Welcome (Back!) to Gothenburg

After almost two and a half months outside my beloved Gothenburg I am back :D .

Is difficult not to recognize Sweden from the plane right? You only see forests and lakes!

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I have to say that I am back fully energized and ready to start my second year of master.

This time I also have many memories…to think that only one year ago I was having the ‘welcome’ experience puts a smile in my face :D .

I have been really lucky to experience the Welcome Week twice (spring 2013 and autumn 2014) and from my experience I tell you that most of the people with which I was sharing in the Welcome Week became my group of friends for the rest of the study period. So even if it’s rainy, cloudy or whatever the best thing you can do is to attend the whole event. Over there you’ll find friends and people that will remain during your whole experience ;) .

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2013

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2014

This is the period when all the people start mixing; we start learning about other cultures and we make tons of friends.

In my case, even if I am in the second year of master and it’s been only two days since I arrived back in Gothenburg, I have already met new people!

I bet that from now on you’ll have many dinners/parties where you can try dishes from every part of the world, so we did it like that. My Greek friend organized an international dinner! Over there we met her new housemates and a group of incoming students from every part of the world! We had in one table Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin-America together and we had a blast!

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In the dinner, I also met a very well organized group of students from the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. They are organizing many interesting events in Gothenburg for you to know more about the culture of this region. This is their Facebook page for you to get in contact with them and attend the events ;)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/NCTU-Europe/263341630356329?fref=ts

When people arrive we all are in the same situation: we all want to share the best and the funniest of our countries. That’s how it happened that we finished even dancing music from all around the world.

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What we discovered?

That we had many particular characteristics things but also many things in common! Besides we learned the different ways to say cheers in every language and dance the Macarena (that casually is the only song that everyone knew), we learned also more important things like the weirdest songs in every country, one secret? Rammstein was on the list ;)

So in summary, this days you have to take advantage of the events, attend to all of them, prepare dinners, get to know new people, make friends and don’t forget to attend your first day of school ;)

And what last thing we discovered in the international dinner?

That the famous Spanish song ‘Asereje’ has exactly the same song in Taiwanese version! And here it is!

HAPPY BEGINNING OF SEMESTER!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0PisGe66mY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsDe4X9OX78

Göteborg-En stad för alla

The last week was full of activities within the West Pride festival!

From the 10th to the 14th we had street markets, concerts and performances. Everything was closed with a flourish with the big West Pride parade on Saturday.

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Were you surprised like me?

In Bolivia we celebrate ‘El día internacional del orgullo gay’ (International Day of Gay Pride) on the 28 of June every year commemorating the first event that started the movement for the equal rights of people with diverse gender identities. But being a country still with conservative traditions the people participating in the parade many times hide their identity. Also, not too many institutions participate on the parade and not too many civilians outside LGBTQ movements either. However the support to this cause is visibly increasing from year to year.

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Here in Gothenburg I saw kids, seniors, doggies (!), associations, institutions, and many many more people supporting and walking along the West Pride parade (Also the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers were taking part of it!).

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I was very proud to be immersed in a country that pretty much papered the city with the multicolor flag supporting the West Pride.

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Did you have fun? I did!

Saturday was like a big party! There was Latin music, samba, zumba, electronic, and all kind of energetic music with which we were dancing along the avenue.

I saw Darth Vader, Pikachu and many more famous characters that day ;) and also I saw many friends taking part of the parade :D .

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Why this is important?

Have you ever felt judged? Imagine that you are being judged simply because of your identity or your life choices. Now imagine that there are actually many people going through this. Is not fair right?

Spread Love.

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Photo credits:

2. www.Lostiempos.com

Mini Bonus Blog of the Week: Gothenburg is always memorable!

foo26363What did you do on Friday? Well, I was in the long-awaited concert of Foo Fighters! BUT what happened there is something that none of us could expect it.

I was really excited since it was my first concert ever of an international band as this one. The concert started with the amazing Swedish band ‘Ghost’ that played some songs to heat the concert.

Afterwards…here come the Foo Fighters! They started and everyone was really excited until…in the second song Dave Grohl (band leader) fell down and broke his leg!

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There was a general silence in the stately Ullevi Stadium. We were all waiting for answers when suddenly Dave Grohl took the microphone and announced that he broke his leg and he needs to go to the hospital. The band confirmed this and the concert was ‘cancelled’. Many people started leaving and some others remained there. Suddenly Dave Grohl come back to the stage with the broken leg and gives an historical concert of more than 2 and a half hours!

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Who would have thought that this could happen to me in my first concert? :D

Many jokes arose the next day like: ‘Dave Grohl took the BREAK A LEG too seriously’ or the ‘Foot Fighters’ ;) .

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Either way we had an historical and epic concert here in Gothenburg and cataloged as the best concert in the tour and the most memorable moment for Dave Grohl in his 20 years of career.

As I said it before: once you come to Gothenburg you ‘ll never forget this place ;)

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Photo credits:

3. http://www.mirror.co.uk

4. http://www.bbc.com

5. http://www.tritontv.com

Farewell post.

After this prolonged silence from my side, most of you probably think I am already gone, but not yet! Truth is this is my last post though, since I´m actually leaving soon. I thought it would be good to say some last words, even though I am sick of writing after my MA thesis…

From my posts you might guess I really enjoyed my time here; University life, this amazing city and cycling of course. For me the assimilation wasn´t that difficult, since the cultural differences are not so big, yet I regret I haven´t spent much time on learning Swedish. You can easily live here without it, yet after some time you realized your social life would be so much richer, if you would learn the language. No point to cry over spilled milk as they say, but for those who are coming to Sweden, give it a go! Even if you´re gonna be here only for one semester, it´ll pay off!

The best bunch!

