Nordstjernan 1712

Page 1

Published by Swedish News. Volume 145 No. 12, October 1, 2017. Price per copy $3.50.

Stockholm Walkabout

Some of us are lucky enough to have childhood memories of time spent in Sweden, and Nordstjernan’s friend Leif Rosqvist is one such Swede now living in the U.S. He often takes us with him as he walks about different parts of his hometown, Stockholm. His tours are loaded with imagery of present-day and historic Stockholm as he explains what he sees along the streets of Sweden’s capital city. This time, he takes us on a walkabout along Åsöberget in a very unique part of Söder, one of Stockholm’s trendiest neighborhoods. / Pages 12-15

Immigrant Footprints

Photo:Ola Ericson/Imagebank Sweden

In the 1970s, Lilly and Lennart Setterdahl worked together to collect immigrant stories. In 1973, they found themselves in Maine, driving the paved main highway leading to Canada, where they saw the first road sign to New Sweden. They were in Caribou and turned on Sweden Street. A narrow road took them to Gustav Adolf Lutheran Church at New Sweden’s highest point, with a view that showed valleys and hills in an everchanging pattern. The colors varied from the lightest green meadow to the darkest green forest with speckles of white and purple potato patches in bloom and the bluish mountains disappearing in a white haze far to the west. / Page 26

Swedish Super Berries Current and future events / p6-9 A Swedish chef shares a “recipe” on how to skål with style / p9 In search of a herd of wild Dala horses (clue: they’re not in Dalarna, Sweden) / p11 Surprising safety concerns in the increasing Swedish “particularly vulnerable areas” / p25

A lot of the berries that are native to Sweden and the Swedish diet can also be found in the northern climes of the U.S., but many Americans aren’t so familiar with some of them. Currants, elderberries and gooseberries, for example, are commonly found in the upper Midwest and are prized for jams, pies and juice, but their names remain unknown to many. That’s not the case in Sweden – or with the experts studying their health benefits. / Pages 5 and 10

dashboard | october 1, 2017 SCANDINAVIAN QUIZ


What is the name of island that the famous Vasa warship sank near in its famously short trip? a) Klädesholmen b) Kastellholmen c) Beckholmen d) Djurgården

6 Finland is celebrating 100 years as a sovereign nation this year, which country was Finland part of prior to 1917? a) Russia b) Sweden c) Poland d) Estonia

3 What is the name of Sweden’s deepest lake? a) Storsjön b) Hornavan c) Vättern d) Vänern

8 When did Sweden’s southern province, Skåne, become part of Sweden? a) 1638 b) 1710 c) 1658 d) 1708

2 What is the name of the southernmost tip of Greenland? a) Nordkapp b) Egedesminde c) Kapp Farvel d) End of the World

Name’s Days of the Swedish Calendar Namnsdagar i september

October 1 October 2 October 3 October 4 October 5 October 6 October 7 October 8 October 9 October 10 October 11 October 12 October 13 October 14

Ragnar/Ragna Ludvig/Love Evald/Osvald Frans/Frank Bror Jenny/Jennifer Birgitta/Britta Nils Ingrid/Inger Harry/Harriet Erling/Jarl Valfrid/Manfred Berit/Birgit Stellan

October 1


New York Chicago Stockholm Kiruna Lund Los Angeles 2 NORDSTJERNAN

10 What Swedish king was called The Lion of the North? a) Gustavus Adolphus b) Karl XII c) Gustav II Adolf d) Erik XIV



Ragnar – October 1 Ragnar is a man’s name with Nordic origins. It’s combined by two words: “Regin” which means power by God and “-arr” which means warrior.


Frans/Frank – October 4 Frank is a man’s name and a short version of the English name Francis, which is turn comes from the Latin Franciscus. This was originally a name meaning “the French” or “the Frenchman.” A German version of the name is Franz. The name has been in Sweden since the 19th century. Frank was fairly common during the 1950s and 1960s. It is also used as a last name. Ingrid/Inger – October 9 Inger is a female name with Nordic origins. It may also be used as a man’s name (though that is rare) and as a last name. It is a so-called “nusvensk” form of the Old Norse name Ingegerd, which is made up by the old god name “Ing” and “gerd,” which means “yard, surrounded, protected.” Inger is also a side form of the names Ingegerd or Ingrid, older variations of the name were Ingerd and Ingri.

founded in new york city in september 1872

Sunrise & Sunset

6.52 am 6.47 am 6.52 am 6.52 am 7.10 am 6.47 am

5 What year did Sweden switch from driving on the left side to the right? a) 1967 b) 1965 c) 1969 d)1971

9 Which country gave up the territory including Skåne? a) Denmark b) Norway c) DenmarkNorway d) Schleswig Holstein

Answers: 1:C, 2:C, 3:B, 4:C, 5:A, 6:A, 7:D, 8:C, 9:C, 10:A

The City of Stockholm is made up of 14 islands (in addition to thousands of islands and skerries of the archipelago). Beckholmen is a small island in central Stockholm in an area of the harbor that contains giraffe shaped cranes and important historical interest – not the least of which was the sinking of the Vasa warship after sailing only 1400 yards on its maiden voyage in 1628. Beckholmen’s name means “pitch island” for it once served as a tar distillery where pitch was produced for the city's many shipyards. As of 2007, Beckholmen is a protected historical monument. One of the docks built in the late 1920s is still in commercial use, while two docks from the 1880s are devoted to historical maritime sites and sailing ships. After the Vasa ship was raised from its watery grave near Beckholmen in 1961, it was preserved in what’s now a world renowned museum on the larger neighboring island, Djurgården. For more on the Vasa warship, see page 24

4 What are the official languages in Finland? a) Finnish and Russian b) Finnish and North Sámi c) Finnish and Swedish d) Finnish and Norwegian

7 What Nordic country has the oldest parliament in the world? a) Denmark b) Norway c) Sweden d) Iceland

6.37 pm 6.31 pm 6.20 pm 6.03 pm 6.42 pm 6.36 pm

Nordstjernan (ISSN 1059-7670), founded in New York City in September 1872, is published by Swedish News, Inc., 570 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022 • Readers services and editorial submissions: P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan, CT 06840 Periodicals Postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices., Nordstjernan is published semimonthly, except for the months of January, February, July when it is monthly and Augustwith no issue. POST MASTER: Please send address changes to Nordstjernan, P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan, CT 06840 Subscription rates: 1 yr. = $55, Two yr. = $99, outside US 1 yr. = $167.

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this week…

Nordic America is phenomenal … … never better. The Nordic communities in the U.S. never really felt as vibrant and vital as right now. New Jersey’s ScanFest in early September was the customary joy. Thank you to staff and volunteers who gave the usual friendly and attentive welcome, and thank you to new friends who made our lives a little bit Sweder that day! Now it’s our turn -- and on a regular basis. Our recent visit to the Vasa District No. 13 convention in Oregon was a treat as was the entire visit to the Pacific Northwest. It’s not on every trip I get to meet with every single organization in a state as was the case in Oregon—Broder, Fogelbo, New Sweden, Nordia, Nordic Northwest, Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, SRIO, Svenska Skolan, SWEA, Universities, Vasa … teachers, bankers, spouses, fans, thanks for the enthusiastic welcome! And to the multi-engaged Rosqvist family: I’m at a loss for words of thanks for organizing my first visit to the state, now unquestionably and forever strong on the map for Nordstjernan. Fogelbo and Nordic Northwest in Portland, Oregon are an excellent complement to the impressive new Nordic Museum facility being created in “neighboring” Seattle that you can read about in this issue (p9). The red carpet at Nordic Northwest, Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle’s consul and consulate for the region, the reception and hospitality by all new and old friends was truly mindblowing. No wonder the region is considered the fastest growing urban area in the U.S. as pointed out by local Swedish Consul Lars Jonsson. While I can’t wait to return I’m equally curious about expansion plans for the Swedish Museum in Chicago I hear about after my co-editor’s visit to a successful event with Swedish master chef Magnus Nilsson (p4). Ulf Barslund Mårtensson Never better! Editor & Publisher

Page 12

Dashboard, p4-5

The benefits of (Swedish) nature / A Swedish chef shares secrets / See Gothenburg by bicycle taxi / Super berries grow wild in Sweden / The worst apple harvest in half a century / DNA analysis proves not all Viking warriors were men.

Events calendar, p6-9

What’s going on around Swedish America

Page 24

Published by

Swedish News.

Volume 145 No.

8, June 1, 2017.

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An American rediscovers the Vasa, one wood carving at a time, p24


Secrets of the Swedish Sm örgåsbord Published by Swedish

News. Volume

145 No. 5, April

15, 2017. Price per

Travelers visiting the north of ago, particul arly foreigners Sweden 200 years with sensitiv spoke from e noses, time stink that blanket to time of the extraor dinary ed the country One 18th-ce side. ntury mercha nt plaining that on these journey wrote home comto abstain from s, it was necessa kissing the otherwi ry local women se attractive on account of the smell of that envelop sour fish ed them. He did not realize was simply the odor a by-product of one of Sweden oldest culinary traditions: ferment ’s Once homely ed fish. served fish dishes surviva l food, pungen t preming have evolvedsuch as gravlax and surström into present — for Swedes -day delicac , anyway, if ies not foreign Continued on guests. / page 14

copy $3.50.

h for the pus e: the polndse n Scott vs. Amu

Museum in Oslo, visited the Fram Last summer I on display – ilexperience. Here, a truly inspiring show – was the Northern Light And through luminated by a of all Polar ships. Fram, most famous the Gjøa building, featuring a tunnel you reached first to navigate the whole of the I yet another ship, various exhibits, Passage. From explorers, the Northwest number of Norwegian and Roald learned about a Otto Svedrup, Nansen, notably Fridjof expeditions. The of their various I became, Amundsen, and the more fascinated – enough involved, got I more the Fram Amundsen and it myself. particularly with and write about on p 12 to do a little research continues

Swedish Inge

nuity It seems as if every week we vancements in technology, learn about new adscience and in Sweden. ingenuity And this week is no exceptio examples of an innovative n with wrinkle clothing, Volvo’s plan for producin in a new kind of a supportive g electric vehicles resource for , helping people unique ideas, promote and got elite athletes a powerful new sports drink that’s hopping. / Pages 20-21

t Walpurgis Nigh

Europe and Scandiall over northern known as Bonfires are lit the night of Walpurgis,might also navia on April 30, in Sweden. Some “Valborgsmässoafton”Swedes everywhere sing their night spring. know it as the of the long awaited hearts out in celebrationvoices heard at this popular their songs by heart: Everyone makes all know the spring n, Vårvindar family event, they Sköna Maj välkommePeople bring Vintern rasat ut, and many more. friska, Det är våren, to the fire, the more branches add must eat hot their branches to And of course they an educational the taller the bonfire. chocolate is often available, to be said about or There’s much hot towns of Lund korv); the grown ups dogs (varm the university to availexperience in weather, and for but when it comes , the next day, depending on the apart alcohol. Fortunately when most Uppsala, Sweden destination stands there’s plenty of holiday programs, one the modern, May), is also a American able Stockholm — May 1 (Första to work. In Swedish from the others: of Sweden. as much singpeople don’t have city side of vibrant capital may not be quite , on the north celebrations, there often perform concerts for the Stockholm University university with an ing, but choral groups as spring is celebrated and traof is a large research range city, a the and long so of students occasion. And bonfire, and there impressive number that consistently ranks it sung around the princesstårta ditional songs are and maybe some academic programs universities in the world 100 are hotdogs, drinks story on p5 among the top more than 75 in Europe. With and vaniljbullar…. and the 50 best English within Page taught 11 in s and law, Master’s programs Page 23 sciences, humanitie largest the Atlantic coast science, social Draken will sail y is Sweden’s The Viking ship spring of 2017 / p 5 Stockholm Universit is located only a few in the campus in a national university. Its the city center, stops away from d by water and a botanic from Bollnäs Architecture, p7 city park surrounde neighbor. Sustainable Swedish opens in Chicago / 21 hibition garden as its closest continues on p to Kiruna—ex

en Study in Swed


Photo: Niklas

er, Mids



Swedes take their days off seriously special word and for the one that’s “pinched even have a in between two holidays ” . / p4 More than 150 years later Academy of Music is making the Royal Swedish sure Jenny a household LInd remains name, even in the U.S. / p9 An athlete from Maryland American football is helping Sweden build an league worth its salt herring. /p22 in

ommar … No matter how we spell it we weekend celebrat love this special weekend) closest ed in Sweden on the Friday (and We spend weeks to June 21, the summer solstice. preparing for it -- is there anything it and prettier or more anticipating the Midsommar Swedish than celebration with maypole, food all the flowers, and music? In the the U.S. we try the festivities to mimic as much as possible reports of some American celebrat(and we’ve heard more Swedish ions being even than some in Sweden), and all here in our they are comprehensive listing celebrations throughout Swedish of Midsommar America / Page 6

Art & Culture, p9-11

The Nordic knitting craze comes to Seattle / Three exhibits complement each other in Philly / New museum stands to be a cultural icon in architecture as well as Nordic resources.

