Category Archives: Kenneth

A newly minted Swede

Hello readers!

I have some big and exciting news! As of October 3, 2013, your dear blogger is an official Swede!  That’s right – I am a naturalized citizen of this country!  Don’t worry, I didn’t give up my American citizenship – nope, all I did was add to it.  I even managed to get my Swedish passport – it only took 3 days.

Being SwedishMost people congratulated me this week and asked how it felt.  My friend Victoria gave me a little “Welcome to Sweden” goodie bag filled with nostalgia-triggering items that apparently all Swedes of my generation owned at some point.  It’s been a week, so I figured I would try to put into words the emotions that have been coursing through my veins these last few days.

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Glögg season and new friends

It’s glögg season again, and it’s time for another post!

Stockholm got its first “real” snow this past week!  Real snow is when it actually sticks to the ground and stays around, and boy was it needed.  It had been raining a lot and was dark and miserable, as it tends to be during this time of year.  But as soon as the snow came, everything brightened up.  Yes, it was still cold but I prefer cold and dry to cold and wet.  Even has snow on its front page!

(Side note: Californians, you have no idea how good you have it!) Continue reading

Yesterday was my name day!

My name is Kenneth.  And yesterday was my name day!

Kenneth is a pretty common Western name, and many people around the world have this name.  It’s not as popular as Bill or David or John, but it’s not exactly unfamiliar either.  For example, one of the characters in Can’t Buy Me Love was named Kenneth.  But apparently, Kenneth is a pretty common Swedish name for males, too.  Usually reserved for a slightly older generation, it falls in the ranks along names like Mats, Lars, Peter, etc.

For those of you dear readers who have traveled the world, you know that most tourist cities sell little license plates/license plate key chains with names on them.  Each country has its own collection of names, so if you’re in the US, you’ll get the common names like Katie, Kim, Kelly, Kevin, and Kyle.  I haven’t looked at the tourist stores in Gamla Stan recently, but I would assume the license plate keychains in Sweden would have names like Kalle (Karl), Kenneth, Kajsa, and Kia.

But the Swedes are ingenious, and they took it one step further.  They actually created the concept of a name day.  Yep, they assigned a name to every day of the year – 365 reasons to celebrate – and March 22, 2011 was my personal name day.  (Disclaimer: it’s actually for Kennet — no “h” — but a variant of the spelling is with the “h”.)

Yesterday, I got an email from someone I didn’t know named Kenneth Eriksson.  He works at one of my clients, and pulled up all of the Kenneths in his email system and sent them an email saying:

Grattis kollega, du är en av cirka 110 Kenneth som arbetar här!

Som medlem i Svenska Kennethklubben ber jag att få gratulera på namnsdagen.  🙂

(Translation: Congratulations, colleague, you are one of approx 110 Kenneths who works here!  As a member in the Swedish Kenneth club, I want to congratulate you on your name day!)

I got the email since I have an account to their intranet.  I looked at the website and it’s amazing.  It’s a real club, with membership dues and activities.  The main club is in Sundsvall, Sweden.  There’s even a national Kenneth song!

I thought this was ingenious! So I went out yesterday and I celebrated my name day at Vapiano with some friends.  Well, not really, we went out for dinner “just because,” but I was feeling in a celebratory mood just the same.

When is your name day? Do you know someone for each day of the year?

Do Americans Dream of Swedish Sheep?

I recently posted an entry about how Swedes speak amazing English. I thought I’d post a follow-up on learning Swedish and how it’s impacted me.

First of all, I’ve been here 3,5 years now. I took lessons sporadically for about 2 of those years – my work paid for a private tutor who’d come to the office and teach me for an hour and a half roughly every week. Of course, the nature of my work meant that sometimes I’d have unavoidable client meetings or I’d be travelling somewhere, so I’d have to schedule for when it was convenient.

I am finally at a level where I can understand most conversations if I’m paying attention – at least the context of the conversation. I can speak reasonably well too (at least I think so) and I’m doing my best to write it also. Continue reading

Hey! Welcome to Truly Swedish! (Hej! Välkommen till Truly Swedish!)

Hello, and welcome to my new blog, Truly Swedish.

I haven’t blogged since 1998-1999 when I hosted my own site and logged my daily activities. The good old days of Slackware Linux and a 1 mbit DSL line. Yes, that was before “blog” was even a word. But hey, 12 years later, I’m back. Continue reading