More precisely, I’m back! It has been some time since I have made a post here, but what is life without a little anticipation 🙂
Today I would like to talk about my holiday vacation in Stockholm. Unlike most of my classmates I stayed in town to enjoy the city like the Swedes do. The Jul celebration (Christmas) here was done a little differently than it would have gone in the US. I arrived at my family’s house here around 3:00 and spent time with everyone until the Disney Christmas special came on. This is the first Jul tradition celebrated here. This hour long special takes clips from several Disney movies (usually the songs), dubs it over into Swedish, and puts it all together. The younger kids sit and laugh throughout it while the adults talk about if they are alright that they changed the special this year. Ok, that last part is not a yearly tradition, but I’m sure there is always something to talk about. After that, everyone sits down at the dinner table and get’s ready for the meal. This is the second tradition. The common food items include: salmon with dill, potatoes, meatballs, sausage, and to drink there is glögg, julmust, or beer. Then comes the third tradition. Everyone gathers around the tree to open presents. Once everyone has dispersed to enjoy what they have gotten the night is concluded.
The first and third tradition are different that what is custom in the US. There is not one single Christmas special that everyone watches. There are several that people can choose from to watch, if any. Also, kids are supposed to wait until Christmas morning to open the presents. Santa Claus plays a bigger role in the US. He comes by Christmas eve to drop off presents from everyone so if the kids don’t sleep well at night they might scare him off and he might not give them their presents. Even though there might be Santa Claus imagery in Sweden, it doesn’t seem like kids are led to believe that story which I found interesting.
A few days after Christmas I had to get ready for New Years. This was very similar to the US. Then again it is difficult to mess up staying up and enjoying fireworks. I had dinner at a friends apartment. With several people showing up, we introduced ourselves and got to know each other as best that we could before dinner. Once we finished eating, we split up into groups and took a quiz of some of the major events of the past year. We didn’t know there was going to be a small prize but it was fun to see how passionate people got into it. We were half an hour to the new year. We all bundled up and headed out to a local hill where you could see most of Stockholm. Because there is not as much legal trouble buying fireworks in Sweden as there is in the States, once New Years came you could see fireworks going up all over the city. In this way I enjoy New Years here than back home. We spent almost an hour looking at the show over Stockholm. People from our group then split up and went either home or to different parties.
Now it’s time to switch gears back to school. Hopefully this term is as fun as the last one!