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If you are a new arrival to Sweden, there is something that you will notice almost immediately. Even sooner than immediately (if that’s at all possible) if you have school-age kids.
Or maybe you’ve already noticed it when dealing on-line with various Swedish establishments.
I’m talking about the charming, but vaguely inconvenient to the uninitiated, way in which Swedes use the calendar.
You see, things are counted in weeks over here.
A notice may appear at your local gym proclaiming it closed vecka 28-30, for example. With no dates added. Why no dates? Because almost everybody here knows exactly when weeks 28, 29 and 30 are.
Weeks are numbered on almost all calendars available for sale in Sweden (except for the one I bought at Ica MAXI, but it has cute kitten pictures instead, so it’s a fair trade, in my opinion).
When the weeks are in single digits, it’s easy enough to keep track of them. We are now in week 2 – vecka 2 of 2009. But just wait till summertime rolls around and you will have to decipher when week 28 begins.
Because the weeks are not numbered in my calendar, I printed out this handy chart I found on the internet and stuck it on my fridge.
And as you can see above the chart, even vacation rentals are reserved by week number, and not the actual date.
You will see week numbers on correspondence from your local vårdcentral (health clinic), library, your kids’ school, on announcements from all sorts of organizations, including Migrationsverket, and even on supermarket circulars.
So, in other words, week numbers = important stuff in Sweden.