157’2023 (2023-06-06) – 500 years !!!

Today, I learned about:

Our daily lives are not easy, there are always things to be done, money to be earned to maintain our lives and sustain our families. It is therefore such a pleasure for me to present the third part about my trilogy with tributes to some of the people and places that mean so much to me, besides my family, of course.

In my two earlier blogs, 113’2023 (2023-04-23) and 151’2023 (2023-05-31) , I presented tributes to some of my friends, and now I have the honor to express my gratitude to my native country, Sweden, where I was born, grew up, and started my professional career, before moving to Brazil.

The 500th anniversary of modern Sweden

You most certainly have heard about the vikings and their mythology. Sweden is one of the countries that was involved in such matters. When the vikings had their glory, Sweden was not a unified nation, there were many different reigns, but slowly during the first half of the 2nd millenium, there started a consolidation, not only of what eventually would be Sweden, but also of its neighbors, Denmark and Norway. A milestone occured in the year 1397, when the so called Kalmar Union was formed, led by Denmark and including also Sweden and Norway. But many Swedes had difficulty in accepting to be ruled by a non-Swede, so on June 6, 1523, Gustav Eriksson Vasa was elected King of Sweden, and from that day on we are entering the modern Swedish era. More about this can be found in reference #1 below.

Two days ago, considering that today is a normal work day in Brazil, the Swedish Consulate General in São Paulo celebrated thus the Swedish 500th anniversary with a fabulous party at the Scandinavian church in São Paulo. I had the pleasure of being invited and, between enjoying the traditional Swedish food and drink as well as meeting old friends, I was also able to take some nice pictures from the event.

The honorary consul, Renato Pacheco, held the opening speech, and after both the Swedish and Brazilian national anthems had been sung, it was time for the newly installed Swedish ambassador to Brazil, Karin Wallensteen, to give her version of why it is so important to know what happened 500 years ago and how it still reflects the daily life in Sweden.

The Swedish embassador to Brazil, Karin Wallensteen, holds a speech of the importance of commemorating the modern Sweden’s 500th anniversary. In this picture can also be seen the vice-consul in São Paulo, Peter Johansson, and the consul, Renato Pacheco. Picture taken on 155’2023 (2023-06-04).

Svenska Danser

One very popular topic during the celebrations was the dance group Svenska Danser (Swedish Dances) from the very south of Brazil that performed traditional Swedish folk dances, like the one you can see in today’s header photo.

Reference #2 contains a link to an earlier live transmission with Svenska Danser, so you can see and hear them in action.

This lovely group of Brazilian women, dressed in Swedish traditional costume, is the female part of Svenska Danser (Swedish Dances), resident in Ijui, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, which demonstrated Swedish folk dances. Photo taken by Anders Pettersson.
And here are their male partners in Svenska Danser, who together the ladies performed the inspiring Swedish folk dances in today’s header photo. Photo taken by Anders Pettersson.

Clan Mac Norse

And there was also an equally popular musical event when the Nordic folk music group Clan Mac Norse presented their joyful music.

Reference #3 contains a link to an earlier live transmission with Clan Mac Norse, so you can see and hear them in action.

This music group is called Clan Mac Norse and their speciality is to play Nordic folk music. They come from Curitiba, state of Paraná, Brazil.

Göteborg 402 years

These days have also been extra festive in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden’s second largest city, where the original 400th anniversary of the founding of the city in 2021 had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But now it is was high time to celebrate. I studied at the Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg and of course I would like to have been there in person to make my tribute to this lovely city. You may remember that in an earlier post, 59’2017 (2017-02-28) , Göteborg was elected by the British newspaper The Guardian to be the number one city in the world regarding the social behaviour and attitudes of its residents.

Finally, look at the way FIESP, the mighty industry organization in the state of São Paulo, gave Sweden, with so many companies installed in the state, its tribute tonight:

FIESP in yellow and blue!

