Growing up in Sweden
What does it mean to be a child in Sweden? Growing up in Sweden has many benefits.
Learn about school and vacation, family and leisure time, culture, hobbies and joining a club. What is Swedish children’s literature and do all parents work? Is there a support system for the young and how many children really play an instrument?
www.sweden.se shares the full story on Growing up in Sweden.
Swedish music – in Swedish
Swedish music – in Swedish. Far more popular today than a couple of decades ago when English was the only thinkable language if you wanted to grow a career as an artist.
Music is very much a part of a country’s culture. It is a way to stay connected to the home culture and language once you move abroad, as well as an excellent way to learn a new language and connect with the culture in a hosting country.
I sometimes get questions about recommendations for Swedish music – where the singing is done in Swedish. I usually share it on twitter or e-mail, or in person. I have also done a few blog posts on the topic earlier. Today it crossed my mind; why not make it a series of blog posts? So here goes; a post in the series Swedish music – in Swedish.
Today I present Lars Winnerbäck and his song Utkast till ett brev (Draft for a Letter)
Swedish music – in Swedish for learning the lingo
Since I am teaching Swedish on-line, I sometimes make glossaries for Swedish music to give my students, together with links to videos and texts. You can find an example here.
Learn the Swedish language by listening to music
Learning a language it is beneficial to listen to and sing along to music in that language. You learn new words but more importantly you get a sense of the rhythm and intonation of the language, as well as learning pronunciation.
Below is a link to a popular summer song in Swedish, by Tomas Ledin. It is called “Sommaren är kort” – summer is short.
video with sing-along text.
To learn the Swedish language by listening to music you need to pick up the words in the song. I have made a Sommaren är kort – glosor translating Swedish into English.
Midsummer in Sweden or elsewhere, or just interested in learning what it is all about?
Flowers in your hair – as a crown -, Swedish smörgåsbord when it comes to food or just the herring and new potatoes. Midsummer pole and traditional dancing, picking wildflowers and … rain. All is Midsummer.
I found an article in New York Times very well describing a Midsummer Day’s Dream. Read it here!
So sweet and longed for. We Swedes always claim Swedish strawberries are the best; special. Grown in the open, taking their time to ripen they are a must on Midsummer. As almost every day during summer. Is there a better snack really? I love having them for breakfast too. On top of the muesli and sometimes on a piece of freshly baked bread with cream cheese.
Sometimes I pick my own strawberries; living in Switzerland a Swedish friend and I hired a babysitter to take the babies on a walk along the fields so we could introduce the toddlers to strawberry picking! Not price smart, however that was not the point.
en jordgubbe – a/one strawberry
två jordgubbar – two strawberries
den jordgubben – that strawberry
mogna jordgubbar – ripe strawberries
Jordgubbarna är söta. The strawberries are sweet.
jordgubbssylt – strawberry jam
jordgubbssaft – strawberry juice/squash/cordial
en jordgubbstårta – a strawberry cake
att rensa jordgubbar – to rinse strawberries
att snoppa jordgubbar – to hull strawberries
Winter in Sweden can be amazingly beautiful. It can also be very long 🙂 . I have moved on to spring.
It was believed that the Easter witches during the week of Easter flew to a place called Blåkulla and then back again. In order to try and scare them away on their return bon fires were lit. We still have the tradition of the fires, mostly on the West coast and south of Sweden. Fires are lit on the Saturday of Easter.
Last year I remember we had a very vivid discussion in my expat network about the Swedish tradition of dressing up as an Easter witch. People were appalled by the thought of it; seeing Easter witches as something dark and scary. It can be hard to understand and accept other culture’s traditions and it can be equally hard for a person familiar to them to get why they can be provoking or upsetting. We are usually so caught up with and used to the traditions (hence the word) that we don’t really think about the whys and hows and what it can possible look like to an outsider.
I tried to explain that the Easter dressing up is like Halloween – kids knock on doors, sometimes leaving a homemade Easter card and hope for candy in return. But we all have different references to witches (come on, we do!) and it wasn’t until I googled pictures of cute little Easter witches that we all agreed that it wasn’t such a bad thing after all! Boys and girls dress up in long colorful skirts and headscarves (the most important attribute) and red colored cheeks and lots of freckles. Lately we also see little Easter Men and Bunnies.
The word “påskkärring” actually does not even mean Easter witch but rather “Easter Old Woman”. There is very little in common with the witches people believed in during the 17th Century – also people did not drink coffee in Sweden at the time, and a dressed up kid usually carries a coffee pot around accompanying the broomstick; sometimes even a black cat.
So, when can you expect them to arrive – the kids, not the witches? On the West coast of Sweden it is mostly common to be visited by påskkärringar during Easter Saturday, whereas Thursday is more common in the rest of the country.
If you’ve followed my blog you know I like photography. That’s why I immediately joined #worldcolors when I stumbled upon Naomi’s blog post. According to it March is all about Green! But is it really? Well, in my part of the world it is fairly grey right now; cold, winter and no snow at all. If you read my blog post the other day you know I’m more than ready to welcome spring and green colors into my world again.
For the photo project #worldcolors I first planned to go through old photos to find the lush green ones, filled with memories from all over the world. Then on Friday I spent a few hours outside in the biting cold and decided to make #worldcolors Green a real challenge. I would look for green objects to shoot during the day – outside. And yes it was quite a challenge, but a fun one! Below are my green finds! Please feel free to join the #worldcolors! You still have a couple of weeks to find your take on green!