how my meal is, can they get me anything else, etc. etc. It is monumentally irritating. If I want something or don’t like something, believe me I will let you know. It’s called the revenge of the tipper–one real advantage we do have over Europe IMHO. If you find Sweden boring, leave. It isn’t going to change for you. What you find boring they find peaceful and stressfree, so again it’s in the eye of the beholder. And since it’s their country, guess who it is that needs to adapt?

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John

June 26th, 2012 at 20:59

And now for all you utlänning to learn how to fit in:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4S0VP0AjNs&feature=related

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s

July 3rd, 2012 at 12:44

A note to all of you, complaining about the spitting/snorting/burping/-
Clearly none of you have been to China. Here is how it goes:
People spit everywhere, you will constantly hear spitting noises; trim/cut their nails/toe nails in public places/transportations; Your taxi driver will also burp when he hands you the change; floss their teeth at a restaurant; wolf whistles at every single girl in dresses.

I can’t began to express how many times i have seen this at supposedly classy places- like the Forbidden City in Beijing.

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Kristen

July 14th, 2012 at 16:11

You’d think in a country that is full of rain and never sun they would find a way to make their days a little better.

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Mike

July 21st, 2012 at 17:35

Hej!
I’ ve been in Stockholm twice, as a tourist, and i have to say that i have never experienced a rude behaviour nor a bad attitude from a Swede in any way. On the contrary, everyone was very helpful to me. And i have never seen a Swede spit on the road, although i believe that sometime is much healthier to spit than to swallow… Anyway, I love Stockholm and i like Swedes very much, so i’ m planning to visit Stockholm again, to see the city in winter time! Not to mention the prettiest girls on planet! I’ m posting because i feel like standing up for a country i love so much, even though i have been there so little.
Best regards from Athens, Greece!

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Sarah

August 10th, 2012 at 22:50

I just got back from my 9th trip to Sweden. It’s true – they are provincially-minded, lack personality, and aren’t as smart as the rest of the world gives them credit for. Americans have the preconceived notion that Swedish people are sooo sophisticated and intelligent, and worldy (since they technically are European, even though they are practically on an island)… but I know alot of Swedes (and am married to one who definitely is an exception to this norm) and they lack personality, are often self-centered, and very arrogant. I’m a pretty open-minded person, but Swedish people used up all of my patience on my last visit there. Oh yeah, and they don’t seem to like kids much either, kids should be seen and not heard when they’re in public… that’s how they act if your child speaks more loudly than a normal voice (basically being a happy child).
Of course there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, some people in Sweden are open-minded, and sweet, and aware of other cultures, etc, but the majority aren’t. Also, when I’m in Sweden, I expect people to hate me because I’m an American. However, even when I keep my mouth shut and am dressed in amiguous clothing (not dressed like an American), they still are unfriendly and lame. And my husband has the same perception of them (he’s a Swedish citizen). I’m not one of those stereotypical “loud”, obnoxious Americans when I visit – I speak Swedish, I do blend in because I’ve spent so much time there, and I’m very familiar with things there. But man, it’s always nice to get back home when our trip is over (we live in the suburbs of Chicago).

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David

August 12th, 2012 at 12:08

Sorry, I am more than a little shocked by this.
As a Brit I have never met a rude Swedish person yet. I treat all as I wish to be treated, with courtesy and treat a lady as a lady. It is fair to say, the Swedish have morals that most British women could do well to learn from along with their family values.

I have no idea which area you went to or how you came over to the speople in the shops but as I say treat people as you wish to be treated.

It’s a pity there are not Swedish women in the UK to be role models for the British!,

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Lotta

August 15th, 2012 at 12:09

Hi! I’m a Swedish person, and I would like to comment. I have been living in Stockholm for over one and a half year, and I think it’s very different from the rest of Sweden. People here are generally rude, self-absorbed and really cold sometimes. I think it’s because people who are very career-focused move to this place. I have decided to move to Berlin instead, and see if I get to meet people who are more out-going there. I really love to travel, and I think Gothenborg, Malmö and Umeå are great cities to visit if you want to get to know people on a more deep level.

?

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Sapphire

August 16th, 2012 at 21:26

@David – If you read the title of the blog name it’s called Lost in Stockholm. I am therefore in Stockholm. Not sure how you can confused by that.

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Sapphire

August 16th, 2012 at 21:30

I haven’t been to Malmö or Umeå but I love Göteborg. The people are less uptight and obsessed with fitting a style (Stureplan, Södertjej) and more about being themselves. There are still your cupful o’ douchebags but you can’t really do anything with them!

