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Published by Swedish News. Volume 145 No. 17, December 15, 2017. Price per copy $3.50.

Julbordet the ever-changing Christmas Table Christmas trends in food The evolution of a tradition

You may think the foods on the Christmas dinner table have been unchanged since ancient times, but most of them made their entry as late as the 20th century. Every new generation sets its mark on the food for Christmas and redefines the traditions; they are about repeated tradition and history. The foods express a common act and not an individual taste as the messages of the dishes interact with the guests of the table, and the Christmas food becomes part of a family chronicle. / P14 Årets Julklapp - Minnesota teen wins a ticket to Stockholm and the coveted Nobel festivities / p4 The new compact Volvo SUV, the XC40, meets the LA auto show audience / p5 Christmas here and there Sweden vs. U.S. /p10 Test your Swedish with Tankar i Advent och Jultid / p30

Julbordet, the Christmas table, is such a strong concept that most restaurants in Sweden, regardless of ethnicity, offer their own versions: Alternative Christmas tables representing Asian, Persian, Lebanese or Greek “julbord” are offered in Stockholm, or why not enjoy an American version at the Hard Rock Café? It includes hickory smoked BBQ ribs, steak and chicken with roast potatoes and apple cobbler pie. Of course there’s also the full vegetarian julbord—Hermans restaurant near Fotografiska, the Museum of Photography in Söder, serves a mostly-green menu and was one of last year’s vegetarian hot spots. / P16

Stockholm Walkabout

Fetch a Stockholm street map and come along on an interesting and educational walkabout in the place most Swedes would regard as the center of Stockholm is Sergels Torg. This is a popular meeting place in Stockholm for all tourists, and it happens to be close to the “lost soul of Stockholm,” the Klara neighborhood, Klarakvarteren. The The name Klara originated from the St. Klara Priory, active from 1289 until the reformation in 1527. Klarakvarteren is generally demarcated by the following streets: Vasagatan, Klarabergsgatan, Drottninggatan and Fredsgatan, all easily found on a map. / P26

Swedish Christmas markets The Swedish Christmas market in the U.S. is often linked to a Sankta Lucia celebration or international festival. In Sweden, however, there are a large variety of markets to choose from—most towns, even castles and manor houses organize their own. List of some of the country’s best markets. / P19

dashboard | december 15, 2017 SCANDINAVIAN QUIZ


What Swedish Christmas celebration is no longer as popular as the midnight service on Christmas Eve? A) watching Kalle Anke B) jultomen C) julotta 2 When will Nordstjernan celebrate its 150th birthday? A) 2040 B) 2100 C) 2022

7 What landskap (province) is covered with more lakes than any other and is often called a miniature of Sweden? A) Dalsland B) Västmanland c) Blekinge

4 What U.S. state boasts the first permanent settlement of Swedish Lutherans in March 1638? A) New York B) Delaware C) Virginia

9 What characteristic most defines the region in Northern Europe referred to as Scandinavia? A) mutually intelligible North Germanic languages B) Nordic geography C) similar flags

Christmas is a time when even secular Swedes enjoy a moment of stillness and peace at a church nearby.

Julottan, December 25 When our forefathers left Sweden for America they brought along the most important Christmas tradition from that time: Julotta. The early morning church service (“otta” means slightly before dawn) on December 25 was the most important one of the holiday season, and even the ride to church was festive, especially if there was snow - people arrived in their most beautiful sleds and everyone used torches to light the way in the pre-dawn darkness. Even in the U.S., the immigrants celebrated this Swedish tradition at Christmas, and many still do – though not usually before 7 or 8 a.m. Find a julotta service near you in our listing on p9. Name’s Days of the Swedish Calendar Namnsdagar i november

December 15 December 16 December 17 December 18 December 19 December 20 December 21 December 22 December 23 December 24 December 25 December 26 December 27 December 28 December 29 December 30 December 31 December 15

New York Chicago Stockholm Kiruna Lund Los Angeles 2 NORDSTJERNAN

Gottfrid Assar Stig Abraham Isak Israel/Moses Tomas Natanael/Jonatan Adam Eva Juldagen Stefan/Staffan Johannes/Johan Benjamin Natalia/Natalie Abel/Set Sylvester | Sunrise & Sunset

7.13 am 4.29 pm 7.11 am 4.20 pm 8.38 am 2.46 pm below horizon 8.30 am 3.34 pm 6.51 am 4.45 pm

5 What American did not marry a Swede? A) Sammy Davis, Jr. B) Will Ferrell C) Maggie Gyllenhaal D) Amanda Seyfried

6 What was Sweden’s fastest-growing export, last year, appreciating 130% since 2008? A) vehicles B) fish C) iron CULTURE


10 What Swedish diplomat (posthumously) became an honorary American in 1981? A) Raoul Wallenberg B) Dag Hammarskjöld C) Folke Bernadotte Answers: 1:C, 2:C, 3:A, 4:B, 5:D, 6:B, 7:A, 8:D, 9:A, 10:A

3 When did the first Volvo car premiere in Gothenburg, Sweden? A) 1927 B) 1933 C) 1937

8 Sweden boasts 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites, but which country comes in second with 9? A) Norway B) Finland C) Iceland D) Denmark


