Born in the vibrant city of Singapore with a unique Eurasian blend of Portuguese and Chinese heritage, my journey has taken me from the bustling streets of Singapore to the serene and open landscapes of Sweden. My educational pursuits in Singapore culminated at tertiary level with two separate Master degrees, after which I embarked on a new adventure in 2002, moving to Sweden. In Sweden, I pursued with deep interest, the knowledge field of applied linguistics, particularly corpus linguistics research methods, earning a doctoral degree from one of northern Europe’s largest universities, the University of Gothenburg. I currently work as Project Manager, focusing on EU and international projects, at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, at the Division of Bioeconomy and Health, Department of Agriculture and Food. My office is located in Mölndal municipality. Mölndal, known also as the Valley of Mills, is located about ten minutes by bus ride from the city center of Gothenburg to the south. If you’re ever traveling south from Gothenburg to Malmö, whether by train or car, you will likely come by Mölndal municipality. In these pages at, you’ll find my lifestyle musings on culinary and travel adventures from Singapore to Sweden, and from when I lived and worked the Arctic City of Tromsø (2018 to mid-2022). SINGAPORE | SWEDEN | NORTHERN NORWAY Life in Singapore Pursued all academic interests in Singapore, of which the post-graduate years were founded in two separate disciplines. In 2000, graduated with two separate Masters Degrees: (i) Master of Science in Information Studies at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore (ii) Master of Arts in the English Language at the National University of Singapore (NUS). In 1999, represented the Republic of Singapore at the Miss Universe Pageant in Trinidad and Tobago. With this came a variety of film, educational TV, media, and ambassadorial work for the Singapore Tourism Board. Life in Sweden In 2002, moved from Singapore to Sweden in order to pursue a PhD in Gothenburg, where a number of international corporate head offices were located that all had a substantial business presence in Singapore and also Asia in general. In 2009, graduated with a PhD in applied critical linguistics from the faculty of humanities at the University of Gothenburg, with a cross-disciplinary thesis entitled, Swedish management in Singapore: a discourse analysis study, looking particularly into the concepts of assimilation, integration and hierarchy, at top management levels of Swedish-Asian corporations in Singapore. 2013, as research fellow at the Centre for International Business Studies (CIBS), School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, researching the future implications of increasing Asian-Swedish cooperation within the field of international business. The project is entitled Gothenburg in Asia, Asia in Gothenburg, funded by the Anna Ahrenberg Foundation. The project is aligned with the 400 years anniversary of the city of Gothenburg in 2021, and falls under the broad category of Kunskap Göteborg 2021 initiated by city representatives of Gothenburg, Göteborg & Co, University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. 2015, was granted the Flexit post-doctoral scholarship by Bank of Sweden Tercentennary Foundation (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, RJ) for a three year project together with the Swedish-Swiss multinational enterprise ABB. From 2015-17, the research will take place at ABB Corporate Research Sweden HQ in Västerås, and at CIBS during 2017-18. The research focus of the project is how new technologies are perceived and accepted by users and customers, using linguistic methods of data analysis. More information can be found at RJ’s website, at Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) Felxit 2015. Life in Northern Norway (2018-2022) 2018, late summer. I acquired new work as Market Scientist at Nofima. Having moved to the county of Troms in August, I’m currently enjoying myself, exploring the island city of Tromsø. From the 1900s, this city became known as Paris of the North due to how the people of Tromsø were exceptionally stylish and sophisticated in contrast to the fishing village preconception that many might have of a city located in the Arctic Circle. In my years in Sweden, I have known Sweden to be called the land of the midnight sun. During the long summer mights, it was beautiful to sit and watch the sun’s languid pendulation between east and west, touching the horizon out at sea before going up again. Northern Norway takes this languid pendulation of the sun to the extreme. It is not only known as the land of the midnight sun, but it is also the land of polar nights and the northern lights. This is my new adventure. And in these lifestyle blog pages, you’ll find my personal thoughts, insights and musings. Cheryl Marie Cordeiro | PhD MSc MA ACADEMIC REFLECTIONS | CV LIFESTYLE BLOG

