Swedish lesson!

Hello everyone my name is Oscar and I come from the Scandinavian country Sweden. As most of you have probably never been to Sweden I thought I would give you a quick lesson in Swedish culture, but first some boring facts!


Sweden is located in the northern part of Europe on the Scandinavian peninsula next to our arch enemy Norway (we’re actually good friends). The population of Sweden is around 9.5 million, approximately 26% of the population are first or second generation “new Swedish” (immigrants). Meaning that Sweden has developed in to a multicultural society.

Enough about that. A lot of people ask me about the Swedish food culture, and I normally just answer: we don’t have a food culture. And there is a good reason for that. Sweden is like I said earlier located in the northern part of Sweden and we have a fairly cold climate, that means that before the more modernized agricultural systems were invented we relied heavily on potatoes as a source of food. So I guess typical Swedish food would be potatoes and some kind of boring stew. But who likes that?? After avoiding the second world war Sweden had a bit of an economic boom while the rest of Europe was recovering from the devastation. This lead to a greatly improved standard of living, as a result people stopped eating the boring stews and potatoes, and instead they opted for the more luxurious and tasty foods found all over Europe. Right now I believe the most eaten food in Sweden might be kebab or pizza. It’s delicious (compared to Norwegian pizza!).


I would also like to introduce you maybe one of the most frustrating parts of Swedish business culture. It’s a thing we call “Möten”. A möte in English means meeting, and it involves doing the same things as a normal business meeting in any other part of the world. But, Swedish people loves möten. We normally have a möte to plan for a möte that is intended to decide the real möte. After the real möte it is not uncommon to have a möte in order to try and improve our other möten. Deciding the brand of coffee in the coffee machine is also a very common reason to have a möte.

All of these meetings are held because we feel it is important to let everyone at the company have a say in what is being decided. Which is very good for the business environment but it truly brings down the efficiency and the speed on decision making.

And a good suggestion, if you ever happen to take part in a Swedish möte, be sure to bring some cinnamon buns or cookies and when you enter the meeting just say: Let’s have a FIKA! (let’s drink coffee and eat sweets). And you will have no problems getting along with everyone.


Anyway, that’s all from me for this time. If you ever want to talk or study some English or Swedish please come to The Meltingpot on Fridays!


See you soon!

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