The Kingdom of Sweden is located in the north of Europe, on the Scandinavian peninsula. This country was founded in the 10th century. Today almost 10 million people live here. The standard of living in Sweden is considered to be one of the highest in the world. The climate in the northern country is surprisingly moderate, thanks to the Gulf Stream.
The country is well known in the world, it gave us the “Swedish wall”, “buffet”, “Swedish family”, IKEA. Despite the rich history of the conflicts between Russia and Sweden, today there is no common border between our countries. True, Russians go to Sweden to rest, live and work. But there are several myths that prevent one from adequately perceiving this country.
Socialism is built in Sweden.
It is said that in the Soviet Union it was never possible to build socialism. But in the Scandinavian countries, capitalism with a human face was gradually transformed into socialism. In fact, the picture is beautiful only from the outside. There are enough problems in Sweden. Only in Stockholm officially 5 thousand people do not have their own housing. In the country, sellers of 24-hour shops are on strike, whose wages barely make it possible to make ends meet. Before tax, this is only 12-14 thousand kroons (10 kroons = 1 euro). After payment of numerous taxes on hands remains only about thousand euro. Communal payments will take 70-80% of this amount. The rest of a couple of hundred euros have to survive. Outrageous and the difference in wages between ordinary employees and managers. If a young journalist receives 20-25 thousand kroons, the editor-in-chief is 10 times more. Perhaps, that’s why every tenth journalist in the country is unemployed.
In Sweden, the highest taxes in the world.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Sweden really did have a semblance of socialism, but the banking crisis made it necessary to reconsider its attitude toward its economy. The country engaged in deregulation of energy, communications, transport, reduced taxes. In 2006, right-centrist leaders headed by Frederick Reinfeldt came to power, which accelerated the departure from the socialist model. The country began selling state-owned enterprises, including the Absolut alcohol producer, to cut social benefits, raise taxes on profits, and the luxury tax was abolished. Today, Sweden still has a generous system of benefits, and taxes take half the income. Nevertheless, in neighboring Denmark, rates are even higher. True, the Swedes still know what they get for their high taxes – clean streets, free health care and higher education.
In Sweden, exemplary families.
The intimate life of young people begins here in school, at the age of 13-14 years. After such a difficult to force someone to get married. Many women prefer to give birth to the first child in 39-40 years. At the same time, the children are also spoiled, because to punish and rigidly educate – to violate their rights. And with this in Sweden strictly. In the gardens, children can lie on the ground, dirty and dirty, but teachers do not care. And no one will tell the girl that she should not sit in cold weather on the ground. Statistics show that 70% of Swedish adults prefer to live alone, without a family. Often you can meet an adult woman, walking not with her husband, but with three or four dogs.
The buffet is varied.
It seems that in Sweden the general table should certainly please with variety, being the most that neither is classical. In fact, tourists say that the choice of food in hotels is not rich – a couple of types of cheap sausage, cheese, eggs, a couple of kinds of herring, meatballs and muesli. And such food is served every day, no one thinks about diversity. Soon, tourists begin to feel sad about their native kitchen, absorbing all food on return. So for a real “buffet” fresh and monotonous.
In Sweden, the state can take children from their parents.
In Russia, a family cult is built, nodding to the negative experience of Sweden. The practice of selecting children, if there is, then manifests itself no more often than we do. But the attitude towards children is much more benevolent than in Russia.At least here the teachers do not shout at the pupils, but the teachers do not humiliate them. To take away children from their parents, they need good reasons – physical punishment, beatings. Social services are interested in a dirty and hungry child. However, it can be taken away from parents for a while, giving them a time to think about it.
In Sweden, do not find work.
This myth is often repeated by Russians who decided to move to live in Sweden. In fact, this belief characterizes the people themselves. The work may not be, when all the inhabitants lead a primitive way of life – they heat wood, take water from the river, and prepare food from the garden. In a modern country, a person always has something to do. It’s just that you often can not find a job that corresponds to education. Then it is necessary to speak easier: “There is no work for me” or “I do not have enough knowledge and experience to get a position”. And this already sounds different. Just such recognition requires work on oneself. We must more actively seek, improve our skills. In 2015, unemployment in Sweden was 7.6%, which is lower than in neighboring Finland, but slightly higher than in Germany and Denmark.
In Sweden everyone hates Russians.
