Middle East Bakery has been around for 40 years, but has been renewed and renovated the last years. The restaurant has been in Andersonville for almost 7 years. They chose Andersonville because they liked the neighborhood. The shop and restaurant are a family business. The owner’s name is Hisam and he says that he loves and appreciates Andersonville as well as all of his customers. Furthermore, he explains that the customers are his friends. Hisam’s favorite things to do in Andersonville are going for walks, eating at restaurants and hanging out.
Hisam appreciates people that run businesses and appreciates the diversity of different businesses in Andersonville. Hisam explains that the food at the Middle East Bakery is very authentic and made from scratch. According to Hisam, they use ingredients of high quality. Furthermore, he explains that most products and ingredients are imported from Europe and the Middle East. Hisam says that they always buy the best they can get, as they want their customers to get the best ingredients and a tremendous experience at Middle East Bakery.
The bakery is also known for serving delicious food at their restaurant, which is appreciated and loved by their customers. Some examples of the food the restaurant serves are shawarma, falafel, salads, chicken, wraps, fries as well as several vegan options. The restaurant values vegan ingredients and dishes, according to the owner.
KOPI cafe is a very popular place in Andersonville. It is loved by many and people go there to eat delicious food, drink amazing coffee and spend quality time together in a cozy atmosphere. KOPI means coffee in Indonesian. There are many cozy places to be seated in at the cafe, such as cafe tables as well as Balinese cushions. Apart from food and drinks, there are also books, journals, note books, and games available to purchase. The owners are world travelers and love to travel and visit new places. Their interest is connected with the cafe which is also called “a traveler’s cafe”.
One of the two owners, which is also Eastern European apart from being American, explains that she used to live in Andersonville and felt like a cafe was needed in the neighborhood, which was 30 years ago. Furthermore, she says that Andersonville is a very unique community and that local businesses are highly supported. Additionally, entrepreneurs are encouraged and there is a unique mix of different businesses. What she likes most about Andersonville is the mix of people that live here. When she is in the neighborhood, she likes to visit and support local stores and restaurants.
The owner’s favorite food is fresh veggies and she explains that in her free time, she enjoys traveling and going to other cafes and museums. Growing up, she wanted to be a traveler or artist and her favorite subjects in school were art and history.
KOPI cafe contributes to the amazing atmosphere in Andersonville and is a part of the diversity within the community. Drop by the cafe to eat, drink, read or talk. Or drop by to discover and explore a new place. You never know what it will give you.
Emil was born in Linköping, in the east of Sweden. However, then he moved to Karlstad to study, a city in the western part of Sweden. Karlstad is the biggest city in the district of Värmland. Emil describes Värmland as a very rural area, and that Karlstad is famous for its “EPA” culture which is a subculture. Emil explains that because the area is so rural, many people use their cars a lot. Children from 15 years are allowed to drive cars at a slow pace and they have made a culture around cars. Many people in Sweden connect the subculture with Värmland.
Apart from being in Linköping and Karlstad, Emil also likes visiting other Swedish cities and islands, such as Stockholm, Jönköping, and Visby on the island Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
Visby was built in the 12th century. However, there are archaeological discoveries proving that humans have lived on the island since 2000 B.C. Gotland also played an important role during the viking period. During the medieval ages, Visby was one of the biggest Swedish cities. Additionally, the island is famous for being the host of the political week “Almedalsveckan” where politicians from all parties in the Swedish parliament have their events and seminars.
In Karlstad, Emil studies geographical information systems, which will make him an engineer. Emil explains that his tasks include making 3D models to calculate coordination systems or calculate network analysis. However if he doesn’t want to work as an engineer, Emil could see himself as a politician in the future.
Emil is also Latvian. His mother is from the capital, Riga. Emil has many folk dresses from Latvia at his parents house in Linköping. The folk dresses are for special occasions and celebrations and could be used for the independence day and other cultural celebrations. Furthermore, Emil explains that because Latvia was a part of the Soviet Union, they are also a bit more patriotic since their independence. Since the soviet union suppressed national identity for the Latvian people, people are more patriotic than people in western Europe. Latvian people and east European countries are generally more patriotic and traditional than the western countries, which can be seen in cultural traditions and celebrations such as cultural holidays, flags and folk dresses.
