Something Swedish

How Swedish are you?

16 Comments

As a follow up to my last post about becoming Swedish and getting Swedish citizenship – I’ve compiled a list of 40 things that can help determine how Swedish you are!

(Yes, some of these are exaggerated, generalizations, stereotypes, might not apply to all Swedes, or has nothing to do with being Swedish – but they are all things that I have either noticed or experienced since moving to Sweden and are meant to be read for fun)

Don’t forget to keep track of how many you answer “yes” to to find out how Swedish you are at the end of the test!

So, how Swedish are you?

1. Do you pick wild flowers, mushrooms, or berries at least once a year?
Allemansrätten, Mushroom Picking
IMG_1469

2. Do you looove lösgodis (loose candy)?
Lösgodis
431116_10151473779528717_1003548324_n_1_51a31c16e087c368999b31dd

3. Do you regularly eat open faced sandwiches for breakfast or mellanmål (snack)?

4. Do you put butter on all said open sandwiches?

5. Have you spent at least one winter in Thailand?
Snowfall

6. Did you grow up watching the same snippets of classic Disney movies every Christmas?
Swedish Cartoons
661740

7. Is it true that you have never painted any of your walls any color but white (not counting wall paper)?

8. Do you bike to work, school, and/or to go food shopping?
Biking

9. Is pasta incomplete without ketchup?
When in Rome
Pasta Ketchup

10. Do you wear socks with your sandals?

11. Is your preferred way of confrontation writing angry or passive aggressive notes towards your neighbors?

photo(7)

“Remove your time slot, you fucker, if you aren’t doing laundry!” (Found this in our laundry room last week)

12. Do you believe there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing?
Lessons Learned

IMG_1004

Swedish saying: “Det finns ingen dåligt väder, bara dåligt kläder”

13. Have you ever slept with flowers under your pillow?
Midsummer

14. Have you ever traveled long distances to buy booze (say out of the country, to Denmark or Germany for example) to save money?
IMG_00076

15. Have you ever dressed up as a witch for Easter or Santa for Christmas?
Glad Påsk, Witches in Sweden,
IMG_8695

16. Do you and your friends always have a few drinks at home before going out to the bar (förfest)?
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17. Have you ever worn a crown of flowers on your head?
36911_412269919039_5071155_n

18. Do you enjoy fika (social coffee break with sweet pastries) at least once a day during work hours and sometimes again afterwards with friends?
First Fika, Cinnamon Rolls, Working in Sweden
2012-10-03 20.06.51

19. Have you ever danced like a frog?
Midsummer
265144_10150306027875628_1589370_n

20. Do you smash words together to create new words that you wouldn’t find in the dictionary, but everyone understands you anyway? (AKA do you speak Swedish?)
Language Mishap

21. Have you ever had to cancel plans because you had a laundry time booked or used laundry time as an excuse to get out of plans?

22. Does the idea of buying pre-sliced cheese when you can cut it yourself perplex you?

23. Have you ever worn a reflective vest at some point as an adult?
315-794-thickbox

24. Do you dread winter, not because of the darkness or cold, but the fear of getting the inevitable “vinterkräksjuka” (winter puking)?

25. Do you eat burgers and/or pizza with a fork and knife?
IMG_0147

26. Do you proudly shop at loppis (flea markets) and show off your finds to all of your friends?
529 006

27. Have you ever eaten Swedish meatballs? (Maybe at IKEA?)
kottbullar

28. Is there nothing you look forward to more than the first semla of the year?
Semlor Galore, February, Cooking Semlor
017 (2)

29. Do you occasionally look at the time, panic, and rush out the door to buy a bottle of wine for the upcoming weekend?
systembolaget

30. Have you ever painted furniture white?

31. Do you sharply inhale to say ‘yes’, agree, or to acknowledge that someone is speaking?

32. Do you always, always, always take your shoes off when you enter a (any) house or apartment?

33. Do you go food shopping at least four times a week instead of in bulk?
Swedish Supermarkets
63 015

34. Is locating the number machine to queue in line the first thing you do when you enter a store?
Nummerlapp

35. Can you eat knäkebröd (hard bread) without getting crumbs everywhere?
2013-02-18 14.29.50

36. Have you ever sang in unison with your friends or family before taking a shot of snaps?
Cheers! Skål!
cheers2

37. Is it true that you have never met your neighbors and you like it better that way?
SUFGhcZ

38. Does your name have a birthday (namnsdag)?

39. Can you read the words ‘slut’ (end) and ‘fart’ (speed) without giggling?

40. Are you really good at recycling?
swedenrecycle

If you answered yes to:

36 – 40: You are extremely Swedish! You are a Swede that loves Swedish traditions and culture!
31 – 35: You were born, raised, and have lived in Sweden your whole life!
26 – 30: You are a born Swede living abroad or you moved to Sweden 10+ years ago!
21 – 25: You were born in Sweden and moved away when you were young, but have spent every summer there!
16 – 20: You moved to Sweden within the past 5 years!
11 – 15: You have Swedish relatives or are dating/close with someone Swedish!
06 – 10: You have visited Sweden!
00 – 05: You have no Swedish friends or relatives and have never visited Sweden.

Leave a comment with your result and how accurate it was! (Keep in mind this is for FUN!)

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16 thoughts on “How Swedish are you?

  1. Oh-oh, I am more Swedish than I thought but have only lived here since 2011. Fortunately, my Swedish still sucks big time, so no one will ever mistake me for a native. Interesting test, Meg.

  2. My score was 14, meaning “You know someone Swedish or have Swedish relatives!” My mother is Swedish and most of my extended family on her side still live in Sweden. While I have never lived in Sweden, I spent many a summer there as a child. Pretty accurate quiz if you ask me! 🙂

  3. I got only 28, maybe I’m not as Swedish as I should be.. 😄 Born Swedish but maybe been influenced by my Nepali fiancé..

    • My husband also got in that range and we said that it was because of me and spending so much time in NYC that he got lower – maybe I made it too hard to be a Swede!

  4. These are excellent! After only four years it appears I’m worryingly Swedish…

  5. Hey =) These are really funny but so spot on. My boyfriend is swedish and the first time I went there I was so surprised with some of these things. Who takes their shoes off when they enter a house?! So weird and impractical. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, really like your input on swedish culture from a foreigner’s perspective.

  6. Native here. I got 10. Not sure what that means.

  7. I scored a 20 and it is accurate. I did move to Sweden in the last five years. Thanks for putting this together, it was interesting!:)

    https://swedapura.wordpress.com/

  8. I got 8 and that’s accurate! But I recognized them all because of your blog. You are slowly making us all more Swedish! Thanks, Meghan. That was fun. 😀

  9. I got 33, which was very accurate since I am born here and have lived here for my whole life 😉

  10. That was one of the best observations of Sweden I have seen from someone from another country.

    Do you pick wild flowers, mushrooms, or berries at least once a year? Yes. If you are an adult, live in Stockholm, don’t have any children and don’t own a second home few will pick flowers, mushrooms or berries. When I became a parent I have started to do these kinds of things more often. Children really enjoy these kind of things.

    Do you love lösgodis (loose candy)? Yes, it is so much better than buy a pre-made bag. I like to choose my own candy. The negative part is that the quality can sometimes be bad.

    Do you regularly eat open faced sandwiches for breakfast or mellanmål (snack)? Yes. I seldom eat breakfast during the week. I have coffee on my way to work. I do eat open faced sandwiches regularly – as a snack.

    Do you put butter on all said open sandwiches? No but it is very common among Swedes. When I was younger I didn’t like butter but have learned to eat it if nothing else is available. If I have something on my sandwich I don’t use butter. Using olive oil to certain bread is of course a most.

    Have you spent at least one winter in Thailand? No. I work for a living and do not have the time to chill out in Thailand through winter. I have traveled to warmer countries in the winter but often I use my winter semester-week for skiing and to visit my wife’s relatives in Spain. It is common that Swedish youth before and after college travel around in Asia. Thailand is very popular. Once upon a time the Canary Islands were a popular resort for Swedes in the winter – not so much anymore.

    Did you grow up watching the same snippets of classic Disney movies every Christmas? Yes, briefly, but then we got cable and I could watch cartoons all the time. If you are born in the 1980s this is just an odd tradition. I never really grew up with it. Today, kids can watch cartoons all the time in their iPads. Frankly, this tradition is result of the socialist Swedish government tried for decades to control what people was watching. My daughter has little interesting watching it. She watches movies in iPad instead.

