White, white Uppsala: Julgasque, Snowball Battle, and Fireworks (posted by Indira in Sweden)

I don’t think I have ever lived in a place that could get this much snow at once! Right now snow is knee-deep and it’s white everywhere. It is both beautiful and dreadful (it can get really cold – last week we had -7 degrees Fahrenheit!). I find it funny how no one really cares about how cold it gets; we all try to make the best out of the very few weeks we have left in Uppsala.

Since it’s all so snow covered what can we do – well, how about a snowball battle with 250 participants? Sure, we’ll organize it and take part in it! Definitely an epic 1 hour long fight with more and more people joining in every moment. Due to the excitement and adrenalin rush you don’t even care about the snow getting into your mouth or your eyes, and eventually you get used to the fact that you can no longer feel your fingers. It was worth it in every possible way.

Snowball Battle with 250 people!

Snowball Battle

Right after the snowball battle, we all rushed to get warm and ready for yet another gasque of the semester – Julgask (Christmas gasque). Värmlands nation was fully in Christmas spirit – Christmas tree, decorations, presents, and the smell of the pepparkakor (gingerbread) was everywhere in the Big House. During the gasque we had a huge choice of typical food you eat in Sweden during Christmas, and Christmas drinks, (here they have this thing called Julmust which is the most popular soft drink during the Christmas and Easter season; it has a very strong smell and taste, but it’s really good – I love it!). Entertainment did not lack either. Choir performances, Christmas songs, dancing, and a visit from the Göteborg nation made this gasque so amazing. Of course, if you are surrounded by the right people at your table the night is guaranteed to be a blast. Even though the seating arrangement is random and you don’t have any say in it, I have had great table-buddies during all of the gasques I have attended. One of the Julgask highlights was Santa. Since Värmlands nation got a new First Qurator (officer), he had to dress up as Santa and take pictures with the gasque attendees. After the dinner, we had the after party until 4am. I am definitely glad I was a part of this gasque since it was my last gasque in Uppsala and I had loads of fun with my friends, but I also made a lot of new friends.

My table buddies and I during the Julgask, a Christmas celebration!

My table buddies and I during the Julgask

Last week I also had a lot of school work. My biggest assignment was due – a 9000 word case study on sustainable urbanization in Stockholm. It felt so good clicking submit after spending hours and hours working on it. Countless group meetings, articles and books read, interviews, and hours spent putting it all together payed off. I was really happy with our case study and our group effort. Next week we have a presentation, but after that my Sustainable Development class will be over.

And what is a better way to finish off a week than watching the fireworks? Well, I can’t think of any. Luckily, Uppsala has a few tricks up its sleeves and rewarded us all with amazing fireworks on Sunday. The Uppsala Lights Festival ended and it was also the First Advent, so there was a huge closing ceremony that included the fireworks. Even though we had to wait for half an hour in the freezing cold, we all enjoyed the show. We also learned that the best way to stay warm is to just randomly dance to whatever music they are playing – lifesaver.

Fireworks, a perfect way to end the week

Fireworks

Now I’m anxious to see what my last three weeks in Uppsala will bring. 🙂

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