"Si bedda commu u suli. A ma vita fussi vacanti senza ri tia!"

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Santa Lucia locations in Syracuse

In this video I visit three different Santa Lucia sites in Syracuse. Santa Lucia is the most celebrated saint in the world and is the patroness of Syracuse. Celebrated 13th December every year, and also the only saint we celebrate in Sweden the same date. The official saying is that the saint is the same with origins from Syracuse in Sicily. But in Viking legends we have a similar light bearing saint, Freja. She did not meet a fatal end, but is celebrated with choir of blonde women wearing long white dresses, where the choir leader wearing a crown of live candles walking in the dark room singing the Santa Lucia song.


I den här videon besöker jag tre olika Santa Lucia-platser i Sirakusa. Santa Lucia är mest berömda helgonet i världen och är beskyddaren av Sirakusa. Firas den 13 december varje år, och också det enda helgon vi firar i Sverige samma datum. Den officiella versionen är att helgonet är densamma med ursprung från Sirakusa på Sicilien. Men i Vikingalegender har vi ett liknande ljusbärande helgon, Freja. Hon mötte inte ett ödesdigert slut, men firas med kör av blonda kvinnor som bär långa vita klänningar, där körledaren bär en krona av levande ljus som går i det mörka rummet och sjunger Santa Lucia-låten.

Kiruna – my home city that will be moved

It is one of the biggest operations in Swedish industrial history when the most northern city in Sweden will be moved because of the ore industry. The ore that comes from Kiruna is one of the strongest in the world and most of it gets exported to China. You see the mine on the left side with the big blue sign and on the right side the city center with the red old church, municipality and shops. The area inside the red tape is in the risk zone and will be moved first more below as you can see in the second picture.

Second photo: In the area where you see two blue signs on the right will be the new place for a new town municipality. The buildings body will be completely new, but the clock tower will remain and but on the new buildning. The church will also be moved as saved as it is. Contructions of new buildnings and neighborhoods has already started. New municipality will have a round form.

On the third photo you can see the size of the mine above and how large the ore body is under the earth. If you visit Kiruna do not miss the daily guided half day tour to the mine. It is an amazing experience.

The move of my lovely home town will take approximately 55 years. Everything to get the good iron under the city!



Det ?r en av de st?rsta operationerna i svenska industrihistorien n?r den nordligaste staden i Sverige kommer att flyttas p? grund av malmindustrin. Malmen som kommer fr?n Kiruna ?r en av de starkaste i v?rlden och det mesta exporteras till Kina. Du ser gruvan p? v?nster sida med den stora bl? skylten och p? h?ger sida stadens centrum med den r?da gamla kyrka, kommunen och butiker. Omr?det innanf?r r?da linjen ?r i riskzonen och kommer att flyttas f?rst ner?t som du kan se i den andra bilden.

Bild 2: I det omr?de d?r du ser tv? bl? skyltar till h?ger kommer att bli den nya platsen f?r stadshuset. Byggnaden kommer att vara helt ny, men klocktornet kommer att monteras p? de nya byggnaden. Kyrkan kommer ocks? att flyttas och bevaras som den ?r. Konstruktionen av nya stadshuset och bostadsomr?den har redan b?rjat. Nya stadshuset kommer att ha en rund form.

P? den tredje bilden kan du se storleken p? gruvan ovan och hur stor den ?r under jorden. Om du bes?ker Kiruna missa inte den guidade halvdagsturen till gruvan. Det ?r en fantastisk upplevelse.

Flytten av min underbara hemstad kommer att ta cirka 55 ?r. Allt f?r att f? tag p? malmen under staden!

When you do not pay your bills

When you do not pay your bills in time, not much happens. I have been out for seven weeks and do not have to worry much if bills arrives and I am not there to pay then before end day. I just pay this electricity bill on monday even if last day was 10th December. If you do not pay in a long time, they just shut the electricity and when you pay the bills they put on the electricity. I like this about Italy.

