Monday, June 04, 2007
Long before Sweden became one of the world's most successful welfare states, policy makers and government officials decided to provide urban, industrial, city dwellers with a solace to their concrete woes and lack of natural exposure, something all Swedes agree that no Swede should go without.
Swedish "Kolonier" or Swedish Colonies are areas of land outside of many main city centers throughout Sweden. The building full of students where I work is located just steps away from the Linköping "Koloni," hence one reason for the student-named "Colonia" student housing project where I am spend my days and some nights.
Above, you will find pictures of the Linköping Colony, both from a distance and while taking a closer look. Americans might think of this as an elaborate "community garden," an area of land reserved for low-income people in cities to have a gardening spot, but the Swedish Colony is no longer necessarily for city dwellers or just so good Swedish folk can have a nature-centered habitat. Current residents of colony-living have either inherited or purchased their limited area and use it as a spring and summer cottage. Essentially a studio living area with a small lawn, classic red paint job and fencing and a small garden for anything from flowers to vegetables to herbs.
Just one more unique, charming and "moderate" element to Sweden and the Swedes.
We have another Swedish holiday this week, the National Day is on Wednesday, then another holiday later this month, the beloved "Midsommar." It's the time of year when, well, vacation is just around the corner so we take holidays just to get a little more comfortable with the idea of not working....or so I've been told.
See you next week.