Emil loves sharing candy from the Swedish candy industry with other people. He explains that in his hometown Linköping they have a famous candy company called Cloetta, which produces typical Swedish candy such as “Kexchoklad” and “Polly”. The candy “Kexchoklad” consists of biscuits and chocolate. “Polly” is a buttercup toffee with chocolate around.
Additionally, Emil loves fika and he says that his second hometown, Karlstad, is famous for the Swedish coffee “Löfbergs lila”. When it comes to food, Emil’s favorite dish is hamburgers with his own-made hamburger sauce. In his free time, Emil likes playing floorball, which he describes as hockey without ice and a plastic ball. He is playing in a team with his university, called “Puzzles”. When he was younger, he used to play soccer. His dream back then was to become a football player in the Spanish team Real Madrid.
Emil’s favorite book, “The intelligent investor” can also be connected with his biggest role model, Warren Buffet. The book is about the famous investor Warren Buffet and strategies and ideas of investing in stocks. Warren Buffet had a teacher named Benjamin Graham who is the author of the book. Graham explains how to achieve financial accomplishments, with the help of Buffet’s strategies and other financial methods. Emil says he believes that many students interested in personal finance would get some useful help from the advice of Buffet and Graham.
Måns lives in a town called Lerum, close to Gothenburg. Lerum has approximately 40 000 inhabitants. Måns describes his neighborhood as cozy, with a big lake called Aspen. Måns has a view of both the lake and the city and he describes it as a calm area. Additionally, Lerum has their own brand called Aspen. The company sells products such as T shirts, cups, hoodies and other things.
Måns says that his favorite tradition is Christmas, and he particularly likes Christmas markets. He explains that close to his university city, Jönköping, there is a small town called Gränna, which has very beautiful Christmas markets every year.
The island Visingsö is known for its rich history. During the 12th and 13th century, Näs castle was the home for the Swedish monarchy. Four Swedish kings have died on the small island. The Swedish navy planted several oak trees to use as materials for ships during the 19th century. Apart from that, Visingsö has been an important location for the royal Brahe family. The count Per Brahe the younger built a castle at Visingsö as well as the castle Brahehus (see below). Västanå castle is another castle the family built and the castles are placed in a perfect triangle in the county. Västanå castle was built in 1590 and was the first castle hotel in Sweden, and was opened in 1948 to host guests. The Brahe family owned the biggest county at the time and was extremely powerful. They also founded the city Gränna which is famous for its candysticks and old buildings.
Close by, there is an applefarm and restaurant which Måns occasionally visits. The farm is called “Rudenstams” and also has a shop, cafe and restaurant. There have been fruit plantations in the area since 1930. Since lake Vättern is very deep, it is heated slowly and therefore slows down spring as well as keeping the summer heat in the autumn before it cools off. Thus, the climate makes it a perfect area for farming and apple plantations.
A special family tradition that Måns and his family has is a golf tournament every year, called Hulténopen. He explains that the winner receives a price. Last year the tournament was in Halmstad, a popular summer city at the Swedish west coast. The cities vary from year to year.
Måns loves pets and he has two cats at home. Måns favorite word is “hallå eller” which is a dialectal way of saying “hey there”, common for the area of Gothenburg. He often uses the word and likes the way it sounds.
Sara lives in Jönköping, in the south of Sweden. She describes it as a vibrant town with a nice student life. She loves to be close to the big lake Vättern, and she loves running, walking and hanging out there with her friends.
Sara is half British and she says that her biggest influence from her British heritage is her humor. She describes it as “banter” which is like an own way of joking with other people. Sara explains that if you have good banter, you are quick to jump on a joke and don’t mind making fun of yourself. Regarding her Swedish heritage, she likes sharing the stories about vikings with other people.
