Page 1

nordstjernan The Swedish Newspaper of America

Published by Swedish News. Volume 144 No. 21, December 15, 2016. Price per copy $2.50

Namnsdagar. Grattis HRH Prince Oscar, about to experience his first namnsdag on Dec. 1.

Photo: Kate Gabor, The Royal Court, Sweden

This Week, Page 16

December in Sweden is bedecked with light in the winter darkness, sending warmth from the windows of homes, stores and businesses everywhere—a season of light and joy in spite of darkness.

Photo: Marie Andersson/Skansen

Sweden, Page 2, 3

The world’s biggest straw goat goes up in flames / more arson for a Swedish artist’s work / Some school test results show improvement / Students caught for cheating could go to jail / Housing hopes continue to fall short / Alcohol related to cancer deaths / TV personality joins the ranks of those accused of racism.

From the publisher, Page 3

On fellowship, joy, policies and resolutions.

Food, Page 6

Homage to the ubiquitous, delicious Swedish Christmas ham, julskinkan.

The Legacy of Jenny Lind Kitty Hughes guest@nordstjernan.com

Page 8

Food, Page 8

Make your dreams come true with these recipes for leftover holiday food

Feature, Page 19

An explainer on why the popular dish was so tempting to Jansson ...

Dashboard, Page 16,17

Julbordet, the Christmas table

Near and dear to every Swedish heart is the julbord, the smörgåsbord of Christmas food, the holiday feast that is highly anticipated every year. The julbord (literally “Christmas table”), which probably started with herring possibly hundreds of years ago, eventually grew with the additions of hard cheeses and breads, fish and vegetables, and by the end of the 1800s was dominated by pork – ribs, sausages of all kinds, and of course ham. We all have our favorites, but every last dish, glass of snaps and bite of marzipan play an important role in the julbord; though many would say the star of the dinner table may be the Pages 5-8, 19 julskinka, the Swedish Christmas ham.

One thing you didn’t know about the Arctic Circle / The Ice Hotel is open (early) and year-round / In every issue: Names Days, sunrise and sunset times in Sweden, Herr & Fru / A skinny Santa can ride a straw reindeer / H&M gets clever for Christmas

Sports, Page 30

Statuesque and surprising: The Zlatan achieves a status that humbles even him.

Page 19

Photo: Christer Berg

First Jenny Lind Theatre on 29 October 1850 (second building to the right) Parade in Portsmouth Plaza to celebrate California’s admission into Union. Lithograph by J. Prendergast from Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.

Photo: David castor

Many people walking by the interpretive marker in San Francisco have no inkling of Jenny Lind’s “rock star” fame, which the American press of the time dubbed “Lind Mania.” Still fewer would know that the Bancroft Library on the Berkeley campus of the University of California has photos revealing the celebratory spirit and civic pride of 1850 and the women in gowns and men in coattails transfixed by the newly constructed theatre in 1852. Jenny Lind, “the Swedish Nightingale” as she was known, was one of the most highly regarded opera singers of the 19th century, performing in soprano roles in Sweden and across Europe. She was admired by various composers, including Chopin and Mendelssohn, and revered by the public, who flocked to her performances Continued on page 9


news in brief. page 2

Swedish News Ett resultat att räkna med. Gästledare

Sydsvenska Dagbladet 29 november, 2016

Gävlebocken—many people take pride in the giant animal, while others take pride in attempting to burn it down.

Gävle Christmas goat in flames

(Culture) Gävle’s Christmas Goat, Gävlebocken, didn’t last long this year as the 42-feet-tall straw goat was set ablaze within hours after its 50th year anniversary celebration on Nov. 27, it’s first official day in the city center. Despite high security, arson could be proven through onsite security cameras.

Lars Vilks sculpture destroyed

(Culture) Not only the goat has burned. Nimis, the driftwood sculpture in southern Sweden created by Swedish artist Lars Vilks has partly been destroyed in a suspected arson attack. Culture and Democracy Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke has called the attack a threat to freedom of expression and democracy. Lars Vilks is best known for his cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2007 which made him the target of Islamic groups and extremists. He presently lives under police protection.

Students improve in math and science

(National) The latest TIMSS (Trends in Math and Science Study) results show that students in grade 4 and 8 have improved in math, and students in grade 8 have improved in physics. In secondary schools, ages 16-18 show improvement in math but results for physics has gone down. The last report was generated in 2011 but compared to the 1995 result, performance is still down by 71 percent. And in comparison with other international countries, Sweden falls behind.

Harsh results for cheaters

(National) Cheating on university entrance exams has brought harsh results to 51 individuals caught by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. Due to the introduction of stricter rules, those found cheating had their exam papers disqualified and have been banned from retaking the test for two years. The council could also report some of the misdeeds to police, which could carry a jail sentence for up to six months.

Counties fail to meet housing needs

(National) Local counties and municipalities in Sweden are expected to provide for a quota of refugees who have been granted residence permits, but one in six councils do not meet even half the housing needs necessary to fill their quotas, leaving many refugees to arrange their own housing.

Alcohol causes rise in cancer deaths

(Science) Alcohol related deaths are on the rise in Sweden. A new report by the University of Gothenburg shows that every year nearly 1,000 Swedes die of cancer from alcohol. The most common type of alcohol related cancer for women is breast cancer, and for men cancer of the colon and rectum. Higher alcohol consumption among the population is to blame for the increase.

Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

Men skolan måste bli mer likvärdig. De optimistiskt lagda kallar resultaten i Timssmätningen ett trendbrott. Och visst, svenska elever presterar bättre i matematik än tidigare. Men i en OECDjämförelse är det inte mycket att yvas över. Ändå tyder de högre poängen på att satsningar ger resultat. Alliansregeringen införde kompetensutveckling för lärare och ökade undervisningstiden i matematik. Sedan har den rödgröna regeringen plussat på med ytterligare timmar. “Eleverna har lärt sig mer och det jobbet har de gjort tillsammans med sina lärare”, sade Mikael Halápi, vikarierande generaldirektör på Skolverket, när undersökningen presenterades på tisdagsförmiddagen. Timss, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study,är en internationell jämförelse av elevernas kunskaper i matematik och naturvetenskap i årskurs 4 och 8, medan Timss Advanced mäter gymnasieelevers kunskaper i avancerad matematik och fysik. Båda undersökningarna genomförs vart fjärde år. 2015 års undersökning visar att svenska fjärde- och åttondeklassare nu presterar bättre i såväl matematik som natur-

vetenskap jämfört med 2011. Även när Kommunaliseringen av skolan i det gäller den avancerade matematiken kombination med det fria skolvalet och syns en förbättring, medan resultaten i friskolereformen har gjort skolsystefysik där tvärtom har försämrats. met spretigt. Tillsammans med ökad Men i en jämförelse med EU och bostadssegregation och lärarbrist leder OECD-länder ligger svenska grund- detta till oacceptabelt stora skillnader skoleelever fortfarande något under mellan olika skolor. En granskning i genomsnittet i matematik. I Timss Dagens Nyheter nyligen visar att det Advanced deltar bara nio länder och är skolor i socioekonomiskt svaga också där presterar svenska elever områden som drabbas hårdast av under genomsnittet i matematik. Även lärarbristen. om förbättringarna gäller både hög- och Det fria skolvalet ger elever och lågpresterande elever, så visar båda föräldrar makt och möjlighet att välja, mätningarna på ett starkt samband ingen måste gå kvar i en av kommunen mellan elevernas resultat och socioeko- anvisad skola. Det är en valmöjlighet nomiska förhållanden, som föräldrarnas att slå vakt om, men systemet behöver utbildningsnivå. Svensk skola ska reformeras. självfallet inte ligga kunskapsmässigt För att verkligen ge alla elever samma under OECD-snittet i matematik. Inte chans måste alla skolor vara tillräckligt om Sverige vill kunna konkurrera med bra. Det kräver en ökad statlig tillsyn kunskap, forskning och innovationer. och styrning, helst ett förstatligande Så var också utbildningsminister Gus- av skolan. Men ska nya skolreformer tav Fridolin (MP) återhållsam i sina genomföras måste de ha ett brett stöd i kommentarer: riksdagen, så att de består över val och “Vi har en lång väg kvar att gå. Ojäm- regeringsskiften. likheten växer fortfarande i skolan. Om en vecka presenteras en ny Vilka hemresurser och vilken bakgrund Pisaundersökning. Förhoppningsvis man har spelar stor roll för elevernas visar också den förbättrade resultat. resultat.” Det är glädjande att svenska elever Enligt skollagen har alla elever rätt till nu presterar bättre i matematik. Men en likvärdig utbildning och alla skolor det är inte tillräckligt, inte så länge ska hålla en hög kvalitet. Ändå är det resultaten ligger under genomsnittet inte så, ändå klarar inte den svenska i OECD-länderna. Det kan ingen utskolan att kompensera för skillnader i bildningsminister känna sig nöjd med. bakgrund och hemförhållanden.

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Founded in New York City in September 1872 Editor In Chief & Publisher: Ulf Barslund Mårtensson – www.nordstjernan.com Editor: Amanda Olson Robison (editor@nordstjernan.com) Managing Editor & Production: Everett Martin Sports Editor: Chipp Reid Art Direction: Petter Ringbom / Daniel Berubé-Arbello Contributors: Valorie Arrowsmith - Terry Lee Blunk - Claes Magnusson - Lisa Mikulski - Ulf Nilson Kristina Hall - Leif Rosqvist - Ulf Kirchdorfer - Ted Olsson - Jeanne Eriksson Widman - Olle Wijkström - Bo Zaunders Publications Director: Mette Barslund Mårtensson (mette@nordstjernan.com; 800.827.9333 x12) Nordstjernan (ISSN 1059-7670) is published by Swedish News, Inc., 570 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022 • Connecticut - P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan, CT 06840 Periodicals Postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Nordstjernan is published semi-monthly, except for the month of August. Post Master: Please send address changes to Nordstjernan, P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan, CT 06840 Subscription rates: 1 yr. - $55, - Two yr. - $99 - Outside US 1 yr. $167.

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News in brief. page 3

Christmas: A time for fellowship, a time for joy, a time for ... resolutions It is that time yet again. We invade the stores and the streets, on the lookout for just the right gifts for those special people in our lives ... for many of us the tree will soon be decorated, the ham will soon go in the oven, the glögg will be simmering. Everything’s set for a perfect Swedish-American Christmas. On the top of my Christmas list this year is as usual MORE TIME. It seems there is never enough of it. Life behind the scenes at Nordstjernan is eventful and fun, and over the last few years it’s been characterized by continuously growing support from you all in Swedish-America. A world of thanks for your trust! And for every change, every improvement, every step in what we believe is the right direction, many more steps remain. We may not have made all of you happy all of the time. Rest assured, it is our wonderful fate to be back at the beginning in many areas. “Most things still remain to be done—a glorious future!” is one of the phrases coined – and lived – by IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, still a role model for us all. Christmas also marks a time to reflect, a time to rejoice in happy times, a time for memories, both happy and sad, and a time to make plans for the future. After all, the end of one year and the beginning of another is meant for resolutions, isn’t it?

As for us at Nordstjernan, we are resolved to continue to allow the full spectrum of opinions to flourish on our pages. I say this again now for a reason—we received a few comments after running political opinions by one expat and one immigrant Swede in our last issue. I commend Lu Ann for writing to us (page 4) and allowing us to illustrate how we all have a right to express our own opinion in this, the greatest country and democracy on earth. To repeat something I wrote after we published a controversial column under InBox / perspectives two years ago: When it comes to overall editorial policy, Nordstjernan is not about controversy but we also don’t believe there is such a thing as 100 percent objective reporting. Only by letting different voices be heard can we offer you as a reader a way to form your own opinions. Only by seeing an issue from many subjective angles can we each arrive at our own “objective” opinions. This is especially important to remember for us at Nordstjernan. We are the preeminent source of information about Sweden for many of our readers and this is a responsibility we take seriously. This is why during the last year we have run so many different voices on, for instance, the subject of immigration to Sweden. We present facts to the extent possible without any preconceived agenda.

Opinions expressed in Nordstjernan are, however, always those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff and management of Nordstjernan or Swedish News, Inc. In my lifetime, there has never been a time when it’s been more important to keep our minds open to other arguments, other views on every aspect of society and the changes we are all living in the 21st century. As Americans, we always carry a bit of the old country inside us. We Swedish-Americans, with a foot in both the old and the new, say we have the best of two worlds … or possibly three: Sweden, America and ScandinaviaAmerica. Through Nordstjernan, we want to bring you the truest view of and the best of these three worlds - as we’ll have done for 145 years in 2017. Regardless of how you celebrate your traditions this holiday season, be proud of your heritage, remember your loved ones and, from all of us, editors and staff of Nordstjernan, Have a merry Christmas and a healthy, peaceful and happy 2017!

Ulf Barslund Mårtensson Editor & Publisher

perspectives.

The boy on the bus The boy sitting at the back of the bus was maybe 10 or 12 years old. Dark haired and dark eyed, he leaned against the foggy window, hunkered down in the last seat to the right. His hoodie covered most of his face and music filtered from his mobile, serenading those of us who also sat in the rear. He wasn’t wearing headphones. It was some mix of Latino music that filled the bus with a happy beat, but as new passengers entered, each in turn looked back at the boy. Glaring looks from passengers already seated were also directed toward the kid — it was rude to be playing music out loud. It was rude to be agitating other people with something so personal as one’s own musical selections. No one in Sweden does this.

It’s a cultural thing that maybe the boy didn’t understand. Or maybe he didn’t care. Six or seven stops later, his music still filled the rear of bus. I understand this. And for a time, I too was a bit taken aback and I too turned to look at the boy. Not because his music was bad, or because he was playing it without headphones, but because it was something I hadn’t experienced in over four years. This is Sweden. This is a place where you don’t dare make eye contact on the street let alone assault someone with your own special brand of music. As I sat listening to the tunes, it reminded me of days spent in New York City, Boston, New Haven and New Orleans, where music of many cultures drifted out onto the streets and

filled the buses and subways. Springtime was especially alive with music and laughter in these cities. The music and people are what, in my opinion, gives a city its life. I realized I rather missed those sounds from all the different cultures mixing melodies and voices together. But here in Gothenburg, a civilized silence prevails … don’t let the baby cry, don’t let the children be too loud, and don’t play your music without headphones. This is a beautiful thing. It’s quiet. It’s nice ... and one can get lost in their thoughts without interruption. Music filling the streets and subways of New York City is also a beautiful thing. It’s not wrong. Or right. Just different. Lisa Mikulski

Life made Sweder through NORDSTJERNAN: Call 1.800.827.9333 ext. 10, to order.

Swedish News

This year’s Swedish Christmas host on TV, falsely accused, will think twice before posting in social media. Shouldn’t we all ...

TV personality accused of racism

(Cultural storm in a teacup) Television host and singer Sanna Nielsen has been accused of racism after posting a controversial photo of herself and a colleague in costume on social media. Nielsen disagrees with the criticism stating the costume was part of a production number from the Oscar Theatre Performance. It was and the skit itself was about our propensity to create stereotypes... Many of her colleagues have spoken out, critizing the accusers. (There’s hope...) The popular TV personality Sanna Nielsen is scheduled to be this year’s Christmas host, Julvärd, on SVT.

Millions of Swedish accounts hacked

(National) Approximately 10 million Swedish accounts have been leaked. Details of usernames, emails and passwords from major sites are posted on various online forums for sale or shared access, SVT reveals. With the help of Dan Egerstad, former hacker-turned IT security, the database includes the accounts of politicians, security service and journalists, as well as smaller lifestyle, film and gaming accounts. SVT has created a site where you can check to see if your account has been hacked: https://dold.svt.se/ (Do check yours; one of our accounts in the U.S. was hacked!)

Growing green walls in Gothenburg

(Environment) As it continues to experience a huge construction boom, the city of Gothenburg is becoming a greener space by constructing green walls, or plant walls, around the city. Green walls are not a new idea, but the phenomenon is growing worldwide where municipalities work to improve the environment, reduce noise pollution and provide produce. The trick in Gothenburg, and in Sweden in general, is to nurture those plants and vegetables which will grow both during the dark winter days as well as the bright sunlit summer months. Presently, there is such a wall with 2,000 plants from 17 species creating its own ecosystem in the middle of the city center on Kyrkogatan.

