Scandinavia’s Elephant in the Living Room: Beggars and Gypsies

Living in Norway and Sweden, we see it every day but no one wants to talk about this? Letters from Norway goes there, sharing our observations, and asking the difficult questions about beggars and gypsies in the Nordics. Underneath the surface, there is an organization that lives in the shadows.


The American perspective on Gypsies

  • Cartoons and television portrayals
  • Borat Movie

Personal Gypsy Stories & Experiences

  • Oslo, Norway
    • The morning pep talk in front of the central train station,
    • Impossible to eat in peace on the park benches along Karl Johan,
    • Sofienberg Park.
  • Gothenburg, Sweden
    • 50+ plus gathering at the central train station,
    • Gypsies cursing those with small donations,
    • Beggars gambling in the casinos,
    • Selling fake pot (tree bark).

“If the begging is profitable, they stay miserable…. [Giving money] improves the acute situation. At the same time, it contributes to making the bigger issue permanent — the misery…. It will not help the Roma, but it gives you a chance to feel like a good person. … The basic concept of racism is precisely that we as westerners and Swedes are far superior (smarter) and that the Roma are inferior (dumber). If this… is not racist then I do not know what is. … One could add that the image is inverted among Roma. They consider themselves superior and smart, while the gadjo (non-gypsies) are stupid, naïve and gullible.” — Karl-Olov Arnstberg, Swedish ethnologist


  • Dress with big pockets, designed for efficient shoplifting,
  • Prey on gullibility and naivety of Scandinavians,
  • Starving children pictures

Source: The Mirror Chiefs in the past had to fight for the title, but Ladislav, 53, beat 18 others with a big fat load of votes.


Where Did This All Start?

  • Origins?
  • The Danish approach
  • Generational issue and cycle of poverty
  • Why do Scandinavians give them money in the first place?

Why Scandinavia?

  • Wealthy and open societies,
  • Political correctness shields them from the law.

The Double Standard

  • What if a Nordic family was doing this?
  • Child Welfare
  • Child marriages
  • Human trafficking
  • Tax evasion
  • Indentured Servitude

Wrap Up

“It is our very strong recommendation not to give money to beggars. It turns the panhandling into an occupation… To give [money] encourages a life with no future; moving from country to country does not solve their problems.” — Florin Ivanovici, director of the Life and Light Foundation, Bucharest, Romania.


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