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Kingdom of Sweden

2: Svenska Danser

3: Clan Mac Norse

*: What did you learn in school today ?

151’2023 (2023-05-31) – Wednesday

Today, I learned about:

This post is a tribute to some of my Swedish language students and their families. What they all have in common is that during the month of May, 2023, normally the best of all seasons in Sweden, while being in Sweden, they also decided to explore its neighboring countries.


Adriana lives in Brazil, but is enchanted by Sweden and its native language. The first time she went to Sweden with her family was 20 years ago and after that she went there on various occasions. It is a real pleasure giving lessons to Adriana, a very sympathetic person, who can make me laugh aloud with her stories, sometimes including black humour. Luckily, I am normally able to compete with her in that sense.


Paulo moved to the region of Stockholm with his family 1,5 years ago and is getting well accustomed. In his company, he tries to speak as much Swedish as possible, although English is also commonly used as the corporate language. Our lessons are always fun, I try to include my knowledge about Sweden from the time I lived there, so that he can understand why certain things are the way they are. Paulo tells me good stories about his earlier life in Brazil and his business trips around the world.

Since Adriana and Paulo had both decided to bring their families to visit the Estonian capital Tallinn, I found it a good coincedence to join their narratives into one. Below are their family photos and some pictures taken during their respective visits to Tallinn. You can find facts about Tallinn in reference #1 below.

These photos from the old town in Tallinn were taken in May, 2023, by my Swedish language students Paulo and Adriana, who independently of each other decided to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site and get delighted.
In the left, uppermost photo you can see Paulo and his wife Patricia, and from the left their two daughters, Sophie and Catherine. Paulo also took the big photo from Tallinn below.
Adriana, in the lower right corner of the righmost, upper photo, which was taken in Stockholm, was travelling to Denmark and Sweden with her family and decided that Estonia was worth a visit. Here you can see her sister Camila to the left and behind them are Adriana’s son Humberto, wit his fiancée Paula by his side. Adriana took the two lower photos from Tallinn.

Giovana and Rodrigo

The Brazilian couple Giovana and Rodrigo left the state of Paraná one year ago and moved to Göteborg (Gothenburg in English) to live and work. Before they moved, we had already had some months of initial training and due to changes in the Swedish immigration laws during the first half of 2022, their travel was delayed, which in a certain way was good, because they could concentrate on the Swedish lessons, using the same time zone as I. As you may know, currently there is a 5 hour time difference between Brazil and Sweden, so while our lessons for me occur in the early afternoon, for them it is much later in the evening. But they are hanging in, and their Swedish is getting ever better!

Giovana and Rodrigo like to travel very much, every once in a while they tell me that they will go to one of the European cities that can easily be reached by airplane from Göteborg. The destination this time was the Polish port Gdańsk, also known by its German name Danzig. If you are curious about Gdańsk, see also reference #2 below.

Photos from the Polish city of Gdańsk taken between April 29 and May 1, 2023. The following work colleagues were there, from left to right: Giovana, Rodrigo, Gustavo, Paula, Igor, and Heloísa. The four smaller pictures were all taken by Giovana.

Joice and Elias

Another Brazilian couple, Joice and Elias, are newcomers in Sweden, also living in Göteborg. They are still in their first months living in Sweden, which means a lot of things to take care of. And it is not only living and working, they also have to see to that their sons are getting good schooling conditions. But from what I have heard, very soon the boys will help me in teaching Swedish to their parents.

During the long weekend in the middle of May, when Thursday was a holiday to celebrate Ascension Day, they decided to go to Norway together with some friends. Below you can some marvellous pictures from their trip. If you want to know more about their destination, Hemsedal and Flå, see references # 3 and 4, below.

Photos taken in Hemsedal and Flå, Norway, in the middle of May, 2023, showing Elias and Joice with their sons Matheus and Thiago. The nature photos were taken by Joice.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Tallinn

2: Gdańsk

3: Hemsedal

4: Flå

*: What did you learn in school today ?