    Is it true that you have never painted any of your walls any color but white (not counting wall paper)? No. White has not always been popular. It became popular in the 1980s and people have stuck to it because it gives light and give a feeling that your room is larger than it actually is. People in general seem to like plain colors here. I like plain colors. Why Swedes like it I really don’t know. Looking in the past it has not been the case. Still, this is a good observation because white is currently very popular.

    Do you bike to work, school, and/or to go food shopping? Yes. I take the subway. When I was in college I often took my bike. When shopping for food I think many families use their cars. We are just three, live fairly central and don’t own a car

    Is pasta incomplete without ketchup? Yes. Who would reject a good plate of spaghetti and Heinz Ketchup or Chili Sauce? Best student food there is. My wife cannot grasp why put ketchup on our spaghetti.

    Do you wear socks with your sandals? No I don’t wear sandals. I see plenty of people which actually both wear sandals and socks. It may be more uncommon in Stockholm.

    Is your preferred way of confrontation writing angry or passive aggressive notes towards your neighbors? No. I don’t write notes to my neighbors. There is a lady in our Co-Op which actually enjoys writing these notes. It is always something she has to tell us members. When I think about it old people like to write angry notes instead of ace people.

    Do you believe there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing? No I really hate those people that say such things. You are all wet and some comes up and tell you that. You just want to tell him or her to shut up. Is it common that people say things like this? Sure, it is.

    Have you ever slept with flowers under your pillow? Young girls once did it as a tradition. It is pagan midsummer tradition. The idea is that you will dream and I guess figuring out who is the love of your life – than you will find him and marry him. Have I done it? No, I have not but I have seen younger Swedish girls do it.

    Have you ever traveled long distances to buy booze (say out of the country, to Denmark or Germany for example) to save money? People who live in Malmo do it all the time. When I was in high school I think some people went on trips on the Baltic Seas to buy liquer tax-free on internaitonal waters. Mabye it is not possible anymore. Of course you buy liquer when you are in another country. Swedish taxes on alcohol is horrific. This is what happens when you elected Social Democrats for 100 years.

    Have you ever dressed up as a witch for Easter or Santa for Christmas? I have a few times dressed up for Easter when I was a child. When you have kids around on Christmas you need to have a Santa. So someone has to dress up to Santa. Christmas without Santa is not a Christmas for Swedish children.

    Do you and your friends always have a few drinks at home before going out to the bar (förfest)? No, not anymore (much) but we did when we was in college. It is less common in Stockholm. But sure it still happens. It is also common in other Nordic countries because of high taxes on alcohol.

    Have you ever worn a crown of flowers on your head? Yes, I have attended a midsummer party.

    Do you enjoy fika (social coffee break with sweet pastries) at least once a day during work hours and sometimes again afterwards with friends? I don’t have the time for “lunches”. A not so great American man once said: “Lunch is for Wimps”. What he didn’t understand was that when you have kids you have to work through your lunch. I don’t eat sweet pastries very often but I do visit cafes.

    Have you ever danced like a frog? Yes of course. I have attended a midsummer party. That particular song is actually for children. My wife thinks midsummer is pretty darn strange (mostly the food) but fun.

    Do you smash words together to create new words that you wouldn’t find in the dictionary, but everyone understands you anyway? (AKA do you speak Swedish?) I don’t know if we do. Do we?

    Have you ever had to cancel plans because you had a laundry time booked or used laundry time as an excuse to get out of plans? Yes, it has been an excuse sometimes. I only thought I said such things.

    Does the idea of buying pre-sliced cheese when you can cut it yourself perplex you? Once upon a time you bought cheese over a counter. You said how much you wanted and chopped a piece for you. I remember it from when I was in kindergarten. Shortly after, retail introduced pre-packed cheese and that cheese behind the counter became delicacy. I sometimes buy pre-sliced cheese but why? Frankly, who do not own a cheese slicer? My wife is from Bilbao and they still use knives to cut hard cheese. It is just insanity that they have not progressed more.

    Have you ever worn a reflective vest at some point as an adult? People wear such vests when they are running.

    Do you dread winter, not because of the darkness or cold, but the fear of getting the inevitable “vinterkräksjuka” (winter puking)? Every winter I get sick. That is what the Norse sacrificed when they settled here instead of Southern Spain.

    Do you eat burgers and/or pizza with a fork and knife? In Northern Sweden they have always done that. It took a while for Swedes to understand that Pizza and Burgers can be eaten with their hands. Burgers and Pizza is also considered to be a full meal and not a snack. I personally eat with my hands but you sometimes see people (in particularly not from Stockholm) continue to eat such foods with a fork and knife.

