If you have seen the hashtag #Swedengate floating around on Twitter and your curiosity made you click on it, you perhaps know what the outburst is all about. In brief, the Internet turned on Sweden after learning that Swedes do not feed their house guests, specifically the visiting friends of their kids. You might wonder – how people even unveiled that this was a “Swedish thing?”
A Redditor, wowimatard, shared this bizarre happening by replying to another Reddit user’s question. Sebastian25525 asked, “What is the weirdest thing you had to do at someone else’s house because of their culture/religion?” However, this wasn’t the only interesting reply. Many more people have shared their ‘weird’ experiences visiting someone. We cherry-picked the most interesting ones for your entertainment, so scroll below and give them a read!
Have you ever experienced something unusual or perhaps unfamiliar regarding culture/religion/ideology when visiting someone at their house?
More info: Reddit
#1 Guests Have To Wait Until Hosts Have Lunch
I remember going to my Swedish friend’s 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.
That s**t was f*****g wild.
#2 Asking The Ambulance Doctors To Take Off The Shoes While Attending A Person In Cardiac Arrest
I work for the ambulance service and I was asked to take my shoes off before attending to their mother in cardiac arrest. Politely reminded them that there was a time and place
#3 Thinking That The Peace Sign Means A Broken Cross
I went over to a friend’s house for a sleepover and when I changed into my pajamas her mom started demanding I put something else on and throw my pajamas out. I was really confused, she was yelling about how my pajamas were sinful and bore signs of the devil! I ended up just calling my mom to take me home because I was so uncomfortable, but that woman just kept scolding us for allowing me to wear satanic symbols.
The symbols on my pajamas? Peace signs. She said they were broken crosses, so clearly a sign of the devil.
#4 Paying For Meal While Visiting Your Friends
I went over to my friends house to play D&D in high school, and my friends mom made lunch for the 7 of us. It was really good. We were just playing D&D and eating tacos, and after we all finished the lunch, everyone started pulling out cash. I was super confused.
My friend turned to me and asked, “Do you have your $5?”
So apparently we were supposed to pay for the meal. I was incredibly embarrassed. One of my other friends ended up paying for me. I never played D&D at that house ever again…
Edit: This happened in SoCal. They were just a standard American household as far as I was aware. The food was homemade. D&D is Dungeons and Dragons. It’s a role-playing game. Also, I can confirm that my friend was not taking the money. I literally saw him give it to his mom.
#5 Delivering Bags Of Food To Poor Families
I grew up in a highly Mormon area, so most of my friends in school were Mormon, and I was occasionally invited into their more intimate Holiday celebrations for example.
One year, they gave me bags of food and drove me to a random house, then told me I had to go in and Deliver the bags to the people inside (A big family who currently have no means of financial support) as a secret Santa.
It was a wonderful gesture, but I felt really awkward being asked to do this in a stranger’s house, but they asked me to do it for the expressed reason that I was a stranger, and they wouldn’t know who had donated the food.
#6 Overly Friendly Work Outing
I used to have a job that rented a lot of houses and properties in Southern California. Part of my job was meeting with property owners and to close a deal with them. One day I go to this man’s house in laguna Beach, as in his house was ON the beach. I was meeting with an insanely wealthy but also insanely nice Asian man who I had met a couple of times before and we had somewhat of a work type relationship. As i begin to bring up the deal to be made, he suggests we walk to the beach first, (I was ready to get home, it was Saturday) so we start walking, talking about life etc. He then proceeded to hold my hand, interlocked finger style, for the whole walk. I was originally wielded out by it but when I brought it up to a coworker he said it’s just a part of their culture. He also made me wear his personal house slippers to be allowed entry into his home. Just cultural differences but it still cracks me up that the most romantic beach walk I’ve ever had in my life was with an 75 yo something man millionaire.
