Sweden meets France

As dinner time was approaching on the 25th of July, I contacted my dinner exchange partner for today, Mathis from France, to decide on where and when to meet.

After some trouble with the communication – due to poor wifi-connection – we found each other and started heading towards my unit and the awaiting dinner. Mathis had brought two friends of his, and back at my unit where about thirty-five Swedish scouts, excited to meet our guests.

After some initial akward moments where no one really knew what to say, we started comparing and discussing the differences and similarities between our two countries. Having a close friend who’s parents are from France, I thought I knew quite a lot about the country- but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It turned out that I had a lot to learn about the French school system, the food culture, and tons of other things. Likewise, I taught the French scouts everything that’s worth knowing about Sweden: the tradition of midsummer celebration, the legacy of ABBA, and the definition of the word “lagom” (a Swedish word that is used to describe something that is neither too much, nor too little).

When everyone had finished eating, I invited our guests to try some Swedish candy (more specifically, Ahlgrens bilar) as well as “knäckebröd”, a form of dried bread that is extremely popular in Sweden. This turned out to be the highlight of the day- especially for my fellow unit friends, who saw their chance to finish off the bag with candy afterwards, something that was really appreciated.

Overall, the dinner exchange was a pleasant experience that I’d definitely do again if given the possibility!


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