Nej Tack! Jag är vagetarian.–
..and it will lead to a long list of questions that any vegetarian is tired of answering hundreds of times. Funny thing is, the questions are same, no matter where you go and live.
När blev du vegetarian? (when you became vegetarian?)
Men äter du fisk, ägg ? kan du dricka mjölk och äta smör??? (But do you eat fish?? can you drink milk and eat butter?)
Hur får du protein??!!! (How do you get protein?)
har du aldrig smokat kött??!! ..ahann!!! (have you never tasted meat??!!! ahhaan!!)
And there are endless iterations..Some people look at me in amazement when I say that I am brought up as vegetarian.
Sweden is a cold land where people cannot even think spending a day without meat, fish and eggs. It was not so easy to get even a good vegetarian dish in restaurents just few years back, when my husband was in this city for few months. It’s a place of ‘köttbullar (meatballs)’ where we just get a soup, boiled potato and salad in the name of a green meal. This is certainly not a complete meal for a person who comes from a country which is well-known for spices and a rich food culture.
But it is becoming more and more vegetarian/vegan friendly..
Nevertheless, I have successfully managed to eat just vegetables, fruits and grains even though it felt odd-on-out sometimes. Thanks to the latest mantra airing in Sweden about eating vegetarian meal once in a week. I also read about studies which says that 10% of people in Sweden are vegetarian now, making it one of the most vegan and vegetarian friendly countries. There are many restaurants serving only veg-meals in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Almost all restaurants serve at-least one dish for us which makes life easier now. There is also a vegetarian version of meatballs which is served with different salads and baked dishes.
For Indians, like in any other country, we have our Indian grocery stores in major cities. There are even other stores that import grocery from different eastern countries, including India, where we find basic ingredients. It was just in past few days when I was surprised to find all basic Indian spices in City Gross super market.
Above all, your choice is always respected in this country. For any planned social event, some arrangement is done for all kind of people based on preferences. It has not been so difficult to be a vegetarian and it is going to be better only in future 🙂