In Sweden we have very difficult system. If I had received this bill in Sweden, it could have already been sent to a swedish governmental system kalled Kronofogden where you then owe money to the Government and plus interest and fees. So this bill could be by this time approximately 60 euros to pay. Then this sum increases as time goes by. In a year it can be 300 euro. So first years I called the swedish IRS regulary to check if there was un paid bills to avoid to get into the system. If you get registered at Kronofogden for un paid bills, it can ruin your life as a note will be there for atleast five years. If you are on the list you have difficulties with banks and buying a home or a car.

In Sweden we have a punishment and be-productive system. In Italy a stealing and talk-it-over system.


N?r du inte betalar dina r?kningar i tid, h?nder inte mycket mer. Jag har varit ute i sju veckor och beh?ver inte oroa mig mycket om r?kningarna som anl?nder och f?r att jag inte ?r d?r f?r att betala f?re slutdatum. Jag betalar bara denna elr?kning p? m?ndag, ?ven om sista dagen var 10 december. Om du inte betalar under en l?ng tid, s? st?nger de bara elen och n?r du betalar r?kningarna s?tter de p? elen igen. Jag gillar det h?r systemet i Italien.

I Sverige har vi mycket sv?rt systemet. Om jag hade f?tt denna r?kning i Sverige, kunde den ha redan s?nts till Kronofogden d?r du sedan ?r skyldig pengar till regeringenen plus r?nta och avgifter. S? denna r?kning skulle kunna vara nu ca 60 euro att betala. Denna summa ?kar med tiden. Under ett ?r kan det bli 300 ?. S? f?rsta ?renringde jag Skatteverket regelbundet f?r att kontrollera om det fanns obetalda r?kningar f?r att undvika att hamna hos Kronofogden. Om du bli registrerad p? Kronofogden f?r obetalade r?kningar, kan det f?rst?ra ditt liv d? en notering kommer att vara d?r f?r minst fem ?r. Om du ?r p? den listan f?r du problem med banker och k?pa ett hem eller en bil.

I Sverige har vi ett straff- och “var produktiv” system. I Italien ett stj?la och snacka-om-det system.

A Swede living abroad visiting Sweden

I have been living in Sicily almost eight years now, it is seven years longer than the original plan. Every visit to Sweden I see how I have started to change. Two years ago I missed the train from Stockholm to Uppsala because I am used to sicilian time and always have couple of extra minutes to catch the train even if I am late here. But in Sweden no. Last year I saw myself getting irritated of the slow traffic. In Sweden they drive sooo slow and it takes ages for them to park the car. I have to watch out all the time to not drive faster than the speed limit because the fines are very high in Sweden. In Sicily I have never got a fine. I also speak my mind even more these days, straight up and just as it is. Well, I was like that also before, but now even worse. One thing I notice is that I stop swearing when I leave Sicily. Here people use very strong words in daily life and when I leave the island, I don’t swear. I guess I don’t need to, it is not needed in swedish daily life nor for getting ahead.

I have become more economical here. I save money and I think before I buy (except for shoes). In Sicily you learn to live with little because here when no water comes from the tube….yeah, no water comes from the tube. Who will you complain too? Well, I have learned to keep extra water aside and survive easily two days. Last year in Stockholm they had a hudge electricity lack because the power stations main cable exploded (this is breaking news in Sweden. Never happens!). We could hear the explosion and almost 10,000 homes were without electricity. This is very unusual in Sweden. But I did not even react. Just asked my swedish friends where they keep the candles. When they were worried to remain without electricity, I am used to put an extra pijama on and blankets during the night. Keep door closed and the candles will heat a small place. I am so used to it here in north Sicily because they do not have back up systems like in south Sicily. I have become more patient here and do not worry much anymore. The power cable in Sweden was fixed within one hour. In Sicily something like that can take two days…or if ever.

I greet the neighbours in Sweden even if they are not my neighbours. In Sicily you do. But I am also glad that swedish neighbours are less curious of other people and what neighbours do. In Sicily they can often be invasive and complain about shit things; how you hang your laundry, flowers on balcony, how I park the vespa or car… crap things.

