Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Stockholm Diary - 15

Yesterday, July 30, we have had Kiran and Ram Berry of Delhi, sister and brother-in-law of Rita and Arun Chopra over an informal dinner at home. Rita and Arun are close friends of Anju and Naresh. Kiran and Ram are visiting Stockholm with the mother of Arun, an elderly but gracious lady. Arun is an established businessman in Stockholm for the last about 35 years. Ram Berry is a retired professional who was working with the USAID in India in senior positions. I found Kiran and Ram very friendly and social. It was a pleasure to have them with us. First Secretary of the Indian Embassy Bimla Chander, one of our family friends was another guest at the dinner along with some more friends of Naresh. Late in the evening we came to know that July 31 was the birthday of Rita We took the opportunity to wish her all the best in the years to come. Rita is the master of kitchen apart from standing with Arun in his business. These formal and informal lunches and dinners are keeping us engaged. 

Naresh cutting hedges
Arvind mowing lawns

Sweden is one of the fully developed countries with the best of social security system in place. I have noticed some unique features in the work culture of Sweden. Sweden has long winters with lot of snow. The summer months are pleasant and are meant for Semester (vacations) to re-charge the batteries. The lush green hedges and grassy lawns of houses are well maintained. To engage outside help is scarce and costly for odd jobs like removal of snow and cutting grass and shaping hedges etc. One has to do these things oneself and people do it with good care and effort to live well. There is no stigma attached to this activity. Even well do families tend to undertake and do such jobs on  their own. Children are taught and given practical initiation and experience to learn these odd jobs. It is good not only g for the up keep their homes but also for the mind body of the common citizens. We in India need to take a few lessons from countries like Sweden in this regard.

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