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Sapphire

August 16th, 2012 at 21:34

@Sarah – I think Sweden quite likes kids. They’re a little too obsessed with kid stuff if anything. Paternal leave. Check. Maternal leave. Check. Monthly stipends for kids. Check. Stroller ramps in the stations. Check. Stroller parking at stores. Check. Myriad of playgrounds. Check.

What Sweden is not fond of are people who stand out. Loud, screaming, talkative, purple haired, overly friendly…not good. If your kids exhibited any of the above, people will stare at you. If you did any of the above, people will stare at you. If you spoke more than the ‘normal’ voice, we all would be staring at you. Welcome to Sweden!

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Charlie

September 19th, 2012 at 06:32

Reading all the comments here makes you sound VERY intelligent, I recite “VERY”. But I get where ur going… people in Stockholm tend to be more reserved then others, people in Göteborg are more open,friendly, relaxed and “more to earth” :P People far up in the north are… extremely calm! In norrland you notice they are very very calm :P People in Småland are very cheap! It’s like a saying we have in sweden for every region you visit or come to, people in Malmö are very DANISH! (just listen to the accent). But there is nice people too :) and fun people! Dont worry about that you just gotto try hard enough to find them and u will eventually!

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Bryan

September 30th, 2012 at 11:37

I hate lagom.

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Darren

October 18th, 2012 at 15:46

Sweden is a beautiful country. The forests, lakes, cities. I love Sweden but….

I confess a haven’t read all the posts here, but most of them seem to be by Swedes or people who have been to Sweden. I’m a Brit and I live here with my Swedish wife. She’s wonderful. Her family’s great and her friends are lovely. Everyone else is an arsehole. Actually that’s not entirely true, some of my colleagues are nice.

I’m an easy going guy, and i hope i’m a nice guy. I left behind LOTS of friends in England, many of whom were friends from nursary (dagis) and are more like brothers. But the only friends i’ve managed to make here are other immagrents, other Brits, a Libyan, Albanians and a Polish guy. Despite my best efforts to make Swedish friends they just can’t be bothered to make the effort outside their own circles.

I was talkin with a Greek girl in my SFI class the other day. For those of you who don’t know, SFI is a state run Swedish for Immagrents class. Or Swedish for Idiots as the natives have taken to calling it. Shes a lovely girl, very sweet, the kind who would do nothing to upset anyone. She is studying at uni, and having rather a hard time making friends. She was close to tears when she said ‘I just don’t know why they don’t like me’. Her exact words. Everyone in my class agrees it’s nearly impossible to make Swedish friends. And when we raised the subject with the teacher she actually seemed to be quite offended and swiftly changed the subject.

I’m a carpenter by trade with many years experience in England and two years here. Back home building sites can be funny places. Shouting, arguing, sometimes i’ve even seen fighting. But amogst this loutish site thuggery people maintain there manners and respect. Manners and respect that are completely absent on site here. Most people don’t even aknowledge me and some will completely ignore me when i say good morning (in Swedish of course). Others know that my Swedish is bad and will actively mock me in Swedish in front of their friends, and smirking look at me, only to quickly look away when they know I can see them. I’m not a stupid man, and i know when someones making fun of me, but untill i can fully understand and defend myself, there’s not really much i can do.

This is not isolated to one site either. Theres been guys on every site i’ve been on (and that’s lots) who seem to behave this way. This never occured in England. I am totally 100% convinced it’s because i’m a foriegner, and cannot speak good Swedish. They take advantage of this to have a laugh at my expense. Oh i can’t wait for the day when i understand! The shit will hit the fan!

This has been more like a counseling session then a post for me! It feels good to get it down in writing. Yes not everyone is the same. Yes there are some bad, there are some good. But in my opinion, Stockholm has the largest bastard to population ratio of any place i’ve been to.

Believe what you will, these are my experiences and they’re true. It’s a real shame. I genuinly like living here, but most of the people make very hard.

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Simon

October 19th, 2012 at 18:58

I have lived in Stockholm for 10 years have worked and studied with swedes from all parts of the country and can wholeheartedly agree with Swedenson’s opinions. After 10 years I don’t know a single swedish person that I would call my friend. I have never spoken to a single one of my 15 0r more neighbours. Although I speak swedish fluently and make every effort to ‘break into’ swedish society I feel I am constantly treated as an outsider. I don’t subscribe to the idea that its just people from stockholm or north inner city stockholm who are rude unemphatic cold and dull. I live in the southern part of the city and find people equally excluding . In short I feel there is somethng very wrong with swedish society and though swedes in my experience lack the ability to self scrutinize I believe it is sorely needed in a country that has lost its soul.

