In my last post I told you about the guy who killed the duck, another topic that we talked about during our dinner was dating.
My chinese friend said that if a couple have a date, it’s very important for the guy to cover all the expenses. If he can’t pay all of it or none of it it’s a terrible failure and he would feel very ashamed.
In Sweden we love equality. If you as a girl go on a date with a guy you are very happy if he pay on the first date. If you go on a second dinner date, you probably split the note or the girl might pay all of it because he payed the last time. It’s no discussion, that’s how it is. If someone gives you something you always try your best to give something back. If a boy pay the movie tickets, then the girl will probably pay the next time they go to the movies or the dinner afterwards. But as long as you don’t share economy it’s most likely that you will pay your own tickets.
It’s different with gifts. If you receive a gift you don’t have to give something back, but you must show your appreciation by saying thank you and give a hug. When you are being invited for dinner to someone then you should bring a flower as to say “thank you for the invitation”. You bring a gift to show that you are a kind person and that you want peace.
When invited to someone’s birthday you don’t have to buy a thing as a present, a bunch of flowers is a perfect gift as long as the person isn’t allergic.
Another thing about dating in Sweden is that you don’t really go on “dates”. You hang out with each other more like you hang out with your friends, which sometimes can make it quite confusing because you can’t always be sure of what the other person really feels, if you don’t tell each other to the face.
The equality thinking runs through the whole swedish society. By using the words “she” and “he” you put a label on people. You say “that is a boy” or “that is a girl” and people immidiately get a picture in their head with a stereotypic picture of a girl or a boy, instead of “that is a human”.
The swedish words are “hon” (she) and “han” (he), to make the language less judgemental the word “hen” has become more and more used. (Not to be confused with the english word.)
So instead of teaching the children that there we are different because our bodies are different, we say “hen” to remove the stereotypic thinking and show that everyone is equal. It might sound strange, but think it through for a while and then decide what you really think.
I put these posts in the category Travel because it’s a travel in culture even though we don’t go further than to our friends’ house.
Tonight I’m leaving for Helsinki, so the next update will be from an actual physical trip.