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Swedes and their lack of basic manners

Another whinge

Schomberg
post 6.Aug.2012, 01:17 AM
Post #1
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 29.Nov.2009

What is it with this country that they can have a raging debate about a meaningless sop of a word like "hen" but basic manners seems to be a concept that most Swedes are immune too? For a long time I just took it as a cultural difference but I can't see why "Excuse me" is somehow alien to Swedish culture. They're amongst the rudest race of people I think I've ever come across. Lets give you some examples of shyte I dealt with in the last two weeks alone:

1. Job interview. This knob who owns the place is having a chat with a college when I walk into this tiny narrow entrance with no seating. He doesn't even introduce himself to me. Like an awkward twat I have to stand there, with them, before he asks me who I am and what I want. Then after introducing myself and saying I'm here for the interview you called me last night at 10pm about, he just tells me to wait there, in the narrow seatless hall, while he continues his chat about GAIS. I didn't get the job, and I still haven't heard back from them either way. I only found out I didn't get it because I know the man who did. Whats funny is during the interview this idiot was talking to me about customer service and politeness and all I could think about was maybe you should start with yourself.

2. Myself and my son walking into a restaurant. Some lemon faced cow sitting in the doorways scowls at me "do you want to go in?" "yup" I said. She literally yells at me that I "borde prata". Fucks sake. Maybe you shouldn't be sitting in door ways.

3. My son is queuing for an ice cream at one of those kiosks. FAMILIES are literally going over him. I walked three families and one couple do it before I said excuse me, he's been standing there for 10 mins. They looked at me like I'm an arsehole. No wonder swedes need to take a number. They don't know how to behave when they're given free reign. I think the government are onto something good there. More numbers please.

4. On the bus with my daughter in her pram, packed with people, two other prams next to me. When it comes time for me to get off, waiting for the bus to stop, some cow asks me in the most horrid way am I getting off. Yes, I say, well another I "borde prata". I asked her why, what would she have done differently if I'd spoken up literally 5 seconds faster. she mumbles some incomprehensible gibberish and I leave.

5. Bus again. Watched an old lady on a packed bus clinging on for dear life and no one offering her a seat. Young or old, man, woman or child. No one. I was at the first front, she was near the back so I couldn't. But I watched her get off the bus and she wobbled, obviously had hip or leg problems and then she falls. she just vanished from the window and only two people got off the bus - me and another obviously foreign woman. As I was helping her up, the whole bus is jus standing there, eye balling the thing. I couldn't believe my fucking eyes. Loads of them must have seen her fall by the time I pushed my way through them to get off the bus and pick this lady up.

Now, I know we all have our fair share of uncivilised ill mannered hogs, but they're in the majority in this country. That's undeniable. You can easily spot the swede whose lived abroad, particularly in the british isles. They understand the importance of having basic manners. Don't parents here teach their children the value of "thank you", "excuse me""may I" "sorry" etc or is it all meaningless wibbling about hen and hon and han?

Cue the swedophiles.
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SOIS.COM
post 6.Aug.2012, 01:29 AM
Post #2
Joined: 25.May.2012

You, as I have, are facing cognitive dissonance between what we consider norms of behavior and what other people do.

While a lot of what you are saying is true on the other hand there are some things Swede's have not done
that I have experienced in my own culture that I would consider polite by just not doing them.

1. I have never been mugged by a Swede nor do I know of many people who have.
2. I have never felt the need to carry a gun, if it were legal, in Sweden. Can't say the same for my home country.
3. Although probably a few have thought it never been told by a Swede "shut up you loud mouthed Anglo".

On the other hand, I do try and imbue my cultural norms on Swedes and it is generally appreciated if not reciprocated..that is, opening doors and carrying up groceries for the older women who live in my building, letting through people in the que when they have a couple of items and I have a full cart (I have seen Swedes do this to). Just in general stopping to help people who need a hand. A memorable event was a lady who had forgot her laundry and while I was doing my own decided to fold hers. She came down and saw her folded laundry and I said to her "When was the last time anyone did anything nice for you?"...to this day she is the closest of all our neighbors. I am sure at some point it will get me in trouble as no good deed goes unpunished but until then why stop.
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Fernandis
post 6.Aug.2012, 01:41 AM
Post #3
Joined: 16.Jul.2007

