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I had a phone call early this morning as I was getting ready for work. Karin had spent the night at a friend's house (she & Martin are on Fall Break) and Anders had just left to go pick her up and drive her to an all-day soccer tournament somewhere. I figured it was Anders calling to remind me about something.

It was Sveriges Radio, the local public radio station broadcasting from Malmö. They were wondering if I would be agreeable to being on the program in FIVE MINUTES to talk a bit about Halloween and trick-or-treating, since I'm apparently one of their go-to Halloween experts. One of our neighbors works in broadcasting and she's the one that gave them my contact info a couple of years ago.

That time, it was a longer, actual interview about Halloween, the traditions and trappings and the cultural aspects of it. This time, I think I might have hit the 3-minute mark, if that.

The reason why they called was because Halloween made the news (Swedish) in the local papers yesterday, and not in a good way. According to the article, some children were yelled at, told to get lost, and and one woman even reported the trick-or-treaters to the police. These were 10-year-old children! Yeesh.

The reason why they called ME wasn't because they wanted clarification on what trick-or-treating IS, but because my neighbor had told them about how WE handle trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. I got the idea from my friend Debbie years ago, but never got around to it while the kids were really small. We started in 2006 and have organized it every year but one since then (last year we were on our way to Italy on Halloween).

Here's how I described it before and basically what I told the radio host this morning: It's not just a free-for-all through the entire village. We print up and send out letters of explanation at least a week in advance, warning people and saying that if they want to participate, they can put the enclosed pumpkin cut-out on their door or mailbox and then the kids will know it is okay to knock on their door. The kids are told not to knock on the doors of houses that don't have one of our pumpkin papers on it. All the kids gather at our house and then are allowed to roam through our neighborhood ONLY. It's a contained area and everyone knows one another, and several parents walk around the streets with the children. It only lasts about an hour or so, and the kids always come back happy and excited, just like they ought to, when it's Halloween.

And then I dithered for about 10 minutes after I hung up the call, because I had said erbjudan when I meant inbjudan* and I left for work and got halfway through the village before realizing that I had left my purse at home, and ALL the way to work the second time before I realized I had left all my work papers on the kitchen counter. *sigh*

AND THEN! When I walked into the office, one of the colleagues in my department said, "HEY! I heard you on the radio this morning!" and proceeded to make fun of my accent. Like he has room to talk, since he's a foreigner himself. Heh!

EDITED TO ADD: Here's the link to the interview if you want to hear my horrendous Swedish accent yourself! :D (the interview starts just after 09:25)

Foggy Bloggy Birthday Wishes to vember and Eva!

*Offer instead of invitation, sort of
mood: thoughtful
music: Rachael Yamagata—Worn Me Down


I need to remember this for next year's Halloween. We've had kids ringing the bell every day since Friday. (Not sure about yesterday since we were at the movies). There were two hopefuls tonight that got the last of the candy we had at home.

I don't mind the trick-or-treaters but I would prefer if they kept it to the same day. I like your way of handling it.

Isabel is anxious to go trick-or-treating but I have said she has to wait until I feel she's old enough to go by herself. Maybe next year.

If you want me to send you the letter and pumpkin pic, let me know. :)

I wouldn't wait until Isabel is old enough to go by old is she? Get out there and take her with you next year! It's much more fun for you both :)

Oh, I remember your moment of fame last year. Liz the Halloween expert. It is good, the way you've organized the chaos in your neighborhood.
Here, it is still supposedly the porch light as a signal.

Most of the porch lights here are on automatic, so they seem to be off from a distance...wouldn't work so well as a signal for trick-or-treaters. :)

We have ours set to go on with motion, so I had to turn ot all the way off while nobody was home.

From Megsie

Oh, you are SO the go to Halloween girl! I can see that. Don't worry about your accent. I am sure you speak English just perfectly. How cool, and yet nerve-wracking that you only had five minutes to mentally prepare to be in the spotlight. Two for Two so far! Gold stars all around! :) xo

Re: From Megsie

I speak English pretty darn well, but my Swedish is FAR from faultless. I don't care mostly because I know people understand me and I'm fluent, as far as that goes...but on the radio, when the audience is much bigger? EEK.

I couldn't make much of the interview to be honest /laughs but it was fun to listen to anyway lol. I love your accent. I have no idea how accented it is, but I reminds me a bit of how my friend from Seattle speaks Dutch (which she speaks really well, just like you speak Swedish really well I have no doubt about that) - there's just a certain sound that peaks through the Dutch/Swedish that's American English I guess.
And it makes me feel less silly for having had such trouble to pronounce Swedish properly myself. Swedish is just HARD to pronounce! I just can't get certain sounds out properly LOL! I remember during one of my first classes we had to write a little speech to introduce ourselves, and I tried to tell how S. was a sjuksköterska.. that word positively broke my tongue ;)

I was wondering btw, you hyphen your married name after your maiden name don't you? I never really paid attention to that but it suddenly got my attention when I heard them announce you on the radio. That's also how I do my name now that I'm married, but it's really quite uncommon here (and people keep getting it wrong)! And I don't know many at all who do it that way (only one friend used to do that - she's divorced now so she's ditched the hypened name again heh) so it's fun to realize I'm NOT the only odd one out.