    Do you proudly shop at loppis (flea markets) and show off your finds to all of your friends? I do not shop at flea markets but such event seems to be fairly popular in small towns and cities across Sweden.

    Have you ever eaten Swedish meatballs? (Maybe at IKEA?) Yes. Who goes to IKEA to eat meatballs when you can buy meatballs all over the country including 7-Eleven? Meatballs are so popular here. I seldom eat in the classic ways with brown-sauce, potato and lingon-berry jam. I think it is more common in smaller towns. Sweden has progressed some. Today eat meatballs with spaghetti and ketchup and parmesan cheese on top. It is best children’s and student food ever. Buy the frozen small ones. Put them in a frying pan with some butter. In the same time you boil thick barilla spaghetti with some salt. Drain the spaghetti and mix it with olive oil and black pepper. Take a deep plate and put some spaghetti in it and then some meat balls on top. Pour Heinz over it and some freshly grated parmesan cheese. How more Swedish can it get?

    Is there nothing you look forward to more than the first semla of the year? I do not know when and why you eat it. I just end up eating it a few times year. I never reflect over it but I would guess it is a Protestant traditon of some kind.

    Do you occasionally look at the time, panic, and rush out the door to buy a bottle of wine for the upcoming weekend? I live in central Stockholm. At least our government-run liquor stores that are open for a longer period of time. What I hate is that I still have to show them my ID and pay all these taxes.

    Have you ever painted furniture white? Yes. We love everything white here; White furniture, white food, The White Stripes, white elks, white Cube Sugar, white jeans on women and rice pudding. We like rice pudding/porridge so much that we even eat it for dinner. I’m not kidding about the rice porridge – it is common stock cuisine here.

    Do you sharply inhale to say ‘yes’, agree, or to acknowledge that someone is speaking? Yes, you have to notice people when you listen to them. If you don’t do this infill they may think you are not listing.

    Do you always, always, always take your shoes off when you enter a (any) house or apartment? Yes, you don’t want dirt inside your home and there will be less cleaning. Understand that when you have long winters with snow and rain your shoes may become pretty dirty and that is why we take of our shoes. Most Swedish homes (not including these public housing units) have wooden floors – so for obvious reasons you don’t want to wear shoes inside. The reason why floors made of wood is so common is because of the access of forest – making wooden floors (including wooden houses) cheap.

    Do you go food shopping at least four times a week instead of in bulk? Yes, but larger families will buy food in bulk from suburban retail stores. Singles and small families in major cities buy food when they need it. I don’t think this is particularly Swedish but is based on other economic factors rather than culture.

    Is locating the number machine to queue in line the first thing you do when you enter a store? Only a few stores have number machines so if they have yes.

    Can you eat knäkebröd (hard bread) without getting crumbs everywhere? No. I really don’t know why hard bread is so popular here. Hard bread was made because you can keep them for a long time. Today, it is not needed. Still, many prefer buying hard bread. Personally, I just eat hard bread at certain holidays or when making certain dishes but apparently it is popular regardless of time of the year. I guess hard bread has become a part of our culture.

    Have you ever sang in unison with your friends or family before taking a shot of snaps? Singing these songs is often connected to certain holydays or events. You don’t do that kind of things on a restaurant, bar or night clubs. It is a “private matter” done in certain contexts. Swedes normally don’t sing and dance when they drink. They talk a lot when they are drunk.

    Is it true that you have never met your neighbors and you like it better that way? If you live in a large apartment building you do not talk to your neighbors very often. We like to keep it private. Borrowing stuff from neighbors is although common. If you live in a co-op apartment you will have more interaction with your neighbors for obvious reasons.

    Does your name have a birthday (namnsdag)? Yes, I believe so

    Can you read the words ‘slut’ (end) and ‘fart’ (speed) without giggling? Yes

    Are you really good at recycling? No, but municipalities encourage people to recycle. It is a bit dumb because what I know they burn everything in the same furnace anyway. Sweden is likely to only country on the planet were you are viewed negatively if you don’t deposit cans. Environmentalism here is just insane.

  11. The thought of how much loose candy I’ve consumed in my lifetime scares me haha!

  12. Have just completed your quiz and got 16 – I moved to Sweden about 13 months ago so it seems accurate 😳

  13. Never been to sweden but I really want to! I got 21 haha

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