When I talk to couples I am so used to only talk to the woman these days. In Sicily you have to or nothing will be decided and she will hate me forever. She is jealous of her man and he will also get into trouble if I speak too much to him. I do not even look him in the eyes here in Sicily, just talking to her. Noticed I started to be the same with north europeans and really working on to remember that I can easily talk to him too. Hell will not brake loose! That is a part I miss so much from my own culture. No unneccesary made up drama!



Jag har bott p? Sicilien n?stan ?tta ?r nu, det ?r sju ?r l?ngre ?n den ursprungliga planen. Varje bes?k till Sverige ser jag hur jag har b?rjat f?r?ndras. F?r tv? ?r sedan missade jag t?get fr?n Stockholm till Uppsala eftersom jag ?r van vid siciliansk tid att alltid ha n?gra extra minuter f?r att hinna med t?get, ?ven om jag ?r sen h?r. Men i Sverige g?r det inte. F?rra ?ret m?rkte jag att jag blev irriterad av l?ngsamma trafiken. I Sverige k?r de s???? l?ngsamt och det tar ?r f?r dem att parkera bilen. Jag m?ste se upp hela tiden att inte k?ra fortare ?n hastighetsgr?nsen eftersom b?terna ?r mycket h?ga i Sverige. P? Sicilien har jag aldrig f?tt b?ter. Jag s?ger ocks? ?nnu mer vad jag tycker dessa dagar, rakt ut och precis som det ?r. Jag var s? ocks? tidigare, men nu ?nnu v?rre. En annan sak jag m?rkt ?r att jag slutar sv?ra n?r jag l?mnar Sicilien. H?r anv?nder m?nniskorna mycket starka ord i det dagliga livet och n?r jag l?mnar ?n, sv?r jag inte . Jag antar att det inte beh?vs det d? det inte ?r ett behov i svenska vardagen eller f?r att ta sig fram?t.

Jag har blivit mer ekonomisk h?r. Jag sparar pengar och t?nker efter innan jag k?per (med undantag f?r skor). P? Sicilien l?r man sig leva med lite eftersom n?r inget vatten kommer fr?n kranen…. ja, d? kommer inget vatten ur kranen. Vem kan du klaga hos? Tja, jag har l?rt mig att ha extra vattenbeh?llare och ?verlever l?tt tv? dagar. F?rra ?ret i Stockholm hade de en stort elavbrott eftersom kraftverkets huvudkabel exploderade (detta ?r stora nyheter i Sverige. H?nder aldrig!). Vi kunde h?ra explosionen och n?stan 10.000 hem var utan elektricitet. Detta ?r mycket ovanligt i Sverige. Men jag reagerade inte ens. Fr?gade mina svenska v?nner var de har v?rmeljusen. De var oroliga att vara utan el, men jag ?r van att ta p? en extra pyjamas och filtar under natten. H?ller d?rren st?ngd och ljusen kommer att v?rma upp ett litet rum.? Jag ?r s? van vid det h?r p? norra Sicilien eftersom de inte har back up-system som p? s?dra Sicilien. Har blivit mer t?lmodig h?r och oroar mig inte l?ngre. Str?mkabeln i Sverige lagades inom en timme. P? Sicilien ?r det n?got som kan ta tv? dagar … eller om n?gonsin.

Jag h?lsar p? grannarna i Sverige, ?ven om de inte ?r mina grannar. P? Sicilien g?r du det. Men jag ?r ocks? glad ?ver att svenska grannar ?r mindre nyfikna p? andra m?nniskor och vad grannarna g?r. p? Sicilien kan de ofta vara invasiva och klaga p? skitsaker; hur du h?nger tv?tten, blommor p? balkongen, hur jag parkerar Vespa eller bil … skit saker.

N?r jag pratar med par ?r jag s? van att endast prata med kvinnan nuf?rtiden. P? Sicilien m?ste du eller ingenting kommer att beslutas och hon kommer att hata mig f?r evigt. Hon ?r svartsjuk ?ver sin man och han kommer ocks? att f? problem om jag talar f?r mycket med honom. Jag brukar inte ens se honom i ?gonen h?r p? Sicilien, bara prata med henne. M?rkte att jag b?rjade med samma sak med nordeurop?er och jobar verkligen p? att komma ih?g att jag lugnt kan prata med honom ocks?. Helvetet kommer inte braka l?s! Det ?r en sak jag saknar s? mycket fr?n min egen kultur. Ingen on?dig drama!