It's funny...I don't hear how American I sound when I'm speaking Swedish unless I hear a recording of my voice. But all my American friends? MAN do they have accents when THEY speak Swedish! :D

Forgot to answer your second question: it's fairly common for hyphenated names here, but Sweden doesn't officially recognize them, from what I've heard.

And yes, "sjuksköterska" is definitely a tonguebuster!

Edited at 2011-11-03 08:48 pm (UTC)

The hyphening/hyphenating (??) of names here is fairly common as well AND officially recognized. However it's the order that is "off", since I use my maiden name first then hypen the hubs' name! :)

Traditionally here women would take their husbands name after getting married (which is common in the States as well I think?), OR would hyphen their maiden name after their married name. Ofcourse some women kept their own name (like my mother, which was really uncommon back in 1970 when my parents got married), but while for me that always felt most natural I never met many women who did that (not in my own generation nor older generations).

Only recently it became legally possible to do hyphen both surnames "the other way around" (own/maiden name first, married name hypened) - at the same time when it became possible for the man to take his newly-wed wifes name instead of the other way around (which may have been when same-sex marriage was introduced in NL, but I'm not sure on those details really, but seems logical).

It's odd actually that while I always knew/said I'd for sure keep my own name if I was to get married (cause it felt odd to have to change names, just because one marries, while you stay the same person, I'm not becoming someone else "property" etc) - but then when I actually got married I also realized I LIKED to share his name. Especially if one day we were to start a family of our own. While it never was a big big deal, I do remember raised eyebrows or questions when I was little and had to explain that my mum was Ms. SuchnSo while my surname was different - and I don't want that for my kids/myself, so I chose to be officially registered myname-hisname, so that when our possible future kiddo(s) carry his name, it's still in mine as well.. Like a family name:) But since it's so uncommon still to hyphen the names in this order, I get confused looks, and even ran into computersystems (like at the hospital) that were actually unable to register me like that! So in one hospital I'm now Mrs. Hisname and they completely left out my own name, while in the other hospital I figured to just sod it and registered with just my own name. But that is ALSO confusing, cause now I have to remember how I'm registered where etc..

It's complicated, confusing at times and longwinded - also in my head, I've somehow spend A LOT of time thinking and fussing about this while *before* marriage everything seemed to be so simple and obvious! I guess once more women choose to hyphen their surnames in this order, it'll become less confusing here and there. And with this I'll conclude my neverending surname-rambling.. LOL!

I didn't think I'd ever met anyone who hyphenated their name with their married name BEFORE their maiden name., and then just now I realized that one of our best Swedish friends does it that way.. Hmm..

So in Sweden when women use both names, they hyphen them the way I do and you do? Or at least it's rather common to do it in that order? I love how that's the exact opposite of what we're used to here. I know that a lot of my American friends use their maiden name as middle name of sorts, or just the initial. Isn't it interesting to see how different customs can be between different cultures/countries/etc?

Well, mine is maiden-married, and hers is married-maiden. No clue as to which is most common

It's prolly silly but I just love the fact you do maiden-married as well. Makes me feel less that the "odd one out" if that makes sense!


I love your accent! It's clearly a mix of American and Skåne accent, really cool.

Please don't lose it!

Funny I have actually never had anyone ring my door on halloween for the short time it has been a thing here. Strange really... I live in a large neighbourhood of "flerbostadshus" with many children. I guess it might actually be easier in a smaller neighbourhood with stronger "neighbour" feeling. And we don't have a Liz here! :(


Every neighborhood needs a LIZ to organize things, haha! (although I don't do anything else neighborhoody, I will admit).


Still screened... :( I think it might be because I provide a link to my blog in my comments. But there is no other way to link to it since there is no other way to tell who I am besides writing it in the actual comment. Don't like that about LJ journals...

I will not put the link this time and see if my comment goes through.


Mias blogg

Did it work? I always see them via email as they come as notifications.
Otherwise you could always create an LJ account just for commenting purposes. I have other blog friends who have done that :) Or they use OpenId.


it did inded work - I didn't even have to fill out the spam filter form...

The thing is though - even if I start a live journal account just for commenting - how do I provide the link to my blog?? I wish Live Journal had the option to just enter your name and an url before you post, like other blog tools, for example Blogger or Wordpress or even blogg(dot)se.


mias(dot)blogg(dot)se (haha)

Although now it doesn't matter much since I never get the chance to actually sit down and blog something these days. :( can't wait for this studying and working at the same time thing is over... I have no life! LOL!

Don't you get the option to use OpenID when you comment, though? I have lots of commenters who use that.

they should put you on tv!

HA! No way, José!

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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