Published by Swedish News. Volume 145 No. 4, April 1, 2017. Price per copy $3.50.
Stockholm was built on 14 islands on Sweden’s east coast where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. More than 50 bridges connect the various city islands and the archipelago, feats of engineering where in some cases locks were built to make passage possible. Contributor Leif Rosqvist grew up in Stockholm and often takes us with him as he walks about the city, this time along a route that follows the water’s edge of the historic lock (sluss) system. /Page 14
easter in sweden
By 1200 AD, our Nordic ancestors were blending Christian practices that were slowly being accepted in Scandinavia with their ancient pagan rituals, thus beginning the evolution of celebrations still enjoyed today, most notably at Easter. Perhaps more than any other tradition in Sweden, Easter still blends the religious meaning of resurrection and rebirth with the more secular celebrations of all the new life that comes with spring. Story, page 12
“Lumpen” is back—a, so far, limited mandatory consciption returns in Sweden / p3 Classic Easter recipes for the spring table include salmon and cod / p13 Immigrant Footprints: Andrew Anderson, born Anders Alfred Andersson/ p22 Tough start of the season for the Swedish soccer goalie of Minnesota United / p26
WHY I CAME TO EMBRACE SWEDEN’S HIGHER TAXES An American living in Sweden brings his view on the Swedish tax system, page 18
Photo: Lenneart Månsson/Bildbyrån
dashboard | april 1, 2017 SCANDINAVIAN QUIZ
2 In Norse mythology, Sleipnir was a horse with how many legs? a) 8 b) 6 c) 12 d) 4
3 Which fish is the traditional ingredient of the Scandinavian dish “gravad lax”? a) flounder b) tuna c) salmon d) herring
In Norse mythology there are two groups of gods: The Æsir and the Vanir. The Æsir were gods of power and war, whereas the Vanirs were more connected with cultivation and fertility. Some scholars have speculated that the interactions between the Æsirs and the Vanirs reflect the interactions that occurred between social classes (or clans) within Norse society at the time. The Æsir-Vanir War occurred between the two groups and ultimately resulted in the unification into a single clan of gods. Odin, illustrated above, was the king of the Æsir, and the most powerful god. Though primarily a god of war, Odin is also associated with wisdom, poetry and magic. Odin rides ahorse called Sleipnir, and his famous spear is called Gungnir. He is also the owner of two ravens called Hugin and Munin, who tell him all the things that are happening around the world. Odin has only one eye, he sacrificed the other for a drink from the fountain of wisdom. Odin is married to Frigg and Jord, the earth. His eldest son Thor is god of thunder. Name’s Days of the Swedish Calendar Namnsdagar i april månad.
April 01 April 02 April 03 April 04 April 05 April 06 April 07 April 08 April 09 April 10 April 11 April 12 April 13 April 14 April 1
Harald/Hervor Gudmund/Ingemund Ferdinand/Nanna Marianne/Marlene Irene/Irja Vilhelm/Helmi Irma/Irmelin Nadja/Tanja Otto/Ottilia Ingvar/Ingvor Ulf/Ylva Liv Artur/Douglas Tiburtius |
New York Chicago Stockholm Kiruna Lund Los Angeles 2 NORDSTJERNAN
Sunrise & Sunset
6.39 am 6.32 am 6.13 am 5.48 am 6.38 am 6.39 am
7.21 pm 7.16 pm 7.30 pm 7.39 pm 7.45 pm 7.14 pm
4 Which of the Scandinavian countries are monarchies? a) Finland, Sweden and Norway b) Denmark, Finland and Sweden c) Sweden, Norway and Denmark d) Norway and Sweden 5 Which Scandinavian country governs the Faroe Islands a) Denmark b) Iceland c) Norway
6 Which country produces Lego? a) Germany b) Denmark c) Sweden d) Finland CULTURE
7 What is the most popular souvenir sold in Sweden? a) Dalahäst b) moose-crossing warning sign c) Pippi Longstocking doll
8 Which countries officially make up Scandinavia? a) Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands b) Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland c) Denmark, Norway and Sweden d) Denmark, Norway, Greenland, Sweden
9 What Scandinavian playwright wrote plays like “Hedda Gabler” and “Rosmersholm”? a) August Strindberg b) Henrik Ibsen c) H.C.Andersen d) Gustav Fröding 10 To what country does the island of Bornholm belong? a) Sweden b) Denmark c) Norway d) Germany Answers: 1:B, 2:A, 3:C, 4:C, 5:A, 6:B, 7:B, 8:C, 9:B, 10:B
What Swedish town is known as “rosornas stad” (city of the roses)? a) Borgholm b) Visby c) Landskrona d) Trosa
Marianne – April 4 Marianne or Mariann is a female name with several possible origins. The most obvious one might be the French form of the Latin Mariana, which means “woman” or “female.” Further back it might be related to the Hebrew name Miriam, which in the Bible was the name of Herod’s wife. There’s also a Greek name, Marianna. It can also be a form of the Hebrew Mirjam (or the Arameic Mariam). In France it became popular during the 18th century as a diminutive of Marie. The name has been used in Sweden since the 1600s but it became common only in the 1900s, peaking during the 30s and 40s. It’s the 12th most common female name in Sweden, even though few babies today are named Marianne. There are 102,758 women in Sweden with the name today - 26,280 have it as their given name. Ingvar – April 10 The man’s name Ingvar is an Old Norse name meaning “Ing’s warrior.” It is thought that Ing was a Norse god, whose identity remains unknown (see Ingemund, Ingemar, Ingrid, Ingegerd etc).
Ingvar was enormously popular during the 1920s and 30s, but has since been used only as a middle name. Today there are 48,274 men with the name, and only 8,228 of them have it as their given name.
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Ta tuffare tag mot hedersförtryck. Den 23-årige mannen överfölls och fördes bort i bil från ett torg i Gävle i april förra året. Under bilresan misshandlades och ströps mannen. Två veckor senare återfanns hans kropp intill en skogsväg söder om Sundsvall. Åklagaren anser att brottet är hedersrelaterat, att 23-åringen mördades som hämnd efter en affär med en gift kvinna. I veckan inleddes rättegången mot de misstänkta förövarna. Nio personer står åtalade, sex för människorov och mord, tre för medhjälp. Också i veckan meddelade justitieminister Morgan Johansson (S) att regeringen tillsätter en snabbutredning som ska ta fram förslag om skärpta straff vid brott med hedersmotiv. Behovet finns. Problem kring hedersvåld och hedersförtryck har diskuterats länge. Det uppmärksammade mordet på Fadime Sahindal för femton år sedan blev något av ett startskott. Dessvärre är det lite som tyder på att de ansträngningar som gjorts haft någon påtaglig effekt. Istället förvärras problemet. I en rapport 2014 som togs fram av Carin Götblad, för närvarande chef för Polisregion Mitt, bedömdes omkring 100 000 svenska ungdomar upp till 25 år leva med “hedersrelaterade begränsningar”. Till detta kommer tusentals vuxna kvinnor som är utsatta för hedersförtryck i olika former. Götblad anser att situationen har förvärrats sedan rapporten skrevs. Inte minst växer förtrycket i segregerade förorter, sade hon i en intervju förra året: “Vi kan se hur det blivit svårare för kvinnor och flickor, att deras frihet blir alltmer beskuren i vad de får göra och ha på sig.”
Gästledare från Sydsvenskan 12 mars 2017 Zeliha Dagli, grundare av organisationen Förortsfeminister, skrev nyligen om hur männen hon kallar “de skäggiga skuggorna” utövar och utsträcker sin makt i segregerade områden: “Kvinnorna har inte längre någon plats i det offentliga rummet, de stängs in i hemmen.” Utredaren, justitierådet Marie Heidenborg, ska även se över lagstiftningen vad gäller barnäktenskap. Att vissa barnäktenskap ingångna i utlandet fortfarande erkänns, trots det svenska förbudet, beror på att Sverige måste ta hänsyn till den civilrättsliga lagstiftningen i andra länder. Detta är en “lucka i lagen” som regeringen vill “täppa till”, säger Morgan Johansson. Det lär inte bli helt lätt. Enligt advokat Elisabeth Massi Fritz finns i Sverige 132 gifta barn som är placerade med sina vuxna makar. För en månad sedan beslutade förvaltningsrätten i Växjö att en gravid 14-årig flicka, flykting från Syrien, kunde placeras i sin vuxne makes familj. Sverige måste bryta hedersförtryckets grepp. Det kräver att attityder och normer förändras. Lagstiftningen sammanfattar och speglar de värderingar det svenska samhället bygger på. Där har hederstänkande som inskränker pojkars och flickors, mäns och kvinnors, mänskliga rättigheter, ingen plats. Värderingar och lagar ska stå i samklang. Därför måste lagen också vara tydlig. Och tuff.
Security concerns jumpstart the draft —‘Lumpen’ returns Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist announced March 2 that Sweden will reintroduce conscription “as a response to the new security situation” in Europe, including Russia’s assertive behavior in the Baltic Sea region. Sweden has not had any armed conflict in two centuries, but compulsory military service was introduced in 1901. It wasn’t stopped until 2010, when it was deemed acceptable to replace it with a volunteer army. Recently, however, as Sweden was caught underprepared in a number of incidents with airspace violations with Russia, among other things, the security in Sweden’s vicinity has been questioned. “We have a Russian annexation of Crimea, we have the aggression in Ukraine, we have more exercise activities in our neighborhood. So we have decided to build a stronger national defense,” Hultqvist
said. Sweden does have a professional army, staffed by volunteers. It has for the last two decades focused on peacekeeping operations abroad and less on the country’s defense, however, while juggling a dwindling budget. Sweden has roughly 29,000 active armed service members to Russia’s 831,000, meaning its military is about 3 percent the size of Russia’s. But since 2014, concerns have risen about Russia’s intentions in the region — and in 2015 the Swedish government decided to remilitarize Gotland. Around 150 men have been stationed on the Swedish island in the Baltic Sea since September 2016. The draft will restart in 2018. And for the first time in Swedish history, it will include women. It means all Swedes — male and female — born in 1999 and 2000 will be eligible as of July 1, 2017. Of the 100,000 in this age group, 13,000 will be called to be tested (the so-called “mönstring” that was earlier mandatory in Sweden). 4,000 will be called to service every year, requiring them to commit to 11 months of training.
Swedes celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring with this early bloomer, the daffodil, known as the påsklilja (Easter lily).
Online backup service taking the market by storm / Swedish study shows parents live longer / Lund students develop smart car startup / Tech-savvy Sweden applies for record number of patents / Princess Victoria returns to royal duties / Swedish housing prices on the rise Page 7
Björn Söderbäck visits family in Chicago and treats the public to a one-man show.
Swedish musician Oskar Stenmark reprises the music of his ancestors with a new blend of improvisation and world music during his U.S. tour.
Finding the American dream in Chicago. Page 14
Stockholm, a city of many islands.
