Thursday, April 19, 2018

Culture and Food

Rasmus Callerhorn
MC Junior from Sweden

Swedish people and American people are very different. With only three words to describe either I would say that Swedish people are selfish, quiet, and tall. Three words for Americans are friendly, talkative, and diverse. The difference is huge, and for a lot of international students or people traveling a lot they know that there are culture shocks when it comes to everyday interactions with people. Swedish people usually don't engage in conversation if they do not have something important to say, and most of the time they don't even greet people they know when passing them by. Americans are the complete opposite, they are nice and always very talkative, random people can come up to you and start conversations, they hold open the door for you.

Someone like me who grew up in Sweden probably looks like the biggest introvert to Americans, but the Swedish norms are just so ingrained in me at this point. When I came to America I only greeted people if they greeted me, I usually look at the ground to avoid eye contact. Something that is common for Swedish people to say about Americans and one of the big problems for us is that it seems like you have a lot of friends but no close friends. Friends in Sweden are usually your closest friends that you interact with on a day to day bases, and little to no interaction with random people happens. For someone who is coming to America for the first time get ready for a lot of nice people who will have a friendly greeting, but be careful because most of them do not actually want to engage in conversations. 

I always had a hard time with people asking me "what's up?" I started to engage in conversation when they really just wanted you to say "good, how about you?". People that greet you do not always want to start a conversation which is very different from Sweden, only time someone would say something is when they wanted to talk to you.