On K’s birthday

Last month in 2019, Baby K turned 1 year old. It feels cruel, sometimes, how a year can passed you by in the blink of an eye. She was just this tiny red blueish baby not so long ago. Now she’s not a baby anymore, she’s officially a toddler.

She already has four teeth. She’s very messy independent when it comes to eating, but clingy when it comes to socialising :D. She’s a strong willed little girl. She drives me crazy with her unlimited energy that keeps her awake till late. Every. Single. Night. And yet, she makes me laugh with her funny behaviours, and warms my heart whenever she hugs me tight.

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Third Year Reflection*

As the year-end is approaching, I would like to use this blog post as a medium of reflection. A look back to where it all started three years ago. This month in 2016, I moved to Sweden from my home country. Time has passed by and many things have happened ever since, including having an additional member in the family. So it just feels right to see how it was and how it has been as a newbie living in Sweden.

And here are some random facts about Sweden that I learnt during my first three years of living in the country:

Sweden is a good place to raise kid

From free education to nearly free healthcare, Sweden is one of a few places I can think of when it comes to a “family friendly” country. Yes, the system is bit frustrating sometimes and requires lots of things to do—filling out forms, queuing, making calls to name a few. But once you got in, the safety net is always there.

Sweden also seems to care about and is willing to take part in children development. One tiny example is when my baby turned 6 months old, she received a free choice book from Lund’s state library. From what I understand, it’s a part of the program to encourage reading and literacy (such important skills for kids to have indeed).

Apart from those, generous parental leave, celebrated equality and recognition of universal values are the things that Sweden offers. And those are the list I would love to tick as a parent. Anyway, read more about the rights as parents in Sweden here.

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Hang Out Ideas for Newbie Parents*

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I often say to myself, when you’re a parent, life is what happened between fresh brewed coffee in the morning and reheated coffee in the afternoon: you barely have time to enjoy your coffee, decently 😀 Especially when you live away from home, far from the supporting system called family, the struggle is real.

Luckily in Sweden, there are some hang out places that are designed and dedicated for parents so parenting can still be fun. Here are the highlights:

Local library

If you’re new in Sweden and not sure where to go for a day-out with your baby, a library could be a good starting point. The state library in Lund has special section for kids of all ages. There’s this small play area where you can read books with your children and also meet other fellow parents.The library also has baby café and book-reading events for kid in various languages (read more about the events here). The book reading is held in the reading “closet” which is set up nicely and comfy for the parents and the kids.

 

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Moving to Lund Evokes the Passion to Write*

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Hayu Rahmitasari writes about life in Lund for a website called The Newbie Guide to Sweden. Recently, she published her first novel in Indonesia.

I always try to see the golden edge.

Hayu Rahmitasari left a good job in Indonesia to start a new life in Lund. The move was  a challenge but at the same time it opened the opportunity to write about life in Sweden and also fiction. Recently, she released her first novel published by an Indonesian publisher.

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Kali Kelima

Kami pindah rumah lagi!

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Ya, awal April lalu kami pindah rumah lagi. Dan ini adalah kepindahan saya yang keempat, serta kelima untuk suami. Sewaktu mengunggah foto terakhir di Stångby beberapa waktu yang lalu, sejumlah kawan mengira kepindahan kami adalah back for good. Bahwa program S3 suami sudah selesai dan kami pulang ke Indonesia.

Itu hoax. Hehe.

Tidak terbukti valid dengan metode apapun 😄

Faktanya, kami masih di Swedia. Program suami baru menjelang seminar ketiga (dari total empat). Jadi masih separuh jalan lebih sedikit. Doakan saja semoga bisa selesai di waktu yang baik untuk semua 🙏🏼

Anyway, kami memang pergi dari Stångby. Tapi ”cuma” pindah rumah. Soal pindah-pindah rumah ini sudah pernah saya singgung sekilas di unggahan saya yang ini, tapi lebih lengkapnya akan saya bahas di sini. Siapa tahu bisa mengalihkan kepenatan dari ingar bingar Pemilu 😄

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Mengapa Swedia Peduli dan Mengapa Kita Lupa

Tiga bulan terakhir, pemberitaan tentang Greta Thunberg, anak muda Swedia yang mogok sekolah karena mengkampanyekan perubahan lingkungan memenuhi media dan lini masa saya. Di waktu yang hampir bersamaan, muncul kabar tutupnya Tempat Pembuangan Sampah Terpadu (TPST) Piyungan, Bantul, dan keresahan warga Jogja soal mau dibawa ke mana sampah-sampah mereka. Belum soal kabar paus yang mati karena menelan berkilo-kilo plastik. Semua hal ini membangkitkan keinginan lama saya untuk menulis tentang pengelolaan sampah di Swedia.

Swedia memang bisa dibilang sangat serius soal pengelolaan sampah dan kepedulian lingkungan. Greta adalah bukti nyata bagaimana kesadaran lingkungan menjadi keseharian di negara ini. Dan dia tidak sendirian. Banyak Greta-Greta yang lain yang menjadikan kesadaran lingkungan sebagai gaya hidup. Mereka adalah hasil dari sistem yang sudah disiapkan sedari awal. Pilah-pilih sampah sudah diajari sejak dini. Reduce, reuse, recycle bukan hanya berhenti sebagai slogan. Bahkan, sekolah-sekolah berlomba-lomba menjadi green flag school, salah satu program EU untuk menginisiasi dan melibatkan anak-anak muda dalam menjaga lingkungan, dimulai dari ruang kelas mereka.

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Learning about Sweden from Popular Culture*

For many years, Sweden has been frequently represented in popular media, especially in the US. Ranging from typical references such us Swedish blonde girls in American Horror Story: Hotel to the Swedish chef with a thick accent on The Muppets Movie, Sweden is often narrowly depicted as anything that other countries are not.

Media representation can be too stereotypical and misleading sometimes, but as an expat living in Sweden, I found that popular culture about Sweden helps me to understand the country and its culture better. But, I prefer the “local” ones, which contain more “insider perspectives” than Hollywood productions. These are my personal favourites:

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