The Question: How to Celebrate Christmas in Lund?

The Question: How to Celebrate Christmas in Lund?

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Illustration: Rebecka Peterson

While many international students will return home for the holidays, some have decided to stay in Lund and experience their first traditional Swedish Christmas.

Lundagård interviewed two international students – Naomi Fee from Germany and Timothy Parker from New Zealand, who are both studying   media and communications – to hear their take on what this holiday season will bring.

Why are you staying in Lund?

NF: I really want to see how Sweden celebrates Christmas, and I’m looking for a Swedish family to “adopt” me to get an insight into the Swedish traditions. I’ve always loved Sweden since I was a small child. I guess I just have this romantic picture of Sweden.

TP: I’ve come a long way, and it’s expensive to go home. My girlfriend’s family is here in Lund, so we’re going to have a Swedish Christmas. My family’s coming just after Christmas, and it’s nice to have a white Northern-Hemisphere Christmas—it’s a novelty for me, so that’s cool.

How do you usually spend the holidays?

NF: Usually I celebrate with my family. We celebrate on the 24th in the evening: we go to church, we have a dinner, we dance around the Christmas tree and we unpack our presents.

TP: Christmas in New Zealand is summertime, so we have a barbecue, my family comes over and it’s pretty relaxed. Last time I had Christmas in New Zealand, people didn’t even have shoes on.

What are you most excited for?

NF: I’m mostly excited about food! I’m interested in the decorations, what kind of songs they sing, if they go to church or not… I hope it will snow so we can have a white Christmas! I’m also really curious about the Lucia tradition.

TP: Everything! The feeling of coziness I get, just being inside, having a woolen jumper on. I’m also looking forward to the food because most of the year I eat vegan, but for Christmas I’m going to take a break from that and have some traditional Swedish food.

Will it be hard to be away from home?

NF: No, I’m mostly really excited about it! I mean, I have a good relationship with my family, but I’m more excited than sad that I’ll be missing out.

TP: I haven’t lived in New Zealand for about six and a half years, so that feeling of being homesick is almost gone now. I’m used to traveling, but yeah, I miss my family, so I’ll be Skyping them for sure.

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