December 17 - Stig The name Stig is a man’s name with Danish roots and it comes from the word “stiga,” which means “to walk.” It was originally a surname that eventually became a given name. It has been used in Skåne, southern Sweden, since the end of the 12th century. December 21 - Tomas Tomas or Thomas is a man’s name originating from the Aramaic language meaning “twin.” The oldest proof of Tomas in Sweden comes from a rune stone from the 13th century. It was a fashionable name during the 1950s and a decade later it was one of the 10 most common names. December 31 - Sylvester Sylvester (or Silvester) is a masculine name with Latin origin and means “wooded” or “wild.” It’s an unusual name in Sweden. Silvester is also the German name for New Year’s Eve—a day dedicated to the Saint Sylvester, a 4th century pope whose day is celebrated Dec. 31.

founded in new york city in september 1872 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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Nu är det jul igen ... It is Christmas once again. This time of year the fellowship of friends and family is experienced in the parties and the preparations. For most it is the high point of any year, a time which those of all ages look forward to for months. Yet if it were only a time of joviality there would be something irrevocably lost.

ized by Lucia bringing light in the darkness reaches its height on Christmas morning. It is the season to be jolly, to enjoy the hectic activities which all in some way reflect the Christmas spirit. How ever we celebrate, let us do so with all our hearts. And to all our readers, friends, and all of you out there contributing to the content and continued success of Swedish-America’s oldest, largest and fast growing publication, the staff of Nordstjernan wishes you a Merry Christmas—God Jul 2017! Peace and joy to all!

As our guest columnist Richard Tellström mentions in his Julbord feature (p14) and the local Swedish priest in NYC (p30) conveys, the spirit of Christmas is derived from something deeper and more significant, even for those who are not actively observing the Christian faith. The symbolism of the baby born Editors & Staff in a manger who will save the world has spanned two millennia and still inspires faith for the future. Even Nordstjernan - in print, not missing a beat since 1872 those who scoff at the story and who cite the sad state of the world today are caught up in the spirit which PS. We’ll announce the winners of last week’s lingon brings out the best in all of us. Love is expressed in contest in our next issue; we are still wading through many ways at this time of year and the hope symbol- the many suggestions here at our screens and desks ...

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Christmas at the castle. T.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Estelle inspecting Christmas trees.

Dashboard, p4-5

Vintage lace to gilded design / Årets Julklapp / American teen wins Nobel trip / Tomasdagen / Just Ducky in Chicago / Volvo is the comeback kid / GE operates in Sweden / Holidays at the castle

Events calendar, p6-7,9

What’s going on in Swedish America.

Readers Forum, p10-13 A subscription to Nordstjernan is the perfect Christmas gift for that special someone. Order it now, call 1.800.827.9333 Ext 10.

Favorite Christmas traditions among readers, friends and in Sweden.

We’ll send a God Jul Christmas card from you.

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

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Festive Christmas ice cream with flavors of the season - the homemade way.

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Our Swedish Honorary Consuls, who are they really? We decided to find out. /p21

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Even Swedish beer has a sustainable future / For the love of bullar / Space technology for cities / Meteor in Norrbotten / American pushes boundaries in Sweden / City leaves children in the dark / Swedish Artist of the Year The Exchange Rate:

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DECEMBER 15, 2017 3

Photo: Henrik Garlöv/The Royal Court, Sweden

this week…

dashboard | december 15, 2017

Vintage lace to gilded design

Designer Monika Knutsson, right, just back from an event at Sotheby’s in Stockholm with her assistant Alejandra Sevilla at a private jewelry show in New York. The designer of gilded lace is presently working on a Cuban collection for the spring/summer 2018. For more info see www.

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

Årets Julklapp

Årets Julklapp, the Christmas Gift of the Year, is the eBike. The electric bicycle is a retail product that has the potential to deeply change society's infrastructure and human behavior. It reflects the Swedish consumer's growing climate awareness, interest in health and exercise, being free, flexible and sometimes comfortable. In a short period of time, it has gone from being an exclusive product for the few to reaching a much broader audience. This year marks the 30th time the Christmas Present of the Year was recognized in Sweden. In order for a product to be designated as the year's Christmas gift, one or more of the following criteria must be met: 1. The product should be a novelty or have gained new interest during the year. 2. The product should be responsible for a high sales value or be sold in large numbers.

3. The product should represent the time we live in. The eBike meets all three criteria to become this year's Christmas present. During the period from September 2016 to August 2017, 67,500 electric bicycles were sold, which corresponds to an increase of 50 percent compared to the previous year. Over the past year, more than one in 10 bicycles sold in Sweden has electric power. With the government’s recently proposed premium of 25 percent off the purchase price up to SEK 10,000 ($1185), interest increased yet another notch. The eBike is a growing social phenomenon that appeals to a broad audience, which will likely increase even more in popularity with the planned government subsidy.