Sara’s favorite food is fika. The word fika also happens to be one of her favorite words, because she loves the concept and she loves sharing it with other people. The fika culture is a very unique and valued tradition in Sweden. When Sara tells other people that it is common to take two fika breaks every day, they are shocked. Furthermore, Sara says that a fika is a great way to chat with friends, coworkers or family. It is a nice way to bond with other people. She also has a sweet tooth and is called “The fika queen” by her friends. Her favorite pastry is cheescake.
Apart from fika, Sara loves working out, going for walks and seeing her friends. Her favorite family tradition is during Christmas when Sara and her family travel to northern Sweden to their cabin. She enjoys the winter activities in the north of Sweden. To ski, drive the snow scooter, and really get a “Christmassy feeling”, are some of her favorite things to do. Furthermore, she explains that it is a nice contrast to southern Sweden. Additionally, Sara wants to recommend other people to travel to the north and south of Sweden and not only visit Stockholm when they are in the country. There are many interesting differences between the north and south of Sweden.
Sara also wants to share the thought of equality in the Scandinavian way of living with other people. She enjoys sharing her thoughts on how the Scandinavian way of living is different to the American way of living. Paid parental leave as well as free health care and education are some of the best benefits, she explains. Sara explains that it is a hot topic for her to discuss, how the system could be implemented in the American system even though it’s probably not going to happen. Nevertheless, she loves to introduce it to other people to hear their opinions. Furthermore, it is very rare to have that kind of benefit in the rest of the world.
In the future, Sara wishes for peace and the end of injustices. Personally, she hopes that she can get the opportunity to live in America and England again. She loves the two countries, and she did her exchange semester in Boston in America. What she likes about America is that everything is extra. Sara wouldn’t like to live in America forever though. She says that she stands by the Swedish national anthem, that she “wants to live and die in the north”. Sara claims that she takes pride in being Swedish, but that she would like to live in other countries. When it comes to England, she wants to live there again because she has family and relatives there. She speaks the language fluently and lived there until she was 14.
Growing up, as a little girl, Sara wanted to be a princess. She was born in the early 90’s and explains that they did not have many strong female athletes or female figures to look up to in the same way they have now. Growing up in England, which Sara describes as quite a conservative country, girls attending dance classes and playing with dolls was the norm. Sara says that as a little girl she loved Disney and dancing and also loved the royal family which contributed to her princess dream. However, she says that it was more of a wish than an actual dream. She says that it is not close to where she is today, yet when she was younger, that was her dream.
Sam lives in Stockholm in a small suburb called Skogås. He describes his neighborhood as very cozy with many forests and trees. There is a natural reserve close by as well as a lot of water and many hills. The neighborhood is not too far away from the archipelago in Stockholm. The archipelago is the biggest in Sweden, with more than 30 000 islands, and the second biggest in the area of the Baltic Sea.
Apart from being Swedish, Sam also has a Chilean and Iranian heritage. He has many family members all over the world. Sam speaks fluent Spanish and visits both Chile and Spain occasionally. His favorite family tradition is birthdays because he gets to spend time with his family and celebrate with them. Sam’s favorite holiday is Midsummer because it is celebrated in Sweden and not many other places, which makes it special according to Sam. He likes to celebrate together with his friends and points out that it is the longest day of the year, which also makes it feel extra special and fun.
Sam loves sharing the countries that his parents come from, Chile and Iran, which have very beautiful nature with lots of mountains and varying nature. Furthermore, Sam explains that there are certain traditions in Iran for example, which are more muslim traditions. For example for new years eve, they have a table served with seven dishes which begins with the letter s.
Regarding his Swedish heritage, Sam wants other people to know that Sweden is a very beautiful country and also that there are people who are very nice. Although Swedes might be known for being a bit closed, they are very welcoming people, according to Sam. Additionally, there are many specific Swedish celebrations such as “fettisdagen” or “the cinnamon bun’s day” which he likes to celebrate.
In his free time, Sam likes playing soccer. Growing up, his dream was to become a soccer player for the English soccer team Chelsea. That was also one of the reasons he started playing soccer. He lives for the sport and explains that when he is playing, he can disconnect from everything else. Soccer is more than only a sport to him.
