Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Swedish neighbor - this is how we are

How to behave as a neighbor is something you think about as an alien in a new country. There might be unknown borders you should never cross, things that should be done and others that shouldn't. One of the major Swedish newspapers had an interesting article about the average Swedish neighbor today.

I read it with great interest, it's always good to know what you're like, what habits I'm bringing to the new country... According to the researcher the newspaper have interviewed, Cecilia Henning, friends and neighbors are two different concepts, not to be mixed. Swedish neighbors are keen on their autonomy, we don't want to have any social debts.

And a Swedish neighbor...

... is careful and won't easily let the neighbor through the door ("över tröskeln")

... seeks harmony and rather avoids the neighbor than confronts them

... nurture his integrity but wants some, however shallow, contact

... wants to return services, and it's important to invite back

... will call and say thanks after a nice "encounter" ("tackar för senast")

... is dependent on his independence.

(freely translated from the article).

There you know, alla non-Swedish readers!


miranda said...

Well blow all that deary! You're still coming over for coffee some time!
(If u want of course!)

Isle Dance said...

This is so true for me...due to genetic (?!) disposition and role-modeling, indeed.

Matildas fikarum said...

Sweden is very oldfashioned in many ways, and reserved.

JaCal said...

Miranda - haha! I'm actually not sure I'm like that. I'll come over - but for tea! ;-)

Isle Dance - there, now you know! ;-)

Matilda - yes, maybe, but Americans do have their ways too. It sure would be like to read a more international study of the differences in "neighborhooding"... They did make some references to southern Europe in the article, but not very detailed.