Far from lagom. Why do Swedes eat sweets on Saturdays only? Where does snus originate from? When did the first smörgåsbord appear? What is kosläpp? How many times has Sweden won Eurovision? At what occasions should you offer gifts? Beyond Fika is a comprehensive guide to Swedish habits and traditions. In an accessible A–Z format, it answers all the questions you have about contemporary life in the Nordics:
- Celebrate official and unofficial festivals such as Waffle Day, Lucia, Walpurgis and Little Saturday.
- Understand concepts that are unique for Swedish: passa på, badkruka and söndagsångest.
- Join others for events and know the etiquette: crayfish parties, funerals and brännboll.
- Try traditional food and beverages: falukorv, hushållsost, new potatoes, beer, snaps, julmust, smörgåstårta and kebab pizza.
- Understand the underlying reasons for everyday habits and typical behaviours: splitting bills, avoiding small talk, queueing, and saying thanks. Beyond Fika is an indispensable and entertaining resource for anyone interested in Swedish culture and society beyond the clichés.
Mattias Axelsson is a teacher of history, religion, and social sciences as well as an acknowledged expert on Swedish holidays and traditions.
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