Stay informed in a Swede way. Nordstjernan is published every other week with the exceptions of Jan.-Feb. and July-Aug.


offer a Tech Forecast Silicon Vikings California / p16 California based and Nordic in 360 for the U.S.

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A reader from upstate New York shares his book we’d all like to read and cook from.

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m was built on 14 islands east coast where on Sweden’s Sea. More than Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic 50 bridges connect islands and the various city the archipela go, feats of where in some engineer cases locks passage possible. were built to ing make up in Stockhol Contributor Leif Rosqvist m grew he walks about and often takes us with him as the city, this that follows the water’s edge time along a route (sluss) system. of the historic /Page 14 lock

Swedish News.

Feature, p18 Volume 145 No.

4, April 1, 2017.

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easter in swe den

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“Lumpen” is back—a, so far, limited consciption mandatory returns in Sweden / p3 recipes for the spring table include salmon and cod / p13 Footprints: Andrew Alfred AnderssoAnderson, born Anders n/ p22 Tough start of the season for the Swedish goalie of Minnesota soccer United / p26


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By 1200 AD, our Christian practicesNordic ancestors were blending that were slowly in Scandina being accepted via with their ancient pagan thus beginnin rituals, g the evolution enjoyed today, of celebrations most notably still more than any at other tradition Easter. Perhaps still blends the in religious meaning Sweden, Easter and rebirth with the more secular of resurrection the new life that celebrations of all comes with spring. Story, page 12

Classic Easter

Stockholm Wal kabout Stockhol

Our Swedish Honorary Consuls, who are they really? We decided to take a look. /p16


n living in Sweden

brings his view

on the Swedish

tax system, page


Photo: Lenneart

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Zlatan stays in England / Tattoo capital of the world / Swedish government warns to save in lieu of pensions /A special day, p23 The prince invests in virtual reality / Swedish children’s book boom in China. The Exchange Rate:


Sec code: _______

$1.00 = SEK 7.96 (9.18.2017)

OCTOBER 1, 2017 3

dashboard | october 1, 2017

Royal walks the countryside

Crown Princess Victoria on the Västergötland countryside. Photo: Raphael Stecksén/

As part of her 40th birthday focus, Crown Princess Victoria has pledged to spend her new year walking through the various parts of Sweden, giving particular attention to areas found in nature and off the beaten path. Walking through Sweden’s landscapes doesn’t always come without a bit of weather, but for Victoria, who doesn’t mind the rain, said her first (rainy) hike in Västergötland on Sept. 9 was just another day and way to embrace nature.

The stories, the traditions, the people behind the news. founded in new york city in september 1872 executive editor

& publisher:

Ulf Barslund Mårtensson ( editor:

Amanda Olson Robison ( managing editor & production: Everett Martin graphic design: Nadia Wojcik ( contributors:

Chipp Reid - Lisa Mikulski - Ted Olsson - Leif Rosqvist Ulf Kirchdorfer - Valorie Arrowsmith - Olle Wijkström Bo Zaunders - Göran Rygert - James Kaplan - Gunilla Blixt publications director:

Mette Barslund Mårtensson (; 800.827.9333, ext 12)

nordstjernan p.o. box 1710 new canaan ct 06840 contact us at 1.800.827.9333 ext 10 for reader services, email:; ext 12 for advertising, email: Covering three worlds: Sweden, America and Swedish America. Order your own copy, $55.00 for a year (18 issues) Choose ‘subscribe’ at or call 1.800.827.9333, ext 10 4 NORDSTJERNAN

The five glass 72-hour cabins were designed by Swedish architecture student Jeanna Berger. Each house sits on pillars with beautiful views in the Dalsland countryside near Gothenburg. They will soon be offered as rooms to rent to the public. Photo by Maja Flink

The benefits of (Swedish) nature Sweden’s quality of life has consistently ranked high on lists of all kinds, and those lists have always reflected Swedes' belief that spending time outdoors makes life more meaningful. Visit Sweden www. (the same company that listed the whole country of Sweden on Airbnb) found five people with highly stressful jobs who for three days are immersing themselves in the “The 72 Hour Cabin” study; they are staying in custom-built glass cabins to be as close to nature as possible and participating in outdoor activities, all while having their well-being measured by leading researchers from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. "The 72 Hour Cabin” study aims to discover the effects that this immersive therapy can have. Participants include a British broadcaster, a German police officer, a Parisian taxi driver, a British journalist and an American event coordinator from New York. The cabins are on Henriksholm Island, two hours north of Gothenburg, and will eventually be made available for the public to rent, perhaps to try the experiment for themselves. After the September study, results are expected in October.

Swedish chef shares some secrets in Chicago

The vibrant, engaging Magnus Nilsson was in Chicago from his 2-Michelin-star restaurant Faviken in his native Jamtland, Sweden to the delight of eager audiences at the Swedish American Museum ( in mid-September. Nilsson’s photo exhibit came to life as he explained the process behind his 5-year journey to understand the “new Nordic” food culture, which he said isn’t a thing; “Nordic food is still the same! It’s just getting noticed for the first time.” The project culminated in beautiful photos, “a lot of friends,” and a book (his third), The Nordic Cookbook, which is made up of the beautiful images and their corresponding recipes representing everyday people and the home-cooking that reflects the region they live in. His own home-cooked favorite food? Rice pudding.

dashboard | october 1, 2017

The worst apple harvest in 50 years

Particularly bad spring weather had a very negative effect on Sweden’s apple crop this year. The harvest is expected to be 50-60 percent smaller than usual because of spring’s late freezes which damaged the blossoming apple trees across Sweden. The apple trees in northern Skåne were hit the hardest, and it was the Swedes’ favorite apple, the “aroma” variety, that got the brunt of it. Henrik Stridh, CEO of Äppelriket, doesn’t believe consumers will really notice the bad harvest, at least not until spring, when the store shelves run out of apples. Normally growers are able to supply stores with apples continuously through the year. “The volume will not be as big as we are used to,” says Stridh. “Getting Swedish apples all year round will be tough in 2017 and 2018.”

Gothenburg by bicycle taxi

Pling Transport, a bike taxi startup that’s been in Gothenburg since 2102, says their new mode of transportation is an environmentally friendly service that started as a way to deliver packages to businesses in the city, but this summer it turned into a human cargo delivery method, too. As people saw the sixwheeled bicycles pedaling around the city, requests started coming in for rides. The six-wheeled taxi is equipped with an extra large cargo space that seats two passengers, with a maximum weight of about 200 kilos (440 pounds). For SEK 125 ($15), you can go anywhere within the zone in central Gothenburg (see the map at for 15 minutes. “It is mostly tourists who want to go for a tour of the city,” says driver Matilda Landelius. “And it will be slow,” adds Stina Johansson of Pling Transport. “But we always drive in the bike lanes, so you don’t get stuck in car lanes. And considering all the redevelopment in town, this is a smooth alternative.”

swedish super berries While many health enthusiasts tout the powers of popular berries like the trendy goji, Swedes looking for a health boost need go no further than the great Swedish outdoors. Nine “super berries” grow in the Swedish countryside where everyone has the right to pick as many as they’d like, thanks to the “Allemansrätten,” or the “right to roam.” Livsmedelsverket (The Food Administration) has analyzed and measured the levels of vitamin C, folate, vitamin K and carotenoids, determining these popular Swedish berries are indeed super: hawthorn berries; chokeberries; blueberries; strawberries; red and black currants; raspberries; lingonberries and gooseberries.

Photo: Kerstin Alm

Discovery: Female Viking warrior

Another Swedish Emmy

Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård won his first-ever Emmy Award on Sunday, Sept. 17, in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for his emotional portrayal of an abusive husband in “Big Little Lies.” Skarsgård, 41, grew up in Vällingby, outside Stockholm, the oldest son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård and brother of actors Bill, Gustaf and Valter. Alexander’s rise in Hollywood is most recently marked by his roles in True Blood and the Tarzan movie.

DNA analysis has confirmed that human remains interred in a thousand-year-old Viking warrior grave in Birka, Sweden were those of a woman and not a man as previously believed. When researchers first discovered the remains in the 1880s, the extravagant grave filled with swords, arrowheads, and two sacrificed horses led them to assume it was the burial site of a high-ranking man. Now, 130 years later, DNA tests show that this prominent Viking warrior was actually a woman. "Aside from the complete warrior equipment buried along with her... she had a board game in her lap, or a war planning game used to try out battle tactics and strategies, which indicates she was a powerful military leader,” says Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, lead author of the study. Much of the history of female warriors has been passed as legend, but this warrior probably planned, led and took part in battles, a position of authority which raises provocative questions about gender roles in the male-dominated Viking society. The identity of this first-ever known high ranking female warrior was discovered by Anna Kjellstrom, The History Channel’s hit show Vikings an osteologist at Stockholm University, who began portrays a female warrior in Lagertha, played studying the remains in 2016 and noticed feminine by Katheryn Winnick. qualities, such as thinner cheekbones and wider hips. The study is published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and can be found at OCTOBER 1, 2017 5

local events

Local Events California

Thousand Oaks 10.22,9-5 PM Höstmarknad: The annual Scandinavian fall event includes a Swedish Meatball Competition, entertainment, folk dancers, vendors, artisans, food court, swimming pool, solar gazing, kubb games and more at Vasa Park in Triunfo Canyon in Agoura Hills, 760.880.8943 / Lkosvic@gmail. com /


Boca Raton 10.07, 6-11 PM SWEA-South Florida’s 25th Anniversary: A black-tie fundraising gala dinner includes a reception followed by a three-course dinner, an art exhibition, superior raffle prizes, and high-class entertainment and dancing. Honored guests are HRH Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Barbro LillBabs Svensson. At Boca Country Club, 954.695.7345 / kickan@bocaswede. com / Sarasota 10.21, 6-9 PM Crayfish Party: Crayfish freshly harvested and prepared in Oregon, Happy Hour price for drinks at the bar all evening at Holiday Inn by Sarasota Airport. Reception at 6, dinner at 7. RSVP by 10/14 to Swedish Club of Sarasota, 941.705.7700 / www. crayfish-party


Atlanta 10.19, 6-9 PM Wine-working: Challenge your Swedish taste buds and enjoy good wine and company in a wine-after-work with SACC-GA and wine guru Brandon Tai at Atlantic Wine, 3906 Roswell Rd NE. 231.633.0776 / th_event/wine-working Roswell 10.07-08, 10 AM - 5 PM Viking Encampment: Vikings will be demonstrating weapons and fighting techniques, clothing and crafts. Enjoy a Viking wedding ceremony, attend and participate in several demonstrations and lectures about Viking culture in the barn activity room. Admission is FREE. Vendors with food and drink available for purchase. Barrington Hall, 770.640.3855 /


Chicago 10.01, Noon Herring Breakfast A traditional fried herring breakfast, which includes meatballs, potato sausage and much more, will be catered by Tre Kronor restaurant. Prepaid and confirmed reservations are required. Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / www.


bullerbyn in chicago

Children aged 6 months to 5 years are welcome with parents for singing cherished children’s songs, reading humorous tales and having lots of fun in Swedish. Only Swedish is spoken in Bullerbyn, so it’s helpful if Swedish is spoken regularly at home too! We meet every other Sunday - this month it’s October 1 & 15 - at 10-11 a.m. in the gallery or the Children’s Museum; kids are welcome to play in the Brunk Children’s Museum after the program. The classes are free for members, non-members are asked to make a $5 per child/class donation. Reservations to are helpful. Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago. 773.728.8111 / www. 
 10.06, 7:30-9:30 PM Runeberg Choir concert: Runebergskören from Borgå, Finland is on tour in the U.S., and is in Chicago with a concert at Anderson Chapel at North Park University, 773.244.6200 / www. Geneva 10.21, 1-4 PM Visit the Viking ship: The Viking is an exact replica of the Gokstad. In 1893, under Captain Magnus Andersen, she sailed across the Atlantic (from Norway to New York) and on to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (via the Erie Canal and Great Lakes). Once displayed in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, Viking is now located in Geneva, IL. Docent led tours begin approximately every 30 minutes. Last tour begins at 3:30 p.m. 630.302.7338 / viking1893@ / Park Ridge 10.28, 9 AM – 2:30 PM The Nordic Marketplace & Luncheon From 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. shop early for Christmas at the Marketplace featuring Scandinavian-inspired wares. Visit all of the vendors and enter to win door prizes. At 12:30 p.m. is the luncheon and program, featuring Knud Knudsen’s black and white photography that illustrate the economic, social, and environmental factors that led high rates of emigration from Knudsen’s hometown in Norway. Park Ridge Country Club, 636 North Prospect Ave. RSVP to the Chicago Area Friends of Vesterheim, 563-382-9681 x 107 / /www.

folk dancing, parade, a smörgåsbord and special entertainment. Free with purchase of support button in downtown Lindsborg, 888.227.2227 /

will be provided with lunch for purchase from our Kaffestugan. Scandinavian Cultural Center, 617.795.1914 / www.


