In May of 2001, 10 Swedish ladies met to discuss the possibility of starting a SWEA chapter in Virginia Beach. Some of us had been members of other SWEA chapters, but for most of us, SWEA was something new. We felt that we needed to create a network among the Swedish ladies in Virginia Beach. We also wanted to bring together the local Swedes with the newcomers.
Early one Friday morning in September 2001, fifteen interested ladies gathered over a cup of coffee at “Borders” and shared thoughts about a SWEA chapter in Virginia Beach. It was a successful meeting.
In the beginning of November 2001 we became a sub-chapter of SWEA North Carolina and in April 2002 we became an independent SWEA chapter. SWEA Virginia Beach was born.
Today SWEA Virginia Beach is a group of approximately 30 Swedish ladies of different ages and varying backgrounds. Some of us have been here for many years and some of us are here for shorter periods. What we all have in common is our Swedish language, culture and traditions. Especially important is keeping our language active for our kids and grandchildren
During the year we have a mixed program. We meet during the day, in the evening and sometimes on weekends, so that everyone is able to participate.
For instance; we meet to discuss Swedish books, watch Swedish films, and to keep our language alive. We celebrate our Swedish national holidays: June 6th, Midsummer, Lucia and Christmas, to keep our traditions and culture alive.
We also have our annual;
– Film festival at MOCA (September or October) where we show Swedish films with English subtitles
– Swedish Christmas Bazaar (1st Saturday in December).
In addition, once a year, we get together at regional meetings with other SWEA chapters to further strengthen the bond between us. Every other year, some of us attend World meetings at interesting places around the globe.
SWEA Virginia Beach is part of SWEA International, a non-profit organization that provides a strong personal network as well as valuable support to Swedish industry abroad. SWEA is the largest organization outside Sweden promoting Swedish language, culture and tradition. SWEA International has approximately 7500 members, with more than 70 chapters, in 33 countries, on 5 continents.
This is an important network for Swedes living abroad but also as we return to Sweden.
SWEA Virginia Beach.