The first one month of my university life in Sweden has passed already. I'd like to sum up the impression of the crazy country, Sweden so far.
After decided to come here, I looked for some information about Sweden and Swedish culture on the Internet and asked to exchange students who were from Sweden studied in my home university. Because I just knew a few things about Sweden.
As you guys know, Japan is definitely isolating (or isolated) country especially from Europe both geographically and culturally.
According to my survey, I just expected that Swedish people are generally "fashionable, loving to have a party, shy" before I came here.?
Of course, each Swedish people have their own personalities.
But in general (I don't like this word but have no choice to use it), first and second expectations are nearly correct from my perspective so far.
I saw a lot of fashionable people in Stockholm (not here in Jönköping tho lol) even though middle aged businessmen wear cool jeans as a part of suits and chic ties. They looked so elegant even in Burger King with junky foods.?
Swedish are obviously party people. They really love to have a party to going crazy. During the kick-off week, there were some girls took off their clothes and wore only bra on their upper body in front of every students. If you do the same thing in Japan, you might be labeled as a slut and lose your social status.? I was also confused like "Why are f**king condoms sold at student service office on campus!!!!!!"(idk but are those things normal in other European countries?lol)
The shyness of Swedish people is a little bit different what I expected.
The images of shyness in Japan are for example hesitating to say their opinions in the class, getting confused when someone, who you don't know, talks to you or something like that.
I guess most of Swedish people don't behave like "Japanese shyness".
In my opinion, the reason why they tend to be seen as shy is because of their "big personal space".
They prefer to have an enough distance with people on the train and the station like below.
My stereotypical image of Swedish food culture was so "healthy". I thought they have organic foods every day, don't have greasy foods such as hamburger and pizza to keep their bodies in shape.
That's not true.??????
I can get pizza everywhere. Slim girls have huge full size pizza for their lunch. The quantity of French fries on the plate of fried chicken is enormous at the cafeteria on our campus. How many pizza restaurants here in small city Jönköping? The number of pizza restaurants is more than the number of Japanese people in Jönköping for sure.
Anyway, I should appreciate for this situation that cooking by myself is necessary to avoid getting fat because my cooking skill has remarkably improved.??
One of the most interesting culture for me in Sweden is "migrants". There are a lot of immigrants in Japan as well, mainly from China and Korea. But the social situations are totally different between in Sweden and in Japan.
As you know, Sweden was used to be a very welcoming country for asylum seekers in the past. However, Swedish government finally decided to reject up to 80,000 asylums' migration applications last January.
I wouldn't show my opinion about this "migrant crisis" here. There are a lot of discussions and a variety ways of thinking about this problem. The important thing is that people try to understand the other people who are in the opposite side of you.
This video gave me a new perspective. If you have free time, I recommend you to check it out.
The first feeling when I was taking a bus from Arlanda Airport to Stockholm was "the sun is too bright!!!" This map compares with the latitude between Japan and Europe but Sweden is not on there.
It's cold as 99.9% of Homo sapiens know in Sweden.☃️ So far now, it's fine because the maximum temperature is around 18°C. The thing is that I haven't had any winter jacket yet. Some of my friends told me I am so stupid to come here without winter jacket. But I still believe that I can survive the Swedish winter with just my worn out thin The North Face rain jacket.??? Please wish me luck.
To be continued to the second part,,,,,