Minneapolis 10.11, 6:30-8:30 PM Blue Eyed Blondes: In their first visit to the Midwest, the Swedish folk and country duo is on tour to retrace their roots and family immigration history. The Blue Eyed Blondes - Lina Lönnberg and Kristoffer Emanuelsson - explore common factors between the past and the present and tell stories about Swedish immigrants’ life changing journeys, with musical expressions of restlessness, a longing for a home and the courage to follow a dream of a new life lived somewhere else. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 / /

10.21, 1 PM Screening of The Emigrants: See Jan Troell’s film The Emigrants (Utyandrarna, 1971), adapted from The Emigrants book series by Vilhelm Moberg, which follows the life of the Nilsson family in mid-1800s Sweden. We see their struggle as a farming family in Sweden, their eventual move to Minnesota in the U.S., and the hardship of making a new place a home. The film is regarded as cinematic masterpieces that more accurately reflect the struggles of immigration. In Swedish with English subtitles. (The New Land (Nybyggarna, 1972) will screen on Nov. 18). Light refreshments



Linsborg 10.08, 1:30 PM Falun Classic: The 25th anniversary of the Falun Classic Bicycle Ride is a 32-mile fun ride that meanders through the beautiful fall foliage and hills of the Smoky Valley. Begin at Swensson Park, 400 N. Main St. 620.242.7133 / / www. 10.13-10.14, 9 AM- 9 PM Svensk Hyllningsfest: The biennial celebration honors the Swedish immigrants who settled in the Smoky Valley in 1869 and features art, crafts, special foods, ethnic music,

october 4: kanelbullens dag

Kanelbullensdag: In Sweden a whole day is dedicated to the famous pastry “kanelbullen,” the cinnamon bun. It is a traditional Swedish wheat bun with a cinnamon, sugar and butter filling - delicious! There should be many opportunities around Swedish America to get yours, but if you’re in the Atlanta area, you are welcome to stop by the SACC-Georgia offices on Oct. 4, for a chat, some coffee and a home-made cinnamon bun. 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Spaces Midtown, 715 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA. For more info, call 231.633.0776 or see

local localevents events Skandia 10.14, 10 AM - 2 PM Annie’s Swedish Coffee Party: Celebrate a traditional Swedish 3-course Coffee Party and tour Gammelgården’s five historic buildings. Choose one of two reservation times at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. $15. Gammelgården, 651-433-5053 /

New Jersey

10.22, 11:30 AM - 4 PM Winternights Viking Festival: 7th Annual Winternights Festival (Vetrnaetr) is a family friendly event to honor, share, learn and promote Vikings and early Norse culture and beliefs. Music, food, vendors, demonstrations, crafts, a Viking longship and more. Vernon Nordic House, 862.213.2596 / / www.

New York

New York 10.15, 3-4 PM Yes, Chef! Join Swedish Chef Marcus Samuelsson for a cooking demonstration and meet-and-greet. He will cook up something delicious and will have something tasty for you to try, so bring the family for an afternoon of fun. Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / / www. 10.18, 6-8 PM Sneak Preview: Catch a preview of the hit Swedish television thriller, Modus. Modus follows psychologist and profiler Inger Johanne Vik. During a snowy Christmas season in Sweden, Inger Johanne finds not only herself but also her daughter drawn into the investigation of a number of disturbing deaths. After the screening, Walter Izzulino of Walter Presents will discuss current trends on the small screen in Scandinavia. Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / / 10.24, 6-7 PM Nordic Book Club: Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of our Nordic Book Club. This month: Norma by Sofi Oksanen is a spellbinding new novel set in present day Helsinki, about a young woman with a fantastical secret who is trying to solve the mystery of her mother’s death. Discussion in the Halldór Laxness Library at Scandinavia House and online in our Goodreads group during the last week of the month. 212.779.3587 / / 10.25, 6-9 PM New Finnish Cinema: Little Wing Frustrated by her mother’s erratic behavior, a 12-year-old girl sets out on an impromptu quest to find her birth father, in this sharp and touching portrait of adolescence, healthy relationships and mental health. Directed by Selma Vilhunen (Finland, Denmark, 2016). Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 /

nordic knitting in the pacific northwest

Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Sarah Jessica Parker do it ... other celebrities and Americans in general are now doing it, too; they’ve been taking notice of a trend that’s really never gone out of style in Scandinavia: knitting. On the subway, at the playground, even at church and in meetings, knitting increased 150% among women aged 25-35 in the early 21st century. For the first 400 years of knitting’s history, the most common knitting materials were cotton and silk, not wool, and it was a male dominated industry. In fact, when the very first knitting union was established in Paris in 1527, no women were allowed. There are many theories on where knitting actually started, but Sweden is one of the few places where the introduction of knitting as we know it today can be dated (before that, there were techniques with needles and weaving, of course) – the Dutch wife of the governor of Sweden’s Halland province brought the craft to Sweden in the mid-17th century. She introduced knitting with needles, and people of all ages learned to knit. It was eventually so valued in Sweden that it was accepted as payment for taxes in the 19th century. Sweden is also the birthplace of tvåändsstickning (“two-end knitting”), also known in the U.S. as twined knitting. Now as a new generation of Americans is learning a skill dominated for a while by our grandmothers, and appreciation for knitting’s Nordic roots is also gaining vitality. The 2017 Nordic Knitting Conference in Seattle is bringing back favorite instructors Arne & Carlos from Norway for this year’s event for passionate knitters, spinners, designers, and textile artists of all kinds on October 6-8 at the Nordic Heritage Museum. These experts provide a diverse range of classes exploring the rich tradition of Nordic crochet, knitting, and spinning. If you aren’t already signed up, do so here: North Dakota

Fargo 10.16, 3-4:30 PM 40th Anniversary Party: Join the Swedish Cultural Heritage Society of the Red River Valley in celebrating their founding. Sons of Norway, 722 2nd Ave. N, 218.790.6066 / chriscarlson64@


Portland Now through Dec. 29 Winter Comes: Oregon’s Nordic Ski History: Learn about the history of Nordic skiing, from its roots in Scandinavia to its prominence in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest! Includes reproductions of both historical and contemporary ski equipment. Free. Nordia House Gallery, 503.977.0275 /


Philadelphia 10.17, 10:30-11:30 AM Toddler Time: Educational and family fun Toddler Time helps young minds

grow through interactive stories, engaging hands-on activities and valuable social interaction. Explore art, science, and literature in the unique and positive child centered learning environment of the American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 /


Seattle 10.06, 6 PM Viking Disco: Life is more than raiding, pillaging and carving runestones. Once a year, we let our inner Vikings out to boogie all night on our dance floors. Authentic Viking dinner at 6 p.m.; slightly less authentic dance party at 8 p.m. with live band and DJ. Costumes encouraged. The Swedish Club, 1920 Dexter Ave. RSVP for dinner and/or dance: 206.283.1090 / www. 10.24, 5:30-7 PM Euro Mixer: Mingle with fellow European Chamber members at this popular annual networking event. Don’t miss

this chance to market your business and make new connections across borders! Light appetizers served at The Daily Grill, 629 Pike St. RSVP by sending names of attendees to 425.952.6299 / www.


Milwaukee 10.14, 1:30-4 PM Viking Runestone in the Midwest: In 1898, Swedish immigrant Olaf Ohman discovered a Viking runestone near Kensington, Minnesota, the type carved by Vikings as they explored in early centuries. Is this an authentic Viking runestone? The 202 pound Kensington Runestone has been analyzed, researched, viewed and debated in Sweden and the U.S. Hear about the discovery and legend of the Kensington Runestone, and enjoy fika afterward. Redemption Lutheran Church, 4057 N. Mayfair Rd., 262.781.6113 / OCTOBER 1, 2017 7

local events

Höstmarknad in California

Most of the 50 plus years I’ve observed events at the Los Angeles Vasa Park were rather bland, and same old, same old, every year … That is until the Vasa marketing committee spearheaded by Ann Heinstedt used an idea put forth by park manager Larry Klein about the “Swedish Meatball”. Now the “Swedish Meatball” is in a category like the Irish “Corned Beef & Cabbage” loved by most all Americans! The “Super Swedish Retailer, Ikea”, has further popularized the Meatball by offering it in their stores around the world as a full meal to feed the poor and the hungry for $10 or less. The meatball Idea at Vasa Park became a contest for “best tasting”, and has now developed into the centerpiece of the fall Marknad this October 22. The idea was to stimulate interest & competition between the lodges, now expanded to other individuals who are just sure that they or their family made the best tasting meatballs, generation after generation? Of course there are other things to see, hear, and buy at the Marknad now presented in a very professional & colorful way by a great variety craft retailers … Not to mention games, swimming, dancing, climbing, etc., along with the traditional program. This Marknad has now developed into the fun & games of the beloved “Swedish Crayfish Party” where the typically reserved Swedes let their hair down, and have a rollicking good time. Ken Larson, Swedes of Los Angeles Where? Vasa Park in Agoura Hills (Just off US 101) 2854 Triunfo Canyon Road Agoura Hills, CA 91301 When? Sunday, October 22 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The Celebration of Nordic Children:

The all-new Scandinavian Festival near Milwaukee, WI on Oct. 7, is the region’s biggest festival of the year, made extra special this year by a focus on our next generation. Headlining the entertainment is the Swedish American Children's Choir from Batavia, IL which has been performing professionally for more than 18 years. There are also a lot of local youngsters who may want to come in costume (as much as the older folks). There is a children’s activity area, a scavenger hunt, a Lego station, Moomin movie, and – fo all ages - the famous pancake and meatball dinners are back, and they will include yellow pea soup as a new option. Also enjoy authentic Nordic foods, shopping language lessons, genealogy and much more. At Ronald Reagan Elementary School, New Berlin. 262.366.9152 / /

For more info and entertainment line-up, see

three for one in philadelphia

SAN FRANCISCO Torsdag 5 oktober kl 19.00: Student/Au Pairträff: Hemlagad middag och gemenskap med unga vuxna ii San Francisco området. Plats, Norska Sjömanskyrkan. Föranmälan på Norska Sjömanskyrkans facebooksida. Fredag 6 och 13 oktober kl 10.30: Barngruppen träffas på fredagar i Norska sjömanskyrkan för sång, lek och gemenskap. Kaffe och saft serveras.

Lördag 7 oktober kl 14.00: SVENSKTRÄFF Vi njuter av Fleet Week Air Show från balkongedn i Norska sjämanskyrkan. Kaffe och färska kanelbullar serveras.

