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Food on a table. Right: Zara Larsson's TikTok video.

Food on a table. Right: Zara Larsson's TikTok video.

A Reddit post about manners in Sweden has turned the internet upside down, as the rest of the world comes to terms with the idea that Swedes simply don't feed guests when they visit.

Social media users have been sharing their shocked reactions to that discovery under the hashtag #Swedengate, while Swedes have also been showing up in the conversation to defend the way they do things.

It all comes back to an AskReddit page where someone asked: "what is the weirdest thing you had to do at someone else's house of their culture/ religion?" And boy, the responses did not disappoint.

One of the replies completely threw Sweden under the bus, and people can't seem to wrap their heads around this bizarre Swedish tradition.

"I remember going to my Swedish friend's house. And while we were playing in his room, his mom yelled that dinner was ready," shared the user. "And check this. He told me to WAIT in his room while they ate."

That's right; not only did they not offer the user some food, but they ate while their guest hung around.

What makes the story even wilder is the number of people who shared similar experiences in the comments.

Another person shared a memory about a time when they "slept over at a friend's house" and found out about the tradition at breakfast.

"When we woke up, he said he's going downstairs for a few minutes. After about 15 minutes, I go on the stairs to see wtf is happening, and they're eating breakfast," said the user. "They see me and tell me he's almost done and will be up there soon. I still think about that sh*t 25 years later."

Swedish people and residents chimed in the conversation to say that yes, this is absolutely a thing.

"I live in Sweden, can confirm!" said a user. "Not all Swedes are like this, though... But some! So weird."

Even Zara Larsson, a well-known Swedish singer, joined the conversation around #swedengate and confirmed in a TikTok that it's true.

"Growing up as a child, it would be really common to go on play dates at your friend's house and then they would be like, 'I'm just going to go have dinner, ill be back in 30,' and they would just leave you in the room and you would have to play alone for 30 minutes until they came back," shared Larsson.


Zara Larsson on #SwedenGate – @zaralarsson #ZaraLarsson #Sweden #fyp

"It wouldn't be a strange thing," Larsson said. Instead, the child's thought process being left behind would be, "Oh, I'll just eat when I get home."

"It's definitely Swedish culture. It's hilarious," added the singer.

"It's f**cked, I think it is, but it's just a cultural thing. It's not even that deep."

People's reactions on Twitter are just as funny as you would expect them to be.

One person tweeted an image of a family in an Ikea kitchen from their catalogue and captioned it, "they probably have a friend sitting somewhere in the house waiting for the family to finish lunch #Swedengate."

Others pointed out how that tradition can be stretched to other courtesies that might seem common to North Americans.

"Forget about Swedes not feeding their play date kids - what about adults having to bring their own sheets and towels when invited to spend the night? Lived there for 18 years, can confirm #swedengate," shared another user.

Others are sharing how drastically different their own cultures are compared to Swedish traditions.

TikTok comedian @min.aaaa1, who has a South Asian background, shared how differently guests are treated when they come to her house.

"First of all, if you are ever even near my house, and I mean if I can even smell you within a mile of my property, you are going to eat," Mina says in the video. "I will hog-tie you to my table and ladle daal into your mouth if I have to."



"You are not leaving till you eat," she added. "If my mom ever found out that I left my friend in my room and then came down to eat alone, she would boil me like a lobster and serve me with your favourite side."

As a Pakistani woman, I can attest to what Mina has to say!

    Sameen Chaudhry
    Global Staff Writer
    Sameen Chaudhry is a Staff Writer for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on TikTok drama and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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