Dancing in the rain

Last night, I went swing dancing again and learned that there are even more swing dancers in Malmö than in Göteborg! Every Sunday evening in the summer, there is swing-dancing on a boardwalk platform by the beach. I couldn’t believe that it was outdoors considering the unpredictable weather (dancing is indoors in Göteborg), and sure enough, rain started pouring down on all the dancers an hour into the evening. But, of course, here in Malmö they dance whether it is raining or not. There was a tent housing the live band, and after everyone huddled in the tent for ten minutes or so when the rain was at its worst, couples of dancers started returning to the dance floor.

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People started emerging from the tent as a rainbow appeared in the cloudy sky.

After some research, I learned that the huge popularity of swing dancing here is due to the Herräng Dance Camp, which hosts one of the biggest jazz and swing festivals in the world and is based near Stockholm. Swing dancers here get so excited when I tell them that I’m from New York City because it is “the heart of swing dancing.” I’ve never swing danced in New York, but I find it fascinating that people here love it so much!

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The boardwalk dance floor.

Someone I danced with said I was “too fun for an electrical engineer.” That might be one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I told him that we had to be a little crazy to get through it all!

This past weekend was also home to Malmö’s Pride Parade, which seemed to include the entire population of the city. The Pride Parade here has been happening for about 10 years. I’m used to the Pride Parade in NYC, which has been going on for decades ever since the Stonewall Riots in the city. It was interesting to travel this far and see Stonewall posters held by Swedes, although I wondered why it took them 25 years to start the tradition of the parade.

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The parade filled the pedestrian-only streets. There were also lots of trucks and different groups parading together.
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Someone gave the policemen rainbow flags to hold as they watched over the parade. (You can see from the sky that this is right before the parade was rained on – classic! Luckily it wasn’t bad enough to dampen any spirits).

After the parade, various events (movie screening, concert, and official Pride Week bars) were set up in the Folkets-park to continue the celebration.

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Entrance to Folkets-park, or the “people’s park.”

Now that the weekend is over, it’s time to focus on the project again and call lots of companies. Wish me luck!

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