Friday, Jan 27, 2023

#SwedenGate: This Twitter thread explains why Swedes don’t serve their guests food

The Twitter thread has gone viral with over 59,000 likes.

Twitter thread explains why Nordic countries dare unlikely to serve guests food, Are scandinavian countries inhospitable, Map Will you receive food as a guest at someone’s house, viral Twitter thread Indian ExpressScandinavian countries like Finland, Sweden, and Norway have a reputation as being unhospitable.

While European countries are highly affluent, some of them have a bad reputation for being inhospitable to guests. The hospitality behaviour and customs of a nation are a result of a complex socio-political history of a region.

On Sunday, a Twitter user tried to explain why some European countries are perceived as cold or unwelcoming through a simplified Twitter thread that soon went viral.

A Twitter user, who goes by the handle @WallySierk, shared a portion of a map of Europe that loosely marked counties based on “Will you receive food as a guest at someone’s house”. The categories were “Very unlikely to give you food”, “Unlikely to give you food”, “Usually yes”, and “Almost always”.

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On the unmarked map, Scandinavian countries like Finland, Sweden, and Norway were marked as “Very unlikely to give you food”.

As theorised by the Twitter thread, the Scandinavian countries were less likely to serve good to their guests because historically in these countries the onus of hospitality was put on the wealthy and powerful. The thread argued that “hospitality not only brought honor to the giver, it had the potential to bring shame to the recipient.”

However, soon the feeling of honour (that the affluent section of the society felt) and feeling of shame (that the lower section felt) caused social unrest, especially in the middle ages.


In the early 1800s, the Protestant Church tried to manage this unrest by promoting “the ideal of the free member of society, owing no one and owed nothing.”

The thread further argued that the Protestant church created a society which “minimized the creation of debt and obligation, and maximized the ability of the individual/family to be self-sufficient.  This “not feeding the neighbor kids” weirdness Is about maintaining peace in the community.”

This thread, soon received over 59,000 likes since it was posted on May 29, 2022. However, many people dismissed the claims it made. A Twitter user wrote, “Imagine doing an extremely long multi-tweet thread explaining the cultural and historical significance of a completely fake Instagram infographic map.”

First published on: 31-05-2022 at 18:56 IST
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