Hejsan! The weekend of March 31- April 2 was full of activities that I haven’t done before while in Sweden. I found that these can all be categorized into what I will now refer to as the three Cs. These are cultural, crafty, and colorful. On Friday, Hemgården hosted a small concert where a ‘regular’ at Hemgården, Gusstav, and his brother visiting from Mexico performed. It was really lovely to listen to them sing in both english and spanish, and you could tell how much they had performed and worked together on music while growing up. A lot of people I knew went to the concert, so it was lovely to catch up with some of the people I haven’t seen in a few months over tea and snacks afterwards. Getting to experience yet another wonderful event hosted by Hemgården reminded me how nice the international scene is here in Lund. There are so many outlets where multiple cultures and passions can be expressed. I am endlessly amazed by the concept of Hemgården and am really hoping that I can find some sort of community or art center back in Denver that hosts similar activities. This was the cultural C of the weekend, with my Saturday morning bringing out the crafty C.
One aspect of home that I have really missed a lot since coming to Sweden (and going to college in general) is how much less time I find to partake in crafting. Back home, my mom and I would find lots of random crafts to attempt, which then become some of my favorite hobbies and memories. One such activity is pottery. Whether it is throwing clay on a wheel and seeing what I can form or painting pre-made pieces, there is something about this process that I adore. Pottery has actually played a recurring role in my life, as I participated in a pottery course put on by my local Art Center as a child and made pottery with both of my host families in Japan. The pieces of pottery I made back in Japan are some of my favorite souvenirs from my time, as they remind me of really fun memories with my host siblings and are useful items. Because of my love of pottery, it comes as no surprise that as soon as my friend Komachi asked if I wanted to attend paint-your-own pottery at a studio in Lund, I said absolutely. So Saturday morning, we met up and enjoyed lovely painting! Komachi chose a mug, and I chose a little jar that I am hoping to use to hold loose leaf tea. We both went with a fun mountain design for the outside of our mugs. I chose purple because it reminds me of the mountain landscape back home while Komachi did shades of pink and purple. The pottery studio had a lot of different tools to use for painting, so we also tried a fun method of mixing paint with water and a drop of dish soap and blowing bubbles in the inside. I didn’t use enough the first time, so I redid mine in a light blue color. Komachi’s turned out perfectly the first time. We just picked up the finished pieces this week and they look awesome! I am so glad that I have this fun new addition to add to my international pottery collection.
After pottery, I met up with my friend Sebastian for my final C, colorful (though it was also cultural). We changed into some old white clothes and pants that I didn’t mind ruining before we went to one of highest hills in Lund to celebrate Holi. One of Sebastian’s corridor mates is from India, so he had invited us to join for this fun celebration. While it was a bit windy and chilly, we had a blast drinking rose milk, dancing, and wishing people a ‘happy Holi” (made complete by spreading some colorful chalk on each other’s hair and faces). It was a very neat and colorful experience that I was really glad to partake in. One of the weirdest “small world” moments happened when I met a random guy from Japan who had spent a summer home staying in Wyoming during high school. He was actually one of the Japanese students from Labo, the group that partnered with 4-H, for my Japan exchange! It was really neat to get to meet someone from the other side of the exchange, and very wild that we met at an Indian celebration during our respective study abroad’s in Sweden. Holi was quite festive, but I had to spend a long time washing color out of my hair and ears. The old white shirts were nicely dyed purple in the wash though! On Sunday, I also waited in a queue for 4 hours to get tickets for a Valborg at one of the nations only for them to run out of tickets. It was similar to the hockey ticket campout that happens at DU every fall, but the goal was to get tickets to a giant party. There were people in line who had been there for 18 hours and didn’t get a ticket, so I wasn’t too bummed about my situation. I guess it goes to show how much the Swedes like the concept of queuing.
Overall, this weekend was filled with a lot of really sweet experiences that I am able to partake in due to living in Lund. While none of the highlights were particularly Swedish or famous, it was one of the perfect study abroad weekends where I can appreciate the life I have formed in a very international location. I definitely found one of the best places to go abroad in terms of the people and opportunities (though I imagine I could get similar in a lot of places).