The Swedish Tradition of Not Feeding Other People's Children

A few days ago, on Ask Reddit, a user askedWhat is the weirdest thing you had to do at someone else’s house because of their culture/religion?”

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Wowimatard shared a strange experience from Sweden:

I remember going to my swedish friends house.

And while we were playing in his room, his mom yelled that dinner was ready. And check this. He told me to WAIT in his room while they ate.

Other users shared that this is an unusual, but not unknown practice in Sweden. When children visit the homes of other children, there’s no expectation that the guest children will be fed.

Why? The Washington Post investigated. It consulted a variety of experts on Swedish culture, including the food historian Richard Tellström at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Tellström explained that in the past, feeding someone else’s children would be considered an insult:

“Eating was something that you did at home,” he says. “You didn’t feed other people’s children — that would have been considered a sort of intrusion in another family’s life, with the subtext of ‘You can’t feed your children properly, so I will feed them.’”

Tellström speculates that this now fading tradition was likely due to the atomistic development of families in rural Sweden. Dining with people other than your immediate family was unusual and thus providing food hospitality outside of the family would not be customary.

-via Marginal Revolution | Photo: Vitold Muratov

Source: neatorama

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