Sweden in America

apps for your smartphone that give you instant access to everything Swedish and Nordic in the U.S. www.swedeninamerica.com - where Sweden meets America: Places, events and organizations. (Apps by Nordstjernan)

The Exchange Rate: $1.00 = SEK 9.19 11.30.2016

December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


people. page 4

InBox Dear Editor, In 55 years, this is only the second time that I have written a letter to an editor. Just read Leanne’s article and I am so absolutely sickened, appalled and offended, I feel compelled to write. According to her, all Donald Trump voters were “right-wing.” She ominously predicts that his presidency will usher in a new era. A new era of what? Does she expect KKK membership to surge? This is absolutely galling and couldn’t be further from the truth. People all across America simply want jobs,

health care and immigration reform. I am a middle aged white woman with a master’s degree in education. My best friend is Thai. I have other friends and acquaintances of many nationalities and colors. This election has absolutely nothing to do with race or racism. I mean really, half of the people in the United States of America are racists? People in the heartland want jobs! Donald Trump was the only person who talked about jobs. Obamacare is a disaster. Our healthcare costs have doubled and tripled. We are paying thousands for healthcare that doesn’t pay for anything because the deductibles so high. President Obama lied when he said that people could keep their insurance. We have no clue who lives in our country. All people living in and working here need to be identified. Is that racist? In addition, poverty and violence in in-

SWEDE AMONG THE REDNECKS Loved by Rednecks, Bluenecks, Swedes and Americans: “..something any Swedish American will enjoy” … “A humorous look at Swedes and Swedishness” … “[written with] the gift of clarity, humor, pathos, and joy” A book from Nordstjernan, also available on Amazon. A humorous collection of essays about growing up, reaching adulthood and maturity on two continents and in two separate cultures. Mail order form to: NORDSTJERNAN P.O. Box 1710 New Canaan CT 06840 Or call 1.800.827.9333

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ner cities has surged. Those citizens lack good schools and economic opportunity. Lawlessness is destroying these communities. Democrats have done nothing to help inner city people. They chose teacher’s unions over the children. To be frank, working class democrats turned out in mass to vote for Donald Trump. If democratic party had given us someone to vote for, he or she may have won. Hillary Clinton is more of the same and Americans are tired of more of the same. Hillary has been involved in scandal after scandal, with pay to play being the Clinton’s latest scheme. I would like you to tell Leanne that I am the opposite of a racist and I voted for Donald Trump. I voted for jobs, health insurance, tax reform, better schools and more opportunity for inner city children, etc... Will Trump be able to do any of it? I don’t know, but half of America was willing to give him a shot. Respectfully, Lu Ann Schieferdecker Thank you for your thoughtful submission Lu Ann, much appreciated. We tend not to take sides in political issues for a far-reaching reason you find further explained on page three. That doesn’t mean we shun away from reporting on politics or allowing space on our pages for a variety of opinions on matters that are relevant for us in Swedish America. Here, in the U.S. and regardless of political views, we all have to give our President-elect a fighting chance to succeed and, as usual, expect the best. To use what Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said in an internal memo after the election, “[regardless of your views] the only way to move forward is to move forward together.” (Apple was specifically called out by Trump during the campaign for its positions on data privacy and overseas manufacturing). Thanks again, /Ed.

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A tale of Christmas The Christmas season in Sweden is a sixweek-long extravaganza, beginning in late November with the first Sunday in Advent, and ending January 13, Knuts Day, when the Christmas tree is ceremoniously removed. But the culinary high point is December 24, when family and friends gather around the julbord, or Christmas smorgasbord, for the most lavish meal of the year. Traveling across the Atlantic to spend the holiday in the Swedish countryside with Thomas and Kerstin, I imagined a modern version of the Christmas Eve scene in Ingmar Bergman’s movie, Fanny and Alexander: the house festively decorated and illuminated by candlelight, the groaning smorgasbord, and young and old dancing through the rooms, singing the traditional carol, Nu är det Jul igen. (“Now It Is Christmas Again”).

‘Stämningsfull Jul’

And indeed, from the moment we walked into Thomas and Kerstin’s home, at dusk on the twenty-third, I kept thinking of the Swedish word stämningsfull, which means “full of feeling, atmospheric.” The air was redolent with the scent of cloves, ginger, and cinnamon from the gingerbread house their fourteen-year-old daughter, Elin, was making. Every room had a subtle touch of Christmas, from the ceramic figurines of mischievous tomtes, or gnomes, in the upstairs hallway to the twin gingerbread hearts, inscribed with the words God Jul,or Merry Christmas, hanging by ribbons from a kitchen curtain. The most anticipated day of the year began with a breakfast of risgrynsgröt, thick, creamy rice pudding. My artistic sister-in-law had embellished the pudding’s surface with ground cinnamon sprinkled in a cross-hatch pattern. Alongside it stood a pitcher of slightly sweet, blue-violet blåbärssoppa, or blueberry soup, a sauce to cut the richness of the pudding. Risgrynsgröt has a history dating back more than six hundred years. In C.E. 1328, Birgitta, the wealthy noblewoman who became Sweden’s first saint, introduced this porridge at her father’s funeral feast. By the 1700s, this dish, made from expensive, imported grain, had trickled down from the nobility to prosperous farmers but remained a luxury reserved for major holidays. Even today, when Swedes consume more rice than ever before in their daily diet, risgrynsgröt is usually prepared only on Christmas Eve. In keeping with tradition, Kerstin had hidden a single almond in the rice pudding; according to folk belief, the finder will be wed during the coming year. My eleven-year-old daughter, Tina, poked and prodded her portion with the tip of her spoon, searching, then burst out with, “I found it! I found it!” Her seventeen-year-old cousin teasingly asked “Who are you going to marry, Tina?” Feigning annoyance, she shot back, “Oh, be quiet!” Young Swedish children leave a small bowl


feature. page 5

of rice pudding outside on the doorstep to placate the hus tomte, a mythical gnome usually portrayed with a full white beard and red stocking cap. According to legend, each farm had a gnome who lived in the barn or under the house like a guardian spirit. If properly treated, the gnome would help the farmer look after the animals, but if neglected, he would leave the pasture gates open or play other tricks.

Smörgåsbordet

The remainder of the morning was spent putting the final touches on the julbord, Christmas smörgåsbord. In the past, Kerstin might have spent days preparing everything from scratch. But this year, she taught school until the twenty-third and therefore included several ready-made dishes in our dinner. By one in the afternoon, fourteen of us were gathered in the candlelit parlor with another ten relatives arriving later for dessert. We toasted the holiday with a glass of glögg, or mulled wine, customarily made with red wine simmered with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cardamom. A relatively recent addition to the Christmas beverage menu, glögg arrived in Sweden from Germany in the 1800s. For this occasion, Carl’s brother, Thomas, concocted a special version known as vitglögg, or white mulled wine, fortified with gin and pure alcohol. Rather than simmering the wine with the dried spices, which would evaporate some of the alcohol, Thomas flavored this potent drink with a liquid extract. The children joined in with a nonalcoholic glögg made from black currant syrup diluted with water. In keeping with tradition, everyone added a teaspoonful of whole blanched almonds and raisins to their drinks before toasting “God Jul!”

Like all smörgåsbords, this one began with fish. We had two kinds of pickled herring, one in a mustard sauce and the other in a cream sauce, along with a whole smoked salmon. However, in the rush to prepare everything, Kerstin had forgotten all about the lutfisk stored in the freezer. No one seemed to miss the bland gelatinous cod customarily hidden under a blanket of white sauce. The centerpiece of this julbord—and almost every other around the country—was the

Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord in a home setting photographed by David Castor.

julskinka, or Christmas ham. While some Swedish families today choose turkey or goose instead, pork remains the most popular holiday entrée. Kerstin cooked the ham in the traditional way, first curing it with salt, then boiling it for several hours with julkorv, or Christmas potato sausage, then leaving the ham in the broth overnight to cool. The next day, she dried off the ham, covered the outside with a coating of egg and mustard, sprinkled it with bread crumbs, then baked the meat at a high temperature for fifteen minutes before serving. The ham emerged from the oven with a golden-brown crust, a complex, aromatic flavor, and a firm, meaty texture; in short, the best ham I’d ever tasted. On the stove was a pot of water in which the Christmas ham and sausages had been boiled for doppar i grytan, the old peasant custom of dipping a slice of bread into this flavorful broth. Some Swedes still refer to Christmas Eve as doppare da’n, or dipping day. Once considered a treat, this dish seemed to attract few takers. The smorgasbord included at least a dozen other de rigueur holiday dishes. There were meats such as leverpastej, or chopped chicken liver pâté, garnished with cornichons and Cumberland sauce; revbensspjäll, or gingerflavored, oven-roasted pork ribs; julkorv, the Christmas potato sausage; and tiny smoked prinskorv sausages; as well as Kerstin’s delicious meatballs. Winter vegetables appeared in several guises: braised red cabbage and apples; rödbetssallad, a tart salad of chopped red beets blended with sour cream and horseradish; and Janssons frestelse, or Jansson’s temptation, the same potato, onion, and anchovy casserole I enjoyed at Ingeborg and Peter’s wedding reception. The Swedish staple, kokt potatis, or boiled, white potatoes—peeled but otherwise unadorned— acted as a foil for these complex dishes. Rounding out the meal was a yellow cheese, six inches tall and nearly as wide, studded with caraway seeds, and decorated with a red-andwhite band embroidered with the words God Jul. The selection of accompanying breads

included Kerstin’s homemade French-style loaves, hardtack, and vörtlimpa, a holiday rye bread flavored with orange zest and vört, an infusion of malt used in beer-making.

Sju sorters kakor

In the middle of the afternoon, more of Kerstin’s relatives arrived for dessert and coffee. Almost all of her immediate family were now present: parents, two sisters, one brother, their spouses and children, even her older sister’s ex-husband. Only Thomas and Kerstin’s elder daughter, Frida, was absent; she was spending

The Christmas season in Sweden is a six-week-long extravaganza, beginning in late November with the first Sunday in Advent, and ending January 13, Knuts Day. the year studying in the U.S., where Thomas was born and where his siblings still reside. With two dozen people, the house was too crowded for dancing around the Christmas tree, which was safely tucked into a corner. In the past, Swedish housewives were expected to present their guests with at least seven kinds of Christmas baked goods. I was amazed that Kerstin and Elin had managed to turn out six different desserts. Elin had baked two cakes—an orange pound cake and a mjuk pepparkaka, or spice cake—while Kerstin had made four types of cookies. These included chewy, moist macaroons; slytbollar, or soft butter cookies with strawberry jam centers; kringlor, or butter cookies shaped like pretzels; and, of course, pepparkakor, or gingersnaps, topped with slivered almonds. Rolled very thin, the pepparkakor dough had been cut in the shape of tiny boys and girls, hearts and pigs (a reminder of the

Christmas ham) and baked at a high temperature for a few minutes, giving them their characteristic crisp “snap.” Both the hard gingersnap cookies and the soft spice cake evolved from the spiced honey cakes imported in medieval times from Germany, where they were baked by monks and nuns for medicinal purposes. Flavored with exotic spices such as pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and sweetened with honey, these hard cakes were considered an aid to digestion, a remedy for diarrhea, poor eyesight, and melancholy—and a male aphrodisiac. Darkness comes early this time of year. By three thirty in the afternoon, the light was so thin that the scene outside the kitchen window—the neighbor’s light gray house with white trim, the dark bare trees, the cloudcovered sky—looked like a black-and-white photograph tinted with the palest blue wash. But inside, the kitchen glowed with warmth and color. Sitting in the cozy room, I contemplated the wallhanging my sister-in-law had embroidered, its simple message illustrating the season’s gustatory pleasures that Kerstin and her family had so generously shared with us. Three gnomes stitched in red each carried something for the Christmas feast—a three-pronged candle, steaming porridge, baked ham—while the fourth, smaller gnome sat with a basket of apples. Stitched above the figures were the words Gröt och skinka, lilla äppelbiten, Tänk vad gott det smakar Nisse liten (Porridge [rice pudding] and ham, the little apple bit, Think how good it tastes, little elf). And, indeed, it did. Submitted by D.R. Anthony

December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


feature. page 6

Homage to the Swedish Christmas ham Amanda Olson Robison editor@nordstjernan.com

someone in his hometown of Österbymo, in Östergötland, who was related to Al Johnson’s wife Ingert, and they all met that year in Door County. After alternating his residence between the U.S. and Sweden a few times, he finally settled down in the U.S. with a job at Al Johnson’s in 2000. This year will mark the first Christmas in 19 years that he’ll be with his family back in Sweden. And his farmor will be there, too — celebrating her 97th birthday on Christmas Eve. She doesn’t cook anymore, but someone will bring ham, and Brexel is

For two generations, Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik in Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula, has offered the only Scandinavian Christmas smörgåsbord (Julbord) in the area (which is saying a lot because there are a lot of Scandinavians in Door County). Like the restaurant, the Julbord has become an institution in itself, an annual event that people from all over the Midwest plan for well ahead of time. The Julbord at Al Johnson’s offers two evenings of all the traditional holiday food that Sweden is well known for: herring, cheeses, meatballs, beet salad, liver pate, potato sausage — and the ubiquitous Swedish Christmas ham. For a more complete list of items at Al Johnson’s, see www.aljohnsons. com/menu/julbord-menu If you’ve never had Swedish Christmas ham, you might not realize that it is in fact quite different from American holiday hams, which are usually smoked in one way or another. The Swedish tradition is to prepare a pickled ham — soaked in a salt brine. Al Johnson’s head chef Freddie Brexel, a native of Sweden, is making sure this year’s Julbord has plenty of his Christmas ham (julskinka), the recipe for which is included below. In an interview with Brexel, he explained the most important thing is to minimize the smokiness of the ham: soak it in salt brine. If it sounds like julskinka might Al Johnson’s Restaurant also invites a not so local guest to have breakfast with staff and guests around this time of the year. be salty, you’re right. Brexel has vivid memories of eating julskinka — on Christmas and the two or three days following. His extended family of 50 cousins and aunts and uncles would gather at his grandmother’s small, 3-bedroom house, and she would cook enough food, and more, for everyone.

For two generations, Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik has offered a Scandinavian Christmas smörgåsbord a “Julbord”

A typical stubborn Swede

“My father’s mother was a typical stubborn Swedish grandmother who wouldn’t let anyone help her,” but she spent hours in that cramped little kitchen preparing all the staples of Christmas food that every Swedish family enjoyed, Brexel said. He chuckled when asked if perhaps this year’s julskinka recipe might be hers. “Well, my cooking is definitely influenced by my grandmother, but being a stubborn Swede also meant she wouldn’t share her cooking secrets!” Brexel came to the U.S. on vacation for the first time in 1992. He was friends with

Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

Freddie Brexel, head chef at Al Johnson’s Restaurant.

Al Johnson’s julskinka, served with Swedish mustard and Jansson’s Temptation.

looking forward to sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night and making a sandwich with leftover julskinka and strong mustard — with her.

Al Johnson’s Christmas Ham 5 lbs. pickled or lightly smoked ham 1 tablespoon whole allspice 1 teaspoon whole black pepper 2 bay leaves 1 leek, sliced into thin pieces

• Soak ham in water overnight • Bring to boil and discard water • Cover ham with cold water, add spices and leeks • Bring to boil • Turn down and simmer for 2.0 – 2.5 hours or until 160° internal temperature • Leave ham in water and cool in refrigerator • Put cold ham into shallow baking pan. • Mix together: 3 tablespoons Swedish mustard 1/2 tablespoon light molasses 1 egg yolk 1/2 tablespoon potato flour or corn starch • Spread mixture over ham.