Interview for Multicoolty Italia – translation to english

Some time ago I was interviewed for Multicoolty Italia. They do an amazing job interviewing expats all around the world, but with main focus on foreigners in Italy. You find the interview in italian here: ?La Mia Vita e’ piu ricca oggi

Please like their page here:?https://www.facebook.com/multicoolty.italia/?fref=ts

Translation in English

“Today my Life is Richer”

My name is Johanna, I come from Sweden but in my veins runs finnish blood. I’m in Italy, Sicily, since 2009. Self-employeed in the organic sector in agriculture and tourism. I’m preparing two new activities and also started writing books.
Why Italy?
I wanted a real challenge in life and Sicily seemed to be the right place. I’d say that I got what I asked for and even more. In Sicily, learned a lot about life seen from a different perspective and learned even more about myself. I chose Sicily because I saw Inspector Montalbano in Sweden and fell in love with the beautiful things I saw, the area of Ragusa! Then I moved there as a start.
What was it like to learn Italian?
Easy because the grammar is very similar to finnish. But I’ll never speak perfect Italian because I speak different languages every day. I learned it myself: with the magazines that interest me and talking to people. Sicilians are great because they correct me if I’m wrong. So you learn quickly. Then it took me a bit ‘of time to understand that here they speak Sicilian, which is very different from Italian. I was a bit’ confused at first.
Do you think that speaking Italian living in Italy is important?
It’s essential wherever you decide to live. Otherwise you never know how a country functions and you will always have problems if you don’t understand people. Also for the respect of the new country you have to learn.
Which problems did you meet when you arrived in Italy?
Everything, because the system and the life in Sicily is totally the opposite from Sweden. It worries me to see that the local people don’t want to know their rights and duties. Often we foreigners learn the system better, so you can also protect yourself against a corrupt system and know how to get around.
What do you like about Italy?
Here I learned to value things. In Sweden we have an incredible consumerism, buy and throw away. Here I learned the value of money and saving, because I saw true poverty. I like the people, they are very kind to us foreigners. I like the sun, the food, the Sicilian mountains and the rich history. Here I also started to appreciate Sweden and understand how lucky we are there. There you go blind because you live in the system and everything goes smoothly. Here I learned to fight, to defend myself, I lost my swedish naivity because the world is not as at home.
What do you don’t like?
I don’t like the church and the family system, two structures that destroy the person from the first day. I don’t like ignorance, laziness and how people mistreat their own land, a land so beautiful. Here often lacks the grit, perhaps because of the “mammismo”, children do not learn to fight the system nor to stand on their feet. Not everybody, but many.
What about the Italians?
The people are very kind to us foreigners. You laugh a lot with the Sicilians. When they trust, you begin to meet fantastic people. Very easy to work here with men. I didn’t have “classical” problems so far and I don’t think there will ever be. The Sicilians give you everything when they see you do something for their territory.
One thing that makes me tired is that people always want to give advice and sometimes men don’t understand a No!! Ignorance and mammismo does so much damage. The phenomenon of the “Italian mama’s boy” is famous all over the world, but I couldn’t imagine so alarming. Double-sided, one side out and another behind and hidden. Difficult to have female friends here. I have only two after 7 years !! Often they not even greet. I believe that women learn that other women are rivals or something similar.
Have you ever had an experience of “racism” in Italy?
Only once I have heard a man complain about immigrants, but it’s very rare in Sicily. Sicilians do much for immigrants and it’s a shame that they are left alone. Against me ever, only some women give bad comments because they often think bad of us foreign women, but I don’t consider it as real “racism”. Only that they don’t know what the world is like.
What surprises you about the Italian culture?
Ignorance towards the environment, neighbors and themselves. Parents teach their children that everything is the fault of politicians, so take away their hope for the future at the beginning. Then they see us foreigners do many things here and don’t understand how it is possible.
True religions here are football and food. Still don’t understand how you can eat so much: I once tried to eat as the Sicilians and will not do that again, it was an experience close to death.
Patience to the incorrectness in society. Why don’t the people rebel? The Sicilians always want to help foreigners, this is a very nice thing.
What did you have to give up when you moved in Italy?
Ever ything in my life: the family is far away, good salary, house, career etc. But it was worth it, because the things that I know now, I would not have been able to learn otherwise. My life is richer today.
You feel “integrated” in Italian society?
Yes, immediately. It’s easy to integrate into society. It all depends on yourself. You have to go out, be curious, the phone doesn’t ring … you have to make calls at the beginning. I’m a very open person, I get in touch with people wherever I go.
How has your lifestyle changed in Italy?
