FOR CULTURE

Sweden boasts itself in outdoor adventure, minimalism and deep rooted traditions.

From colorful Midsommar flowers to cheerful kids dressed on Påsk to coping with dark Nordic winters, we've covered them all in this section!

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How did the Fika culture begin? Let's talk Fika!
 

We have all heard of Midsommar. But what exactly is Midsommar and how do Swedes celebrate it?

Did you know that Påsk is celebrated somewhat similar to Halloween in Sweden? 

Can winter in Sweden be hard? How does one cope with Nordic winters?

Are there organizations in specific cities of Sweden to help newcomers?

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Aline Lessner/imagebank.sweden.se

How did the Fika culture begin? Let's talk Fika!

Fika is an ingrained part of the Swedish culture. But what really is Fika? Pairing a cup of piping hot coffee accompanied by a sugary pastry often surrounded by good company. As this can be as therapeutic as it sounds, Fika is often practised in companies, social gatherings or just a casual catch-up with a friend! Taking breaks never felt so good!  It is a tradition that happens several times a day. 

 

It is said that during the 18th century, coffee (kaffi) alone was considered fika, however, over the years people began consuming coffee along with sweet bread (fika bröd). It was then in the 19th century that coffee with sweet pastries such as the classic princess cake (prinsesstårta) to Semla and Cinnamon bun (kanelbulle) grew the fika culture. 

 

Check out Visit Sweden for more information

 
 

We have all heard of Midsommar. But what exactly is Midsommar and how do Swedes celebrate it?

Imagine: Lush green meadows, freshly bloomed colourful flowers often found worn around the heads of many, birds chirping through the woods, brightly lit summer sun that never sleeps and people filled with joy! These are some common sights and experiences of Midsommar (Midsummer in English) in Sweden. :)

 

Midsommar is a celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year that takes place in the month of June every year. People usually move out from towns and head to the countryside for large gatherings. It’s a bonus if you are invited by a local Swede to their summer house called landställe in the countryside. It is celebrated around a maypole where people raise it together and sing and dance around it. The dance is often referred to as the frog dance! 

After Chritsmas, Midsommar’s eve  is Sweden’s second biggest celebration. While most of this celebration revolves around traditional lunch feasts and drinks- it’s much more than that.  

You can read more by visiting Visit Sweden's website.

 

 

Did you know that Påsk is celebrated somewhat similar to Halloween in Sweden? 

Glad Påsk! Literally translates to Happy Easter! 

Yet another colourful festival that lights up the country with joy! From a plethora of goodies on the allies of Willys, Co-op, Lidl etc. to yellow toy chicks to cute little bunnies displayed around the cities, Oh and not to mention the trees decorated with little colourful feather ornaments! Påsk is a festival to be cherished in Sweden. And just like Midsommar, Easter too should be celebrated in the country-side.
Sweden celebrates Easter like no other. Children are often dressed up like cute witches and go house to house to present some drawings and paintings in return for some påskgodis! (easter candies) Though it may sound similar to Halloween, it isn’t the same! 

The cravings for candies does not end there! Parents often make their kids search for hidden eggs (påskäggs) filled with more candies just like in a treasure hunt. 

No festival is ever a festival without food! During Easter, Swedes prefer pickled herring, pickled anchovies, some hot baked potatoes with cream and some schnapps!

 

Can winter in Sweden be hard? How does one cope with Nordic winters?

 

Winters in Sweden can be really enchanting and something worth experiencing! 

Due to its elongated geographical (shape), Sweden has short winters in the central and southern Sweden, and quite severe and long winters  in the north and northeast.  

 

Whether you stay up north or down south and are not quite used to Nordic winters, you might want to mentally and physically prepare yourself for some really dark days. The sun may show up for a couple of hours a day, sometimes it may not show up at all! 

But, worry not! You can get through winters by staying active and socialising! 

Sweden offers plenty of skiing activities by the mountains, if you aren’t a fan of skiing you could meet up with some friends by the cute cafes or even visit some museums together! 

 

Through these all, be sure to look after your health as you may be bound to be deficient with vitamins especially vitamin D.  

Thus, cultivating a disciplined and healthy lifestyle can definitely help you get through the dark winters of Sweden.

For more information about Swedish culture- check out  The Newbie Guide to Sweden, our partner. They have a collection of guides, blog posts and courses to help you start your new life in Sweden.

Are there organizations in specific cities of Sweden to help newcomers?

 

Some cities in Sweden have information points for newcomer.

Usually it is organised by the municipalities. They hold informative events for newcomers covering topics such as how to find a job in Sweden, open a bank account, or live as parents in Sweden. In some cities, they also have drop ins hours where you can come and ask your questions directly to their consultants. Sometimes, they also organise social events where you can meet other newcomers or established migrants. Below are some information points in several cities in Sweden:

 

Göteborg

International House Gothenburg

Järnvägsgatan 3

413 27 Göteborg

contact@internationalhousegothenburg.com

 

Helsingborg

Helsingborg International Connection

Drottninggatan 7A

252 21 Helsingborg

info@hiconnections.eu

 

Lund

International Citizen Hub Lund

Ekska huset, Sankt Petri Kyrkogata 4 Lund

lich@lund.se

 

Uppsala

Uppsala International Hub

Stationsgatan 12

753 75 Uppsala

international@uppsala.se