113’2023 (2023-04-23) – Saint George’s Day

Today, I learned about:

This post is a tribute to three of my friends, from different places and periods. But the common thing is that they all are/were Brazilians.


My first Brazilian student of Swedish, Geancarlo Jandre, was an Air Force Captain when he started to learn Swedish with me in 2017. The reason was that he would start to study for a Master’s degree in Political Science at the Swedish Supreme Military Academy in Stockholm in 2018. It was a tough year, but his earlier knowledge of both English and German was of course of big help in that task.

Geancarlo graduated in 2020 and returned to the Air Force headquarters in Brasília, having been promoted to Air Force Lieutenant Colonel already in 2018. Then at the end of 2022, another promotion to Air Force Colonel and an appointment as Commander of the Santos Air Force Base.

I had the privilege of being invited to his installation as commander, which occured on 19’2023 (2023-01-19). The following photo today shows the main building at the base, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023.

This impressive building is the headquarters of the Air force Base Santos, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Photo taken on 19’2023 (2023-01-19) during the ceremony of installation of the new base commander, Air Force Colonel Geancarlo Jandre.

Furthermore, here are some more photos from the event, which took place under blazing sun and perfect weather conditions. See also references #1 and #2 below.

Top photo, from left to right: Myself, my friend Gloria, Air Force Colonel Geancarlo, and his wife Fernanda.

Bottom photos, from left to right, top to bottom: Three of the delicious foods that were served during the reception after the installation ceremony, Paella Mineira, Bolo Floresta Negra, and Rote Grütze. Here is a brief description of each one of them:

Paella Mineira (Paella from the state of Minas Gerais) is inspired by its original dish, which made the Spanish peasants endure the hard work in the fields. They brought along rice, oil, salt and ”paella”, which is the name of the big frying pan used to cook the meal. For lunch, in the frying pan they mixed whatever they had of vegetables, and meat.

Bolo Floresta Negra (Schwarzwalder Torte, Black Forest cake) has not got its name from the German region of Schwarzwald, although many people think so. The main reference is a liqueur made of the Ginja cherry. But this cake is said to be inspired by the way the young German maidens used to dress in Schwarzwald. The white whipped cream represents the sleeves of their dresses, the chocolate their bodies and the cherry the “Bollenhut”, a hat with red pompoms which indicated their marital status, the red color means unmarried and black married.

Rote Grütze (Red ”Grütze”) is derived from the German word ”gruzzi”, which means coarse grinding. Today it is used to denominate semola, i.e. the lumps resulting from the incomplete grinding of cereals. Maybe it is therefore used to describe a preserve of red fruits due to its consistency, similar to a porridge prepared from some type of ground cereal, e.g. oatmeal porridge. The dish is still typical in Northern Germany, particularly in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, from where the ancestors of Commander Geancarlo emigrated during the 19th century to a town that thus was named Pomerode, in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil.


In August 2021, I was contacted by Josef Vike, a Brazilian originally named Josenildo Rocha, who had been living in Gothenburg, Sweden since the first decade of the 21st century. There he has, among other things, an academy teaching the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira, in which his title is Mestre Tuburão (Master Shark). He wanted to write a book for his pupils about leadership and how each of them could take control of their lives and lead themselves and others. But since he wanted to present it to them in flawless Swedish, he asked me to help him and translate the manuscript from Brazilian Portuguese to Swedish.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, it took longer than he expected, but then finally on 77’2023 (2023-03-18), the book was launched during an event in a big shopping mall in Gothenburg, Frölunda Torg. Besides the book launch, there was also a good mix of entertainment and thoughtful considerations about human behavior, involving courage, creativity, and generosity.

Here you can see a resume of the book (in Swedish) and a video clip with the highlights of the event. See also reference #3 below.

A summary of the book Styrkan med självledarskap – Upptäck ledaren som finns inom dig (The power of autoleadership – Discover the leader within yourself), written by Josef Vike and which I have had the pleasure of translating from Brazilian Portuguese into Swedish.