• Sprinkle bread crumbs over ham, spread 1 tablespoon butter over top. • Bake in 375° oven for about 20 min or until golden brown. • Let cool in refrigerator. • Serve with Jansson’s Temptation and Swedish mustard. – by Chef Freddie Bexell, Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant & Butik

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feature. page 7

´tis the time for julbord Many Swedes eat their julbord (Christmas table or smörgåsbord) at work. About 70 percent of the country’s working population will be invited to a julbord through their workplace. That’s 3.5 million Christmas table dinners just to begin with, not counting private settings, which come later. The development to our modern Christmas table really started in the 1800s with an invention that would change the art of cooking forever: the iron stove. Previously, most people cooked food, but with a stove you had the option to roast, bake and cook in a whole new way. This is when common people started cooking a variety of foods and snacks, often to accompany their aquavit because, truth be told, the snaps came first. In the late 1800s high-end restaurants began serving smorgasbords, and with the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, the world was presented with the Swedish specialty. The Swedish Academy mentioned the word “julbord” for the first time in 1919 and thus the Christmas smorgasbord was in Sweden to stay. It was introduced to the world when it was presented in the Swedish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York in 1939. Until the 1960s, there were large differences between julbord and smörgåsbord, but the 1970s would change that. The julbord adopted many dishes from the smörgåsbord, such as meatballs, sausages and Jansson’s temptation. In the 1970s, a separate Christmas lunch (with dopp i grytan and ham) and Christmas dinner (with lutefisk and Christmas porridge)

Part of the Swedish Christmas table at Al Johnson’s restaurant in Door County, Wisc.

were combined to create today’s julbord. Dopp i grytan is one of those dishes that drops in popularity at the julbord. Perhaps because we no longer concern ourselves with old bread. This was how dopp i grytan (“dip into the pot”) came into being. We dipped slightly stale bread in the broth after the boiling of the ham and made use of bread that would otherwise have been thrown away. There is plenty of information on what’s popular at the julbord. The Christmas ham (“julskinka”) is always at the top. This time of year 650,000 pigs are slaughtered — only for Christmas. When we consider that the total number of pigs slaughtered in Sweden each year is 2.9 million, we realize that Christmas is a very important time of year for the pork business. Other than ham julbord ingredients can vary “locally” with significant dishes special for different parts of the country. In northern Sweden there is more game at the julbord and dopp i grytan is made with flatbread (tunnbröd) — while in southern Sweden it’s vörtbröd, bread flavored with wort.

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In Västergötland they serve grynkorv -similar to potato sausage - and brown beans (bruna bönor), sweetened with Swedish syrup (sirap). On Gotland it’s saffron pancakes, in Småland cheesecake (ostkaka, really made of curd) and in Uppland often a Christmas pike (julgädda) is served for the Christmas table. Everyone eats herring (sill) — of all kinds. Gravad lax, lutefisk and aforementioned Christmas ham. Different kinds of sausages (korv), brawn, headcheese (sylta), meatballs (köttbullar), spare ribs (revbenspjäll), a variety of cabbage (kål), to name a few.

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Naturally, rice porridge is served with a hidden almond; according to folklore, whomever gets the almond will be married in the coming year. So, Christmas is healthy? Perhaps we should follow the Sustainable Santa and rainbow principle: if it is colorful, it is often healthy. So, do not hesitate to mix up all the other goodies with vegetables with more colorful hues from the table. And, when among Swedes, follow the “rules” - take a fresh plate between dishes and start with herring and fish dishes, cold meats and then finally the warm dishes.

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people. page 8

Feast on leftover Christmas ham There is delightful meaning in the Christmas table being able to offer a variety of meals during the lazy days following the holiday. Actually, this itself may be a reason for the abundance of food around Christmas in Sweden. Be that as it may, leftovers are fun whether or not it is Christmas, if you ask me. It’s a bit of a challenge to conjure up a meal with what’s available in the fridge; you take what you have, just like Stone Soup. When it comes to the leftover ham you don’t have to be immensely resourceful — no time? Simply cut the ham into small pieces and freeze, and you have the perfect ingredients when you want to throw together a quick pasta or for use in pies, pizza, etc. Here are four ideas on how to enjoy leftover Christmas ham. The Christmas ham of dreams, Drömskinka; how can you go wrong with a name like this?

Put in the oven at 400˚F (200˚C) about 20 minutes until golden. Serve with a tomato salad.

Ingredients Pie dough (see below) 1 cup (200 grams) shredded Christmas ham or smoked ham 3 eggs 3/4 cup half and half 1-1/4 cup shredded cheese 1/2 tsp chili flakes

Macaroni and ham Serves 4

Ingredients A decent amount of Christmas ham 4 eggs 1-3/4 cup half and half leftover hard cheeses from the Christmas table salt & pepper Instructions Boil the macaroni. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pour into a greased, oven proof dish. Shred the amount of ham you have or think is right and add it to whisked eggs with creamy milk. Put it evenly on top of the macaroni and slice some cheese to lay across the top. Season with salt and pepper.

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Santa’s ham and cheese pie

Potato and leek gratin with ham Ingredients 3 to 3-1/2 pounds potato (Idaho or similar) 1-1/2 to 2 pounds Christmas ham, shredded 1 leek 1 yellow onion 6 cups half and half ground white pepper salt 1 cup cheese, grated Instructions Peel and slice the potatoes. Finely chop the leek and onion. Grease a large baking dish with a little butter or margarine. Layer the potatoes and onions and mix with half and half. Season well with freshly ground white pepper and a little salt. Spread the ham over the gratin and mix. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 325˚F (165˚C) for 45-50 minutes, turning the dish now and then. When it has a golden color, take it out and allow the gratin to rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Basic pie dough (makes one medium sized pie): 7/8 cup (200 grams) flour 1/2 cup (125 grams) butter 2 tbsp cold water Instructions for pie dough Put flour in a bowl and add the cold butter in thin slices, quickly pinching together into fine crumbs. Add the water and form a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for half an hour. Remove the dough and place it between plastic wrap, then roll it out to 1/8 inch thick. Remove one side of the plastic and put the rolled dough in a pie plate (or cut out smaller circles for mini pies); pull off the other plastic layer and push dough gently into shape and up to the edges. Leftover pie dough can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. Instructions Pre-bake the pie crust for about 8-10 minutes at 400˚F (200˚C). Cut the ham into strips and put in the pie, then layer with cheese. Whisk the eggs and butter, and pour over the pie. Sprinkle with chili flakes and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the pie is golden.

Garlic dressing for the salad For a quick, easy and perfect dressing to top any salad that accompanies a pie or gratin on Christmas ham, mix together: 1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream 2 crushed garlic cloves 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp liquid honey Salt and ground white pepper

The Christmas ham of dreams - Drömskinka 12 slices of leftover Christmas ham Sherry to marinate 1-3/4 cup (4 dl) heavy cream 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp curry butter Instructions Remove fat and crust from the ham. Layer the ham slices in an oven proof dish and drizzle the sherry over the ham, then let marinate a few hours. Pour off the marinade and discard it. Mix the cream, tomato paste and curry and pour over the ham. Add a few teaspoons of butter over the dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 425˚F (225˚C). Serve with pressed potatoes and a vegetable of your choice. Note: We prefer semi-dry but dry or sweet cherry will work equally well depending on your individual taste.

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feature. page 9

Revisiting the legacies of Jenny Lind Continued from page one

in large numbers wherever she traveled. The memory of Jenny Lind is still preserved in many sites, places and events named after her. She has been commemorated widely in music, on screen, on Swedish banknotes, and by the names of hospitals, schools and music competitions and awards. If you research her at all, you will find that in seven U.S. states streets are named after her. Under her married name “Jenny LindGoldschmidt,” she has a place in the Poets’ Corner in London’s Westminster Abbey.

The West Coast connection

Although the famous soprano never visited the West Coast on her popular U.S. tour in 1850 (as many believe she did), her name was known in households there as elsewhere. A Gold Rush town in the Sierra foothills in California bears her name; but, in this one instance, the tribute may be less than laudatory. One story has it that the braying of pack mules prompted the miners to name the town sarcastically for her vocal chords. The town was located near Jack Ass Hill, where thousands of mules were tied up, making noise through the night. Female donkeys (close relatives of mules) are called “Jennies,” an association which might have been part of the joke. One extant Swedish-American Vasa lodge is named for Jenny Lind, #388, formed in Turlock, California in 1920 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lind’s birth on Oct. 6, 1820. The lodge was organized by Peter Tengvall, a member of San Francisco’s Fylgia Lodge and district master 1919-20 of the Golden Gate District 12 (formed in 1911). Tengvall was apparently deputized to travel around the district and help organize new lodges; I am indebted to Paul Jevert

of Jenny Lind Lodge for telling me about the beginnings of Turlock’s Swedish community history. Many Swedish immigrants migrated westward in 1902 from New York and Chicago, thanks to a Swedish real estate promoter who had successfully promoted land in Alaska. He advertised to draw Swedish easterners and Minnesotans to the West. Those heading for Turlock took the Southern Pacific train, landing at the San Joaquin Valley depot. The promoter hired a young woman to go down to the depot and meet the trains and shepherd people around. Probably she was sent also to soften the blow when the newcomers saw their new home: All around them could be seen nothing but sand and tumbleweeds; it was hot and windy and there were no signs of water. The women cried; the men cursed in Swedish. They had been shown pictures of a different California, with palm trees and adobes. If they could have afforded it, they would have gone home. Is it any wonder the early transplants to Turlock, landing in what seemed a wasteland, devoid of civilized life and culture, would look back fondly to the cultural achievements of their homeland and name their lodge Jenny Lind? I suspect that many new lodges took their names this way, connecting their strange new lives with the familiar culture and society they had left behind.

Influence in San Francisco

Another notable trace of Jenny Lind’s influence may be found in downtown San Francisco. An interpretive plaque marks the site of the 1851 Jenny Lind Theatre, built on the site where two theatres named for her had been destroyed by fire. A Hilton hotel now stands on the site, not far from today’s Macy’s and other retail outlets. The completion of the first Jenny Lind

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Onsdag 14 december kl 19.00

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Jenny Lind standing at the keyboard (Public Domain)

theatre in 1850 makes me wonder if San Franciscans were hoping to lure the famous singer west by dedicating a theatre to her. The hall went up the year after the Gold Rush, and it was dedicated as part of the celebration admitting California into the union. And then it burned down twice and was rebuilt both times with the same name, showing a strong attachment to the famed Swedish singer. This is pure speculation, but perhaps San Franciscans built the hall as a way of telling Lind they were not all rowdy sailors and gold miners, but also music lovers and people of refined tastes. The West may have seemed to her still too wild and wooly, at the fringes of the civilized world, so to speak because she does not appear to have come anywhere close to the Bay Area. Even less known to the public is a significant hall and performing space bearing Jenny Lind’s name that still stands on the other side of the bay. Jenny Lind Hall, located in Oakland at 2265 Telegraph Avenue, is listed on Oakland’s Local Register of Historical Resources. The building has a new use, but it is still recognized by older Vasa members who recall it as a vibrant Swedish American center. The three-story stucco building is documented by the city’s Cultural Heritage Survey as an “ornate

structure with prominent Classical or Beaux Arts features: overhanging cornice, tripartite windows, entablature, pediments and small balconies.” In 1915, the Swedish American Club commissioned architect Frederick Soderberg to design Jenny Lind Hall. Soderberg also designed four Beaux Arts style firehouses and several schools. The City of Oakland retains a copy of Soderberg’s exquisite architectural drawings for the building. Jenny Lind Hall’s design rhymes with the designs of Soderberg’s firehouses, with strong Beaux Arts elements and a secondstory balcony. A unique feature of Soderberg’s firehouses is a balcony metal railing that features a pattern of overlapping hearts. Oakland’s Jenny Lind Hall was intended in part as a statement to San Franciscans, who had their 1907 Arts and Crafts Swedish American Hall. That hall’s design looked for its inspiration to California Arts and Crafts traditions and old world roots. Soderberg designed Jenny Lind in the newly popular French-inspired Beaux Arts style, with a much greater size and capacity than San Francisco’s Hall. If not as architecturally distinctive as San Francisco’s hall, Jenny Lind Hall has its own Continues on next page

December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


feature. page 10

California Historical Landmark #192: Site of Jenny Lind Theatre and San Francisco City Hall.

“Soderberg” is the same as the last name of the architect of Jenny Lind Hall; perhaps this is only a curious coincidence, but here charms and reflects important aspects of is another possibility worth looking into. A note on the architecture: Beaux Arts, Oakland’s history. The building accommodated the cultural activities of the increasing which means “beautiful arts,” was a popular number of Swedish Americans relocating French architectural style around the turn to the East Bay, a trend that began in the of the last century. It drew on Renaissance wake of the San Francisco earthquake and and Classical elements, translating them into a modern eclectic mix. Many Bay fire of 1906. The Swedish Ladies Society is an impor- Area architects, including Julia Morgan and tant example of organizations that started in Henry Highby Gutterson (who designed the San Francisco and branched out across the Salem Lutheran Home for Swedish retirees Bay. Formed in San Francisco in 1895, the in the 1920s), attended the Académie Royale first branch was formed in Oakland in 1916. d’Architecture in Paris and were strongly The first president of the San Francisco so- influenced by its design precepts. The ciety, Selma Soderberg Hanson, was born Swedish architects who loved this style may in Stockholm in 1856. Her middle name have been aware of the historic French influence on Swedish architecture in the Since 1919 18th century. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a Importers of fine Scandinavian Specialties fondness for French 125 Asia Place style was widely Carlstadt, N.J.07072 popular in America, Tel:201-507-8544 - Fax:201-507-0507 and Oakland was no www.haramchris.com Email: haramchris@aol.com exception. Continued from previous page

rent King Carl XVI Gustaf visited Jenny Lind in 1967, when the building was to get a facelift. He was a prince at that time and the ship on which he was serving as a midshipman brought him to the Port of Oakland. Oakland’s Swedish Americans used Jenny Lind Hall as a meeting place for their clubs and organizations for many years. The 1941 telephone book lists nine participating organizations, including Vasa, the Jenny Lind Society, Svea Glee Club and two other choral groups. Our own Tegner Lodge #149 met there, as did various singing groups and other organizations. Before Jenny Lind was built, these organizations were meeting all over the city, in other halls and meeting spaces. Jenny Lind literally brought everyone together, a place where East Bay Swedish Americans could celebrate and preserve their heritage. Lodge activities lifted spirits, and financial benefits were welcome to those out of work. The lodge (like other Vasa lodges) publicized that it was open to both men and women, unlike many other fraternal organizations, exhibiting an egalitarian principle that our lodge still values. Started in 1908, Tegner Lodge #149 still meets in Oakland at

League (SAPL) Oakland. Gloria’s father sang there with the Swedish Singers. She recalls that he sang mostly in Swedish, both folk and patriotic songs, and joined with San Francisco groups to perform concerts. Her mother sang with the Jenny Lind Chorus. Gloria also recalls that “they played cards a lot — whist was popular.” She remembers big Christmas parties with Santa Claus and lots of activities for the kids. According to her, Sankta Lucia was celebrated, not at Jenny Lind, but at St. Paul’s Church, where her family attended services. (That church, organized by Swedish Americans in 1887 and built in 1900, is still standing at 1011 Martin Luther King, Jr Way. The building is on the City of Oakland’s Local Register of Historical Resources and is now in use as St. Paul’s African American Baptist Church.) According to the City of Oakland’s Cultural Heritage Survey, during World War II, Jenny Lind Hall was used for USO activities and as an emergency shelter for service people. The bar downstairs was a meeting place for military personnel due to the accessibility to the “B” train that ran on nearby Grand Avenue to Treasure Island.

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Jenny Lind Hall’s later life

According to a document in the City of Oakland Public Library, the king of Sweden attended the building dedication in 1915. (Lacking other evidence that the King came to America, I suspect an ambassador represented him.) Sweden’s cur-

Second Jenny Lind Theatre (c.1851) (the large building with classical pediment). Lithograph by Quirot & Company from the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.

the Bjornson Hall Sons of Norway Lodge on the other side of town and is open to all with an interest in things Scandinavian.

Memories of Jenny Lind Hall

Gloria Nelson, whose family has been active in Sveadal, the Swedish American community in the Santa Cruz Mountains, has many childhood memories of Oakland’s Jenny Lind Hall. In her youth, the hall was brimming with activities. She still thinks fondly back to the rehearsals, performances and celebrations of the Oakland Men’s Swedish Singers, the Swedish Men’s Society, Swedish Ladies’ Society, Vasa Lodge Tegner #149, the women’s Jenny Lind Chorus, and Swedish American Patriotic

When Swedish club memberships began to decline, the building was sold to a printing company; and it has had other uses since, including as a site for arts-based organizations. Remodeling of the first floor façade in the 1960s has detracted from the original architecture. Today it is in use as a Minh Yueh Jiu Shyh Buddhist Association center, with bold red lettering in Korean across the entrance. A member of the association graciously allowed me to come in one day and photograph the interior. The large auditorium, with stage and balcony, is intact, as is the stairway leading there from the ground floor. The group meeting in the hall invited me Continues on next page


feature. page 11

Fred Soderberg’s 1899 Birdseye View of Oakland (City of Oakland Public Library, 2nd floor, on the wall outside the business office)

to lunch, cooked there in the ground floor kitchen. I was thankful the Korean Buddhists had found a new use for the hall, and that it is not standing empty as are many historic buildings. The neighborhood, where generations of immigrants from many countries have found a foothold in a new land, is now known as Koreatown-Northgate. The study of history can often induce a sense of irony. Today, across from Oakland’s Jenny Lind Hall, a thriving arts scene has evolved during the past decade. On the first Friday of each month, an event called “Art Murmur” attracts thousands of visitors to art galleries and outdoor stalls selling all manner of arts and crafts. A prominent gallery that faces Jenny Lind Hall directly from across the streets is called “Johansson Projects.” I am hoping one of these days to interview the owner, Kimberly Johansson, and ask her about her family’s Swedish

roots. Secretly, I also harbor a wish that someday an enterprising theatre group will discover the intact auditorium and stage inside Jenny Lind Hall and rent the space for performances, in the heart of Oakland’s arts scene. For now the building stands unnamed and unknown by many, sitting awkwardly next to a Taco Bell.

