Sweden, Day 2

17 Sep

Day two we got up at the hostel early to have breakfast.  It was a decent spread: cheeses, breads, meats, yogurts, cereals, juices, etc.  We then headed over to the Museum of World Culture.  There were two exhibits: Destination X and Risk Zone.  My favorite was Destination X, so I will talk about that (and that was the only one of which we were allowed to take photos).

Portal to Destination X

Destination X

Destination X started off with this cool portal/tunnel with weird airplane, beeping, and other sounds.  It made it feel like I was entering into an alternate universe.  The exhibit was all about migration of people around the world.  The main focus was on migration today.  One interesting part to me was talking to our tour guide, Saida.  She was born in Sweden, but her family originates from Morocco.  When someone in our group asked her if she feels Swedish, she said that she wished that she was considered Swedish, but that unfortunately she feels that ethnic Swedes do not consider her as Swedish.  She also does not think her children feel Swedish and that maybe by the time her grandchildren and born that they will feel Swedish.  This was interesting because the main reason our class went to Sweden was to take a look at Sweden’s integration policies and compare them to those of Denmark.  On paper, Sweden looks to be one of Europe’s most immigrant-friendly of countries and scores highly on the MIPEX scale of integration.  However, on the ground, it seemed that some non-ethnic Swedes did not feel accepted by Swedish society, such as Saida.

Back to the exhibit.  I will just post some of the photos I took and try to explain them in their captions.

Suitcase Globe
These suitcases were all left behind and unclaimed at airports around the world

Palm tree made of lost flip-flops

Items found at the Mexican-United States border
So many kid’s backpacks and toys..

Handkerchiefs that people in Mexico made their loved ones before they made a long journey.  They are used to keep tortillas in.

On a quick last note about the Museum, the other guide used the word “switcheroo.”  I absolutely love some of the random quirky sayings that non-English speakers pick up of the English language.

After the exhibit, we went to a talk at the University of Göteborg.  The talk was with a lecturer of religious studies and Islam.  He himself is an atheist, so his focus is more on the “science of religion.”  His discussion was interesting.  He made the point of saying that all religious scriptures are just text.  It is the interpretations of these texts that form what the religion is today.

After the talk, we got to go on a boat tour of Göteborg.  Some of the highlights of the tour: we had to actually sit on the floor because the water levels were high and we were going under a super low bridge.  Also, a lowlight of the tour: we could not go into one of the canals because of the high water level and the “cheese slicer” bridge, which literally had maybe 2 feet between it and the water.  And an interesting sight: as we boated by a park, there was a young man in nothing but a man thong posing on a tree stump for his friends.  And then on the way back, there was a man in a Borat-styled mankini thong getting out of a car.  Riiight.  What up Göteborg?

Apparently some people actually get married in the fish hall..

Low bridge we passed under. NOT zoomed in.

On my walk to dinner, I passed by some type of Harry Potter style high school initiation… Oh Sweden, how you puzzle me.

That night we had dinner at a French restaurant and we had a Nicoise salad.  Then Jakob bought about 20 bottles of wine for the class…. resulting in about 2 or 3 glasses a person.  Afterwards, we headed over to a bar across the street where I ended up talking to a Swede with my friend.  He asked what we were studying and when we told him “migration and conflict,” he said, “Yeah, in Sweden we have tons of that.”  When we asked him to elaborate, he told us that two immigrants robbed his grandfather’s house and therefore he does not like immigrants.  CONFLICT THEORY! CONFLICT THEORY! Hollahhh Putnam.  I ran to Jakob to tell him of my real-life example.

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