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Beyond Fika

The A–Z of Swedish Habits Demystified
Mattias Axelsson
154 pages

150 kr

Out of stock

Far from lagom. Why do Swedes eat sweets on Saturdays only? Where does snus originate from? When did the first smörgåsbord appear? What is kosläpp? How many times has Sweden won Eurovision? At what occasions should you offer gifts? Beyond Fika is a comprehensive guide to Swedish habits and traditions. In an accessible A–Z format, it answers all the questions you have about contemporary life in the Nordics: – Celebrate official and unofficial festivals such as Waffle Day, Lucia, Walpurgis and Little Saturday. – Understand concepts that are unique for Swedish: “passa på”, “badkruka” and “söndagsångest”. – Join others for events and know the etiquette: crayfish parties, funerals and brännboll. – Try traditional food and beverages: falukorv, hushållsost, new potatoes, beer, snaps, julmust, smörgåstårta and kebab pizza. – Understand the underlying reasons for everyday habits and typical behaviours: splitting bills, avoiding small talk, queueing, and saying thanks. Beyond Fika is an indispensable and entertaining resource for anyone interested in Swedish culture and society beyond the clichés. Mattias Axelsson is a teacher of history, religion and social sciences as well as an acknowledged expert on Swedish holidays and traditions.

  • Historical and contemporary traditions and festivals.
  • Uniquely Swedish concepts: “passa på”, “bensträckare”, “lattepappa” and “egentid”.
  • Concrete advice for taking part in events and gatherings: children’s parties, “brännboll” and the office Christmas party.
  • Food and drink for informal and formal occasions.
  • Typically Swedish behaviours and habits: VAB, queueing, queuing for Systembolaget.
Mattias Axelsson

Mattias Axelsson


Mattias Axelsson is a teacher of history, religion and social sciences. He is a well-renowned expert on Swedish traditions and everyday life. He is regularly present in newspapers and radio on these topics. Mattias is also known as the last person curating the official Twitter account of Sweden. Mattias is the author of Tacos, tvättstuga och tack för senast. 

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Press Coverage

Mattias är gäst i Snedtänkt – Sveriges radio 19/12 2019

Mattias Axelsson blottlägger svenska vanor (Mattias Axelsson reveals Swedish Habits) – Göteborg direkt 7/11 2019


Julen är inte hotad (There is no threat on Christmas) – Aftonbladet 5/11 2019

Halloween är numera en svensk tradition – (Halloween has become a Swedish tradition) SVT opinion 31/10 2019

Nationalsången är inte alls förbjuden på skolavslutningen (The National anthem is not banned for end-of-semester celebrations) – Expressen

Att var rädd för det nya är inget nytt – (To fear the new is nothing new) Aftonbladet

Därför äter vi ägg på påsken – (Why we eat eggs for Easter) Expressen