Swedes are humble people. They don't show off. Or, if they do they do it in a subtle way. Even the rich and successful Swedes, like for example the members of ABBA, are approachable and rarely try display their financial power through material possessions.
Swedish goals in life
In Sweden, people don't strive to become richest or best at something. They are happy with a few things already.
As a proper Swede your main goals in life should be: Villa, Volvo, Vovve (literally: house, Volvo, dog)
Goal #1: Villa
Let's start with the house. It doesn't have to be a biiig house. A small, wooden one already does the job. Those houses can be cheap in Sweden, depending on the location, of course. You can buy one for 50.000 Euros, somewhere in the forest.
Goal #2: Volvo
To accelerate the integration process in Sweden, good advice would be to drive a Volvo. To decrease integration speed, particularly in conversations about cars, you should mention that Volvo nowadays is owned by a Chinese company. Swedes try not to think about that too much. They rather want their car brands to be purely Swedish – just as Swedish as Volvo-ambassador Zlatan.
Volvos are considered reasonable cars: appealing looks, solid, safety-oriented, not showing off too much. Just like Swedes – when they’re sober
Swedes consider Volvo as the safe choice. No one can turn up one's nose when you tell them you drive a Volvo V70 or V90. It’s the car everyone can drive – it's classless in Sweden. Teachers, plumbers, architects and royals alike. No one looks over- or underdressed in a Volvo – at least not in Sweden.
You drive a Volvo in Sweden, you’ll never have to explain why you made this choice over another car.
Now, if you really don’t want to drive a Volvo, show some respect to the taste of Swedes, at least get a kombi (estate wagon) from another manufacturer.
If you don't like a Volvo, then consider buying a Saab kombi. Any other, more fancy brand can be perceived as offensive by average neighbors if you're living outside the center of Stockholm.
‘Why not a sports car?‘ you wonder. Well you can have one, but it’ll make it even more difficult for your neighbor to invite you over to the next BBQ. He just doesn’t want to feel boring, standing next to you, having to explain the benefits of having a hitch and lots of space in the trunk. And thereby justifying his buying decision and lifestyle choice.
20% of all cars on Swedish roads are Volvos
Goal #2: Vovve
Get a proper dog. One that cats don't laugh about. Can Chihuahuas be considered ‘real dogs'?
The top three most popular dogs in Sweden are:
- Labrador retriever
- Schäfer (German Shepherd)
- Golden retriever
You should also consider giving your dog a typical Swedish dog name. The most popular names for dogs in Sweden: Molly for her and Ludde for him.
Villa Volvo Vovve
Now, if you've checked all boxes of your ‘life-goal-to-do-list', you can put your Ludde or Molly in the trunk of your Volvo estate car or play with him or her in the backyard of your Swedish house.