TikToker reveals the wildest ‘culture shocks’ she experienced after moving to Sweden

A woman is going viral after sharing the biggest “culture shocks” she experienced after moving to Sweden.

The list of surprising cultural differences comes courtesy of a TikTok user named Madeline (@madelineraeaway). In her clip, the Canadian-born TikToker shared several rules, norms and traditions she had to learn when relocating to Sweden.

Videos like Madeline’s are an ongoing trend on TikTok. In late 2020, an American teacher went viral after sharing the biggest things she learned after moving to Denmark. A few months later, a teenager sparked a debate on the app after comparing Australian and American high schools, and a college student did the same for British and American colleges.

Madeline’s clip, which drew more than 7 million views, features some of the most fascinating culture shocks yet. In it, the TikToker reveals her surprise over Swedish dancing rules, parental leave and why Swedes “only” eat candy on Saturdays.


“I have laundry time booked” is a perfectly good excuse to cancel plans in Sweden 🙃 #cultureshock #cultureshockchallenge #livingabroad #sverige

♬ Wiggin’ out – Orchestra Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

There are plenty of interesting cultural differences in the video — and Madeline has other videos with even more — but TikTok users seemed particularly hung up on two claims.

The first was Madeline’s realization that many Swedes only eat candy on Saturdays. According to Atlas Obscura, it’s a tradition that stems back to the late 1940s, when a Swedish study discovered a link between tooth decay and frequent candy consumption.

As a solution, many parents started giving their kids one “free day” to eat candy. The phenomenon even has a name: lördagsgodis, which roughly translates to “Saturday candy.”

Then, there was Madeline’s claim that Swedish bars need a “permit” in order to let patrons dance. As the TikToker explained in her video’s comments, that claim was mostly a joke based on now-outdated laws in the country.

That said, there’s plenty of truth to her joke. The Independent reported that the law, which dates back to the 1970s, still existed in some form all the way into the 2010s.

Overall, TikTok users were completely blown away by Madeline’s video.

“Candy only on Saturday? Scratching Sweden off the bucket list,” one user joked.

“What do you mean a dancing permit?” another asked.

“Never move to Sweden,” another joked.

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