By Kai Teo
Malmö is probably the coolest city in Sweden. It isn’t the biggest, we don’t have a subway, and some say we have a fucked up accent.
Well, whatever you say, we’re still the coolest. With a population of about 300,000, it’s the third biggest city in the country, and undoubtedly the most globalised one. About 35% of those of us who live here are immigrants (this number fluctuates sometimes due to mass deportation of refugees, which is disturbing), and we’ve got a big-ass bridge that takes us straight to Christiania.
And because we’re a melting pot of cultures, people in Malmö tend to be very enthusiastic in trying to stand out and identify themselves as unique individuals. That’s where things get a little interesting. Through years of thorough social research and observational studies, Buddha Mag has come to realise that many people fit straight into the stereotypes of their subcultures and have no qualms about screaming to the world about it.
So here’s who you’d spot in our city, and how to identify them:
1. The obvious hipster
Yes, we know that the hipster isn’t easily defined and can’t be put into a certain box. But hipsters in Malmö want you to know that they’re hipsters. And they all wear the same shit, listen to the same shit, and talk about the same shit.
The easiest way to notice them would be the beanies that they have precariously placed on top of their heads. They kinda look like half-removed condoms. The men would usually sport a moustache that is pointed at the ends, or a Viking beard that can put Gandalf in the back seat. Some hipster women might have moustaches too.
Glasses. Oh god. Everyone either has silver aviator glasses, or a huge grandma-style squarish frame that was kinda big back in the 70s. Nah, the thick black ones have gone out of fashion. They were cool before it became cool.
They usually put on superhero T-shirts such as Ninja Turtles or Superman or go for the usual checked shirt. During summers, most of them appear on the streets wearing hideous Hawaiian shirts and super tight and unsightly shorts that reveal their hipster camel toes.
Blue Ribbon or locally brewed IPA is their poison of choice. They usually appear at Moriskan, Simpan, Le Le (the cheap Chinese place by Bergsgatan) or Metro.
Oh, and they’re usually vegetarians, and very vocal about it. Most of them have sailor ink, feathers, or owls tattooed.
2. The “I am so punk” sit-everywhere person
We love punks. They fuck with society in everyway they can. They’re usually unemployed, look angry, and own a big dog that resembles a mongrel. And they have a rather easy-to-adopt appearance that is quite a big thing in town.
Pop by Hang Bar on a Friday evening and just watch. Everyone’s in the uniform. Studded (and we mean, STUDDED) denim jackets or vests overcrowded with patches of punk bands, anarchy signs, feminist signs, vegan signs and other signs. Random, bathroom style haircuts with a few dreadlocks here and there and a nose piercing. Look out also for the full sleeve tattoos.
In the day, they sit around just about everywhere and drink cheap smuggled beers. And they’re too cool to talk to you.
3. The “Love everything and do yoga” hippie
Hippies are great. I mean, they love the world and kinda want to change it for the better. But the thing about the hippies in Malmö is that many of them own iPhones. Yea, so they go on about love and going organic and all that shit, and they post it up on their Facebook.
They’re usually spotted with hardcore blond dreadlocks, haram pants, barefooted (not a smart thing to do in the streets of Malmö), loads of beads and shit, and mandala tattoos or like birds and flowers.
They can be spotted at forest raves (woohoo!) and free yoga sessions in the park. Keywords: kundalini, acroyoga, juggling, ouchmyfeethurts.
4. The activist for everything
Veganism, Feminism, immigration policies, student loan policies, political parties – you name it, they’d fight for it.
The activists for everything are rather difficult to identify on the streets, because they consist of people from many walks of life, though most of them are students studying human rights and stuff.
Facebook is where you can find them most active. It’s fucking great, make no mistake, that they’re fighting for the good stuff. But this particular activist posts 30 articles everyday telling you to “Believe this”, “Do that”, “Share this”. And sometimes, it feels like they don’t do anything else. Some call it dedication, others call them an irritation. We call it, “I know, but please allow me to have my own opinion.”
The thing is, we love activism. But activism with an open mind and heart is what we’re lacking here. Talk to one of these activists, offer a differing view in hope of a discussion, and wham! You are now public enemy number one. Don’t even try.
5. The "I have many children" beggar
We’ve heard mixed opinions about beggars on our streets. Are they part of a syndicate? Or do some of them really need help?
Whatever it is, it doesn’t hurt to buy them a meal if you don’t want to offer cash. Many beggars guilt trip you big time when they come up to you, tell you about their hungry kids, and tell you that if you have money to have a beer at a pub, you can spare them some cash.
Well, we don’t carry cash around. It’s a card city here. I think we should try to start some campaign with the city council to equip these beggars with bankcard readers. Yea, then we’d have no more excuses not to give.
But be nice to this group of people. Buy them a meal, give them a cigarette. Don’t let them give you shit for not giving though, you’re not obliged to. Don’t be mean, no one’s obliged to not kick you in the face either. And don’t ignore them too, they’re our fellow Malmö dwellers for fuck’s sake, at least say hi.
6. The posh pricks
Branded bags, branded clothes, branded sunglasses, branded everything. These people love to show their brands. The bigger the better. If they can wear a shirt that has “Gucci” plastered all over it, they would.
We have no idea what these people work as or where they get the money to buy that ugly designer shit. But we know where they hang out. Lilla Torg – expensive drinks, really bad RnB music, hideous spray tans and slick back hair.
A special mention about the hair though. It’s like every dude has it when you walk around the main shopping street. Shaved at the sides and back, with the floppy top part of the hair gelled or waxed backwards. It was cool in 2006, but now it’s exclusively reserved for men who like bad electronic music and take selfies.
7. The can fan
Probably the most efficient non-organised city cleaning system in the world, Malmö’s can collectors get 1 kr for every can that they bring to back to the supermarket. Sit around in the park and you’d see them walking around making sure that the park is clear of rubbish.
Well, not really. I know they’re doing their jobs, but some of them can be quite mean to one another. They fight over territories and talk shit about other can collectors, sometimes even dishing out racist comments.
And if your can is not printed with the Swedish recycling logo, they don’t get cash for it. And their helpfulness kinda stops there.
8. The steroid meat loaf
You’ve seen him around. And you don’t want him anywhere near you. These guys look like Transformers made out of meat, or the Hulk without the green, nor the brains.
They’re loud, boisterous, and are so damn stereotypically manly you suspect they might have issues with their sexuality. In their world, they use terms like anabolic, pectorals, traps and lats, and they always have a protein shake within reach.
I know I’m risking my life here talking about them like that. But Buddha Mag’s all about the truth, and we want the world to see the truth. And it’s great that they go to the gym a lot, at least they’re healthier than anyone in our crew.
Disclaimer: If you’re offended by what you’ve just read, don’t worry, we’re not talking about you, or your friend.