6 ways moving to Sweden changed me

1. Fika

Before I arrived in Sweden I never had a cup coffee in my entire life!!! As a newbie to Sweden I quickly learned that fika (coffee breaks) is an important part of Swedish work culture. This is where you get to socialise with your colleagues and catch up on office news in an informal way. It is a great concept. The real challenge of office fika is gauging what is a “lagom” amount of time to spend at this compulsory activity.

2. Fewer the friends, the better

I was used to being surrounded by tens of ‘friends’ in Germany. Hanging out, talking, gossiping & helping if one is in trouble. Moving to Sweden not knowing many people, one learns to pick the ones that you gel with and not just anyone to hang out with. Spending quality time is more important than just being with random people you can’t connect with.

3. Lagom

The Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right”. Lagom is also widely translated as “in moderation” or “in balance”. Lagom is a Swedish word meaning just the right amount. It’s also widely translated as in moderation, in balance and perfect-simple. It’s an important concept to understand as it is applied to just about every aspect of life in Sweden from dress sense to work performance. Lagom is the stamp of approval; too much or too little usually gets the thumbs down.

4. Patience

I used to get angry and impatient while standing in a queue and the people in front of me take their time to do take out their wallet when I arrived in Sweden, people staring, made me lose my cool. Maybe it has to do with the lifestyle, but since everybody here maintains patience while standing in a queue, crossing the road, at the tax office, almost everywhere that one goes, I am much more tolerant. Seeing all of this taught me a lesson or two and made me much calmer.

5. Enjoy your Summer, it won’t last long!

Coming from a country where you often have four seasons in one day and where snow is rare, proper winters and distinct seasons were both a novelty and a challenge. It is hard to beat the simple thrill of walking across frozen water or tobogganing or skiing down a hill at speed for the first time. Good weather days are few and far between and so is the sun. Since good weather is a blessing, I have learned to value its importance more than ever and relish it while it is around.

6. Compassion
Growing up what now a days can be called conservative, I have always been taught to help the elders, stand up to offer my seat, great them and carry their shopping. Yet we are quick to judge others and even too long hair on a men can be seen as undeacend. Swedes have compassion is built within the society. They treat every human equal and never judge anyone.

Published by Marco Strong

Marco & Elias - Inspiring the world for Stockholm 🇸🇪

7 thoughts on “6 ways moving to Sweden changed me

  1. Oh I love reading this! I miss home a lot and it’s interesting seeing it from your perspective. I’m married to an English man and I’m a few years we will leave the Middle East and move to (my) home in the North. Funny how I always thought I learnt patience here..well in Doha, Qatar to start with, where nobody stands in line and loudest wins.

    1. Thank you so much 🤗 ya I can imagine, i have spent some time in Qatar too… well I would say I learned to use my elbows, while standing in line there – but in Sweden I learned the patience 😂

  2. I think when people approach to certain age they start seeing things from the different angle which has basically nothing to do with Sweden. In Sweden equilty chosen instead of equity and as a consequence in public transport nobody would give up his place for elderly or women with children. “SkatteSlöseri trivs ej när man pratar högt om det”. 7000kr per resident during a year has been wasted by goverment institutions, which equals 25Mlrd kr. There for it was established institution for skatteslöseri(tax wasting). While some politicians talk “bla bla bla” and people fully trust them, they fill upp their pockets with “cash”. Nya Karolinska hospital is one of the greatest examples of tax waste for 250Mln kr of consultancy services which part of it didn’t even had “paperwork”. Of course I could close my eyes and pretend nothing happens with a smile on my face, and Sweden hasn’t been the same from 1980. It needs to improve a lot though…

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