Social Events Overload in Uppsala: International Gasque, Birthday, Kanelbulledag and a Stolen Bike (posted by Indira in Sweden)

Last week was so overloaded with social events. Every single day there was something going on and so many times I would just come to my room to drop off my bag and in 5 minutes I would be on the move again. I am not complaining though – I enjoy this rhythm that allows me to experience as much of Sweden as possible (especially taking into consideration that half of the time I’m supposed to study abroad in Uppsala has already passed).

One of my friends, Marine, had her birthday a few days ago so we organized a birthday dinner for her (it was a pot luck style dinner where everyone brought something). I made a traditional Bosnian dish called “sataraš” and I was happy to see that people liked it. We had a really great time talking over the dinner, and then we had our own private concert: two guys played guitars and sang for about an hour before the clock struck 12. It was a really nice bonding experience!

My friend's Birthday Dinner, celebrated with a potluck

My friend’s Birthday Dinner

On Thursday last week it was the official Kanelbulledag (cinnamon bun day – Swedes really love their Kanelbulle and I know why: they are super delicious and go really well with fika!). It is a tradition that on the Kanelbulledag Swedes make homemade Kanelbulle, so my Swedish corridor-mates organized the event. We all got together and enjoyed some quality time together while making some delicious cinnamon buns. 🙂

Kanelbulle, a swedish cinnamon bun


On Friday we had the long awaited International Gasque. As I wrote earlier, gasque is a formal 3 or 5 course dinner where all the students dress up and have a nice meal, drink snaps and sing songs, as well as enjoy the entertainment. The International Gasque was very long, lasting 6 hours (6pm-midnight). There was some stand up comedy, a choir performance and skits to make it all incredibly enjoyable. After all the delicious food was eaten, all songs sung, and the entertainment program finished, there was an after party with Karaoke and a live band. I really enjoyed karaoke since so many people came on stage and everyone was having fun, not really caring about how well (or bad) they could sing. The live band was also very good. They were singing mainly popular mainstream songs that brought everyone to dance. All in all, it was a great night! I was really happy to be part of it all!

International Gasque: a picture of the seating arrangement for the dinner

International Gasque: Seating arrangement for the dinner

The twist came later on. The night, unfortunately, ended not so well for me. On our way back home when I wanted to get my bike, it was not there. I couln’t believe that someone had stolen my bike! We were all warned that this might happen, but I was always optimistic about it. It took 2.5 months for my bike to get stolen. At first I was really sad because I went through so many adventures on that bike (including me falling off it multiple times, and over-inflating the tire so it exploded). By now I have accepted what happened and got a new bike (I was really lucky that a friend of mine had 2 bikes, so he let me borrow one for the rest of the time I’m in Sweden). Life goes on!

The week ended with me trying to cook (and actually succeeding)! I cooked Bosnian for 7 of my friends. I made three traditional dishes and they all turned out amazing! I am happy I got a chance to learn how to cook. Those are the skills one will always need and find useful. 🙂

Of course, apart from many events in Uppsala, our classes went on. My only class for this month, Critical Perspective on Sustainable Development in Sweden, started integrating more study group work in the course. We divided into a few groups and now we will work within those groups on the case studies of interest. My study group (which is, by the way, very international. We are 5 people: Swede, Japanese, Korean, German and I) is working on urbanization and we will be looking at two districts in Stockholm in oder to see how sustainable they are. In the end we plan to come up with a list of recommendations for other districts in Stockholm, as well as other cities that are looking into urban resilience.

It was truly a good week with a lot of things going on and very little free time, but it all made my week much better! I guess that is the point of study abroad – do as much as possible and enjoy whatever country you’re in. 🙂

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