History teaches us of the many great things mankind has achieved but can also show us the big mistakes made over and over again in time.
Depending on how you were taught it in school you most likely either love it or hate it and that has a lot to do with how it was presented and what way you engage with the past. This video by ‘The School of Life‘ gives a good intro to ‘History’ as a subject and the problems in the way it is taught.
Through time many things change including consensus over certain topics and behaviours which brought us to discussing if moral behaviours committed by people in the past should be judged by today’s standards. We listened to some extracts of BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘The Philosopher’s Arms’, originally aired in 2013 and available online via BBC Sound.
During the discussions, the participants shared a lot of interesting suggestions on things to read about connected to the topic. We listed some of them here:
“Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker
“Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.” by Bertolt Brecht
”Årstafruns dagbok” a dairy by Mrs Märta Helena Renstierna
“The World of Yesterday” by Stefan Zweig
Originally the event was scheduled to last approximately an hour but ended up lasting almost two hours. We sent out a survey to all the participants to get their feedback and see what can be done to improve the format before our next event which we expect will take place towards the end of July / beginning of August. More info coming soon!
Our first digital cultural café was presented by Alexander Maxia and Tove Ljung from Base10 startup hub in Uppsala. It took place on Thursday, July 2nd and people joined from four different countries. More events will follow, keep following us on social media and sign up to our mailing list here!
Big thanks to Jason Dainter, CEO of Base10 for kindly lending us the space to broadcast; Joakim Fichtel from Almi Uppsala for the support and advice leading up to the event and James Maxia for additional research into the topic presented.
Uppsala is a very lovable city, especially for students. It’s a place where many historical events took place and if buildings could talk, most would tell fascinating stories dating back centuries. Cafés too played a key role in fuelling the academic work, a great example of this is Ofvandahls.
The café opened its doors in 1878 as ‘Erik
Andersson Konditori og Damkafé’ and changed name to Ofvhandals in 1901. In many
nation songbooks you find a song dedicated to it which mentions a series of
things you could have ordered at the time (including ‘avec’ such as cognac,
punsch etc.) which shows the long lasting love affair between the café and the
A former Uppsala student, class 1968, told me that she and her friends often used to take lunch or fika there and then when the cathedral bells rang they would run up the hill to Universitetshusset to attend lesson. “Many cafes and restaurants come and go but Ofvandahls stays” said the lady who was visiting Uppsala for the day and chose to stop by at her cherished café.
Today the student atmosphere lives on and there still is a dedicated discount on coffee. Many still choose to meet there as opposed to going to more modern cafes in the center, prefering its coziness to free Wi-Fi. Homemade cakes, soups, sandwiches and the selection of teas offer something for everyone’s taste, especially on a cold winter day when something comforting is what you need.
Many things in Uppsala’s society are changing for better or for worse but the fika is a lasting institution in which people meet up, chat for hours and no matter how many cups you drink your bank account doesn’t suffer and drowsiness is not a problem; on the contrary, the more you drink the more you get pepped up, talkative and creative, as the caffeine rush goes through your veins.
This daily ritual lives on strong and so does the temple of traditional fika such as Ofvanhals, with its over 140 year history. It is a guarantee that no matter what happenes in the world, in that corner of Sysslomansgatan the hot drinks keep flowing; providing continuity in service that stands outside the boundaries of time.
Location: Sysslomansgatan 5, 753 11 Uppsala – Sweden
Student Discount: Yes
Best for: ordinary Swedish coffee (filter) and traditional cakes!