Söndag 8 oktober kl 14.00


Vi firar Tacksägelsedagen i Swedenborgian Church, 2107Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94115. Kyrkoherde Louise Linder predikar på temat Tacksamhet. Hanna Linder spelar piano och tolkar dagens texter och tema genom musik av Ted Gärdestad, Lisa Nilsson och annan modern musik. Se Facebook för mer info!

CHURCH OF SWEDEN AT Norwegian Seamen’s Church 2454 Hyde Street, San Francisco • Tel: 415-632-8504 Mer information: 8 NORDSTJERNAN

Opening on October 21 at the American Swedish Museum in Philadelphia are three complementary exhibits that build on the refugee theme: “Portraits of Migration: Sweden Beyond the Headlines,” “Better shelter” and Magnus Wennman’s “Where the Children Sleep,” a series of 22 captivating photographs that document the tragic consequences of the refugee crisis. Wennman has captured what the simple act of bedtime brings for the youngest and most vulnerable refugees. Each photograph comes with captions by journalist Carina Bergfeldt of how

these children and their families struggle through the Middle East and Europe while making the harrowing journey out of Syria. All three exhibits will be on view at ASHM through March. Where the Children Sleep opens with a receoption on Saturday, Oct. 21at 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Also on Oct. 21 is an education fair to connect people with the refugee community. Speakers will share their personal experiences and refugee aid groups from the greater Philadelphia area will let you know how you can help with this important human rights issue. Free.

Do you know about an upcoming event in Swedish America? Submit it any time to our online calendar at

local events

how to skål with style

For more local events in Swedish America see our online calendar at www. or download the free app Nordic in America-Events from App Store or Google Play www.

Magnus Nilsson, renowned Swedish chef, shared many cooking hints (see more on his visit to Chicago on p.4), which he “built from a toolbox of experiences.” After his latest project for The Nordic Cookbook, he learned that people eat what makes sense for where they are. We assume that goes for what people drink as well. And though the foods native to the many regions he studied are diverse even within the Nordic countries, everyone probably agrees his “recipe” for enjoying a little aquavit is likely universal. How to skål with style 1. Engage the gaze of the person with whom you are planning to skål by looking intensely at him or her. It is almost impossible to do this without looking a bit intimidating and crazy; don’t worry, though, this is completely normal behavior in most parts of the Nordic region. The glass is, at this point, not to be held above your chin. 2. When you have looked each other in the eye for long enough so it feels a little uncomfortable, lift the glass toward

your eye line and distinctly exclaim “skål!” possibly followed by the name of the person with whom you are skåling. 3. Tilt your head backward, and down the whole amount of aquavit in one gulp. Sipping is generally not considered good practice for enjoying aquavit, but the option of drinking half can be acceptable. To stop mid-gulp and keep the second half for later is called “biting the aquavit off.”

4. Lower the glass again to a comfortable position at the height of your chest and once more look your drinking partner in the eye, firmly. Try to shake off any shivers induced by the strong alcohol as subtly as possible and keep the gaze steady for a second or two before putting the glass down on the table.

The New Nordic Museum

Nordic Heritage Museum CEO Eric Nelson, right, with John Safstrom of the construction crew in what will be the entrance to the most impressive Nordic presence in the U.S.

After close to 40 years in a leased space in Ballard, Washington, the beacon of the Nordic presence in the Pacific Northwest is moving into a new state-ofthe-art facility in 2018. The new museum is in the center of the district’s working waterfront, near the old locks and the Botanical Garden of the historic center of Seattle’s Nordic community. This is where the Norwegians, Finns, Danes, Icelandics and Swedes worked as loggers, farmers, engineers, entrepreneurs or boat builders—the heart of Snus Junction is only a couple blocks away from the 57,000-square-foot new museum. The facility is purpose built and, while introducing visitors to the old countries, the waves of immigration and hardships for the newcomers also speak to the modern aspects of sustainability and contemporary design from Scandinavia. Everything in the architecture and design of the interior is conceptual and will entail interactive elements with a core exhibition of objects depicting both the history of the Nordic region and the Nordic American experience. Temporary exhibitions and a generous café area on the first floor of the two-story building will invite you to come back. All in all, quite a feat by the present museum’s leadership and staff, but first and foremost by the local Nordic communities who contributed over $40 million to the impressive project. Hats off to what will likely become a new Nordic beacon and a link to the past and the future for generations to come! For more info, see

National archives and library for Swedish-American historical research Publishers of Swedish American Genealogist 639 38th Street Rock Island, IL | 61201-2296 309-794-7204 swenson OCTOBER 1, 2017 9

readers forum


Pomona’s Lost Children Reader Jay T. Stratton from upstate New York sent us a gift in the form of his newly published book, “Pomona’s Lost Children, A Book of Uncommon Antique Fruits.” The book, which is a comfortable mix of memories, facts, trivia and recipes, was a revelation for a variety of reasons. If you grew up in the countryside or with access to a summerhouse or garden in Sweden, you have most likely grown up around red and black currant bushes along with gooseberries, elderberries and all sorts of other fruits that these days, as we’ve learned, are considered super berries. Ah, the bliss of picking and eating ripe gooseberries from the bush or finding a whole grove of wild raspberries or blackberries, not uncommon outside the urban areas of Sweden. As newly arrived Swedish-Americans living in a somewhat rural suburb in Connecticut, we have yet to see a single currant or gooseberry bush—we did try to grow our own, but alas, the budding young bushes fell under the blade of uninformed lawn mowers. Upon arrival at the local supermarket for the first time you will find no such thing as the black currant jelly so popular with roasts in Sweden in the fall. Having grown up in upstate New York, it turns out Stratton’s childhood was all about these widely forgotten fruits and berries—and quite a few we weren’t aware of, such as the Jostaberry, the Pawpaw or the Saskatoon. Surely there are still areas of this vast country where all fruits mentioned in this lovely read are still common, but for now we have to settle with the inspiration from Stratton to grow our own. The mix of tips on growing, on cooking with memories, mythology and ethnobotany of Pomona’s Lost Children makes it an easy read and the hundreds of recipes are a welcome bonus. /UBM

Pomona’s Lost Children Chautauqua Gorge Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-9991051-0-8 $14.95 215 pages, 8” x 10” soft cover Available through

Here’s a taste from the book: Currant pie/Vinbärspaj (works equally well with red or black currant or a mix of the two) This recipe was originally printed in Swedish- The following German recipe for currant pie is a American Book of Cookery: And Adviser for Swed- bit fancier than the previous Swedish-American ish Servants in America, published in New York in recipe. Roll out this dough and bake for about 25 1888 by Carl Grimsköld. minutes at 325ºF: One cupful of ripe currants crushed fine, one cupful of sugar, one half cupful of water, the yolks 1-1/2 cups flour of two eggs and one tablespoon of flour. Bake with 1 teaspoon baking powder an under crust. When baked, beat the whites of 1/2 cup butter the eggs with four spoonfuls of powdered sugar, 1/2 cup sugar spread it on top of the pie and return to the oven to 2 egg yolks brown. (En kopp mogna och fint pressade vinbär, 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest en dito socker, en half dito vatten, två äggulor och en matsked mjöl. Bakas i underdeg. När den Then add this filling and bake an additional 10 är gräddad, vispas äggvitorna samman med fyra minutes or more until the top browns: skedar pudersocker och bredes över pajen, som ställes tillbaka i ugnen, att brungräddas.) 2 egg whites, beaten stiff This recipe is positively wonderful! I used a 1/2 cup sugar standard piecrust of 1 cup flour, 5 tablespoons 2 tablespoons corn starch shortening, a pinch of salt and only enough water 2-1/4 cups red currants to combine the dough. Add water one spoonful at a time. The egg whites make a mini-meringue on top. If your crust threatens to collapse while baking, you You may choose to make a real meringue or to serve may need to support it with foil and dried beans or the pie with whipped cream or ice cream instead. some other weights.

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


Please send me ____ book(s) x $24.90 = _______

Incl. S&H (in continental U.S.)

Total: _________

Name Address City State Zip Tel. m Check enclosed payable to Nordstjernan m Please charge my credit card: Card# Signature

Exp. Date: SSC Code:


local events

A herd of wild (Dala) horses

Leave it to some proud Swedish Americans to create the world’s largest (and probably only) herd of wild Dala horses. Challenge yourself to find them around town, and especially during Svensk Hyllningsfest on October 13-14, 2017 In Chicago it was fiberglass Cows on Parade and in Milwaukee it was the Beastie Beat. These 3-dimensional “life sized” symbols of their cities were pieces of public art that became icons in their own right, projects that raised money for the arts. A little further south and west, in Lindsborg, Kansas, folks recognized the power in their town icon and wanted a fun project to celebrate it. And in 2000 the Wild Dala Herd was created.

Lindsborg, AKA Little Sweden USA, already had more than one Dalahäst (horse) in town, and the planners—who called themselves the Dala Wranglers—hoped for a total of about 10 large horses in the herd of Dalahästs scattered about the business district. Over the course of the next decade, the herd grew. National publications reported on it, and Swedish media shared the news of the pop-art horses in the United States. In 2016, the thirty-third member of the herd was unveiled in downtown Lindsborg. Number 34 is in the works, to be unveiled later this year, and number 35 is already queued up for Lindsborg’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2019. The Dala herd is meant to be a fun, permanent display; there are no plans to auction off the horses as was done in Chicago. Each horse except one is molded from fiberglass made in Ohio for a cost of $2500, and a local artist is paid $500 to paint it. After hours of research and creative planning, the

artist paints and finishes the horse with a protective outdoor varnish to shield the coat from the unpredictable Kansas weather. Each time a new Wild Dala is revealed there is a presentation of street theatre, script and song by local volunteers and personalities, and the public is always welcome to join in. The one non-fiberglass Dala is Queen Katarina Ditto — she was the first horse and is made of wood (weigh-

ing over 300 pounds) and is considered the mother of all the horses; the rest are her "dittos." Most of the horse names feature fun wordplay, such as Salvador Dala, Uppsadala and Blue Colla Dala. Lindsborg has a vital artist community, so the horses can be very creative but all concentrate on blending the past with modern life of Lindsborg. The Wild Dala herd was also given the distinction as one of the "8 Wonders of Kansas Culture" by the Kansas Sampler Foundation. Lindsborgians have just as much fun with the Wild Dalas as tourists do, and residents are happy to take visitors' photos with them — that is, if anyone can catch them. Amanda Olson Robison

Our office is open Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 3 pm. The mobile passport station will be in Fort Lauderdale November 28-30. Please contact us for more information.


Consulate of Sweden Tower 101, 101 NE 3rd Avenue, Suite 1700B Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Find all the Dala horses (and even race with them) at Svensk Hyllningsfest in Lindsborg, Kansas, this year on October 13-14 /

Phone: +1 954 467 3507 Fax:+1 954 467 1731 Like us on Facebook

OCTOBER 1, 2017 11


Åsöberget Walkabout

A nostalgic mix, with insight to a unique part of world history: Åsöberget, since 1956 a cultural reserve, is located in the Södermalm district of Stockholm, “på Söder.”

View over Åsöberget towards Värtan, an inlet close to Stockholm City Center, and Djurgården.