I live a very Scandinavian style, otherwise I’d go back in time. I put some things of Sicilian culture in my life: relax more, eat healthier, give time to people, greet the neighbors etc. The world circles even if I don’t answer the phone. Here I learned lots of patience, because if the road is broken you go another day or do a longer ride. Here it doesn’t work as in Sweden and if you live here to wait for a change, life will become very difficult. You have to take Sicily as it is and create your reality as you want.
Do you like italian food?
Sicilian cuisine is one of the best and healthiest in the world. The first year I gained almost 10 kg, but I was happy because I was too skinny before. I love to eat and I turn off the phone during lunch and dinner.
In Italy, do you eat Italian food or continue to eat the food from your country?
I eat foods from around the world. I grew up that way. Thanks to Ikea, and the Internet I can send things here. Then also my family and friends bring swedish foods.
What did you think of Italy and Italians before moving?
Now Italy is well known in the world, but Sicily was different. There isn’t much information online. I didn’t think so much, just threw myself in the system and in society. I took things as they came: good things and bad, then I made my way.
Do you think you will return to your country of origin?
Yes, at least half time. I’m working to be able to live in Sicily and also in Northern Europe. I want to do things for my country and I have a couple of ideas. Then I’d like to create a family and Scandinavia would be the place.
What do you miss most about your country?
A system that works. People smiling on the streets. Sweden doesn’t lack anything and you can find anything you can imagine. I miss female friends and public offices who answer the phone. Cleanliness, respect for others and a strong people. Men with whom you can have an intelligent conversation without trying more … not all are like that, but many. True love that isn’t meant to “settle down well.”
Which stereotype of Italians has been confirmed?
Hospitality, playful, great eaters. Difficult mother-in-laws, crazy I would say. Machismo ridiculous.
Do you think the multicultural society can exist?
Multiculturalism exists since the time of the vikings, we have always been great travelers. In Sicily passes and people living from around the world, since the times of the greeks Sicily was multicultural. Everybody has been and passed here. So, what more has to be done?
The modern model of multiculturalism they want to create now I don’t think will work, because it has no human purpose, but only the interests of politicians and corporations. In Italy there are other things to be resolved before we talk about multiculturalism.
What is “multiculturalism” for you?
How was the ancient Rome; every religion/culture was next to each other and each one took care of their business. Then something very bad happened. In Sweden we had a nice multiculturalism only 10 years ago, but now we use ridiculous words as “racism” and “phobia” if officially you say that you don’t support Islam. But things are changing. In multiculturalism everything must be told, criticized and respected … otherwise it is not.
Multiculturalism exists in your country of origin?
Before yes, but today not entirely. If you want to know the modern trends and political intentions for the future it is good follow Sweden because from there begins all things new and crazyness. There you must live with a “cold head”. We already have the third sex in the system and now trying to find new words to describe female masturbation. A country very interesting I think. You have to be very open.
Why are some Italians afraid of strangers?
If we talk about what is happening today, I do not think it’s fear. They just want to protect their culture and origins, that is ok. The world is varied and colorful, that why it is nice. We can not say to a people to give up their native only to insert a new one. The new is welcome, but must live together with what already exists. Then with time everything will be adjusted without us having to force things, with respect and love, you can create many things.
What do you think of the relationship in the mixed couples?
For me it is very difficult here in Sicily. Many men / families are not accustomed to a woman to be independent, to have an opinion, who can repair the car and build a house, comes and goes as she wishes etc. For me it was very difficult, I left it and put focus on northern European. My experiences are not positive. They don’t hate me as a person, but they don’t know how to handle my freedom. In Sicily things are changing; young people have traveled and speaks English. They’re often more open and “modern”.
What differences are there between Swedish and Italian culture?
In almost all. Sicily already in general is different from Milan. Milan is more “German” while Sicily is still very “Arab”. Scandinavia is seen as the best area in the world where to be born and grow up, and I agree. We’re secular, but there’s a lot of tolerance for other cultures and religions, in Sicily it’s more difficult because for example the Vatican stops development. Here as a foreigner it’s good to be in tourist areas because the locals are “accustomed”.
Between Sicily and Scandinavia everything is different; as we talk, eat, think, how you do things, the environment, animals, family, respect, civility, men, women, traffic, the behavior …
Drive through Catania and see how they park the car, and then go to Ikea and see cars in a perfect row. I always laugh about this. Everything depends of the “management”.