#7 Discussing A Girl’s Worth In Cows And Dollars Before Her Marriage
I used to mentor a girl from Uganda. I walked in on her family discussing the marriage of their daughter (older sister of my mentee) to the son of the other family. They were debating how many cows and dollars she was worth. Women are not allowed to be in the room when the trading happens. It was my first day as her mentor and I walked in the front door and suddenly I was smack dab right in the room with a bunch of huge guys that were having the discussion of this girl’s worth. It was bonkers.
#8 Only Males Are Allowed To Sit On The Furniture
Not sit on the furniture because only the males were allowed to. Kneel facing the wall while the 3 males in the house stood behind me and prayed in a cadence that got louder and louder until they were screaming about how to wear makeup is to create attraction, to create attraction is to create lust and to create lust is to SIN. I was 18 and wearing makeup. Legit I thought I was about to be beheaded.
#9 Forbidding Even Little Boys To See The House Owner’s Wife
I was prohibited from going to the lobby of the house or get out of the room without giving a warning first because I was prohibited to meet the wife of the host since I am a man. I was 10 years old by the way.
#10 Eating Dessert On The Back Of The Plate
Went to a friends house for dinner a lovely meal. The whole family cleaned their plates of food then turned them over and ate dessert on the back of their plates like it was the most normal thing in the world. I copied them just to be polite.
#11 Going To Sauna With Other People Without Any Clothes
When meeting my Finnish fiancées’ family, I was invited to a sauna with her brother. No clothes allowed. 10/10 would sweat with my boy again
#12 Raising Children In Ultra Religious Way
I didn’t personally experience this because I left the one time they tried to force me but my friend’s parents mainly her super ultra Christian preacher stepfather made her shower with a bathing suit on because he believed the only time you should be naked is when changing or to reproduce/when a man wants sex otherwise you’ll be too “tempted by your own lust.” and “nakedness invites the devil in.” This poor girl hadn’t bathed naked in years and we were in middle school. She never smelled cause she would rub soap through the bathing suit but she had yeast infections all the time if I remember right.
I started inviting her to my house as often as I could just so she could properly shower. Unfortunately, her life hasn’t been easy. We haven’t spoken in years but I think about her sometimes. Her parents were raising her to be the “perfect” Christian housewife. They monitored everything she did. She developed a horrible eating disorder because they told her no one would love her if she was even chubby and that she was “letting the devil win” if she ever indulged. She was expected to “take care of the house” despite being the youngest child as according to them god designed women to be housewives. They refused to let her attend sex ed and basically told her when the time comes her future husband’s pleasure is the only thing that matters, that he will teach her what to do. They refused to even let her use tampons because they believe it would “deflower” her. She was always happy to be able to use them instead of bulky pads, I gave her the locker combo for my locker and showed her a little baggie of tampons she could get whenever she needed them. She was scared her controlling parents would check her locker and find them (they did regularly check it, her mom was a coach at the school) so they stayed in mine.
I ended up having to teach her sex Ed and encouraged her to eat more. The encouragement didn’t work that great so instead, I would bring her smoothies loaded with as many vitamins and calories that I could hide in it. I’m talking I using heavy cream instead of milk type thing. She had it in her head that smoothies couldn’t possibly have a lot of calories. I know it’s not right to purposely deceive someone into eating something but she was literally fainting from just walking because her body was so weak. I was a kid who didn’t have any other resources to help, she did seem to get a little better once I started giving her the smoothies.
She ended up lashing out at her parents, having risky sex, and ultimately ended up in a car wreck that caused pretty extensive brain damage. The wreck killed 2 other people, my old friend was still in high school and a teacher had been driving while texting on the way to school. Her seat belt failed and she went through the windshield but somehow survived. She had a long road to recovery but has gained most function back from what I’ve heard. Her childhood was tragic and very damaging but I love seeing the cute pictures of her with her girlfriend living far away from her awful family. We drifted apart when I moved away.