Discovering the Peranakan Culture: A Journey Through Singapore’s Peranakan Museum

Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2024

Introduction to the Peranakan Community

The term “Peranakan” in Singapore today often denotes individuals of mixed Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage, a legacy tracing back to the 15th century. The origins of the Peranakan people are deeply rooted in Malacca, where Chinese traders are believed to have married local women. This community has been known by various names, including the Straits Chinese, born in the Straits Settlements, and the King’s Chinese, reflecting their status as British subjects after 1867.

A Tapestry of Cultures

Interestingly, the term “Peranakan,” meaning “uterus” or “someone from a mixed marriage,” isn’t exclusive to the Chinese Peranakans. There were also non-Chinese Peranakans, including the Bugis, Arab, and Java Peranakans, as well as the Peranakan Indians (Chitty Melaka) and the Jawi Peranakans, who are of mixed Indian and Malay heritage. These communities highlight the diverse and rich tapestry of Peranakan culture.

Peranakan culture is usually described as a hybrid of Chinese, Malay and Western cultures. While specific cultural practices and customs may differ from generation to generation and family to family, there are a few elements common to Peranakan culture. One such element is the language. Besides English, the Peranakans speak baba Malay, a patois described as an adulteration of the Malay language with a liberal mix of Hokkien words and phrases.

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Exploring the Rich Tapestry of Asia at the Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore

Asian Civilization Museum (ACM), Singapore.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2024

The Easter weekend provided the perfect opportunity to take a few days off from Sweden and land in Singapore to spend time with my parents and catch up with good friends. All days in Singapore over the week of the Easter weekend were memorable, but the visits to the Asian Civilization Museum (ACM) and the Peranakan Museum stood out as highlights of our visit back to Singapore.

Singapore is known as the city that never sleeps. Yet, some of the more serene hours of the day can be found right at the heart of the central business district of Singapore, just before dawn when the sun begins to peek from the horizon.

In Singapore, visitors are genuinely spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation, with options to suit varying preferences for location and proximity to popular spots. If you prefer the heart of the business district, then The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, situated in the bustling Marina Bay area, is one of many accommodations around the area. It’s conveniently close to major attractions like the Singapore Flyer and Marina Square Shopping Mall, both within a 5-minute stroll. The hotel is also just a short walk from iconic locations such as Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. With the Promenade MRT station nearby, exploring the city is a breeze. The hotel’s location combines convenience with the luxury of being in one of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods. And the morning quiet even on a busy Easter weekend at the Ritz Carlton? Absolutely perfect for this introvert.

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By the Motlawa River, the Old Town in Gdansk Poland

Old Town, Gdansk, Poland.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2024

My journey in Gdansk, Poland, began in the heart of the Old Town, where I stayed along the picturesque Motlawa River. The riverfront’s charm, with its historic buildings and serene waters, served as a perfect backdrop for my few days’ getaway. A walk along the riverside is a journey through the city’s heart, offering stunning views of Gdansk’s architecture. The tranquility of the river is a pleasant contrast to the bustling Old Town. If I thought the riverside was reminiscent of Boat Quay and Clarke Quay in Singapore, there was good reason. Continue reading “By the Motlawa River, the Old Town in Gdansk Poland”

Ahlströms Konditori: A Century-Old Tradition and the Allure of Semla Season

Variations of the semla at Ahlströms Konditori, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, JE Nilsson 2024

In the vibrant heart of Gothenburg lies Ahlströms Konditori, a revered institution since 1901. Renowned for capturing the essence of Swedish baking traditions, the café becomes a focal point as it welcomes the semla season, especially with Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) approaching on February 13, 2024. Here, the semla is not just a seasonal treat; it’s a culinary emblem of Swedish heritage, celebrated by locals and visitors alike.

