They say when in Rome do as the Romans do, so here are a dozen do’s and don’ts you need to learn as you come to Sweden.
- Observe the 1-meter bus stop rule
Swedes in particular have space rules. While at the bus stop its hard to find people next to each other unless they are couples or friends. So when you are at the bus stop or even sitting on a bench or inside the bus make sure to keep the 1-meter rule and look for an empty seat.
- Do not cut the queue line.
Swedes do not line up in a queue but everyone knows the order. While at the bank, post office, bus station, train station and entertainment facilities make sure to look for a ticket number for the queue and it will be considered extremely rude if you cut or jump the line.
- Do not call unless it’s an emergency.
Most people in Sweden prefer texting over calling. It’s easier for one to say yes or no over text than over a phone call. This is one way of people avoiding confrontation unless it’s an extreme emergency, then you can call.
- Do not pay or pick up the tab for someone.
While in Sweden it’s common for the men and women to pay for their tabs be it at any social place. Everyone considers themselves independent especially the ladies, so it may seem polite to pay for her but don’t impose that on her.
- Always learn to say “tack “(Thank you) after offered any help.
“Tack” is the first Swedish word you need to be familiar with as this means thank you. Always say “tack” to show a sign of appreciation after offered any kind of help.
- Handshakes or hugs on meeting someone.
When it’s your first time meeting someone, a handshake is mostly the accepted means of greetings. A hug is usually acceptable if it’s the second time you are meeting the person or if you both know each other.
- Always be on time.
Swedes hate it when someone is late and is also considered rude if you are late and failed to inform them you would be late earlier. So it’s better to be 5 minutes earlier before the agreed time.
- Do not be the first or the last in starting tasks.
It’s common in Sweden for people not to be the first to start something or the last to finish, be it tipping, eating or doing any other thing. It’s mostly considered a sign of bad luck. WEIRD I KNOW.
- Do not interrupt someone when they are speaking.
It’s considered extremely rude to cut off someone when they are speaking and they haven’t finished speaking. So be cool and wait for your chance to speak.
- Avoid eye contact when in public places.
It’s considered extremely weird and creepy to stare and make eye contact with people in public place and to make the matters worse you don’t know them.
- Do not speak loudly while on phone.
While at public places and you have to pick up a phone call, it will be considered rude to speak in a loud tone. Make it a point to speak in a tone that does not alert everyone.
- Keep quiet while at the cinema or theater.
While at the theater or cinema, it will be considered rude to start talking or making phone calls while its silent and everyone is watching a movie. Excuse yourself and go out if you need to make a phone call or talk.