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Svenskar i världens enkät om svenskar utomlands // survey on Swedes abroad
“För att få veta mer om utlandssvenskarna har vi satt ihop en enkät som vi skulle bli väldigt tacksam för om ni tog er tid att svara på. Sprid den gärna vidare till svenska klubbar och föreningar eller vänner som bor utomlands. Ditt deltagande kommer att hjälpa oss i vårt fortsatta arbete som utlandssvenskarnas främsta intresseorganisation. Notera att enkäten endast riktar sig till svenskar som för närvarande bor utomlands och alltså inte de som har sin hemvist i Sverige. Det är heller ingen medlemsundersökning, utan öppen för alla svenskar som bor utomlands.”
One of the best things with living in different countries, and being exposed to various cultures, is that you get a bunch of new traditions to take on. You can choose freely – adopt the ones that appeal to you and fit your regular schedule of celebrations. It can be big; it can be small. As an expat; try to celebrate with locals if you can. If you moved already, keep the traditions – sometimes they prove to grow even stronger!
In my case there seems to be a strong connection between traditions and food. Anyone else? This year, with a bunch of friends from different parts of the world, we decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo; because of the Mexican food. But we also looked up some information about the tradition, and background, so we all learnt something new. We had a wonderful evening and will most likely do it again.
Thanksgiving is coming up, closely followed by 1st of Advent. Again; food involved. But we must not forget the most important ingredients – people and the opportunities/excuses to get together!
What are your traditions? Have you started any new ones? What happens when you move – do the traditions grow in importance or do they tend to fade away? Would love to hear your comments!
As I´m making pancakes for dinner I think about how this is one of the easy dishes that has followed us around the world. No matter where we have lived there has always been milk, flour and eggs for pancakes. We almost always make the thin ones. Sometimes a thick version in the oven, and occasionally American with baking powder. You say the word and everyone has their own perception of the dish in their mind. In Switzerland I remember inviting an American family over for an afternoon playdate. I made pancakes. Oh, the disappointment in the eyes of the visiting boys as we sat down to eat. Their mother tried desperately to explain how exciting it would be to try Swedish pancakes. But no. It just wasn´t their kind of pancake. To them the relocation to Europe was probably enough at the time. “Leave our pancakes alone!” #TCK
Do you know we use pancake in some Swedish idiomatic expressions ? Literal translations follows.
Upp som en sol ner som en pannkaka – Up like a sun down like a pancake
Himmel och pannkaka – Heaven and pancake
Det blir bara pannkaka av alltihop – It will all just be pancake
Fall is here. The beautiful, rich colors and the crispy air. And, oh yes, the rain. But let´s just forget about the rain for now. It doesn´t go with the picture. The leaves are turning my garden into an explosion of nuances. It´s like a firework leaving confetti to nurture eye and soul, as well as the lawn. The last brave rosebuds stand strong in the wind, and the blueberries … well, why haven´t they been picked by now?!
Indoors the colors tend to follow the nature´s. Summery shades and patterns are replaced with warm orange and deep reds. Burgundy. Candles, textiles and decorative items add to the luxury of warming up in front of the fire place after a forest walk. A glass of red. Memories from expatriate postings come to life with tiny crafted hedgehogs, autumnal recipe books from overseas and … ahem; the inflatable pumpkin.
Living in a foreign country exposes you to new things; food, language, customs and rituals as well as people and sites – in one word; culture. Part of the culture are also items for your home, may it be decorations or gadgets. They might be beautiful or downright ugly, but they fascinate you, intrigue you or you just fall in love with them and purchase them to be part of your multi culture. Often this is done upon returning to your home country, or at least leaving the host country. It might be furniture, art objects, tacky tourist thingamabobs. Or simply items only found in the place you live right now. Like a Dalahorse or a cucko clock.
What have you incorporated when furnishing, decorating and accessorizing your home?
Me? I have a giant Swiss cow bell hanging by the kitchen window.
“6 juni”. This used to be Swedish Flag Day. At school, as a teen, we celebrated with parade and flags. I remember once wearing shoelaces in yellow and blue. I don´t think I have celebrated since. Not in Sweden, but as a Swedish expat for sure. That´s what happens when you move abroad. The heritage you always took for granted becomes important.
June 6 was renamed National Day in 1983. Only made a public holiday seven years ago I guess not enough time has passed to establish any traditions. Why not start now? Consider the fact that we actually are able to celebrate – not a sure thing everywhere. Think about generations to come – traditions have to start somewhere! Do it for the children! Involve them.
Who is most likely to celebrate? Swedes abroad? Expats in Sweden? Hemvändare/repats? New Swedes? How will you celebrate? Any suggestions where to go or what to do?
Jordgubbstårta (strawberry cake) will be part of my new traditional National Day of Sweden. I might go for the shoelace-thing too.