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lh

October 22nd, 2012 at 20:31

seriously?

I’ve been in STHLM for just a bit over two months and, while I’ve definitely found those aforementioned, cold Swedes, I have met many, many wonderful, kind, and sweet Swedes!!

I don’tknow if it’s b/c I’m in a university environment, but I’ve definitely found a few really awesome Swedes who are very welcoming, invite me to their parties/events, have introduced me to their friends/etc.

So I’d have to disagree and say that: so far so good. Swedes are definitely quieter and harder to get to know that maybe Americans / other non-northern Europeans, but it certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find friends, at least in my opinion :p

cheers :)

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ed

October 24th, 2012 at 18:38

All this ‘we are in their country’ crap really gets my goat. They are in ‘our’ world. They should learn to behave with some humility. To quote from elsewhere on this blog:

“The modern Swede is a ruthless neo-conservative pro-capitalist individualist with the mindset of a domesticated obedient Socialist drone pumped up on populist juice and Schlagerfestival as downers.”

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ed

October 24th, 2012 at 18:42

So interesting to read Darren’s post. I have been here and have been pretty miserable for all the reasons most foreigners are miserable here. I have just got onto SFI and you cant imagine the relief it is to talk to people from Brazil, Jamaica, Iran, Turkey…wherever. There is a common thread that binds us in humanity but i fear it is deeply surpressed in the soul of the Swede.

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Nkosazana

October 25th, 2012 at 19:24

Well, Ed. IT IS their country.

One could say Americans are evil and fake. Always having an air of fake politeness around them. Same could be said about the British. Evil is in the genes. Genocide and racism is deeply rooted in the genes of Americans and British.

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James

October 27th, 2012 at 17:23

Lived in Sweden for 10 years. Gothenburg is a very nice city! Friendly people. Stockholm is beautiful. Lund is very cute. The only places I truly disliked in Sweden were Malmö and Helsingborg. Hicktowns! Especially the latter. The people there are unfriendly, have zero class and dress like hillbillies. Avoid those two cities and you’ll find it to be a beautiful country with plenty to offer.

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sandy

October 28th, 2012 at 14:05

They’re rude because, in essence, they are some of the most miserable, inhibited individuals on the face of the planet. According to recent surveys, Sweden, indeed, has the highest suicide rate in the world! These people truly lack social skills and manners on the most basic level. Never experienced anything like it. Let them revel in their socialist hellhole. I want no part of it! What kills me is the general notion that Stockholm is somehow perceived to be a “world class” city. Allow me to quote the great John McEnroe for this one: “You cannot be serious!” The city is nice enough, but does not in any way, shape, or form warrant the level of arrogance and obnoxiousness one is subjected to on a daily basis. Costumer service is appalling. Absolutely appalling. Totally apathetic and indifferent. People here are obsessed with conformity and superficiality, which reveals quite a bit about them as a society.

In the greater scheme of things, Stockholm is nothing….Go to Vienna, Paris, London, Prague, Brussels, Berlin.. Culturally and linguistically diverse places….Insulting to even mention any one of these wonderful cities in the same sentence…People in Stockholm would certainly benefit from a reality check. Somehow, they have been deluded into thinking that their city is on par with places like NYC, Paris and London. Sorry…IT ISN’T!!….Not even close…So lose the attitude, please…

Overall, I found the people to be soulless, vapid and disingenuous to the core. Not to mention racist and xenophobic.

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ed

November 2nd, 2012 at 10:55

Well nksazana, i live in my appartment, on my street, in my town, in my county, in THEIR country, in my European Union. Which is the odd one out? Answers on a postcard. No other country in Western Europe has quite this prevelance of ‘my country’. Its just a geographic boundary. If it was North Korea with no dealings with the outside world it would make sense. As it is I don’t have to accept this ideology. I dont expect people who come to Britain to wear a bowler hat and stand for the national anthem.

