Zara Larsson Weighs In on Viral Debate About Swedes Not Feeding Guests

An online debate has started over whether or not Swedish people feed their guests, with pop star Zara Larsson weighing in on the subject.

Across Reddit, commenters were comparing strange cultural differences they've encountered at people's houses, as Sweden's unusual habit was put under the spotlight. People revealed their experiences of going to a Swedish friend's house and having to wait in another room while the family ate their meal together.

Thousand's of people weighed in on the debate across Reddit and Twitter, and then Larsson added her thoughts. Larsson is best known for her own song "Never Forget You" with MNEK, and also for lending her vocals to Clean Bandit's No. 1 hit "Symphony."

Zara Larsson
An online debate has started over whether or not Swedish people feed their guests, with pop star Zara Larsson weighing in on the subject. In this combination image, Zara Larsson attends Billboard Women in Music 2022 at YouTube Theater on March 02, 2022 an inset of the Swedish flag, Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images/i Stock

"I remember going to my Swedish friend's house," a Reddit user wrote, "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." The comment was upvoted over 10,000 times on Reddit as people reacted to the account.

"I slept over at a friend's house," another user wrote in reply, sharing another incident at a Swede's house. When we woke up, he said he's going downstairs for a few minutes. After about 15 minutes I go on the stairs to see wtf is happening and they're eating breakfast. They see me and tell me he's almost done and will be up there soon." The story concluded with the user writing: "I still think about that s*** 25 years later."

A screenshot of the stories has been shared across other social media platforms. It led musician Larsson to share it and write: "Peak Swedish culture <3 :'-)" -- seemingly confirming such behavior is indeed a part of the country's culture.

A Twitter user replied to Larsson's tweet and wrote they they twisted one or two toys while they waited for their friend to finish. Replying with a laugh, Larsson wrote: "You deserved that!"

The recollections by the Reddit users continued to confuse many online. @SamQari got over 80,000 likes for sharing them on Twitter: "Not here to judge but I don't understand this. How're you going to eat without inviting your friend?" he wrote.

Replying to the thread, @CDahlsjo seemingly offered a Swedish perspective. "This was the way we did it when I grew up. I thought it was super normal until I came to the UK and they were appalled! One of my friends didn't have a lot of money so if there were leftovers we let her have some AFTER we had finished," their account finish with the face palm emoji.

"I grew up like this, and it was out of respect for the visiting child's parents who may have planned dinner which would then get wasted. Also, sitting down to dinner as a family was an important part of the day, so you shouldn't mess with another's family's meal time," @Tyckmyckna recalled and added: "Your friend could absolutely have dinner (or any other meal) with your family, stay over etc - if it was planned and agreed beforehand."

The habit is seemingly being discussed over on Swedish Twitter too. A Google translation of a tweet from @NNorrhall calls for it to be a part of Swedish culture with must "die out." He called it "Insane behavior."

An Instagram account @loverofgeography also addressed this trend and compared the trait of Swedish people not feeding their guests with the rest of Europe.

The post explains how countries that don't appear to feed their guests (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway) tend to be more "economical" with their food.

Zara Larsson and Swedish food
Zara Larsson pictured at Manchester Pride in 2021. The Swedish pop star has weighed in on an online debate suggesting people from Sweden don't feed their guests. Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images