Sweden Dinner Guest Debate: The nation of Sweden, which is well-known for its pop music, flat-pack furniture, and beautiful green spaces, has been the subject of an intense internet debate. The conversation that began with offering food to guests has turned into a larger discussion about the Nordic country.
Swedish Culture Discussion
One user posted on the forum , r/AskReddit: “What is the strangest thing you’ve done at another’s house due to their culture/religion?”
A user replied, “I recall going to the Swedish friend’s house.” This particular reply caught our attention. His mom shouted at him to get dinner ready while we were still playing in his bedroom. This is what he said. He said to me to WAIT in their room while they ate.”
Soon, others were sharing similar experiences and people from Reddit, as well as other social media, shared their shock.
One commenter said, “As an Italian, it’s impossible for me to NEVER,” while another stated, “In Spain, you can call the police if such a thing happens.”
Another person replied: “From Southern U.S …. It is simply unthinkable to not feed a guest.
It gained even more attention when the debate was shared on Twitter. The site currently has thousands upon thousands of retweets and quote tweets. Even Zara Larsson, a Swedish pop singer, contributed by sharing a screenshot and the comment: “Peak Swedish Culture 3 :’-)”
Instagram user LoversOfGeography soon shared a map showing European places. They said it was color-coded according to how likely they were to provide food to house guests. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Greece are listed as countries that are “very unlikely” to provide food, while Italy, Spain and Greece are listed as places that “almost always give food to guests”.
The debate continued to grow as thousands of people weighed in, from total disbelief to understanding and attempted answers. The debate quickly moved away from the dinner table.
Is Swedish Culture is Motivated by Colonialism
Many internet users began to change the conversation to include Sweden’s history as a country of colonialism, imperialism, and racism.
Users began sharing evidence on Twitter. One user wrote “Finally justice is coming to Sweden. The #Swedengate scandal is a reminder that the Nordic nation has been ignoring criticisms for its racism and historical role in slavery and imperialism.
Others shared a 2012 article by BBC News, which reported on an incident in Sweden in which Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, former culture minister, was photographed cutting a cake in the shape of a naked Black woman.
Online, people began to share their experiences with racism in the country. Several referenced Another user on Twitter shared her thoughts: “I began side-eyeing Sweden after I discovered there was a minority of Indigenous people there. If there are indigenous people in a country, then the majority of whites are trash. It’s not my job to make the rules. It’s a pattern.
The Sami people are the descendants of nomadic peoples that have lived in northern Scandinavia for thousands upon thousands of years. The Swedish crown began to demand tribute from the Sami in the 13th century. This was before countries like Norway and Russia followed their lead. The 1500s saw the Swedish King Gustaf Vasa declare that the land which had been traditionally owned by the Sami “belongs either to God, us or the Swedish Crown, and no one else.”
In 1673, Sweden promised its subjects tax cuts and exemption from military service if Lapland was colonized. The colonization of traditional Sami lands was continued for many years. There were reports of forced sterilization among the Sami population up to the 1970s.
In the past, the treatment of indigenous people was compared to the treatment received by First Nations tribes in America. The Sami people have been lobbying for reconciliation with the Swedish government to address historical and ongoing human rights violations against indigenous groups, including violence and murder. To investigate the indigenous injustices, Nordic countries and Sweden established Sami reconciliation commissions in 2021.
The They wrote “Literally everybody is hospitable and I have no idea where this #Swedengate is from. You did not see one picture on Reddit, and based your entire view of a country from it?
Another user shared their experience with Swedish hospitality: “As an aspiring traveler, I spent one month with a Swedish family. They housed, fed, loaned me cars, and let me stay at their Stockholm apartment. Sweden and its people are my favorite country.