“I ask you, come with me to the south hills of Stockholm, to the street, where Kolingen had his simple lair. You see how he stands in the doorway of the wigwam, where he lodges with Ugly Philip.” Kolingen, created by the Swedish author and artist Albert Engström, would become the persona that represents the image of people living in the south hills, at Åsöberget, in Stockholm. Åsöberget is situated around the streets Folkungagatan, Sågargatan, Lotsgatan, Skeppargränd and Kvastmakargatan. All very easy to find on any Stockholm tourist map. The 50 small wooden houses at Åsöberget are the last ones remaining from an extremely dismal epoch in Stockholm’s history. Here lived the poor of the poorest in the 1700s, in more than 1500 dwellings, most of which were torn down as new developments took over. Those that remain are the largest old wooden houses that have been preserved by Stockholm City for future generations. They were small, drafty and cold with only one source of heating and cooking. There could be up to 15 or 16 people living in one of these one-bedroom homes. Today they are like small, modernized dollhouses for a select group of people. “Uti de avlägsne Quateren och Tracterna måste fuller de fattiga små hus få stå obehindrade” (in old Swedish) means “In the most remote neighborhoods the poor people’s small houses must remain unstopped,” which was the common view of the upper classes about building the small wooden houses at Åsöberget. Very similar to today’s views in many ways, where the poor often live in separate neighborhoods. 12 NORDSTJERNAN

mixing the old and new

I take bus #53 from Slussen to Renstiernasgatan and am eager to start my walkabout eastward on Åsögatan on my way up toward Åsöberget. I’m reaching the house at Åsögatan 197, where the creator of Kolingen, Albert Engström, had his “wigwam” (home). The famous Swedish painter Carl Larsson had his studio there for a couple of years earlier. Åsögatan’s most eastern area has especially retained its 1700s settlement of small red cottages looking like dollhouses. Old block names like Tjärhovet, Lotsen and Masten remind me of the seamen and shipyard workers at the adjacent ship yard at Tegelviken, who lived here. The Swedish author Per Anders Fogelström wrote the fascinating series of books about Stockholm, including the well-known “City of my Dreams” where the narrative follows a group of working class people in Södermalm between 1860 and 1880. This series of books illustrates the true feeling for the Stockholm heritage I remember from my youth. When Åsögatan changes name to Kvastmakartrappan I have reached the most eastern location where the house number is Åsögatan 213. But there is a lot to see before I arrive at this eastern point. On my way I pass Beckbrännarbacken, situated adjacent to several other streets like Stora Mejtens Gränd and Bergsprängagränd, with the past history of how poor people really lived, in great misery. It is fascinating to me that I can see a house and compare it with a picture from Stockholmskällan that is taking me back to the early 1900s. The façade looks exactly the same, but today the apartments are totally renovated and are very much sought after by affluent people.

Albert Engström’s fictional character Kolingen at his wigwam, Åsögatan 197.

Åsögatan 213 at Duvnäsgatan




The intersection of Åsögatan and Sågargatan.

I turn around and move toward Sågargatan and Skeppargatan via Mäster Pers Gränd and Borgmästargatan. Picturesque and charming houses were built in the 1700s at Mäster Pers Gränd. Houses like this are renovated inside but keep the outside true to history. I continue my walk to Bergsprängartrappan and back to Åsögatan toward the east side of Åsöberget. More than 70 years ago a very happy young couple walked in the Sunday sunshine with a stroller, in which their son was sleeping. That son was me — my first walkabout in this area was with the help of wheels. I continue my walk toward Sågargatan where I see more red cottages preserved among more modern buildings. At Åsögatan 213, at the intersection with Duvnäsgatan, I see the beautiful mixture of very old and newer buildings. I see a building from the 1700s across the street from one from the 1950s. How interesting, isn’t it? The foresight of the city planners allowing the older section to exist together with the newer buildings creates an interesting city. only at åsöberget At the top of Åsöberget I sit on a park bench and enjoy the afternoon sun. I have a fantastic view around me, toward Värtan and Djurgården, where I can see the ferry going east in the archipelago en route to Finland. In the other direction I see stove pipes from some old cottages. A fantastic view I can only see in Stockholm at Åsöberget! The author Per Anders Fogelström made Åsöberget and the people living there known to the public through his book “City of my dreams” (Mina Drömmars Stad, part of the five-book series called Stadsserien). He would have turned 100 years old on August 22, 2017. Leif Rosqvist 14 NORDSTJERNAN

Stockholm Söder

Bellmansgatan 1 may be the most famous address in Stockholm. It’s the fictional home of journalist Mikael Blomkvist, one of the main characters in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. Photo: SVB/Frederic Regain

Södermalm, often shortened to “Söder” (“South” in Swedish) where Åsöberget is located, is a district and an island in central Stockholm. The district covers the large island formerly called “Åsön” (Ridge island). The first urban areas on Söder were planned and built in the mid 17th century, comprising a mixture of working class housing, such as the little red cottages of Åsöberget in the northeastern section, and the summer houses and pavilions of wealthier families, such as Emanuel Swedenborg’s pavilion, later moved to Skansen. The working-class cottages that clung to Mariaberget, facing Riddarfjärden and the Old Town were replaced in the 18th and 19th centuries by the large buildings that are still present today and can be seen in the background on our cover. Manhattan has SoHo, short for South of Houston, and Stockholm has SoFo, South of Folkungagatan. From what I hear, the Swedish counterpart of SoHo was coined seven years ago when three guys from Stockholm’s Söder (the island of Södermalm) brainstormed over a bottle of wine, trying to find a distinctive name for their updated hip new neighborhood. Hip indeed. Not having been back to the Swedish capital for a while, I’m struck by how things have changed, especially on Söder. Long known for being a blue-collar district, it now exults in being the trendiest and most fashionable part of Stockholm. Some credit goes to pure fiction. I’m referring to author Stieg Larsson’s staggeringly successful Millennium trilogy, read by over 70

million people. By using Söder for most of the action, Larsson put it on the map like no one else has. In highly popular walking tours arranged by the City Museum, fans by the thousands now follow in the footsteps of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, his two main characters — tours usually start at Bellmansgatan where Mikael had his apartment, continue to the Millennium editorial office, pass Lisbeth’s luxury apartment, and include visits to their favorite haunts, such as the Kaffebar, a café popular with Mikael, and Kvarnen pub where Lisbeth spent time with friends from the rock band Evil Fingers. Speaking of Lisbeth, her dragon tattoo appears to have started a trend in body modification not to be believed. According to my Stockholm guide, Marco Giertz, in the past few years 40 tattoo parlors have sprung up on Söder alone. As we walked around, I saw several, but mostly took note of the many new outdoor cafés and restaurants lining the streets, crowded with stylish young people, many of whom flaunted — you guessed it — tattoos. Though chic and up-to-date, with a proliferation of fun eateries and smart new shops, Söder retains an old-time flavor. Its high elevation makes for some magnificent viewpoints, the most famous of which is Mosebacke, just south of Gamla Stan, the Old Town. Which brings us back to literary connections associated with the district. It was on Mosebacke that the hero of Strindberg’s first novel, The Red Room, stood on an early May evening around 1880, marveling at the life and bustle that lay below him. Before Strindberg there was Carl Michael Bellman, a native of the island and the great troubadour of the 18th century. His house at Urvädersgränd 3 still stands and is occasionally open for guided tours. Swedish literature once again presented itself when we ran into, of all things, a children’s playground apparently inspired by Per Anders Fogelström. (Based on Bo Zaunders’s recent Stockholm visit) OCTOBER 1, 2017 15


Sweden’s Honorary Consuls in the U.S. Who are they? In an effort to find out more about the Swedish consuls in America, the work they do and the people they represent, contributor Helen Teike interviewed each of them, published here throughout the year.


Honorary Consul: Gerd Sjogren, Chicago How long have you been the Swedish consul? I was appointed July 1, 2015, and reconfirmed by the U.S. State Department in early September 2016. What is your full-time occupation? I’m an entrepreneur. My husband and I help run a few companies, the most important being Interverbum Technology, a language technology company. How much time do you spend on consular matters? Consular affairs are handled by Vice Consul Anna Engstrom Patel who also assists with other tasks. In addition, we have one intern each semester who brings fresh input and energy into our work. How many Swedish citizens are in your area? We cover four states - Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee - with the Chicago area being the most heavily populated by Swedes. Our best estimate is 5,000+ and it could up to 10,000 Swedish citizens across the four states. In theory, these Swedes should have their residences registered in the Swedish Popula-

tion Registry, but a large number don’t. This is due to several factors, the most important being time-limited assignments of work or study, or moving within the U.S. without changing the registered address. The 2010 U.S. Census lists 2,600 individuals being Swedish-born in our four-state area, while 421,000 residents claim Swedish heritage in the same region. How many Swedes visit the consulate? We had approximately 700 visitors during 2016. Over half came for a passport issue, with immigration and citizenship issues each at 10 percent. Are there other local Swedish institutions or organizations you cooperate with? Yes, for business promotion we coordinate with Business Sweden (with whom we share offices) and Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, which has an office across the street. Cultural activities are coordinated with the Swedish American Museum, Gothenburg Sister Cities Committee and any other relevant group. SWEA Chicago is also very involved.

About Swedish food: I say no to glögg on December mornings, but late at night during the Christmas season is very enjoyable. Surströmming, on the other hand … it’s OK to attend an event with surströmming, though the smell barrier is extremely high; the flavor is actually not that pungent. I definitely enjoy sill och nubbe! Most admired Swede: A current Swede, Jessika Gedin – for her culture program “Babel” and the radio program “Spanarna” on which she often participates. It’s a very enjoyable radio program sent on a weekly basis in which three individuals pick up on current trends and use them to predict the future. Tove Lifendahl of Svenska Dagbladet is the only Swedish journalist writing about Swedes abroad - and how important it is to listen to them when they come back to Sweden. 16 NORDSTJERNAN

What is your personal connection with Sweden? My husband Bengt and I have lived all over the world – Brussels, Seoul, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.S. – but we have never actively sought to live abroad. We are both born, raised and educated in Sweden, and our ties to Sweden are still strong, both professionally and personally, with our four adult children (and two grandchildren) living in Stockholm. Our most important way to stay updated is by attending the “Almedalen week” every year on Gotland in early July. What made you choose to accept this position? I’m a really enthusiastic Swede, and I love to promote all the great things about my country - innovation, entrepreneurship, environmental development and the arts. I combine this outlook with an equal amount of love for Chicago, my adopted hometown.

On being Swedish: Nature is a way of life where you rather take a walk in the forest than walk in the mall during the weekend, appreciate the seasons, pick berries and harvest mushrooms in the fall and enjoy flowers in the spring and going swimming in the lakes rather in pools, even if it’s more chilly in the summer. What the U.S. can learn from Sweden: To take the environment more seriously. What Sweden has managed to achieve on a voluntary basis, the level of environmental knowledge with general population is an educational matter. The general American population is by comparison less educated in this particular respect. The biggest misconception about Sweden: Some - especially older generations - still have complete misconceptions regarding issues such as communism, sex, and suicidal rates in Sweden.

Vice Consul: Anna Engstrom Patel, Chicago How long have you been the Swedish vice consul? I started working for the consulate in the summer of 2015. What is your full-time occupation? This is my occupation. I am a paid employee and I work 80%. How much time do you spend on consular matters? Do you have help? I like to say that the consulate is responsible for three different pillars: consular, business and culture matters. Every school semester we have an intern. The intern is here for 20 weeks and earns credit for his/ her degree at a Swedish university.

On being Swedish: We have pretty good morals, jantelagen, everyone pulls their own weight. We are healthy and happy people. Most admired Swede: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Introducing Sweden to others: I talk about the environment and sustainability. I love bragging about how much household waste ends up on the landfill: only 1percent. The education level is high, and we’ve come from being one of Europe’s poorest countries and now we are one of the more prosperous countries with the happiest people! Stockholm is one of most beautiful cities in the world.

How many Swedish citizens are in your area? This is hard to say since the Swedish population register as well as the U.S. Census is based on individuals’ willingness to provide accurate information. What we know is that approximately 2600 residents in IL, IN, KY and TN responded that they were born in Sweden. Obviously, some might not have responded to the question, and we have some Swedish citizens that were not born in Sweden (immigrants that gained Swedish citizenship by application, children born in the U.S. to a Swedish parent, etc.). There are many factors that together make this number impossible to predict.

Does your district or area differ in any way from the other Swedish honorary consulates? I assume that some consulates are more tourism oriented than us. The Consulate in Chicago is very business oriented; there are many expats living in and near Chicago, and temporary visitors needing our help are often in the U.S. for business and we work hard to promote Swedish business to the City of Chicago. What is your most important task? If you had more funds what would you do in your region to spread the word about Sweden? Everything is important. I’d like more cultural activities, invite artists and promote exhibitions at local museums. Hosting a healthy Swedish school lunch would be fantastic. What is your personal connection with Sweden? I was born and raised in Sweden and still have my parents and my siblings and their families in Sweden. I have many fond memories of Sweden and continue to collect more with every trip I make. I just recently became a dual citizen. Swedish Honorary Consulate General in Chicago 150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1940 Chicago, IL 60601 312.781.6262

What the U.S. could learn from Sweden: A simplified tax code, better health insurance and health care. Everything can be simpler - in the U.S. you get more than what you actually need. Sweden recognized the United States on April 3, 1783, when the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Sweden was signed in Paris. The Swedish minister in Paris approached Benjamin Franklin in 1782 with the suggestion of concluding a treaty between the two entities, remarking that he hoped it would be remembered that “Sweden was the first power in Europe which had voluntarily and without solicitation offered its friendship to the United States.” Franklin informed Congress of this initiative and was then empowered to negotiate with Sweden. Diplomatic relations were established in 1818 when the United States named David Erskine as the first Consul to Stockholm on May 22. On September 20, 1947, H. Freeman Matthews was appointed to be the first U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.