When he became older, he wanted to become a surgeon, like his father. However, now he has realized that he wants to work with health science or as a chemist, to do something useful for society. Sam studies to become a chemist and he wants to use his knowledge in a contributing and meaningful way.
A role model for Sam is someone who never gives up, someone striving for what they want is inspiring to Sam. He says it is difficult to name one person, therefore he says there could be many people.
Apart from playing and watching soccer, in his free time Sam likes listening to music and meeting his friends, especially the ones he hasn’t seen in a while. Furthermore, he likes exploring, discovering and traveling to new places.
Hanna lives in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast. She recently moved there and is new to the city. She lives in the city center in a place called Masthugget. Hanna likes Gothenburg and describes it as a beautiful city with many nice shops, restaurants, theaters and a thriving culture and atmosphere. Additionally, there are many places to discover and explore.
Hanna loves celebrating midsummer and she always spends the traditional Swedish holiday with her family and friends. Every summer, Hanna, her family and friends visit their summer house on the Swedish west coast where they do all the typical midsummer traditions. That includes flower crowns to wear in their hair. The flower crowns are popular all over Sweden during Midsummer.
To make a flower crown, the first step is to go out in nature to pick the preferable flowers. Hanna prefers to pick daisies, bluebells, clover and birch branches. The next step is to create the base, most often with birch branches. The branches are wired with wire, and then the flowers are added, usually in bouquets. After adding enough flowers, the flower crown is done and can be worn for Midsummer!
Hanna explains that after the flower crown making, her and her family have a traditional midsummer lunch. She explains that her dad’s favorite part of the lunch is herring with potatoes. Hanna says that for dessert they always have strawberry cake that they make themselves with fresh berries and whipped cream.
After the traditional lunch, they visit their neighbors. The neighbors have a big maypole where they dance and sing typical Swedish midsummer songs around. A band is playing traditional songs with accordions and other traditional instruments. Some people are wearing Swedish folk dresses. Hanna doesn’t have one herself, but her grandmother does. It is more common for the older generation to own one, she explains.
In her free time, Hanna enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She likes to travel because she likes to explore and discover new places and cultures. Hanna says that she always spends a lot of time in the forest and that she has many good memories from there. According to Hanna, there are few things better than hearing the wind in the leaves, feeling the calmness and hearing the birds sing or other animals walking around. Hanna and her family usually go for long walks together in the forest. Sometimes they go to pick blueberries, lingonberries or mushrooms, depending on the season. Hanna’s favorite berry is wild strawberries. In Sweden, you usually pick wild strawberries during the summer, and they are particularly common during Midsummer. Normally you can pick strawberries until the last week in July, but if the weather is right, the season could last longer, all the way to August.
Hanna likes sharing Swedish traditions with other people. She explains that her German friend came to visit her last summer. They celebrated midsummer together and Hanna says that it was really nice to show her all the Swedish food, traditions and songs. When she was in Australia as an au pair, Hanna cooked Swedish meatballs for the children and she says they liked it much better than IKEA’s meatballs. Hanna likes sharing and introducing Swedish food to other people.
Hanna wants other people to know about Swedish traditions and food. Furthermore, she wants people to know that Sweden is a very safe country and that it has been very nice to grow up in Sweden. Sweden’s inhabitants can study for free and receive grants from the government to study at a higher level. Hanna wants people to know that Sweden supports their citizens with free health care and that everybody is looking after each other and helping each other through established social protections.
Growing up, Hanna wanted to work with dolphins or animals. She wanted to become a vet, but her biggest dream was to become a dolphin trainer. Hanna loves animals and has a dog, an adorable English Springer Spaniel.
Samuel lives in a small town in the countryside outside Lidköping, in the southwestern part of Sweden. He lives close to the biggest lake in the country, named Vänern. Samuel loves nature and prefers nature and smaller cities over big cities. Additionally, he loves doing activities in nature, such as sailing, skiing, canoeing, hiking and camping. Samuel loves the water and enjoys doing many sports.
