On Thursday, December 9 of this year, the Nobel ceremony, dedicated to Abdulrazak Gurnah, was held at the Rinkeby Library. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature did not arrive in Stockholm because of the coronavirus pandemic. For a couple of years the project has also included the Tensta sector. Rinkeby and Tensta are two close neighborhoods, two sister neighborhoods located north of Stockholm where immigrant families from all over the world live together. It is said that one hundred languages are spoken. In these places there are problems of all kinds, but at the same time they are an example for the whole world because tolerance, communication and understanding reign here. For the second consecutive year, precisely because of the pandemic, the event had a reduced format. Not many students participated. Therefore, the traditional welcome greeting in different languages was not heard. Nor was there Lucia’s parade with Nordic Christmas songs.
- Gunilla Lundgren, writer and eternal organizer of this wonderful event, opened the event by telling that the students of Tensta and Rinkeby, during the Swedish autumn, read about the life of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel. But they also spent many hours reading the novel “El Paraíso” and an excerpt from the essay entitled “Escritura y lugar” by the Nobel Prize-winning writer. Lundgren, in addition to recounting some anecdotes of the Nobel Laureates that passed through the Rinkeby Library, said that the students recorded a video to send to Abdulrazak Gurnah. Annelie Drewse, also a writer and new collaborator of the Nobel project in Rinkeby and Tensta, spoke about the process of working with the students involved in said project. With the help of slides he gave some details about previous Nobel Prize winners in Literature.
It was recalled that many writers and poets who won the Nobel Prize and who visited the Rinkeby Library; They said that the most beautiful thing about their stay in Stockholm during Nobel week was precisely the attendance at the Library. And it is understandable because it is an act full of feelings, experiences, poems, anecdotes, words, songs, etc.
Boys and girls, dressed in white and holding candles, greet each other in different languages. Texts from the brochure prepared by the students are read. The person honored is given a caricature of his or her face drawn by a student, plus the Nobel brochure in English and Swedish. After the act pleasant moments are shared having a coffee, a tea or a juice with Christmas pastries and from other countries. Students converse with the winner of the Nobel Prize, take photos and sometimes do interviews. In other words, it is a more informal and familiar environment compared to the Nobel banquet and other activities that take place around the Nobel Prize. Over the past thirteen years I have seen with my own eyes how many of the Nobel visitors were deeply moved. And most importantly: the inspiration students receive to realize their dreams. It is not impossible that some student, from the College of Tensta or Rinkeby, in the future can receive the Nobel Prize.
In the following poems written by the students of the College of Tensta and Rinkeby, a part of the life that passes through these places can be observed. These poems are part of the brochure made by the students and entitled “Nobel Prize 2021”.
Here is a square with sweets and shops
a library, a playground
and a park with spiders
here are many cultures
I don’t know for sure
strange things happen here
like murder in a pizzeria
Here I live, in a part of the city
in Sweden, in a village
here is my house
this is where i grew up
We like Rinkeby
Text: Mujtaba, Tameem, Ribica, Benin, Ishaa, Hannan, Rayan, Ioannis and Matias.
New faces every day
that become angels
Insecurity, but at the same time
the safest place in the heart
my aunt, my uncle, my family
The community at the center
nice to be home
kindness and friendship
students from everywhere
it feels like having traveled all over the world
when you live in Tensta
I want to get out of here
but never forget.
Text: Sabina, Mohadeseh, Neha, Olaa, Ilyas and Selma.
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Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise in Rinkeby – www.bolpress.com