Postscript

On a recent visit to Sveadal, I noticed a romanticized portrait of Jenny Lind hanging above the piano in a room adjacent to the dining hall. She is wearing a frilly dress and has flowers in her hair. The positioning of the portrait above the piano was meant to resonate with the various other iconic portraits of the singer, which often portray her sitting next to a piano with her hands folded in her lap. I like to imagine

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Church of Sweden at Norwegian Seamen’s Church 2454 Hyde Street, San Francisco • Tel: 415-632-8504 Mer information: www.svenskakyrkan.se/sanfrancisco

Jenny Lind Hall, performance and meeting space, currently houses the Minh Yueh Jiu Shyh Buddhist Association.

Lind performing here at Sveadal in the flesh, pouring out her soul in one of her trademark arias to an audience of spellbound listeners. Of course, this being Sveadal, you are more likely to hear recorded dance music being spun by a couple young guys on the outside deck, as an intergenerational crowd sways to a rocking beat. I wish to thank the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation for funding the “Swedish History of the East Bay Project” to conduct research on the lesser-known Swedish Johansson Projects today across from Jenny Lind Hall, Telegraph Avenue, Oakland. American history in project. Thank you also to Marie-Ann Hill, Oakland and surrounding cities. The research for Oakland’s the project director, who introduced me to Jenny Lind Hall and the architect Frederick Tegner Lodge and various Swedish AmeriSoderberg was conducted as part of this can contacts and worked with me to pursue our shared history with so many layers of interest. Thank you also to the various local VASA lodges and Sveadal for allowing me to give slide presentations of this evolving work. The Oakland History Room of the Main Library assisted me in discovering several interesting documents. Thank you to Muriel Beroza, whose book Golden Gate Swedes is always at my side; and to Betty Marvin and Gail Lombardy at the City of Oakland’s Cultural Heritage Survey for their guidance and review. And so the complex web of our connected Swedish and American sides continues to come to light, suggesting even more intriguing questions for research. Thank you, Jenny Lind, for leaving such a clear trail for exploring one strand of our intertwined histories. Gloria Nelson at the Sveadal Clubhouse, interviewed by the author in August 2016.

Kitty Hughes

December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


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God Jul och Gott Nytt År till alla våra släktingar och vänner

Anna & Håkan Back Suzie, Tim, Danny & Ryan Rooney Betsy & Steve Stapleton Maya Back

United Swedish Societies of New York

God Jul och Gott Nytt År

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God Jul och Gott Nytt År!

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

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Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

(Northern California) wishes you

If you are interested in Swedish culture or heritage consider attending a Vasa meeting in your area. From interesting lectures and presentations, Julbord celebrations, midsummer celebrations to cooking classes or aquavit infusions, Vasa has something for everyone. For more information contact:

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Meetings 2nd Friday of the month 7:00 pm Contact RasmussenTRE@gmail.com


feature. page 13

The Swedish architect

Frederick Soderberg, architect of Oakland’s Jenny Lind Hall. (Industrial Growth, 1915-1919: Oakland and Alameda County, p. 6. Oakland Public Library Main Branch, Oakland History Room)

The architect Frederick Soderberg was born in Falun, Sweden around 1866 and arrived in California from Massachusetts in 1896. Only a couple years later he was working as a draftsman in the architectural firm of D.F. Oliver in downtown Oakland. While there, in 1899, he drew a beautiful and detailed birdseye view of Oakland that shows the estuary and Alameda. Birdseye views were very difficult to produce, as you can imagine, as this was before the days of aerial photography and digital reproduction. Soderberg’s birdseye view shows the ships and schooners docked in the estuary waters, as well as boats extending up into the estuary. This area was where schooners wintered for rest and repair, many of them staffed by Swedish sea captains and sailors. The map is rimmed with images of important civic buildings of the time, reflecting Soderberg’s interest in architecture. The view also shows West Oakland, where

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God Jul & Gott Nytt År From “the Swedish secret on the sound”

Manhem Club

Swedish immigrants were living by the 1880s and ‘90s, as well as the pier extending into the water in the outer harbor. The terminus for the transcontinental railroad had been completed there in 1869, attracting Swedish immigrants to work for the railroad and boatyards, as well as the ferry services to San Francisco. On the right side of Soderberg’s map is a large oval. This may be the racetrack at Shellmound Park, the large amusement park where Swedes of the time held Midsommar festivities. Oakland’s Vasa Tegner Lodge, among several other Swedish groups, held picnics and events there into the early years of the 20th century. A copy of his birdseye view can be purchased from the Library of Congress; he is identified there as Fred Soderberg, as his name appears on the map. By 1901 Soderberg had advanced from draftsman to architect. In this capacity he designed his four striking firehouses and several schools in Oakland. Today, two of his firehouses are still standing, one is still in use. The other has been painted red and restored by the fire department but is now used by a small start-up company. Soderberg entered the political arena and was elected as a commissioner of Oakland in 1917. Known for his honesty and efficiency, he accepted not a dime of campaign contributions. He Oakland’s Jenny was elected City Lind Hall. The brass-tipped of Oakland’s Com- flagpoles that once missioner of Public flew the Swedish and Works in 1918, an American flags are extremely impor- still visible under the tant and highly vis- roof overhang. ible public office. This was a time of controversy and political shenanigans. Soderberg and Mayor Davie were not always on the same side of the issues and sometimes locked horns. In the May 15, 1920 Oakland Tribune a squabble between Davie and Soderberg was reported. The mayor was demanding his own personal chauffeur, while Soderberg maintained that he could use the municipal chauffeur. The mayor claimed that Soderberg and one of his allies just wanted a spy in the mayor’s office, and that he would pay for his own personal chauffeur if he had to. In 1919, there was a great deal of interest

in developing Oakland’s 25-mile waterfront. Davie personally wrested control of the waterfront from the Central Pacific Railroad. Many, including Davie, pushed to dredge the inner harbor inside the estuary that extends between Oakland and Alameda to accommodate larger vessels. Soderberg advocated strongly for dredging the western waterfront rather than the inner harbor. He argued that “The large ocean going vessels must discharge their cargoes on the western waterfront.” Clearly, Soderberg was considering the financial advantages and future development of the city. Interestingly, at a much later date, the Matson Navigation Company, founded by the Swedish-born William Matson, would take advantage of Oakland’s outer harbor and end up transforming it, with the introduction of containerized shipping. The Swedish Ladies Society is an important example of organizations that started in San Francisco and branched out across the

Bay. Formed in San Francisco in 1895, the first branch was formed in Oakland in 1916. The first president of the San Francisco society, Selma Soderberg Hanson, was born in Stockholm in 1856. Her middle name “Soderberg” is the same as the last name of the architect of Jenny Lind Hall; perhaps this is only a curious coincidence, but here is another possibility worth looking into. Kitty Hughes

658 Clarence Avenue, Throgs Neck, New York 10465

Manhem Club (718) 822-8965

December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


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The Swedish Candy People Just in time for Christmas, you can add more Dalahästs to your holiday - but this time they’re edible. We know Swedes have the biggest sweet tooth around. And the Swedish “lördagsgodis” (Saturday candy) ritual made choosing (and eating) pick ‘n mix candy an overnight

sensation — that it isn’t going anywhere. It’s going everywhere, actually. Thanks to the Swedish candy company, Candy People, we can now get our favorite pick ‘n mix fix from anywhere there is internet access. And just in time for the holidays, we can add their Dala Horse candy to our shopping cart.

Wishes you and your family

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Dala Horse gummies, AKA the new Swedish Fish (ironically Swedish Fish are actually made in Canada, though Scandy Fish are made by the Candy People in Sweden), is the company’s first packaged product that is sold separately in the U.S. and Canada. While you may have been eating their pick ‘n mix candy chosen from bins in various stores, it probably wasn’t clear that it was Candy People candy you were picking and mixing. But you were: Candy People is the market leader in Scandinavian confectionery distribution. The company — started 30 years ago in Malmö, Sweden — entered the North American market in 2013 with a full product assortment of more than 90 candies. There are certainly other great candy manufacturers out there, but Candy People’s products are made with real sugar and natural colors, no high fructose corn syrup, trans fats or GMOs. Business has grown 300 percent each year since 2013, probably in part because it’s a “clean candy” with a great taste and is glutenand gelatin-free. The Dala Horse gummies are also vegan. Certainly that appeals to a lot of today’s health conscious consumers of all ages looking for something sweet whose price isn’t sky high and flavor isn’t compromised. Vi n c e B r a n d o n , Candy People marketing expert based at the North America headquarters in Texas, says the product speaks for itself. “We

can’t keep it on the shelves, and we’re just getting started,” he said, saying the company is gearing up for another year of exponential growth in the U.S. and Canada. That’s great news — and a point of pride for Swedish America. The fruit flavored gummy Dala Horse candy is only the first of their premium packaged candy in their new Signature Line, available now in any IKEA or World Market across the U.S. as well as at Amazon.com. In early 2017, there will be two more Swedish icons in their Signature Line: marshmallow moose and gummy Vikings are coming soon. For now, look for your Dala Horse candy soon so you have it in time for Christmas — and buy extra, just in case you eat the first bag you intended to put in someone else’s stocking. Amanda Olson Robison

Dala Horse gummies are now available in the U.S. and Canada.

NEW JERSEY DISTRICT No. 6 VASA ORDER OF AMERICA District Master – Stacy Ellen Bernabei District Treasurer – Yasin Ozkan Vice District Master - Victoria Ozkan Executive Board – Robert Coleman District Secretary – Cathy Peterson Executive Board – Kris Carlson-Orlandi Asst Dist Secretary – Candace Ruth Phelps Executive Board – Chad Peterson

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feature. page 15

When it rains on Christmas Day

For the 11th year in a row Swedish folk/Americana artist Sofia Talvik is keeping up her tradition of releasing a free Christmas single. Looking out from that window on Christmas Day, will it be a winter wonderland or a dark and rainy day? Will you be with loved ones, or will you be alone? Soft keys and the soaring pedal steel guitar bring the melody forward and lift Talvik’s voice, the true feature of the song. The lyrics carry the story forward as the song culminates

ASF

in a carol-like chorus bringing us all the way back in to the churches of the old days with their towering ceilings filled with music. The tasteful production will remind you of Ryan Adam’s Shadowlands and bring your thoughts to Kate Bush’s etherial piano songs, like “This Woman’s Work.” Listen to the song on youtube, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q_zvpGZLt8 or download at www.sofiatalvik.com

Download Sofia Talvik’s free Christmas single at www.sofiatalvik. com

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December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


Photo: Asaf Kliger. Icehotel 365 illustration by PinPin Studio.

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Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

The Arctic Circle

The now year-round ice hotel near Kiruna in northern Sweden has opened for business — but before it received clearance from the inspection authorities. The hotel now faces large fines. “The law is very clear on this point,” said Kristoffer Johansson, head of planning permission in Kiruna.

The Arctic Circle is not, as most people assume, a fixed location on the ground. Instead, it is an astronomical phenomenon related to the tilt of the earth’s axis to the sun and also changes due to planetary, moon and the sun’s gravity. Always in flux, the National Land Survey plots the actual Arctic Circle which moves with a steady trend to the north. The Arctic Circle is the southernmost boundary where one can see the midnight sun or the polar night.

Affluent society

Gift of the Year in Sweden

Each year, HUI Research decides on the ultimate and trendy Christmas gift. This year’s gift has been selected, and the big announcement for the must-have gift reveals that VR goggles are going to be under many Christmas trees. VR glasses allow the user to create a virtual reality when connected to a computer or mobile device taking you to far away places or allowing a realistic user experience for gaming. According to HUI, the glasses have many uses — from school to work to leisure — and could provide benefits at the doctor’s office, retail shops

and larger corporations. The yearly Christmas gift chosen by HUI must meet three criteria: It must be a novelty, it should have a high sales volume, and reflect the times we live in.

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‘Name’s days’ of the Swedish Calendar: December 15 Gottfrid

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In New York In Stockholm In Kiruna Lund In Los Angeles

December 15: Sunrise 7.13 a.m. 8.40 a.m. under the horizon 8.31 a.m. 6.52 a.m.

Sunset 4.29 p.m. 2.46 p.m. 3.33 p.m. 4.46 p.m.

Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

December 16 December 17 December 18 December 19 December 20 December 21 December 22 December 23 December 24 December 25 December 26 December 27 December 28 December 29 December 30

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Vista, CA

Sustainable Santa “rides in” on his straw reindeer on opening day at the Vista CA Farmers Market. Eating a combination (i.e. ‘eating the rainbow’) of different colored vegetables yields optimum health.

Swedish/international H&M

Swedish retailer H&M tapped the Oscar-nominated indie film director Wes Anderson to create its 2016 holiday ad, a four-minute fashion film starring Adrien Brody, released Nov. 28. Find it on youtube, “Come Together - H&M.”

New York, NY

Thumbs up for this year’s Christmas Bazaar at the Swedish church in Manhattan—as always warm and welcoming, more accessible, less crowded, even better food, best kanelbullar and the usual open and friendly volunteers. Kudos to you all! Right: New York’s local Swedish priests, Joachim Franzén and Pether StrömBohman

Manning the fish pond: Hanna Claffey and Elisabeth Russo.

SWEA New Jersey Close to 800 people came to Swea New Jersey’s Christmas bazaar held at the cozy Commonwealth Club in Upper Montclair, NJ on Sunday Nov. 20. Locals just curious of Swedish traditions as well as die hard Swedes and Swedish Americans were seeking out the baked goods, hard to get Swedish food, glögg and that unique new thing to decorate your house with or a special gift. The Swedish café serving home made open faced sandwiches and cookies had a constant long line of hungry visitors. The Julbasar is a tradition the SWEA ladies have carried on for 31 years, spreading the knowledge of SwedL-R: Gun Eklund, Anita Rhodes, Benita Norrmen-Smith, ish culture but also raising money for Berit Stang Silver of SWEA NJ. charitable causes.

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December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


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Jansson in America?

The First Temptation of the Swedes and a staple for the Swedish smörgåsbord: Jansson’s Temptation. One thing that surprises every American who tries this anchovy-based dish for the first time, it does not taste fish! The Swedish style anchovy acts as a spice and the result becomes a tasty and creamy potato and onion casserole.

Scandinavian style anchovy fillets are sold at your nearest IKEA store or online at any of the Scandinavian food suppliers; Scandinavian Butik, www.scandinavianbutik. com; Sweden’s Best, www. swedensbest.com or Wikströms, www.swedishdeli.com)

D Be Fro o a m W or uti is Co fu co u l ns nt in y, !

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feature. page 19

A ‘must’ on the Swedish smörgåsbord table

One of the traditional Scandinavian dishes we receive the most questions about is Janssons frestelse, or Jansson’s Temptation, which is a staple of nearly every Swedish smörgåsbord, and a popular late-night nosh, or vickning, as the Swedes would refer to it. We turned to a folklore professor in Lund to learn a bit more about Jansson’s, which can best be described as an anchovyladen potato casserole. The dish appears as “anchovy casserole” or “Anchovy dish à la Irma” in early hand-written recipe collections; the name Jansson’s didn’t appear until the late 1930s.

So who was Jansson?

