Here follows a list of some things that can be really helpful to know about, to make your life a bit easier, or more fun, if you are new to living in Sweden.foto: Oscar Helgstrand
Here follows a list of some things that can be really helpful to know about, to make your life a bit easier, or more fun, if you are new to living in Sweden.
1. 1177 - Vårdguiden
“Vårdguiden” can be translated into Health Care Guide, and it is a website which offers a lot of information regarding how Swedish health care works. On the website you can for example search for different diseases and get information on where you can get treatment for it, and what kind of treatment you can expect to receive. It also covers how the health care system works and what laws there are. Additionally, it is possible to translate their website to 20 other languages, and if you have any specific questions, you can call the number 1177, where they also offer phone services in English.
“Allemansrätten”, meaning the right of public access, is a right, protected by the Swedish constitutional laws which implies that everyone has access to nature. This means that you for example have the right to enjoy nature by walking, canoeing, cycling or camping. However, freedom comes with responsibility and there are laws which determines what is allowed, and not. The general rule is “Do not destroy, do not disturb”, which means that you should respect the nature, and the people around you. There are also certain rules in some areas, and if you want more information, you can visit Naturvårdsverkets website.
“Fritidsgårdar” are youth clubs financed, and driven by the municipalities were children and teenagers can hang out after school, often under adult supervision. These youth clubs offer a safe space for young people, and give them access to computers and other material such as ping pong tables, pool tables and footballs. Most of the time there are also free activities which you can sign up for such as dancing or playing music together.
4. Family over work
Sweden is quite a prestigious country and many value education, experience and a good career. However, family life is still considered the most important aspect of life, in most cases. No one is going to question you about staying home from work to take care of your sick children, or going to see your daughters football match. Most people would never even think about interfering with someone's parental schedule, so don’t feel afraid to take a few hours off for your family's duties.
5. Celebrating weekends
In Sweden, people often make a big deal of celebrating that the work week is finally over. After work on Friday most families will have “Fredagsmys” together, which means having a nice dinner together, for instance pizza or tacos, and then gathering in the sofa to watch a film or a TV program. Mostly the film time is accompanied with some kind of snacks, such as popcorn or crisps. However, it doesn’t end there. Swedes also have a well-established tradition of “Lördags godis”, which means eating quite a large number of sweets on Saturday. This is socially accepted to do for adults as well as children!