…………. “I am feeling the festive mood now that it is December”, she tells me in a relax way “and I am ready to tell Santa Claus what gift I want this year”, she continues, nodding her head with relentless smiles. That was part of my conversation with my Swedish friend Johanna who tells me that Christmas mood seems to have started much earlier for her, despite the sandwiched program of exams and numerous preparations. With a smile in her face, the soft speaking slender lady can’t stop hiding her smiles. The time reads 11:45 and we are in the Architectural building, before we head for lunch at the student union building. She swings her head and turns towards me.”Have you heard about the Christmas class party next week” she says in a characteristic joyish mood.
My phone shows the day temperature at negative two Degrees Celsius and before we set off we have to first put on our jackets and hand gloves. It’s now 11:49, dressed in a black Jacket and black winter shoes. We are then set for the union building. Its drizzling outside and the path is slippery due to snow the previous night;
In the Student union building, the place is busy with many students for lunch, on my right after the main entrance are students queuing for lunch, on my left some students eating and at the extreme left is another restaurant and Cremona bookshop all busy with students. While in the queue she points at something outside the building across the glass panes, “you see that tree, it’s for the Christmas season”, they always bring them from some forests and sometimes they are brought by helicopters, you know we Swedish love our environment so much” she says. Back on my mind I knew Sweden is a country full of research and I thought earlier that some experiment was taking place but it’s a big tree cut and planted in front of the Union building.
The whole University appears to be at the Christmas mood and every campus building and notices signifies something for the season. On my phone is an old Facebook invitation, we are expected to attend the class end of year party on Saturday.
Outside the school within Gothenburg city is a couple of Christmas cultural significations and many activities with different magic lights starting to glow earlier than expected.
It’s now Saturday; time for our class party and the Venue is at the Train Wagon, a stagnant locomotive structure that is famous for hosting functions, its a wagon between the student Union building and the Architecture building and it was given as a gift from SJ (Swedish State Railways) in 2004 for the Student Unions centennial (100 years). The wagon is 30 meters long and was built in the 1960s. Its well furnished inside and has electricity, water and a toilet and can be used for meetings, dinners and many functions. At exactly 18:00 everyone is well seated ready for the event. One thing I like with Sweden Is Keeping time and the other is queuing, if you don’t like queuing or don’t like being organized then Sweden may not be a country for you. Next to our venue is another party taking place at the Student Union building lower side and horizontal revolving fireworks gracing their evening. This was my first time having a party with the swedes and i have never seen the swedes in that joyish mood. The behaviors were totally different from my expectations and i couldn’t hide my happiness. A number of fun plays were performed, Swedish food and drinks enjoyed, everything appears nice with enjoyment. Left beside me is my Iranian friend; she tells me how she has spent Six years in Sweden while both on my extreme right and left are my two class project team mates Thomas and Ferri. Ferri is a big fun of the Swedish hockey team and infront of me sits another Swedish friend who takes Zlatan Ibrahimovich, one of the Swedish greatest footballer as next to God, he enjoys talking about him, you cannot discuss with him football minus him mentioning the Swedish Icon Ibrahimovich.
I have never heard enough experience having time with the Swedes but my experience appears to be improving day by day. Best during this Christmas season and a warm 2014.
Posts by; Owilli Ben Oyunu, Photography by: Andreas Lamton.