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Lia

November 5th, 2012 at 23:49

So, hey guys! I know about the whole freedoms of speech thing – which is GREAT by the way – but what do you guys get out of trashing Sweden and Swedes? You saying such mean things about Sweden and judging ALL Swedes because you’ve met some unfriendly ones only make you seem ignorant. No offense, I mean it. I’m just stating facts here. And to be completely blunt here, it kind of make you fit into the description that you have of Swedes. I’m not doing this to defend Sweden or whatnot, I just wanted you to consider my earlier thought. You are all – at least most of you – grown men and women but you’re fighting each other like preschoolers. I’m Swedish and I don’t mean to feed your Sweden hate with my thoughts here, they’re just thoughts – just like everyone else’s comments – so just chill you guys and keep trying to meet a nice Swede, we’re out here. This is when you think “F*** her, she’s just another ignorant, rude and snobby Swede.”, but I really am not. So please, just stop with the hate. Thoughts and opinions are GREAT, but don’t spread hate you guys, okay? Okay, great, BYYYYYE!

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Chris

November 7th, 2012 at 21:42

May have picked this up on this site, but to me this sums up the difference between the sense of community in UK, USA, Ireland, NZ, Australia, Canada etc.. vs Sweden

…Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has created a World Giving Index which takes into account three charitable behaviours n ‘giving money’, ‘giving time’, and ‘helping a stranger.

All of the above countries with the exception of Sweden are rated in the top 10. Sweden comes in at 45.

https://www.cafonline.org/pdf/WorldGivingIndex28092010Print.pdf

The Swedish state institutions looks after people, people dont seem look after each other (generalisation) ……….. which would be fine if the institutions knew what they were doing.

Paying high tax is fine, dont have a problem with the principle but they should be able to achieve more with the cash they suck out of the people.

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dian utami

November 15th, 2012 at 17:41

Hi , I am indonesian and I just learn about swedish and read this article, I think its about different case and about your personality thing about how your mind accepting another manners from different country, And i just wanna say most european highly individual from I learn for 4 years because they had a history about colonialisation and I think its only about culture and as “alien” just be think progresive and follow the condition in there and I think its about different culture which means most american is friendly and european is more individual so, just aware about the history about european esp for scanadivian which they mostly made some history in some country in the world including europe it self, such as they made English language or help made british empire , :)

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fwiffo

November 18th, 2012 at 23:04

I admit i pretty much only know swedish people “online”, but over the years i’ve definitely noticed a trend. Compared to people from other countries they really really like to show off and talk about themselves a lot, while showing a peculiar ignorance or blindness when it comes to the feelings of other people.

They constantly seem to try and show how ( perceived by themselves ) incredibly good and cool they are, praising themselves and Sweden wherever they can.

Granted though, it may not be a “swedish” phenomenon, since people from other scandinavian countries are also on the far end of my list of “nice people” i have met online. People from Norway seem to be more arrogant, but they all share a coldness and lack of empathy and a strange type of hubris and the need to make themselves feel superior in some way.

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Darren

November 23rd, 2012 at 22:39

Rubbish Nkosazana. ‘Deeply rooted’? I will not deny or condone the horrible things my nation has done in the past. It sickens me infact. But we’re are talking about the present. Here and now. The last time i checked Brits were’nt slaving, and had a good understanding of manners and general decency. Evil is in the genes? It that case every person in every nation is going to hell! Repent!

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Koss

December 9th, 2012 at 13:01

“I admit i pretty much only know swedish people “online”, but over the years i’ve definitely noticed a trend. Compared to people from other countries they really really like to show off and talk about themselves a lot, while showing a peculiar ignorance or blindness when it comes to the feelings of other people.”

@fwiffo

I think that would be a much more common description on the stereotypical loud, blunt American attitude. Americans aren’t exactly shy to pop out that “USA is the best country in the world!” every now and then. I’ve never heard a Swede say the same about Sweden. But then, Swedes aren’t exactly known to be loud, blunt and bragging people. Proud yes, but not loud and bragging.

And which nation do you represent where you can be sure to not find those people? .. What’s wrong with expressing pride about your country or culture? .. How much pride are people allowed to express? Second to none? .. God forbid that people should believe in themselves. I’d say it’s rather YOU that seriously lack self-confidence and need help.

I wouldn’t exactly say French, Americans or Brits differ from this attitude. Brits still believe they’re best in the world at football despite not having won a single world championship since 1966.
Luckily I feel indifferent about it as I’m not even slightly interested, but it tells pretty much about some of the Brits’ attitude. For Americans, everything that wasn’t bred, made or invented in the US isn’t considered as good as American made stuff. Everything that differs from Republican or Democratic politics is considered as some version of socialism and is just simply bad. American culture boasts “US is the best!” by still holding on to the belief that they’re the world leader in every sense. If you question or critizise something with the US, Americans will take it very personally and you can expect retaliation within seconds just because they can’t take some critisism without having a nervous breakdown.
The French dislike everything that’s American or British, French is the ONLY language to be spoken and their culture is of course superior to everything else. As a result they refuse to speak English to their struggling tourists.

