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What do you do when a person comes to your house during meal time?  For us Filipinos, we often greet incoming visitors with a cheerful “kain tayo,” even if it means dividing what’s still left on the dining table. We never fail to offer something even a piece of snack if someone suddenly shows up on our doorstep. In provinces, guests are even treated to an impromptu feast to show how the hosts are delighted to have people visit their place. But come to a Swedish person’s house during meal time it would be a different story. This is according to a Reddit post that’s been trending recently.

As read on the screenshot of the post, the person visited his friend’s house in Sweden only to be led to a waiting room while the friend’s family finished their dinner. When the story got shared on Twitter, people reacted up a storm calling the incident #swedengate.

Many blamed it as a part of Swedish culture that has been ingrained for generations.


 Some netizens, however, defended the situation saying that if an unexpected person would drop by their doorstep, they would also do the same thing.

Coming from a country with a reputed hospitable attitude and outlook, we would hastily think how cold this Swedish custom can be. However, we need to see the bigger picture and not just from a cultural standpoint to understand where this practice is rooted from. According to the website, askbygeeks.com, Swedish people have a mindset that values equality and independence. With this kind of thinking, Swedes don’t really intend on snubbing their guests. They just don’t want people to form a sense of obligation or rather burden the person as if they’ll have to return the favor to the host. On the other hand, countries with welcoming practices are said to have developed the innate need to feed people after surviving a long history of deprivation, hence the empathy to invite and share. It certainly makes sense.

Another reason also comes from a practical perspective. When an uninvited person suddenly arrives at your doorstep wouldn’t you also feel so unprepared and taken aback by how should you entertain the surprised guest? It would be a cinch if you have ready-stocked meals and treats on hand. But let’s be honest—not everyone is as well prepared or eager to share their blessings. Unfortunately, this time the world’s spotlight is put on Sweden.

When the situation does arise in your part of the world, how would you react? Let us know!

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