What a week! We had carnival and Valentine´s day all together in one Weekend! We are people from all around the world in this wonderful experience as an exchange student, but I was wondering how the others celebrate these dates.
In Bolivia for example we don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, instead we celebrate the friendship and love day on the 21st of September. On the contrary the carnival is one of the most important holidays in Bolivia whit 72 hours of national holidays that together with the weekend make a wonderful 5 days carnival full of folklore and culture. The Bolivian carnival is known worldwide for the famous ‘Oruro Carnival’ awarded many times as the best carnival in Latin America and in the world. This year for example, the last saturday the famous Manneken-Pis from Belgium dressed as the famous ‘Diablada’ (Bolivian folkloric dance) in honor of the Bolivian Carnival 😉 .
This time, with me in Gothenburg, I tried to look for alternatives to my beloved carnival and I realized that this holiday is not that significant for Swedes. I was waiting for having million options of parties, celebrations or street parades but I couldn’t find them. But don’t forget that we are in an international student community where many people do celebrate the carnival! So one of my friends offered a costume party where the theme was to dress as a country that is not your country 🙂 I chose India!
This weekend I was also excited to see how Swedes celebrate Valentine´s day. I was waiting to see everyone dressed in red or hearts all around the city in restaurants and coffee shops, but no. Again the Swedes doesn´t seems to be really excited about this celebration and the only heart that I saw that day was my boyfriend’s present: a delicious box of chocolates (what matters is what’s inside right? 😉 )
I was looking for a light of hope to see what turns on that celebration mood in Sweden…and I found it. Semla Day ladies and gentlemen! The Semla or Semlor (or as I call it Cream Hamburger) is a typical Swedish sweet roll with cream and almond paste filling. In the last days I only heard people speaking about Semla, how to make it, how to eat it, where to find it, how to be a Semla, everything with Semla! And let me tell you that these people are not mistaken, because when I tried the Semla I wanted to know how to make it, how to eat it, where to find it and even how to become a Semla!
These delicious buns will sweet your day believe me, and since today February 17 is the Fettisdagen or Srove Tuesday you can find Semla in every supermarket ready to be eaten or baked. If you have some free time why don’t you call your friends and make a proper Semla Day celebration? Here I leave you a recipe for you to try it, enjoy it!
2. Mercè Montoliu Nerín
4,5. Zinnie Pham