To debunk this myth, one must visit Sweden itself. A few days of residence there will be enough to understand that there is no hatred of any kind towards Russians. But before our people, its great culture, literature and music, no one here worships. More attention to European and American values. Russians are treated like a part of those who arrived, without singling out especially. Some facts from Russian history will be remembered, perhaps, from politeness. Elections and repressions in Russia are of no interest to anyone. It even makes our patriots nervous, it turns out, a great nation is not interested in the Swedes. The Russians for them are on par with the Arabs, Iranians, Somalis. And this is the right of indigenous people. We must not rely on our exclusiveness, but to win a place in the sun.
Sweden is an expensive country even for Europeans.
Scandinavian countries are considered to be expensive, adding to this cocktail also Denmark and Iceland. Yes, there are really not cheap places, but Sweden does not apply to them. And even Stockholm is not one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Living in Rome, Milan and London will require much more money.
In Sweden it’s always cold.
The average temperature in summer is 20 degrees. Most of the territory has a temperate climate. In winter, the average temperature in the south-west is 0-1 degrees, snowy winters only in the north of the country. For many southerners, this weather seems cold. But the Swedes have adapted, leading a normal life even in such “extreme” conditions. In Siberia it is much colder in winter than in the north of this Scandinavian country.
Sweden has an increased number of suicides due to lack of sun.
The country has a low number of suicides – 12 per 100 thousand people a year. And if in solar Italy the figures are twice less, then in France this number is slightly higher, about 16. But there is clearly more sun. If you look at the statistics, Sweden takes the 35th place in the number of suicides, giving way to warm countries like Cuba, Korea, Uruguay, South Africa.
Swedish girls are sexy and easily accessible.
This myth pushes many travelers to visit Sweden. Many consider it almost a sex-mecca of Europe. The strangest thing is that even women believe in myth. This belief appeared with the female emancipation in Sweden. It seems that freedom and independence are transformed into an easy relationship to sex. Local people really like to make new acquaintances and spend time in companies. Nevertheless, the girls have certain rules that they will not violate for the sake of the charming stranger. This does not mean that an unmarried girl refuses to have sex. Just young Swedes choose their own partners. If the girls do not like something, it will be difficult to convince them. A woman can calmly approach a man and invite him to spend the night at her house. And such relations in Sweden are not considered reprehensible.But for the illegal use of sex services is the responsibility of a man. He will not be put in jail, but decently fined. Married women have less taboos. They are allowed to have relationships with other men, not only sexual.
In Sweden, some blondes and blondes.
This story, as well as the fact that for Swedes the ideal is a tall blonde model, is a continuous myth. According to the polls, for the Swedes the ideal is Crown Princess Victoria. And her hair is dark. In general, the country has roughly the same proportion of blondes and brunettes – 50 to 50. Currently, out of 10 million inhabitants, 15% were born in another country. Many famous Swedes have far from local roots. For example, the most famous football player of the country Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The image of the nation is rapidly changing due to immigrants from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East. Even Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has foreign roots. His great-great-grandfather was an African-American circus.
The Swedes do not like compatriots.
There is a myth that local women despise “weak” Swedes, giving preference to the inhabitants of other countries. Do Swedes from childhood really expect that an Englishman, an American or a Frenchman, will take them away from here? This myth is debunked by numerous polls, and just statistics. The peculiarity of the relationship between the sexes in the country is such that it is not easy for Swedes to get used to the mentality of foreigners, as well as with the customs of other countries. And the Swedes themselves consider their compatriots the best option for building a strong family.
Swedes require husbands of equality in the performance of household duties.
In fact, a Swedish woman will require her husband to do most of the housework. For Russians, this picture seems inconceivable.
The beauty of Swedes is of natural origin.
Swedish girls closely follow their figure, their diet and regime of the day. Studies have shown that already from 7-10 years old girls here begin to think about what they eat, what kind of sport should be practiced. With age, these aspirations only grow stronger. Regular jogging for Swedes is just as important as sex and family. So the beauty of local women is not a natural combination of genes, but a constant work on oneself.
Swedish women are rough and cold, always reserved.
The behavior of Swedes depends entirely on the interlocutor, it can be completely different.
Sweden has always been a neutral country.
