How Swedish Can You Be?
Join the Sweden Challenge!
Solve the tasks just for yourself to discover Sweden and the Swedes in a more authentic and entertaining way, or share your progress on Facebook or Instagram.
Become a Master of Sweden by solving all 10 tasks.
Instructions how you can join, and a shareable image with all 10 tasks, further below…
10 Sweden Challenge tasks
- Have a fika
Try typical Swedish pastry, like a kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) and en kopp kaffe (a cup of coffee) in a cozy Swedish café.
Order “En kaffe och en kanelbulle, tack!”
More about how to have a Swedish fika, here.
- Order a drink in Swedish
Here is how to order a …
- Have smalltalk with a Swede about the weather
You can use any language, it doesn't have to be Swedish.
Swedes like to speak about the weather in small talk situations.
- Get a nummerlapp
Nummerlapp is a ticket from a ticketdispenser. You find them in many stores, banks, post offices and pharmacies. (It still happens that I go into a store and wait in the queue, not realizing for several minutes that I should have taken a ticket from a ticketautomat (ticketdispenser). Embarrassing.)
- Pick godis (candy) from a godisvägg (candy wall, in supermarkets) into a little paper bag.
Try Swedish liquorice! Swedes love it. It's salty. You will either love or (most likely) hate it.
More about Swedish candy from the candy wall.
- Open a can of surströmming
Surströmming is fermented herring. But first, let a Swede explain to you why you MUST NOT open it inside a building. It’s up to you if you – after having experienced the “distinct” smell of it – want to actually try the taste if a bit of surströmming.
More about what can happen if you open a can of Swedish surströmming.
- Go into a Systembolaget
Systembolaget is a Swedish alcohol chain, owned by the Swedish state. It's actually the only proper alcohol store there is. Swedes really seem to like their alcohol to be sold by a state-owned chain, and it has to be expensive. So, check out the prices of your favorite drinks and gasp ;) More about drinking alcohol in Sweden – rules and culture.
- Dance Små grodorna
Små grodorna is a typcal Swedish midsummer dance. You hav to dance like little frogs in a circle. Ask a Swede for proper instructions, and have a big laugh together. More about Swedish midsummer traditions.
- Sing the song Helan går
Helan går is a song that Swedes love to sing when they drink a snaps or any kind of spirits from a shot glas. You can learn it quickly, you find the lyrics and a video, here.
- Jump into a lake
Preferably from a brygga (jetty). Swedes enjoy spending time in the beautiful Swedish nature. And what can be more fun experiencing it than having a dip into one of the idyllic lakes or waters at the stunning archipelagos which you can find plentyful at the coastline of Sweden.
How you can join the Sweden Challenge
Share your progress online, or do the tasks just for yourself.
- Take a photo or video that shows you solving one of the 10 Sweden Challenge tasks (see above)
- Add the hashtag #SwedenChallenge
- Add the tag @hejsweden to the description of your photo or video and publish it (publicly visible) on your Instagram or Facebook
Share the link to this page https://hejsweden.com/en/sweden-challenge/ or the image below with your friends!
Save the image below to your phone or share it with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest or any other social channel:
To learn more how to act like a typical Swede, read my book How to be Swedish – A Quick Guide to Swedishness – in 55 Steps.
You find the old list with 25 tasks, here