I’ve learned a few Swedish words since being here in Sweden, but the most memorable will always be fluga. Pronounced just as it is spelled (surprisingly). Flu-gah. It means fly, like the insect. Quentin, the small son of my friends, loves this word and says it many times a day in many different ways. He gets excited when he sees a fly, FLUGA! He’s tired and wants to stay awake, fluga.
I’ve also been introduced to the word Rumpa. The R is rolled and the umpa sounds like ooompa. Any guesses? I’ll leave your imaginations to sort this one out.
It is strange being in a country where I can’t really understand the language. It feels almost surreal sometimes. You mean there are places outside of America where people have different cultures and languages? But yes. It’s true. Most Swedes seem to be able to speak English, and speak it quite well, though sometimes they are shy about using it. But on the train from Gothenburg to Malmo (prounounced Mal-muh) I couldn’t understand much at all. Every now and again I heard a yes, no, thank you, fluga, but other than that, pure mystery. A French man came and sat next to me on the train and I got so excited! A man I could speak with, in a different language, quel surprise. I did say Excuse moi and Au revoir, but that’s it. I knew he was French a) because he had a guide to Sweden in French and b) because he appeared just as wild as me, looking around attempting to glean information from people’s body language and other visual clues.
I spent the beginning of my Swedish journey with Miki Dedijer, his wife Cecilia, and their two sons, Corbin & Quentin. Miki and I met last summer at the UK Art of Mentoring in England. He watched my yoga workshop journey this past Fall teaching Nature & Yoga events and asked if I’d be interested in coming to his place in Sweden to teach. So last Thursday I taught a Yoga Tracking workshop for 4 incredible students in his enormous barn! I don’t mind that my workshops have been small on this trip because at this point it is simply enough to see my dreams starting to come to fruition. I’m teaching and traveling. I’m also working and traveling, helping to create content for Kamana.org through Wilderness Awareness School. This is goodness!
And here are my Swedish students (well the man is actually Australian!)
Miki runs a Nature & Culture school called Vild Kultur (Wild Culture) here in Orrevik near Uddevalla north of Gothenburg. He is doing a lot with Permaculture on his beautiful property. Check out his school and spread the word!
It seems as if time continues to melt away as the days passed by here. There was plenty of time for the simple pleasures. Drinking wine and talking. Swimming in the salty sea and holding a jellyfish (Cecilia told me they used to throw them at one another when they were small). I even took a yoga class in town, totally in Swedish. It’s funny that even in another language the “yoga teacher’s voice” comes out. I became adept at hearing Inhale and Exhale:) And I learned a cool sequence of movements to decompress the low back, can’t wait to share them back at Two Rivers!
It was so slimy! Good for sunburns?
So, question for you. What do you know about Sweden? What comes from Sweden that has made it to America? Leave your comments below!