The Worst Weekend of the Year to Live Abroad
Most of the time, I enjoy my life immensely. Almost every day, I reflect over how fantastic my life is and how lucky I am to get to work with what interests me the most, to get to live in different countries and get to know different cultures, and meet all the interesting people that I meet, just by working. I feel truly lucky and I really enjoy it. There is only one weekend of the year when I do not feel so happy to be abroad and that is on Midsummer (the Friday closest to the solstice). There is nothing more Swedish and not only is it difficult to celebrate abroad, it is totally impossible to celebrate it with foreigners because they never fully understand what it represents. Midsummer is the second biggest holiday in Sweden after Christmas and though the theories of its origin vary, it is a non-Christian celebration dedicated to nature and to the light that we see so little of during the winters. It is the one weekend of the year when everyone tries to go out to the countryside or in the archipelago, and those unfortunate enough to be stuck in the city on midsummer’s eve find themselves in an almost completely empty city. We celebrate it with family and friends, surrounding ourselves with wild flowers, eating traditional food, singing midsummer-songs and just enjoying nature. Every year I promise myself that I will make sure that I am in Sweden for midsummer and every year, I fail – there is always something preventing me from going. This year I did not celebrate at all. No other Swedes were here (they had all gone to Sweden) and I was instead invited to my boss’ house for dinner yesterday on Midsummer’s eve. I found myself talking quite a lot about Sweden – I am, as ever year this weekend, really homesick!