• Sweden edition
 
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Commuters hugging it out at Centralen Station. Photo: Charlotte Rudenstam

Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden

Published: 11 Apr 2014 17:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Apr 2014 17:25 GMT+02:00

From 5pm onwards, huggers got a-hugging in Sweden. The Expressen newspaper was on the scene, recording every hug.

"It's such a nice start to the weekend," one hugger told them, a huge smile on his face. Behind him, a man in an orange sweater embraced a slightly shorter woman. 
 
Video from the main concourse at Stockholm's Central station showed cluster of huggers in front of the arrivals and departures board. Expressen also reported that a similar event was taking place in southern city Malmö. 
 
Another male hugger said embracing was "magical" and healthy, "because hugs calm you down", while a woman said she felt people should hug more. 
 
"I've spent my life wondering why people don't hug more," she told Expressen.
 
The topic of Swedes' propensity for a good hug made it into the news last week after The Local's Oliver Gee addressed the topic as a strange cultural quirk. 
 
"It's all a bit confusing for me, especially as Swedes usually enjoy their privacy," the Australian reporter wrote in his original article, which was also picked up by Svenska Dagbladet. "I still go for the handshake every time and people recoil. It's become so bad that I have a reputation among my friends as a non-hugger."
 
Flash mob organizer Charlotte Rudenstam said she had been thinking about the flash mob for weeks, but that she had blogged about Gee's article, which acted as a catalyst for pushing the hugathon from idea to reality. 
 
"Hugging is so popular in Sweden, we love a good, long hug, and that's what people are doing here today," Rudenstam told The Local on Friday.  "We need more loving in our life, so we thought: Why not start out the world's first ever hugging flash mob?"
 
Gee's article earned him an invite to talk Swedish etiquette on breakfast show Nyhetsmorgon on TV4, where the grande dame of good manners, Magdalena Ribbing, embraced him on air.
 
 
As the flash mob wrapped up at Stockholm's Centralen, the organizer said she hoped the trend would spread. And she said she hoped people would hug not just more, but for longer.
 
"People are taking 20-second hugs - that way you can really feel the love flow through you," Rudenstam said.
 
See Oliver trying to hug Swedes

 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Getinge Floods
Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues

UPDATED: The flood in southern Sweden spread further on Wednesday, with forecasters predicting rain all week. With the defence minister on the scene, officials have warned that up to 8,000 households risk evacuation. READ  

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'

Foreign and Finance Ministers Carl Bildt and Anders Borg held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss how Sweden was being affected by a "less secure" world, and how it would foot the bill for a growing influx of refugees. READ  

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire
Photo: Fanni Olin Dahl/TT

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire

The Slussen tunnel in Stockholm began billowing out black smoke on Wednesday afternoon. Police believe that the fire was connected to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. READ  

Elections 2014
Parties duel as refugee costs rocket
Photos: TT

Parties duel as refugee costs rocket

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and opposition leader Stefan Löfven clashed on Wednesday after the Migration Board asked for more money to handle Sweden's influx of refugees. READ  

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages
The Sami in northern Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have. READ  

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

More and more Swedish boys are born with deformed penises, and researchers are uncertain exactly what's behind the increase. READ  

The Local List
What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet
Photos: Shutterstock/Imagebank Sweden

What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet

The Local Sweden has been asking readers to squeeze their view of Sweden into just 140 characters or less. Here's what you came up with up for #SwedeninaTweet. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Politics
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
National
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Education
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

682
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se