The SHL didn’t get off to the start the American players were hoping for. The Exchange Rate:
$1.00 = SEK 8.82 (3.20.2017)
APRIL 1, 2017 3
dashboard | april 1, 2017
Parliament rejects quotas for women
Riksdagen, Sweden’s parliament has rejected plans to introduce legislation that would fine listed companies who fail to appoint women to at least 40 percent of board seats. The social democratic government announced in September 2016 that it was drafting the legislation, but the center-right opposition and a far-right party, which together hold a majority in parliament, told parliament’s law review committee in January that they would not support the project. “The current gender distribution on the boards of listed companies is not satisfactory. However, the committee thinks a more even gender distribution should be encouraged through other means than legislation,” parliament summarised on its website. “I regret it … We’re advancing very slowly toward gender equality in the boardroom,” the enterprise minister, Mikael Damberg, of the Social Democrats, told Swedish media.
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A topping-out ceremony is traditionally marked with a wreath or flag on a gable. In Scandinavia when there’s no topping-out ceremony it is symbolized by a doll (the developer) hung on the building, above.
Nordic Heritage Museum celebrates new building
Taklagsfest in Seattle
A “taklagsfest” (topping-off ceremony) is a centuries-old Nordic custom that dates as far back as the Viking era. It’s the celebration following what Colonial America would have called a barn raising — in which an entire community works together to help a neighbor build a barn, house or other structure. The Nordic ceremony traditionally includes affixing an evergreen tree or wreath at the highest point of a new structure, a practice still used in the U.S. after being brought here in the 1800s by Scandinavian immigrants. On March 17, the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle celebrated a construction milestone with a traditional “topping-off” ceremony. A fir tree was ceremoniously placed on the final beam of the museum’s new building to commemorate completion of the steel structure at the new site. Donors, staff and volunteers had the opportunity to sign the final beam before it was placed. Nordic Heritage Museum is currently located at 3014 NW 67th St., Seattle and expects the new facility at NW Market Street to be completed for a grand opening in May 2018.
Breakfast at Pippi’s
Dress up as your favorite character from the Pippi stories and join the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle for Swedish pancakes, live music, dancing and a craft. No reservations needed. At 12-1:30 PM, continue the Pippi celebration with a family viewing of Pippi in the South Seas (dubbed in English), for all ages. Nordic Heritage Museum on April 8 at 10 a.m. 206.789.5707 / www.nordicmuseum.org
Herr & Fru | Mr. & Mrs.
Her: My crime story Him: But, the game begins now. (Him, wasn’t over! watching football)
Her: Alright, I’ll switch to a program on construction.
Her: At least that’s something we both dislike.
dashboard | april 1, 2017
Pernilla August’s 2016 film “The Serious Game” (Den allvarsamma leken) with Sverrir Gudnason and Karin Franz Körlof is showing at Scandinavia House, NYC on March 29. For more info, see www.scandinaviahouse.org
Swedish dropbox challenger Swedish dropbox challenger Deego, founded in 2009, has added four million users in little over a year. Five million users around the world use the online backup service www.deego.com, which is free and offers users up to 100 GB free storage space. The company’s revenue comes from Deego’s premium version and add-ons.
Parents live longer
Parents seem to live longer than childless people and the difference is greater among men, according to a new Swedish observational study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The study by researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University included more than 704,400 men and 725,200 women, born in Sweden between 1911 and 1925. The difference in mortality between parents and childless people increased with age and was slightly higher among men than women. At age 60, the difference in life expectancy was nearly two years between fathers and adult men without children. The corresponding figure was 1.5 years for mothers, compared to childless women.
A smart car for the 21st century
The crowdfunded student startup Uniti Sweden, which raised $1.3 million through FundedByMe, is about to partner with German Siemens. Plans are to build 50,000 electric cars annually, made from sustainable composite materials, beginning in 2018. The two-seat vehicle, called L7e, has a 15kw engine, weighs just under 900 pounds and will take you 90 miles at a max speed of 80 mph. First deliveries are scheduled for 2019 with a projected price tag of $22,000. Uniti Sweden began as an innovation project at the University of Lund, Sweden. www.unitisweden. com
Tech-savvy Sweden ranks high with the European Patent Office (EPO).
The land of innovation
Tech-savvy Sweden ranks high with the European Patent Office (EPO) for the number of patent applications submitted for new inventions. Per capita, it submits the third most in Europe, behind Switzerland and the Netherlands. The EPO approved 2,661 patent applications from Swedish companies in 2016, approximately 37 percent more than 2015. Not surprisingly, one in four Swedish applications was in the area of digital communications, with Telecom giant Ericsson behind one-third of the requests; other popular areas were transportation and health technology. Last year was a record year in general, with the EPO granting 96,000 patents for many countries — that’s a 40 percent increase over 2015 and a new high for the organization. ROYAL
Princess Victoria’s royal duties
Following Swedish protocol which allows parents as many as 476 days of leave after the birth of a child, Crown Princess Victoria isn’t expected to return to her royal duties until the end of March. She has made appearances at a few events in the last year, and after celebrating Prince Oscar’s 1st birthday on March 2, the Crown Princess opened the 2017 Baltic Sea Future congress earlier this week in Stockholm. As an ambassador for the UN Global Goals, she discussed the Baltic region’s potential for researchers, entrepreneurs and investors to find a new way in sustainable development.
House prices continue to rise
Apartment prices in Sweden rose 8 percent in February from a year earlier, according to Svensk Mäklarstatistik, figures from the association of Swedish real estate agents. Prices of single-family homes rose 10 percent.
APRIL 1, 2017 5
Around Swedish America CALIFORNIA Thousand Oaks 04.01-02, 10 AM-5 PM Scandinavian Festival: Celebrate the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Sami with music, dancing, food, lectures, demonstrations, vendors and activities for all ages. California Lutheran University, 805.241.1051 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.scandinaviancenter.org San Jose 04.04, 6-10 PM Swedish Heritage Night: Sharks (with Swedish player Melker Karlsson) vs Canucks. Wear blue and yellow, and join us on the ice after the game for a picture with Swedish player Melker Karlsson. The first 100 ticket buyers get invited to the pre-game reception, too. SAP Center at San Jose. sf@ consulateofsweden.org / buy tickets: www.SJSharks.com/Swedish with code: SWEDISH. South Pasadena 04.23, 9 AM-7 PM West Coast Kubb Championships: The tournament is open to players of all levels and ages. Teams should consist of a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 6. $40/team, $20/individual; individuals assigned to a team. Register via https:// www.eventbrite.com/e/2017west-coast-kubb-championshipstickets-30881384051, or email email@example.com. LA Kubb Club. www.lakubb.org ILLINOIS Bishop Hill 04.01, 10 AM-5 PM Vasa Exhibit Opening: The 2017 season opens with a new exhibit of Swedish and Swedish-American handcrafts, art and the rise of the handcraft (sold) movement in Sweden. Vasa Museum, 309.927.3898/ www.bishophill.com
HOME | CRAFT | FOODS | CLOTHING | KIDS | CULTURE
INGEBRETSEN’S NORDIC MARKETPLACE
WWW.INGEBRETSENS.COM 1601 EAST LAKE STREET, MPLS MN 55407 P.612.729.9333
04.28, 6 PM Valborg and Wiener Roast: The traditional Swedish bonfire welcomes spring’s return, with yand games and activities for the whole family. Hot dogs for roasting, buns, coffee, iced tea, and hot chocolate will be provided. Free; visitors are encouraged to bring a dish to share. Vasa National Archives, 309.927.3898 / www.bishophill.com Chicago 04.04, 1-4 PM Easter Crafts for Kids: Have fun learning about fun Swedish Easter traditions from creating Easter trees with feathers to dressing up as witches! Preregistration required at the museum or online. Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / firstname.lastname@example.org 04.09, 10-11 AM One Million Cats and Lots of Hats Swedish: Actor Björn Söderbäck performs his one-man-show “One Million Cats and Lots of Hats” based on Elsa Beskow’s story about the very, very small lady and her cat. RSVP at the museum or by email. Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / email@example.com 04.15, 5-9 PM Påskmiddag: Celebrate Easter at a traditional smörgåsbord and by hunting for Easter eggs in the permanent exhibit. Reservations can be made at the museum or online. Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / www. swedishamericanmuseum.org Ongoing through June “22 Sustainable Houses from Bollnäs to Kiruna” is a series of photographs by architects whose work reflects their wish to preserve natural resources and contribute to long-term ecological balance in their housing concepts designed for the northern climate of Sweden. “Chicago Streetwalk” is an exhibit of local photos by Mats Alfredsson, who views street photography as a means of discovering and documenting individuals and places that usually are not noticed. Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / firstname.lastname@example.org MARYLAND Baltimore 04.01, 5:30-9 PM Swedish Påskbord: A traditional Easter smörgåsbord of herring, various salmon dishes, potatoes, eggs, crispbread, cheese and Påskmust. Advanced purchase from the Ikea Baltimore Restaurant highly recommended to guarantee a seat. Ikea Baltimore, 8352 Honeygo Blvd. www.ikea.com/us/en/ store/baltimore/activities MASSACHUSETTS West Newton 04.10, 12:30-2 PM Nordik Kids Påskris: Drop in to decorate branches with brightly colored feathers in a Swedish tradition to bring the sunshine inside and symbolize the coming of spring. Registration suggested. Scandinavian Cultural Center, 617.795.1914 / www.scandicenter.org
Sofia Talvik photographed for Nordstjernan during an earlier visit to New York by Hannan Aquilin.
Sofia Talvik’s April Yo-Yo Tour Unmistakably Nordic in flavor, the North Sea siren Sofia Talvik somehow still conforms to American interpretations of her own original music, blending sparkle and melancholy, creating a special niche of folk music that has been described as neo-folk. She is a veteran performer with six full-length albums as well as numerous EPs, singles and tours behind her. Growing up in Sweden her music has always had a special tint of her Scandinavian heritage, making her a favorite among music lovers, but her 16-month, 37-state tour through the USA has moved her new album ”Big Sky Country” closer to the Americana tradition. The adventure on the road spurred a lot of emotions, of triumph and joy, but also of self doubt and defeat - all of which found their way into the songs. Living like a musical nomad,
moving from place to place in an old RV, she is slowly but steadily building her audience through her heartfelt and personal performances. The people she met opened their homes and hearts to her and some of them even made it into her songs. She has experienced America in a way few people do. In her ”home away from home,” Talvik has been compared with giants like Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins, as well as fellow Swedes “First Aid Kit,” but she has her own raw quality, a down to earth sound that makes her brilliant songwriting shimmer even more. She doesn’t have to hide behind the sounds; her songs and performance speaks for themselves. Talvik performs concerts in the Northeast throughout April and early May then heads south. Visit sofiatalvik. com/gigs to find a concert near you.
SAN FRANCISCO Lördag 14 maj kl 11.00
i Norska sjömanskyrkan. Staffan Eklund avskedspredikar och Louise Linder leder gudstjänsten, körsång med kör både från Los Angeles och San Francisco. Kyrkkaffe.
