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When people ask me where I come from I often doubt if telling them I come from Italy or from the Netherlands. This past year, not only have I become more Dutch than ever and have I realized that I am actually much more Italian that I considered myself when living there: I have become a little Swedish too. Say what!

Around this time last year I started hanging out with the reason of my statement above. She is called Sonja; once she was only a colleague, but now she is also a good friend. This girl is so incredibly crazy about traditions, especially Swedish ones; For example, no Christmas goes by without taking the time to dress the tree, bake lussebullar and build a gingerbread house (evidence no. 1 and evidence no. 2). This year I have been involved in them all, and I must say Swedish traditions are awesome!

There is another holiday, besides Christmas, Swedes love to celebrate: Midsummer. Midsummer celebrates the summer solstice and what better way than dancing like frogs around a pole? Just kidding. Celebrating Midsummer means raising the maypole, a pole that looks like a cross and is completely covered with flowers and leaves, eating traditional food (herrings, new potatoes, strawberries, and, of course, the well-known meatballs..), be with family and/or friends, drink a little, drink a little more and, last but not least: the women make flower crowns.

Midsummer was yesterday and Sonja and I decided that, since she couldn’t be in Sweden, we would create our own little Sweden here. So we followed the rules: we bought nice food, bought the nicest flowers, stole some leaves, and sat down making the flower crowns. Although mine turned out a little floppy, I think we did a great job and I really enjoyed the whole evening. If you haven’t ever made flowers crown, you should definitely try! It’s fun and it looks so pretty!

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