• Sweden's news in English
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Commuters hugging it out at Centralen Station. Photo: Charlotte Rudenstam

Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden

The Local · 11 Apr 2014, 17:25

Published: 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.
Story continues below…
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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How a Swedish rocker saved the life of this cute baby elk
Erik Brodén's daughters Tyra and Brita with the elk baby. Photo: Private

Probably the sweetest story you'll read today.

Man sentenced over dinner party murder in west Sweden
The man during a preliminary court hearing last year. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

He stabbed his friend at a dinner party and attempted to kill two others.

The Local List
Ten reasons why Varberg is the best place in Sweden
The Local shows some love for Varberg. Photo: Mikael Pilstrand/MarknadVarberg

Forget Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö, it looks like seaside town Varberg is Sweden's place to be.

Zlatan on his future: 'I made my choice a long time ago'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Thursday's press conference. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Go on then, Zlatan, tell us what it is.

Nooo! Rain and floods set to dampen Swedes' summer joy
Rain in Sweden earlier this year. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

So, that was the Swedish summer? Nice while it lasted.

Slow design: How Nordic style can make your life better

The world has long been hungry for Nordic lifestyle, with its love of design, nature, and light. But this is about much more than painting your floorboards white or throwing a sheepskin on a chair – it’s a mindset that informs everyday life.

Report: Swedish information security 'not good enough'
Information security in government agencies has been criticised. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Low levels of security could lead to significant consequences, the state auditor warned.

Man arrested in Malmö after armed attack on car
Damaged cars at the scene of the incident. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The incident occurred in the south of the city.

What's on in Sweden
Four fantastic foodie events across Sweden this weekend
It's beer and food galore in Stockholm this weekend. Photo: Brooklyn Brewery Mash

Are world foods your thing, or do you prefer a banquet with beer? Either way you're covered in Sweden this weekend.

Sweden votes yes to controversial Nato deal
A Nato exercise in Spain 2014. Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor

A bid to stall the decision was voted down.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
People-watching: May 25th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »


17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
People-watching: May 18th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
The best Swedish cities for dating
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
People-watching: May 11th
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
Sweden set for sunny weekend
jobs available
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: