Fika

Okay, "fika" is a good fun word. It looks Swedish, is easy to pronounce and everyone pretends it is special. But what is it?

The word "fika" has its beginnings in the once popular Swedish tradition of rearranging the letters in a word to create a new one, with the same meaning. So, "kafi", as coffee was sometimes known as, became "fika". Easy!

"Fika" is both a noun - "shall we grab some fika"- and also a verb "shall we fika?". There is an important differnce between having "fika" and merely having a coffee. While in many countries you may go out for a coffee, fika comes with a whole background. Firstly, you should have something to go with your coffee. The best choice is of course something from the wide range of traditional Swedish cakes and pastries. 

You can go out for fika at any time of the day. You can fika five minutes after you have gotten to work or you can fika at 8 o'clock at night. Fika is something that should never be rushed. There are a number of cafés around Uppsala that are very student-friendly, and there is absolutely nothing stopping you from taking your books and studying for a few hours, while nibbling on your cake and drinking your coffee (but make sure that the café does not have certain rules about this!).

Fika can be a thing that you do with old friends and with new friends. You can go out for fika with a prospective boy/girlfriend and it can be a date. Or you can go out for fika and it is nothing more than going out for fika! You can go out and fika with one person or with a whole group. It is safe to say that there are few connotations with going out for fika - it is generally accepted as being simply a great way to while away time and to drink some good coffee and eat some sweet stuff!