heyOn the icy coast of the northern Swedish city of Luleå, where, despite temperatures of -10C, bathers are descending into a rectangular hole in the frozen seawater. The sun is already disappearing, and it’s barely 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Soon, in a month’s time, there will be only three hours of daylight every day.
“It’s like a wave of happiness afterwards,” says Katrina Yeliperttula, 44, who is taking a dip before work. She rarely swims in the summer, but started doing so more often in the winter a few years ago.
While many people have their own hobbies that keep them going through the cold dark winter months here – ice swimming, cross-country skiing, walking the “snow road” in the archipelago – one thing remains a problem: loneliness. . In an effort to combat this, authorities in Luleå have launched a campaign to reduce that social isolation, by encouraging people to say hello to each other.
“It’s really nice that people say hello to each other. This means that people who meet each other, not knowing each other, become a little happier,” says Pontus Wikström, 61, president of the winter bathing group Kallis Luleå.
say hello! The (Say Hello!) campaign says it aims to create a friendlier city by inspiring people to have small but important social interactions. Advertisements are running on buses and workshops are being conducted in schools.
Recent research found that 45% of 16 to 29 year olds in Luleå were experiencing problems as a result of loneliness. The figures were much lower among those aged 85 and over – 39% among women and 26% among men.
Mikael Dahlen, professor of well-being, well-being and happiness at the Stockholm School of Economics, says that while loneliness – especially among youth – is a global problem, perhaps Sweden, with its dark, cold winters, is more aware of it. .
“Loneliness and isolation are a huge problem almost anywhere in the world right now, at any time of the year,” he says. “It comes with the times we live in, the lifestyle we have, where we don’t necessarily see each other to the same extent as we used to. “It intensifies in the winter time when we are outside less, socializing less.”
Asa Koski, who works for the Lulea Municipality, came up with the idea for the campaign. She wants the city, which is undergoing rapid growth as it tries to attract thousands of new people to work in “green” industry and other services, not result in more nuclear development.
“We don’t just want Luleå to grow as a city; We want Luleå to be a pleasant, safe and friendly city, with culture, leisure activities, sports,” says Koski.
She adds that being welcomed by strangers makes people feel “more seen and to some extent you can be yourself”. “Research shows it has an impact on health and often impacts willingness to help each other. If you say hello to your neighbors you’re more likely to help them.”
In Luleå city centre, while most agree that saying hello should be encouraged, many say that the more international the city is, the friendlier and more open its society will be.
Mi Young Yim, 62, who came to Luleå from the United States 23 years ago, says people in the city are “mostly friendly,” but often not at first. “Everyone is a little reserved, but people will help you if you ask.”
When she first went to Luleå, it was a culture shock because she was used to saying hello to everyone in America. “But here, especially the older ones, you say hello, and they just look at me at first. “But there has also been a lot of change as we have more people coming from abroad.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic commentators joked According to journalist and author Lisa Bjergvald, social distancing was nothing new for many Swedes keep this, “likes to maintain a remarkably wide so-called interpersonal distance… This rule has long applied to all aspects of Swedish everyday life, from walking in supermarket aisles to waiting at a bus stop. Yes, even when it rains.”
According to Syed Mohsin Hashmi, a 25-year-old student living in the nearby village of Kalax, the situation is now even worse. “Before Covid it was 50-50: few people would say hello to each other. But after Covid, people have become more afraid of contacting strangers,” he says.
When people greet each other less, they become “more isolated,” says Hashmi, making less contact with people and becoming more vulnerable to depression. “One hello One day can change for someone.”
Hashmi, who was born in Iran and whose parents are from Afghanistan, came to Luleå as a refugee nine years ago. “I come from the Middle East and people used to say hello to each other. It is rude not to say hello to each other. But here if you say hello to strangers they’ll say: ‘He’s drunk’,” he says, laughing.
Hashmi has found that Swedish people take longer to warm up: “They know someone for a longer time and then become more friendly and open to that person.”
Personally, Hashmi has found that vitamin D, gaming, work and studying help him cope with the winter months – plus he’s also installed some white light in his home.
Ronja Melin, a 33-year-old painter who moved to Luleå from Skåne in southern Sweden in 2020, says she has been a strong proponent of saying hello since childhood.
But the campaign is a positive step. “You pretty much live in your own bubble,” she says. “It’s always important to pay attention to people.”
- La Diperie Menu and Prices
- Mount Merapi: The Fire Mountain of Indonesia | Knowledge News
- Mitchell Johnson Reveals Reason Behind David Warner Attack: ‘Personal, Pretty Bad’ Dig | Cricket News
- Is Carvel Open On Thanksgiving
- 5 Including 4 Children Injured In Blast In Pakistan’s Peshawar
- My Demon Ep 3-4 review: Song Kang-Kim Yoo Jung’s chemistry unfolds with a thrillingly romantic Tango
- Explosive rap song released on Kashmir development, this rapper became social media sensation
- ‘No Capital & Earning Prospects’, RBI Cancels Licence Of Maharashtra-based Bank
- Video: Man runs tractor over people during clash between groups in Bihar | Crime News
- Amazon Pay To Shoppers Stop, Best Lifetime Free Credit Cards Offered By Banks
- Delhi DSSSB Welfare / Probation / Prison Welfare Officer Online Form 2023
- Monaco: How one of the smallest countries on Earth is also one of its wealthiest | Knowledge News
- “Even If Rain Stops…”: Ravichandran Ashwin Tells All To ‘Hang Tight’ As Cyclone Michuang Impacts Lives | Cricket News
- How Kabeer Biswas Turned A WhatsApp Group Into Rs 6,400 Crore Company
- NCRB report: Deaths due to heart attacks increased by 12.5% in 2022; know factors linked with higher risk | Health Conditions News
- 93 Airports Incurred Losses In FY 22-23, Bengaluru Most Profitable
- AIMA MAT PBT registration 2023 ends today; exam pattern, marking scheme | Entrance Exams News
- Rising Giant! India Set To Become 3rd Largest Economy By 2030: S&P
- Premier League announces record TV deal: A look at biggest broadcast deals in sports history | Football News
- Red Flags To Know & Avoid Loan Scam: Here’s How To Identify, Stay Safe From Frauds
- Google upgrades Gmail’s spam detection with RETVec giving it a 38% boost | App News
- Kochi Metro: Kerala Government Allocates Rs 378.57 Crore for Phase II Construction
- Sony’s 1-inch Camera Sensor Could Soon Be Offered On Another Flagship Phone: All Details
- ‘Toughen Up’: Sun Microsystem Co-founder Vinod Khosla Supports Narayan Murthy’s 70-hr Work Week Advice