Pieces of Swedish Midsummer fiest in Sicily: sill, nubbe, kanelbulle, ost, potatisgrat?ng, grillat, strawberries…Sweden – Germany – Sicily meets


Swedish Ami Elsius Art Exhibition in Taormina

The talented and?fantastic Ami Elsius from Sweden has an on going art exhibition in Hotel Metrolope, Corso Umberto 154, Taormina from 5th June – 5th July. Ami is a professional photographer working internationally and now she took a step into the art world. She is also involved in wedding planning for those who dream of getting married in Taormina. Please check out Ami’s talent on her webistes here: www.amielsius.com??? www.taorminaweddings.com


Den beg?vade och?fantastiska Ami Elsius fr?n Sverige har en p?g?ende konstutst?llning i Hotel Metropole, Corso Umberto 154, Taormina fr?n 5 Juni-5 juli. Ami ?r en professionell fotograf som arbetar internationellt och?har nu?tagit ett steg in i konstv?rlden. Hon ?r ocks? engagerad i br?llopsplanering f?r dem som dr?mmer om att gifta sig i Taormina. V?nligen kolla in Ami’s talang p? sina hemsidor h?r: www.amielsius.com?? www.taorminaweddings.com


Scandinavia Tour: Lapland – my home and heart

Kiruna, Lapland (Sweden) is where I am born. I left Lapland when I was 15 years old to study fashion. Lapland has many natural ecosystems where the nature and animals live together. You can still drink the water in many lakes and rivers. During our stay we went with dog sled and visited the Icehotel in Jukkasj?rvi. It was very exotic for hubby to see a totally different world. Right now the area is in a period kalled Kaamos which means that the sun does not rise for approximately one month. We were there just days before and enjoyed some sun for 2,5 hours.

The Icehotel was in construction. They fly in different artists from all over the world and they make their ice rooms according to their ideas. The suite in the Icehotel costs this year 1,300 euro/night and champagne is served in ice glasses. The waiting list is two years for the room.

I miss Lapland, it is such a unique place.


Podcast – Being a swedish female entrepreneur in Sicily

Amazing Savoring Italy made a podcast with me about Sicily, working in Sicily, living in Sicily, Sicilian agriculture and being a swedish female entrepreneur in Sicily….and much more.You find the interview HERE.

Communication in cultural mixed relation

I see clearly when hubby has spent too much times with family females when he asks me questions like (Att! after three years together) Will you make it to Brico store by yourself? I answered That question nearly killed you!. LOL!


Jag ser tydligt n?r mannen har tillbringat f?r mycket tid med familjens kvinnor n?r han fr?gar mig fr?gor som (Obs! efter tre ?r tillsammans) Kommer du att klara att ?ka till Brico butiken sj?lv? Jag svarade att Den fr?gan tog n?stan k?l p? dig!. LOL!

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