Easter celebrations..PÅSK

Spring is that amazing time of the year when everything seems like coming back to life. It is the time when I start awaiting for cherry-blossom. Long Friday is an another event to look forward that comes with Easter celebrations. Sweden celebrates Påsk as per Gregorian calendar which was yesterday, 16th April this year. It was welcomed by light snow showers and cold wind though..

Påskagg and Påskris are visible everywhere around during the Påsklov (Easter holidays)

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10 Things to know about Swedish culture

Another day of learning something more about Sweden. My visit to Uppsala University was informative and pleasant.

I would like to share a fun video about the very 10 things you need to know about Swedish culture. This was shared during my visit and thought it was worth sharing it for everyone who is trying to integrate in Swedish society.

Source: Eductus Filmer

A year unfolded in Scandinavia

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

And this quote has again proved its essence in my life.

15th August 2016, when I marked my roller coaster journey of 365 days in this quite, calm and beautiful country. This has also been a time when I achieved those milestones in life which I even didn’t consider to have in bucket list! It has really been my saga of transformation from being ‘dreamer’ to ‘achiever’.

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Learning Swedish..the fest step of integration

3rd May, 2016 came up as one the most exciting day for me. At one hand I had the curiosity of my results of the first stage of Swedish course, the other I had my first interview in Sweden to get an internship with one of the largest organizations of this country.

But why did I needed to learn this language being a fluent English speaker?

All know that Swedes are on of those best English speakers who do not have English as a mother tongue. This was one solid reason for me to presume that I will sail through easily in the local job market.This bubble of assumption got burst soon after coming here when I talked to Arbetsförmedlingen (Employment office) and local recruiters.

While Swedish is an official language of working for most of local companies, it is preferable as all MNCs are dealing with local Nordic clients.

So here I go, joined SFI (svenska för invandrare – Swedish for Immigrants) and took the fist leap of faith.

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Being Vegetarian.. and sometimes alien !

Nej Tack! Jag är vagetarian.

..and it will lead to a long list of questions that any  vegetarian is tired of answering hundreds of times. Funny thing is, the questions are same, no matter where you go and live.

När blev du vegetarian? (when you became vegetarian?)

Men äter du fisk, ägg ? kan du dricka mjölk och äta smör???  (But do you eat fish?? can you drink milk and eat butter?)

Hur får du protein??!!! (How do you get protein?)

har du aldrig smokat kött??!! ..ahann!!! (have you never tasted meat??!!! ahhaan!!)

And there are endless iterations..Some people look at me in amazement when I say that I am brought up as vegetarian.

Sweden is a cold land where people cannot even think  spending a day without meat, fish and eggs. It was not so easy to get even a good vegetarian dish in restaurents just few years back, when my husband was in this city for few months. It’s a place of ‘köttbullar (meatballs)’ where we just get a soup, boiled potato and salad  in the name of a green meal. This is certainly not a complete meal for a person who comes from a country which is well-known for spices and a rich food culture.

But it is becoming more and more vegetarian/vegan friendly..

Nevertheless, I have successfully managed to eat just vegetables, fruits and grains even though it felt odd-on-out sometimes. Thanks to the latest mantra airing in Sweden about eating vegetarian meal once in a week. I also read about studies which says that  10% of people in Sweden are vegetarian now, making it one of the most vegan and vegetarian friendly countries. There are many restaurants serving only veg-meals in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Almost all restaurants serve at-least one dish for us which makes life easier now. There is also a vegetarian version of meatballs which is served with different salads and baked dishes.

For Indians, like in any other country, we have our Indian grocery stores in major cities. There are even other stores that import grocery from different eastern countries, including India, where we find basic ingredients. It was just in past few days when I was surprised to find all basic Indian spices in City Gross super market.

Above all, your choice is always respected in this country. For any planned social event, some arrangement is done for all kind of people based on preferences. It has not been so difficult to be a vegetarian and it is going to be better only in future 🙂