QUOTE (Schomberg @ 6.Aug.2012, 02:17 AM) *
What is it with this country that they can have a raging debate about a meaningless sop of a word like "hen" but basic manners seems to be a concept th... . Cue the swedophiles.

lolzzzz wink.gif 200 % truth, the real face of swedes. But if you want to avoid this pain then just "INTEGRATE" with swedish society and learn swedish values wink.gif ...you know what i mean wink.gif
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MitchXXX
post 6.Aug.2012, 02:23 AM
Post #4
Joined: 22.Jul.2012

Being lucky enough to live in more than 3 Western European countries and US as well I would have to agree with the topic but on one condition-native Swedes are nice and honest people when you get to know them. In everyday situations unfortunately they lack of public manners and politeness. This is fact not only for Sweden but for many other European Countries/except UK/ but here may be because of the climate and the cultural differences is more obvious. That makes vary badly first impression. It makes you think that Swedes are ignorant and they care only about the other Swedes. It could be fixed if you hire American elementary teachers and along with English to master pupils' good manners-no offence I know many of you have good manners but I am talking in general. The other way is every summer the locals to go to work seasonally in UK or the States-mostly at Restaurant and the Tourist Industry. That could help even more. The way you guys act in public is important because it says a lot about the culture and the intelligence of the nation itself so the fact that most of Swedes speak English almost no accent tells a lot about the intelligence. Now it is time to work out on the culture folks.
Anyhow no one is perfect so we still like you no bad fillings ; )
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Programmeny
post 6.Aug.2012, 05:04 AM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Aug.2012

I once held the door for a 20 year old something girl. I'm a 20 year old something dude. I got scolded for doing so. "YOU THINK I CAN'T HOLD MY OWN DOOR?! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!". It was my first day in Sweden. I'm of Latin descent, Spanish reggaton playing in my head all the time, flamenco, spicy food and hot passionate love and all that. I'm that guy. Needles to say, after that thing, and what followed in the next year, well, my flame has been put out... until one day.

Oh, and women with hairy armpits.
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Migga
post 6.Aug.2012, 07:05 AM
Post #6
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

Do Swedes hassle you in the streets? Do Swedes disturb you when in public? Are Swedes loud and obnoxious? Do Swedes elbow their way forward in lines? Do Swedes take a shit in the local plaza and wash their hands in the fountain? Do Swedes burp and slurp when eating?

I`m not saying that what you experienced isn`t true but it`s hardly unique. And what you consider rude in one society could mean something different in another. If you have been around the world you would know. Swedes are not more rude or bad mannerd then anyone else. They are so in a different way from others. It`s because we are different but at the same time alike when it comes to be rude in some way. I`ve seen some rude or bad mannerd people from the UK, USA, Canada, China, France and Spain but I don`t go online to start a thread about it.
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Mo
post 6.Aug.2012, 07:35 AM
Post #7
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

QUOTE (Migga @ 6.Aug.2012, 08:05 AM) *
Do Swedes hassle you in the streets? Do Swedes disturb you when in public? Are Swedes loud and obnoxious? Do Swedes elbow their way forward in lines? Do Swedes take a shit in ... (show full quote)

YES to all after midnight when they are drunk - apart from shitting - they just piss everywhere instead.
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SOIS.COM
post 6.Aug.2012, 07:54 AM
Post #8
Joined: 25.May.2012

Again, its THEIR drinking culture. I think the tendency for Scandinavians to go on weekend benders is on the decrease but it might only be me?

Some of the politest people I have ever met was while studying in Canada and visiting Costa Rica. However, the politest people I have ever met are those in North Korea...perhaps there is an absolute value of "politeness" that can be reached in a democracy regardless of differing cultural norms.
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Yorkshireman
post 6.Aug.2012, 08:29 AM
Post #9
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (Mo @ 6.Aug.2012, 07:35 AM) *
YES to all after midnight when they are drunk - apart from shitting - they just piss everywhere instead.

Sounds like a normal evening back in Yorkshire! biggrin.gif

I was asked when I first came here during afternoon fika wink.gif
- Is it true that in UK it is normal to keep your outside shoes on when visiting other peoples homes?
- Yes, at least where I grew up.
- ohmy.gif Disgusting!... You could be tramping dog sh*t and other stuff across their floor.

Different countries/cultures, different manners, with many shared understandings also.
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Kieruk
post 6.Aug.2012, 11:00 AM
Post #10
Location: Helsingborg
Joined: 22.Sep.2008

Haha, I love this thread!

