Category Archives: STUDENT LIFE

MTLS Christmas Party!


Happy New Year to all the readers! Hope you are enjoying the Christmas holidays. Today, I would like to share how we celebrated Christmas here in Sweden.

Our class of MTLS, had decided to play Secret Santa before the Christmas break. Let me tell you briefly, how secret Santa works. Everyone participating is assigned a name secretly. That person becomes the secret Santa for the name he is assigned to. The Santa has to buy or make a gift for the person. Everyone gets together on the day of the party. All the gifts are collected and each person gets their gift. Based on the gift the receiver has to guess who would be their secret Santa.

One person has to take the responsibility to assign secret Santa to each person. Alternatively it can also be done using online programmes. Now here it gets interesting. As I have mentioned before, one of the course at Karolinska is the programming course in python. You must be wondering why am I talking about courses all of sudden in the secret Santa? In the spirit of programming one of our classmate, Luca decided to write a code to generate the list of names for secret Santa using python – ‘The secret Santa generator’. He successfully wrote it, or we would have ended with one person having two and the other one none. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

We had our Christmas party in one of our classmate, Vijay’s place. It was well decorated, with lights and Christmas decorations.

Pre-party preparations                                                                                                                            PC:Akshay

We had some Christmas snacks and Christmas drinks i.e. Glogg and Julmust.

Finally, it was time to open presents and guess the Santa’s name. One by one gifts were given and three chances to guess the Santa’s name.

An example of the gifts                                                                                                                          PC:Akshay

This was one of the gifts prepared by a secret Santa. The Last supper by MTLS (Can you guess where I am?)

Later we danced, and played games and had photo sessions with various props. It was really fun experience. It was the first time, that I really celebrated Christmas by doing all the traditional things.  It was a evening well spent with friends that is now my new family here in Sweden.



Why you should start cycling today

Rememberme discussing whether to have a bike or not in my previous blog To bike, or not to bike? It’s time to give a definite answer: Yes!


Weather is the first thing to talk about (just like the Swedes open a conversation :P). As summer approaches, the average daytime temperature of the latter half of May, June, July, August, and the large part of September can be as high as 25 to 30-degree.

With a bike, you won’t miss the flower season: just imaging wandering the fields and fields of elder flowers and rape flowers on your bike:


As I mentioned in To bike or not to bike, there are at least three options to have your own bike:

The cheapest: join the Facebook group “Lappis” or “Lappis market“, there are always graduating students selling their own bicycles at low price

To have more options: visit the local website and search for “cyklar” you will find numerous advertisement from locals selling their bike, at all prices

The most convenient: go to any of the bicycle shops in the town and pick one. The price is usually a little bit higher compared to the two alternatives above, but you can adjust it until it fits and in this way you will never get a malfunction one

The good news is, I am adding two more now:

Flea market of bikes (Swedish: Cyklelloppis)

Usually at the beginning of summer, there are flea markets that look for new owners of hundreds of bikes, such as this one to be held on 20th May 2018 in Solna:

At an auction (Swedish: Cykelaktion):

Believe me or not, the police sales out bikes that were not reclaimed for a long time to new owners. You may visit the related website here.  There are different forms, some are sold on a “Polisen Dag” (Police Day) or via an auction website, such as this one:


It could be expensive to repair or replace parts of your bicycle in local bike shops, given that their staff are professional and well-paid. But now this situation is undergoing a change: with the prevalence of bicycling in the city and the passion of cyclers, in the city, there is increasing chance that you can have your bicycles tune, for free!

Cykelköket is a newly emerged non-profit organization. The concept is, you will be provided by tools and guidance, but you have to do it on your own!

The Bike Day on Karolinska Campus offers free bike tune-up and check of tires, chain and brakes on 18th May this year.

Nevertheless, don’t worry if you miss the chance this year! You may want to follow THS Grad “n” Bike Project on Facebook, as they offer free tune-up occasionally: the last one is on 26th April.