What was the occasion for the very first temptation? Food writers argued for years over the origins of the name. But in 1989, writer Gunnar Stigmark revealed what might be the final answer to the enigma. The casserole had been a popular dish with the rich ladies of Östermalm in central Stockholm for quite some time, when, for a New Year’s party in 1929, Stigmark’s mother came up with the idea of making the dish somehow sound a bit more compelling. One of the blockbuster movies at the time was a film with Edvin Adolphsson called “Janssons Frestelse.” Thus, Jansson’s was born. Whether or not the story is true, which sounds more tempting to you: anchovypotato casserole or Jansson’s Temptation? You’ll find Jansson’s on the menu of most Nordic or Swedish restaurants in America near any of the traditional holidays. And it’s easy to make at home. Most recipes differ little — how thinly you slice the potato strips, how much cream you use or whether you add anchovy brine is mostly a matter of taste. Similarly, the more you rinse the potatoes and let them rest in water to remove some of the starch, the thicker the sauce will be. Here opinions part on whether one way is better than another, so don’t be afraid to experiment on your own. What is an absolute are the salty, Swedish-style anchovy fillets you can get only through a specialized Scandinavian store or one of the IKEA stores throughout

America. The much sweeter American or Italian anchovies just aren’t the same. (New York-based chef Ulrika Bengtsson sometimes combines 50 percent Italian anchovies with an equal amount of the Swedish matjes spiced herring, reportedly with good results.)

Jansson’s temptation (Janssons frestelse) Serves 4-6

1 kg (2-1/4 lb) potatoes (do not use new potatoes) 2 onions butter 100 g (3-1/2 oz) Swedish-style anchovy fillets and brine 4 dl (1-2/3 cups) heavy cream 2 tbsp breadcrumbs The Scandinavian style anchovy fillets can on the east coast be bought at Sweden’s Best, www.swedensbest.com, Scandinavian Butik, www.scandinavianbutik.com, and in the west at Scandinavian Specialties, www.scanspecialties.com, among others — they all do mail order. Instructions Preheat oven to 250˚C (425˚F). Peel and cut potatoes into strips. Peel onions and cut into thin slices. Sauté the onions in 1 tbsp butter until soft. Generously grease a deep, straight-sided ovenproof dish with butter. Layer potatoes, onion and anchovies, ending with potatoes. Press down lightly to even out surface. Pour cream over the casserole, almost to top of potatoes. Sprinkle with anchovy brine. Finally, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and dot with butter. Bake about 45 minutes. This recipe comes from Served from the Swedish Kitchen, published by ICAFörlaget Sweden.

Saint Lucia and Nobel Saint Lucia and Nobel have more in common than meets the eye at first glance. For a small island, Saint Lucia has a mighty big history when it comes to producing Nobel laureates. In fact, per capita (pop. 165,000) the sovereign island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea is second in the world of Nobel prize winners. The achievements of its two esteemed winners, Sir Arthur Lewis (Economics 1979) and Derek Walcott (Literature 1992), are celebrated during Nobel Laureates Week in January every year. On a different note, by the time you read this, Lucias everywhere will be donning their candlelit crowns and bringing to life the beautiful and beloved annual Swedish tradition of Sankta Lucia. Lucia and her attendants sing songs in the candlelit darkness, serve coffee and lussekatter, and perhaps join with others in dancing around the Christmas tree. Sankta Lucia may be known to the rest of the world as the most typical Swedish tradition, and many Swedish American families keep the tradition alive in their homes as well as in churches and festival settings, celebrating on any date in early December. But in Sweden, Sankta Lucia and her train of maidens and star boys come only on December 13 — without exception, not even for the year’s Nobel laureates who are in Stockholm for the

Nobel laureates are woken up in their hotel rooms by girls dressed in white and carrying candles ...

days surrounding the Nobel Awards on Dec. 10. Each year Sweden’s national Lucia and her attendants do, however, surprise the Nobel laureates who have stayed a bit longer at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm; they are woken up in their hotel rooms by girls dressed in white and carrying candles, celebrating the feast of St. Lucia in the early morning of Dec. 13. The experience is surely quite different from the formal events, headlined by the Nobel Banquet in the evening of Nobel Day, Dec. 10, where the royal family, the Nobel laureates and 1,300 guests gather at the City Hall, undoubtedly the social event of the year in Sweden. Swedish families gather around their televisions to follow proceedings live; style pundits rate ladies’ fashions; food pundits rate the food being served - which has been created by 45 chefs, delivered by 260 servers, and washed down with 800 bottles of champagne and red wine. The banquet always follows the awards ceremony in which

To many, both in Sweden and Swedish America, the highlight of December is the tradition of St. Lucia, the Queen of Light.

King Carl XVI Gustaf himself hands each laureate a diploma and a medal in the Stockholm Concert Hall. The sumptuous dinner is always served at Stockholm City Hall, a spectacular banquet with 65 tables in their exact positions, 500 yards of tablecloth and 6,700 pieces of porcelain, 5,400 glasses and 9,425 pieces of cutlery. Each year the menu is decided on by a jury and is kept secret until 7 p.m. on Dec. 10, though one thing is known: Dessert always includes ice cream. The 2016 Nobel Prize laureates are: Literature: Bob Dylan, “For having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Economic Sciences: Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström, “For their contributions to contract theory.” Physics 2016: David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz, “For theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” Chemistry: Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Fearing, “For the design and synthesis of molecular machines.” Physiology or Medicine: Yoshinori Ohsumi, “For his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.” (The 2016 Peace Prize, which is awarded in Oslo, was won by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, “For his efforts to bring to an end the country’s 50-year civil war.”) December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


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Annual Green Summit On November 15, the SwedishAmerican Chamber of Commerce hosted its 9th annual Green Summit at Citi headquarters. Since its inauguration in 2008, the summit has served as a forum for industry experts to address the most pressing environmental issues of our time. This year, the attention was turned to — the Future of Food: Exploring the Secret of the Three-Course Pill. An impressive lineup of academics, entrepreneurs, chefs, sustainability experts and executives gathered to explore all sides of this complex issue.

The full day conference was led by Summit Chairman, Sweden’s Consul General in New York Leif Pagrotsky. As this years Region in Focus, the chamber welcomed Gothenburg and the West Coast of Sweden, one of the fastest growing regions in Europe. SACC New York would like to extend its deepest felt gratitude to all the generous partners and brilliant speakers that contributed to the success of the 2016 Green Summit.

SACC New York - Deloitte Green Award Winners- Just Common Sense AB with SACC chairman Steve Trygg, SACC president Renee Lundholm and Consul General Leif Pagrotsky.

Swedish treat: Foam Santas Swedes have a sweet tooth indeed and one of the more popular candies of the holiday season was just introduced in a new limited edition taste. Skumtomtar, the popular Santashaped “foam” candy was first introduced in the 1960s, adding the annual limited edition tastes in 2011. Since then, Swedes have feasted on peppermint, apple, gingerbread and, last year, clementine flavored little santas. Swedish candy maker Cloetta is offering a double treat this year. The foam santas of 2016 have a taste of rice pudding (rice porridge, tomtegröt) and cinnamon. The year’s limited edition of the popular candy was released in early November but is sadly not available in the United States. We may have to stick to cherishing the taste of cinnamon on our rice pudding. Not a bad thing either. Rice pudding or porridge can be served at any time of year, but it is nearly always included around Christmas. It is normally dusted with cinnamon, sweetened with Swedish syrup (sirap) or sugar and has one almond hidden in it. Whoever finds the almond gets a task, like composing thanks in rhyme for the meal (grötrim). In the old days, if a single young man or woman found the almond, it was a sign that the coming year would bring true love. It was also considered important to put a dish of tomtegröt outside the front door for the house gnome,

or Christmas santa, who would otherwise be annoyed and cause mischief. Here’s a simple recipe for the porridge from our own cook book, God Jul, which can be just as enjoyable in the morning as a dessert after the Christmas smörgåsbord.

Christmas porridge with a touch of vanilla Serves 8

Ingredients 3/4 cup short-grain rice (grötris) 1-1/3 cups water 1/2 tsp salt 2 cinnamon sticks 1 vanilla bean 1-1/2 tbsp sugar approx. 2-2/3-3 cups milk 1 tbsp butter Instructions • Bring rice, water and salt to a boil • Add cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, sugar and milk • Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer on low for approximately 30-40 minutes • Stir regularly • Add butter toward the end to taste • Do not forget to mix in a blanched almond before serving • Serve with milk and cinnamon or fruit syrup sauce. Julgröt, there’s nothing quite as good ... not even foam Santas, juleskum.

Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016


Einstein Sabelström önskar Ken & Christina Ulla och Berthold Einstein Sabelström Wishing our friends & clients peace & happiness throughout the Holidays New&Year. Wishing our & friends clients peace &Forsberg happiness throughout Margit - Monika Davidson the Holidays & New Year. GOD JUL Alain Pinel Realtors GOTT NYTT ÅR 167 S. San Antonio Road Margit Forsberg - Monika Davidson Los Altos, CA 94022 Janet & Ernie Beck tillönskas Alain Pinel Realtors 650-941-1111 Jul & Nyårs Hälsningar 167 S. San Antonio Road Vasamedlemmar och Los Altos, CA 94022 övriga föreningsmedlemmar Från av 650-941-1111 Bo & Inga-Lill

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God Jul God Jul

Björn och Inger Skogström

Ordförande Sekreterare

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Våra Vänner

Wishing our friends & clients the Holidays & New Year. Wishing our friendsthroughout & clients The and Van Horn's peace & happiness a 2007 Margit Forsberg - Monika Davidson Margit Forsberg - Monika Davidson peace & happiness throughout Karen the Holidays & New Year. filled withAnnMarie, many happy hours in beautiful Alain Pinel Realtors Alain Pinel Realtors the Holidays & New Year. Richard III, Rick Dylan, The Van Horn's SVEADAL Jorgen Margit Forsberg - Monika Davidson 167 S. San Antonio Road 167 S. San Antonio Road Jean Stohl NelsonMargit Forsberg - Monika Davidson Jeff,JUL Elise, Stephanie & Bryan AnnMarie, Karen Anderson Butik GOD Alain Pinel Realtors Los Altos, CA 94022 Los Altos, CA 94022 & Alain Realtors Richard NYTT 167 S.Pinel San GOTT Antonio Road TOLL FREEÅR III, Rick Dylan, 650-941-1111 650-941-1111 God Jul on 167 San CA Antonio Road GOD JUL ViviAnne Bob & Donna Peterson Jeff, Elise, Stephanie & Bryan Los S. Altos, 94022 1-800-782-4132 GOD JUL ÅR GOD JUL Gott Nytt År Los Altos, CA 94022 GOTT NYTT 650-941-1111 Regstad God Jul www.andersonbutik.com GOTT NYTT ÅR God Jul - The bestseller Bob & Donna Peterson 650-941-1111 the Holidays & New Year.

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ague

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All the recipes you need for a Swedish traditional Christmas, translated for the American household and modified to fit today’s lifestyle. 72 recipes – the perfect book for Christmas!

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Call 1.800.827.9333 ext 10 or see www.nordstjernan.com for a sample and easy order

Karin Sayegh Till Walter Nyland Karin Sayegh President Treasurer

mell Brennan

Ellen Morrison Ellen Morrison Secretary

President Sverige. Walter Nyland

Secretary

God Jul Walter Nyland God Jul Gott Nytt År Treasurer all our friends Gott NyttWishing År

Christmas Wishing all all our our friends friends Wishing everyone a A Very Merry Wishing and

A Very Very Merry Merry Christmas Christmas God Jul God Jul A Garanterat! A Prosperous New Year and Wonderful Christmas God Jul and God God Jul JulMerry Christmas A Prosperous Prosperous New New Year Year and and A och

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Walter Nyland Treasurer Treasurer

önskas vänner och klienter Antonio & Helene MacPherson

Gott Nytt År 1204 Fifth Avenue

önskas vänner och klienter Antonio & Helene MacPherson

The Talbots

önskas vänner och klienter &klienter Harry önskasRamona och Antonio &vänner Helene MacPherson Antonio & Marilyn, Helene MacPherson Kurt

bestNew wishes Year God Jul Happy for a Happy New YearThe Van Horn's&

The Talbots The Family TheTalbot Talbots Ramona & Harry Christopher, Alexandra & Erika RamonaCarol, & Harry Marilyn, Kurt Carol & Tony Laudando Kurt, Marilyn, Marilyn, Kurt & Erika Christopher, Alexandra Christopher, Alexandra & Erika Christopher & Erika, SIRI M. ELIASON Carol & Tony Laudando AnnMarie, Karen Carol &Kaley Tony Laudando Alexandra, & Wayne Wood

Merry he Van Horn's Christmas Gott Nytt År The Van Horn's Richard III, Rick Dylan, ard III, Rick Dylan,The Van Horn's Ruby Nichelini December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan AnnMarie, Karen Jeff, Elise, Stephanie & Bryan se, Stephanie &and Bryan Wishing everyone a AnnMarie, Karen Mary Ann & Bob Nichelini & Family Bob & Zaida Binetti Richard III, Rick Dylan, L Richard III, Rick Dylan, Carol & Ed Madigan & Family Jeff, Elise, Stephanie & Bryan Ulf & Birgitta Ström Wishing everyone aa Happy Jeff, Elise, Stephanie & Bryan Wishing Wonderful Christmas everyone

önskar San Rafael, CA 94901 ERNEST & MALLE LANTZ 415-454-4932 Fax: 415-454-5783 AND www.skytours.com FAMILY nnMarie, Karen

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Best wishes for a Merry Christmas andstates. a Happy New Year The Pacific page 22 Clyde & Evelyn Forsman

Holiday Greetings to all dear Bay Area friends of Jim's & mine

www.andersonbutik.com

Regstad

Christmas Swedish Ladies andSociety GOD JUL of San Francisco Happy och Gott Nytt GOTT NYTTGod ÅR Jul -New YearÅr Gayla Bell - President Zaida Singers Karin Seeman Jean Nelson - Secretary / Treasurer

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önskar önskar JaneJane Sandler Åke and Sandler

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For A Happy, Healthy & Christmas & N

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önskar Board of Directors and Members The Swedish Society of San Francisco

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Ulf & Birgitta Ström

Go God Jul Go och Wishing all of my Ö Gott Nytt customers old and new, a Margi Merry Christmas and a Ak År Happy New Year! L For all of your holiday travel needs, please call or Till come to visit my office Joy andatPeace in Woodland Hills. Ask Våra Vänner about special season fares

Gott Nytt År !

God Jul & Best Wishes Gott Nytt År

For A Happy, Healthy & Joyous Christmas & New Year Karin & Mike Sayegh & Family

& Families

Board of Directors and Members Steve WilsonSociety of San Francisco The Swedish

Kerstin Eriksson-Splawn & Familj Best Wish

Logen Tegner No.149 V.O.A. OAKLAND

Merry Christmas and God Julbest & Gott wishesNytt År for a Happy New Year UIOOO

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och GOTT NYTTRuby ÅRNicheli

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Anderson Merry Christmas and aButik TOLL FREE Healthy and Happy New Year 1-800-782-4132

Bengt & Barbro Sandberg www.andersonbutik.com

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy NewsYear Season’ Greetings to all our friends Clyde & Evelyn Forsman

to Europe and Scandinavia. This Holiday Season Jorgen

Gunilla Thelin & (800) 252-4491 • (818) 593-2233

ViviAnne Roger Steiner 21800 Oxnard St., Ste. 170-180 Woodland Hills, Regstad CA 91367-3649

Res. (818) 407-0431 • Fax: (818) 593-2289

GOT Swedish Ladies Society Remember to of San Francisco send us your images and this year’s God Julstories - Gottfrom Nytt År

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celebrations. Email Gayla Bell - President editor@nordstjernan.com Jean Nelson - Secretary Treasurer or mail/ to

Holiday Greetings to all dear Bay Area friends of Jim's & mine

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P.O. Box 1710 New Canaan CT 06850

God Jul Gott Nytt År

Gunilla Ramell Brennan Swedish American Patriotic League

TWINKLE PETERSON Laura carlson President President

DENNIS ConorSEVERSON Massey Vice President Vice President

Merry

Lennart Olsson www.nordstjernan.com

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year

ASTRID OLSSON Sandy ROBWatts GREEN meryl ferrari Secretary Treasurer Secretary Treasurer

Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

NORDSTJERNAN tillönskas av

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Önskar Gott Nytt Margitha & Sten Akerlund page 23 År The Pacific states. Lincoln Till Våra Vänner

Anderson Butik

FÖRENINGENför Föreningen FÖR Svenskar i världen

FÖRENINGEN FÖR

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Frid På Jorden SVENSKARfor a Merry Christmas SVENSKAR Best wishes I VÄRLDEN I VÄRLDEN and a Happy New Year Önskar

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önskar

]

Clyde & Evelyn Forsman GOD JUL JUL och och GOD GOTT NYTT ÅR GOTT NYTT ÅR Bli medlem i föreningen

Holiday Greetings som genomfört to all dubbelt dear Bay Area friends medborgarskap. of Jim's & mine För info Lisa Wiborg Ombud i norra Kalifornien Gunilla Ramell Brennan 415-922-3236

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Nordic Swedish Society of Oakland House wishes our members and all members of other lodges

One of The Largest Selections MERRYof Scandinavian CHRISTMAS Foods and in the US For a Mail OrderYEAR form HAPPY NEW

Jorgen & ViviAnne Regstad

] Frid PeacePåonJorden Earth] Peace GOD JUL och GOTT NYTT ÅR

]

Swedish Ladies Society Consulate General of Sweden &Consulateönskar General of S of San Francisco Consulate General of Sweden GOD JUL och önskar

Sansome Street, Suite 1010År ofKerstin Science, Tech GOTT NYTT505 ÅR Office ofGod Science, Technology andOffice Industry Jul Gott Nytt Bli medlem i föreningen San Francisco, CA 94111 120Eriksson-Splawn Montgomery Stre som 120 Montgomery Street, Suite 2175 genomfört dubbelt medborgarskap. För info Lisa Wiborg Ombud i norra Barbro, Kalifornien 415-922-3236

Gayla Bell - President Jean Nelson - Secretary / Treasurer

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Merry Glad Jul och Gott Nytt År!