Ok, ok. So I was generalizing. A bit. But my point is that most people in every culture or nation want to feel proud over the culture or place where they feel they belong and are ready to defend it by beaks and claws. It’s just natural.

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K

December 9th, 2012 at 13:22

“So I’d have to disagree and say that: so far so good. Swedes are definitely quieter and harder to get to know that maybe Americans / other non-northern Europeans, but it certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find friends, at least in my opinion :p”

@lh
The question is if you EVER get to know people if talking to a stranger in a store for 10 mins is to be considered as befriending people as it seems to be the case in US…
At least Swedes don’t have fake friendships. To make real good friends you need to know if you can trust them or not and that takes time. .. But then you have a circle of loyal and trusty friends who won’t let you down.

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K

December 9th, 2012 at 13:42

“Sweden are open-minded, and sweet, and aware of other cultures, etc, but the majority aren’t.”

@Sarah

Well, from what I’ve read you don’t seem to the most open minded person yourself when you claim the majority of Swedes are like the ones you’ve met. There are 9.5 billions of Swedes in Sweden after all and I find it hard to believe you’ve met them all. I bet you’ve only been to Stockholm and nowhere else either.
Just like in any country people differ alot in Sweden too, depending on geographic location, socio-economic level etc.
From reading your post and by using your reasoning and I guess I could come to the same conclusion about Americans. It just confirms my belief that every American is ignorant and arrogant who always wants to express opinions about everything and anything to make sure they’re right and to point out everything is so much better in the US.

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K

December 9th, 2012 at 14:27

@Sarah

You open minded? .. Are you trying to be ironic here? You’ve only met a tiny fraction of Sweden’s population, probably people in Stockholm in 99.9% of the cases or perhaps s few places and yet you have the guts to judge a whole nation. lol

And of course you won’t find any arrogant, ignorant, narrow minded people in US or anywhere else in the world?
I’d say go east coast USA and you’ll soon change your mind. I friend of mine who’s from California (where everyone’s supposed to be nice according to her) moved to Maryland for some years, but got so depressed over time due to the local people’s general rudeness there. She got a major culture shock and desperately just had to move some place else soon after. She lives in Colorado nowadays and says nothing could be more different from what she experienced in Maryland.

In the case of Stockholmers, they are just like any self-centered, urban and arrogant people in any big city. You find the same kind in Copenhagen, Paris, London, New York or wherever you go in the world. It’s the same part of nuts and bolts.
In fact, other Swedes like to hate Stockholmers because they have an impression that they’re simply a rude bunch of assholes, even though every single one of them hardly isn’t, but the ones who are give the good ones a bad name. But when a city is concentrated with an overload of educated, careerminded people it affects the general atmosphere to become more tough, competitive and money driven more or less. Compare with New Yorkers that aren’t exactly known to be particular nice either even though there must exist loads of nice people there as well. The expression “New York asshole” wasn’t born without a reason after all.

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Peter

December 11th, 2012 at 15:17

“They have the highest taxes in the world and soon, with the influx of immigrants, Swedes will be working to pay for others to benefit in the free healthcare, university education (because education is free in America too and we attend compulsory schooling for a longer period of time, have difficult entrance exams to be able to attend university & children aren’t admitted to good universities based on grades alone – you have to show you can work, volunteer in the community, be involved with your school AND get good grades – a well-rounded person).. ”

@Kara

Compulsory schooling is not longer than 16 years of age in USA, same as Sweden. However, the US school system(s) can be questioned. I was an exchange student in US once and wasn’t too impressed. Sure, if you think sports, fooling around and doing extra curriculars are more important than the academics it can be a whole lotta fun. As a preparation for college it’s pretty laughable though. What took 2 hours to teach in US took 1 hour back home. It was very lax, very easy tests that hardly required you to think (multi choice questions etc). It seemed that the focus was on quantity and regurgitation rather than to train the analytical thinking skills. All in all, I’d say high school in US is like kindergarten compared to any gymnasium school in Europe, where getting an ‘A’ actually requires some WORK. But I guess you have to compensate the flaws by at least showing you can do well in the society…. I always thought that one of the purposes with academics was to develop those civilian skills along with the education though.. Oh well.