A Minneapolis, Minnesota teen is one American teen wins Nobel Trip of 25 international students going to Nobel Prize week in Stockholm. Sarah Betts, 17, earned a scholarship to meet this year’s Nobel Prize winners, attend their lectures and tour Sweden. “I am really passionate about research and science, so this is all up my alley,” said Betts who hopes to become a neurosurgeon. She is an inventor already: An accomplished violinist, Betts holds two patents for the ViEx, an orthopedic hand device she started developing at age 12 after rheumatoid arthritis made it painful for her to play the violin. The device is shaped like the neck of the violin and users push on the strings to exercise the specific joints affected by arthritis. The ViEx is made on a 3-D printer and is used in clinics, nursing homes and community centers in the Twin Cities. Not only is Betts excited to “hear from the Nobel Laureates who are clearly at the top of their field and hear about their trials, tribulations and triumphs,” but she is also looking forward to the Nobel Prize Concert – with one of the best orchestras in the world. “I’m really excited to have the best of music and science in one place,” she said. Photo: Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Photo: Kerstin Alm/

dashboard | december 15, 2017

Photo from the church village and Christmas market place in Luleå Old Town. Photo Pär Domeij

Tomasdagen, December 21 Volvo Cars N.A. new CEO Anders Gustavsson flanked by Fredrik Holmberg and Simon Thor, Volvo in Sweden.


The Swedish brand now often referred to as the “comeback kid” by the automotive press, introduced its third SUV (after the XC90 and XC60) during press day at the recent LA Auto Show. The XC40 was described by the auto maker’s CEO Håkan Samuelsson as “among the safest, well-equipped compact SUVs available.” Consumer reports seem to agree … “eye-catching exterior, a fresh and innovative cabin, and all the safety equipment one would expect from a Volvo.” Also on hand in LA was new Volvo Cars N.A. CEO Anders Gustavsson, photographed (above) with colleagues visiting from Sweden in front of the XC40 (the all-wheel-drive T5 version of the compact SUV will start at $35,200). Earlier in 2017, Volvo brought self-driving test cars to Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, and in related news they’ve now entered into an agreement with Uber to form a fleet of autonomous vehicles across the U.S. Uber will purchase 24,000 of the larger Volvo XC90 SUVs between 2019 and 2021, featuring sensors and autonomous driving computing capability installed by Uber after purchase. The deal is said to be worth around $1.4 billion (the XC90 starts at $46,900). The name Volvo is from the Latin volvere, meaning to roll — and the auto maker is definitely living up to its name. The comeback kid is on a roll. GLOBAL ENERGY

A scene from the beloved “Kalle Ankas Jul”

Just ducky in Chicago A new exhibit at the Swedish American Museum sheds light on the annual viewing of “Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul” (Donal Duck and his friends wish you Merry Christmas) on Dec. 24 in Sweden, a unique holiday tradition that stops nearly half the population in its tracks. That day’s activities are relegated to three time slots: pre, during, and post-“Kalle Anka.” The show’s 60-year tradition, the show hosts and more are featured with personal quotes from Swedish TV1 employees, cultural heritage historians and Swedish viewers themselves … a fun and interesting examination into the surprising ways American and Swedish cultures intersect and influence each other. Through Jan. 14.

A compact Volvo meets the LA audience


General Electric (GE), the American corporation headquartered in Massachusetts, has partnered with the Green Investment Group to “deliver and operate” 650 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind at the Markbygden ETT wind farm in northern Sweden. The project, which is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019, will be the largest single site onshore wind farm in Europe and will boost Sweden’s wind generation more than 12.5 percent. In the announcement on Nov. 7, GE said that GE Energy

Financial Services and the Green Investment Group – part of the Macquarie Group – had jointly acquired the project from wind developer Svevind, which has been working on the development for the past 15 years. Approximately 800 million euros ($928 million) has been raised in financing. GE has been in Sweden for more than 50 years, with approximately 2,200 employees working in its various offices across the country today. The largest business areas in Sweden are GE Healthcare and GE Power.

Holidays at the Castle

As Stockholm bids adieu to its Nobel guests, who were there during the week of Dec. 6-12, the Royal family, who dined with the Nobel Laureates and awarded them their prizes, prepares the annual flower show in the Royal Palace. A very festive atmosphere of floral decorations can be enjoyed by the public during open hours through December 23. The crown princess family always sends an official greeting as well. This 2015 photo of Princess Estelle expresses the family’s down to earth interest in Swedish tradition as they make tunnbröd together. What will their greeting be this year? Follow us at to find out.

Photo: The Royal Court, Sweden/

Wheat stalks, market day and beer: In the old days Tomas Day, December 21, was an important way station to the Christmas holiday itself. It is named after the apostle that had the hardest time to believe in the resurrection. He is the sceptic in religious cultural tradition, sometimes referred to as Tomas the sceptic or Tomas the doubter (Tomas tvivlaren in Swedish). Historically this day was significant for people in all of the Nordic countries in different ways. This was the day you should cancel contracts with day croppers and tenants according to law. Tomas Day was also the time to put up the Christmas stalks and the day the beer was ready. It was a day when all preparations for Christmas should be finished and a traditional market day. Indeed, in many places people really considered that day the real beginning of the holidays. Up until 1776 the day was also a general holiday.

DECEMBER 15, 2017 5

local events

Local Events California

San Francisco 12.17, 5-9 PM Scandinavian Julbord at Pläj:The renowned Scandinavian bar and restaurant offers a five-course prix fixe julbord $70/person. 333 Fulton St. Reservations required, 415.294.8925 /


Chicago 12. 15, 11 AM Hejsan: Story and craft hour for children of all ages and their parents. Traditional holiday music is featured. 773.728.8111 / 2.15 and 22, 5-9 PM Late Night Andersonville: The Swedish American Museum is one of six stops included in the free Holiday Trolley trips during which visitors can hop on and off, hear carolers and strolling musicians, pose for pictures with Santa and more. The Museum Store remains open until 10 p.m. 773.728.8111 / www.


