End of an eventful Swedish Summer

The dipping temperatures and the cool breeze have started signalling the arrival of winter. Soon, we will have to bring out heavy jackets and gloves to conceal ourselves from the piercing cold that awaits us. But there is not much that one can complain about, since the brilliance of the Swedish summer pretty much makes up for the darkness of the winters.

The closing weeks of the summer vacations were laced with a broad spectrum of activities, each of which were unique in nature and allowed you to experience a novel aspect of the Swedish culture. The highlight was the Kulturkalas, which brought Gothenburg to life; it seemed to have lit a spark in an otherwise subdued ambiance of the city. People flocked towards concerts organised around the city. Avenyn was deluged with people who were in pursuit to attend the concert of their favorite artist. The commendable aspect was that all the events were for free and the traffic system was very well managed despite the discrepancies owing to the event. Many major roads had to be closed to make room for the large crowds showing up for concerts, but commuting through the city was still not an inconvenience and the public transport seem to flow smoothly via the alternate routes set up by the administration.

Kulturkalas: concert of a popular artist Laleh

Kulturkalas: concert of a popular artist Laleh at Gotaplatsen

There was an international market at Brunnsparken in which you could browse through items that were characteristic to different countries in the world.  This market was a miniature global village, showcasing the diversity and variety around the world in a nutshell. Food, clothing, souvenirs all were there to keep you entertained while you stroll through the numerous stalls.

Another event that I went to was a 5km race organised by a private company. It was not part of the Kulturkalas, but both events were held during the same week. The catch was that you were showered with colors while you ran. So by the time you finish you look like a rainbow in the shape of a human being!! I volunteered to assist the team organizing the event. I had to join them in giving out packages to the participants; each package comprised of a t-shirt, sun glasses, wrists bands and many more goodies! Since most of the participants were Swedish, I got a golden opportunity to practice my spoken Swedish, and I can proudly say I grabbed the chance with both hands. I was interacting with the participants, asking their tshirt sizes, giving directions, answering queries, allt på svenska!!  Wohooooo!!!!! Those who are aspiring to learn the language might be able to relate to the feeling of pride and accomplishment that you feel when you can hold a 45 second long conversation in Swedish without feeling uncomfortable. Certainly a very productive and fun day.The volunteers were treated with free pizza and got to participate in the race for free, which I thought was a smart business idea on part of the organizers and an exciting incentive for the volunteers. The race attracted a huge crowd, which was a mix of people from different age groups and was a big success.

Gothenburg: The end point of the 5km race.

Gothenburg: The end point of the 5km race.

The Autumn term now begins at Chalmers, and soon all of us would go back to the familiar routine of mounts of course work, assignments and exams. I hope all of you had a relaxing summer, and are pumped up to excel this semester! Lycka till!