• Sweden edition
 
2012 NOBEL PRIZES
Nobel Laureate visits inspire Rinkeby teenagers' dreams

Nobel Laureate visits inspire Rinkeby teenagers' dreams

Published: 10 Oct 2012 14:15 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Oct 2012 14:15 GMT+02:00

Nobel laureates have to "earn their prize", the rest doesn't matter, say secondary school students in one of Stockholm's deprived suburbs, who will get the chance to meet a winner in December.

Every year since 1992, the Rinkeby School's third form students have spent a term studying the Nobel Prize, at the end of which they are rewarded with a highly publicized visit by one of the laureates, usually the winner in Literature.

The school is located in Rinkeby, an immigrant-heavy suburb of the Swedish capital that has become a symbol of social segregation.

Rinkeby's concrete tower blocks mirror the housing found in other European capitals, but despite its reputation, the area -- surrounded by greenery -- looks well kempt. The school building is modest but the rooms are large and airy.

The 20 students of grade 8A, who are 14 years old, were overjoyed when they found out they had been chosen for the project. The school picks the class that will participate based on potential and motivation.

By taking part in the project, "everyone grows," says Swedish language teacher Nina Halmkrona. It allows the students to discover new horizons by reading the works of the Literature Prize winner, and to improve their Swedish skills, a language not everyone here masters perfectly.

The students in 8A speak a dozen different languages at home, ranging from Somali, Arabic, Spanish to Wolof. Ninety percent of Rinkeby's residents are of immigrant background, primarily from Asia and Africa, according to figures from the city of Stockholm.

As part of the project, the students learn about the life of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor, scholar and philanthropist who created the Nobel prizes in his last will and testament, project coordinator Gunilla Lundgren told AFP.

They also learn about the year's laureates, with a focus on the literature winner, and work on texts and art that they compile into a pamphlet to give the laureate who visits them in December.

One student, Denya, tells AFP she simply "wanted to participate".

She says the Nobel should go "to someone you haven't heard of", rather than to someone famous, since the prize will put the spotlight on his or her work.

The winner has to "earn" the award, the six students AFP spoke to all agreed.

"It's not important where the person is from, what matters is whether they have worked hard for it, if they are working for peace," says Abdulahi.

"I would like to ask him how he did it," says Constanza in planning for the meeting with a laureate.

"And how he grew up, under what conditions," adds Bashir.

The Nobel Committee "must think about the conditions under which the person has lived, whether his life was easy or not," when they award their prize, suggests Denya.

Like all of her classmates, she comes from an immigrant background. Many of them seem to wish that the award would recognise individuals whose lives have been an exceptional journey and who have overcome difficulties, perhaps because they identify with that.

The Nobel Prize in Literature, which will be announced on Thursday, "shouldn't go to someone young but to someone who can write about everything that's happened. Someone young has their whole life in front of them, they can have the prize later," says Abdulahi.

Some of the students' comments reveal a lack of knowledge about the Nobels, but then again, they are just beginning their studies this term.

"Kofi Annan must receive the Peace Prize," says Bashir.

"He tries to make contact with everyone and never loses heart."

Nelson Mandela is also a serious contender for the prize, the six teenagers say, seemingly unaware that Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 while Annan won it in 2001.

As for the Nobel Prize in Literature, no names come to the students' minds.

But Lundgren, who has since 1992 headed up the project with Rinkeby School at her own initiative because she wants to pass on her passion for books to young people, hopes it will go to Nuruddin Farah from Somalia.

The students have yet to decide whether to read one of the winner's complete works.

"That depends on whether we understand," they say.

When you read a book, "you should know from the beginning (what happens), you shouldn't have to struggle and then find out in the middle of the book," says Denya.

Lundgren says the students will read the 2012 Nobel Literature laureate just as their predecessors last year read the poems of Tomas Tranströmer.

AFP/The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:50 October 10, 2012 by Migga
"Many of them seem to wish that the award would recognise individuals whose lives have been an exceptional journey and who have overcome difficulties, perhaps because they identify with that."

This mindset is totaly wrong. It shouldn`t matter what background, race, eyecolour, haircolour or upbringing someone has had. The award should go to the best, to someone who pushes the limit of human achivment.
Today's headlines
Sweden Floods
Flooding closes roads in central Sweden
Photo: TT

Flooding closes roads in central Sweden

UPDATED: Sections of the highway in Värmland have been closed off due to flooding, and several trains are standing still. Authorities say the situation will get worse before it gets better. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Casting a vote. Photo: Shutterstock

Sweden elections: How do they work?

National, regional, and local elections are taking place in Sweden on September 14th. Whether you're a first-time voter or a fresh armchair observer, The Local's beginners' guide will answer the key questions you were too afraid to ask. READ  

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
A Romani language class in Malmö. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination

The Swedish government has asked a new commission to create school materials based on a white paper documenting Swedish discrimination of Roma. READ  

Day-care rapist
Day-care rape suspect 'was mentally ill'
Photo: TT

Day-care rape suspect 'was mentally ill'

Social services have ruled that a day-care intern charged with molesting 14 children in southern Sweden was "seriously mentally disturbed". READ  

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Autumn has arrived in Sweden, which means grey skies are approaching. But summer goes out with a skip, hop, and a bang - the annual Color Run is taking place in Stockholm this weekend. READ  

Surströmmingspremiär
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season

On the third Thursday of each August, Swedes celebrate the start of the fermented herring season. The Local finds out more about the worst-smelling food on earth, and collects some of the best reaction videos. READ  

Spotify founders win 'Expats of the Year'
Crown Princess Victoria and Spotify co-founder Martin Lorentzon Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Spotify founders win 'Expats of the Year'

Spotify founders Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek won the International Swede of the Year award (Årets svensk i världen) on Wednesday for their work in making the world's music accessible to the world. READ  

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'

Foreign and Finance Ministers Carl Bildt and Anders Borg held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss how Sweden was being affected by a "less secure" world, and how it would foot the bill for a growing influx of refugees. READ  

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
National
Swedish dad takes kids to Israel to learn about war
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

697
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se