A video clip with the highlights from Be Authentic Day in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 77’2023 (2023-03-18), a fantastic initiative by Josef Vike.


During more than 30 years, I had the pleasure of knowing Adriano Lisiuchenko. We worked as managing partners in companies where we were pioneers in introducing SMT (Surface Mount Technology) to the Brazilian electronics manufacturing industry. Many times hard work, but also many moments of happiness and joy. See also reference #4 below.

Adriano passed away on 101’2023 (2023-04-11) after a long period of severe illness. Adriano, you will surely be missed, rest in peace!

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Santos Air Force Base (needs to be updated)

2: Bollenhut

3: Capoeira

4: Surface mount technology

*: What did you learn in school today ?

90’2023 (2023-03-31) – Friday

Today, I learned about:

They say that the older one gets, the faster time seems to speed away. There are even those scients who try to quantify the time acceleration as the inverse ratio of the age difference. So, do you remember when you were 8 years old, the Summer holiday seemed to last for ever, although it was only a few months. When you hit 40 you saw that the same calendar time now only seemed to last 20 % of what you felt when you were 8.

Unfortunately, my 40th birthday happened quite some time ago, and I can really feel the acceleration in time. For that reason, I was totally taken by surprise today when I realized that we have come to the end of yet another month. There were so many things I wanted to tell you this month, but there is no time left.

I promise that in April I will compensate for that and tell you about two really cool events that have occured during the first quarter of 2023, in Brazil and Sweden. Sit tight and start to count the days!

That’s what I learned in school today!


*: What did you learn in school today ?

59’2023 (2023-02-28) – Tuesday

Today, I learned about:

How right I was in my post last month about the perils of summer here in the Southern hemisphere. In this post, I had planned to talk about an interesting event I participated in on January 19, but that has to be told next month. Instead I want to comment on the terrible weather conditions during the Carnival celebrations on the Northern coast of the state of São Paulo. Torrential rain combined with a cyclone resulted in huge landslides mainly in the municipality of São Sebatião. Besides the heavy material damage, more than 50 people lost their lives. See reference #1 below.

Jabaquara Beach in Ilhabela, Ilha de São Sebastião, SP, Brazil. Photo taken on 51’2023 (2023-02-20).

This photo was taken by my daughter Karina who happened to be in Ilhabela, the municipality on the island of São Sebastião, that only can be reached by a ferry from the continent. But I prefer to show the beauty that still exists after the catastrophe, so this photo from the beach of Jabaquara was taken on Monday, one day later, and while the Southern side of the island also suffered heavily from the catastrophe, as you can see, this view from the Northern side of Ilhabela is still breathtaking.

And speaking about about Karina, you may remember her from my post of 305’2019 (2019-10-31), when she presented a language project during an international conference in Salvador, BA, Brazil. Now she has concluded her academic studies and been awarded the Bachelor degree in Computer Science. That event was organized on 34’2023 (2023-02-03) and as a proud father, I am happy to show you a photo from it:

Ceremony to officialize the conclusion of studies for BSc in Computer Science at UFSCar, Federal University of São Carlos, on 34’2023 (2023-02-03).

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Brazilian cities unprepared for extreme natural events, experts say

*: What did you learn in school today ?

31’2023 (2023-01-31) – Tuesday

Today, I learned about:

Summer is hitting hard on Brazil right now, heavy rainfalls mixed with blazing sunshine. This photo shows the reality on the other hemisphere of our world. It was taken outside the Swedish town of Sälen in the beginning of December, 2022, and on those latitudes it is still pretty much the same.

A photo taken in Sälen, Sweden, on 338’2022 (2022-12-04) by one of my most faithful followers.

