The typical party conversation for me goes like this:
X: Where are you from?
Me: Germany and you?
One of the 3 answers will usually follow…
X1: Ohhhhh another German… (Yup…)
X2: Well at least you don’t have to feel lonely here. (Actually, I moved to another country to meet some people who are not necessarily German so that was not my goal to begin with but sure…it’s great)
X3: I will probably learn more German here than Swedish. (Probably true)
Yes, there are many many Germans coming to Sweden to study and/or to stay. And everyone who comes here and did not expect this disproportional amount of us wonders why. So here I am, revealing the secret to you of why we’re really all here.
Reason no 1:
Germans LOVE ABBA! At least in my family, the ABBA best of play-list is played on EVERY family reunion, or birthday, or Christmas. A party that does not play at least 2 ABBA songs is an official fail, no further questions asked (and everyone who says that’s not true is just trying to play it cool, seriously). ABBA IS LIFE!
Reason no 2:
Even more than ABBA, Germans love IKEA. It’s not a place to buy furniture, it’s the little bit of Scandinavia feeling we are all longing for, right in the grey German everyday life. Germans go to IKEA like it’s an excursion. You don’t need to need anything to go to IKEA. Just laying on all the cozy beds, buying weird stuffed animals, plants, and kitchen utensils you don’t really need, or just having a cheap lunch is enough reason for every German to be convinced that another trip to IKEA is overdue!
Reason no 3:
I am not even joking when I say I moved to Sweden because of Astrid Lindgren books and movies. As really ALL German kids know her stories, she spoiled us with this perfect utopian idea of Sweden: happy blonde kids, red houses by a lake, girls that can lift horses, chill with monkeys, and are allowed to live without their parents and just play all day: this must be the real Sweden!
We are all just here to chase our Swedish utopia and make it real. So next time you meet yet another German on a party, don’t judge them all for being here, just start singing “Dancing Queen” to them or ask them if they want to join you for a trip to Ikea next week, and I promise you, you just made a new friend!