Difficult entrance tests? like in SAT? Pffft…my ass! It’s just a college test that was introduced due to the decentrilized and uneven quality in the high school systems in the US with the trillions of different exams requirements, to assess if the students would be able to cope college. But it all depends on how hard the competition is for the particular education relative to the score and how much the school weighs in SAT though. As many colleges there are in the US to choose from, there shouldn’t be any problems for any potential student to find a place. However, many many colleges in the states don’t even require SAT. I’ve read that a shocking 1/3 of college students in the US need to take remedial courses in Maths and English. So much for “difficult entrance tests”. And yet, American college students begin on a lower level as it takes 4 years to take a bachelor degree in the US, due to a much slower pace in high school than in Europe, while takes only 3 years to graduate in Europe.

There’s an equivalent college test in Sweden which is optional but in reality is always required to take AND top score AND to have top grades to even get a chance to get accepted for the most prestigious educations within medicine, law, civil engineering at the top schools. The college test is based on the gymnasium education which is probably closer to college than high school in US.

Clearly you’ve revealed yourself as an ignorant, narrow minded, arrogant, jealous American full of complex who like usually can’t take some critisism without having a nervous breakdown. Please stay in your “lovely” US with your rising debts and which always wins the competition as the fattest country in the world, where 40% of the population are severely obese.

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Peter

December 11th, 2012 at 17:47

The head sentence line “living in socialist Sweden…” just made me laugh with a sense of pity at the same time. Frankly, to call Sweden a socialist country just shows your embarrassing ignorance. I know, it hurts but sometimes the reality does and has to to teach you something.

Clearly, you’ve no clue what socialism really means and need a lesson. The Soviet union was a socialist country, Cuba is a socialist country, North Korea is too. Sweden however, is NOT and has never been. It’s a so called *welfare* state that relies heavily on a free market economy and a private industry with very little regulations. Notice the words PRIVATE and FREE. If Sweden was a socialist state, US would be one too, as US also has several state funded institutions such as public schools, police department, fire fighter department, postal service etc. It’s just that this is more developed in Sweden and many parts of Europe than in US.
In a Socialist state however, EVERY means of production is cooperatively owned, often by the state, often run through horrible planned economy. Hence there are NO private companies in a socialist state.

Compare:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

with:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model

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Peter

December 11th, 2012 at 18:48

“@Sarah – I think Sweden quite likes kids. They’re a little too obsessed with kid stuff if anything. Paternal leave. Check. Maternal leave. Check. Monthly stipends for kids. Check. Stroller ramps in the stations. Check. Stroller parking at stores. Check. Myriad of playgrounds. Check.

“What Sweden is not fond of are people who stand out. Loud, screaming, talkative, purple haired, overly friendly…not good. If your kids exhibited any of the above, people will stare at you. If you did any of the above, people will stare at you. If you spoke more than the ‘normal’ voice, we all would be staring at you. Welcome to Sweden!”

@Sapphire

As opposed to?… US? .. Go Florida and people will stare at you if you even as much as show a tatoo. Ask tatoo artist Kat von D, she knows. Go to various inbred parts of Texas where boots and hats seem to be the only accepted clothing. Go Beverly Hills and the rich, snotty and bitchy inhabitants would most probably talk behind your back how badly you dress, unless you own 100 Armani costumes and 3 Ferraris, then you MIGHT get an invitation for the next cocktail party. Visit any gated community and evading the norm would be a death sin. Not to mention all the racists in US who wouldn’t even consider hiring a black man. I could go on forever. The melting pot in US is just a myth! People live side by side but in some kind of unofficial apartheid system and are scared for each other. It was only some decades ago when black person wasn’t even allowed to sit next to a white.

I wouldn’t say people care much about if someone has blue hair or came dancing almost naked in the streets in the larger cities as Stockholm, Göteborg or Malmö. I used to live in all those places for several years so I know what I’m talking about here. There are loads of wackos on the streets there but people are used to it and just don’t care.
And I bet my pants on that people would stare me to death if I put a blue wig on if I walked down the main street in a small town in Minnesota.

I just wonder in what kind of protected life you live as don’t seem to have interacted much with tthe real every day life in Sweden at all.

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Paulina

January 5th, 2013 at 15:42

I’m born and raised in Sweden, and i really think you can’t judge an entire country by looking at a small amount of people.
I mean I know we are a bit “scared” of talking to strangers, and we dont talk to random people on the streets, but once you get to know us we are most of the time really nice people.
I you want to know how it is in Sweden don’t look at pages like this where everyone’s just talking about whether its boring or not, go here instead and find out yourself!
There’s so much people which only has these prejudices and can’t open there mind and try to look on the bright side!
I mean I get sad when I see how many who think swedes are lame and so boring and rude, cuz most of us aren’t and its not like there is any country which doesn’t have some rude, boring people.