West Newton 12.16, 1-3 PM Movie - Lapland Odyssey: Set in the frozen landscape of northern Finland, this raucous road film full of booze, guns,

Nature whispers “meet me here” Swedish San Francisco-based artist Charlotte Bernstrom explores feelings about nature and our place in it. Reverence for the natural world is the oldest theme in art. Many of the earliest known artworks depicted the relationship of humans and animals. Such reverence has resounded throughout the history of art and all its myriad developments, but only relatively recently have artists felt moved to put their talents to work in ways that might benefit the planet. Such motivation is behind “Nature whispers ‘Meet me here!’ — an invitation to connect, participate and cherish,” an exhibit of paintings by Marin County artist Charlotte Bernström, which runs now through January 28, 2018 at Robert Green Fine Arts. A

portion of the proceeds of sales of her paintings go to Cool Effect, a non-profit environmental organization that promotes simple technologies to combat climate change caused by carbon emissions. A native of Sweden, Bernström began her art career working with her grandfather, a plein air painter who helped instill in her a lifelong love of nature. As the mother of a preschooler, Bernström has become increasingly alarmed about the world her son will inherit. This concern has had a profound effect on her paintings, whose often lushly colored, deeply textured, soft-focus impressions convey

dead reindeer and topless women begins when Inari, the pretty but frustrated young wife of slacker Janne, demands that Janne gets cable for their home. This propels him and his two equally lazy friends out of the house. But buying the box proves to be no easy task. In Finnish with English subtitles, 96 minutes. Free; donations accepted. Scandinavian Cultural Center, 617.795.1914 / kerry@ /

point when the earth’s tilt brings the shortest day and longest night of the year. Dress to enjoy the ASI’s magical winter courtyard and bonfire. Catch a performance of a new musical Norwegian folk tale. Enjoy family handcraft activities and take a self-guided tour of the Turnblad Mansion’s Fest. FIKA Café offers a festival menu of small plates, wine, beer, cocktails and glögg, the Museum Store and Jul Shop are open for last minute gift-giving and decorating needs. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 /


Minneapolis 12.20, 6:30- 8:30 PM Swedish Meatballs Nordic Table Workshop: No single dish is more evocative of Swedish jul than the humble meatball. How did the meatball become the icon of Swedish dining? Join us for an evening of Swedish meatballs with all of the important accompaniments. Demonstration and participation for $45/ members, $55/non-members. In the Paulson Hall Kitchen of the American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 / www.

God Jul

Food f Gifts f Decor And so much more Celebrating 30 Years!

1.800.851.3466 1116 Commercial Street Astoria, Oregon Follow us on Facebook!

All-new website coming in 2018 We ship all over the U.S. 6 NORDSTJERNAN

12.21, 5-9 PM Winter Solstice Celebration: This is the special moment and global turning

12.28, 6:30 - 8 PM Spirited Glögg Tour: The popular walking tour of the festively decorated holiday rooms of the historic mansion celebrate the season in style—with crafted light bites and two versions of warm, spiced glögg. Displays of holiday revelry from the five Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland, and our special community guests from Romania, whose cuisine will inspire the FIKA hors d’oeuvres served during the evening. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 /

an abiding love for the natural world and deep concern about its future. Robert Green Fine Arts, 154 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, CA 415.381.8776 / New York

New York 12.16, 2- 3:30 PM St. Lucia Workshop: Children make their own St. Lucia and Star Boy costumes. Advance registration is recommended to ensure correct costume sizes. $12 ($10/ ASF members), Ages 3+ . Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / /


Portland 12.17, 4-6 PM Scandinavian Chorus Concert: Christmas songs in their original Nordic languages set the holiday mood. The Portland Scandinavian Chorus, recently returned from a successful tour of Norway and Sweden, presents its annual Christmas concert with musical traditions of Christmas from each of the Nordic countries. $10/suggested donation. Nordia House, 503.977.0275 / www. 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 /


SACCNY Wishes NOrdstjernan’s readers

A Very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Philadelphia 12.19, 10:30 -11:30 AM Tip Toe with Tomtarna: Toddler Time is decked out in holiday splendor! Learn about the tradition of Jultomten, the Tip Toe dance, and dance to seasonal music. If you’re not already a member, now is the perfect time to join. Museum members attending December’s Toddler Time will receive a double discount in the gift shop the morning of the program, a good time to stock up last minute holiday needs. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 /

local events

Nobel by name, noble by nature The second week of December in Sweden is dedicated to the Nobel award ceremonies and festivities. The actual award ceremony is on December 10, commemorating the death of Alfred Nobel. The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind. Even in his wildest dreams, the author of these words could hardly have realized the impact his bequest would have on the world. Dated November 27, 1895, Dr. Alfred Bernhard Nobel’s last will and testament guaranteed him a permanent place in history and in the process gave Sweden arguably the most exclusive brand name on the planet. In a society where success is judged predominately in commercial terms, there is thankfully at least one institution standing that still recognizes and rewards the finest human and humane endeavors. Nobel Prize laureates

might not receive the same publicity as Olympic champions or Oscar winners, but then again, the Nobel Prize is not about transient achievements. Its founder made clear that he desired his patronage be bestowed only on the extraordinary in fields outside the realms of popular culture, a small band of people who have helped define and often change the course of history for the common good. He may have been shooting for the stars, but were he alive today, he would probably be content to see that his wishes largely have been fulfilled. As the inventor of dynamite and other explosives, Nobel has a legacy often questioned. Did he, as a person responsible for accelerating the destructive powers of mankind, seek to salve his conscience by redirecting the major portion of his vast fortune into what could be considered one of the most expensive public relations campaigns ever staged?

