When Elisabeth Asbrink invites you to visit her in Stockholm, Sweden, be sure to wear your very best socks.
“I hate it when people walk into my home in their shoes. In that way I am extremely Swedish,” she said. “We find it very, very rude.”
Removing your shoes before entering a home is a universal norm in Sweden, Asbrink says — but not a lesson her immigrant parents, born in Budapest and London, ever taught her.
“When they went to the homes of colleagues and friends they would dress up, then had to have dinner in their socks. Which they found very strange,” Asbrink recalled. “They believed that it was an old tradition, from when Sweden was a peasant country full of earth and mud.”
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