Something Swedish

My First Birthday in Sweden – Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah

13 Comments

Celebrating my first birthday in Sweden couldn’t have been better. First, I was happy to get phone calls, Skype calls, messages, and photos from friends and family back home. When you live abroad you get a little scared that your friends and family back home will forget you.

I was a bit nervous about my first birthday in a new country: What will it be like? What are the cultural differences?

Last weekend we celebrated my birthday with my husband’s family. They bought me a cake, gave me presents, and sung happy birthday to me:

The Swedish Birthday Song:

Ja, må hon leva, Ja, må hon leva, Ja, må hon leva uti hundrade år.
Ja, visst ska hon leva, Ja, visst ska hon leva, Ja, visst ska hon leva uti hundrade år.
(x2)

“Ett fyraldigt leve… leve hon. HURRAH, HURRAH, HURRAH, HURRAH.”

English Translation

Yes, may she live, Yes, may she live, Yes, may she live for a hundred years.
Oh sure, she will live, Oh sure, she will live, Oh sure, she will live for a hundred years.

“A four fold cheer … cheer for her. HURRAH, HURRAH, HURRAH, HURRAH.”

Listen to it here:

Some Common Swedish Birthday Customs

  • Breakfast in bed- unfortunately this is usually only for children. The family comes into the room with breakfast (sometimes with cake) and sings for the birthday boy/girl.
  • Some Swedes enjoy Smörgåstårta (Sandwich cake) on their birthdays. Read more about that in a previous post. Hubby bought me a shrimp sandwich this morning, which was close enough…this time.
  •  A popular birthday cake is Prinsesstårta (Princess Cake)- a sponge cake with lots of cream inside and a shell of marzipan. Read more about that in a previous post.
  • Swedish flags are often used to decorate the birthday cake.
  • Bring your own birthday cake to work to celebrate yourself with your workmates.
  • Surprise parties are not common in Sweden, instead you plan your own festivities if you want.

Vocabulary

Grattis på födelsedagen: Happy Birthday!

Grattis: Congratulations

Tårta: Cake

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13 thoughts on “My First Birthday in Sweden – Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah

  1. Happy birthday, Meg! Guess I was a day too early with the Skype call to you — but then, I didn’t even know it was your birthday . . . glad it was such a happy one!

  2. Happy birthday 🙂
    the birthday song sounds very funny when it’s translated, I guess since being used to hearing it I haven’t really thought much about the meaning of the words before 😀

  3. Happy birthday!
    That birthday song with the puppets is cute!

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEG! GLAD IT WAS A GOOD ONE. I’M IN QUEENS- COULDN’T GET THE SONG TO PLAY-WILL TRY IN SOUTHOLD TOMORROW.CALL YOU OVER WEEKEND. KNIT ME A SCARF!!

  5. Megan, Belated Happy Birthday! Glad you had a good one. Love your posts.
    Mariette

  6. GRATTIS!! Hoppas du hade en fin fin dag! Kram!

  7. You moved to Sweden *and* you have family who owns a knitting store? Sounds awesome! Really enjoying your blog, keep writing!

  8. Happy birthday!! Grattis på födelsedag!!

  9. Thanks for sharing your birthday song Love and miss you.Aunt Mary Uncle Mickey We love all your posts

  10. I just love your blog!! Take a look here: http://frankfurtmalin.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/beautiful-blogger-award/
    it’s a nomination to zhe beautiful blogger award!
    Grattis på födelsedagen!! kram Malin

  11. Happy belated birthday!! I love you and miss you so very much!!

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