Only 350 km to the North of Sälen lies Östersund, another well-known place for winter sports. During the second half of January, 2023, Östersund hosted the Para Nordic Skiing World Championships 2023, and one would think that for a tropic country like Brazil it would be a mere curiousity. But on the contrary, if you have followed my recent posts you would well know by now that Brazil is eagerly thriving to gain a good position also in winter sports. And here are the results:

Brazil finished in the ninth top position in the general medals table, with 1 gold medal and 3 bronze medals. The historic feat of winning a world championship was conquered by Aline Rocha in the sprint category. Besides that, she also won two bronze medals, and her male colleague Cristian Ribera won a bronze medal in sprint. Here is a picture of Aline with the well deserved gold medal around her neck:

Aline Rocha commemorating Brazil’s first ever gold medal in a nordic skiing world championship. Photo courtesy of CBDN.

More information can be found in reference #1 below.

In February, I will return to talk about a recent event on Brazilian soil, stay tuned!

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Results from the Para Nordic Skiing World Championships 2023

*: What did you learn in school today ?

361’2022 (2022-12-27) – Tuesday

Today, I learned about:

Finally, here are some photos from the city of Ouro Preto in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It is a city that was founded in 1711 and during the 18th century, from the mountains around it, were extracted more than 800 tons of gold. That number only contains what was sent to Portugal, not considering what stayed in Brazil. In reference #1 below is link to an article about Ouro Preto that is well worth reading. And furthermore, if you have the chance, visit Ouro Preto, you will never forget it!

Here are some photos that I and my friends Adriana and Graziela took in Ouro Preto during the last week of May, 2022:

In the uppermost picture is shown the main square in Ouro Preto, named Praça Tiradentes, as seen from the fantastic Museu da Infocidência. The following picture was taken outside of the church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) with a breathtaking view of the surroundings of Ouro Preto. In the smaller pictures below are two examples of the exquisite statuettes carved by the Brazilian artist Aleijadinho, who managed to do so in spite of his illness in the extremities of his body. Those two and many more are on display in the Museu da Infocidência. The two pictures from inside two of the many churches in Ouro Preto, where one can find inumerous objects made of pure gold, are from Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) and Nossa Senhora do Pilar (Our Lady of Pilar). All pictures were taken during the last week of May, 2022.

I wish all of my faithful readers a pleasant end of 2022 and an even better start of 2023!

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Outro Preto

*: What did you learn in school today ?

334’2022 (2022-11-30) – Tuesday

Today, I learned about:

As I promised you in my post of 304’2022 (2022-10-31) , here is the beginning of my story about how Brazil is investing in bringing up a generation of skiers that hopefully one day will be able to compete on an elite level around the world.

To start with, the house you see in today’s header has a sign saying NEBAR, it is an abbreviation in Portuguese for the attribute Núcleo de Esportes de Base e Alto Rendimento, which means Nucleus for Basic and Highly Productive Sports in English. It is a joint project between the Special Secretary for Sports of the Federal Government’s Ministry for Citizenship, the Department of Physical Education and Human Motricity at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), and CBDN. See also reference 1 below.

Here are some more pictures that I took while visiting the NEBAR team:

In these photos you can see three of the members in the rollerskiing coaching team, from left to right Fabio, Guilherme, and Carol. And in the smaller photos, from top to bottom, Guilherme gives us a closer look on one type of rollerski, with a large assortment in the background; and of course, there is a need to wear special boots to fit into the skies; and finally Carol shows us two different types of boots, the left one can be used both for rollerskiing on a paved road and in cross country skiing on snow, while the right one only is suited for rollerskiing. Photos taken on 330’2022 (2022-11-26).

During 2023, I will follow the NEBAR team and report more on their activities.

That’s what I learned in school today!



*: What did you learn in school today ?

304’2022 (2022-10-31) – Halloween

Today, I learned about:

As you read in my post of 240’2022 (2022-08-28) , although Brazil does not have the natural conditions to be a country involved in winter sports, there are two Brazilian confederations, CBDG (sports on ice) and CBDN (sports on snow). For the former part, there is of course the possibility of building an ice arena, which you also saw in that post. But what do you do to create good conditions to practice on snow in a country with mainly tropical and sub-tropical climate?

