BBC – Travel – Why Swedes do not talk to complete strangers



In lots of cultures, striking up a discussion with a complete stranger is the standard, and might even result in a budding relationship. However not for the Swedes.

Here, little talk is viewed as useless, and is described as kallprat (” cold talk”) or dödprat (” dead talk”). To prevent winding up in these scenarios, lots of Swedes have actually made an art of preventing eye contact with complete strangers and associates they may encounter in the street by taking a look at their phones or looking at shopping windows rather. For Swedes, the function of talking is to exchange significant details, and participating in purposeless chit-chat just isn’t valued.

Visitors to Sweden who try to begin a casual discussion with a store owner or waiter, even with the regional welcoming of “ hej”, are most likely to be met a flat “ hej” in reaction, frequently with a subtext of faint inflammation or skepticism. Professionals state this reserve might be due to Sweden being a sparsely inhabited nation in a fairly large landscape, where for centuries, individuals grew familiar with seldom consulting with those outside their instant circle.

Another hypothesis is that this hostility to chit-chat might be connected to fairly low levels of migration to Sweden up until the 1960s. Very little direct exposure to other cultures traditionally implied that Swedes were less most likely to use up this extremely un-Swedish practice.

Yet, regardless of their relatively cool outside, Swedish individuals will generally be respectful and friendly, albeit just in a various method to those from more talkative cultures.

In a nation that revers simpleness and functionality, it’s finest not to talk without a factor.

( Video by Björn Nilsson, text by Yasmin El- Beih)

This video belongs toBBC Reel’s The Nordic Way playlist

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