#13 Praying Before Eating For 5 Straight Minutes
When the host has been saying grace for 5 straight minutes and we’re all still holding hands in a big circle as if we’re trying to summon a spirit, it feels pretty weird.
#14 Drinking Only Milk For Dinner
Drinking only milk for dinner.
Don’t get me wrong, I like milk and will freely drink it at times but one time at my high school girlfriend’s house I had dinner. I was helping set the table and her mom started to pour milk in all the glasses. Not wanting to be rude and ask for soda or something I simply said “I’ll just have water”. She replied with “the Bible says milk is served with supper”
No clue if this is a thing or not. It was the first and last time I’ve ever heard it but the memory has stuck with me 20+ years later.
Edit 1: sorry to all the people who got scammed thinking it was a story about drinking only milk without food. There was food (don’t remember what) but I see how the first line can seem otherwise.
Edit 2: thank you everyone mentioning/ quoting the McPoyles. I’ve never heard of them and have only seen a few episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Now I have something new to watch.
#15 Must Have Ice Cream After Dinner
Must have ice cream after dinner, even a spoonful was enough. My friend invited me for a sleepover and his dad took out a small bucket of ice cream, turns out they have a separate freezer just for ice cream. Friend’s mom didn’t want any so she just took a spoonful from her husband. His dad would offer me ice cream whenever he can. We went for a drive and his dad saw a Dairy Queen we went there and spent an hour inside trying every kind of ice cream they had.
His mom wasn’t any different but it was with making sure the meal was balance, doesn’t matter if you ate a dozen fried chicken but you better eat a lot of vegetables with it.
I thought that they probably grew up poor and ice cream was a luxury his dad never had and maybe his mom wasn’t able to eat much.
My paternal grandma was unwilling to let a guest go home without eating anything.
#16 Asking People To Do Some Work Instead On Shabbat
When I lived in Antwerp (Belgium), I once was stopped by an elderly, woman on the street. She was asking for help inside her house. Guiding me through a house where the temperature was way too hot, she stopped at every radiator and asked me to turn them down. In the end, we went to the kitchen, where some Jewish women and children were watching me silently while I was putting all the burning gas stoves on a low heat. Then she showed me out, thanked me and closed the door.
In Antwerp there is a big community of Hasidic Jews, I can imagine this was during sabbath.
#17 Considering It A Sin For Boys To See Young Women
I had a neighborhood friend that I played on the street with and at school sometimes. her mom and dad always told me I wasn’t allowed to be in the same room as my friends older brothers because seeing young women was a sin for unmarried men. I was 10 at the most. the youngest of her older brothers was 16. when i was asked by my friend to sleep over for her birthday I was told by her and her mother that I needed to remain in my friends bedroom. her mother would bring us food and drinks and take us to go to the bathroom whenever it was safe. I told my sister about it the next day and she told me I wasn’t allowed to go near their house or my friend again. to this day I still don’t know if it was actually due to culture/religion or if maybe they just had a really f****n weird family.
#18 Celebrating Christmas Like A Birthday Party
I grew up in the crazy religious house and since Santa Claus was secular, he was completely removed from anything to do with our Christmas. Instead, we celebrated Christmas like an actual birthday party complete with cake and singing happy birthday to Jesus
EDIT: For all the people correctly describing Santa Claus as St. Nick (religious figure), my family believed Catholics were going to hell because praying to Saints is akin to praying to an idol or false god. Secular was probably the incorrect word, but they definitely saw St Nick and the Santa Claus character as a threat to “real” Christmas.
#19 Challenging The House Host To A Sword Duel
As a Greek, I had to challenge the house host to a sword duel because he was a Turk and I had the moral obligation to do so
#20 Forbidding Playing Witches
I was kicked out of a elementary school friend’s birthday party because another friend and I played “witches” in her treehouse. She was Southern Baptist. There was a literal cauldron in her treehouse, I stand by my decision.