7 Fun Facts about Sweden - some false, some true
1. Sweden is filled with stay-at-home dads
Competitively this is true. Right now, Swedish dads use around 25 % of the paid days that Swedes get for staying home caring for their children. And remember that a family gets 480 days (which is a lot by international standards). So if you want to see people with beards pushing strollers, Sweden is your #1 destination.
2. Swedes eat rotten fish
This is not true either, but they eat fermented herring, and the odor that hits your face when opening a can of that stuff is horrendous. It might as well be rotten fish. Newbies usually throw up right away. And a majority of people, Swedes even, don’t walk close to it. On the other hand, up north there are quite a few people who (claim they) are "surströmming" enthusiasts.
3. Swedes are spineless bastards
This is sort of true. Historically when there has been a war going on in the world, Sweden has decided to “stay neutral”. Nazis were welcome to take the train through Sweden while allied forces were welcome to use Swedish ports. The unofficial motto has always been something like: “Do whatever you want as long as we don’t have to fight!” On the positive side, this has kept Sweden out of wars since 1814 and Swedish soldiers have since then mostly been hanging around with outdated equipment.
4. Swedes put mud under their lips
One of the most popular “drug” in Sweden baffles most visitors. What are they doing? Are they putting mud under their lips? What is that disgusting stuff? The thing is called Snus and is a simply a tobacco product. And with names like General Snus and Ettan (number one), you realize that they put pride in “snusing”, but foreigners who try it do it on their own risk. Puking is a common side effect.
5. Sweden is a communist country
Sweden has a long history of left-wing governments. The political party Socialdemokraterna was in office almost all the way from the Second World War to the 90s and has shaped the view on Sweden’s politics Today, however, after eight years with a liberal/conservative government (depending on from which side you’re looking), Sweden is getting criticized for being too right wing.
6. Swedes commit suicide all the time
Swedes top themselves off as soon as they get a chance to. That’s a classic myth. Especially Americans seem to think that suicide is the solutions to all problems up in the far north. But this isn’t true. When looking at the stats, Sweden has 34 countries ahead of them on this unpleasant leaderboard – one being ... drumroll ... USA.
7. Swedes do it everywhere all the time
The myth about the Swedish sin arose in the 50s and 60s, much thanks to Ingmar Bergman’s movies in which, if you looked hard enough, you could see some skin – or even a boob if you were lucky. Unfortunately people who travel to Sweden for hedonistic experiences will mostly find people with clothes not doing any funny business.