Recall that I mentioned to fill you in on what exactly happens after Christmas in Sweden? *inserts drumrolls*
All the stores are on sales with discounts that would tempt you to shop even when you have no plan (haha). You can guess what I did after the Christmas celebrations and to just give you a glimpse of what I mean by everyone being on sales; watch this video.
As a student, no doubt that this is the perfect time to stock up on all the things you would like to have as you might probably not get it cheaper than this. I have a friend who got an amazing deal on a laptop and then, let’s not go into shoes, clothes and accessories. Perfect timing to buy gifts for people too! This surely is a beautiful time to explore all the stores and I can tell you I have done my share of this:) Enjoy the holidays as we look forward to the new year!
I have travelled to over 10 countries and visited the five continents of the world in these past days. My Swedish Christmas was an integration of cultures from various parts of the world; an experience I would forever relish!
Being the first time I spend this festive period away from family and in a new environment, my Christmas experience certainly surpassed all I expected it to be. In Sweden, Christmas is the main family event of the year. So, it was not surprising that most people took the time to travel and spend time with family. Prior to me giving details of my Christmas celebration in Stockholm, here are two Swedish facts that you should know:
“Merry Christmas” in Swedish – “God Jul!”
The main day for the Christmas celebration is on 24th December, which is known as Julafton.
Swedish Christmas decorations. From Lucia day, candle lights are seen everywhere and you can’t miss the gingerbread houses:)
Since Christmas is a time to bond with family and friends, what better way to have that than with Christmass food. So, in my apartment, we organised a Christmas dinner. The beautiful thing about our Christmas dinner was the concept and all that I got the opportunity to learn. So, we all had to cook food from our various countries; I got a taste of India, Russia, Ethiopia, China and America and I introduced them to the one and only- Nigerian Jollof Rice. As a Nigerian, there is this joke that says “any party without jollof rice is a meeting”. So, you can tell the significance of the jollof rice. The dinner was also an eye-opener to the various ways the different countries celebrate Christmas and sure we shared various tales from our countries. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of my “around the world in 2 days”
In the order presented; L-R: India, Russia, Nigeria, Chinese, Ethiopia
Cookies from Chicago! They may not look so great here because everyone was caught up with how good they tasted that I almost forgot to take a picture. These cookies were rated as the one of the best ever by everyone!! Guess who is looking forward to learning how to make them;)
Yifru introducing “injera” (Ethiopian cuisine) to everyone. Yeah, we all had to explain the food we cooked and maybe some history or some story behind the choice:)
With the smiles on their faces, this might have been an introduction to jollof rice! loool!
Then, I went for a get together organised by a different group and this time, it was strictly a Swedish Christmas buffet. From the next set of pictures, you can tell I enjoyed every part of it. Learnt new things about the Swedish culture. There were games for everyone to participate in and children received gifts after the dinner. It was during this get-together that I got to learn that Julafton is the main day in which Christmas is celebrated in Sweden and I am glad I got to experience this in the Swedish traditional way.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned I visited ten countries, seeing I have listed five so far, my Christmas celebration won’t be complete without this last Christmas dinner. In this dinner, not only did I learn about the food culture in Thailand, Pakistan, Spain, India, Azerbaijan, Russia and Lebanon, I also got to learn some dance steps from these various countries. The night ended with so much fun and laughter. Thanks, Ja for the invite!
You know how videos tell the stories better:)
You can tell that my first Swedish Christmas was a wonderful one!! Seeing how long this post turned out to be (haha!)
My next post gives you details of what happens in Sweden after Christmas day:) Subscribe to the blog so as not to miss any bit of this adventure;)
This weekend has to be very busy for most students at KTH as we prepare for examinations before Christmas. Due to this, I have spent the major part of this week studying. So, today is not any different as I woke up this morning to meet up with other students from my programme and what a reading marathon did we have!
In my opinion, one of the advantages of reading with groups is motivation. You might think, “but the examinations are enough motivation”; there is a twist in this: when reading with people, there is a tendency to focus and read longer. For example, when reading in the library, there’s this sense of “we are many trying to achieve similar goals in this space” This gets better when the group of people you are with are trying to achieve the same goal. In this case, the same examination.The icing on the cake is that you can easily ask for help if you get stuck. Remember my post on asking questions?
One thing I love about my method of preparation today is the amalgamation of different study techniques. So, we all started reading individually with no one interception from anyone. Then, after the lunch break, we decided to work together for a bit and solve questions. (Good way to exchange knowledge and share ideas). After doing this for a while, we all went back to reading separately but this time, with the mindset that we are all free to answer questions from anyone who needs help. Then, we continued at this tempo till we called it a day!
You would not be wrong if you conclude that this is the same routine for tomorrow. We would study hard and get ready to smile when the results are out with the saying “WE DID IT”
To everyone preparing for exams, this post is a reassurance that there are other students studying as hard as you right now. With this, I wish everyone, GOODLUCK!
Some pictures from today;)
Getting ready to solve questions together
Can you guess what we are calculating?
Different people; different style of writing. Can you guess mine?
All work and no play makes Jack a … ( Do not joke with break times when studying for a very long time; greatest energy booster of all time!)
So this week ended lectures for everyone at KTH for the year. As we welcome the festive period, it is very common for people to host Christmas parties at work or as small groups as most people would be away from school once lectures are over (for those that do not have December examinations)
As a member of the sustainable energy engineering student council, we had one of these Christmas mingle in which we played some games with some snacks available and I had my first taste of the Swedish glögg.
Glögg is the term for mulled wine in Nordic countries. It is served hot or warm with raisins or nuts. It can either be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially for Christmas. In Sweden, gingerbread and lussebullar (a type of sweet bun with saffron and raisins) are typically served. I don’t think it is possible to have a Christmas party in Sweden and you won’t have glögg.
Also, the student ambassadors and the bloggers were treated to a KTH Christmas mingle. Similar to the council’s end of the year mingle, we went through the achievements of the year, played some games and also, the Swedish glögg was very present! What a good way to get into the Christmas spirit with everyone wishing each other the season’s greetings and sharing their various plans for Christmas at the end:)
Unfortunately, I do not have pictures from the Student Council mingle but thanks to Nayanika Bhalla, I have pictures from my second Christmas mingle:)
During the games (haha!)
Spot the lussebullar;) Photo credit: Nayanika Bhalla
So, these past weeks has been knee deep busy! I had this major project that made all students in my programme meet endlessly! Apart from these, we had other deadlines to keep up with in other courses. At some point, it was not clear if I was the one chasing the deadlines or they were the ones chasing me (Haha!)
So, this week, we finally defended this major project and also, had my last presentation for one of my seminar courses!
Ever had that feeling of relief when you finally accomplish a given task well? That’s exactly how we all felt. So, I am finally done with all major deadlines for the year!
In the end, I realised that the joy is not just that we met all deadlines but that we used the process to learn; learning not only technical skills or the topics presented by the courses but also, soft skills such as time management, project management, teamwork, team building to mention a few. Also, looking back I can tell you I enjoyed the fun moments working with my different team members.
Finally, as I start preparing for upcoming quizzes and exams, I can smile and like the first picture in this post – raise my hands together with all the students in my programme having a sense of achievement of deadlines done and dusted!