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Anna

January 6th, 2013 at 00:58

I don’t know if anyone’s going to read this but here goes:

I think that the swedes greatest problem is not wanting to oppose on other people, some of us really like out personal space and therefor, we don’t talk to strangers since we don’t want to seem overbearing and pushy. we’re a little scared, and if you come as a tourist from an english speaking country the swede you’re talking is probably going to get a little shy with talking since they may not be very good with english and its always hard to just speak another language right there and then, improvising is something you have to learn and practice.

and a little tip, if you come from a small town, go to a big city in your own country and see how they behave there before you go to a big city in another country and judge them for being stressed out about missing the train. Travel to a smaller city, I don’t really like small cities since I don’t like being “helloed” to on the street by a total stranger, but if you want nice, I suggest Flen, a small city about three hours outside of stockholm, or maybe Nyköping.
If you are hell bent on going to stockholm, keep to the more southern parts of the town, people are more multi cultural there.

I, as a swede, know that there are a lot of rude people out there, but there’s probably just as many rude people where you come from as there is in stockholm, you just notice it more cuz you’re outside your own zone.
And a little tip to making swedish friends: don’t be to damned friendly, if you want to catch a bird you don’t run towards, arms flailing, and then throw yourself over it, you carefully get closer, quietly and you respect the damned personal space. I personally don’t mind my friends talking close to my face and touching me while they talk but I don’t like it when a complete stranger does it, and if you think closer, you don’t like that stranger who stands so close to you while talking that you can feel his/her breath on your cheek. Get the overly friendly, open thingy out later, when the shy swede has taken the first step into your personal space.

hope I’m making sense, and that I didn’t talk to long, just wanted to say my part. and P.S if all you haters placed all that energy on something other than hating, you’ll probably find that there are a lot of nice people out there. (not just swedes, but everywhere)

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Mikaela

January 6th, 2013 at 10:25

Hello.

First of all, the word LAGOM does not mean not to much, not enough.
The word lagom is hard to explain but I can give you an example.
If you bake a pie you need 5 eggs. 4 eggs is to little and 6 eggs is to much for the pie to be good.
5 eggs is lagom. Lagom can be used in many situation. Are we rude and cold? No, but we dont bend over and show our butts to make people like us.

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Martin

January 12th, 2013 at 02:35

This is a bit of an eye-opener. I’m Swedish and as good as it is to get other people´s perspectives on the people here, it is sad. Worse, is I can relate to (some) of it.
I’m at Uni and seeing the foreign students/researchers not getting integrated in spite of an international setting… well, I used to try to make a difference, but haven’t lately (so, I do feel guilt).
I agree, people in this country need to shape up.
Calling Swedes soulless is a bit harsh, but the bashing aside, there is something to it.
Personal example: Swedes have always (in my view and “my world”) taken pride in being of the “right stuff”, standing up to injustice etc. Only recently have I come to realise this is not really so -Swedes in general are pretty spineless once it comes down to issues on the front lawn (be it at work or in the housing community etc) as opposed to standing up to injustices in, say, Cuba or Somalia. A realisation that has hit my pride of this country hard. Never really been ashamed of Sweden/Swedes before (OK, so I’m naive -sue me! -I wasn’t always proud;-).

As for the rudeness/shyness/stiffness etc, this has been worked over before in the posts.
One thing that I feel is missing, though: Monty Python became superstars in Sweden and Norway almost before they became icons in England. Why? Well, I used to love (and almost pity) the Brits for being so dysfunctional and inhibited *lol*. But, seriously Monty Python obviously struck a chord with us Swedes as well (I’m not Norwegian, so I will not speak for them). Coincidence? Not bloody likely!

That said, and having read the posts without having done any statistics: A majority of the “positive” posts here, except for some (pussy/testicle-whipped) Americans seeing all roses (Joke, Joyce!), seem to be from the British Isles. Say no more, say no more, say.. no… more!

Being a teacher, and having seen the youtube link above, I will try to take this to heart and spread the word. Give us another 50 years or so…
Peace!

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Tetragrammaton

February 23rd, 2013 at 21:24

I pretty much agree entirely to what beenaround said a few years ago. I can’t say I’ve noticed people riding on welfare, but everything else feels pretty much spot on.
Students are rude, teachers have no way of disciplining the children in order to keep them under control.

