Ask Quora Anything: Sweden

The Internet is full of answers. If you know where to look, probably you will find answers to everything you are curious about. Blogs, forums, websites or even social media site are content-rich platforms that give answers to your questions. But what do people talk about Sweden online? How do people feel about this promising country? What are their observations?

I assume, you all want to hear answers of these questions. That’s why I made a comprehensive research to make your life easier. I have checked most of questions asked by people about Sweden on and I have curated them for you. I have listed some questions and respective answers from locals, immigrants and Swedes.

One of the most popular questions in Quora: Is Sweden a socialist country?

Every user has his/her own idea about this question because Politics has always been a controversial topic. However, a Quora user, Ryan Murphy, who has been living in living in Skåne and Småland for 4 years, has a great answer to this question:

“Sweden is the antithesis of itself. It is simultaneously the most individualist mentality of any society on earth, and a would-be Utopian social welfare state.”

Another user, Emil Wannheden, who obtained a BA degree in Philosophy and a MSc degree in Development Economies, gives very detailed answer regarding to the question:

“It’s an oversimplification to call Sweden ‘socialist’. While it’s true that Sweden has been ruled by the Social Democratic Party (“socialdemokraterna”) for most of the 20th century, and without interruption from 1932 to 1976, there are several reasons which suggest Sweden is not socialist:

  • Sweden has had a strong free trade-orientation since the 19th century. The Swedish economy is small, specialized, open and dependent on exports, which has helped generated money for a generous welfare state.
  • Connected to this: Sweden has become very business-friendly. Entrepreneurship is openly encouraged in every possible way, which is why such a small country has spawned Skype, Spotify, Minecraft…
  • Sweden’s defense relies on NATO. Sweden isn’t a member of NATO formally but that doesn’t change the fact that Sweden depends upon the United States for its security. In EU context, Sweden is very vocal in its criticisms against human rights violations in states such as Russia and China, compared to countries such as Italy or eastern European states.”

Another frequently asked question about Sweden is about coffee culture. Users regularly raised a question: Why do Swedish people drink so much coffee?

For me, this is also one of questions that I have always asked myself. However, Swedes have very logical and funny answers to this question.

Mark Schneider, self-described Stockholm resident, explains why coffee is a huge thing in Sweden.

“Due to a combination of historical and cultural factors. The beverage coffee was first popularized in Sweden by King Karl XII in the year 1678. When he returned after a trip from Turkey, he started cooking coffee – about 3 litres a day. In the year 1700 coffee drinking became a fashion amongst men in coffee houses in connection with political discussions (women could not vote until 1919 in Sweden), business deals and card gambling. In the year 1800 the beverage seriously took a liking to the Swedish population also in connection with the country’s industrialization when more people started to travel in the country. Back then, Sweden only had about 2.3 million inhabitants. “

Dax Balladares has a different opinion about why coffee is so popular: “ Because alcohol is so expensive :-P”

Another question that you may be curious about: What are some negatives about Stockholm, Sweden?

 It is important to know what others think about the capital city. Probably your way in Sweden will pass through Stockholm. As I guessed, most of answers to this question cover some points I have also noticed.

Pekka Kohonen, a Researcher living in Solna, says: “The biggest negative is the housing situation. I don’t really think there are other negatives. In my opinion public transportation works great and has a high density. It is also clean and feels safe to travel, which is not the case in many other cities (including London, at least about the cleanliness). Also nice art in the Stockholm subway… I think it has great cultural offerings for a city of its size (obviously London has more but is many times bigger). Also in terms of food there are great ethnic restaurants, if one knows where to look.”

Henrik Bergström, who has been living and working in Stockholm since 1995, have another opinion about the city. He says, “Cars are too prioritized in city planning, I think. Yet there are a lot of problems with congested streets, lack of parking, etc.

I would like to see increased focus on pedestrians, bicycles, buses, etc. in the city center.”

If you have more questions to ask, Quora can be a good option for you. There are plenty of people who are waiting you to give an answer. Or alternatively, you always ask your questions in comments section below.

Andaç Baran

Written by Andaç Baran

17 Feb 2016