Written by Karishma Desai
“Change is the only constant in life”
And that is what keeps us in a flow. These changes define peaks and valley of the curve of life. It changes the whole surrounding when we move to a new country. We all ‘invandrare’ should definitely pat our shoulders for being brave enough to take this decision.
From bidding good bye to air-conditioners to getting used to heaters; there are so many small changes I can count on that changed my everyday routine. I cannot resist writing about these adaptions I have welcomed in my Lifestyle – which I never thought of practising in India.
Black Coffee on the Fika table
The Fika concept in the workplace was in itself new to me – and then comes the black coffee. On my very first formal meeting with a Swede she offered me a cup full of strong black coffee. I was already nervous and did not dare to ask for additions. So, I made my very first step of integration. Today I do not have a second thought about a freshly brewed espresso. Just half a cup though!
Boots and Booties
Buying a pair of high boots was something that had never been an issue. The short winters of western and southern India never allowed me to do so. And I scarcely had sneakers/shoes to wear during travelling. Now, I have so many questions – should they be black, brown, beige or maroon? Should I get hiking shoes or booties or winter boots? They must look smart AND fit my unusualy broad feet.
It’s all about layers!
Our wardrobe is something that makes a great contribution to our lifestyle. And for me, it was complicated to understand how to dress up in different seasons when temperatures vary from -25 °C to +25 °C during the year.
I started of a bit stupidly by wearing only one layer of full sleeve clothes and then a big winter jacket. My collection from India was only suitable during the three summer months unless I started layering them with shrugs, jackets and cardigans. So layers is the thing – it is effective for keeping the warmth and easy to take off when you are indoors.
Welcome to cheese, Müsli and bread!
I was astonished to see numerous collection of cheese like goat cheese, feta, mozzarella, parmesan etc. (Of course, I could hardly remember any names back then!). Indian food is rich in flavours and cheese is not the main ingredient in Indian cooking. Müsli and filmjölk (a traditional fermented milk product from Sweden) are new items on our breakfast menu for one and half years now. And so far, I am not a very big.
Eating bread on a daily basis is a debatable eating habit I find. We are used to eating Indian breads (roti/paratha/chapatti) made of whole wheat with everyday meals. White breads are not so healthy but what about eating those other varieties we find? While I continue eating roti, I find it convenient to have a stock of bread to serve when we have a food-crisis.
Adapting the sunflower phenomenon
‘Sun is shining and so are you’- this line from Axwell /\ Ingrosso’s song literally describes how our happiness quotient is directly proportional to the sunshine. Like a sunflower, we follow it everywhere. No matter where you are in Sweden, missing a sunny day will leave you with a bit of regret and a feeling envy for those who did in fact get to enjoy it.
Ironically, I used to hate those days when sun was above our heads for 8 hours a day and we were sweating like hell. But here I am, living the other extreme.
It is interesting to see how these small factors contribute in making the new version of ourselves. Ultimately, it is all about the level of flexibility that we show. I am interested to know how Swedish society has inspired the day to day life of people coming from different parts of the world. So please do share your thoughts with us.
About the author
Hej! I am Karishma, an Indian who started the Newbie journey 2 years ago with my husband. Västerås is our new home now. It has been a tremendous learning experience to start a new life from scratch. I want to share my experience and interact with fellow Newbies on this website and also on my blog Swed Lifestyle. I’m lucky to born as creative soul and you will find me doing painting or trying some DIY projects in my spare time.