The Swedish 'Fika'

2011-01-22. Published in Language & Culture
by yining

I think Swedish is the only language in the world having the word “fika”. Fika is not just coffee with cake, it’s a Swedish phenomenon. Fika is something the Swedish people always have time for, no matter what. A fika break is an important pause during the day in many work places and is as necessary when you are studying for an exam as when you are out shopping. During sunny spring days you can see the Swedish people filling every outdoor terrace, sipping their coffee and smiling towards the sun.

The word fika is a noun as well as a verb and “fik” is another word for café- where you’re having your fika. But you can also take your fika at home, at work, in the forest or in a park. The main purpose of fika might be different for different people- for some it’s the coffee, for others the company and for others again it’s about the relaxation. I think that common for everyone is that fika is connected to something positive. The Swedish people are the biggest consumers of coffee in the world, but a fika doesn’t necessarily have to involve coffee. During a fika we prefer to have something small to eat as well like a kanelbulle, a sandwhich or a cookie.

In Gothenburg you can find cafés for a fika everywhere, especially in Haga, Linnégatan and Vasagatan. Hope you enjoy it!

/Yining, team 2011

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