Sweden Gate — Why We Don’t Feed Guests in Scandinavia

A story about how Swedes don’t feed guests blew up in social media. Here, is a Norwegian perspective on why us Scandinavians don’t generally feed guests.

Erik Engheim

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RECENTLY a story on social media about how Swedes don’t feed guests blew up. Many on social media got shocked. Specifically this was about a child having a friend over who had to wait in his room with his toys while he finished eating dinner.

As a Scandinavian I must confess this story makes total sense to me. A problem with explaining stuff like this is that when you grow up in a culture nobody gives you a manual that says how your culture works. Nor does anyone ever point out that a particular thing is special or unique to your culture. What you grow up doing becomes the natural and normal way of doing things. To you it isn’t a “Norwegian thing” but more like a “human thing.” It is only when you travel abroad or interact with foreigners that you get made aware of that there are things about your culture and way of doing things which are unique to your culture.

Keep this in my when I try to explain. I don’t have some kind of manual that explains this. I am explaining based on how situations like this feels to me personally. Not from sitting down on…

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Erik Engheim

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.