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Becoming Swedish in Shanghai

Trying to make 150 people laugh when they are all from a country you have never been to can be scary. Turns out, it can also be wildly fun.

I performed at a “Swedish Young Professionals” event in Shanghai recently and beyond learning that their food and alchohol are amazing, I learned that one hundred and fifty Swedish people know how to party.

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Apparently Swedish Jesus is part savior, part flower-wearing hippie

The event was a Swedish Young Professionals party celebrating “Swedish Midsummer’s Day”, which it turns out, nobody really knows what that means. Before doing my set I went around the party earlier in the night asking people what it meant.


"Hey, I'm here to tell you all the facts about your holiday that I found on wikipedia 45 mintues ago."

One guy said “It’s the day Jesus died.” Not sure what happened on Good Friday. Maybe they have another Jesus in Sweden.

Another guy said “Its exactly six months after Christmas.” Again, not true as it was on June 20th, not the 25th.

Finally one guy said, “Its just an excuse for us to drink”. Bingo. Well, mostly bingo. The real reason is that it’s the longest day of the year in terms of sunlight, but come on, it’s a reason to drink.


Eating, drinking and celebrating being naturally attractive

And drink we did. We drank a ton of shots of this (I think, tell me if I'm wrong), then they said you had to chase it with Swedish fish (not these, these), to cover up the taste of the booze. Truthfully the booze tasted better than the fish, and a pickled fish/ booze combo is nobody’s idea of a good time except Swedes. I was sitting next to Swedes and then their spouses who all happened to be from different countries. A British chick, a Canadian, a Dane: they all told me to stay away of the fish/ booze combo. I didn’t take their advice and for a minute felt like this.

Oh the meatballs were fantastic though. And at one point we danced around like frogs, possibly because I demanded we do it in the middle of my set as I had stumbled across it online while researching for the show.


Best part, I have like 100 new Swedish friends now! I am currently applying for citizenship and hope to be moving to Sweden within the week. If that doesn’t materialize I at least want to be invited back to this party.

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My new crew, thanks for the pictures Johan!



And thanks for more pictures Mostafa!

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