Neutrality and the rejection of military alliances allowed Sweden not to participate in both world wars. But the country could not be completely unrelated to them. When the Germans occupied Norway, they used the Swedish railways to transport their cargo. During the Cold War, the Swedes did not formally support either side, nevertheless they counted on NATO if they had to defend themselves against the USSR. Since joining the EU in 1995, Sweden can no longer be considered neutral, since all countries pledge to help each other in the event of armed aggression. And although Sweden has never joined NATO, its troops and aviation regularly participate in block exercises and even campaigns (Libya in 2011).
In Sweden, everyone is obsessed with sex.
This reputation of the country appeared thanks to frank films made in Sweden in the 1960s. But a calm attitude towards nudity and sex has nothing to do with the promiscuous sex life that is inherent in other peoples, the same Americans. Swedish views on sex were formed under the influence of the women’s movement for gender equality. To perceive a Swede as a sexual object is unacceptable. This is reflected in the attitude towards pornography, which many here consider humiliating. And the law on prostitution is unusual – the buyer of sex is guilty, and not the seller.
Swedes are deprived of a sense of humor.
Humor varies from country to country. Swedes prefer a restrained humor with a subtly veiled hint. Outsiders can not understand where to laugh.
Swedes are silent because they have nothing to say.
Many Swedes prefer to listen more, this is considered a sign of modesty. But such behavior is perceived as stupidity. The Swedes themselves consider chatter and boasting as one of the most despicable human qualities. In the local ancient agrarian society, attention was paid to taboo.
Swedes are self-contained.
Swedes are not really the most sociable people in the world. They even say that they look in the peephole, before leaving the apartment. So the Swedes guarantee themselves that they will not meet with a neighbor and they do not have to talk. The average resident of the country will still talk with the stranger, prompting him the right way. But if the weather is bad, then the conversation will be short. Many Swedes are afraid of intrusion into their personal lives, so do not ask too intimate questions. This alienation has nothing to do with rudeness. If you manage to make friends with the Swedes, then warm communication will gradually be established.
Swedes are constantly sitting.
It’s a little odd to hear this, given the closedness of the Swedes. Nevertheless, the Swedes really like meeting. They can hold a meeting on planning a meeting to develop an event. For an outsider, this may seem unnecessary and ineffective, but this is the local culture of consensus. Everyone is given the opportunity to express their opinion. But such a non-hierarchical approach to decision-making does not always work. Swedish managers unsuccessfully try to implement an open-door policy in foreign offices, but there the corporate culture can impose a ban on the indication of other people’s mistakes. In Sweden, this is not a problem, as managers easily share problems with employees.
In Sweden, work 4 days a week.
Most enterprises have a standard five-day period. Of course, there are organizations working on an unconventional schedule, including 4 days a week, but this is just an exception.
In Sweden, polygamy is allowed.
The modern Swedish family is quite classical European. Polygamy is prohibited by law. Even Muslims who come to live here are forbidden to adhere to polygamy. So the “Swedish family” is a big myth.
The currency of Sweden is the euro.
It is logical to assume that the EU member has a single European currency. However, in the country there are Swedish kronas, whose course to the euro is about 10 to 1.
Swedish cuisine is fresh.
In Northern Europe there have always been problems with spices, which is why it was required to create a contrast between the existing components of the dishes. For centuries, Swedes have learned to combine a modest range of products, using as a condiment only dill or berries. But today there is no need for this. In Sweden for a long time already prepare meal under recipes from all countries of the world. Here you can meet and pizzerias, and shashlik. Swedes love spicy food, like other Europeans.
Swedes make all purchases in IKEA.
Furniture and accessories stores in the country are very diverse, allowing you not to become attached to one, even a national brand. Some things in general can be purchased only in other countries. So, alcohol with an alcohol content in excess of 3.5% is really only available in a special state store.
Swedes are world champions of coffee drinking.
In this country, coffee is a popular drink. But the Swedes with an indicator of 8.2 kilograms per year per person are still far from the first, yielding to Finland with its 12 kilograms. In general, no one can compare with the Scandinavians in the love of coffee. Sweden is inferior to Norway, Iceland and Denmark. In the country there is a good tradition – to take a break in work to drink a cup or two of hot drink with friends or colleagues. And this custom does not correspond in any way to the classical image of the “cold nation”.
In Sweden everyone speaks English.
Many people go to Sweden, believing that English is sufficient for employment. But in the country they still communicate in their native language, although many people also know English. To hire him, you still need to know Swedish.Without this skill it will be difficult to find a job, English will be just an additional bonus.