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The Internet Is Ganging Up Against Sweden For Not Offering Food To Guests

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

ICYMI, #Swedengate has taken over Twitter after a Reddit post exposed a surprising cultural practice by the Swedes.

The Nordic nation has been known to be one of the happiest countries in the world and has largely garnered positive press about its equitable practices. But it found itself in the middle of a hot online debate centering around the country’s practice of not offering guests food.

It all started with a post on a Reddit thread asking people to share their weirdest experiences at a friend’s house due to their tradition or faith.

In a, now deleted, response, a user shared their experience at one of their Swedish friend’s house. “I remember going to my Swedish friend’s house. And while we were playing in his room, his mom yelled that dinner was ready. And check this. He told me to WAIT in his room while they ate,” they wrote.

The post got shared across multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, which prompted the scrutiny into Swedish culture and customs.

Many people expressed their shock and disbelief at the practice, sharing beliefs related to hospitality from their own cultures.

Not to be left out of the discussion, some Swedes jumped into the debate to defend their culture, arguing that many people in Sweden prefer not to feed the guests, especially children, because it might interfere with the plans the child’s parents might have made for their meals.

An op-ed for The Independent claimed, “The Swedish thinking goes like this: the other child (or the other family) may have plans for another kind of dinner, and you wouldn’t want to ruin the routine or preparations. I don’t think it is anything to do with not wanting to feed the other child or because it costs money or anything like that, it’s more to do with tradition and wanting to eat with your own family.”

Sweden’s generous refugee policy was also dragged into the debate, with pro-Sweden people arguing that the number of refugees welcomed into the country rose to 2,45,000 in 2019. Some users also shared that healthcare and education is much more accessible in Sweden than any other developed country.

Where do you stand on the debate?