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wishes our members and all members of other lodges

CHRISTMAS tillönskas LOS ANGELES Gott Nytt År! En Välsignad Jul År Christmas Gott Nytt tillönskas and Vasamedlemmar och Ruby Nichelini Vasamedlemmar och tillönskas och föreningsmedlemmar NEW YEAR övriga GOD JUL and HAPPY Vasamedlemmar och övriga föreningsmedlemmar Ann & BobavNichelini & Family Bob &Nytt ZaidaÅr Binetti Anders LundgrenMary övriga GOD JUL föreningsmedlemmar Call: 1-800-854-6435 Ett Gott LOGEN FYLGIA av GOD JUL President GOTT NYTT ÅR Anders Lundgren Carol & Ed Madigan & Family av We ship anywhere Ulf & Birgitta Ström Nr. 119 V.O.A. Happy LOGEN FYLGIA President och GOTT Robert NYTT ÅR in the us! önskar E. Olson Nr. 119 V.O.A. LODGEN FYLGIA 2709 San Pablo Ave. GOTT NYTT ÅR Robert önskar Ordförande E. Olson Personalen vid New Year Nr. 119 V.O.A Berkley, CA 94702 Torborg Lundell Ordförande Personalen vid Phone: 510-705-1932 Generalkonsulatet Los Angeles Sekreterare Fax: 510-898-1753 Torborg Lundell Best Wishes www.swedenabroad.com/losangeles Zaida Singers Karin Seeman Generalkonsulatet Los Angeles Sekreterare Scott Schulkin Ordförande

Web Site: www.nordichouse.com Email: pia@nordichouse.com

For A Happy, Healthy & Joyous Christmas & New Year

Roxanne Schulkin www.swedenabroad.com/losangeles Sekreterare

Wishing all of my customers old and new, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! For all of your holiday travel needs, please call or come visitNytt at myÅr office God Jul &toGott in Woodland Hills. Ask till alla våra vänner about special season fares önskar to Europe and Stig & Yvonne Klintare Scandinavia.

GodGod Jul Jul God Jul ochoch God Jul Karin & Mike Sayegh & Family och ochVi önskar alla Gott Nytt År Gott Nytt År JUL Nytt År Vi önskar alla GODGott

Gott Nytt Årvåra vänner

God Jul & Gott Nytt År önskar och GOD JUL våra vänner en riktigt trevlig and a Merry Christmas önskar GOTT NYTT ochBoard of Directors Ett Gott en riktigt trevlig HealthyJul andoch Happy New Year Scandinavians Club andYoung Members ÅR Swedish Society of San Francisco GOTTThe NYTT Bengt Nytt & Barbro ÅrSandberg Jul och Ett GottSan Francisco TED och ASTRID ÅR Gunn & Ernst Jensen OLSSON Nytt År TED och ASTRID Ted & Astrid Olsson OLSSON Zander & Cam Alexander och Juliana Juli & Ryan

Alexander ochwww.ysc.org Juliana

Gunn & Ernst Jensen American Canyon California

American Canyon California

Gunilla Thelin (800) 252-4491 • (818) 593-2233 Res. (818) 407-0431 • Fax: (818) 593-2289

21800 Oxnard St., Ste. 170-180 Woodland Hills, CA 91367-3649

OCH GOTT NYTT ÅR! LINNEA LODGE, VOA PETALUMA, CA December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan

D


feature. page 24

Samuel Holding the edges of her heavy shawl together with one hand and clutching the letter in her other hand, Emma plowed her way up the snow-covered hill from the village, driven by her excitement. At last! Impatiently she kicked the snow off her high-buttoned boots and, without bothering to shake off the hem of her ankle-length skirt, rushed into the house. “Papa!” she shouted at the top of her voice, disregarding the families in the two downstairs flats as she hurried up the stairs noisily. “Papa has a letter from America!” Samuel looked up from where he sat tailorfashion on his cutting table, surrounded by pins and needles, scissors, tissue paper pattern pieces, and scraps of cloth. Although he had just turned fifty, his full beard was pure white. Otherwise his body gave no indication of his age, aside from a few tiny crow’s feet fanning out from the corners of his somewhat sad blue eyes. He took the letter, turning it over slowly. It bore no return address, only a black postmark stamped across George Washington’s face. Squinting, he could barely make out the words “Groton, S. D. Nov. 16, 1909.” The handwriting below was definitely Walter’s. Like others of his generation, Samuel was not a man to show emotion. But his shaking hand betrayed him. It had been over a year since he had heard from his only son, and he had begun to fear the worst. It was not uncommon that young men who went to America “to seek their fortune” were seemingly swallowed up by that huge continent and never heard from again. Seeing Walter’s handwriting now was as if he had suddenly come home again. Emma backed out of the room and closed the door quietly, leaving her father alone with Walter’s longawaited letter. Samuel cleared a pathway across the cutting table and dropped nimbly to the floor. In the desk drawer among buttons and spools of thread, he found the letter-opener that had once belonged to his father. Sliding its ivory tip under the corner of the flap, he slit open the envelope. Carefully he pulled out the single sheet of paper, unfolded it, and smoothed the creases against the tabletop. It was written in pencil, with the last sentences trailing like ivy around the edges of the page. After some searching through the tangle of words, he finally found the beginning. “Beloved Father,” it began. “God’s peace and grace be with thee. I hope this letter finds thee in good health. I apologize for my long silence. I have just returned from many months of prospecting out west in Indian Territory. I was shot in the leg during a raid and lay for weeks in a makeshift hospital, but now I am finally back home in South Dakota. I was greatly shocked and saddened to hear of Mother’s death. I had no idea she was ill. I understand it is going to be very lonely without her, especially once Emma is married. Dearest Father, please think about coming to live with me in America. I am in

Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

Judit Martin, above, whose ancestors were early English and Scottish immigrants, grew up in Franklin, Michigan. After high school in nearby Birmingham, she attended Beloit College in Wisconsin, and in 1961 graduated from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, with a degree in English and a teaching certificate. She taught for several years before setting out to fulfill her childhood dream of spending time traveling Europe. Captivated by the experience she extended her stay with jobs teaching English. When she finally came to Sweden in 1969 she fell in love with the countryside, with its remnants of the old peasant culture, and settled there.

This beginning of Judit Martin’s short story, “Samuel,” about a father who stayed behind in Sweden as most of his family immigrated to the U.S. is from Martin’s “Swedish Portraits,” a collection of five short stories. The final part of the story will come in our next issue, No. 22.

As a single mother, she raised her two Swedish-born daughters out in the country near the mining village of Zinkgruvan, where she still lives in her slightly primitive old house. For many years she worked as a weather observer for the Swedish weather bureau, going outside every three hours, day and night, to observe and report the weather, a job that left her much free time in which to write. She had several short stories published in Scottish literary magazines and two documentary books published in Swedish. Her first published novel, “Augusta’s Daughter,” about 19th century Swedish peasant life made such an impression on us, we decided to offer it to the Nordstjernan readership.

the process of obtaining a small farm under the Homestead Act. I can receive the land for free as long as I build a house and farm it. It would be nice to have a little company...” Samuel let the letter fall to the table without reading further. Unlike his daughters, who were occupied with their husbands, children, and homes in Chicago, Walter was alone and understood loneliness. His words touched Samuel in a place he had avoided going to since his wife’s death. True, Emma was still at home. She was only seventeen, but already engaged. He couldn’t bring himself to ask her to give up her future with Fritz and stay home to become a traditional “hemma dotter”[Stay-at-home daughter] in order to care for him for the rest of his life. Nor could he imagine re-marrying and sharing his life with another woman. At the same time, he couldn’t help wondering how he would manage once Emma moved away. It was she who cooked and cleaned and washed his clothes. Men did not do such work; they didn’t even know how. Of course, many widowers or unmarried men had housekeepers, but all too often such situations became complicated, resulting in illegitimate children and sometimes forced marriages. But most of all, he missed not having Matilda close by. Samuel sat down by the window and gazed out at the snow-covered forest, remembering when he and Matilda had met in a neigh-

boring village over a quarter of a century earlier ... ... The day was sunny and warm, even though it was the middle of October. Golden birch leaves dotted the path through the forest, while the last yellowing aspen leaves twisted on their stems, seemingly anxious to detach themselves and experience the once-in-a-lifetime free fall to the ground below. Samuel and his father, Torbjörn, better known as Tailor-Tor, were making their annual round through the parish, measuring, cutting, and sewing winter clothes for the members of each household. Because most country folk wore the same clothes day after day, they needed to be replaced at least once a year. As was the custom, the local tailor lived with each family while he sewed for them, enabling him to make the necessary fittings and adjustments as he worked. After having spent several weeks sewing in poor peasant homes, where the fare was the usual porridge, “blue” milk, salted herring and potatoes, and the mattresses were bags filled with straw, they were now on their way to the richest estate in the parish. Samuel had passed it many times but he had never been through the gates. As a child, he had been afraid to go near the place, for it was rumored that anyone caught trespassing

Judit Martin’s first novel, “Augusta’s Daughter,” about 19th century Swedish peasant life made such an impression on us, we decided to offer it to the Nordstjernan readership. call 1.800.827.9333 for your own copy ($21.95 incl. S&H to continental U.S.).

was beaten. Even now as an adult, having been confirmed in the state church when he turned thirteen, he felt uneasy following his father through the gate and along the gravel driveway to the side door. “I’m tailor Nordström and this is my son, Samuel,” his father told the maid who opened the door. “Madame Sahlin is waiting in the drawing room,” they were told. “Follow me.” She led them along a hall and opened the Continues on next page


feature. page 25

Read the beginning of Judit Martin’s short story, “Samuel,” about a father who stayed behind in Sweden as most of his family immigrated to the U.S. It is from Martin’s “Swedish Portraits,” a collection of five short stories. door to a large room filled with heavy furniture. A middle-aged woman was sitting beside a round table, a coffee cup in her hand. “I have been awaiting Nordström since yesterday,” she remarked coldly as soon as the door was closed behind them. “My humble apologies,” Torbjörn answered, bowing. “It is not always possible to know ahead of time how long a job will take.” “It can’t take so much time to throw together something for those good-fornothings in the shacks down the road,” she snorted. As much as Torbjörn detested the attitude of the rich toward the poor, who were poor because the rich refused to pay them decent wages, he looked at the floor and said nothing. Sewing for the people on the estate was his biggest job and he couldn’t afford to lose it. “Next time Nordström will start his rounds here at the estate,” she told him. “Yes, Madame,” Torbjörn replied simply. It took them several weeks to cut and sew for the Sahlins and their hired help. Each person was called in individually and measured for whichever piece of clothing they were to have made. For the farmhands, it was a question of a shirt or a pair of pants, which were a portion of their yearly pay. For the housemaids it was a matter of a blouse or a skirt. (A new apron was an extra bonus.) They started with the squire and his wife and children, all of whom required everything from church clothes to everyday clothes to outdoor clothes. The ordinary peasants, on the other hand, made most of their own clothes themselves. One day when Samuel had gone out to relieve himself behind the woodshed, he heard laughter coming from the barn. Suddenly, the heavy door swung open, and one of the milkmaids ran out across the yard toward him, crying. Nervously, he stepped closer to the building and finished his business. But she ran past without seeing him and disappeared into the washhouse, slamming the door behind her. The next day he once again saw her run crying from the barn, followed by the same jeering laughter. Yet another day he saw her pick up a small child who had stumbled and fallen. He could hear her soothing cooing as she cradled it in her arms, until one of the housemaids came running across the yard toward her waving a stick. “Put that child down, you slut! How many times have you been told not to touch the children. We don’t want them covered with lice!”

The milkmaid set the child on the ground gently just as the stick struck the back of her legs. She winced involuntarily. “Who is that?” Samuel asked a farmhand who had also witnessed the incident. The young man looked at him incredulously. “Has Samuel never heard of Crazy Matilda?” “Yes, of course, I have but ...” “That’s her who runs from the barn and gives people lice.” He wrinkled his nose in disgust. “But what’s wrong with her?” “She’s a bastard. Her mother was a bastard, too. She lay in the hay with any man who wanted her. And Matilda is the same.” “How does one know that?” “Because she has a bastard daughter.” “Does she still lie with men?” Samuel wondered. “Once a whore, always a whore. Samuel can try her himself.” The thought disgusted him. He had been brought up in a God fearing family, where men only lay with their wives, and that only for the purpose of procreation. “But why is she called Crazy Matilda?” “Because she’s stupid. She can’t read or write and she can barely count. She has to make a chalk mark on the wall for every liter of milk the cows give.” “But that doesn’t make her crazy,” Samuel persisted. “See for yourself. Go and talk to her.” That evening after supper, Samuel waited outside for Matilda to finish eating. She never ate with the others. Instead, she was made to wait until everyone had finished, whereupon she sat alone in a corner of the kitchen and ate leftover scraps from a bowl. She hesitated when she came out onto the porch and saw him waiting. “Hello,” he said. “I’m Nordström’s son, Samuel.” “What does Herr Nordström want with me?” she asked with a sigh of resignation. “I wondered if I may walk a little ways with Matilda.” “Just like all the others,” she remarked sarcastically. “What does that mean?” “Men are all the same. They get me by myself and force themselves on me, then say that I am a whore.” “I am not like the others,” he answered her. “I want nothing from Matilda, I promise. Just to walk and chat with her.” “People will make fun of Herr Nordström—or worse—if they see him with me,” she warned. “Let them,” he declared, walking beside her. “But why does Herr Nordström want to walk with me?” she asked. Samuel thought for a moment, unsure as to what his motive had actually been. “I don’t think anyone should be treated the way Matilda is treated by people here,” he said finally. She shrugged. “I’m used to it. It began when I was born. My mother was treated the same way. It is the fate of people like us.” They continued walking for a while. Samuel was at a loss for what to say.

“Matilda hasn’t been measured for her new clothes,” he remarked finally, glancing at her ragged blouse and patched skirt. “I’m not to get new clothes,” she said simply. “But why not?” “They say I don’t need them because no one ever sees me.” “Is that really true?” “Yes, it is so.” Samuel had often heard rumors about how badly the Sahlins treated those who worked for them, but he had always assumed such tales were exaggerated. But obviously not. By now they had reached the barn. “I must go in and clean up behind the cows before the foreman comes and beats me for laziness,” she told him. Samuel gasped. “Maybe we can talk another day then,” he offered. “Maybe.” Matilda filled his thoughts for the rest of the evening. In spite of the harshness of her life, she seemed to be rather lighthearted. And he had been deeply touched by the way she had picked up the crying child and comforted it, even though she knew she would be punished for doing so. During their few remaining days on the Sahlin’s estate, Samuel went out of his way to cross paths with Matilda. There was a goodness about her that attracted him. A motherliness. Whether the attraction was for the person she was or out of pity was not something he troubled himself over. Quite simply, he liked to be with her, and he felt he could give her a better life than what she had hitherto experienced. When he mentioned this to his father, Torbjörn was taken aback. “My son, she is ten years older than you. And she has an illegitimate child, not to mention a reputation.” “Her reputation is put on her by the men who use her against her will,” Samuel replied. “She is treated worse than an animal here.” Torbjörn was silent for a minute, considering the situation. “Perhaps you are right. I, too, have seen that she is ill-treated. But remember, marriage is a lifelong commitment. At the same time, if you are going to begin sewing on your own, you are going to need a wife to take care of the household tasks. What does Matilda think about it?” “I don’t know. I haven’t asked her yet. But under the circumstances, she can hardly refuse.” Torbjörn patted him on the shoulder. “True. You have my blessing, my son.” Samuel continued to seek out Matilda as discreetly as possible. But the evening before they were to leave the estate, he approached her more openly. “Can we go for a walk?” he asked straight out. “Of course.” They walked along the road a few minutes without speaking. “I understand the Nordströms are finished here and will be leaving tomorrow,” she remarked finally, to break the silence. There

A word from the author: Until the middle of the 1950s, life for those living in the Swedish countryside was much the same as it had been for centuries. Not only did the poor live in primitive material conditions, but their treatment, by those considered to be their superiors, was often inhumane— especially when it came to children, who were merely looked upon as a source of free labor and incapable of having feelings. But life had always been so and few had higher expectations. They made the most of the situations in which they found themselves. Judit Martin wrote four stories inspired by the lives of people she has known, or known about, who lived under the shadow of their superiors.