Gerd and Anna, the Swedish Honorary Consulate General in Chicago. The work at the honorary consulates is all about team work—no single person in a city such as Chicago can live up to the expectations and demands from travelers and resident Swedes as well as promote Sweden and participation at events. OCTOBER 1, 2017 17

local events

Preparing for the future

The California based Silicon Vikings held an exciting seminar called “Anticipating and Preparing for the Future” this summer. It was led by Elif Trondsen who brought together a remarkable panel of futurists: Dr. Jim Spohrer, IBM’s director of Cognitive Open Tech (open source artificial intelligence); professor of sociology Adrienne Sörbom of the University of Stockholm and visiting scholar at Stanford; and Brock Hinzmann, a retired futurist from Stanford Research Institute. Trondsen himself is an alumnus of SRI, a member of the Silicon Vikings board and a consultant on future planning both here and in the Nordic countries. The evening began with a quip from William Gibson, that is so often quoted by such seers: “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” What’s so interesting about that quote is the inequity it takes for granted.

anticipating the future

The key to all these futurists’ practice 18 NORDSTJERNAN

is scanning the horizon. This requires voracious reading, collecting interesting articles about a device, practice or society that is likely to become typical in the future. The difficulty is organizing, storing and cross-indexing these examples. Brock explained the method of “axes of uncertainty” and to consider two spectra: Will technology eliminate or create more jobs? and will we have access to more or fewer resources? If you cross these two axes in their centers, you form a graph with four quadrants. Such exercises stimulate the consideration of future possibilities. It will not only stretch your mind but also alert you to other possibilities. However, Brock warned against the allure of technology: The future will likely be not so much about technology as about how we use it; humans remain the central concern and puzzle. At SRI the discipline went further. When they found a particularly interesting future idea, they created

a scenario around its use. They clustered similar scenarios and analyzed the circumstances and implications of these clustered potential futures.

our digital world

By reviewing the research in computers today, Spohrer gave a glimpse into the components of the future. As his friend and Silicon Valley legend Alan Kay said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Spohrer’s old boss, Steve Jobs, was the exemplar of this. In his field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Spohrer knows how far we are from approaching human intelligence. Computers are superb at logic, strategy and memory, but he believes that by 2050-2055 AI is likely to catch up to humans. As Apple’s distinguished scientist, he had seen this all before in compounding computerization when applied to speech recognition. And we have witnessed this ourselves; for most people, speaking is our easiest interface with a computer. We dictate

speeches and talk to Siri, who tells us where to go (politely). So, the computer replaces the human scribe and calculator. Spohrer also ventured to predict that the transmission of electricity will be solved by 2035-40, making energy abundant and ubiquitous. This will have a profound effect upon our lives, our production and the national economy. And with all that power, our computers, processing and storage will continue to advance as its prices fall (Moore’s Law). The abundance of cheap electricity will also drive electric vehicles. In addition to becoming autonomous with fleets of connectivity, cars will become platforms to sell customers additional digital services for safety, comfort and needs we haven’t yet imagined. He believes that AI will be commoditized exceptionally rapidly and pervasively. We are increasingly aware of this because of cybercrimes and cyberwar. Government will have to play an even more important

local events role to protect our governance and our people during this rapid transition, and the biggest challenge for Big Data is to protect our personal privacy while comprehensively collecting large amounts of anonymous data for beneficial, social purposes.

comprehensive understanding before applying that knowledge to an individual or even cure disease. One can tour objects, buildings, cities, and the list goes on.



All the speakers agreed that more and better education systems are required to help us adapt to a future emphasizing our human values and improving the world for all. Sörblom’s studies of people and institutions adapting to the emerging futures show it may be increasingly important for everyone to become an inventor — we already see how the Maker Movement is capturing many people of all ages. Today’s youth not merely have computer tools to help them conceive new ideas, designs and objects, but they can even begin to manufacture their concepts with 3D printers. Just today while writing this article, my local NPR station played two programs of people speaking to this point of relevant education. One was a personal perspective by a designer who was promoting an education which incorporates thinking of ways, designs, products and processes to improve the world. This design thinking he commended to all as a vital and practical means of education. He reminded me of the motto of another local hero, Henry Kaiser: “Find a need and fill it.” On Science Friday I learned of Amber Yang, now graduating from high school, who was passionate about science and math. She became intrigued by the problem of space junk. After three years of intensive self-learning, she solved this problem (find her TED Talk online) for which she won Intel’s Young Scientist Award. She reminds us that girls and boys, individually and together, equally and equitably, must all be encouraged and challenged with real life problems. We are urgently reminded of our country’s need for the intelligence and commitment of all young people: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Sörbom believes we must now thoroughly reconsider the values and purpose of schools. Tomorrow’s schools will not be those we attended, perhaps everyone will be required not

Panelists (l-r): Brock Hinzmann, Adrienne Sörbom, Jim Spohrer with the Silicon Viking moderator Eilif Trondsen. Photo by Charlotte Danielsson

The key to anticipating the future? - Scanning the horizon; voracious reading, collecting interesting articles about a device, practice or society that is likely to become typical in the future. Then organizing, storing and cross-indexing these examples. merely to learn knowledge but also to learn by doing. It’s conceivable that this may bring back a whole system of apprenticeships — which never fully disappeared in some vocations. While all wish for a beneficial future, Brock, who studies the future of megacities as well as the future of technology and work, believes that the Internet of Things (IoT) may even eliminate more jobs than it creates. Everyone on the panel shared some version of this idea; though they thought the technological future would create new kinds of jobs, especially in individual or small businesses. We may be tremendously challenged to keep all citizens gainfully employed. What happens when the machines and technology are so efficient and productive that there are not enough jobs for everyone? Since a safe economy and country to a large degree depend upon full employment (even as economists define this) to avert uprisings or riots, will the government hire at minimal pay retirees and the temporarily unemployed to maintain certain services or will we

require more minimum-wage jobs? Of course pervasive digitization will not merely affect unskilled labor and the trades. Agriculture, manufacturing and science laboratory workers will all experience this new world of robots and AI. Autonomous cars alone will have significant impact upon employment, pay and hours. Spohrer mentioned another interesting example that may help us learn new skills. He recalled when as a youngster he was learning to play chess. He could study a book day and night; instead, he attended a chess club where he was matched with others of his skill. The lesson: While he and his cohort gained experience, they all improved simultaneously. That’s not unlike the NFL when it decided the poorest teams would have first pick of the new year’s draftees, raising the skill and competitiveness of all teams.

tomorrow today

The question and answer period of the event was as stimulating as the panelists’ discussion. Spohrer presented numerous other examples of the future and noted the proliferation of apps and other capabilities on our cellphones, creating many new businesses. According to his article, “Cognition as Service,” the cellphone and other devices are becoming the building blocks of our futures. Now our phones can attach to virtual reality goggles, letting us experience simulations that are entertaining or educational. Students or physicians can take microscopic tours of anatomy and physiology, its biome or genome, to gain a more

Of course all of this helpful monitoring raises concerns. In these futures, what kind(s) of government is necessary for our personal freedoms and fulfilling lives? What is needed to protect such intellectual venturing? How much more necessary is this with technology deflation, when mass production of devices greatly reduces prices so everyone can afford one (consider the yearly increase in cellphones). We must develop anticipatory governance. No longer can laws trail technology; now we will need to anticipate the regulations along with the devices, to protect us from the unfettered consequences of our own technology. This requires diversity in discourse by smart teams of citizens exploring the consequences of a future of multi-layered and intersecting technologies and systems acting upon us. In studying NGOs, Sörbom explores how they think about the future. Whereas they formerly focused upon present problems, they are now faced with future possibilities. Increasingly they attempt to rationalize and reorganize their institutions toward the future they foresee. Today whole disciplines — “transformative scenario planning” and “design thinking” — are taught in universities and practiced in companies and agencies to envision possible futures: the advantages, disadvantages, profitability and contingencies, before investing or committing the organization to a future. Brock spoke for all as he concluded the evening’s discussion by stating that an educated citizenry is critical when anticipating, exploring, designing and evaluating future scenarios. All agreed it is urgent that we improve our educational system by emphasizing the crucial skills of empathy, lifelong learning and anticipating futures. Key to such education and to judging these futures is developing the whole person. By Ted Olsson

OCTOBER 1, 2017 19


Storm i ett vattenglas? En säregen debatt har blossat upp i Sverige. Måste du varna om du förstår eller borde förstå att något tokigt kan hända? Fattar du inte att det är din skyldighet att rapportera? Ofta är det inte enkelt att inse att någonting farligt är på gång och därför måste rapporteras. Den så kallade IT-skandalen i Sverige har med landets transportstyrelse att göra. Den har väckt våldsam debatt. Åtskilliga uppsatta personer har fått sparken. Register, datauppgifter och statistik måste med jämna mellanrum kontrolleras och uppdateras. Det ligger i saken. Så även de av transportstyrelsen bevakade informationsprogrammen. Detta visade sig bli en krånglig uppgift för alla inblandade. Den ledde till att många personer fick sparken. Höga tjänstemän, generaldirektörer, ministrar, sekreterare. Ända fram till självaste statsministern. Vilka visste eller borde ha förstått att en del information får man helt enkelt inte anförtro till en konsult. Den som inte fattar detta begår ett brott och kan mista heder och jobb. Vad skall egentligen betraktas som hemlig information? Vad bör finnas med eller tillåtas komma med i offentlig informationsstatistik? Vem skall utföra uppdraget att färdigställa informationen? Transportstyrelsen bedömde, att det krävdes kvalificerade datakonsulter att analysera och utarbeta officiella informationsprogram. Uppdraget gick till IBM. En stor skara höga personer har blivit utsatta och

skadeskjutna. När och vad visste den ena eller den andra sekreteraren, ministern, statsministern eller hans förtrogna om IT rapporten. Varför underlät de eller fann det onödigt att rapportera om dess eventuella farlighet? Vilka naivt troskyldiga individer finns i vårt regeringskansli? Genomgången har varit minutiös. Varför var inte försvarsministern informerad? Hur oskyldig är den hederlige Löfven? I varje fall många stackars sekreterare i rummet intill borde ha vetat. Man talar i bland om en ”storm i ett vattenglas”. IT åstadkom en storm. Det mest komiska i detta rabalder är att ingenting farligt tycks ha inträffat. Varken för landets säkerhet eller enskilda individer.

Kanske är sådana här rabalder ändå nyttiga. Vi bör alla måhända synas. Och ifrågassättas om vi skall rapportera saker och ting vi finner obetydliga. Olle Wijkströms nyutkomna och rikt illustrerade bok Min Historia - handlar om hans minnen och möten med alla slags folk från tre kontinenter. Boken innehåller stämningar och möten. Stamhövdingar, presidenter och vanligt folk. Boken kan beställas och betalas via Nordstjernan”

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news in brief

Swedish News Zlatan stays in England

Much speculation had been made about whether Swedish soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic would leave team Manchester United, but he confirmed he plans to “finish what he’s begun” by staying with the English soccer club another season. Citing his families happiness and his relationship with Manchester’s coach, Zlatan says he’s made the right choice.