CHURCH OF SWEDEN AT Norwegian Seamen’s Church
2454 Hyde Street, San Francisco • Tel: 415-632-8504 Mer information: www.svenskakyrkan.se/sanfrancisco
Millions of cats, lots of hats Swedish actor and drama teacher Björn Söderbäck will be in Chicago to perform “Millions of cats and lots of hats” at the Swedish American Museum. Söderbäck got his first training in acting and directing at Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri in 1969. He’s been working on stage, radio, television and film back in Sweden for the better part of 40 years. As a father and grandfather (of Chicago residents), he has “collected” stories and has a large number of one-man performances for all ages. “Millions of cats and lots of hats” is aimed at children (and adults), ages 3 to 8, who understand Swedish. It is a compilation of several well-known stories. The interactive show is interspersed with songs and games, inspired by “The tale of the little, little old woman” by Elsa Beskow, which is a story that all Swedish children know, says Söderbäck. “It’s one of the first stories they hear. And so did I over 60 years ago.” The 40-minute show at 10 a.m. on April 9, 2017 is free but seating is limited. Please make your reservations by emailing email@example.com or at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 North Clark St., Chicago. www. swedishamericanmuseum.org MINNESOTA Minneapolis 04.04, 6:15-7:45 PM Traveling to Sweden this summer? Part 2 of a 3-part class that introduces you to Swedish and the lovely country where it is spoken. Bring a map of Sweden and purchase “Swedish Dictionary and Phrasebook” by Hansen and Nilsson from the Museum Store. $30/ASI members, $40/non-members. American Swedish Institute. www. asimn.org 04.09, 12:45-2:45 PM The Devil’s Sanctuary: Discuss the thriller by Swedish author Marie Hermanson. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 / karen.n@ asimn.org /www.asimn.org 04.15, 9-10:30 AM Easter at the Castle: Hunt for colorful eggs hidden throughout the 33-room Turnblad Mansion, celebrate other holiday favorite traditions with the Easter Witch, add feathers to the Easter tree, make Swedish-style greeting cards to share with friends. Register by April 7. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 / firstname.lastname@example.org. / www.asimn.org
Björn Söderbäck will perform “Millions of cats and lots of hats” at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago on April 9.
04.21-04.22, 9-10 AM Kids at that Castle: April Showers Bring May Flowers - Come play as we read about mud, worms, and rubber boots! Make a morning playdate during this primetime fun time for kids ages 2-5 and their grown-ups. For an hour before the general public can enter the museum, ASI opens its doors to the younger crowd for creative activities including visual games, storytelling, music and movement inspired by ASI exhibitions, the Turnbald Mansion or special times of the year to encourage adventurous and curious young minds. $8/family, registration not required. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 / email@example.com. / www.asimn.org MISSOURI St. Louis 04.07, 6-8 PM Swedish Påskbord: All-you-caneat Easter smorgåsbord! Seating is limited so purchase your tickets early - for meatballs and mashed potatoes, Jansson’s Temptation, Swedish ham, prinskorv, herring, salmon, cheeses and breads and more, plus assorted desserts, fountain drinks and hot beverages. Ikea St. Louis, 1 Ikea Way. www.ikea.com/us/ en/store/st_louis/activities
Growing up with Elsa Beskow
It’s part life in Sweden to grow up reading Astrid Lindgren, Gunilla Bergström and Elsa Beskow. Three completely different but complementing authors: Lindgren wrote about the Swedish countryside that she grew up in; Bergström wrote about a boy in contemporary Sweden and the challenges he faced in everyday life; and Beskow brought magic into our lives. She wrote about the blueberry king in “Peter in Blueberry Land,” brothers living in a hat in “The Children of Hat Cottage,” and the princess who befriended a bear in “Princess Sylvie.” Elsa Beskow captured our imagination with her stories, sometimes written in rhyme. She taught us life lessons and explained consequences. She introduced us to the wonderful world around us by bringing nature to life in the form of lively talking creatures. My favorite story is “The Flower Festival” where a little girl is invited to a Midsummer celebration by the flower
fairies. The girl gets to meet the flowers, berries, fruits and vegetables living in her garden. Even more captivating than her words to me where her pictures. She was a most amazing artist and illustrated her books in a colorful and imaginative way. As a child I had a very vivid imagination, but Elsa’s pictures surpassed anything I could come up with myself. Before I could read, I would just sit and look at the pictures and pretend to be the main character in the story, the child who had he rare opportunity to visit the land of the fairies. A world my grandmother had told me about so many times before. By Angelica Farzaneh-Far APRIL 1, 2017 7
local events NEW YORK 04.03, 6-9 PM SATContemporary Reading Series: The Summer Without Men is an adaptation of Siri Hustvedt’s bestselling novel by Karen-Maria Bille and Peter Langdal. In the adaptation, three actresses play 12 characters, telling the universal story of a woman’s search for her lost identity after her husband has left her. Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www. scandinaviahouse.org
04.05, 6-9 PM The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki: The true story of Olli Mäki, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title. Immensely talented and equally modest, Olli’s small town life is transformed when he is swept into national stardom and suddenly regarded as a symbol of his country … but there’s a problem: Olli has just fallen in love. Directed by Juho Kuosmanen (Finland, Germany, Sweden, 2016). Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / www.scandinaviahouse.org
Haram Christensen Corporation
04.06, 7:30 PM Swedish pianist Per Tengstrand performs with Shan-shan Sun in Masterpieces for Two Pianos to close out the season’s music series with Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / www.scandinaviahouse.org OHIO West Chester 04.07, 5-9 PM All-you-can-eat Påskbord: Enjoy Swedish ham, meatballs, cheeses and more! Ask a restaurant co-worker for more details and purchase tickets early. Ikea West Chester, 9500 Ikea Way. http://www.ikea.com/ us/en/store/west_chester
PENNSYLVANIA Philadelphia 04.09, 2-4 PM Easter Family Fun Day: Celebrate Easter like a Swede – with witches, egg hunts and colored feathers. Children get to dress up, have their faces painted and make crafts that reflect the Swedish celebration of the holiday. And since Easter is the Swedish holiday for sweets, there will be an egg hunt for children on the museum grounds, weather permitting. Admission is $10/ person and free/age 2, and includes museum admission. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 /www. americanswedish.org
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Replica of Kalmar Nyckel, home port in Wilmington, Delaware.
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Experience the rich historical heritage of the 7th Street Peninsula and the Colonial-era cultures of the Lenni Lenape, Swedes, Finns, Dutch and English during an afternoon of fun and learning for the whole family on April 30, 2017, from 12 to 5 p.m. in Wilmington, Delaware. Festivities begin at noon with the Landing Ceremony at Fort Christina Park; performance by The Lenape Drum Group and Dancers. At 1 to 4 p.m. enjoy tours of Copeland Maritime Center and the Kalmar Nyckel, vendors and music, children’s crafts and games, crafts and exhibitors, and demonstrations such as candle making to weaving. At Old Swedes Historic Site is an archaeology dig and artifact exploration, audienceparticipation storytelling with Alfie Moss, scavenger hunt and children’s crafts, live music, a demonstration of open-hearth Swedish cooking and handcrafts, vendors and food trucks. Entry and most activities are free; several charge a nominal charge. Water Taxi departs from the Kalmar Nyckel dock offering rides on the Christina River from 1 to 4 p.m. Participating locations include First State National Historical Park (Old Swedes Historic Site and Fort Christina), the Kalmar Nyckel and Copeland Maritime Center, and a free shuttle bus provides transportation among the locations. Old Swedes Historic Site, 606 N. Church St., is open for morning, group and school tours by appointment and is open with regular hours on Wednesday through Saturdays at 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 302.652.5629 / www. oldswedes.org/events
piatruba reprise in the u.s. I was born in Gothenburg, Sweden but moved to New York in 2014. Back in 2012, I formed a trio to explore the music my family has played for generations in Gärdebyn, a small village outside Rättvik in Dalecarlia in central Sweden. I remember a couple songs I would hear at Midsummers in Rättvik. I always longed to go to there, because that’s where the tradition is the strongest in Sweden. People dress up in their national costume, the “Rättviksdräkt,” and there are a lot of fiddlers who play all night. I was inspired to create my trio, Piatruba, by my farmor (grandmother). She was born in Gärdebyn to a family of musicians. Her father Hans was a fiddler, and he and his brother Olle were “Riksspelemän,” highly respected musicians who represent an ancient tradition. My farmor, Elsie Börjes, inherited all the melodies from her family and she quickly became a great violin player. At age 11, she went to Stockholm to audition for the Royal Academy of Music, and her family eventually moved there so she could pursue her violin studies. In 1956, at age 17, Elsie went with Rättviks Spelmanslag on a tour to the U.S. visiting New York, Washington, Rockford, Chicago, and Minneapolis. The trip was a big success, meeting some of the hundreds of thousands of Swedes who had immigrated to the U.S. When she returned to Sweden, she was hired by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the first woman to ever have a full-time contract. My farmor is the only person still alive from that U.S. tour, and she has told me a lot of stories about it. Through her I was introduced to polskas, waltzes and walking tunes, some traced back to the 1700s. I am the seventh generation to play these tunes, though my methods are a bit less traditional. In the tradition of master and apprentice, Hans and Olle were taught violin by Perols Gudmund, also from Gärdebyn. He documented around 400 songs and is responsible for “Gärdebylåten,” which became the signature melody of Rättviks Spelmanslag. His master, Pers Gudmund Hansson, was born in 1839 and is
Oskar Stenmark performs at the Morgan Museum & Library, NYC at the end of March, then later goes on tour in the Midwest. Photo: Diego Llarull.
said to have been taught by Dal Jerk, a legendary fiddler from Rättvik. I play flugelhorn, a mellow version of the trumpet that I sometimes compare to the viola in the string family. The flugelhorn blends well with other instruments, especially violin, piano and bass. I have acquired recordings made by my father Michael in the 1960s and ’70s, in which Olle and Hans Börjes are playing. Together with scores provided by Elsie, I started puzzling the music together, blending it with improvisation and world music. In Piatruba we try to move the music from the past into the future. When I came to New York I had already released an album with the trio and wanted to further develop the music with new elements. Together with some of New York’s greatest jazz musicians I started my New York quartet, devoted respecting the original melodies but turning them into something you’d hear at a jazz club. A lot of the original music is performed on violin only, so I started playing rhythms and harmony that could accompany the melodies. To honor my grandmother, I decided to recreate her tour in June. I will perform at the Midsummer Festival at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis on June 17
and visit Rockford, Chicago, Bishop Hill, Eau Claire and New York (subject to change). I hope to introduce the Swedish American communities to the music and stories of my family, to exchange experiences and learn more about the people who left Sweden but kept their traditions. Maybe I’ll meet people who remember the tour of ’56, or I’ll
find documentation about the visit, and bring it home for Elsie, who still plays, but only on special occasions. Her life is remarkable, and I would like to pay tribute to everything she has passed on to me. Piatruba will be on tour in the U.S. from June 17 to June 23, 2017. To hear their music and get concert information visit www.oskarstenmark.com
LOS ANGELES Söndag 2 april kl 11.00
med körsång, kyrklunch & söndagsskola
Tisdag 11 april kl 18.30: Svenskafton Vi firar påsk tillsammans med Norska sjömanskyrkan, torsdag 13 april kl 18.30:
SKÄRTORSDAGSMÄSSA Fredag 14 april kl 19.30
Svensk körensemble, Staffan Eklund predikar.