In addition, Samuel loves skiing. He wants other people to know about the outdoor culture in Sweden, as well as how equal and free Sweden is. He explains that all inhabitants in Sweden can enjoy the rights of free speech and independent thinking. Furthermore, Samuel wants other people to know that Sweden truly values solidarity, which could be seen in deeply implemented structures in the society, such as the welfare state, foreign aids, diplomatic projects and a willingness to help people in need.
One of Samuel’s favorite holidays is All Saints Day. The holiday is popular in Sweden and celebrated at the end of October to honor and remember the dead ones. He says that he feels thankful and he says that he appreciates feeling connected with his emotions. Furthermore, he says that he gets many insightful and valuable perspectives. Samuel also likes the Swedish holiday Advent, which occurs during the 4 Sundays before Christmas. Advent is celebrated to count down the days for Christmas. It is a cozy tradition which is celebrated by millions of Swedes every year. Samuel thinks it is a very cozy holiday, to get together with his family, go to church and light candles.
Samuel’s favorite meal is fried mackerel with melted butter and spinach. His grandfather taught him an amazing way to make it. He has a good relationship with his family and loves doing activities together with them. His biggest role models are his parents, because they have achieved many things and given him many things, including a great childhood and life.
Samuel’s favorite TV show is the popular Swedish show called “Svensson Svensson”, which is about a stereotypical Swedish family. It is a parody and comedy show, which was first released in 1994. On every Christmas Eve, the show is played and watched by hundreds of thousands of Swedes.
The show also illustrates typical Swedish nature and culture, such as the popular skiing culture. Skiing is very popular in Sweden and there are many ski resorts, such as Sälen, Åre, Vemdalen and Idre. The Swedish ski season could last all the way from October to May, and many families usually go on trips during the winter break or spring break.
The Swedish nature is unique and famous. Some of the most popular trees are birch, pine, fir, oak and beech whereas some of the most popular flowers are roses, wind flowers, dandelions, daises and lupines. The Swedish nature and climate varies quite much from the north to the south.
Samuel tries to be outdoors as much as he can, and he enjoys the calmness, harmony and peace that nature brings. Sweden is famous for a unique concept called “freedom to roam” or “right of public access”. That includes the free rights of walking, camping, cycling, picking berries and visiting any land, with exceptions for gardens, houses and areas of cultivation. Therefore, it is very popular and appreciated for Swedes to go on trips to different forests and lands, during the holidays or weekends.
Amanda lives in Jönköping, in a neighborhood upon a hill. There are many student apartments, some shops, restaurants, a school and a kindergarten. One of the many things she loves about the area is the possibility to feed the ducks, in the small lake in her neighborhood. She also likes her neighborhood because it is cozy and calm.
Amanda’s favorite family tradition is birthdays. She absolutely loves them because she gets to celebrate with her family. The typical traditions in her family consist of celebrating each other at 7.am in the morning, with presents and a breakfast in bed including hot chocolate, two toasts with ham and the mandatory Swedish flag. Later in the afternoon, they celebrate with a traditional Swedish cake, called “princess cake” which is extremely popular in the county where Amanda lives.
Apart from being Swedish, Amanda also origins an Indian heritage. She was adopted from India and has visited the country once. Growing up, Amanda wanted to become a doctor because she wanted to help people in need. Amanda is truly passionate about helping and understanding people, and she thinks kindness to both friends, family and strangers is really important.
Her favorite subject in school was domestic science because she thought it was really useful to learn more about adult life and how to make food, take care of clothes and economics. She also really liked media, information and communication when she was a bit older. It fascinated her because it made her understand how our current society depends on information and media. Amanda also emphasizes her interest in how it could affect people and how it could evolve in the future.
In her free time, Amanda enjoys meeting her friends and family, reading and baking. Amanda is baking occasionally and two of her favorite pastries to make are cinnamon buns and raspberry caves. Since Amanda doesn’t have a bake machine, she makes the dough herself and therefore it takes longer. She reveals that the secret to making really good cinnamon buns is to double the amount of cinnamon and butter and sugar. When it comes to food, her favorite dish is potatoes with lingonberry-jam and elk-meat. Additionally, the dish is served with some cream sauce with jelly, and carrots with garlic and butter. She claims that her father has a fantastic recipe for it.
