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Swedish author highlights Scottish culture

Anna Bokedal at Aberdeen university
Anna Bokedal at Aberdeen university

A Swedish author has written a book about adapting to life in the north-east of Scotland.

Aberdeen University lecturer Anna Bokedal left Sweden in 2007 with her five children when her husband accepted a job offer.

Entitled “Maybe paint the door blue” – Kanske måla dörren blå in Swedish – her work looks at the cultural differences between the countries.

Mrs Bokedal said the strange title comes from her Scandinavian background as people don’t traditionally paint their doors different colours there.

She said: “At the start of the book we’re at the sea and we’re playing in the sand.

“Its July and its really cold. The kids are asking for extra jumpers and the three-year-old wants a hat.

“The hardest thing to adjust to was always being cold – and the houses.

“We come from Sweden, so when I grew up it was -20 degrees waiting on the school bus, but still I’ve never been as cold in all my life as when we first came here – I think because the cold is so different.”

Mrs Bokedal said her main reason for writing the book was so people could understand the perspective of moving to a different country.

She added: “When you first move, you feel a bit stupid. Things that used to feel easy become hard.

“You may say and do things that you wouldn’t have done because your brain is struggling to understand.

“But we really enjoy being here. We really like Scotland.”

Mrs Bokedal’s book is currently only available in Swedish.

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