Söndag 16 april kl 11.00
PÅSKDAGSMÄSSA Svensk kör och kyrklunch.
Senaste nytt om alla våra aktiviteter hittar du på vår Facebook- och hemsida!
SVENSKA KYRKAN, LOS ANGELES 1035 South Beacon Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 Tel. 310-832-6800 • Epost: email@example.com Hemsida: www.svenskakyrkan.se/losangeles På facebook heter vi “Svenska kyrkan i Los Angeles” APRIL 1, 2017 9
InBox Henry Lindquist of Bolivar, NY just turned 101 years old on March 18. Born to Swedish immigrants Erick and Karolina in 1915—a year when Woodrow Wilson was president, WWI was in its second year and Babe Ruth ran his first home run
Grattis på födelsedagen Henry Lindquist, who just turned 101!
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for the Boston Red Sox. According to an earlier interview in the local Olean Times Herald, Lindquist’s father wanted him to be a doctor. “I told him I’d rather do something to keep me busy and took a job with Messer Oil after finishing school at 17.” And that’s what Henry Lindquist has continued to do, now for 84 years. His niece Margit Welk of Coudersport, PA sends her best wishes to her still driving uncle! Väddö is an island in the Baltic Sea in the Roslagen district, Sweden. It is situated in Norrtälje Municipality about 60 miles northeast of Stockholm. Together with the adjoined Björkö it is considered the seventh largest island of Sweden.
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Ed note/ Vasa Star editor Amanda Olson Robison is still waiting to learn the results of her parents’ DNA tests, sent in earlier this year, but welcomed this message from our reader in Oregon. If you’ve recently found out more about your Swedish DNA, let us know! editor@ nordstjernan.com
ing Spr ing! er Ord
In Stoc k!
body. mind. sole.
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Dear Editor, I just finished reading the last issue of Nordstjernan, and I wanted to let you know of my experience with the results of my DNA test. Coming from Sweden, with relatives of both sides of my family going back a number of generations, I was convinced that I would find that I would be 100% Swedish (Scandinavian). To my great surprise, the results showed that the estimate revealed: Scandinavia 59%; Finland/Northwest Russia 18%; Europe East 12%; Europe West 9%; Great Britain 2%. Your cousin in Göteborg is correct! Coming from Norrtälje on the east coast of Sweden, I can imagine my Viking ancestors traveling east to Russia, and beyond. I can also imagine them returning with an attractive woman under each arm, not knowing that hey would thoroughly confuse future generations. On a different subject, during my return to Sweden last September, I met a very colorful gentleman who operates a prominent meat processing establishment near Väddö. I would love to write a story about him and his smokehouse for your readers, once I receive his permission to do so. If you think it would be of interest, I will pursue it. I lost my wife last year, but have made plans to return to Sweden this next September, this time bringing my son, Erik, and show him my hometown, and have him meet all the relatives. Still enjoying Nordstjernan! Anders Andersson Salem, Oregon
local events 04.16, 1 PM Whether you are new to Scandinavian spirits or you’re an aficionado, come for an exclusive guided tour of the Skål! Each tour explores the history of Scandinavian spirits and the role those beverages play in the heritage of Scandinavia America. Learn how to properly Skål (cheers!) at the end of the tour with an Aquavit tasting. Must be over 21 and pre-registration is required. The next tour and tasting night is May 20. American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia, 215.389.1776 / info@americanswedish. org / www.americanswedish.org SOUTH CAROLINA Charleston 04.22, 10 AM-4 PM International Kubb Festival: For the love of Viking chess! Food, performances, music and more. Indoors rain or shine. Charleston Kubb Club, 843.760-4450. www.facebook.com/Charleston Kubb Club TEXAS Houston 03.30, 5-8 PM Nordic Traditional Thursday: Network
with traditional Swedish food and friends from other Nordic and European Chambers of Commerce in Houston. Pea soup, Swedish and Finnish pancakes, beer, wine and punch will be served. RSVP not required, $15 at the door. Chef Søren Pedersens Kitchen, 2314 Dunlavy St. firstname.lastname@example.org / www.sacctx.chambermaster.com 04.06, 7-11 PM Jenny Berggren, lead singer of Ace of Base, sings in concert! Ace of Base is Sweden’s third-most successful band after ABBA and Roxette. George R. Brown Convention Center, 713.516.2050 / www.amconcerts.com
the most popular films and tv shows from sweden
swedish dvd releases Order Swedish language movies on DVD. All videos are in the original language with English subtitles.
WISCONSIN Amery 04.04, 6-8:30 PM Hero of the Holocaust: Presentation on Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg includes the film “Hero of the Holocaust Raoul Wallenberg.” He saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jewish people during the Nazi occupation of Hungary but mysteriously disappeared in 1947. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. www. foreverswedish.net/index.html
SACC-Georgia Golf Tournament The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia invites companies, chambers of commerce and friends to join its Annual Golf Tournament at Laurel Springs Golf Club premiere private golf course on April 24. Each 4-person team will represent its company in an 18-hole round of golf, 9 holes of scramble and 9 holes of best ball. Special contest: Closes to the hole long drive competition. Welcoming to a great day of golf, business networking, and fun among new and old friends, acquaintances, colleagues, professionals and chamber members in Georgia. Food and drinks will be served during the award reception and a prize will be given to the tournament winners! For registration and more information, see www. sacc-georgia.org
Sweden’s selection for the Oscar’s
Immerse yourself and family in swedishness with the latest dvd releases from Sweden. A Man Called Ove ($29.95 = _______ The Last Sentence $29.95 = _______ The 100 Year Old Man $29.95 = _______ The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy Extended Boxed Set $39.95 = _______ Wallander Series 2 Boxed Set $74.95 = _______ Max Manus: Man of War (in Norwegian) $19.95 = _______ Jackpot (in Norwegian) $24.95 = _______
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Swedish food and candy, design and decorations for a uniquely Swedish Easter. 349 Main Ave. | Norwalk, CT 06851 | 203-529-3244
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Easter: A Swedish tradition of traditions Easter is among the most celebrated holidays of the year in Sweden with Christmas and Midsummer. To many Swedes, it’s now more secular than religious, but the traditions and their history remain very important. The word for Easter in Swedish is påsk, from the Hebrew pesach (or Passover). Easter week starts with Palm Sunday, commemorating Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Christians around the world carry palm fronds and lay them before Christ, but in Sweden’s cold climate, other kinds
of branches have been used; early budding varieties of willow have long been a common choice. Today, many Swedes place silver birch twigs in a vase on Maundy Thursday. They’ve often been bought a couple weeks early so they have time to bud. For Easter — on April 16 this year — the twigs are decorated with colored feathers.
Swedes decorate eggs, too
The Easter egg has a long history in Sweden. Colored clay eggs have been found in graves on the island of Gotland dating back to pre-B.C. times. The eggs were painted red and yellow to represent sunrise and sunset. When Sweden was a Catholic country (from the 12th to the 16th centuries), Easter was preceded by a 40-day fast. During that time, people were not permitted to eat eggs, cheese, milk or meat, but they were eaten in celebration on Easter. Hens begin to lay a lot of eggs come springtime, another reason eggs have special meaning at this time of year, and decorating them is still popular for Easter dinner (usually a smörgåsbord). Children receive Easter eggs that may be ﬁlled with candy or toys. The Easter Bunny is a new arrival to Sweden, via Germany, and is often the one to deliver the special eggs.
The Easter Witch
One of Sweden’s unique Easter traditions may sound a lot like Halloween: On Easter Eve, many children
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dress up as Easter witches or hags (påskhäxor). They put on the gaudiest clothes they can ﬁnd, paint their faces and knock on people’s doors asking for candy or money in exchange for Easter drawings or cards. The tradition comes from an old belief that witches and other evil spirits would fly through the night of Maundy Thursday (skärtorsdagen), to meet at Blåkulla, the Blue Mountain. There, they would dance and consort with the devil. So in the old days, people lit big bonﬁres to scare away witches and keep darkness and the forces of evil at bay.
Foods of Easter
Each region or “landskap” in Sweden has its own Easter food traditions, but most of the dishes include eggs, and lamb or salmon. Generally, the “påskbord” (Easter smörgåsbord) tends to be lighter than at Christmas, and in addition to colorful boiled
eggs, there may be roast lamb, deriving from a Jewish custom. It’s also common to ﬁnd salted salmon (rimmad lax), gravad lax or salmon pudding (laxpudding). Our recipe for salmon pudding with melted butter and green peas is a classic, as is gravlax, which you’ll find on almost every Swedish smörgåsbord, a global delicacy and not that hard to make yourself. There’s often marzipan and candyfilled Easter eggs for dessert and of course “Påskmust” to drink; it’s the same soft drink as “julmust.” The best part about many Swedish traditions is that they always seem happy to make room for new ones!
(Salmon pudding recipe from the ICA Bokförlag book “Wonderful Sweden” – a culinary journey through Sweden, from Skåne in the south to Lappland, covering provincial specialties, points of interest and traditions. Recipes: K C Wallberg. Photography: Bruno Ehrs)
salmon pudding with melted butter and green peas Serves 4
classic easter recipes
Ingredients 800 g (1-3/4 pounds) potatoes, preferably firm and waxy 1 bunch dill 2 onions Butter (for frying and greasing the pan) 600 g (1-1/3 pounds) salmon fillets 4 eggs 2 dl (1 cup) cream 2 dl (1 cup) milk Salt and pepper 400 g (14 ounces) green peas 50 g (3-1/2 tablespoons) butter Directions 1. Peel and boil the potatoes with some of the dill. Drain and let the potatoes cool. 2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). 3. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Fry in butter until golden brown. 4. Slice the salmon and chop the remaining dill. 5. Whisk together the eggs, cream and milk, and season with salt and pepper. The mixture should be quite salty because it will flavor both the potatoes and the salmon. 6. Grease an ovenproof dish with butter. 7. Slice the potatoes and layer potatoes, salmon, onion and dill (but save a little dill for garnish) in two or three layers. 8. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the layers and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pudding. 9. Heat the water to boiling and add the peas. Cook for about 15 seconds, then drain. Sprinkle with salt. 10. Melt the butter in a saucepan and skim off the white protein that bubbles up. When the butter is a pale golden brown, it is ready to serve. 11. Garnish with remaining dill and the peas. Drizzle melted butter over and serve immediately.
poached cod with grated horseradish, eggs and fresh shrimp Serves 4
Ingredients 600 g (1-1/3 pounds) cod fillets, preferably cod loins 1 liter (4 cups) water 2 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 tablespoon butter 16 small new potatoes 1 liter (4 cups) water 1 tablespoon butter 2 dill stalks 4 eggs (at room temperature) 150 g (6 ounces) fresh shrimp (in their shells) 5 cm (2 inches) fresh horseradish, grated 50 g (3-1/2 tablespoons) butter 2 dill stalks Directions 1. Combine the water and salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved. 2. Cut the cod into four pieces of equal size, place in a deep dish and pour in the salt water to cover. Refrigerate 3 hours.
3. Scrub and boil the new potatoes with butter and dill for 15–20 minutes depending upon their size. 4. Boil the eggs (heat water to boiling, add the eggs and let simmer for around 6 minutes), cool under cold water, peel and slice or cut into wedges. 5. Shell the shrimp. 6. Preheat the oven to 125°C (250°F). 7. Heat a frying pan. Add the oil, then the butter. When butter has melted, add the cod to fry, skin side down (if still on), for 60 to 90 seconds, then turn and fry on other side until nut brown, 30 to 60 seconds. 8. Transfer cod to an ovenproof dish and place in the center of the oven for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. Optimal internal temperature for direct serving is 44–45°C (111–113°F). 9. While the fish is in the oven, brown the butter. 10. To serve: Place the potatoes in the middle of the serving plate. Arrange the egg slices/wedges and shrimp over the potatoes, then top with fish and grated horseradish. Pour over the browned butter. Garnish with dill strands. APRIL 1, 2017 13
A Walkabout Along Stockholmâ€™s Quays
Most cities in the world known for their beauty have water in or around them. Stockholm is no exception, and is in fact often referred to as the Venice of the North.
Stockholm was built on islands with many bridges connecting the various islands. Over time, the water started receding enough to make it impossible to travel by boat or ship between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. Instead, everything on the vessels, brought for the purpose of trade, had to be reloaded in Stockholm, and quays were built to meet the need. The song, “Stockholm är Stockholm, städernas stad, ett Nordens Venedig” (Stockholm is Stockholm, the city of the cities, the Venice of the north) sings of the beauty of this city of my youth and my heart. With this in mind, this walkabout will be along the quays of Stockholm from Stadsgården on the south side to the quays on the north side to Djurgårdsbron bridge at Strandvägen leading over to the Djurgården island. I start at Stadsgården close to the Museum of Photography and I walk along the quayside toward Slussen where I see the Karl Johan-Slussen (lock) linking Lake Mälaren to the Baltic. The water level difference between the lake and the sea is about 2 meters (7 feet) and the lock is limited to private and sightseeing boats. I stop a moment and watch a couple boats going through the lock. I realize I am smiling at the total chaos and loud voices on some of the boats as the lock is opening and water is streaming out, changing the level. After a couple moments I continue my walk toward the quay at Skeppsbron (the Ship’s Bridge) where I see the Djurgården fer-
ryboat landing delivering tourists to and from many locations in the inner waterway areas of the Baltic Sea in Stockholm City. After passing the Slussen quay I continue walking north along the Skeppsbron quayside and I’m trying to remember how it looked during my youth when I walked here with my parents. I remember us walking on Skeppsbron quayside on Sunday summer walks. We occasionally had lunch at Zum Franziskaner restaurant, one of the oldest German restaurants in Gamla Stan (Old Town), established 1421. It was renovated in 1906. A visit to the restaurant is like a visit to a living museum with very personal ambience. The quayside
APRIL 1, 2017 15
feature was then looking very much as in the1960s, which is not that long ago. The change has been extraordinary between then and today’s very modern quay, however. I continue my walk north toward the Royal Castle at Strömkajen and I hear powerful military music. It is the Royal Guard Music Band marching to the castle in preparation for the daily changing of the guards.
The stroll along the Skeppsbron quayside (north) puts me in front of one of the most scenic rows of houses in the world, located at the outer edge of Gamla Stan. After passing the castle I’m reaching Strömkajen, again showing off the scenic beauty of Stockholm’s quaysides. It has been widened by two meters and has been lowered to its original height to make it easier for passengers to board and disembark. Under the widened quayside, a 250-meter-long tunnel has been built to house facilities for
waste and fresh water, waste disposal and electricity for boats. From one of the ferry terminals it’s possible to reach any of several small islands in the Stockholm archipelago. From the Grand Hotel and the National Museum I have an outstanding view of Gamla Stan and the Royal Castle. I remember a story from a warm September evening in 1885 when the Swedish soprano Christina Nilsson gave a performance from a balcony at the Grand Hotel. About 50,000 people were there, and full panic broke out along the quayside due to the limited space. Nineteen people died that evening in the tragic chaos. After passing the museum I cross the Skeppsholmsbron (bridge) to have coffee at the ship “af Chapman,”* taking in the view and local scenery from the ship. While I sip my coffee, I look back toward the Grand Hotel and wonder how anyone would believe that anywhere near 50,000 people could be on the quayside in front of Grand Hotel?
On my way back I’m turning toward Nybroviken (New bridge Bay), separating the city district Östermalm from the peninsula Blasieholmen. The quayside is covering the edge of Ladugårdsviken toward Strandvägskajen following the street Strandvägen all the way to Djurgårdsbron. On the northeast quayside I’m passing the well-known building “Tullhuset” (Customhouse) which is the talk of the town as they are planning to tear it down and put up a larger box-like building with a significant glass façade for the future Nobel museum.
Along the Nybro quay I see several of Stockholm’s classic “Skärgårdsbåtar” (steamships), although they are not powered by steam anymore. They have always fascinated me as I see them deliver passengers and goods back and forth through Stockholm’s inner waterways. This whole venture started in 1816 when Jonathan Adam’s steamship traveled on Riddarfjärden in Stockholm transporting goods and passengers in transit. The powering of the ships developed quickly from the use of steam engines to diesel engines. As I walk along I see two young men fishing from the quay and I ask them what kind of fish they are hoping to catch. “We are fishing for perch, pike-perch, and if we are really lucky a sea trout.” The water in the Stockholm area is nowadays very clean and a lot of fish have been released into the water. When I reach the inner point at Nybroviken I have the beautiful Berzelie Park in front of me, as well as the The Royal Dramatic Theatre, which are very interesting places to visit. This time I instead continue along the quayside to the north side at Strandvägskajen, and here I see many of the ticket kiosks and landing places for ferry boats that take passengers out to Stockholm’s archipelago. Walking along Strandvägen quayside I remember a Swedish Radio article “Many ship-wrecks under Stockholm’s quays.” I realize that the quayside I’m walking on is most likely built on many sunken ships buried in cement! There are about 150 known shipwrecks in Stockholm harbor. We know where
Augusta’s Daughter Ever wonder what made so many emigrate from Sweden in the nineteenth century? Judit Martin’s 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 ($24.90 incl. S&H to cont. U.S.). Mail to: Nordstjernan, P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan CT 06840
they are located or what their name was, often resting in areas totally filled in, according to the curator Marcus Hjulhammar at Sjöhistoriska Museet, the Marine Museum in Stockholm. Arriving at Djurgårdsbron (bridge to the Djurgården island) my walkabout is reaching its end and I take the tram back to the city center.
leif rosqvist *af Chapman, pictured above, formerly Dunboyne and G.D. Kennedy, is a full-rigged steel ship moored on the western shore of the islet Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm, Sweden. It now serves as a youth hostel. For more information see www.portsofstockholm.com
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Orphei Drängar brings San Francisco to its feet The Orphei Drängar (OD), Sweden’s premier male chorus, returned to the San Francisco Bay Area after almost 30 years. Their concert on March 5 was at the beautiful Mission Dolores Basilica, a remarkable concert hall for its architecture and naturally incredible acoustics. The chorus has been conducted since 2008 by Cecilia Rydinger Alin, but her predecessor Robert Sund directed this U.S. tour. Folke Alin performed as piano accompanist and chorus member, and this tour also featured the Swedish mezzo-soprano Katija Dragojevic. The first half of the concert offered an excellent selection of choral works by favorite masters with several exciting contemporary works. It began as the 80 tenors and basses marched down the aisle in pairs to sustained applause. They took their places at the front of the church, and launched into their anthem, “Hör, I Orphei Drängar” (“Hear, Orpheus’s hired hands”). They sang Saint-Saëns’ Saltarelle, a lively piece befitting its name and medieval origin. Before the next song, “Kdo má pocernu galanku” (a traditional text set to music by Jaroslav Kncka), the narrator quipped that to develop this concert they scoured middle Europe, and could “Czech” it off with this piece. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the pun, which prepared them for a lilting song of a man comparing his “star-twinkled angels.” With Schubert’s “Ständchen,” the audience relaxed into the traditional choral masterpiece. Typical of many Schubert lieder, this rendition was enhanced by a soloist, and Dragojevic’s mezzo voice lilted in volume and pitch over the passionate chorus that echoed her phrases and the piano’s drum beat of chords. Next, Dragojevic sang Berlioz’s “Zaïde,” followed by the chorus with “Gagot,” a marvelous piece by the contemporary Haitian-American composer Sydney Guillaume. An excellent introduction gave us the context of the song: The composer had asked his brother for a lyric, but the brother couldn’t think of anything because his life in Haiti was a complete mess (“gagot”). So, the piece was written on that theme, with pulsating Caribbean beat, lots of vowels and sudden emphases. Before intermission, “Mouyayoum,” by the contemporary Swedish composer Anders Hillborg, left the audience stunned. This thrilling exercise in the variety of human vowel sounds is likened to the shimmering of the Northern Lights. And like that, this piece must be experienced; it is almost impossible to describe. During the second half, the chorus sang the traditional British/American folk tune, the sea shanty “High Barbary.” The performance was notable because the entire choir was draped with a gray
gauzy material as they sang, in effect drowning beneath the sea in Davy Jones’ locker, singing of the fight they waged and lost that day. Even more familiar to many was the Swedish hymn “How Great Thou Art,” written in 1885 by Carl Gustav Boberg. It became an anthem in Sweden during the period of persecution for independence from the Lutheran Church and was quickly adopted by the Baptists and Mission Friends, making its way to Protestant hymnals throughout America. Belloc’s “Tarantella” as arranged by Randall Thompson tapped a Latin dance rhythm to enliven the concert. The drama of that piece was followed by a stretching of our imaginations with Swede Jan Sandström’s “The Singing Apes of Khao Yai.” Once again Dragojevic came forward to perform two more beautiful songs. In “Troget och milt” (“Faithfully and gently”), she sang the music for Strindberg’s text arranged by Ingvar Lindholm; and “Var det en dröm?” (“Was it a dream?”) by Josef Julius Wecksell was set to music by Jean Sibelius. These were in stark contrast to the next song by contemporary American composer Bob Chilcott. His setting of Edwin Brock’s poem, “Five Ways to Kill a Man,” was introduced as The choir photographed on its home turf, at Uppsala concert hall. “representing some of the most Photo: Mats Bäcker horrifying sounds that a male chorus can produce,” and it was useful to have the program because the as not just one but two encores were sung. As OD piece left you thinking and appreciating the poem began the final encore, one could hear from the as much as the music. chorus the snap of maracas and they sprang into To conclude this evening the concertmaster chose “La Cucaracha,” ending with a shout of “Olé,” two favorites: a popular arrangement of “Kung which brought the audience to its feet roaring Liljekonvalje,” and a piece arranged by its beloved with applause. former director Hugo Alfvén, “Gryning vid havet” The OD will next present this concert in Sweden (Dawn at Sea, poem by Sten Selander). The song at the Uppsala Konsert och Kongress. For more that started quietly, moved into its final stanza info, see www.od.se with a surging sea storm, laughing and smashing the land and its people. Ted Olsson As the concert ended with this stormy struggle, it was answered by a thunderclap of applause that echoed throughout the basilica. This was sustained
APRIL 1, 2017 17
feature was visiting the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a 23-island archipelago in Lake Superior, when suddenly I found myself pining for Stockholm. Why? Because standing on the boat dock in Bayfield, Wisconsin, I realized that the 23,000-island Stockholm archipelago is more accessible to me, an American, than my own 23-island national park. These wilderness islands with haunting sea caves are accessible only by tour boat at a cost of $151 for a family of two adults and three children. There is no free 15-minute ride across the strait to Basswood Island closest to the mainland, nor a $10 shuttle between the islands, as there would be in Sweden where a heavily subsidized ferry system makes the Stockholm archipelago available to all citizens — as well as to American tourists. It seems Americans would rather have inaccessibility to public places and crumbling infrastructure than pay more in taxes, right? After all, every American seems to know that taxes in Sweden are high and that they want nothing to do with high. My wife and I have been dividing our time between jobs in Sweden and Wisconsin for the past dozen years, and I’m here to tell you taxes in Sweden are not that high. To my surprise, I found that there are lots of things to love about the Swedish tax system.
swedish taxes are easy to pay, rational, and efficient. best of all, rather than take away opportunities, swedish taxes expand them. Here are six reasons I have come to love Swedish taxes. 1) Swedish income taxes are not much higher than US taxes — but they give you an education. U.S. critics say Swedes pay 56 percent — so the government takes over half your money. This is not true — 56 percent is the marginal tax rate, i.e. what high earners pay on income over a certain amount in both state and local taxes. Only 15 percent of Swedes pay tax at this rate. It turns out the average Swede pays less than 27 percent of his or her income in direct taxes. As I’ve written elsewhere, my wife and I pay about 22 percent of our U.S. income in taxes. Our Swedish income tax was 31 percent. So, yes, our income taxes in Sweden were higher than in the U.S., but we still paid less than one-third in tax. And you get far more for your taxes than you do here. In Sweden, college is free and students get a housing stipend. A colleague’s daughter just completed a five-year dental program. Her family paid nothing for her education. The Swedish government gave her $340 a month when she was in school and the right to borrow $700 more each month, which she did. After five years, she graduated with a debt of $37,153.
In the U.S., dental students graduate with an average of $215,000 in debt from dental school alone. 2) Tax forms come already filled out. Last year our federal and state tax forms were more than 30 pages long, downloaded completely blank. During the two weeks we’ll spend in Wisconsin this summer, our main job will be to get our taxes done. I’ll wade through stacks of bank and credit card records line by line, documenting all professional income beyond our wages and scanning for every possible business or charitable deduction. Once this is done, we — like the majority of U.S. taxpayers — will hire a tax professional who charges us $500 to review and co-sign our work. Tax-preparation services cost American taxpayers more than $32 billion per year. My wife, Betty, and I each have a PhD, but that’s not enough to understand IRS instructions. Finally, with a great sigh of relief, our marriage still intact, we’ll sign the forms and send them to the IRS. Of course, despite our great efforts, we don’t know whether the IRS is going to be happy. We might get audited and have to dig up all this stuff again, because the government has three years to check and revise our returns. In Sweden, the four-page tax form comes in the mail already filled out. On a Saturday morning, Betty and I take our coffee to the couch and review the forms. Seeing they look reasonable, as they always do, we “sign” with a text from our phones. In 15 minutes we are done. We don’t have to hire a tax consultant, and we avoid fights about whether a print cartridge bought at the drugstore is a business expense or not. The Swedes expect their government to be efficient, and the tax authority is. Only 11 percent of the Swedish taxpayers say it is NOT easy to fill out their forms. I can’t imagine what a similar survey question would show in the U.S. 3) There is no property tax. Property taxes go back to the founding of the United States. They are administered by local governments, and most go to pay for schools, local roads, and other services. They range from a high of 2.38 percent in New Jersey to a low of 0.28 percent in Hawaii. Property taxes hurt older citizens, whose incomes are not going up but whose property taxes are. In our great American tradition of making taxes hurt, Wisconsin property tax bills come in a lump sum just before Christmas. The envelope might as well say, “I am from the government, and I am here to make you miserable.” When the conservative government, favoring lower taxes, came to power in Sweden in 2006 one of its first steps was to abolish the property tax and replace it with a fixed fee. The real estate fee for services is 7,112 SEK ($825)per house.
This is the same for everyone no matter the assessed value of the dwelling. The fee is $12 a month for our co-op apartment in Stockholm. If we owned the same property in Madison, our taxes would be $18,000 a year. 4) Sales taxes in Sweden are higher — but less noticeable. Swedes and many other Europeans are grumpy when they visit the U.S., buy something for $10, and the clerk asks for $10.55. Just as we make our income tax process miserable and the property tax bill shows up during the holidays, sales taxes are an add-on, which makes you notice them more. Sales taxes are high in Sweden, but you don’t see them, and that makes them easier to pay. If something costs 100 kronor, you pay the 100 kronor! Only when you look at the receipt do you see that it costs 80 kronor and 20 kronor for VAT (value-added tax). Many things are taxed at lower rates — 12 percent to have dinner out or buy groceries, 6 percent (only half a percent higher than our sales tax in Madison) for books and tickets to cultural events and in-country travel. Health related items: zero percent. It is true that sales taxes are regressive; poor people pay a higher proportion of their income in this tax. In the U.S, a 25 percent sales tax would have to be offset with some kind of subsidies for our many poor. But because Sweden has a narrower income distribution, its sales tax is less regressive than in the US. 5) We get cash instead of deductions. One of the reasons U.S. income tax preparation is so awful is that we try to reward certain activities by providing a tax deduction. If you do a good deed (like putting in a solar panel) and if you can find the receipt and documentation (I am thinking ahead to our summer “tax vacation” in the Wisconsin), then you can list a number on Form H, line 36, that will lower your taxes. Does this feel good? Do you feel rewarded for your solar panel? Or is it just another damn number on a tax form? If the Swedish government wants you to do something, they give you the money. For example: Having children is good for society and costs parents money. In the U.S., you get a deduction on your income tax for dependents. In Sweden, you get a check every month and you can use it to buy shoes. For one child you get $120 a month and up to $620 for four children. Every parent gets a check. The process is simple, fair, totally clear, and you don’t have to do anything on your tax form. The money comes when you need it — not a year or more later hidden in a tax refund check. Another example: To stimulate the economy in 2008, Sweden’s parliament approved a “rotavdrag” as a temporary job stimulus paying up to 50 percent of the labor costs for household repairs. As a result, the Swedish IRS paid its share of our recent
remodeling bill — and I didn’t have to do a bit of paperwork. When I got the final remodeling bill, there was a deduction of 50,000 kronor for my wife and 50,000 for me (the maximum allowed). I asked if I was supposed to pay this. “Oh, no,” the contractor said. “Just pay the remainder, and the Swedish IRS will send me their share.” 6) High taxes give me more choices and freedoms. David Brooks, in a New York Times editorial, argues that if Americans paid European-style high taxes, it would “weaken the ability of members of the middle class to make choices about their own lives.” Maybe Brooks needs to live abroad. Guys like Brooks seem to be proud that tax revenues in the U.S. are only 26 percent of GDP (the third lowest of all countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) while in Sweden they are 43 percent. But tax dollars are not burned — they are used to provide collective goods that are beyond the reach of any individual and that benefit everyone. These collective goods give the middle class more choices, not fewer. Not having to pay for college gives the best and the brightest the opportunity to attend any school they choose — equalizing opportunity on merit, not parents’ wealth. No matter how rich Bill Gates is, he cannot buy a hiking trail system in Seattle like those we take for granted in Stockholm. I get to use it for free and have more choices for hiking than I can ever enjoy in Wisconsin. The family of five I witnessed waiting on the dock to visit the Apostle Islands was powerless to see them. Our national park, accessible to the few but not the many, is but one casualty of our low taxes. Another casualty? Our public transportation system. Betty and I used to live in the village of Lodi, about 25 miles from Madison. I was free to travel to Madison however and whenever I wanted, as long as it was by private automobile. There was (and is) no bus service to Madison. Even though railroad tracks run right through the village, there is no commuter rail service either. If this were a suburb of Stockholm or any other European city of 250,000, there would be train service and bus service several times an hour. These are the choices Europeans have that we don’t, because they devote more of their income to collective goods. If we value freedom, those of us who drive cars should pay higher gas taxes so that those who are old, infirm, too poor to have a car, or want to reduce their environmental impact can have fast and efficient bus and train service. Besides the moral issue of providing freedom of choice, there is a great economic value. If we had bus and train service to Madison, the value of all of the real estate in Lodi would shoot up, and our crumbling downtown would have a shot at a future. The 33 million Americans who are still not cov-
ered by health insurance don’t have much choice when they get sick, unless you think, “Your money or your life?” is a choice. Paradoxically it turns out the bloated, heavily lobbied, privatized U.S. system spends more tax money ($4,437) per person than Sweden’s socialized health care ($3,184). This is due to Swedish efficiency rather than poor service. I do get to choose my doctor, have high-quality care a short walk from my home, same-day appointments and short waits when I walk in unannounced. And one day my physician himself phoned to tell me I had left my gloves in his office — it was my choice to walk back and get them. I am not burdened by Swedish taxes. In fact, paying more allows me to increase my quality of life in a big way. That’s why I believe that if we all paid higher taxes with less pain in the collection, more of us would be granted the American version of freedom we have been promised. Tom Heberlein Tom Heberlein divides his time between Wisconsin and Sweden, where he is working on a book, Falling in Love with Sweden (One Mistake at a Time). He is a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Madison. This story first ran on vox.com in the summer of 2016.