Government re-opens

The Swedish Parliament opened on Sept. 12, marking the beginning of the final year of the current Social Democrat-Green government’s four-year term. The next election is in September 2018. King Carl XVI Gustaf and members of the royal family were in attendance; per tradition, the King gave an address and declared the 2017-18 parliamentary year open.

collector of promotional pens, was struggling after the death of his grandmother, so his mother Katja put out a plea on social media to cheer him up in time for his 10th birthday. People from all over the world started sending pens, and Katya estimates Adam now has more than 300,000; the world record for most promotional pens is 285,000. Follow Adam’s progress at

Pensions not so perfect

New legislation has changed the way Swedes are being encouraged to save for their pensions. In the past they were allowed to set aside a significant amount of their savings and have the amount taxfree until they withdrew it upon retirement. Now Swedes are being cautioned to focus more on saving money now and planning to work past the normal retirement age of 65 if they want to have enough money to see them through retirement.

A royal investment in VR

Photo: Bo Zaunders

Prince Carl Philip is moving from the design world toward digital development. With a million kronor investment from Bernadotte and Kylberg AB, the company the prince owns in partnership with Oscar Kylberg, he has invested in a start-up company that creates software for virtual reality design; the name of the company is still under wraps.

Tattoo capital

Metro International and United Minds surveyed 30 cities in 6 countries where 15,000 urbanites answered questions, revealing 33 percent of Stockholmers between the ages of 18-49 are tattooed — making Swedes in Stockholm the most tattooed group in the world. A first of its kind tattoo marketplace is capitalizing on this growing trend with Inkbay ( which aims to revolutionize the tattoo industry. It provides tattoo lovers with direct connections to tattoo artists and providers. By bringing the top tattoo artists from Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg together, buyers and sellers can connect to “find, book, and buy tattoos.”

Swedish boy sets record

Adam Karlsson of Motala, Sweden, has broken the world record for collecting the most promotional pens. Adam, who has autism and is an avid 22 NORDSTJERNAN

Female hunters in Sweden

Jan “Loffe” Carlsson has died

Beloved Swedish actor, Janne “Loffe” Carlsson, died at age 80 on August 31, in Kristianstad, Sweden. Best known for his role in the classic “Repmånad,” Carlsson was named Jan Edvard Carlsson at his birth in 1937. With an acting career that spanned the decades, Carlsson is remembered as a Swedish favorite for his roles in “Anderssonskans Kalle” and the “Göta kanal” films. Earlier in life, he was also a member of the duo Hansson and Carlsson, where his musical talent shined as brightly as his acting skills.

Children’s book boom

An increase in demand for children’s books in China has kept Swedish authors and illustrators busy. The trend started in 2012 when the Swedish Cultural Council in Bejing launched an information project about Swedish literature to the Chinese market. The growing Chinese middle class has the most consumers, and parents’ interest in providing both moral lessons along with entertaining story lines means Swedish literature remains a family favorite source of reading material.

When you think of the typical Swedish woman, you might not associate her with hunting, yet according to the Swedish Hunting Association, women account for 13,767 of its 160,000 members. And while that number may not seem so large, it does indicate a 3 percent increase in memberships. Just in time for moose hunting season.

Searching for lost mines

Five Swedish mining vessels finished a yearlong effort to locate over 1,000 mines that had been dropped in the waters between Stockholm’s northern archipelago and the Åland sea during WWI. Russia placed them in the water to protect trade between Sweden and Finland against German forces between 1915-1916.

Cutting out the middlemen

In an effort to democratize the lending process, one Swedish company has created an online marketplace where lenders and borrowers can connect without the costly interference of bankers. Lendify, by cutting out the middlemen of the credit and banking process normally found, is reducing costs, securing great rates for borrows and healthy returns for lenders. It’s a welcome innovation for Sweden’s booming startup scene.

news in brief

Digital concierge

The rise of online shopping and automated home delivery is seeing a new opportunity to make life easier for busy people. Glue, a Swedish startup that promotes itself as a digital concierge, is an app that gives 24/7 encrypted security to people so that they don’t have to worry about losing their keys, being home to receive deliveries or granting access to guests. With the simple installation of a smart lock on your door, you can be up and open it wide to the people you’ve granted access to within minutes, giving you peace of mind. For more info, see

What’s in a name?

If you live in Sweden and your name is Alice, Lilly, Maja, Oscar, Lucas or William, your name is one of the most popular in the country. The names, on a list from Sweden’s statistics bureau, revealed that more children are being given any name their parents choose rather than the traditional naming after relatives as was more common only 50 years ago.

Podcasts in proper order

A startup in Sweden has found a way to improve the traditional podcast experience. In the past, listeners, creators, and advertisers had to cobble together a series of apps to create a podcast, without assurance they’d find what they needed. Now, Acast, has solved that by bringing together all the pieces and putting them in proper order.

Shrimp Sandwich Day

What began as a 20th century treat enjoyed on the ferries between Sweden and Denmark, has become a Swedish icon. The shrimp sandwich maintains its connection to traveling and is often enjoyed in airports, so in 2009 Arlanda Airport in Stockholm started celebrating Räkmackans dag to honor this popular sandwich - October 14. And it’s observed in the U.S., too. Make your own or visit the Kaffestugan at Newton, Massachusett’s Scandinavian Cultural Center between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on October 14 to enjoy an open-faced shrimp sandwiches! There will also be special activities for kids. 617.795.1914 / OCTOBER 1, 2017 23

local events

Rediscovering Vasa Nearly 400 years later, an American carves the most accurate replica of the Swedish Vasa warship. While he was a young boy in Minnesota, a National Geographic article on the Swedish warship Vasa caught Clayton Johnson’s attention, and years later it would be the subject of an impressive project he would take on: In 2012, after seven years of working nearly every day, Johnson finished building a 1:50 scale replica of the famous warship. The Vasa Museum in Stockholm has called Johnson’s replica the most accurate in the world, and to a certain extent it helped solve some of the construction mysteries that exist with the actual ship; it has been on display in various exhibits in the U.S. and can be seen at clayton707/home. In 2011 the Vasa Museum welcomed Johnson to install 1:10 scale Vasa artillery that he made for their large model. Johnson's work and the real Vasa can be seen at the Vasa Museum, which in 2016 was named one of the world’s most fascinating museums. We interviewed Johnson this fall: How did you get your start in carving? CJ: I generally regard my Vasa project as jumpstarting my carving. I did do a couple carved items before that, but they were amateur attempts. It seems I have always had an interest in it, but it took Vasa to kind of push me in that direction and give me the volume of carving needed to start getting good at it. Since then, I have completed many larger carving projects. Some of them include a couple half- to fullscale Vasa sculptures, a sculpture of the warhorse of Gustavus Adolphus, some necklace pendants, decorative spoons and others. Are you educated as a sculptor or ship historian? CJ: No, I have a degree in Environmental Science. I am a Major Land Resource Area leader for the USDA-NRCS. I found wood for my Vasa project by looking online; there are a few websites out there that sell small dimension exotic wood. What kept you motivated to finish this huge project? CJ: The thing I liked most about building Vasa was the challenge. To do it in the way I did — like the original: with a keel, stem, sternpost, framed-up hull and decks, etc. — is incredibly challenging. There are essentially no right angles to work from! When you build a house you most always have walls and floors that are 90 degrees to each other. There is almost nothing that simple to Vasa. I also enjoy building historic firearms. My first was a British Baker rifle, which was the first gov24 NORDSTJERNAN

ernment issued military rifle in history, and I did a matchlock musket that I built after one from Vasa and carved my own stock for. Usually when I start a project I like to take it to the end. I don't like giving up on things. When I started Vasa, I did a portion of the sculpture first, to be sure that I could carve. Then I did a bit of the hull, and back to some carving again. That way the carving task did not seem so daunting. What was it like to install your work at the Vasa Museum? CJ: Installing the artillery was an incredible experience. I was humbled by it. And to know that around 1 million people see my work there every year is very nice. On top of everything else, the timing worked so the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the raising of Vasa was while I was there. How did the Vasa Museum find out about you? CJ: In 2005 I contacted the director of research, Fred Hocker, about building a model of Vasa. Fred is always very willing to help model builders. Part of the reason is that model building can help solve some of the construction mysteries that exist with the actual Vasa — which my project did to a certain extent. And because of my help figuring out certain aspects of Vasa's construction and my contribution of 1:10 scale artillery to their model, I have been allowed onboard several times. Do you have Swedish heritage? CJ: My heritage is mostly Scandinavian — Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. There is some Finnish and a small amount of Cherokee, too, as far as I know; there may be many more things in there. We named our son Magnus because it is very unique in the U.S., even if not in Scandinavia. We also know

Detail of Johnson’s 1:50 scale Vasa replica.

of a Magnus in Sweden who works at the Vasa museum, though we didn’t name our son after him. What do you look forward to the next time you go to Sweden? CJ: I always look forward to the laid back atmosphere that Sweden has, and the food is very good, too. I really enjoy visiting their museums. A couple of my favorites are Stockholm’s Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury) and Historiska Museet (the History Museum), which has an incredible Viking treasure display. Amanda Olson Robison

Clayton Johnson with his carved Vasa replica masterpiece, left. The orginial vessel is preserved and on display in Stockholm.


Can the police manage the mafia? Can the police protect municipalities from organized crime? In Botkyrka municipality in Stockholm, more than 42 percent of the residents live in what the police call “particularly vulnerable areas.” What would happen if actors from a parallel society of that size try to penetrate the local public institutions? The so-called particularly vulnerable areas are once again debated in Sweden. When Norway’s Minister for Integration recently visited Rinkeby, Sweden, the news spread in the usual way — was it no-go zones or not? Stockholm’s commissioner for finance Karin Wanngård downplayed the problems — again in the usual way, and the head of Expressen’s political editorials, Anna Dahlberg, recommended Wanngård read the police report from June. For however you choose to label the present situation, it’s a shocking state of affairs in the worst suburban areas described by the police. Even if the question is not new, there is a side of this that is usually overlooked. There is a lot of talk about how the number of areas of concern to the police has grown. The latest figure is 23 “particularly vulnerable areas” where the problem of crime’s impact on society has become “acute.” In particularly vulnerable areas, it is difficult or almost impossible for the police to fulfill their mission. Parallel social structures have developed outside the rule of law. Ordinary people are unwilling to turn to the institutions of society because they run the risk of being systematically punished by criminal networks. These are areas where the institutions and structures of normal society begin to lose their grip and are forced to retire. The boundary between the local community and the criminal world is “blurred out,” writes the police, which makes it difficult for the police to know who to trust. But the number 23 conceals an even bigger drama.

An “area” is a fuzzy designation. When considering the population data in the vulnerable areas you find amazing numbers. In for instance Botkyrka municipality there are three particularly vulnerable areas: Alby, Fittja and Hallunda/Norsborg. The total population in these areas is just over 38,000 (in 2016), a considerable figure given the population in all of Botkyrka is around 90,000 people. Measured in population, over 42 percent of the municipality of Botkyrka — a relatively large municipality — is a particularly vulnerable area, with everything this entails. 42 percent! What would happen if members from a parallel society of that size start trying to penetrate the local public institutions? When nearly half the municipality represents a particularly vulnerable area, what would happen if local crime syndicates and influential families were to use their local power base to exert systematic impact on the municipal administration and try to dominate it in the same way they dominate their neighborhoods? Unfortunately, this is not a far-fetched thought. The scope and character of organized crime that has been mapped in Södertälje is a nasty example of how criminal networks also attack local communities and the welfare state. In order to save Södertälje from the clan mafia, Operation Tore, Sweden’s most extensive police action against organized crime was required. A massive power display to say the least. But what if the same major efforts will be needed in additional municipalities? Is the capacity available? This is an opinion text published in Dagens Samhälle. The views expressed in the article are the author’s.

Peter Santesson. 5,000 criminals divided into 200 networks The background to Santesson’s Op-Ed: Sweden’s Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson has repeatedly denied the presence of no-go zones in Sweden. That said, Eliasson publicized a report about Sweden’s so-called “vulnerable areas” during a press conference in late June this year. It was a well attended press conference in which the police presented the report highlighting 61 vulnerable areas, of which 23 are considered to be “particularly vulnerable” - eight more compared to 2015. According to Eliasson, these 23 areas are characterized by a “widespread inclination to not participate in the judicial process and that the police have difficulty fulfilling their mission.” Eliasson said, “We are not at a threshold but we are in a situation where we should not be. If the social contract is to be kept up, with people willing to pay taxes and participate in society, it cannot go any further, we have to reverse the trend.” He is worried. The report which was presented after the government’s declared intention to increase the police force by 10,000 in 2018, also included the police force’s appeal for help from other social actors, municipalities and the civil society.”