Ready for the Nobel Banquet: 65 tables in their exact positions in the Blue Hall, 500 yards of tablecloth and 6,730 pieces of porcelain, 5,384 glasses and 9,422 pieces of cutlery. About 1,300 guests, including the royal family, enjoy a menu that remains a secret until the very day of the banquet, Dec. 10.

Partytime with Pepparkakor! Kids (of all ages) can decorate pepparkakor to take home on Dec. 16 at the Scandinavian Cultural Center in West Newton, MA. Pepparkakor or ginger snaps, a traditional Christmas cookie in Scandinavia, is a relatively new idea for Christmas cookies, having begun “only recently” in the 1800s. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $5/non-members, $3/members. 617.795.1914 / kerry@ / Because the Swede, who died in Italy in 1896, never outlined his personal reasons for inaugurating the prizes, commentators can only guess. The annual awards are awarded by Scandinavian institutions to persons who have made important contributions or advances in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace work. The Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry, as well as the prize in economics are appointed by the Royal Academy of Sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet nominates Nobel Prize winners in physiology or medicine, and the Swedish Academy nominates winners in literature. Nobel Peace Prize is not appointed by a Swedish organization but by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Joachim Frank from Columbia University, Jacques Dubochet of Switzerland and Richard Henderson of England. They share the prize “for developing cryo-

electron microscopy for the highresolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.” The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017 was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.” (We learned at the Nobel Symposium in Washington, DC that there is sadly no real remedy for jet lag.) The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded to the English author Kazoo Ishiguro, “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.” The Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 was announced on Oct. 6. It goes to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ICAN works vigorously to achieve nuclear disarmament, and through its inspiring and innovative support for the UN negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, ICAN has played a major part in bringing about what in this age is equivalent to an international peace congress. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017 was awarded to Richard H. Thaler “for his contributions to behavioural economics.” DECEMBER 15, 2017 7


From 5 meetings to 0 contracts An American consultant adapts to the Swedish style of business

CITIZENSHIP: WHY NOT NOW? Please call for a consultation:

Five meetings, three months, two presentations, one proposal, zero contracts ... When I decided to settle in Sweden permanently, I thought to myself, “How hard can it be to find new clients?” It’s not that my American optimism was giving way to arrogance, but rather that my initial market research (meaning I talked to people on the street and walked into places of business) indicated what I had to offer people was what they said they had been needing for a long time. Armed with a burst of confidence, I decided to go for it. The three businesses I spoke with in less than three days were thrilled and wanted to “take a meeting” with me. All the warnings I had been given by the Swedish job placement agency, Arbetsförmedlingen, about the struggles I would face when it came to securing contracts seemed like doom and gloom to me. Acting quickly, I returned every request for a meeting and followed up with proposals and examples of ideas I thought might work. The response was always warm and enthusiastic and more meetings were requested. Having already known that Swedes don’t like to make decisions spontaneously, I felt my willingness to wait to follow up until there wasn’t a “Red Day” (official public holiday where no one works), or it wasn’t vacation time (the country gets quiet as it unwinds during the month of July) was culturally appropriate. Congratulating myself on how quick I was to adapt to the “Swedish style” of business, I continued to prep for the work I knew was sure to start rolling in once each potential client signed on the dotted line. And then I waited. And waited. And waited some more. 8 NORDSTJERNAN


(650) 903-2232 Laurie A. Bonilla, Attorney at Law

800 El Camino Real West, Suite 180 Mountain View, CA 94040

I started to think maybe I had gotten it wrong. Doubt about my abilities started to creep in. Was it possible the proposals I sent were so terrible that any chance to work together had been lost? I checked back over text messages, emails and my hand written notes about each meeting, and all I saw were positive responses. What was going on here? Maybe doing business in Sweden wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it was. That’s when I got the lowdown from a Swedish friend. He asked me, “So, how did the latest presentation go?” “They said they really liked it and wanted to work with me. Then they said they wanted to schedule another meeting for October when they wouldn’t be so busy,” I said with a look of complete disbelief on my face. October was five months away. “Is that the Swedish version of the brush off?” I asked? “Ahh, no,” he replied. “It’s just the way we do things here.” Blinking, I realized this might take a lot longer than I thought. Leanne Stewart Göteborg, Nov. 2017 ... and, a couple of happy years later, “this is how we do things here and just as it should be ...” /LS Naturalization, employment-based, and family-based immigration legal matters in Santa Clara, San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Mateo counties. Ms. Bonilla has been practicing Immigration Law since 1987. She is a member of the Washington State Bar and is authorized by Federal Law to represent persons before the US CIS.


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local events

Christmas in Swedish America California

Los Angeles - San Pedro 25 Dec: Svenska Kyrkans’s Julotta. www. / Palo Alto 18 Dec: Christmas in the Ballroom. Scandinavian Christmas music as well as hot cider, cookies and more. 650.704.4211 / San Francisco 16 Dec: Scandinavian Christmas dinner. The Young Scandinavians Club, www. / 24 Dec: Swedish Church Julbön. www. / 415775-6566


Boca Raton 17 Dec: Julkonsert and Julbord. www. / florida@ Davie 24 Dec: Julbön med julens sånger. / www.


