Archive for March 24th, 2016

March 24, 2016

Fika

tosse bageriet

coffee break

Fika [fee-kah] is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning ‘to have coffee,’ often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches. A more contemporary generalized meaning of the word, where the coffee may be replaced by tea or even juice, lemonade or squash for children, has become widespread. In some social circles, even just a sandwich or a small meal may be denoted a fika similar to the English concept of afternoon tea. In Sweden pastries in general (for example cinnamon buns) are often referred to as ‘fikabröd’ (‘fika bread’).

Fika is a common practice at workplaces in Sweden where it constitutes at least one break during a normal workday. Often, two fikas are taken in a day at around 9:00 in the morning and 3:00 in the afternoon. The work fika is an important social event where employees can gather and socialize to discuss private and professional matters. It is not uncommon for management to join employees and to some extent it can even be considered impolite not to join one’s colleagues at fika. The practice is not limited to any specific sector of the labor market and is considered normal practice even in government administration.

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