Welcome to Sweden: Why the new sitcom sucks

Swedish sitcom, Welcome to Sweden

Maybe you heard that Sweden’s TV4 is airing a sitcom called Welcome to Sweden about an American guy who falls in love with a hot Swedish woman and leaves his great job in NYC to move to Stockholm?

Well, that’s pretty much my story about moving to Sweden. Except that I moved from New Jersey and had no job or money when I moved here. On the other hand, my Swedish wife IS hot, so there’s one similarity.

Welcome to Sweden disappoints

In one of the opening scenes, the Swedish customs agent looks through every last inch of the American guy’s baggage and asks him a bunch of tough questions.

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5 essential Swedish words

zlatanThe following five Swedish words will teach you about Swedish culture and help you learn Swedish.

Jantelagen — the literal translation is Jante law. If you follow the rules of Jantelagen, you are never supposed think you’re anything special. Don’t stick out in a crowd. The concept is similar to small poppy syndrome. How do you embarass a Swede? Tell them they’re good at something. Nine times out of ten they’ll blush and say, “Nejjjjj!” That’s janteglagen.

Lagom means just the right amount. Excess is frowned upon in traditional Swedish culture. In a way, lagom is related to Jantelagen. Here’s an example: My inlaws dislike Sweden’s best soccer play, Zlatan Ibrahamovic because he is “too flashy” and generally just too much, too good, too loud, and too cocky. There’s a typical Swedish phrase that describes this mentality perfectly — “Lagom is best.” Read More