Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Upcoming Events

My hometown in first life is Lund, located in the province of Scania, which consists of the peninsula in the far south of Sweden. It is believed to be one of the two oldest cities in present-day Sweden. Every fifty year or so there is a new stick, brick or piece of glass unearthed that predates the city's origin with another 100 or so years. At the moment it is believed that the city was settled in circa 990.

There have been few changes in the street system of the city since Middle Ages, although the old ramparts of clay that used to surround the city are mostly gone.

The city was made an episcopal see of the Roman Catholic church in 1048 and a cathedral was built here. Lund Cathedral School (Katedralskolan) was founded in 1085 and is considered to be the oldest school in Scandinavia and one of the oldest in Northern Europe. The school still exists and was indeed the senior high school of the laird himself.
The province of Scania formed part of the kingdom of Denmark up until 1658, when Denmark was forced to give it up to Sweden after a devastating defeat. Denmark didn't completely give up it's attempts to take the province back until 1710. The region did not become a part of Sweden proper until 1719, but had the status of conquered "foreign land" until that year.

Until the early 19th century, a ruthless policy of forced assimilation was employed by the Swedish government in what until then had been a linguistically Danish region. As part of the assimilation policy a university was founded here in 1666.

Lund University is today the largest in Sweden (and indubitably the best as it is the lairds alma mater) with more than 42,000 students, although not all of them live here. The 30,000-35,000 of them that do live here make out a big bulk of the cities population of 83,000 inhabitants. Every year we get a new influx of another 10,000 students as approximately the same amount leave to continue their lives somewhere else.

What the students do greatly effects the rest of us and mostly we love them for it.
Every fourth year since the late 19th century the students in Lund have a carnival (Lundakarnevalen) which usually brings a staggering number of visitors to the city. 2014 is another carnival year and it will be celebrated between May 16 through May 18. which means my small city is going to have circa 400,000 visitors during the three days, mainly on Saturday and Sunday when there is a carnival parade through the city center.

We will enjoy it, endure it and be happy to see the end of it - until we start longing for it to come along in four years time.

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