Same, pumping should not be an issue: according to the official website of Stockholm, there are hundreds of pumping spots scattered in the city:

Klick here to visit site

In addition, you may simply borrow the pump from most of the bicycle shops. When I first realised it, it was too nice to be true!



What is happening with Nobel Prize in Literature?

Over the weekend, the news “Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 is cancelled” storms the global media. What is happening with the utmost glory in literature?


In short, it fails because the committee that selects the Nobel laureate in literature, the Swedish academy,  cannot function properly after resignation of four members in April. Taking the number of inactive members into account, the remaining ten active members fail to meet the quorum of twelve to select a laureate. What has sparked such an abrupt resignation?


The Swedish Academy (photo: TT News Agency/Jonas Ekstromer, REUTERS)

#MeToo and Nobel Prize in Literature

You must have heard to #MeToo tag, which is a movement that encourages victims of sexual assaults to speak out for themselves. In autumn 2017, the movement has finally arrived in Sweden; since then it has gathered enormous support and publicity from both online and the open-minded, liberal Swedish society. However, it was still hard to perceive a bond between #MeToo and Nobel Prize in Literature, until a local newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, put the accusations of Jean-Claude Arnault in sexual assaults under light. Arnault was accused of long-term sexual assaults (including rape) by 18 women who were interviewed.

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The amazing festivals and the fact that they are coming……

How well do you know about Swedish festivals? The daffodils and colourful feather in Easter, or the firework and maypole in mid-summer? If your answer is these two, you are perfectly catching the spirit of Swedish festivals! But, I would like to tell you more about holidays that fall between Easter (March) and Mid-summer (June), that you can join and enjoy NOW!

Cherry Blossom Festival in Kungsträgården

Date: 21 April 2018

It is neither traditional nor official, so why is it getting “viral” year after year? The longing to spring, warmth and aesthetic that beyond time, ethnicity and nationality is probably the only explanation.

Kungsträgården, April 2017

The Japanese Association in Stockholm holds the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in City Centre. Kimono and costume-play, Japanese dancing and singing, Japanese food booths will be part of the events. The event page can  be found at:

Walpurgis Eve (Valborgsmässoafton)

Date: April 30

Many believe that Walpurgis Eve was borrowed from the medieval Germany, when farmers lit bon fire and sang to scare away evil creatures and witches. Some are convinced that the purpose of bon fire is to instead dispel wolves and other predators for the coming grazing season. Which one is more plausible doesn’t matter much today, as they all fuse into the celebration of spring in one night. The oldest tradition as bon fire, spring song sing and dancing have been preserved. So, don’t miss the chance to see them in the city: Skansen, Riddarholmen……Check this website for the locations:

Bon fire on Riddarholmen

Students can’t be absent for the carnival. Therefore, the Walpurgis Eve in Uppsala, a city 1.5 hr by train from Stockholm, is recommended by many. They definitely have the reasons: students in Uppsala have celebrated the festival for more than 200 years and it is one of the largest celebration in Stockholm in terms of popularity and scale. Besides the classical bon fires, drifting across the river Fyris with DIY-boat made of all kinds of materials, is the most important event during Walpurgis:

Walpurgis on Fyris

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Art is the underground language here

It is estimated that around 900,000 people travel underground everyday in the large Stockholm metropolitan area. The underground metro network (so-called “tunnelbana”) encompasses 7 lines, 100 stations that span 105.7 km is length: it must require a complicate mathematical model to solve the flow of passengers, the arrival and departure of trains……however, there is one thing that we know for sure: art is the ubiquitous underground language.

Do you know that:

  • In terms of length, Stockholm’s metro is the longest art gallery in the world

  • >90 of its 100 stations are covered by certain forms of artworks

  • The art project was initiated in 1957, some of it is still undergoing today

Let’s start with the all-time favourites:


The exposed bedrock is the most enchanting feature of Stockholm’s metro. Here, it is both the carrier and the raw material of art.

#1 Solna Centrum


If Dante is looking for the entrance to the inferno, he shall take the escalator at Solna Central.

#2 Stadion

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