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.
Read in Swedish
Reading is learning. Reading is traveling. I would say that to read is to rest and activate the brain at the same time – depending on what you are reading and what the purpose of it is.
I have not yet taken to read books on a tablet. I prefer to hold the book, flip through the crispy pages, smell the paper and insert post-its where I find something memorable. I also love a nice cover. I usually read in Swedish or English, but try to read at least a couple of books in German every year too. I think it is a good way to keep up the language and also to learn new words; especially the new, trendier words.
Read in Swedish – samples
Despite my love for the physical book I don’t mind reading shorter texts on a screen. There’s a webpage I use where you can read extracts from books published in Sweden. This is useful and inspiring when you look for something to read in Swedish. But it is not only valuable to native speakers – I also sometimes use it for my Swedish classes.
The website is www.provlas.se
Here are a few tips on what to read if you are learning Swedish – children or adults, beginners or advanced, first language or second!
Any good reads lately? In Swedish I am currently reading “En man som heter Ove”
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!
I’m on a mission to find yellow. Both here in Sweden and in my extensive collection of photos from my expat time and travels.
This month’s #worldcolors is all about the sunny, golden yellowish nuances. Suits well with the arrival of spring and longer sun hours. Daffodils however – don’t think they will actually be here in April due to the long winter and late arrival of spring.
I read about the “assignment” yesterday morning in Naomi’s blog (via twitter). My brain and eyes tuned in on yellow and focused on everything of that color I saw during the day – actually a bit annoying; either it wasn’t worth taking a picture of or it was something I drove by and couldn’t capture anyway.
If you would like to read more, see interesting photos from all over the world and perhaps participate you find the details over at Anne’s at part time traveler.
BTW. Yellow is gul in Swedish. Want to know how it is pronounced?
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.
This time of the year us Swedes grab our mugs,
sit outside on a bench,
wrapped in blankets,
faces turned to the sun like sunflowers,
enjoying the first warm rays of light.
We are all probably side by side in a row,
pressed against a house wall sheltering us from the wind.
The coffee is long cold.
It doesn’t matter,
as long as we can take our fika outside we are happy!
Soon the grill will be out too.
Fika is the Swedish soul.
Fika is coffee/tea/juice/whatever-except-alcohol.
Fika is our daily excuse to savor cinnamon rolls/pastry/cake/cookies.
Fika is a daily routine at our work places. Twice a day actually.
Fika is when Swedes are not taciturn.
Fika is #fika on twitter.
Fika is at home. At the office, at a café.
Fika is at the playground, in a park and in our gardens.
Fika is for business and pleasure.
Fika can be just a cuppa.
Fika is always right.
J. Nehru 1889-1864
first prime minister of India
Today is Fettisdagen. Let me decode that into National Day of the Semla. Now it´s all clear, right?
Semla is a sweet chubby wheat bun, cardamom laden, filled with golden almond paste and whipped cream. Originally semla was only eaten on Shrove Tuesday, as a last blissful treat before Lent. Today we know better and eat semlor (we need to go into plural here) all winter long. Fettisdagen has gone from being the only day to enjoy our precious pastry to the day you must enjoy at least one of them. Because as you all know we have fika (coffee break) at work. That means you are likely to down your first semla already by ten in the morning.
Semlor can be bought in every bakery, grocery store or gas station in Sweden. Sometimes you make your own, and as a Swedish expat you simply have to make your own (unless your expatriate adventure has taken you to the Nordic or Baltic countries) if you want to join the club.
If you make it past the photos below, find out how I make my Swedish fika treats; semlor recipe to follow.
This year I found ready made buns (albeit a bit flat) in the store, made just for semlor. Link if you don´t. 🙂
- Cut off the tops, scoop out the center of 8 buns, and put it in a food processor.
- Add 125g of almonds and 1 dl confectioners’ sugar and GO!
- Pour 1 dl heated milk into the mixture making it that special heavenly paste.
- Fill up the holes abundantly with the almond indulgence and top up with whipped cream.
- Put the lid back on and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
If you use Us cups, add some almonds and use half of a cup of confectioners’ sugar and milk.
Is the future more important to Swedes than the past? We make plans and dream about what we will do in the future. Travel, new house … The past however is … in the past. What do we know about precedent generations for example? How much can the general Swede tell about the great grandparents – their maiden names, where they were born, which schools they attended; what a day in their young lives looked like? In other cultures this might be unthinkable. It´s not that we don´t care about family; we do; but we might not necessarily spend a lot of time together. It could be the distance, but also I think full time working mothers and fathers leave less time to share with extended family. Another possible reason is that many families have lived in Sweden for numerous generations – it´s not a big deal; no need to search for the roots.
I can only hope that we are all also taking time to enjoy the present. Are you?