Third person and ‘ni’ and ‘du’ in Swedish

For the sake of authenticity and atmosphere, the stories by Judit Martin were written as people spoke at the time in which the story takes place. Well into the first years of the 20th century, Swedes spoke in a manner that sounds awkward to English-speaking ears. Instead of addressing each other directly (“Are you tired, Carl?” or “It’s time for you to get up, Carl”), they used the third person when speaking directly to each other (“Is Carl [or he] tired?” or It’s time for Carl [or him] to get up.”) In the middle of the century the use of the Swedish equivalent of “you” (ni) in its more plural form began to take over when one spoke with strangers and acquaintances, while “you” (du) in its more informal singular form was reserved for family and friends. Finally, by the end of the 1960s, there was a campaign to encourage people to use the informal singular “you” with everyone, the so-called du-reform. was an unmistakable sadness in her voice. “It has been pleasant to talk together.” “Yes, I think so, too,” he replied. “Perhaps we can talk again next time Herr Nordström comes,” she suggested. “I’m not coming again,” he told her. “I’m going to begin sewing on my own this winter.” “Oh,” she replied simply. “But I have a little problem. I am going to need someone to keep house for me while I work and earn money.” Matilda stopped and looked at him. “They say that I am a good worker,” she offered. “Soon it is free week. Maybe I could stop working for the Sahlins and work for Herr Nordström instead.” “That isn’t what I had in mind. I would like Matilda to marry me and we could have a family.” “But Herr Nordström cannot marry me!” she cried. To be continued ... The conclusion of “Samuel” will be published in issue 22 December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


feature. page 26 perspectives.

Olle Wijkström olle.wijkstrom@nordstjernan.com

Väckarklockor hör djävulen till. I varje fall när de brutalt väcker upp en människa som drömmer ljuva drömmar. Ändock behövs de. Många med god sömn skulle säkerligen mista sina jobb om inte väckarklockorna såg till att få dem ur sängen och ila till sina avlönade arbeten. Vi måste därför ofta finna oss i att diverse prylar som vi använder är nödvändiga även om vi starkt ogillar deras existens. Väckarklockor har en hel del med stämningar att göra. Sömnen är för många liktydigt med stämning. I en god sömn kan vi drömma om ljuva upplevelser. Visserligen vet jag att det också existerar mardrömmar. Men om mardrömmar tänker jag inte tala i denna skröna. På tal om uppvaknande vill jag dock berätta att Ulla, vår granne på Torö, förr hade en hönsgård med ett tiotal höns och en tupp. Ullas tupp hade för vana att gala högt i skyn vid pass sex varje morgon. Om han på detta sätt ville väcka upp alla hönsen till en ny kärleksfull morgon eller om han hade andra skäl för sitt beteende vet jag naturligtvis ingenting om. I varje fall upplevde jag hans morgonserenad med behag. Jag fann det

Kontraster

stilfullt och skönt att vakna upp till tuppens glada morgonsång. Det var mer rogivande än att tvingas avbryta en dröm på grund av en skrällande väckarklocka. Naturliga ljud är ofta att föredra framför andra. Förr i världen innan mjölkmaskiner uppfunnits kom mjölkerskor invandrande med sina pallar till korna i lagårdar när det blev dags för mjölkning tidigt varje morgon. Mjölkerskorna satte sig vid korna, pratade en stund med dem vid namn om de hette Stina eller Klara, klappade dem vänligt på halsarna, innan de med sina händer lät mjölken stråla ner i en medhavd hink. Numera hör endast korna smattret från mjölkmaskinerna som skramlas fram och sätts fast i deras spenar. Den mänskliga kontakten mellan ko och mjölkerska har ersatts av mekanik. Jag tror att korna med stor melankoli upplever mjölkningen annorlunda än de gjorde förr. Kontraster finns också på en mängd andra områden. Ibland blir vi glada att träffa livligt vitala människor. Det är uppfriskande med folk som sprider glam omkring sig. Dessemellan finner vi dylika personer alltför hurtiga och påfrestande, pratsamt ytliga. Den uppfattningen om folks beteende har vi också i kritiska stunder. Levandet är inte alltid så praktiskt enkelt som gladlynta människor tycks tro. Stundtals vill vi istället träffas och umgås med eftertänksamma personer. Människor som upplevt skilda förhållanden och lärt sig mycket. Sådant folk kan också vara tråkiga att lyssna till tycker vi emellanåt. Vi människor är sålunda funtade på olika sätt. Ibland känner vi behov av munter glättighet ibland av stillhet och eftertänksamhet. Vi vill ibland hellre väckas av en pigg tupp än av en skramlande väckarklocka. Även om vi beundrar möjligheten att bli uppväckta i tid när så nödgas. Lyckligtvis innehåller tillvaron en ständig blandning av kontraster och motstridiga stämningar. I och för sig finns det därför otaliga skäl att njuta av den omväxling vi ständigt upplever.

“ Olle Wijkströms nyutkomna och rikt illustrerade bok - Min Historia - handlar om hans minnen och möten med alla slags folk från tre kontinenter. Boken innehåller stämningar och möten. Stamhövdingar, presidenter och vanligt folk. Boken kan beställas och betalas via Nordstjernan”

Your newspaper. Your stories. Submit to editor@nordstjernan.com Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

A Christmas treat not to be missed - makes you happy every time “Ät en pepparkaka så blir du snäll” goes the Swedish saying—eat a ginger snap and become kind. True or not, strongly addictive for sure and a classic in every way around Christmas in Sweden:

Pepparkakor Ginger snaps 10 oz unsalted butter (2 sticks and a couple of tblsp) 1-3/4 cup sugar 1 cup golden syrup (“ljus sirap”) 1 cup water 1 tbsp baking soda (hjortronsalt or bikarbonat) mixed in with flour 6-1/3 cup flour 1/2 tbsp ground ginger 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tbsp ground cloves Frosting (optional) 1/2 cup confectioners sugar 2 tsp water Instruction Mix butter, syrup, sugar and spices Add water Mix in flour and baking soda Refrigerate for 12 hours Roll the pastry very thin and cut out shapes with cookie cutters Bake the ginger snaps at 375ºF-400ºF

Pepparkakor, ginger snaps: Strongly ‘addictive’ and a classic in every way around Christmas in Sweden.

Frosting Place confectiorners sugar in a bowl and gradually add water until frosting is firm. Decorate the ginger snaps with the frosting, let rest until dry.

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local events. page 27

Swedish Christmas around America 2016

California

Los Angeles/San Pedro 11 Dec 2016 5 PM Svenska Kyrkans's Lucia celebration. Lucia pageant and Lussefika. www.svenskakyrkan.se/ losangeles / losangeles@svenskakyrkan.se / 310-292-7079 Los Angeles/San Pedro 13 Dec 2016 7 PM Svenska Kyrkans's Julbord. For reservation and more info: www.svenskakyrkan.se/losangeles / losangeles@svenskakyrkan.se / 310-292-7079 Los Angeles/San Pedro 25 Dec 2016 7 AM Svenska Kyrkans's Julotta. www.svenskakyrkan.se/losangeles / losangeles@svenskakyrkan.se / 310-292-7079 Los Gatos 11 Dec 2016 2 PM–6 PM The Swedish School in Silicon Valley's Annual Lucia Celebration. Lucia performance, dancing around the tree, visit by Santa, Zaida Singers performance, glögg, baked goods and Swedish shopping. www.swedschool.org / swed_ school@yahoo.com Palo Alto 14 Dec 2016 7:30 PM Christmas in the Ballroom. Scandinavian Christmas music as well as hot cider, cookies and more! aassarsson@gmail.com / 650-704-4211 Petaluma 11 Dec 2016 4 PM–7 PM Linnea Lodge #504s Lucia Festival & Julbazaar. Lucia, smörgåsbord, dancing around the Christmas tree and Santa. linneak@pacbell.net / 707-235-3731

San Francisco/Norwegian Seamen’s Church 11 Dec 2016 11 AM & 3 PM Swedish Church Advent Service. Swedish Church choir and coffee. www.svenskakyrkan. se/sanfrancisco / sanfrancisco@svenskakyrkan.se / 415-632 8504

San Francisco/ Norwegian Seamen’s Church 24 Dec 2016 11 AM Swedish Church Julbön. www.svenskakyrkan. se/sanfrancisco / sanfrancisco@svenskakyrkan.se / 415-775-6566 San Francisco/ Norwegian Seamen’s Church 24 Dec 2016 6 PM Swedish Church Christmas dinner. For reservation and more info: www.svenskakyrkan.se/ sanfrancisco / sanfrancisco@svenskakyrkan. se / 415-775-6566  San Francisco/ Norwegian Seamen’s Church 24 Dec 2016 11 PM Swedish Church Julnattsmässa. www.svenskakyrkan.se/sanfrancisco / sanfrancisco@svenskakyrkan.se / 415-775-6566  San Francisco - Swedish American Hall 11 Dec 2016 4:30 PM The Young Scandinavians Club hosts Santa Lucia celebration. Lucia procession, lussekatter, glögg, and Scandinavian treats. More info: www.ysc.org / info@ysc.org / 415-710-0171

Connecticut

Westport - Christ & Holy Trinity Church 10 Dec 2016 5:15 PM–7:30 PM Swedish School of Connecticut's Lucia Celebration. Lucia procession, glögg and Swedish delicacies served after the performance. www. svenskaskolanct.com / svenskaskolanconn@ gmail.com / 203-893-3518

Florida

Davie 24 Dec 2016 11 AM Svenska Kyrkan in Florida’s Julafton (Gudstjänst kring krubban). www.svenskakyrkan.se/florida / florida@svenskakyrkan.se / 954-604-0605 Boca Raton 18 Dec 2016 5 PM Svenska Kyrkan in Florida’s Musikgudstjänst och Julbord. www.svenskakyrkan.se/florida / florida@svenskakyrkan.se / 954-604-0605 Lake Worth 11 Dec 2016 2 PM–6 PM Nordic Heritage Club of South Florida's Annual Julfest. Great food, dessert and coffee. $10/person. Holiday raffles! carolrune@aol.com / 561737-6476

Illinois

Andersonville, Chicago 13 Dec 2016 4:45 PM–7 PM St. Lucia Festival of Lights. A candlelit, carolfilled procession down the sidewalks of Clark Street, followed by singing and treats at the museum. www.andersonville.org/events or www.swedishamericanmuseum.org / museum@samac.org / 773-728-8111 Chicago 13 Dec 2016 11:30 AM Chicago Cultural Center 13 Dec 2016 4:45 PM Swedish American Museum and Andersonville 13 Dec 2016 7:00 PM Ebenezer Lutheran Church Lucia Celebration. Lucia celebration with holiday songs, readings, and Lucia procession. www.swedishamericanmuseum.org Chicago 18 Dec 2016 5 PM–7 PM Swedish American Museum’s Julmiddag–old fashioned Swedish family Christmas dinner. Traditional Swedish smörgåsbord with entertainment. Lucia procession, dancing around the Christmas tree, and Santa gives julklappar to all children. www.swedishamericanmuseum.org / RSVP 773-728-8111 Chicago - Ebenezer Lutheran Church 18 Dec 2016 4 PM Svensk Julgudstjänst (traditional Swedish Christmas service). www.swedishamericanmuseum.org

Iowa

Iowa City 11 Dec 2016 6 PM–10 PM Iowa City Swedish Club Lucia Fest - Lucia pageant, smörgåsbord and music. www.iowacityswedishclub.com / Jeannenelson@mchsi. com / 319-354-1762 Stanton 25 Dec 2016 6 AM–9 AM Traditional julotta services with Swedish and English sung and read. Breakfast afterward with Swedish tea rings, coffee, rolls and traditional goodies. austinpquist@outlook.com / 712-621-9885 Swedesburg 12 Dec 2016 6 PM–8 PM Swedish Heritage Society Lucia Festival. Potluck dinner at 6:00. www.facebook.com/SwedesburgSwedishAmericanMuseum / swedish@ iowatelecom.net / 319-254-2317

Kansas

Miami 10 Dec 2016 7 PM–8 PM Lucia Celebration by Svenska Kyrkan in Florida. www.svenskakyrkan.se/florida / florida@ svenskakyrkan.se / 954-374-9303

Lindsborg - Bethany Lutheran Church 25 Dec 2016 5:45 AM Julotta.Traditional Swedish Christmas Lutheran Church service. www.visitlindsborg.com / triciac@lindsborgcity.org / 888-227-2227 or 785-227-3355

Sarasota 11 Dec 2016 5:30 PM–7 PM Lucia Celebration by The Swedish Club of Sarasota. Lucia pageant, coffee, glögg and baked goods. www.swedishclubsarasota.org / info@ SwedishClubSarasota.org / 941-705-7700

Lindsborg - Bethany Lutheran Church 26 Dec 2016 10 AM Annandag Jul. Experience a traditional Lutheran Church service in Swedish. www.visitlindsborg. com / triciac@lindsborgcity.org / 888-2272227 or 785-227-3355

Georgia

Massachusetts

Atlanta 11 Dec 2016 6 PM–7 PM Nordic Lodge's Swedish Sankta Lucia Celebration. St. Lucia choir and reception. www.vasaorderatlanta.org / rygert@bellsouth.net Atlanta 17 Dec 2016 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Nordic Lodge's traditional Julbord at St. Luke Lutheran Church. www.vasaorderatlanta.org / lfulton@co.douglas.ga.us Atlanta - Druid Hills Golf Club 17 Dec 2016 7 PM–11 PM SACC Georgia 31st Lucia Gala 2016. Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord, Lucia procession, dancing and singing, snaps. RSVP 770-6702480. www.sacc-georgia.org / info@saccgeorgia.org

Boston 10 Dec 2016 10 AM–4 PM Swedish Yuletide – The SWEA Boston Fair and Holiday celebration. Foods, crafts, gifts, Swedish cafés, musical entertainment, Lucia pageant and activities for children. www.sweaboston.org / swedishyuletide@sweaboston.org East Longmeadow 11 Dec 2016 3 PM–6 PM Sankta Lucia presented by Brage-Iduna Lodge and Three Crowns Swedish Children's Club. Holiday songs, Nordic folk dances, songs, refreshments and socializing. radners122@gmail.com or jmorgan@crocker.com / 413-447-5850. Greenfield 11 Dec 2016 6 PM–8 PM Viking Lodge 756 of Vasa Order of America's annual Lucia Celebration in conjunction with St. Paul's Lutheran Church. Holiday songs, kaffe och dopp. estherjohnson4@comcast.net / 413-422-1132

Minnesota

Minneapolis 11 Dec 2016 6:30 PM–8 PM 23 Dec 2016 6:30 PM–8 PM Lantern Lit Glögg Tours at American Swedish Institute. Glögg complimented with lite bite appetizers. More info: www.asimn.org / 612-8714907 Minneapolis 11 Dec 2016 1 PM 17 Dec 2016 6 PM 18 Dec 2016 1 PM ASI’s annual Julbord at American Swedish Institute. Enjoy a traditional Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord with dopp i grytan, prinskorv, Jansson’s Temptation, Swedish meatballs, potato sausage, etc. www.asimn.org / 612-8714907 for reservation Minneapolis 23 Dec 2016 5 PM–8 PM Lilla Julafton at American Swedish Institute. Extended museum and Jul Shop hours; help decorate the ASI community Christmas tree! www. asimn.org / info@ASImn.org / 612-871-4907 Rush City 13 Dec 2016 6:30 PM–8:00 PM Santa Lucia celebration by We R Able. Lucia parade, pepparkakor and making julgranskaramel. 320-358-1211 Scandia 11 Dec 2016 6 AM–10 AM Gammelgården Museum’s Lucia Celebration. Swedish prayer service, Lucia Fest Breakfast. www.gammelgardenmuseum.org / museum@ gammelgardenmuseum.org or gammelgardenlynne@frontiernet.net / 651-433-5053 Scandia 17 Dec 2016 10 AM 18 Dec 2016 1 PM Gammelgården Museum’s Girls and Dolls Tea Party with Lucia. Bring your dolls and enjoy lunch, stories and crafts. Make a reservation! More info: www.gammelgardenmuseum.org / museum@gammelgardenmuseum.org or gammelgardenlynne@frontiernet.net / 651433-5053

