All saint’s day in Sweden

In Sweden, the all saint’s day is a national holiday, called Allhelgonahelgen. This day is celebrated worldwide in different forms., and maybe in your country there is a specific way of remembering this holy day with its roots in the catholic tradition. In Brazil it is also a national holiday, but i have to say, i don’t feel we celebrate that much, at least there is not a general consensus on how to do it, neither a national tradition in relation to this day. Well, in Sweden it does. During Allhelgonahelgen, that typically happens on the 1st of November in many places around the world, most Swedes take the day off to meet with their family, eat together and go to the cemetery to light candles and remember the loved ones that have been gone from this world.

      

      

I must confess I already have a especial attraction to cemeteries, nothing creepy, just like the quietness (obvious) and peaceful landscape, besides the sense of being in a place with a lot of history: imagine all the lives resting under your feet (maybe that ended up a little creepy, sorry). Nevertheless, I was kinda excited to go to the cemetery at night, and it was truly a beautiful experience. There was almost nothing but candles light all around. The complete darkness, although is was only 17 pm (cough, cough..it’s Sweden in November), among the trees and graves, made me feel like something special was happening in there. I enjoyed so much this day and how such ritual made me think and contemplate the dead, while watching swedes offering kinda of a memorial to those past lives. I felt here the cemetery is less of a taboo maybe, and definitely a experience worth to take.

One day study visit to Gothenburg – Sustainable urban planning

A couple of weeks ago I went to Gothenburg to learn more about sustainable urban planning and transportation systems as part of the activities the Swedish Institute promotes each semester for the scholarship holders. We started of with a presentation about the expansion and renovation of bicycle lanes around the city and the efforts being made to increase the number of people using bikes as their main transportation. Gothenburg is a spread city, with some hills here and there, but with a well planned network and incentives for acquiring a electric bike, the number of cyclists is increasing. Also, bikes can be used for half the journey, and the city is working to integrate better all different types of transportation. We then had a presentation about the new bridge they are building to connect the two sides of the river, the Hisings Bridge. What impressed me the most about this project was how mindful they were about including the population into the process, marketing the ideia and not only build the bridge, but think about how the city should develop on the other side of the river. We got to walk to the construction site, which by itself was impressive.

In the afternoon, we had lecture about autonomous cars that was very intriguing and brought up discussions about legal frameworks and how a city without drivers would actually work. They are working to put together the world they want to live in and there is already some autonomous cars running as test around the city. It kept me thinking how we must consider from where the resource to built such systems will come from and if it could be accessible to everyone. We ended the day with a ferry trip (it’s for free) and a lecture about the future urban planning plans for the city, they are big!! Because of its history as a important port, Gothenburg is a little tricky when it comes to urban configuration, but feels like the city is being almost rebuilt and setting the bar for sustainable and innovative urban planning practices.

After the program for the day was over I went for a walk around the town with some friends I met there, it was a beautiful sunny day (it rains a lot there so I heard) and we decided to have some drinks, it was a great day! Gothenburg is a beautiful city just 4 hours away from Linköping and it is perfect for short trips.

How the Hisings Bridge will look like:

Resultado de imagem para Hisings Bridge

google images

 

 

World Water Week 2018

In my last post I talked a little bit about the many opportunities you will have as a student in Sweden. Now I decided to share one of mine own with you. In the end of August I had the chance to attend the World Water Week 2018  and is was a great experience in many ways. The event made a true effort to be inclusive and innovative, having always one speaker representing women and the youth and presenting sessions with different formats.

My favorite session was one presented by the UN-water to discuss the 2030 agenda  of the Sustainable Development Goals and what it means to “leave no one behind”, one the things they most advocate: reducing inequality. There, we listened 3 different histories of indigenous and refugees struggling to have clean and safe water (people from Canada, Guatemala and South Sudan). It got me thinking how we need to listen to real histories to understand the urgency of the problems and the need for action in distinct realities.

One of the best parts of the conference was to see how different initiatives are tackling water issues and all its complexity. Besides that, I met so many interesting people, new possible professional contacts and had a broad picture of one of my areas of study. To get in you usually need to pay a fee, but as a said before you can apply to be a volunteer. Besides that, the first day of the event was dedicated to youth and thus the entrance was free for us on that day. The World Water Week happens every August in Stockholm, as well as many other conferences throughout the year you can get attend, just imagine the possibilities!!

 

 

More than the classroom

What I really like about having my masters in Sweden is the amount of opportunities I get as a student. All the time there are many events taking place in Linköping and around the country. As a student you can participate in different seminars, workshops, open lectures and conferences.

At LiU especially, every week you can find a new and interesting issue being discussed and inviting students to engage in. Because Sweden is a very international setting and everybody speaks English very naturally, a great number of events are hold in English and you won’t have problem finding something that is appealing to you.

On the other hand, professors also seek help among students to organize such events and conferences are always open for interested volunteers. Those are great experiences because you can attend a big event without paying fee, be present in important international discussions and meet all types of people. Be aware of everything Linköping can offer you as much inside as outside the classroom. A good tip is to always take a look in the posters and ads sticked on the walls around the campus (the same walls also announce a lot of parties, but this is an topic for another post ).