This post is very much overdue. I am not sure why I haven’t done it earlier, as everyone that doesn’t live in Sweden probably has no idea what fika is. I snapchat my friends back home pictures of ‘fika’ but they never know what I am doing. Even on here I know I upload pictures and caption them fika. So in this post I am going to take some time and explain what fika is, of course along with some pictures of fika.
Fika is one of those words that doesn’t have an exact translation from Swedish to English. If you were to just literally define it, I would translate it as taking a coffee break.
But for me fika is more than just taking a coffee with someone. When I first came to Sweden, I asked many people in my class to fika, and it was a great way to get to know them better and make new friends. It’s a great way of catching up with what’s been going on with someone else or just a nice way to relax and chat.
You can take a fika at any time of the day. Sometimes we have fika between class breaks, or even during class. You can take a fika at a cafe, you can take a fika at home, you can take them after you go skiing. You can take one really anywhere. Normally fikas are pretty long, you don’t just eat and leave, you sit around and talk. The shortest fika I have taken has been an hour long and the longest was around 3. Also people have birthday fikas, usually one with their families and one with their friends.
That being said, when you fika you get something to eat. You can get coffee, tea, soda, juice, really anything. You usually get something sweet to eat, like kladdkaka or a cinnamon bun, but you can also fika over smörgås (sandwiches).
You can fika with you friends, and you can fika with your grandparents. There’s no age limit with fika, and it’s not just teenagers who do it. I believe that Sweden is the only country that has ‘fika’. I know for sure that Finland doesn’t have the term.
Fika is probably one of my favorite things about my exchange here in Sweden!