25 Most Interesting Cultural Differences This Canadian Woman Came Across After Moving To Sweden
Margareth SPublished on
Personally, Sweden always sounds like a small, peaceful country with very nice people. This is coming from someone whose relatives spend almost their whole life there. Most others are probably more inclined towards the Viking legend and rich Nordic culture that the region shares.
Sweden is indeed a happy country – statistics prove that it has a high GDP per capita with a life expectancy of over 80 years old. Married couples share over 16 months of paid leave between them when they have a new baby.
Madeline Robson is a Canadian woman and had only started living in Sweden for two years.
The 30-year-old found the country to be exquisitely different from everywhere else. So she documents her everyday life on TikTok. She just had to admit that she loves it there to the point she is “romanticizing” the new Scandi life. Can we blame her, though, because Sweden is just that beautiful!
“I was shocked by how different Swedish dialects are depending on where you’re from and found out I was apparently learning the most difficult dialect. In Canada, accents don’t vary THAT much (unless you’re from the east coast). I always thought my Swedish accent was pretty neutral, but you guys told me otherwise. In a video I said: “JAG KOMMER FRÅN KANADA” and everyone said I spoke skånska. This whole accent thing was such a shock for me.”
Madeline Rae had a corporate job when she first met her fiance in 2017. She met him while traveling in 2017 and you can guess what his nationality was: Swedish! They got into a long-distance relationship but after 1.5 years, Madeline decided to quit and went to stay with her fiance for a short time period.
She shares, “We spent months of traveling back and forth across the Atlantic, meeting up in cities all over the world. But let’s be real – cross-Atlantic long distance is no joke. So, I quit my job, packed my bags, bought myself (and my cat) a one-way plane ticket, and followed my heart across the world.”
“It is common to see people walking, jogging, pushing strollers, walking dogs, or even meeting friends for Fika in the cemeteries. Seeing the way the cemeteries have been adapted to urban life was very new for me.”
“I was blown away by how amazing your English is. I was told Swedes are the second-best English speakers in the world, but I wasn’t ready for just how fluent most people are. I know you were exposed to English growing up and taught it in school, but I was taught French most of my life, and I’m not fluent in French. Learning a second language is hard, so you should be proud of yourselves.”
She now pens a personal blog titled ‘Madeline Rae Away’ where she documents her daily life in Sweden. “I aim to travel deep and totally immerse myself in the culture of the places I visit, venturing far beyond the ‘touristy’ suggestions that you’ll often find on other platforms,” she explains.
“Did you know? Swedes are the second-highest coffee consumers in the world. I always thought that we drank a lot of coffee in Canada, but I was never a big coffee drinker.. until I moved here. It feels like Swedes’ whole days revolve around drinking (very strong) coffee. The coffee in Canada is so weak by comparison.”
When it comes to adjusting, it took her a year to get used to everything else, particularly the small things. The work-life of Swedish runs at a much slower pace than Canadians. Of course, every since the lockdown, Madeline has not been able to write much about traveling. But that’s also how she got into making these fun TikToks!
“This one is a language nuance, and I am so CURIOUS if you have noticed this or do this. When I started working my corporate job, I would ask yes/no questions and not understand the answer. They would respond to a basic question with a *BREATH IN*. Just a simple breath. I was so confused… like does that mean YES or NO? Over time I realized that it means YES or is a way of agreeing to the question, and I know in the north of Sweden this is done much more obviously.”
“This means that when you have a baby, you submit your name to the government, and they can approve or deny it. Here are some of the banned names:
Ikea, Metallica, Elvis, Superman, Varanda, Q,, Michael Jackson, Token, Ford, Brfxxcxxmnpccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlkb11116 which apparently = Albin.”