There are some common courtisies that are missing in Sweden (I dont care what culture you are from it is just the 'do to others what you would like to be done to you') but in general you are going to be unmolested and left alone. (in itself a very hard thing for a non swede to get used to!)
I didnt notice so much, but my wife really notices the staring in public by Swedes. They jsut stare at anyone and everyone, at first she thought she must look like someone famous in Sweden... but I think its just the culture that says its fine to stare...just dont talk to a stranger!

I still get strange looks when I whistle while walking to work... you would think I was swearing at the top of my voice smile.gif

Oh...and you forgot to mention that it is REALLY rare to be thanked for stopping in your car to let someone cross the road... or you get very strange looks when I thank a car for stopping!
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cogito
post 6.Aug.2012, 11:05 AM
Post #11
Joined: 30.Dec.2009

QUOTE (Migga @ 6.Aug.2012, 06:05 AM) *
Do Swedes hassle you in the streets? Do Swedes disturb you when in public? Are Swedes loud and obnoxious? Do Swedes elbow their way forward in lines? Do Swedes burp and slurp when eating?

All of the above.

QUOTE (Mo @ 6.Aug.2012, 06:35 AM) *
YES to all after midnight when they are drunk - apart from shitting - they just piss everywhere instead.

Not only after midnight. I have seen this behavior in mid-afternoon in the center of city.

QUOTE (Yorkshireman @ 6.Aug.2012, 07:29 AM) *
Different countries/cultures, different manners, with many shared understandings also.

Ah, moral relativism is a beautiful thing. Are you equally understanding of, say, stoning women? After all, different cultures, different manners...

to the OP: Do a search on the News and Features side. You'll find hundreds of comments from both visitors and long-time residents confirming your observations on the Swedish lack of basic everyday good manners.
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Yorkshireman
post 6.Aug.2012, 11:10 AM
Post #12
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (cogito @ 6.Aug.2012, 11:05 AM) *
Ah, moral relativism is a beautiful thing. Are you equally understanding of, say, stoning women? After all, different cultures, different manners...

And You need to learn English!

Many does not equal All,
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byke
post 6.Aug.2012, 11:12 AM
Post #13
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

When it comes to manners, I truly believe Stockholm is getting better.

Having spoken to a few older "Stockholmers" - they all state that they too think manners have gone down the drain and it never used to be like that. But in many aspects, one must remember that Stockholm has seen a huge influx of Swedes from other areas of Sweden who dont share the same view or manners (small minded village people, bumpkins etc).

In recent times Stockholm has seen a greater change in regards to more international immigration relating to professional workers from outside of sweden arriving. And I believe it is having a positive effect on the people around them.

I have said this before, and many people in the past have doubted it ... but.
I find that when English is used in a positive manner that I get a more positive reaction (if done in a positive way).

Such as "Here, let me get that for you" is often greeted with a smile and a thank you.
Yet if I do the same thing in Swedish, I usually get a grunt (if that).

Now manners are not a negative thing as some often jump to defend the current system.
In may way its what helps shape society.
But for those who wish to maintain the old "me first" system, all I ask you to do is find a similar region in the world that has similar values. And I am sure you wouldn't want to be associated with such ...
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oddsock
post 6.Aug.2012, 11:21 AM
Post #14
Joined: 19.Dec.2008

If you go to a butcher or bakery in Holland (two unsual concepts in Sweden), there are often loads of people there. There is no queue. There are no numbers. People just remember who came into the shop after them. The person behind the counter just shouts, "who's next?!", and the group figures out within two seconds who is next. Anybody who goes against the system is ostracised. In Sweden, when there are no numbers, it's a total free for all.

Same thing at the Dutch supermarket when a new cash register opens up. Whoever is closest to the front of the existing queue is given priority for the new register. In Sweden the person who just joined the queue reckons they can nick the front spot at the new register. You'd literally be risking your life in Amsterdam if you tried that.

I also noticed that self-service checkouts are very popular in Sweden. Even when there is no queue at the service checkouts, people still go to the self-service one. What is this? Fear of human contact?
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byke
post 6.Aug.2012, 11:23 AM
Post #15
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

What I was trying to say, is lead by example.
If you simply ignore the negatives and behave like you would in society outside of sweden.
I am sure you will see a change in people around you, I know I have.

Swedes are open to manners ... and if sold right, they will thrive on them.
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