New York

Brooklyn 11 Dec 2016 2 PM–8 PM Christmas Party & Luciafest at The Danish Club. Glögg, dancing around the Christmas tree, music & entertainment by Smörgåsbandet. www.facebook.com/danishclub/ or www. SmorgasBandet.com / Dragspel@aol.com / 718-748-7844 New York - Scandinavia House 11 Dec 2016 5 PM Festive holiday concert. Featuring Scandinavian and American holiday favorites as well as a traditional Saint Lucia procession. www.scandinaviahouse.org / info@amscan.org / 212-7793587 New York 13 Dec 2016 SWEA New York's Glöggmingel with Lucia. www.newyork.swea.org/events/gloggmingelmed-lucia / sweanyprogram@gmail.com Svenska Kyrkan, New York 24 Dec 2016 11 AM–6 PM The Swedish Church Christmas Celebration. Swedish food, Kalle Anka, glögg and pepparkakor. www.svenskakyrkan.se / newyork@svenskakyrkan.se / 212-832-8443 Svenska Kyrkan, New York 25 Dec 2016 7 AM Julotta at the Swedish Church. www.svenskakyrkan.se / newyork@svenskakyrkan.se / 212832-8443

North Dakota

Bismarck 11 Dec 2016 2:30 PM–4:30 PM Three Crowns Swedish American Association of Bismarck-Mandan's Lucia Celebration at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Lucia procession, dancers, pot-luck and dancing around the Christmas tree. dhswenson@msn.com / 701-255-5005

December 15, 2016 Nordstjernan


feature. page 28

Ohio

Cincinnati 11 Dec 2016 5 PM–8 PM Scandinavian Society of Cincinnati's Lucia dinner party. www.scandinaviansoc.org

Julotta with Swedish hymns and liturgy in both Swedish and English. Enjoy coffee and cardamom buns afterward. www.sahswi.org / swedishamericanhistoricalwisc@gmail.com / 262781-6113

Pennsylvania

USA

South Dakota

Dalesburg 11 Dec 2016 3 PM 39th annual celebration of the St. Lucia tradition in Dalesburg. www.dalesburg.org / ron@dalesburg.org / 605-253-2575

Texas

Austin 11 Dec 2016 SWEA Austin’s Annual Lucia and Julbazar. Bake sale, raffle, coffee, glögg, Lucia procession. http://austin.swea.org / austin@swea.org Houston 11 Dec 2016 SWEA Houstons Lucia Celebration. Lucia procession. www.houston.swea.org / sweahouston@hotmail.com

Washington

Seattle 14 Dec 2016 Svenska Kyrkans' Advents och Julgudstjänst. www.svenskakyrkan.se/losangeles /losangeles@svenskakyrkan.se / 310-292-7079 Tacoma - Pacific Lutheran University 11 Dec 2016 5 PM– 7 PM Pacific Lutheran University's Sankta Lucia Swedish Christmas Fest. Lucia and Sonoro Scandinavian Children's Choir, dancing around the Christmas tree. www.plu.edu / reicheee@ plu.edu / 253-535-7322

Wisconsin

Milwaukee - Whitnall Park Lutheran Church 11 Dec 2016 5 PM–7 PM Swedish American Historical Society of Wisconsin Lucia Celebration. Lucia procession, coffee and Swedish treats, dancing around the Christmas tree and a visit from Santa. www. sahswi.org / swedishamericanhistoricalwisc@ gmail.com / 262-781-6113 Milwaukee - Whitnall Park Lutheran Church 25 Dec 2016 6 AM–8:30 AM

IKEA 9 Dec 2016 4 PM–9 PM Swedish Christmas Julbord Celebration at all IKEA restaurants with an all-you-can-eat buffet! Contact your local IKEA store for more information. No celebration listed close to you? For continuous info from all over the U.S., see events at www.nordstjernan.com. Also, find your local SWEA chapter by going to www.swea.org - almost every SWEA organization will have Lucia and/or Christmas fairs. ______________________________________

Other Events More events and list your own, at www.nordstjernan.com-EVENTS

Old Swedes Church, South Philadelphia 9 Dec 2016 6 PM & 8 PM 10 Dec 2016 2 PM & 3:30 PM & 5 PM 11 Dec 2016 2 PM & 3:30 PM & 5 PM Lucia Fest 2016. Sankta Lucia and St. Eric’s Fair at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’ Church). www.oldswedes.com/luciafestandfair.rhtml / info@ old-swedes.org or Marlysegl@gmail.com /215389-1513

Berg “In Color” at The Shirley Fiterman Art Center from November 17, 2016 through February 4, 2017. A journey not to be missed. The Shirley Fiterman Art Center is located at 81 Barclay St., New York, NY 10007 (Subway, E to World Trade Center or 1,2,3 or A,C,E to Chambers Street) Curated by Hionas Gallery: 646.559.5906. info@ hionasgallery.com. For info,see www.bmcc. cuny.edu/sfac 12.01.2016 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM Knitting Club at Scandinavia House. 212.779.3587 | www.scandinaviahouse.org 01.10.2017 07:00 PM - 05.04.2017 09:30 PM Keyboard Conversations with internationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel. 212.779.3587 | www.scandinaviahouse.org 01.24.2017 06:30 PM - 04.04.2017 09:00 PM Music on Park Avenue: Evenings with Per Tengstrand at Scandinavia House. 212.779.3587 | www.scandinaviahouse.org

From Dalarna folk music to classic, Scandinavia House in New York offers plenty of opporunitiy to enjoy Scandinavian harmonies. 01.26.2017 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM Folk Music from Dalarna. 212.779.3587 | www.scandinaviahouse.org

MINNESOTA 11.29.2016 10:00 AM - 12.20.2016 Fables, Folklore and Superstitions at the American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis. www. asimn.org

02.02.2017 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM Schubert and the Masters of the North. 212.779.3587 | www.scandinaviahouse. org

11.29.2016 10:00 AM - 01.13.2017 05:00 PM Jul Dalmålning - Figurative Paintings Common between 1790-1850.

02.06.2017 06:30 PM - 08:00 PM Travel in Scandinavia: Sweden WASHINGTON 12.02.2016 10:00 AM - 02.28.2017 The Photography of Anders Beer Wilse Anders Beer Wilse (1865–1949) was a Norwegian engineer and self-taught photographer who lived in Seattle from 1892– 1900. He left a legacy of early photographs documenting this period of unprecedented growth and change in Seattle’s history, including views of the Alaskan Gold Rush of 1896–1899. The exhibit is on view through Feb 28. Nordic Heritage Museum. 206.789.5707. www.nordicmuseum.org.

11.29.2016 12:00 PM - 01.09.2017 05:00 PM Jul in Print Jul in Print Celebrating 100 years of Swedish Christmas publications, this exhibition on the lower level of the Turnblad Mansion features historic magazine covers from Julstämning, Husmoderns jul and Julbocken

01.08.2017 02:00 PM - 01.08.2017 04:00 PM 2-hour Intro to Swedish at ASI, Minneapolis. 01.22.2017 10:00 AM - 03.26.2017 05:00 PM Where the Children Sleep, photos by Marcus Wennman - A photo exhibit about refugee children in Europe and the Middle East NEW YORK 10.16.2016 12:00 PM - 01.14.2017 06:00 PM Borrowed Time: Icelandic Artists Look Forward, exhibit at Scandinavia House. 212.779.3587 | www.scandinaviahouse.org 11.07.2016 06:00 PM - 02.04.2017 06:00 PM Siri Berg ‘In Color’ Don’t miss Swedish artist Siri

The Photography of Anders Beer Wilse will be exhibited at the Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle. Until the latter 1880s Scandinavians had comprised a relatively insignificant proportion of the city’s population, but by 1890 they constituted fully onefourth of Seattle’s foreign-born.

‘Not my time to die’ The Titanic and the Swedes on board Perfect bound, large size paperback, 296 pages. Richly illustrated. Please send me ____ book(s) x $19.95 = _______

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The 123 Swedes on board made up the third largest ethnic group on the Titanic after the American and the British. The book profiles each of the Swedish passengers; including the 34 survivors... Mail order form to: NORDSTJERNAN P.O. Box 1710 New Canaan CT 06840 Or call 1.800.827.9333 ext. 10


local events. page 29

Remember to submit your events at www.nordstjernan.com or email all information to marianne@nordstjernan.com ©

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- where Sweden meets America (Apps by Nordstjernan)

Stockholm Santa Run For the third year, the Stockholm Santa Run is scheduled to fill the streets with hundreds of people running for charity in Santa suits. The December 11 event has been organized by Kiana Moberg, formerly from London, hoping to popularize charity fundraising in Sweden. This year’s proceeds will go to the Red Cross, the Aktivis Foundation for children with special needs, and the Swedish Children’s Cancer Foundation.

A quarterly journal devoted to Swedish American biography, genealogy, and personal history. Founded in 1981.

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sports. page 30

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is all smiles November 21, holding a miniature model of the statue after winning his 11th Golden Ball as Sweden’s top soccer player. Chipp Reid, Sports Editor chipp@nordstjernan.com

It seems only the Zlatan can humble the Zlatan. In a moment of real emotion, Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic admitted to feeling “humbled” after the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) announced November 26 it planned to erect a statue of the striker outside of the National Arena in Solna. The announcement came days after Ibrahimovic won his 11th Golden Ball as Sweden’s top football player. “It’s incredible. Normally you get a statue when you pass away, but I am alive,” he said. “I’m super happy. I’m honored. Sweden is my country and whatever I do, I represent Sweden; I will always go back there. I cannot describe the words; the whole career I went through, it has been a big adventure with many things happening and this is the outcome — I get a statue. I cannot ask for more.” The statue artist Peter Linde is to create is a 2.7-metre-tall (nearly 9 feet) version of the trophy presented to Zlatan at the same time as his latest Golden Ball. The arms-aloft design is especially pleasing to Ibrahimovic. “It’s like a gesture or a movement from a game — a typical Zlatan movement,” he said. Although somewhat humbled, Ibrahimovic was still Ibrahimovic as he spoke with Manchester United TV about his latest honor. “I’ve gone through it,” he said. “I’ve been a little bit critical because I wanted the statue to be like me: massive, powerful, magic, wow! All these combinations I wanted to get into it,

Nordstjernan, December 15, 2016

but he’s done a great job — he’s a great artist. He has his way of seeing things and he made it like a symbol that would live forever.” Despite his superstar status and unwavering self-confidence, Zlatan admits that while growing up in humble surroundings in Malmo, he would scarcely have imagined he would be immortalized in his capital city. “I come from a small area in Malmo — the ghetto, they call it — and I get a statue in the capital city of Sweden,” said Ibrahimovic, whose mother and father immigrated to Sweden from Croatia and Bosnia respectively. “I wouldn’t have believed it because I felt different. I didn’t feel like the other ones — where I came from, because of my background. But I believed that I would take over the world, that’s for sure.” Jose Mourinho, who coached Ibrahimovic while the pair was at Inter Milan in the 200809 season, heaped praise on his forward after the plans were announced. “In his country they have a few big personalities in terms of sport, but at football level he wins the Player of the Year award year after year and he has done so much for the country,” Mourinho told MUTV. “It is not usual to get a statue when you are still playing, but it is much more beautiful this way.” Ibrahimovic has set just about every record in Swedish football. He is the all-time leading scorer with the national team with 62 goals in 116 appearances. After breaking onto the soccer scene in 1999 with hometown club Malmo FF, where he scored 17 goals in 40 matches, he moved first to Ajax Amsterdam and then to Italian giant Juventus. He played

70 games in the black-and-white of the Turin side, scoring 23 times, before moving to Inter Milan in 2006 where he achieved near mythic status. He led the blue-and-black to back-toback Serie A titles, racking up 57 goals in 88 matches. He then made a much-hyped move to Barcelona, where, despite scoring 16 goals in 29 appearances, he never fit it. He moved to AC Milan in 2010, following in the footsteps of Swedish greats Nils Liedholm, Gunnar Gren and Gunnar Nordahl. In two seasons in red and black, he played 61 matches and scored 42 times. He then signed with Paris St. Germain, where his legend grew. He led the Paris club to three titles, averaging nearly a goal a game. In four seasons, he scored an astounding 113 goals in 122 appearances. He signed as a free agent with Manchester United last summer, where he re-united with Mourinho.

Ten years of wins

The 2016 Golden Ball marks the 10th consecutive year in which Ibrahimovic has won Sweden’s top soccer award. Since the SvFF began the award in 1946, no other player had won it more than twice. Zlatan gave a typically confident speech when receiving his trophy at a glittering ceremony in Stockholm “It feels unreal,” he said. “Many are thinking ‘Why him?’ and so on, but after all the hard work over 15 years in the national team and 20 years in my club career, it feels like it’s being appreciated. You usually get this after you die, but I still feel alive. When I die, this statue will live on forever.”

Photo: Andreas L. Eriksson/Bildbyran

‘The Zlatan’ achieves new heights

Ibra also uploaded a photo to his personal Instagram account with the caption: “After 20 years of hard work I got a statue in the capital city of Sweden. Who else. Super proud, happy, emotional, wow and thank you Sweden.” Former Paris Saint-Germain teammate David Beckham paid a unique tribute to his friend the SvFF played at the gala. “His physique, his passion and his love for the game hasn’t changed,” Beckham said in the message. “He is still one of the greatest players that has ever played the game — one of the reasons why I’m happy he is now playing at Manchester United, my team. Thanks for that, Zlatan.” Beckham also gave some insight into his former teammate’s psyche. “For me, Zlatan is a player who has class, always wants to win and he proved that when I moved to PSG. He was one of those players that it doesn’t matter whether we were playing an important match in the French league or on the training field — he wanted to win,“ he said. “If he wasn’t winning then he was like one of my children. He would get upset, he would get angry and he would lose it. Not that my kids lose it, but Zlatan does! For me he is a winner.”


people. page 35 31

Ruby Gala: Celebrating 40 years

In 1976 Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustav came to Chicago to celebrate the grand opening of the Swedish American Museum and during the last 40 years the museum has grown into an icon in the Andersonville neighborhood and an integral part of Chicago’s museum landscape. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the museum held a Ruby Gala in Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago with notable guests such as Swedish Ambassador Björn Lyrvall, and Consul Generals Bruce Karstadt and Gerd Sjögren. The evening offered an opportunity for Swedish friends from all over the USA to get together and for supporters of the museum to experience an evening of great food and company. The dance floor filled quickly to familiar songs as ABBA Salute took the floor and the atmosphere was celebratory and inviting. Co-chairs Kerstin Lane and Joan Papadopoulos and Executive Director Karin Moen Abercrombie reminded us that thanks to its donors and tireless volunteers, the Swedish American Museum has become recognized as a destination for unique cultural programs and exhibits, and for helping children from all nationalities find pride in their heritage and their family journey to America.

Ruby ladies at the Ruby Gala.

Photography: J. B. Siegel

Joe and Swedish American Museum founding Executive Director Kerstin Lane.

The Swedish American Museum in Chicago commemorates a milestone anniversary during its annual dinner-dance, the Ruby Gala.

Artists Bertil Wallien, Ulrica Hydman-Wallien.

Angelica Farzaneh-Far For more info on the museum, see www.swedis- Sweden’s Honorary Consul General in Chicago, Gerd Sjögren, right, with hamericanmuseum.org

friends.

Sweden’s ambassador to the U.S., Björn Lyrvall with museum sponsor Ulla Brunk.

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Nordstjernan 1621  

The holidays are around the corner and our issue 21 of 2016 is filled with the usual news and features but also traditions, trivia and lots...

Nordstjernan 1621  

The holidays are around the corner and our issue 21 of 2016 is filled with the usual news and features but also traditions, trivia and lots...