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local events

Immigrant Footprints by lilly setterdahl In the summer of 1973, I accompanied my husband Lennart to New Sweden, Maine, where he microfilmed the records of the area founded by Swedes.

Driving the paved main highway leading to Canada, we saw the first road sign to New Sweden in Caribou and turned on Sweden Street. A narrow road took us to Gustav Adolf Lutheran Church at New Sweden’s highest point, with a view that showed valleys and hills in an ever-changing pattern. The colors varied from the lightest green meadow to the darkest green forest with speckles of white and purple potato patches in bloom and the bluish mountains disappearing in a white haze far to the west. We saw that Gustav Adolf Lutheran Church had “First Swedish Church in Maine” inscripted above its door, and a little further down the valley were the Methodist and Baptist churches. We studied a monument of the first Swedes who had settled in the area in 1870 and visited the Town Hall where the Swedish and American flags flew high. It temporarily housed many artifacts depicting pioneer life that had been rescued from the flames when the museum burned down two years earlier. The foundation for a new museum was under construction close by, revealing the rocks, gravel and sand under the surface.

Appealing to Swedes

To attract settlers, the state of Maine had issued an invitation to hardy Swedish farmers to come and settle the largely unpopulated Aroostook County. The State Commissioner of Immigration, W. W. Thomas, established an office in Göteborg which was managed by his agent Mr. Schroeder. Circulars went out to all parts of Sweden describing the advantages of Maine. Of those who answered the call, 19 came from Skåne, eight from Västerbotten, seven from Göteborg, five each from Halland and Värmland. The six log cabins that stood ready to accommodate the first group proved insufficient. The men in the party were paid in kind to finish the cabins, clear more land and build roads; they received merchandise worth one dollar a day from the state-owned store. Each head of family and every grown man received 100 acres of free land from the state, but he had to clear 15 acres of the forested land within four years. One woman said she couldn’t see the sky for trees. We followed the signs to Jemtland and Westman26 NORDSTJERNAN

land, Maine. Driving on dirt roads, we left a cloud of dust behind us. Flying sand had colored the roadside brown. We saw Swedish names on all the mailboxes and met some of the residents. Otis Peterson’s grandfather had come from Motala, Östergötland to acquire a farm of his own. It was still in the family. The second and third generations learned to speak Swedish fluently, and Mr. Peterson spoke an old-fashioned Östgöta dialect. He said everyone used to speak Swedish. To speak English was considered högfärdigt (stuck up). We were told that even non-Swedes learned to speak Swedish. Jemtland at one time had its own post office. The people who settled there in 1871 did so in true pioneer spirit. They built a log cabin for seven families, and they had to carry everything they needed on their backs because the roads weren’t built yet. A harrow was too heavy, so they bought only the teeth and made the rest themselves. The first settlers ate potatoes and boiled the grain for weeks until one of them made a grinder from two granite rocks. It took half a day for a strong man to grind a bushel. The bigger boulders were removed and used to build fences, but it was impossible to rid the soil from all the rocks. Winters could be extremely severe with temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees below zero and up to eight feet of snow. An early frost might destroy the crop. The settlers would not have survived the first winter without state aid. The pioneers had no doctor and no midwife. At the end of 1873, 600 people lived in the Swedish colony. More than 2,200 acres of land had been cleared, and 130 houses as well as barns and sheds had been built. The colonists owned 22 horses, 14 oxen, 100 cows, 40 calves, 33 sheep and 125 swine. In 1895, 1,452 people lived in Maine’s Swedish Colony.

Early Swedish influence

Fritz Anderson said people from Jämtland, Sweden

were the best suited for northern Maine. “Lumberjacks and railroad builders had strong arms and that’s what we needed up here.” George and Annie Lindsten’s father was born in Småland but had come to Jemtland to build railroads and eventually marry a local woman. We treated George and Annie to herring and new locally grown potatoes in our R.V. Annie had come to Maine with her parents when she was 2 years old but was not immune to mosquito bites. We spoke Swedish the whole time because George and Annie understood everything (except “glass” (ice cream)). We drove to the small town of Stockholm, where the senior citizens had gathered for a meeting. A small group of French Canadians sat in the back of the room that was otherwise filled with Swedes. In 1925, 1,300 people lived in Stockholm, but by 1973 there were only about 300. Stockholm had two churches founded by Swedes, a Lutheran and a Baptist; French Canadians founded the Catholic Church. After attending an auction, we were invited to the home of two men who had restored the house of an old farm property. Walter Anderson was a carpenter, and his son David was a school teacher. Both had good eyes for interior decorating. Here we saw evidence of what can be done to homes that are 100 years old. The result was fantastic and more pleasing to the eye than modern homes. We met young couples who had fallen in love with the area and old homes. The houses are often covered with cedar shake shingles on the walls as well as the roof, certainly since at one time New Sweden had its own shake plant. Much love had gone into the “gingerbread” house that Paul and Karna Karlsson from Elgin, Illinois had built as a summer home. They told us they had seen bears close by on many occasions.

The Great Depression

One evening we attended a concert in W.W. Thomas Memorial Park, so named after the American diplomat who brought the Swedes to the area. A rather large crowd had gathered to listen to both Swedish and American music played by an orchestra directed by 80-year-old Henry Anderson. Originally, the orchestra was made up of Swedes only, but in 1973

local events there were but two or three left, Henry Anderson among them. He hailed from the pioneering Clase family that settled and stayed in New Sweden. All the other families who had arrived in 1870 left the colony after experiencing such hard times; they moved away as soon as they could. Later arrivals liked it better and many stayed. The first potato starch factory and gristmill operated in Caribou in 1872. Red-skinned potatoes became the leading crop in New Sweden. Fairfield celebrated Potato-Blossom Time every year: We were told that during the potato harvest the fields came alive with people picking the crop. Potatoes were still grown in the 70s but many fields laid idle. Fields that were once cleared and farmed by Swedes had been abandoned for 35 to 40 years. Fritz Anderson said that a large hardwood mill closed in 1932. The town of Stockholm provided some relief work, but he witnessed many tragedies ranging from misuse of liquor to suicide. Many people moved to “Little Maine” in New York State in the 1930s. Lumber companies bought the farms that were no longer profitable for farming, and the trees recaptured the open land.

100 years later

In Portland, Maine, we looked up the 103-yearold Clarence Anderson, whom we knew had arrived in New Sweden with his parents in 1871 when he was 3-years old. We didn’t expect our 9-year-old son to enjoy it, but after our meeting with Mr. Anderson, Christer often mentioned him. He was the oldest person we had ever met, and that still holds true. The Anderson family had emigrated from Gåsinge, Södermanland, Sweden. When their baggage was unloaded in New York, Clarence slept in a small basket. “I was almost carried away,” he said. The nearby town of Caribou had only a dozen buildings, or rather, shacks at the time. When we asked Mr. Anderson if he knew why

his parents came to Maine, he said, “I had an uncle there, Carl Petter Andersson, and he wrote home saying that the land was wonderful. Once my parents were here, they were stuck and could not get away. They worked late into the night. My mother made all our clothes. She sheared the sheep, washed the wool, carded, spun and wove it into cloth. My father had been a tailor before he became a farmer in Sweden, and he made suits from the cloth.” The elderly man told us his father received better land than the settlers who had arrived the year before. As a teenager, Clarence helped his father drain the swamps. Rocks, trees and swamps caused endless problems for the settlers. “I learned to make cedar shingles when I was 12 years old. We lived on pork, buckwheat and potatoes.” The settlers were not satisfied with their land, but they all did their best, Anderson said. He never heard his parents complain. But his pioneer mother had told her granddaughter how disappointed she was in America. In Sweden, she had everything she needed for homemaking. Here she had nothing. When Anderson was in his 20s, he moved to Boston and labored 16 hours a day as a horse trucker for little money. While living there, he met his Swedish-born wife. After their first child was born, they decided to move to New Sweden. Anderson’s father needed someone to take over the farm. The eldest son had drowned and the five daughters had moved out. Anderson and his wife faced years of hard work. They were paid 13 cents per bushel for the potatoes, but Anderson said it was hard to make a living in the cities, too. He remained a farmer until his son came home from World War II and took over. After the death of his wife in 1953, Anderson moved in with a daughter in Portland. At the time of our visit, his grandson owned the farm, but did not work the land. Anderson, who was blind, died in September 1973, a few months after our visit.

Clarence Anderson. Photo: Lennart Setterdahl

The New Sweden Museum, Maine, 1973. Photo: Lennart Setterdahl

New Sweden, Maine, as far north and east as you can get in the northern state. Photo above: Britney Layne Photography. OCTOBER 1, 2017 27


HV 71 has lured former Luleå defenseman Bill Sweatt to Jönköping. Bildbyrån photo

Swedes on center ice in NHL Swedish players made up five of the league’s first 26 picks in the 2017 entry draft, and experts say all five could have a major impact as the new season opens. Swedes are taking on a new prominence in the National Hockey League as the 2017-2018 campaign nears, with the Vancouver Canucks selecting a sixth Swede in center Elias Pettersson, and in New York where the Rangers signed the most sought-after Swedish player, Lias Andersson. Swedish players already form the core for the Rangers, for what could be a last-shot at hockey’s Holy Grail for the most famous Swede currently in the NHL, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, 36, who showed some signs of decline last season. The acquisition of Andersson, who at 19 would be the youngest player on the Rangers’ roster, is predicted to become a top-six forward. In addition to Lundqvist and Andersson, the Rangers spent big on popular third-line winger Jesper Fast. Teams don’t normally spend more than $2 million on depth players or sign them for more than two years, but the Rangers signed the ultra-speedy Fast to a 3-year, $5.5 million contract . After Lundqvist, the Swede with the most pressure on him is center Mika Zibanejad. The former Djurgården IF player signed a five-year, $26.75 million extension with the Blueshirts and likely will center the team’s first line. Zibanejad, 24, had an up-and-down season last year, missing nearly two months after fracturing a leg. In addition to those four, the Rangers have forward 28 NORDSTJERNAN

Robin Kovacs (AIK) and Mattias Stromwall (AIK) on their roster, totalling six Swedes, tying New York with Vancouver for the most Swedish players on the team. Swedes are currently the third-most represented nationality in the NHL, behind only Canadians and Americans. Last year, 77 Swedes played in the NHL and this season, that number could top 90, which would move Swedes into the No. 2 position on the league nationality list.

North Americans in the SHL

As more Swedes move to North America to play hockey, more and more American and Canadian players are going to Sweden to continue or jumpstart their hockey careers. This season 28 Canadian and 18 American players are on opening day rosters for the SHL. Canadians are the No. 2 nationality in the league while Americans and Finns are tied for third. Garrett Roe, who spent last season at Linköping before leaving for the Swiss league over the summer, said there are two main reasons for the reverse-flow of North Americans to the SHL. “They changed the rule where they had limited amount of import spots,” Roe said, referring the 2015 rule change when the Elitserien morphed into the SHL.

There was also a change in how the NHL wants its minor league affiliates, especially AHL teams, to focus its player development. “The AHL has changed,” Roe said. “They want to develop more young players so guys who are 25, 26 years old get pushed out quicker and that can push guys into Europe.” The flow of North Americans into Swedish hockey has helped make the SHL even better, said former Frölunda winger Broc Little, who also signed with the higher-paying Swiss Hockey League over the summer. Little said the Swiss had a reputation for finesse pay but was also a physically weak league. The influx of North American players has helped changed that perception and reality. Defending league champion HV 71 is basing their title defense around a trio of Americans. The Blue Bulls signed forward Bill Sweatt away from Luleå; Sweatt played in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins and in the AHL for the Chicago Wolves. The Blue Bulls also signed Sweden/U.S. dual citizen Lawrence Pilut and re-signed defenseman Dylan Reese who joined the team midway through last season from the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. HV 71 is not alone. Every SHL team has at least one North American player on its roster, and with teams now in preseason training, Sweden is keeping a sharp eye on players who may not get the ice time they want in North America and bring them to the SHL. Chipp Reid

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