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Mesmerized young visitor at Legoland, Denmark photographed by Bo Zaunders
Lego continues to impress More than 80 years in, Lego continues to impress and keep things fresh. The world has come to expect this of Scandinavian design, and Lego is no exception. The Danish toy company is known for
constantly releasing new products and growing its fanbase — of both children and adults. Most recently, Lego honored the women of Nasa with a set of blocks, they’ve made stop-motion
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movies and Lego video games, even theme parks, among so much more. Not long after February 2017’s release of The Lego Batman Movie, little time elapsed before the next big announcement: Lego tape. This new Lego-compatible adhesive bends, curves and can be cut to any size. It makes any surface — the wall, refrigerator, even your shoes — totally Lego friendly. Lego began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark. Christiansen began making wooden toys in 1932, and gave his company the name Lego two years later. The name was coined by Christiansen from the Danish phrase “leg godt,” which means “play well.” It expanded to producing plastic toys in 1940, and nine years later it began producing the now famous interlocking pieces. In 2015, the environmentally conscious company announced it is researching ways to produce the 60 billion oil-based plastic blocks they make each year from new sustainable materials, a goal for having a sustainable alternative by 2030. This may be ironic because what child ever throws away their Lego? It may be the single most beloved childhood toy of both boys and girls that is saved and passed on to the next generation year after year after year. For more info, see www.lego.com
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what he had learned in murum, he used in chicago
He recalled that they removed a lot of rocks from the fields and built stone walls that were later crushed and used for road surfaces. “I have worked since I was nävastor (had hands large enough for work),” he said. “My father taught other people’s children to read, and the school teacher trained the ones who were going to be soldiers,” Andrew said. “Dad went into military service. He was interested in music and such and began his studies in a private school when he was 7 years old. He had also attended forest school and was a kronojägare (forest ranger). We had to march and stand at attention in school. It was part of the curriculum,” Andrew said. His mother had attended school for only two years, but she could read the Bible. “When the new Bible came out, people compared it to the old, which led to disputes and new teachings,” he said. He was confirmed by Pastor Thörnblad. When Matilda fell ill, Johan sent for either the school teacher or the minister. “It was not common that they called the doctor. Much could be treated with drugs (herbs or other remedies) and also brännvin (hard liquor),” said Andrew.
seeking the american dream
Andrew Anderson was 94 years old at the time of his interview with Lennart Setterdahl in October 21, 1979. Setterdah’s wife, Lilly, recorded and transcribed it, here, as she and her husband did for hundreds of Swedes and Swedish immigrants. Andrew Anderson was still quite active, even at age 94. Twice a week, he gathered his hammer, saw, and pliers in a toolbox and went to a Chicago Montessori school to teach a woodworking class. He was one of many senior citizens who volunteered at the school. The youngest was 60, but there was no age limit for these teachers. Anderson talked with pride about slöjdskolan (the woodworking classes) he had attended in Sweden as a child. He wanted to teach Chicago children that it was possible to make things with simple tools. Andrew was born Anders Alfred Andersson on May 1, 1885 in Murum parish, Älvsborgs län, Sweden, the son of Johan Alfred Andersson and his wife Matilda Petersson. When he married, Johan opened a store in Murum, but he changed his occupation when he had the opportunity to take over his wife’s family farm, Kaggården, the largest farm in the parish, feeding 16 cows and 22 NORDSTJERNAN
three horses. The name of the farm came from the military family of Andreas Kagg on Matilda’s side. Andrew recalled that he körde krok (harrowed the fields) for the soldiers while he was in the service. Every mantal (an old way of expressing a farm’s yield capacity) had a knekt (soldier). A mantal consisted of four farms in Anderson’s area, and these four farms had to “support” a soldier. When they discontinued that system, the district court decided who the owner of Kaggården should be, but it was never really settled in court, Andrew said. In Sweden he learned to milk cows when he was 6 or 7 years old. In the summer (when the cows were pastured far away), he and his brother had to get up at 5 a.m. and walk six kilometers to milk the cows. “The cows were more important than the people. The farmers cared more for their cows than themselves. Oh, how they worried about the cows. If it rained, we had to get up at 4 a.m. to go and get the cows,” he said.
Andrew emigrated in 1904 and worked in various occupations in Minnesota and Iowa until he started his own business in Chicago, employing 18 workers. “I had heard about America, how great everything was over there. When you are young you want to get out. We had plenty of work at home, but times were bad and the pay low. I wanted to get away and look around. I planned to find work on a farm and then come back home in five years,” Andrew said. “Mother and Father didn’t want me to leave, but they didn’t want to say anything against it, either. I had made up my mind to leave. I got a ticket from Herr Appelquist in Minnesota who had paid for it. I got word that I would leave on June 17, 1904. My parents didn’t want to be at home when I left. They took the horse and left for a relative early that morning,” he said. “Mother always filled a box with food when someone had to travel. She had made sandwiches and placed them in a box for me, but I didn’t have a horse to take me. Then others came from the village and they said, ‘Haven’t you started out yet?’ If my neighbor hadn’t taken me with his horse I couldn’t have left. He drove me to the Ljung Railroad Station, and I took the train to Herrljunga, changed trains there and came to Göteborg at 12:45. “When I sat on the train, I thought about Mother who would come home at 5:00, and then I cried. I had never been away from home a night before. Mother always came and checked so that we had our bedclothes on at 12:00 every night. I believe the women worked more than the men. They were never free. “The next day we gathered at 10 a.m. at the
police station in Göteborg to stämpla (stamp) our documents. Then we went to the harbor and boarded an old ship named Britannia that would take us to England. “We were ready at 1:00, got some food, oskalad potatis (potatoes cooked in their skins), herring, and lingonsylt (lingonberry jam). It was our first meal. I had butter and cheese left, but I didn’t want to eat it since we got food on the ship, so I threw it in the sea when we got away from land. It was getting old. “I slept well the first night. Everything was new to me. Three beds were nailed to the wall, the lowest on the floor. One guy had gotten seasick. When I put out my head, he vomited on me. Sometimes we ate ‘på luckan’ (in our cabin). It was sausage, a bun, and jam. It was new to get white bread, because we never got much of that in Sweden. We got soup every day and stew (on the ship). “We came to England on the third day and changed from the ship to the train that took us to Liverpool. Then we went by horse and wagon. Six or eight of us sat on boards laid across the hack through town. I believe it was Hastings. In Liverpool, we met several who had come from other directions. Most of them were Swedes but also Russian Jews. When we came to Ireland more people went aboard. The ship Cajona was terribly large. It belonged to the Cunard Line and it took on 800 to 900 passengers. “When we had been at sea for three days, they rang a bell and called us up on deck to look at whales. Everyone wanted to get up on deck. We saw the most remarkable sight I had ever seen. They (the whales) sprayed water about 200 feet up in the air. They were miles out in the ocean, such large creatures. “When we neared New York, an inspector came on board and counted us so it wouldn’t take up time when we landed. ‘We are close to New York,’ he said, ‘so take out your papers.’ I had been vaccinated in Göteborg and it had begun to swell up. The doctor thought I would have to stay at Ellis Island for one day, but I got better so I
could leave.” On land, a missionary came and spoke Swedish to Andrew, and saw to it that he got on the train. “When I got on the train to Montreal, I bought a sandwich. They came and sold sandwiches. I had about 25 kronor (probably the required amount) when I came to America. I had a note on my coat that said where I was going. When we came to Montreal, a conductor showed me to a bench and pointed to me to sit down. “When I had sat there for a while, a man came up to me and asked if I needed anything. I said, ‘I’m beginning to get hungry.’ Then we went to a food place and ordered pancakes. They cost 15 cents. It was the best food I had eaten since I was in Sweden. Then he pointed to the clock on the wall. I had two hours until the train left. So when he had gone, I went back to the restaurant and pointed on the menu to what I had eaten before. They were surprised I was back so soon. It had taken all night on the train from New York. I went to another place to eat. I felt like eating. It was a nice restaurant. The waiter had a cloth on his arm. He came and gave me a menu, placed a napkin on my knee and ‘poura’ water in a glass. That meal cost $1.75.”
Andrew Anderson left Sweden at age 19. The trip from Montreal to Minneapolis was the last leg of the two-week journey. “A few other Swedes who had been to Minneapolis for a party also sat (in the restaurant). They wanted to treat me to a drink, but I didn’t dare because I was only a kid. When we came to Dunnel, I had 25 cents left of my money. It didn’t bother me that I was broke. In such a rich country, I didn’t think anyone would go hungry. I came to Dunnel at midnight. The four boys took me to the hotel. “In the morning, I had to go to Appelquist (who paid for my ticket) where I got fried eggs and coffee. He took me over to Arthur Larson, a friend from school. The next Sunday, we went to Estherville, Iowa, and to a photographer and we had our pictures taken. “Dunnel was an old-looking town. There was a Mission church (Covenant) and a Lutheran church. I helped install the windows in that church. I sang in the choir because the church was located on the farm where I worked. Appelquist be-
longed to the Lutheran church. He was mayor (of the town.) The farmer I worked for was a Mission friend. The pastor’s name was Lindquist and he was a good pastor. People rather went to the Mission church than to the Lutheran. The church was full. “I stayed in Dunnel three years and was paid 20 dollars a month, plus food and room. In the wintertime, I took care of the cattle morning and evening for just food and lodging. I attended school in the winter. They had more machinery than in Sweden. The fields were level, so we could ride on the plow — that they could not do in Sweden. We used a steam engine when we threshed. The farmers went together and did the work in a couple of weeks. “They had large stacks of straw outside and when they let the cows out in the wintertime the cows ate in the stacks. They always did the threshing outside and never took in the straw. Large windmills winched up the water for the livestock. The girls didn’t like to stay and work on the farms.” “We took the train to Fort Dodge, where there was supposed to be a large cement industry. I went to the carpenter shop and told them I had gone to carpentry school. It was more than anyone else had done. The pay was over six dollars a week. Food and room cost four dollars, so I had two dollars left. Then I met someone who worked in the ‘cement mine.’ He made five dollars a day, so I went there. I had to unload the rocks they used for making cement. They had mules and wagons that went on rails. I got so tired the first night that I couldn’t work the next day. I had jumped on sharp stones and I didn’t have the right kind of shoes for that. They called me in and asked what was wrong. ‘The work is too hard for me,’ I said. ‘We have an easier job for you,’ they said. So I got to be a helper to the one who worked with the electric lines. There I made 15 dollars a week. But after I had rested two days, I started in the carpentry shop again. A strike began after Christmas, and then I said, ‘Now I’m going home’ (to Sweden).