Atlanta - St. Luke’s Lutheran Church 16 Dec: Julbord. The Christmas smörgåsbord with glögg, Christmas music, singing and an auction. RSVP to Nordic Lodge, 770.292.9916 / Atlanta - Druid Hills Golf Club 16 Dec: Lucia Gala 2017. Swedish Christmas smorgasbord, Lucia procession, dancing and singing. www.sacc-georgia. org /


Chicago 17 Dec: Traditional Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord. Lucia procession, dancing around the Christmas tree and Santa. RSVP www.swedishamericanmuseum. org / 773.728.8111


Lindsborg - Bethany Lutheran Church 25 Dec: Julotta.Traditional Swedish Christmas Lutheran Church service. / triciac@ 26 Dec: Annandag Jul. Experience a traditional Lutheran Church service in Swedish. / cvbdir@


East Longmeadow – St. Paul Lutheran 17 Dec: Lucia Fest with singing, folk dancing and refreshments. BrageIduna Lodge, / 413.447.5850


Minneapolis 15 Dec - 17 Dec: Julbord with traditional Swedish Christmas smorgasbord. RSVP American Swedish Institute, www.asimn. org / 612.871.4907 Scandia 16 Dec - 17 Dec: Gammelgården Museum’s Girls and Dolls Tea Party with Lucia. Bring your dolls and girls and enjoy lunch, stories and crafts. RSVP

New York

New York - Church of the Incarnation 16 Dec: Lucia Celebration.Tickets: www. New York - Svenska Kyrkan 25 Dec: Julotta. newyork / 212.832.8443


Cleveland Heights - Peace Lutheran 25 Dec: Traditional Morning Julotta Service with Vasa Voices and a light breakfast 216.371.5141 / Marty.bergman@


Portland 15 Dec - Nordia House Julbord dinner. Nordic-style with Broder Restaurant’s take on a traditional Julbord dinner with spiced glögg. Nordic Northwest, / 503.977.0275

For events prior to Dec. 15, check our online calendar at www.nordstjernan. com/calendar

South Carolina

Columbia 16 Dec: Lucia Celebration. Enjoy the fellowship, food and fun. The Nordic Club, / 843.324.8076


Landgrove 16 Dec: Sankta Lucia at the Landgrove Inn. Delicious julbord, traditional Jul songs, Nordic Harmoni chorus, Lucia, glögg and more. RSVP 802.824.6673 /


Seattle 15 Dec: Swedish Christmas Julbord. Delicious and authentic Christmas smörgåsbord. Info and RSVP info@sacc-seattle. org / 425.952.6299


Hales Corners - Whitnall Park Lutheran 25 Dec: Julotta. Hymns and liturgy in Swedish and English. Coffee and treats. swedishamericanhistoricalwisc@gmail. com /


USA 15 Dec: Swedish Christmas Julbord Celebrations at all IKEA restaurants with an all you can eat buffet! Contact your local IKEA store for more information. www. No Celebration listed close to you? For continuous info from all over the U.S., see events at

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Christmas, here and there ...

In general, Christmas traditions in the United States and Sweden are similar, and in both countries traditions vary from place to place, and family to family. Businesses both here and there want to start as early as possible selling their Christmas stuff. But there’s a big difference in the timing. At last. Christmas arrives in just a few days! But it will be over pretty quickly, at least here in America. After all, it started

after Thanksgiving—even earlier in stores. It has been weeks since Christmas trees were installed and decorated, Christmas songs have been heard everywhere, lights on houses, bushes and in trees have been lit and Santas with elves and reindeer have invaded the yards. But after all the hours and hours of work, Christmas in America

is suddenly over on December 26. The trees will be thrown out, lights will be turned off and Santa will be laid off until next year. To me as a Swede, and to my fellow Swedes, this seems a little strange. When I was a kid, the big beginning of Christmas was skyltsöndagen (the shop-window

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What’s different

As in the United States, December in Sweden is the month of cooking food for Christmas, buying Christmas presents, attending Christmas concerts and holiday fairs. But then comes the Lucia celebration in the early morning of December 13, when Lucia in her long white gown with a red sash and a crown of lighted candles, attended by maidens, star boys and tomtar, enter your bedroom with coffee, gingerbread and saffron buns. The Lucia celebration always coincides with the week of Nobel Prize festivities in Stockholm: The prize winners who stay at the Grand Hotel are awakened by Lucia and her entourage on December 13, singing traditional songs and serving coffee and saffron buns. Originally this was done as a surprise, but the unexpected sight of white-clad people with candles on their heads came as a shock to some half-awake winners, so nowadays laureates are asked in advance if they would like to be woken up. So what about the Christmas tree? I was born in the countryside in a village in northern Småland. A few days before Christmas Eve my dad grabbed an axe, went into the woods and cut a nice spruce. It had to dry a little and then we took it inside to be decorated. This is what many Swedes do (well, most folks don’t have the opportunity to cut their own tree so they buy one)—but they generally wait and won’t decorate the tree until a week before Christmas Eve. In some parts of Sweden, especially in the south, an important part of Christmas is lillejulafton (little Christmas Eve). That’s when you taste some of the Christmas food, take a sip of the glögg and add the last of the decorations. Then comes what is most important to Swedes: julafton (Christmas Eve). It generally starts in the afternoon with a big julbord, the Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord. In the afternoon you may watch the special Donald Duck program on TV, a Christmas tradition on Swedish television since 1960. Then jultomten (Santa Claus) will come and if you are not too tired you can dance traditional Swedish folk dances around the tree.

