I’ll be honest that I didn’t expect to experience so much Swedish culture in coming to college. As a non-Swede and non-Covenant church member, I’m sort of a minority, but that means that I get to experience a lot of new things. I’ve met people from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Ecuador, Vietnam, South Korea, Iceland, and more, all on the North Park campus. Shameless plug: if you’re looking for a cross-cultural college experience without leaving the country with a small student population in a big city, come here. Really.
One of the Swedish cultural things I’ve experienced is fika. Fika is my new favorite thing.
Here’s the official definition: “both a Swedish verb and noun that roughly means “to drink coffee,” usually accompanied by something sweet.” (from wikipedia) In my case, it meant going to the pink campus house and drinking coffee with a whole bunch of new friends. Oh, and don’t forget the table with pumpkin maple sugar homemade cookies and caramel mocha cookies and raspberry cupcakes and puppy chow.
It’s such a nice tradition, to stop everything around 4:30 and drink a cup of coffee and eat a cookie and talk to people. Apparently, in Sweden everything stops for fika.
America doesn’t stop for much, really. But I think if we’re going to stop for anything, coffee is a good choice. Or for people, to be relational.
I think I’ll be a surrogate Swede.