Swedish Culture

Do's and Don'ts

Do’s

  • Pay attention to personal space. Maintain a little over an arm’s length of distance and limit the amount of touching in a conversation. It can cause discomfort for your Swedish counterpart to invade their personal space.
  • Try to participate in ‘fika’ (coffee/tea, light snacks and conversations) if the opportunity arises. Many Swedes enjoy fika in both the workplace and in their day-to-day lives.
  • Engage in conversation about nature. Swedes are proud of their natural landscapes and many enjoy spending time in nature.
  • Be punctual for any appointment. Swedes place a high value on being at any appointment just on time (not too early, not too late). If you will be late, let your Swedish counterpart know.
  • Try and remain tidy as Swedes believe being neat reflects a sense of consideration towards others. For example, avoid littering, walking into someone’s home without taking your shoes off or spitting in public.


Do not’s

  • Do not boast about yourself or exaggerate your achievements. Swedes appreciate a sense of modesty.
  • Do not make jokes or refer to stereotypes about different ethnicities or cultures. This is likely to be met with disapproval.
  • Be aware that raised voices and highly animated body language may irritate or exasperate your Swedish counterpart.
  • Exercise discretion when discussing the arrival and settlement of refugees and migrants in Sweden, and be aware that you may not be able to presume somebody’s position or education on the matter. Avoid making comparisons with Australia’s migration as it occurs under a different context and scale.
  • Avoid making comparisons between Sweden and other Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland) that homogenise the people.
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Sweden
  • Population
    9,960,487
    [July 2017 est.]
  • Languages
    Swedish (official)
    Official Minority Languages:
    Finnish
    Sami
    Romani
    Yiddish
    Meankieli
  • Religions
    Church of Sweden (Lutheran Christianity) (63%)
    Other (includes other branches of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism) (17%)
    [2016 est.]
  • Ethnicities
    Swedish (82.4%)
    Finnish (1.5%)
    Syrian (1.5%)
    Iraqi (1.3%)
    Polish (0.8%)
    Irani (0.7%)
    Sami (0.3%)
    Other (11.8%)
    Note: The Swedish Government reports ethnicity by country of birth
  • Cultural Dimensions
    31
    71
    5
    29
    53
    78
  • Australians with Swedish Ancestry
    40,214 [2016 census]
Swedish in Australia
  • Population
    9,553
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Sweden.
  • Average Age
    40
  • Gender
    Male (44.7%)
    Female (55.3%)
  • Religion
    Lutheran Christianity (26.5%)
    Anglican Christianity (5.6%)
    No religion (41.3)
    Not stated (5.5%)
  • Ancestry
    Swedish (83.1%)
    Australian (6.0%)
    Finnish (3.9%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Swedish (52.4%)
    English (41.3%)
    Finnish (0.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 97.6% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (33.6%)
    Queensland (24.1%)
    Victoria (21.0%)
    Western Australia (11.5%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (58.0%)
    2001-2006 (16.9%)
    2007-2011 (21.5%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/6/se.svg Flag Country Sweden