In the morning on Christmas Day, most people sleep in unless they want to go to julotta, the early morning Christmas service. Santa is not coming this morning because he had to leave late last night—for America to give the kids their Christmas presents.

Christmas isn’t over

In some ways Christmas just got started. The day after Christmas Day is a holiday in Sweden, called Annandag Jul (the second day of Christmas, also known as Boxing Day). This is the day for meeting with family and friends for dinner parties and more Christmas food. Then comes New Year’s Eve with more parties, and on Trettondag (January 6) Swedes celebrate Epiphany. In the U.S., Christians recognize Epiphany as well, but in Sweden everyone celebrates, and on Trettondagsafton, January 5, there are great Christmas concerts all over Sweden. The song says, “Nu är det jul igen we sing julen

varar än till påska” (Christmas will last through Easter), which is not quite true even if there are folks who keep the tree well into February. Usually the tree is thrown out on January 13, on the day called Tjugondag Knut (the Twentieth Day, when Knut has a name day in the Swedish calendar). Kids are invited to a julgransplundring, a party at which the Christmas tree is stripped of its decorations, especially its candy. After this somewhat violent event the tree stands there pretty naked and is thrown out. Only the needles on the floor are what’s left of Christmas. That’s the Swedish tradition and many of us Swedes in the United States are still keeping up with it. So if you see a house with Christmas decorations still shining bright in January you will know that a Swede lives there. Merry Christmas! Göran Rygert, GA

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Sunday). It happened on the Sunday two weeks prior to Christmas Eve. That was a big thing. If you lived in a small town you had to take your afternoon stroll and pass the stores, check out the most interesting displays, sometimes with moving figures and even sound. But a smaller start of the holiday had already occurred on the first Sunday of Advent, which is often the first Sunday of December. That was— and still is—the day when you put out the special Advent candle holder, four candles on a bed of moss, with a few decorative red mushrooms. On this day, the first of the four candles is lit, followed by the three others, one by one, on Advent 2, 3 and 4, respectively. The First of Advent is also the day you may take a sip of glögg, the typical Swedish mulled wine Christmas drink.

DECEMBER 15, 2017 11

readers forum

InBox We didn’t really need Facebook to be reminded of how important our Swedish traditions are, but it’s kind of wonderful to put names and faces with others who feel the same way – that it wouldn’t be Christmas without these special Swedish traditions, whether we’re still practicing them or remembering them with fondness from years past. Here’s a rundown of your feedback from our Facebook post on Nov. 25 which asked “Do you have a favorite (Swedish) tradition around Christmas?” Sankta Lucia: About 1/3 of you said memories of Lucia are your favorite: “Always & forever Santa Lucia!” We were interested to read that some of you who can’t celebrate it on Dec. 13 itself, still do it as part of your Christmas on Dec. 24 or 25. And, since Lucia is among the most well known symbols of Swedish culture, appealing to others who aren’t lucky enough to experience it themselves, this isn’t surprising to us: “I’m not Swedish. But I do enjoying seeing pictures of people who wear candles on their head.”

Maybe you’re familiar with these other traditions that got enthusiastic mentions: Julotta, hanging lighted stars in windows, opening presents on Christmas Eve, having lots of red decorations and table cloths! Setting the Julbock out in the snow for the birds (and tomtes), dressing up the Kirsten American Girl doll in her Santa Lucia outfit, Gävlebocken, lighting the candles of Swedish angel chimes, strings of Swedish flags on the Christmas tree and of course watching Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas HOLIDAY GREETINGS from

All the rest of the comments were about favorite food or drink: “Salting a pork shoulder the day after Thanksgiving and using the brine for Dopp i grytan at Christmas with homemade bread, of course Swedish meatballs and korv” ... kringlor, potatiskorv, Grandma’s Swedish gingerbread cookies and homemade aquavit ... sill och OP-Andersson ... meatballs - with lingonberries ... gingerbread cookies ... julmust ... Swedish limpa rye bread. “We make Swedish love knots on St. Lucia day, a recipe passed down from my grandfather’s family” ... Lussekatter, glögg ... “My dad making homemade potatiskorv. We exchanged some with our friends also” ... Making potatiskorv every December and eating it at the family smörgåsbord! Bond ost and herring ... pickled herring, of course ... cardamom & saffron bread ... glögg, limpa, cuminost, herring, “We still make glögg every Christmas” ... Swedish meatballs, Jansson’s Temptation, rice pudding with fruit soup ... meatballs and “white fish” in lieu of lutfisk ... spritz cookies ... lutfisk, gravad lax, rullsylta och mead. “My great aunt Lucile’s kiflin cookies are a must.” Pepparkakor, getting the almond in the rice pudding, the herring and the ham ... pickled creamed herring ... lutfisk, pickled herring, beet salad, of course Swedish meatballs, rice pudding, glögg to drink! Potatis korv!