building a life
“I stopped in Chicago, to Carlson who had been a farmhand for my morfar (maternal grandfather). I wanted to look at the city, so I rode around everywhere for five cents. It was cold in January and no heat in the cars. You couldn’t close the doors, so I came down with pneumonia and was in the hospital for two days. I had bronchitis. Then I got a job at the post office and stayed there three years. “I asked a carpenter how much he made, and he said $36 a week. So I started to work for a man who made tätningslistor (insulation strips) for houses (primarily for windows). You had to be a carpenter to do that. I didn’t belong to the union but borrowed a card from a friend to see if I liked the work. After a couple weeks, I was told to get my own card, so I did. It was a steady job. If carpenters and bricklayers had work six months a year it was good. They made 50 cents an hour.” APRIL 1, 2017 23
feature He continued until 1919, when he married Valdi Nordgren from Sandviken, and they returned to Sweden. She had emigrated in 1913 and was 12 years his junior. They had met at a dance arranged by the Good Templar Lodge. “We belonged to that lodge, both of us. We married in Trinity Church on Seminary Avenue. It was a church wedding. Then we went to Sweden almost right away, in 1919 in the spring. Times were hard and not much work. We stayed in Sweden three years. Both girls were born there, one in Sandviken and one at Kaggården. My brother wanted me to take over the farm, but I didn’t want to push him out. “I wanted to make a släphiss (probably to propel the hay to the loft in the barn). But the rope broke, and my brother said, ‘You can see that it doesn’t work.’ But then I made a square board and it worked. My father said, ‘Anders is uppfinningsriker, han’ (an inventive man). “I made a grävskopa (a ditch digger) to clean out the ditches with. I made it of birch wood and we took it to the blacksmith to cover it with iron. When I hitched the mare to the scoop, my brother said that she would lose her foal if I turned her so many times, so I had to quit. My brother went by the old — what was good enough for our father was good enough for him. He never tried my digger. He went down in the ditch with his boots and threw up the dirt along the edges. We were the first to have a slåttermaskin (a reaper). A farmer who had a larger farm came and shook his head and said, ‘It has too many small wheels, it will never last. You can’t get between the rocks with it.’ It took five years before he bought a reaper, and then he bought the same kind we had. “My wife was not used to farm work. She never learned to milk, and since we didn’t take over the farm, it was no use to remain at home. Later, we regretted that we didn’t take over the farm, but you can’t cry over spilled milk. The hired man and the
maid bought it cheap from my brother a few years ago. He never married. “The girls were 2 and 3 when we returned here. I got a job right away. I had the future ahead of me. I bought a house lot and built an apartment house in Skokie. It was the only large house there at the time. A German called me the ‘crazy Swede,’ because I built in the country. I rented out nine apartments and lived there 16 years. It didn’t take long before there were more houses there. Now (1979), there are about 100,000 peo- Café Idrott of Andersonville in the 1960s. ple living in Skokie. Andrew became his own entrepreneur with up to the same province had more in common. I have 18 employees and offices and telephones in Chicago always been proud of being Swedish. Enander ‘lit and in Skokie on the north side where he lived. a fire’ under that idea. All the meetings had to be in Andrew spoke with a Västgöta dialect mixed with Swedish. Now they mix a bit.” broken English. He remembered Cajsa back home at Andrew was in Sweden while the memorial was Kaggården, a midwife, who also prepared the dead dedicated to Professor Enander in Chicago in January for burial, and treated sick cattle — Andrew called 1921. “The stone was cut in Sweden and shipped to her liksveperska och klok gumma (shrouder of bodies the United States. President Harrison offered Enander and wise old lady). She had never attended school, an ambassador post in Denmark, but he could not but people often called on her to treat their livestock accept the offer due to declining health.” rather than send for the veterinarian. To be sure, the Andrew’s health was good except that his eyesight farmers called on Cajsa for a second opinion. People had deteriorated. He still walked twice a week to believed in old skrock (folktales), and sometimes they the school, carrying his toolbox, to teach boys and came true, Andrew said. girls how to do carpentry work. They made, among Andrew belonged to Västgöta Gille founded in other things, a log cabin in miniature, and he taught Chicago in 1909 by Johan Alfred Elander. Andrew his students a bit about Nordic culture at the same said he remembered Enander, who died in 1910: time. Andrew Anderson died in October 1986 at the “He was of large stature, had a gray beard and age of 101. white hair, walked unsteadily with a cane. He was Lilly Setterdahl rather patriotic and the first to start a provincial Photography: Lennart Setterdahl society. His thinking was that those who were from
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news in brief
Löfven pushes gender equality
In anticipation of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on March 25, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told EU leaders that he wants gender equality to feature prominently in the summit’s declaration on the future of Europe. Löfven, who considers his administration the world’s first feminist government, was encouraged to emphasize the economic benefits of increasing the rate of women in the workforce: “It’s not just a question of what is right, it’s about growth and what’s productive. And it’s not just about justice, it’s about explaining to the other leaders how this can help Europe.” This is a divisive issue, another in a long list of controversial matters; some leaders responded with a strong warning about highlighting gender equality as an affront to their countries whose social policies are very different and could experience a weakened internal market.
Nordea Bank to leave Sweden?
Scandinavia’s biggest financial conglomerate, Nordea Bank AB, has said a Swedish proposal to increase bank fees for a crisis fund may force it to move its headquarters from Stockholm. Sweden plans to raise more than a third the annual fee banks pay into a fund used when a lender needs to be recapitalized or wound down. The government intends to base Nordea’s contribution on the bank’s entire balance sheet, which would include all foreign subsidiaries that have been turned into branch offices.
Finland Park memorial
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip attended a wreath-laying ceremony with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö on March 13, the anniversary of the end of the Winter War 77 years ago. The ceremony, which took place at the Monument of Finland in Finland Park in Stockholm, honored the memories of volunteers for Finland’s freedom during the Winter War, a three-month military conflict (1939-40) between Finland and the Soviet Union. During the conflict, Finland received the help of more than 8000 Swedish volunteers.
Grattis på namnsdagen Victoria
March 12 is the day all of Sweden celebrates everyone named Victoria, and especially the Crown Princess. Last year Crown Princess Victoria was celebrating the birth of Prince Oscar, born just two weeks earlier, so the Victoriaday celebration was canceled. But this year, the tradition was back on track with the young Princess family standing before a crowd during a public celebration in the castle courtyard. As always, it included a tribute concert, salutes from the guards, and bouquets a flowers with cheers from those in attendance. It was a cold day, but the popular royal greeted all those who come to take part in her celebration. The Royal Flower Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds for Crown Princess Victoria’s Fund for young people with disabilities or chronic disease, offered her a check earlier in the day.
Sweden’s onshore oil reserves
Prince Carl Philip and Crown Princess Victoria at a a wreath-laying in Finlandsparken on March 13, 2017. Photo Kungahuset.se
Sweden’s excellent public transportation
While giving the U.S. a dismal report card for its transportation infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) named Sweden the world’s leader in traffic safety while still providing a high level of accessibility. Jonathan Levine, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan, says Sweden invests heavily in transportation infrastructure and doesn’t build its cities around the automobile. “There’s been a long tradition of a government interest to serve the public — public interest is still number one.” Also high on the list are Norway, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Denmark for their very highly developed infrastructures.
Though it depends on others countries for oil, Sweden actually has its own onshore oil reserves. Drilling companies have as many as 50 exploration permits, but the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) has been commissioned by the government to consider banning the drilling at its sites, in Dalarna, Gotland, Öland and Östergötland. The SGU is now analyzing the volumes available and if it is profitable to launch production. The main reason for the proposed ban is not fear of pollution or environmental harm caused by drilling in bedrock but because of Sweden’s long term goals to phase out a dependency on fossil fuel. The Nordic country currently imports its oil, mainly from Russia. The investigation will be completed on April 10 this year.
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APRIL 1, 2017 25
SHL playoff series kicks off
Linköping’s goaltender Marcus Högberg stops a shot from Jacob Blomqvist of Brynäs during Game 1 of a quarterfinal series in the Swedish Hockey League. Peter Holgersson/Bildbyrån
After making a run for the top spot in the regular season standings that fell short, Linköping entered the Swedish Hockey League second season as the No. 4 seed, matching up with the Brynäs Tigers, who finished fifth. The two teams met at the Saab Arena in Linköping on March 18 in the first match of their five-game quarterfinal series, and the Tigers jumped out to a quick 3-0 first-period lead. Tigers center Jesper Jensen scored 27 seconds into the game and notched a second goal at 5:03 of the first period as Brynäs dominated. After allowing another goal early in the second period, Linköping coach Dan Tagnes pulled goalie Oskar Lindblom and put in Jacob Johansson, but Vilmos Gallo greeted the new LHS net minder with yet another goal 90 seconds into Johansson’s stint. Brynäs combined its offensive display with a smothering defense as the Tigers shut down Little and Roe, who finished the season among the league scoring leaders. Little, who finished with 53 points in 52 games, managed just two shots in more than 17 minutes of ice time while Roe had three shots in 15:51 of playing time. As a team, Linköping fired 25 shots at Brynäs goaltender David Rautio. Despite the loss, Roe remained upbeat about the series. 26 NORDSTJERNAN
“That’s hockey,” he said. “There is a lot of parity in the league and [Brynäs] matches up well against us.” Linköping went into the final game of the season with a chance to grab the No. 1 seed, needing a win over Frölunda and a Växjö loss to claim the top spot. Växjö cooperated, but Frölunda didn’t. LHC lost in overtime to the Indians, who jumped into the No. 3 seed, pitting the Göteborg team against Skellefteå. In the series opener on March 17 American Casey Wellman played a central role as the Indians claimed a 3-0 win. Wellman had an assist and was a plus-2 in 18 minutes of ice time. U.S. defenseman Matt Donovan celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style, also going plus-2 in 17 minutes of ice time. Skellefteå came right back, however, and won Game 2 on March 19 at the Kraft Arena. After Joel Lundqvist put the Indians on top 1-0 in the first period, Skellefteå scored twice in the second and twice in the third to claim a 4-1 win and level the series. Regular season champs Växjö rallied to level its series with Malmö on March 19, battling to a 3-2 overtime win. Växjö finished with 99 points to claim the top seed in the playoffs while Malmö needed to win a two-game series with Luleå to reach the second season. The Redhawks scorched Luleå for 11 goals in those two games and came into the playoffs red-hot
and shocked Växjö in Game 1, winning a hard-fought 2-1 overtime decision.
Tough start for Alvbåge
Minnesota United lived up — or down — to initial expectations in its opening matches in Major League Soccer, losing its opener 5-1 to Portland before taking a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Atlanta United. Former IFK Göteborg goalkeeper John Alvbåge started both matches for MUFC and came away slightly shell-shocked as Minnesota’s porous defense often left the Swede facing one-on-one breakaways or 3-v-1 odd-man rushes from the opponents. Alvbåge did not finish the Atlanta match after getting a nasty laceration on his right leg in a collision with a teammate and an Atlanta forward. EMTs carried the Swede off the field after he collapsed in the goal. Alvbåge had allowed five goals in the game. He left in the 86th minute. His replacement, Bobby Shuttleworth, allowed one in the closing minutes of the loss. Alvbåge did not play March 18 when Minnesota picked up its first point of the season in a 2-2 draw with Colorado. Chipp Reid
APRIL 1, 2017 27
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Stockholm Walkabout / Easter in Sweden - Classic Easter recipes / Tough start of the season for the Swedish soccer goalie of Minnesota Unite...
Published on Mar 21, 2017
Stockholm Walkabout / Easter in Sweden - Classic Easter recipes / Tough start of the season for the Swedish soccer goalie of Minnesota Unite...