The best bunch!

My days of being HDK student are over (at least for now), but I am looking forward to join Alumni network and hope to be in touch as much as I can. Our University offers many extra courses during summer and also school year you can apply for, and I think I´ll use this opportunity too. But my plans for now are to enjoy summer, before I move again. Next stop is Rotterdam, Netherlands, where I got an internship in a design studio. There are some similarities between Rotterdam and Gothenburg, it´s a port, cycling paths, rainy weather, but from what I heard it lacks cosiness of  Gothenburg. Well, no surprise there, hard to compete in that with our Gothenburg, right?! Still I am looking forward to a new scene and some new experiences. And hopefully I´ll take upon my own advice and learn some Dutch.

Mama´s boy!

Mama´s boy!

Nevertheless, Gothenburg will always stays in my heart, two years passed in the blink of an eye, yet I won´t leave as a same person I was before. All the time I spent abroad really changed me, but two years in such an inspirational place as HDK (GU, Gothenburg, Sweden!) did miracles!

Peace & Love

Jakub

PS: Those pictures are from HDK Graduation party, which was a bomb, if you wondered…

1 Week, 2 Festivals!

Enjoying your vacations? I am! These past week  there were two of the most famous street festivals for students. Were you there?

1. Andralångdagen

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This festival is a full day of live music, DJs and party! The past 30 of May was this highly expected festival in the street with which we all are familiar: Andra Långgatan. If you are not here yet remember the name of this street the times that you want to go for a beer with friends ;) .

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Imagine all the streets full of music, all the people dancing, international food and crazy costumes! You can find all of this in this street huge party which you are going to expect every year.

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The street becomes a dance floor and everyone is in the mood to have fun!

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If you haven’t been there don’t you dare to miss the next one! You’ll have lots of fun together with your friends.

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2. Picknickfestivalen

Last June 6 was the National Day of Sweden. Something you don’t see very often here it was the Swedish flag waving all around the city. It was exciting to see that even the trams were honoring Sweden with the blue and yellow flag.

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This special day is always perfect for having an island trip, getting together with friends or having a picnic, and when I say a picnic I am not talking about this

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I am talking about this:

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Yes fellows, the past Saturday was the famous Picknickfestivalen organized once at year here in Gothenburg.

On the national day, among the many options that you have in Gothenburg, one of the best is this festival that gathers musicians, artists, delicious food and good vibe.

First of all, the music gives you all the energy to stand up and dance along. It doesn’t matter if you are shy or extrovert I promise you’ll end up dancing ;) .

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That’s not all but there is a lot of variety in music. Soul, electronic, rock and reggae, everything is there in one place.

There were also activities to do like street games and painting.

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Different organizations also were present there so besides the good vibe and music you could also go talk with people with the same interests as you.

In general the weather was really good and sunny so we just relaxed and enjoy the holyday.

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See you in the next Picnic Festival!

As you see there’s infinite options here in the city and you can choose the one you like most :D .

What will be the next? ;)

Photo Credits

6. http://www.dosavannah.com

Heroes’ day!

I bet last week was like a race for many of you (and I am not talking about the Saturday’s half marathon ;) ). Between home exams and papers, almost all of us were busy this past week, but nothing stop us for having a bit of fresh air and relax on Saturday.

First of all congratulations to all of you who run and in the famous GöteborgsVarvet half marathon!

Did you know that this is one of the largest races in the world? And did you know that some of the percentage of the money goes for charity? So congratulations to the heroes that contributed for making some people’s lifes happier :)

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In figures, the official site stated that there were 64 000 registered runners and more than 200 000 spectators.

If you took part of it, whether you finished or not, you are a winner already :). And if you didn’t participate why don’t we do it next year? I bet you were like me watching the marathon and asking yourself why I didn’t sign up? But is never late! GöteborgsVarvet 2016 here I come!

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After this, if you are living in the Olofshöjd residence for students, there was the famous annual Olofshöjd Festival that is a celebration with live music, activities and good vibe! The festival wasn’t had a bunch of activities including meditation, yoga and a volley-ball championship! I didn’t have the opportunity to play in the championship but I was in the music area whit my friends and besides the paper-mood we had a really good time!

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To close with a flourish, together with my friends we had a Greek dinner to watch the Eurovision. Being people from different nationalities we were supporting different countries for different reasons.

This is the first photo of the Eurovision:

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Ok, ok the dinner was amazing and also…my two friends from Mexico and China were as confused as I was about the Eurovision competition. So, in the first period we were paying more attention to the delicious Pasticcio made by my Greek friend Argiro :D .

But despite of being more lost than an olive in a cake we started enjoying the competition and at the end we had our favorites too.

The moment came, the results were announced and after a long waiting time they finally announced the winner: Sweden ladies and gentleman!

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Believe it or not we all had a smile in our faces, after all Sweden is our Home Swedish (Sweet) Home now.  And we were happy too because next year we will have the Eurovision here in Sweden :D . Do you wanna know a secret? The first time that I came to Sweden in 2013 the Eurovision was carried out in Sweden too in Malmö ;) Am I hearing the word ‘Amulet’ somewhere? ;)

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After a day full of overcome challenges I just can say: Congratulations Sweden! It was definitely a Heroes’ day!

And why I am a hero too? Because I finished my final paper ;) Summer I am waiting for you!

WIEN 2015-05-21  Sveriges Måns Zelmerlöw framför bidraget Heroes vid semifinal två under Eurovision Song Contest 2015 i Wiener Stadthalle i Wien.  Foto: Jessica Gow / TT / Kod 10070

Photo Credits:

1. Mercè Montoliu Nerín

2. Mercè Montoliu Nerín

6. http://www.eurovision.tv/

7. http://www.eurovision.tv/