The 2019 Linköping rainbow week (Regnbågsvecka)

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The 2019 Linköping Rainbow Week took place from 20th – 26th of May. The theme for this year was norm creativity. The rainbow week which is organized by (The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights) RFSL Linköping and supported by Linköping Municipality dates as far back as 2013.

The young and old gathered at Trädgårdsförenin

There was a colorful parade around the inner city














The week was a beehive of activities. Such as display of pride flags, lectures on the theme of LGBTQ in Linköping, film shows, circus performances and poetry exhibitions to name a few.
One of the highlights was the parade on the 25th with a gathering at Trädgårdsföreningen. It was an opportunity to explain the importance of equal rights and an open-minded society.  RFSL’s goal is that LGBTQ people should have the same rights and obligations as everybody else in society. It was also an opportunity to increase knowledge about LGBTQ people’s living conditions in the society.

Marching to promote equal rights for all

An opportunity to raise awareness about equal rights for all in the society.
Photo Credit: Yuan Yuan Xue



Valborg 2019 in Linköping!

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Winter is over. The trees are green again and we are all preparing for summer. For students, it’s just a few weeks before the spring term ends. With the beautiful weather, spring is a time for so many beautiful events.  One of such events is Valborg. Celebrated on the last day of April, it is a festival where massive bonfires are lit in honour of an 8th-century German abbess, St. Walpurga, or Valborg in Swedish.

Perfect weather for hanging out with friends
Photo Credit: Simon Tornqvist














Unfortunately, as a result of a very high fire risk, this year the County Administrative Board  declared a fire ban. However, students were unperturbed by the sad news as they thronged Trädgådstorget in their numbers to celebrate the day with a lot of singing and dancing. Of course on such occasions where many students gather and there is music, there is also as much beer as you imagine.

There was music, dancing and so much fun at trädgådstorget. Photo credit: Isabella Henriksson




Fika, Lagom and my first week in Sweden

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“Fika” “Largom” and my first week in Sweden


It was a cool Wednesday morning in August. I was sitting in room C1 at the valla campus listening to one of the welcome lectures whilst trying to catch my breath from running to avoid arriving late on my first day at the university. I woke up jet lagged that morning and checked the time with my sleepy eyes. I had arrived the previous evening after spending a whole day in transit from Nigeria; a story I’ll share with you some other time. It was a few minutes past 9am and the lecture was to begin at 10 o clock. That was just the stimulant I needed as I jumped out of bed. About 15 minutes later I was all dressed and hurriedly left for the university. Luckily room C1 wasn’t too difficult to find in the C building. It was just as described on the map.

Fika, a Swedish tradition that is taken seriously.

Description of events for the welcome program as well as a map had been given to me upon my arrival at the international office. The information day started as I expected with different speakers coming to give us information about life in Sweden and a list of things to do to help us settle in quickly and we all listened with rapt attention as we sat in the room which had a theatre sitting arrangement.
One speech that really struck me was the one about “Lagom”. Don’t bother checking an English dictionary because you won’t find it in there. It’s a Swedish word that means “just the right amount”. You see, we were told that Swedes like everything to be Lagom and that hit me. I was curious and eager to see to what extent that statement is true.

Next, we were told that Swedes like to “Fika”. Fika means to meet up for a drink, usually coffee and a pastry. But then like most non-Swedes would, I dismissed that as something that was found everywhere. It seemed to be a Swedish translation of popular culture. The meeting ended, and we were ushered to a room where drinks and snacks were provided. That was my second experience of Fika. I had enjoyed a Fika at the international office the previous day upon my arrival.

Fika with friends

I had arrived from the train station dragging my luggage with exhaustion written all over me. A few minutes later I was snacking away and the experience of a stressful journey to Sweden seemed to be a distant memory. At least at that moment.

The next day was the roll call in Papaver at the campus US. We were introduced to the master’s program and once again there was Fika. Later in the day we had a mini tour of the city Centre. By the time the tour was over, and we stopped to have Fika at a local restaurant, I was beginning to have second thoughts about my impression of Fika.

The days rolled by and I had made several friends and had several Fika. It was a Sunday afternoon. My first in Sweden. I had found a nearby Pentecostal church to attend as I’m a Christian. The service was about to end and as is the practice in most churches we said the grace. I was getting up to leave when I heard what had become an all too familiar announcement. one I had heard so many times in the past few days: “there is Fika available so please stay back and let’s Fika together”. At that moment, any lingering doubt about the peculiarity of Fika had been discarded. I had indeed accepted Fika as a unique Swedish tradition. A tradition I was beginning to pleasantly get accustomed to.