I have been following European football leagues since 2002 and always dream to experience the atmosphere of European football match live in the stadium. This reason drove me to put universities in Europe as my main choices when I started to plan for my master study. Yes, frankly speaking, my argument might sound too simplistic and ridiculous but, hey, there is nothing wrong in hitting two birds with one throw of a stone, right?
However, during my final year in bachelor, I began to realize that you cannot take it lightly in deciding what master programme to choose. So, after meticulous research upon various universities, I put my choice on Master Programme of Production Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. Long story short, I finally live in Gothenburg to pursue my master degree. Then, it was about time for me to think about watching the live football match.
I managed to get a ticket for IFK Göteborg versus IF Elfsborg, the last game in Gothenburg for season 2016. I was so exciting that I also purchased many of the team’s attributes: beanie, scarf, and even the winter jacket. On the day of the game, I dressed like the most fanatic IFK Göteborg’s supporter and I felt kind of silly because of it, considering how usually people in Gothenburg dress themselves. But then, a surprising moment happen on my way to the stadium.
There were many other people wearing attributes like me on the tram. I was greeted by them in Swedish but once they realize I was not speaking the language, they directly changed to English. They invited me to a casual conversation about the game we were going to see, how the team was doing, and joked about the footballing rivalry between teams from Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Malmö. I felt so connected with these people even though we did not know anything about each other beside that we were living in the same town and supporting the same team. To some extent, I felt embraced as the part of the city’s society. For your information, it was quite hard for me to start a conversation with the locals due to shyness and from that point onward, I had the courage to initiate a conversation, of course within a relevant boundaries.
The story continued when I entered the stadium, which was packed by circa 13,000 spectators. The home supporters started to sing when the game was about to start and they never stopped singing during the game. The atmosphere was amazing! As a non-Swedish speaker, I could not really sing the chants but still, I was drowned in euphoria of having witnessed such scenery.
The game itself ended with two goals for each side, not a very good result and in the end of the season, IFK Göteborg finished on 4th position. Nevertheless, it will not stop me to come to Gamla Ullevi for another vibrant time with the faithful supporters of Blåvitt (the blue-white, color of the team and the city crest as well), and being one of the comrades. It is part of my way to enjoy the life as a student at Chalmers and I believe that you, as well, can always find your own way to have a pleasant time here in Gothenburg.
Text: Ario Dean WIrawan
Edited by: Ario Dean Wirawan