I was fortunate enough to meet my Swedish relatives this past break! We had 3 days off from DIS in which my family came to visit me, but for us to also go to Sweden. We traveled to Malmö where we rented a car and then drove 3 hours to Karlskrona. It was really crazy to drive at 3:30 completely dark out but I guess that’s the life here in Scandinavia. We also ended up staying in this really nice cabin on the ocean!
This was the first time my family and I have met them which made for a really cool and fun experience. My great grandfather, Albert, emigrated from Sweden to America. He has multiple brothers and sisters in which our relatives descended from. I learned more about my family history and how a lot of our family traditions around Christmas time are influenced by or are Swedish. We love to make pepparkakor aka ginger snaps, Swedish meatballs, lingonberry sauce, and have lots of dala horses around the house.
Our relatives showed us a lot of places in Karlskrona. We visited the forest my great grandfather left from, where his old house was, his school, and even where he was baptized. We even had some non-alcoholic glögg and pepparkakor on the side of the road. It was pretty surreal. They even threw us a party to welcome us! I felt like I made a connection back through my family past, and that really meant a lot to me.
It also means a lot to me to know my family history. For us Americans, we care a lot about out background and where we came from. You can see that in our mascots, media, or even just talking to others. But not a lot of us can say that we have met or know that side of our history. I have been fortunate enough to learn and meet this side which is absolutely magical.
Sweden feels like home to me, and I hope to continue my journey there after I am done with my degree back home. Living here in Copenhagen, visiting family, and going to Stockholm has made me fall in love with Scandinavia. I wish I didn’t have to go home in less than 2 weeks. Copenhagen you great.