Apart from being a baking enthusiast, Amanda also loves the Eurovision Song Contest. What she loves about it is that it is a peaceful and unique way to get Europe together “like a big family” during a week when everybody supports and celebrates each other through music. Other countries traditions can also be seen in music. Amanda likes the concept of not taking everything so seriously, but rather to focus on glitter, and cool lights and colors. Due to her high interest, Amanda knows many facts and statistics about the contest. She explains that Eurovision started with the purpose to unite all European countries. The countries with the most wins are Ireland and Sweden, who each have 7 wins. Amanda says that if Sweden wins this year, Sweden would pass and win over Ireland and would then be the country that has won the most times. Amanda truly hopes that will happen.
Amanda’s favorite holiday is Christmas. She loves to spend time with her family and watch the traditional Swedish TV show “Donald Duck and his friends” which is seen by millions of Swedes on every Christmas Eve. A perfect Christmas for Amanda is a Christmas with snow. She loves the snow and she is an outdoor person. She especially likes to make snow-angels, snowmen and snow-lanterns.
Jonathan lives in the city of Jönköping, in the south of Sweden. The city is surrounded by lakes and is located at the south end of the second biggest lake in Sweden. Jonathan loves walking around in the city, especially close to the lakes.
Jönköping is also famous for hosting the enormous gaming and esportevent “Dreamhack”, which occurs every winter and summer. It is mentioned in the Guinness World Records book and has tens of thousands of visitors every time. Jonathan has attended several times, as he likes esports. He has also been both the president and the vice president for the Student Esport Association called “Justice” in Jönköping.
Jonathan lives in a neighborhood with many family houses and a few apartment buildings. The area is very calm and close to nature and the forest. He wants other people to know about the calming Swedish nature as well as what he describes as the “great focus on work balance”. In addition, Jonathan wants other people to know that Sweden is very equal in many ways, in areas such as gender and class.
Close to Jönköping, there are many beautiful areas, which are perfect for a roadtrip, such as the old castle Brahehus and an old hotel called “Gyllene Uttern” is perfect for a fika break. Jonathan loves going on roadtrips and explains that he loves to discover and explore new areas. Furthermore, he is really interested in history.
Jonathan’s favorite movie is Avatar. It spreads the message of taking care of the environment and sustainability, which he is very passionate about. The movie is not about characters, it is about the story, the issue and the moral. The world is pure and then humans come and make a mess out of it. Jonathan says that his favorite character is the planet, and he describes it as beautiful and stunning.
Jonathan’s favorite movie could also be connected with his hope for the future, which is to collectively save the planet and fight climate change. Jonathan is passionate about helping both the planet and people, and growing up, he wanted to work with animals. However, now his dream is to work with public speaking, because that is something he is very passionate about and he loves influencing and helping people.
Jonathan is from Germany, but he has lived a long time in Sweden. Jonathan says that he is not Swedish by origin but that a part of his identity and heart are Swedish. His parents now live in a German city called Kiel. During Christmas, he is reunited with his parents and siblings and that is one of the reasons why Christmas is one of his favorite traditions. Ever since he moved to Sweden, Christmas is the time of the year which he looks forward to, because he gets to meet his entire family again.
During Christmas, Jonathan and his family often take time to open their presents. Since they live in the north of Europe, they open their Christmas presents on Christmas eve. Additionally, they spend time together and do activities such as playing board games and watching movies. Apart from that, they also eat, drink and enjoy their time with each other. Jonathan explains that they eat something called “Raclette”, which is a German tradition.
Jonathan’s biggest inspiration is the German comedian Otto Walkes. He is in his late 70’s and has been around for a long time. Walkes is very unique in his humor style, which is inspiring to Jonathan. He has a very goofy style and is able to transition that in an amazing and genuine way. Jonathan claims that Walkes is being himself and embracing that and it makes him really successful. According to Jonathan, Walkes is the most successful German comedian ever. Finding something that is based on you and your personality and passion and to be able to do that for a living is very inspiring to Jonathan. He says that he also strives to achieve that.