The Swedish semla, distinct from its European counterparts, is a testament to simplicity and quality. Known for its cardamom-spiced wheat bun, each semla is meticulously crafted. The bun, with its top artfully cut off, is filled with a rich blend of milk and almond paste, and then crowned with a generous dollop of whipped cream. The cut-off top, serving as a lid, is delicately dusted with powdered sugar, completing this exquisite pastry.

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Exploring the Heart of Kaunas: Laisves Aleja, Lithuania

At Laisves Aleja, Kaunas, Lithuania.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2023

It’s my first time in Lithuania, and I’m marveling at the broad streets that give a sense of pure luxury in having space to oneself. Laisves Aleja in Kaunas is the main pedestrian street that reminds me of Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona. It stretches impressively straight and long, framed at one end by the beautiful Church of St. Michael the Archangel. This boulevard is the lifeline of Kaunas, offering a kaleidoscope of shops and experiences.

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Fika and Fortuity: Unexpected Conversations in a Swedish Café

Ahlströms Konditori, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro 2023

In the serene ambiance of a quaint café in Sweden, where the scent of espresso blends with the sweetness of pastries, Tim and Sara were deeply engrossed in a conversation. Their dialogue, sprinkled with dark humor and introspective thoughts on living alone, was about to take an unexpected turn due to the interjection of a neighboring patron, a rare occurrence in a culture that values personal space.

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Christmas Dining in the Bay of the North Sea, Sweden

By the fireplace at Långedrags Värdshus

By the fireplace at Långedrags Värdshus, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro, JE Nilsson 2023

What I find mildly amusing for julbord experience is how I often playfully break the traditional Swedish julbord dining rules. While a typical julbord is savored in a specific order, starting from cold dishes to warm ones and finally to desserts, I slightly revel in mixing all my dishes according to whim. This unorthodox approach might raise eyebrows among julbord purists, but thankfully, my friends, with whom I’ve shared many a traditional Swedish julbord, have always been patient and indulgent towards my culinary quirks. Whether it’s starting with a sweet treat or mixing savory and sweet in one plate, they understand and even appreciate my guilty pleasure of having whatever I want to eat, in whichever order I desire. This liberty to choose, to mix and match, adds an extra layer of joy to the already delightful julbord experience at Långedrags Värdshus.

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A Glimpse into Skördefest Harvest Festival 2023 at Tjolöholmslott, Sweden

At the food truck arena at Skördefest Tjolöholmslott 2023, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & , JE Nilsson 2023

The late summer warmth was still noticeable as I walked through the grounds of Tjolöholmslott, also known as Tjolöholm Castle, during the Skördefest, or Harvest Festival of 2023.

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Sea to table: Salmon from the Faroe Islands, Denmark

Salmon from Hiddenfjörd, Faroe Islands, Denmark, topped with a sliver of dill from our garden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & , JE Nilsson 2023

It’s been a while since I’ve delved deep into the origins of the fish gracing my dinner plate. Just a few days ago, I found myself at a bustling fish wagon in west central Gothenburg, pondering my choices for the upcoming meals. The seller, noticing my indecision, pointed to a luscious-looking salmon fillet, revealing its origins from the Faroe Islands.

Aquaculture, or fish farming, has seen exponential growth over the past few decades, making it the fastest-growing sector in the global food industry. Between 1980 and 2016, the industry witnessed an average annual growth rate of 8.2 percent, and from 2000 to 2016, it was 5.8 percent [1]. Salmon, in particular, has been a standout, showcasing significant growth.

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Exploring Alkmaar: A Day at the Dutch Cheese Museum

A shop specializing in Dutch cheese, near the Cheese Museum, Alkmaar, Netherlands.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & , JE Nilsson 2023

It was a Saturday market morning in Alkmaar, and as an enthusiast of both markets and cheese, and being involved in marketing for cheese on this trip, the opportunity to explore the old cobbled tributary streets leading towards the Dutch Cheese Museum in Alkmaar, Netherlands, proved an irresistible activity. The sun was out on this day, making everything perfect for some walking.

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