One thing I am embracing, living here in Sweden cultural differences. Even weeks before Easter Sunday, the different cultural traditions have been apparent.
It is an extremely colourful time & these feathers are everywhere. (Errr…not really sure what their about but it brightens up the place up so we’ll go with it!)
Some places try to be classy and have colour schemes for their feathers – but I’m all about the multi-colouredness!
And when I say they are everywhere – I’m not kidding – they even decorate 20+ft trees like it’s Christmas – so in Sweden we seem to have Easter trees!
Swedes often use cardboard hollow eggs and fill them with chocolates! They come in all sizes & designs and you can even buy them in second hand stores.
And they even have their own Easter drink…’Påsk must’ (which tastes suspiciously like their Christmas speciality ‘Jul must’ – well, they didn’t fool me!)
Swedish Easter food traditions? Well, I might not share in some of their choices such as pickled herring, but I think I might be able to make my peace with cured salmon, spiced Schnapps & roast lamb.
For many Swedes, Easter is more about family celebration & holiday than it is about Jesus. In fact, similarly to Halloween, the children dress up as Easter witches and will visit their neighbours’ houses, presenting them with paintings and drawings in the hope of getting sweets in return.
While I love the bright colours that come with this Easter season here in Sweden, for me, Jesus is the centre of this Easter celebration & I am looking forward to sharing this season with our new family at Immanuel International Church.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
– John 16:33
So, I have penned some conversations that I have had with various people since my marathon training began.
(Disclaimer: OK, so some of the conversation is pure poetic license – I have allowed myself to imagine the thoughts in your head at various points!)
You: What have you been up to this week Anita?
Me : Well, I ran 16 miles yesterday…(around 25.75km).
You: Er…most people use a car…it’s worth thinking about…
Me: It took me around 2 & a half hours…that’s over 150 minutes of running. Non-stop.
You: It would have been quicker in a car!
Me: Thanks for your encouraging words! That helps.
You: You’re welcome! But seriously Anita, what have your crazy hobbies got to do with me?
Me: Well, I’m glad you asked… I am actually running the Stockholm marathon for Compassion UK.
Me: For accountability. To make sure I don’t just give up. Because it is a good thing to do.
You: But everyone is always running for charities…I can’t sponsor everyone…
Me: Rest assured, this is the only charity race I plan on doing…I won’t ask again…it is a sizable distance (therefore worth sponsoring) and a worthy cause.
You: What’s in it for me?
Me: I thought you might ask that…
- The sheer joy of knowing you have done a good deed.
- The happiness you will feel from deep within you & you will bring to me & the children whose lives will be touched from your giving.
- You will no longer be hassled by me asking for sponsorship.
You: Oh, I particularly like reason 3…where do I donate?
Me: Again, you are asking all the right questions…this is very unlike you…you can donate here
You: Wait…I am a UK taxpayer…charities are always banging on about this…
Me: It’s all on their website – just make sure you tick the box to give GiftAid & Compassion UK will receive 25% extra on top of your donation.
You: It’s all so easy! Where can I find out more about your running journey & when is this great event?
Me: The Stockholm Marathon is on 31st May – you can head over to Anita Runs to learn more about this running journey of mine.
You: How exciting! I will definitely check it out &, more importantly, sponsor you for this huge physical feat you are putting yourself through.
Me: Thank you – it is appreciated more than you know.
Thanks guys x x x