Customer service is nearly non-existent, unless you go to one of the corner stores owned by immigrants, they’re usually really lovely greeting you with phrases like “My favourite customer!” or “long time no see!”
When I go to a regular grocery store, I rarely get a “you too” in response to my “have a nice evening” and during my 19 years of living here I’ve only been told to have a nice weekend once.

People frequently come late for appointments. If I were to schedule a meeting with a doctor for 14:00 on a Tuesday, I’d be able to arrive 14:15 or 14:20 and I’d still have to wait another 5-15 minutes. I’ve had to wait over 40 minutes on more than one occasion.

We also frequently expel people with immigrant background from our country. As recent as a few weeks ago it was decided that a child (9) and his two younger brothers all three of them born in Sweden are to be expelled from the country back to Syria (I believe) where they’ve never been.
By all logic they’re as Swedish as can be, regardless of where their parents are from.

Granted, not every Swedish person fits into this mould. There are some real people in this country, not just mindless blobs.

Swedish people are lazy, sloppy and ignorant of the world around them. They conform too easily to authority, if a news anchor were to tell them that the world is ending tomorrow, they’d believe it. I’m ashamed of being born in this country.

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Darren

April 19th, 2013 at 16:23

The attitude in Stockholm is absolutely laughable…Young women here are brainwashed with bland American pop culture – doing their best to emulate the accent and immerse themselves in all things pop culture….I guess they think it’s “cool”….how comical… and pathetic…Everyone here seems to be obsessed with conformity…No individuality….Overall, just a BORING ASS CITY!!!…No opportunities for growth…unless you’re part of the inbred, incestuous, mental defectives that constitute the “good old boys” club….(I.e. a native Swede)…..No entrepreneurial spirit….Just a slow-paced, bureaucratic, provincial, parochial, narrow-minded, socialist hellhole..(and that’s being kind)…Mediocrity is so widely accepted here – it’s not even funny…

What a sad bunch of posers…My Lord!!!!…Cannot emphasize this enough…Would rather jump off a cliff than live in this insular, racist, cliquey society of zombies…The people here are by far the most guarded, paranoid, suspicious, judgmental people I have ever encountered and I have lived all over the world…Please, please, please…Get lost!!!!!!!…and take your gold-digging, feminist, Nazi-like women with you…What an incomprehensibly shitty place to live… Eastern Europe looks better to me than this…In fact, any place on earth looks better to me than this soulless frozen hole…..
I’ll take a pass…

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Ella

April 24th, 2013 at 09:52

Swedish are the most beautiful most stylish
And most funny and hospitable people
In the world who speak better English than Americans
.. In their OWN opinion. One thing they have in other people’s opinion is lack of a sense of reality!

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Frederick Christensen

August 19th, 2013 at 13:19

Being from Canada,I find a lot of these postings to be uber amusing.A word of advise to Darren…Darren get your sorry ass out of Stockholm or Sweden whatever and don`t hit the door with your sorry Yank or Brit butt on the way out.The reality pertaining to Sweden is that Sweden is a small country of 9.5 million people whose culture has been heavily influenced by what I like to call the Anglo-American barf bag culture.Sweden will command respect when it is not too afraid to be itself.As a society Scandinavia,and by extension Sweden,punches well above it`s collective weight with respect to gender parity,hygiene,social progress and political development.Sweden,however,tends to be a little too passive and far too politically correct.The politics and the leftist media reflect this sad reality.Still when all is said and done,Scandinavia is more livable and has a higher standard of living than 98 percent of the rest of the world including the hell bent U.S.A.,pathetic Britain,hell bent China and even the very flawed Canada where I am originally from.Scandinavia is not perfect,of course,but name me one country or jurisdiction that is better?I have been to Australia…one hot immense Kangaroo pasture and a former penal colony for the Brits and I wasn`t impressed.Africa and Asia are total write-offs,as are the Americas with the possible exception of the Canadian Rockies and American cities have to be the most God awful conglomerations invented and created by Man and are almost as unlivable as the Chinese monstrosities.I won`t mention sad sack India because they are off the map with respect to misery,filth,degradation and hopelessness so we will move on.Russia…more garbage and desolation and I have to say the world is NOT a very appealing place in many respects.So if you whiners and bitchers…especially you Yank retards…can find a better place than Scandinavia then go for it or STFU.You will never find “the perfect place” on this old world…hell you won`t even come close.

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