The circumstances under this initiative was born, were at the same time sad and hopeful. Sofia was moving to Gothenburg, and our writing partnership would have to adapt. So, the first step was to gather information about our common (in a way) swedish destination.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as the intel flooded in, there was a comfortable feeling surrounding this. It would seem that a few similarities where there to be found, but still, it was too early and online research can only give you half the truth. The actual settling in had to happen and getting to know the people there, before the semantics kicked in, and the findings started raising both our eyebrows.
So, what did we have on Gothenburg?
The second largest city of Sweden, with a population of about 1 million (including the suburbs), consisting of a strong and enduring working class, with a historic but also very much active port, a longtime destination for immigrants who have successfully blended in, the home of competitive football and hockey teams with a fiery core of fans, host of a world famous cinematography festival, and a culture of more leisure and relaxing lifestyle, much opposing the stressful and noisy way of the capital, Stockholm.
Thessalonikians, does any of that sound familiar?
Yeah, that’s what I thought…
Of course, there’s much more to explore and acknowledge. The main interest of Gotelonica is to find and point out the modern pillars of each city’s identity, to see which ones share the same problems, difficulties, hopes and expectations and through that process, to make the similarities clear, anywhere there are to be found.
This is something we do, but also something everyone is invited to join. Ideas, remarks, reminders and proposals are mostly welcome in this initiative. It’s all about bringing people together, isn’t it?