Nations

One thing University of Lund is quite famous for, and together with other Swedish and Finish Universities probably unique in the World, are the well-known student Nations.

The story dates back to the 17th century when universities were large metropolitan centers with students from many different domestic and foreign regions. Students who were born within the same region usually spoke the same language, expected to be ruled by their own familiar laws, and therefore joined together to form the Nations. Logically, Nations in Lund are named after provinces and areas in southern Sweden. It is 349 years since the first Nation was founded and much has changed but the Nations’ original purpose remains: to provide students with a good and congenial atmosphere while they live and study in Lund.

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Emblem of one of the oldest Nations in Lund

Since student Nations are definitely the best way to meet new people, me and my friends have obviously joined one the first week we arrived here. Luckily, the decision about which to join wasn’t hard because joining one Nation gives you entrance to all the other Nations’ events.

In Lund, in total there are 13 Nations, and each Nation has its own particular atmosphere and is popular for various events and offers. Apart from the parties and pub nights, there is one special event organized by all the Nations, and it is definitely something remarkable – the so called ‘’Sittning’’. It’s basically a 3-course dinner with lots of interesting details. First of all, people are randomly mixed when arriving to the dining tables, so they are ‘’forced’’ to mingle, and after each course, you should change your seat, so you mingle even more and meet some new people! Then, a vital part of a sittning is singing. The guests are usually given a booklet with songs that will be sung during the sittning. Apart from the typical Swedish schlager music, there are songs in English and many other languages so singing the known ones and learning the new ones while enjoying some delicious food can really be a lot of fun!

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Sweden is ‘’notorious’’ for being one of the countries with the biggest liquor prices in the World. Luckily, Nations offer liquor at reasonable prices, and it is possible for one simple reason: the student’s working in Nations are actually doing everything on voluntary basis. After spending a semester in Gent, and having 3 fellows from Belgium, we easily picked Hallands Nation as our favorite, since they offer some of the best Belgian beers at their pub.

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Yes, they even have the famous ‘’Kwak’’ and serve it from the original cups!

Other Nation that also stole my attention, and that I gladly visit is the ‘’Smålands Nation’’. Apart from being the ‘’alternative’’ Nation that is the only one politically active, it also organizes awesome Jazz sessions and Karaoke nights. And, although I adore meat, their cuisine made me start loving Vegan food!

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Apart from the aforementioned things, all of the Nations offer a very wide range of activities and services, including lunches, brunches, pubs, housing opportunities, orchestras, sports, night clubs, formal balls and traditional festivities, among many other things.

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”Glow in the dark”

Although someone could think that such a small city as Lund would not be very dynamic, the number of almost 50’000 students, led by the Nations make Lund an exceptional and unique student’s city.

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Kulturen Lund or one day before a ‘viking’ virus attack

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog, and the reason for this was catching the flu or a ‘viking’ virus. We gave it such a name because it started unexpectedly and knocked us out completely. So, as I missed the opportunity to talk about the Fire Day, which was the main event in the past couple of weeks, there is not much I can write about, unless you want to know about all the ‘perks’ of being sick. However, luckily, one day before the ‘viking’ virus attack, I went to Kulturen which is a museum in Lund, consisting both conventional  and an open air museums.

With over 30 buildings, Kulturen is considered as one of the biggest open air museums in Sweden. Some of the buildings were brought to Kulturen from different places, while the others stand on their original sites. The complex includes both urban and rural buildings from the Medieval period to the twentieth century. Although some of the old buildings were reconstructed, they give authentic feel. Personally, I was really impressed how Bosebo wooden church from 1652 is amazingly preserved.

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Bosebo church

Another building that I found interesting was two floor Thomanderska huset with its elegantly decorated rooms with wooden furniture and a personal library. It was built in 1814, and Johan Henrik Thomander, a professor and member of parliament, lived there with his family. His daughter bought the house and gave her childhood home to the museum.The various rooms were restored as she remembered them, partly with her own furniture.It can be seen from the photo below that the facade color of Thomanderska huset differs from the surronding buildings. It was painted by using carbon black, a pigment widely used in 19th century.

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Thomanderska huset

Another interesting building in the open museum is Locus Peccatorum on the corner of Adelgatan and St. Anne Street, which served as a student barrack during the XVIII-XIX centuries. Locus Peccatorum means “Sin house” in Latin, and there is a story behind this name: in 1829, the son of the university dean killed fellow student in a fight and was sentenced to death. From that time, the building has such a mysterious name.

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Locus Peccatorum,”Sin house”

In the center of Kulturen, there is a large building, Herrehuset, with Baroque facade, pond and garden. In the past, it was used for residential purposes, but now it hosts a ceramic collection which is among the largest in the Nordic region. There are many other buildings that contain various collections including glass,silver and textiles.

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Herrehuset

So, I am glad that I was able to visit such an interesting place before being knocked out by the flu. Wishing a fast recovery for fellow sick IMFSE students in Lund, and hoping that as spring has officially started a ‘viking’ virus will not attack us again.