CBDN has found a way! There is another sport which mimics cross country skiing, but without snow. It is called roller skiing, for details see reference #1 below.

I had the pleasure of attending a roller skiing competition in São Carlos, SP, Brazil two weeks ago. The following photo shows me testing the winners’ podium, and yes if it could hold me, then the athletes would have no problems to be receiving their well-earned medals.

Me testing the winners’ podium before the prize giving ceremonies of the third stage of the Brazilian roller skiing circuit, held in São Carlos, SP, Brazil on 287’2022 (2022-10-14)

Here you can see two pictures from the competition on 287’2022 (2022-10-14), when the topic was a 1,4 km sprint with qualifications, semi-finals and finals, as well as the top trio in both the women’s and the men’s competition. Reference # 2 below gives all the details about the competition.

In this photo can be seen the finish in the women’s 1, 4 km sprint. It is also very clear to see how the skis used by the athletes are.
A photo showing the finish in the men’s 1,4 km sprint
A video clip showing the fascinating finish of the men’s 1,4 km sprint
The winning trio in the women’s 1,4 km sprint: 1) Eduarda Ribera (only 17 years old!); 2) Gabriela Neres; 3) Mirlene Picin. All three from Brazil.
The winning trio in the men’s 1,4 km sprint, 1) Claudio Oliveira, Brazil; 2) Victor Santos, Brazil; 3) Yonathan Fernandez, Chile.

Next month, I will give more details about the roller skiing organization within CBDN.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Roller skiing

2: Circuito brasileiro de rollerski etapa III

*: What did you learn in school today ?

273’2022 (2022-09-30) – Friday

Hoje, eu aprendi que:

Brasil pode não ser o país mais rico financeiramente, mas quando se pensa em riqueza cultural está definitivamentemente no topo.

Tive o prazer de assistir um show com o sambista Paulinho da Viola e sua família no Sesc em São Carlos na semana passada. A foto do cabeçalho mostra Paulinho flanqueados por Beatriz e João. Paulinho toca seu cavaquinho com mestria, Beatriz canta e João toca o violão, e ainda há um trio acompanhando por piano, bateria e guitarra.

Paulinho é uma homem muito carismâtico. Possui 79 anos, mas da maneira que ele age parece mais como um jovem artista de 29 anos, impressionante! No show foram apresentadas várias músicas conhecidas dele, de uma carreira com mais de 50 anos. Para quem quer conhecer as músicas, há amplas possibilidades pela internet, mas quero somentar acrescentar uma estória que ele contou.

Paulinho está muito ligado à escola de samba carioca Portela, mas uns atrás participou, sem querer, numa competição de canções de samba em São Paulo e ganhou um prêmio. Isso não foi recebido bem na Portela. Em compensação, Paulinho escreveu “Foi um rio que passou em minha vida”. A estória completa segue aqui, mas infelizmente a qualidade do som não está muito boa:

Paulinho da Viola conta a estória que fez ele compensar a Portela com a bela canção “Foi um rio que passou em minha vida”.

Mais sobre Paulinho na referência 1, abaixo.

Paulinho da Viola with daughter Beatriz, son João e and a trio performing at Sesc in São Carlos on 263’2022 (2022-09-20).

(The story above in Portuguese is about a show that the samba legend Paulinho da Viola held in São Carlos last week. The header photo shows him together with his daughter Beatriz and son João, as well as an accompanying trio. More about Paulinho da Viola can be found in reference #2 below.)

And, finally, soon there will be some photos from my May visit to Ouro Preto. In my blogs from 151’2022 (2022-05-31) and 181’2022 (2022-06-30) I already showed you some pictures, and during the month of December there will be more to come.

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Paulinho da Viola (em português)

2: Paulinho da Viola (in English)

*: What did you learn in school today ?