Basic Everyday Info for Recently Moved Newbie*

Lately, I’ve been receiving questions from some people who are going to move to Sweden, either for work or study in my website and Instagram. And some of the questions are actually really simple, about everyday info, which I didn’t consider important before. At least I used to take it for granted.

But I think that was just because I’m lucky. My husband moved to Sweden eight months earlier than I did so he’s kind of paves the path for me. But not all people have the same experience. So here I compile the basic information of everyday life in Sweden for recently moved newbie.

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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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Swedish Sayings I Wish I Knew Before Moving to Sweden*

Like many other countries, Sweden has plenty of expressions, idioms and sayings rooted in history and tradition. Some of them can be found in other languages, or at least share similar meaning like “Beat around the bush” and “Gå som katten kring het gröt” (English: walks like the cat around hot porridge). Some others are quite exceptional.

Despite its hilarious literal meanings, these sayings are actually relatable to everyday life in Sweden. Personally, I found some sayings are helpful in understanding Swedish values, and for that reason I wish I knew them earlier 😀

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What’s On Lund?*

Despite its petite size, Lund is the home for many interesting regular events. From January to December, there are always some things going on in Lund. I put a compilation of events in Lund below so you can mark your calendar and plan everything in advance as Swedes do ☺

Lundaloppet

This is a race for all ages that has been organised since 1982 and is claimed as the largest exercise race in Skåne. Join more than a thousand runners in this annual event. Lundaloppet has three races: 850 metres for kids, 5 kilometres and 10 kilometres. It is like a running party in Lund’s IP where organisations set up their booths and provide foods, playground and even face painting.

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Embracing the Typically Swedish habits*

Living in a new country brings its own excitement and challenges. The first years are usually dubbed as the honeymoon phase. This is the moment when everything seems so bright, fresh and exciting.

Then soon, things become routine and less fascinating than before. In a matter of time, we started to settle and eventually adopted the new habits, including the habits in eating. Either we consciously do it on purpose, or it just comes naturally, we’ll find ourselves embrace the new habit, no matter how strange we thought it was.

This is actually a good sign as you’ve had become part of another culture, and it has changed the way you look at people, life, and even yourself.

After living in Sweden for almost three years, here are the things that I found unusual at the beginning but now I got used to them:

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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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