Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Flogsta Scream


Flogsta Scream
Multiple Responses:
Flogsta is a neighbourhood in the western outskirts of the Swedish city of Uppsala. Most of its inhabitants are students attending Uppsala University or the SLU. A couple of hundred international exchange students give the area an international atmosphere.

The neighbourhood is located approximately 2.8 kilometres (about 4 km by road) west of Uppsala city centre. There are bus connections and bicycle tracks connecting Flogsta to different parts of the town. To the Uppsala University main building, the University Hospital, the Ekonomikum and the Biomedical Centre, the distance is between 2.5 and 3 km, while the distance to the SLU exceeds 6 km.

Every evening at 10 p.m. the "Flogsta scream" may be heard, when students scream collectively from windows, balconies and roof tops. There is controversy over how the tradition started. Some locals say it was simply a stress reliever, which started during exam times and then became a daily occurrence. Others say it started in remembrance of a student who committed suicide in the 1970s. A similar tradition exists in one of the student dormitory neighbourhoods in Lund, as well as in the student area of Lappkärrsberget in Stockholm.

The Flogsta Scream occurs every night at 10 p.m. when university students living in Uppsala's Flogsta neighborhood stop what they're doing and let out a collective scream from their windows, balconies, and rooftops.

It's a tradition that dates back to the 1970s, though details regarding how or why the tradition started are difficult to come by. The most extensive account of the Flogsta Scream comes from Wikipedia, which postulates that the Flogsta Scream may have started as a way to blow off steam during exam periods or possibly to commemorate a student who committed suicide. The article, however, cites no sources and additional information is scarce.

Still, it's a useful thing to know, should you find yourself on a nighttime stroll in Uppsala, that the spontaneous shrieks from the nearby dormitories are no cause for alarm.

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