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VIDEO: How to embrace The Swedish Hug

VIDEO: How to embrace The Swedish Hug
A week after writing a column about Swedes and their obsession with hugs, The Local's Oliver Gee hits the streets of Stockholm to answer his critics and to finally embrace a most intimate of Swedish customs.

In case you didn't read it, here is my story about how I just can't embrace The Swedish Hug. In it, I discussed the six-step process of meeting a Swede and how after just minutes you become a Hugging Friend Forever (HFF).

And the Swedes lapped up the story. It was rewritten for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, soared to the top of Sweden's Reddit page, brought in more Twitter feedback than I've ever seen, and earned me an interview on TV4's breakfast television programme Nyhetsmorgon (and a hug from etiquette expert Magdalena Ribbing on air).

But what intrigued me most were the comments… many of which were from readers who outright disagreed with me.

One of the comments on the article was from a person who had NEVER (their caps, not mine) seen a hug after three years in Sweden. Another called me deluded. Many suggested that Swedes were much too cold to be doing something as intimate as regular hugging – especially with strangers. 

Oh, and many people said that I probably just needed a good hug myself.

So, I headed out to central Stockholm and asked people for the truth. And a hug.

The results were quite warming.

Oliver Gee

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