Take home messages

IMG_5976 Some of my teachers finish their classes with a summary of main ideas. They call it “Take home messages”. This post is not about that, really.

When I leave this country I will bring with me learnings, traditions, memories and other stuff currently I am not aware of. I have, at least 9 months ahead to live this city and this land but now I can start building the list.

That will be the message I will be carrying when I return home, maybe it will not necessarily be my home country. Currently, I acknowledge Stockholm as my place but I know that will not last forever.

Shoes for outside, shoes for inside: my home, wherever it is, will always have a place to leave the shoes at its entrance. The place to change them to the inside shoes, slippers, sandals… Visitors will be invited to leave their shoes but not forced. We do not receive visitors that often and we do not want to annoy or scare them.

Being like a Swede: in Spanish there is a saying, hacerse el sueco (being like a Swede), that means “to play dumb”, pretending that a matter is not with you, even if it involves you. One of the many theories of its origin comes from the barrier the Swedish language was to communicate with Swedes sailors and that they used sometime to avoid giving a response pretending they did not understand. Now being like a Swede will have an extended meaning for me.

Sweden is the perfect country:  I think I mentioned it here once: in Colombia we use Sweden as the paradigm of best policies, best civilian behavior, best social welfare and many other “best”. Now I know that Swedes are human like us :). That their country has many beautiful and good things but that it also has defects. That they are not pure socialism (and 13% voting for far right party and its forthcoming consequences reminded it us in the hard way). Now when somebody makes that comparison of Sweden with perfection I will have arguments to teach that person some facts about the country. After that he or she can think that this country is even better than the paradigm.

Sweden has a lot to teach: Despite its defects, we have huge amounts of things to learn from this country. The first would be respect for the other person.

Feminism: I thought I was a kind of feminist before coming Sweden. But living here allowed me to notice that there are some behaviors, inherited from my culture, that are not really favorable to women values. We have a long way to improve living and working conditions for women. They do not have a perfect life here but in this case I think it is one of the paradigms of perfection I need to keep.

Miscellaneous (under construction): Universities can be focused in the learning process instead of the grades. Family support and relations in my country is something we need to value. That you can send valuables by common mail, and that you can have a decent and trustworthy public mail service. That you can take your stuff from the table after the lunch and put it on a tray in a cart; your ego will be ok after that. Recycling and reusing is a real option. Restrooms could be used by both sexes (although it is still somehow shocking for me). A forgiven wallet can be found in the same place, intact, the following day (I have had astonishing good experiences of this in Colombia, by the way).

I am sure I also brought some messages from my country. And maybe somebody uncorked the bottle and took the paper to read that message. Hope it was good and understandable.


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