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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Sweden Series at SwedishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Swedish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 21, Summer holiday. In Swedish, it’s called Sommarlov.
The Summer School Break in Swedish schools usually starts the week before midsummer and ends around mid-August.
During this lesson, you’ll learn about how the end of the semester, or skolavslutning, is celebrated in Sweden, and what the Swedish kids do during their summer holidays.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know what happens after the summer holidays when you've passed the ninth grade?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
When compulsory elementary school, or obligatoriska folkskolan, was introduced to Sweden in 1842, the academic year needed to be adapted to suit the peasant society. The children were needed at home during the summer to help on the farm, and therefore the school decided to have its break during this period. The Summer School Break is a school holiday that falls between spring semester and fall semester. In Sweden this corresponds to the holiday between two academic school years. In Sweden, you start the new school year, or nytt läsår, after each fall. The Summer School Break is the longest school holiday in the country, followed by the Christmas holiday.
The school graduation is normally held in a church, or kyrka, or at school, or skola. The schools that have their graduation at a church are most likely to be located in the countryside. However, criticism of holding graduations in churches has emerged because Sweden values freedom of religion, or religionsfrihet, and because Christianity was abolished as the state religion in Sweden. During graduation, regardless of where it is held, students normally perform songs associated with summer while their parents are watching.
Since the 1970s, the summer holidays have been associated with leisure time, or fritid, and summer jobs, or sommarjobb. You can get a summer job in Sweden if you are over the age of 13. Common summer jobs include working at a restaurant, supermarket or gardening. Those who have chosen to take time off, often tend to go on a holiday trip with their family, or stay at home and swim and hang out with friends. If the parents are working during the child's summer vacation, the child may have to spend large parts of the holidays in a recreational center or at a summer camp.
The teachers in Swedish schools also get long summer holidays! Though they go back to school a week earlier than the students, the long break makes teaching a sought-after career for those who want long holidays.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what happens after the summer holidays when you've passed the ninth grade?
In Sweden you start upper secondary school, or gymnasiet, a three-year secondary school education, that is often structured to focus on a particular field of study such as social studies, science, or media. This makes the school graduation from ninth grade a very special day for many people.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting ?
How many weeks of summer vacation do the children have in your country?
Leave us a comment letting us know at SwedishPod101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!