Thursday, 31 March 2011

So how is Easter celebrated in Sweden?

by Liselott Rehnquist

In Sweden Easter means that the spring is finally in the air after a long and dark winter. Twigs are collected from birch trees that slowly awake from the winter and chicken eggs are painted in colourful designs. The twigs are put in big vases and dressed with colourful feathers.

Other Easter decorations include "påskkärringar" (a special kind of Eastern witches) that fly on a broom. The hearsay gives that all these "påskkärringar" are on their way by means of their booms heading to their annual meeting with the Devil at Blåkulla (eng. “The Blue Gables”).

Tradition also calls for the children to dress up as Easter witches with long skirts, colourful headscarves and painted red cheeks then they go from house to house in the neighbourhood giving away drawings in the hope of getting sweets in return. It is said to bring bad luck not to give these begging witches something to snack on to their way to the Devil. Most people obviously don’t like to take any chances with these witches but rather gather up with some extra candy to have at hand when they pay their visits.

The central role of the Easter witches gives a clear indication that the Swedish Easter traditions actually predate Christianity going back to the days when the Swedes were all pagans. Overall the Easter traditions is very much cross-cook where ancient ceremonies and beliefs have been incorporated and adopted into the more “modern” Christian context. The same kind of cross-cook is by the way very much the case for the Swedish Christmas traditions. Hence, even though Christianity has been the state religion for quite some time the beliefs held by the Swedish Vikings are still quite present in modern Sweden.

In fact, for most Swedes Easter has very little to do with Christianity or the death and uprising of Jesus. Rather, Easter is seen as an opportunity for family and friends to meet and feast on a traditional smörgåsbord of herring, cured salmon, potatoes, eggs in colourful designs, sausages, Jansson´s Temptation (potatoes, onion, anchovies and cream cooked in owen) and other kinds of food. Apart from the birch twigs you often find daffodil in vases on the dining table.

The children normally drink a special soda called “påskmust” whereas the adults drink beer and spiced schnapps. The children are also often given an Easter egg which is basically a two-pieced egg-shaped paper container with colourful decorations on the outside and absurd amounts of candy inside.


Afrikolor - a Zambian pottery and batik studio

by Bodil Sörensen

Since two years ago a lot has happened on the small plot opposite Farmers Market on the way to Sandy’s Creations. That’s when Franca Namwiinga Murru VonHandorf and Tyler VanHandorf came back from studies in Malta and opened up their pottery Afrikolor. Before that Franca’s mother Josephine had for thirteen years made clothes, curtains, bedspreads etc out of her own batik coloured fabrics and she is still making beautiful things in her workshop.

Over these two years a new kiln is brought up from South Africa and they are continuously improving the quality of the Zambian clay produced on their premises.

Amongst their staff they have some of Zambia’s most talented potters. They are also experimenting with colours, glazes and fireings to make new textures and designs. In June their second workshop will open up on Leopard’s Hill road close to the American International School.

You can already now take your kids and yourself to pottery classes and that will also be possible later on in their new workshop. They have a lot of different items for sale.

A big part of their production is orders from lodges and hotels for beautiful tiles in shapes of flowers etc for bathrooms and kitchens. If you have an idea on a specific design you want to have made they can do it for you, or take a class and do it yourself!

See some of their beautiful production on Facebook: Afrikolor Pottery

For more information, call: 0977 331164/79, or send a mail to:


The famous Swedish Library in Lusaka

by Lillian Dover

The library at the Swedish School is a major asset for those who would like to read books in Swedish. We may not have the latest books, but we have everything from the classics
to children's books. During the year we have not been able to buy any new titles due to lack of funds, but we received many generous contributions from Swedes who have been here
visiting or are moving back to Sweden.

The books that are most popular vary depending on the current borrowers’ interests. Books that have been recommended by readers:

1. Jonas Jonasson "Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann"
2. Vargas Llosa Mario "Paradiset finns om hörnet"
3. Ray Klunn "En sorts kärlek"
4. Gregory David Roberts "Shantaram"

The Childrens’ section is very popular and it is good that our children also have access to Swedish books as a supplement to the English books they read at school. The older kids borrow everything from reference books and games to popular authors, such as Martin Widmark’s books on Lasse Majas detective agency. The younger children eagerly investigate the boxes filled with picture books every week.

We have received some new titles for the children’s library, as a contribution from the
Swedish Association. The library also offers DVDs, but are currently giving away videos and selling old books. There is also plenty of magazines awailable for kids and adults.

Welcome to the library and see what we have to offer!


Plates Restaurant and Wine Bar

by Peter Sörensen

As soon as you enter Plates Restaurant and Wine Bar, you get high expectations because of the fancy interior. These expectations get even higher when you get the menu and see the prices. But with some exceptions you get disappointed when you get the food. The portions are small but expensive and they are not made with that extra finesse that is indicated by the price. But there are things to order, like for example the Tuscan Liver Plate, perfect as a starter for 2 persons of you don´t care about the boring presentation on the plate.

The veg Risotto has a nice taste but could have been decorated to satisfy the eye. The service is quite standard Zambian. Sometimes it takes too long to have the food served. You wonder why there is a small plate at your place, because no bread is served and you have to ask for napkins or tissues. The feeling is that the place has high ambitions but has not yet found a theme for their food and a quality of the food that corresponds to the interior. But there are also very nice things to be said about the restaurant. They have a great wine list that covers France, Italy, Spain, Chile and four more countries, impressive. Take your friends to Plates Restaurant and Wine Bar for a glass of wine.

Food: 5/10
Service: 3/5
Atmosphere: 4/5


Friday, 25 March 2011

Next holiday in Mozambique?

by Theodor Sverkén Sjögren

If you are planning on going to Mozambique you mustn't miss the following;

- Maputo; a seafood platter at Costa do Sol and a snap shot of the railway station designed by Eiffel. If you prefer a burger och a pizza you must check out Mundos Restaurant. Catembe is yet another half day trip you could do, having some seafood and watching the Maputo skyline. Also the central market in the baixa is highly recommended, to get a good view of this city by the sea.

- South; Ponta do Ouro, a wonderful beach to which you must drive through an elephant park. You need a 4x4, but it will be worth it. Might be crowded with diving South Africans, but if you prefer something else you just head north ...

- North; plan for a 200 km drive to Xai Xai province and Nascer do Sol lodge. You will be surprised by the hospitality, a beach on your own and the sound of the Indian Ocean. To get here the roads are very good, but the cops bad ... so don't exceed the speed limits!

- Further up North; Pemba is close to Tanzania but also a beautiful picturesque old fishing village with nice beaches and good food.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

"Sotambe" - Zambian Art Week has started

On the Thursday night was the grand opening of "Sotambe - an exhibition of paintings and sculptures" at the Swedish School. The exhibition will run from March 24 to 31 and is covering some of the best contemporary art in Zambia right now.

Artists showing their work are Joseph Shakulipa, Samuel Mabuku, Jeff Lungu, Jim Lungu, Rickie Lungu, Mulenga Mulenga, Tessie Lombe, Lawrence Chikwa, Sydney Siansangu, Natasha Evans and Mulenga Chafilwa.

Welcome to the Swedish School for a lunch and some very good art during the coming week!