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Student Spex

The local university in the town in Sweden that I'm currently staying in put on what I think was called a 'Spex' show this past weekend, which my boyfriend took me to, and I absolutely loved it! I think the concept of it all is brilliant, and as a theatre nerd myself I really enjoyed watching it (even though I only understood the bare minimum of what was being said and kept having to ask my boyfriend for translations). I was wondering, though, is this sort of show a country wide thing that a lot of university students do, or is it just something this particular university does?

I love the course, by the way! It's been so very helpful; I've been trying to learn Swedish for quite a while with very little progress until this course came out. Great job!

December 2, 2014



It is country wide, but not at every university. Just a grammatical error (that Swedes sometimes get wrong as well): "student spex" should be "studentspex" in Swedish. The general rule is that if it's one thing, it's one word. Compound words are extremely common in Swedish and not compounding words can lead to funny misunderstandings like "en brun hårig sjuk sköterska" (a brown hairy sick nurse) compared to "en brunhårig sjuksköterska" (a nurse with brown hair) or "lätt använd" (slightly used) compared to "lättanvänd" (easy to use). Good luck!


Ah, okay. Thanks so much for telling me! I will make sure to commit that rule to my memory.


There was a festive occasion I attended about 50 years ago (in northern Sweden I think) where the highlight of the evening was eating boiled potatoes and year old tins of herrings. I cannot remember the name of the festival but I liked to potatoes and hated the herrings.


It is country wide yes. We even had "spex" at my high school.


It's a big tradition at many Swedish universities. There's even an article about it on English Wikipedia, and a much longer one in Swedish -- according to this one it started at the student nations in Uppsala around 1850.


The Linköping spexes are usually really good I find! It's especially big in the old university towns of Lund and Uppsala but exists elsewhere as well, also in Finland, with whom we share a lot of traditions.


Yeah, there are some spex in Finland though they are less common.

And indeed a number of university traditions are shared between Sweden and Finland. Back in my university days the most use I had of my Swedish was singing the popular drinking songs at "sitsit" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sittning), many good ones are in Swedish (and some of them originate from spex of yesteryears).

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