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About Annas Kavring (issue 14, 2017) Hej Redaktörn, Jag har bakat Annas Kavring från tidningen Nov. 1. Så god och så enkel! Bara 6 ingredienser, ingen jäst. Bravo! Tack till Anna och Nordstjernan. Inez Törnblom, IL Dear Inez, You are not alone in praising Anna’s recipe for kavring from our issue 14, we’ve received an amazing amount of comments from you all. This bread works just as well as the more common limpa on the Christmas table. Kudos to Anna! (Swedish Dreamish - /Ed.

readers forum And Mormor Peterson’s Surgrädde Ingefärskakor (Grandma Peterson’s Sour Cream Ginger Cookies)! The cookies have been made by our family for at least 120 years. I got this recipe from my Aunt Elizabeth (Aunt Babe) who got it from her grandmother Johanna’s mom. It must date back to at least the late 1800s. My grandparents and my aunts and uncles used to decorate the Christmas tree with these. It is easy to poke a hole through the cookies while soft and then run a string through the hole for hanging. They are still good to eat (dunked in coffee) after hanging on a tree for a few weeks! Heart shapes are traditional, but gingerbread men are favorites of the little kids.

Mormor Peterson’s Surgrädde Ingefärskakor 2 cups sugar 1 cup molasses 6-7 cups flour 1 tsp ginger (I double this and all spices) 1 tsp cinnamon (I also add 1 tsp cardamom, but this was not in the original recipe) 1 cup lard (can use butter or vegetable shortening, not as good!) 3 eggs 1 cup sour cream (8 oz) 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cloves

time, mixing each into the batter. You may have to add an additional cup of flour or so in order to make the dough stiff enough to roll out – use plenty of flour on the counter top when rolling out because the dough gets quite sticky. You will know to add some extra flour if the dough sticks to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about ¼ or slightly more - you don’t want it to be too thin, then they burn easily and are hard – if you like hard cookies, roll out thinner but watch while cooking. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters – you can sprinkle with colored sugar prior to baking or decorate after they have cooled. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes or till done to the touch. Shorter time makes for softer cookies. This makes a huge batch! The dough is sticky and difficult to roll out unless you get the flour just right. Jerry Nelson, WY

On a recent ranking list made by Demoskop and the Swedish food industry, the following favorites were found on Swedes’ Christmas tables in the last few years: 1. Christmas ham 2. Jansson’s temptation 3. Pickled herrings 4. Salmon of different kinds 5. Meatballs 6. Julmust, the ever-popular Christmas soda 7. Glögg 8. Rice porridge 9. Christmas cheese 10. Prince sausage

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cream together sugar and lard. Add 3 eggs and beat until smooth. Add molasses and sour cream and blend together, add the spices and mix well. Add 6 cups of flour, one at a

We couldn’t agree more. Happy people are healthier. The image above was shared by Ingemar Svala, OH, who used it on a variety of occasions and presentations working for Volvo Cars in the 1980s and 1990s.

DECEMBER 15, 2017 13


The Christmas Table You may think the foods on julbordet, the Christmas dinner table, have been unchanged since ancient times, but most of them made their entry as late as the 20th century. Every new generation sets its mark on the food for Christmas and redefines the traditions.

Christmas is celebrated in memory of the birth of Jesus, but it’s the food that has taken on the most significance for many. Joseph and Mary had to search for shelter and were probably too busy giving birth to even think about something to eat. Some terrified shepherds from the fields outside Bethlehem came; they may have brought food and drink as a gift, but they were too saturated with their experience of the events and to speak of what they saw of bands of angels. This night is so divine that it should have brought about the establishment of a special celebration meal to honor the child. It could then have been repeated for more than 2000 years, just as we do with Jesus’ last supper, in Communion. That did not happen, however. Instead, in early Christianity, the antithesis of eating—fasting— arose at Christmas time with an emphasis on inner reflection about a god who takes on human form. Eventually, fasting brought its opposite: the overindulgence of the feast. Today, on December 24 or 25, the feast is displayed on Christmas tables all over the world. In Sweden we are fond of evenings, so we celebrate on Christmas Eve. Catholics still observe fasting on Christmas Eve but it’s not time for a feast until after midnight mass. Orthodox Christians wait until January’s Feast of the Epiphany with their celebration. 14 NORDSTJERNAN

Julbord history

Sweden’s traditional Christmas table, “julbordet,” is not really a single feast but offers a repertoire of flavors you may even call a Christmas manifesto. Christmas food has always been secular, possibly with the exception of the fish to follow fasting, but the exclusivity of the special dishes compared with the rest of the year makes them feel close to a religious ritual, whether or not you are a believer. Julbord foods generally deviate significantly from the contemporary ideals of eating fresh, local and in season. Instead, they are about repeated tradition and history. The foods express a common act and not an individual taste. The messages of the dishes interact with the guests of the table, and the Christmas food becomes part of a family chronicle, where new members of the family (children, spouses and other insiders) are introduced to the family’s Christmas mystery. Guests meet a continuity of family values such that eggnog, pickled herring from old recipes and pig’s feet can express. Just as Skansen’s museum buildings express a national memorial community, the Christmas table represents the historical context on which the family builds its community. That’s why the julbord cannot easily change. If someone wants to remove a dish, it can only happen after negotiations

or by the fact that its defendant died or otherwise separated from the family. Only then can an undesirable Christmas dish be lifted from the family’s altar table without conflict.

An agricultural shift

Most of the older Christmas foods of commoners are today forgotten. They gradually disappeared in the mid 1800s when the agricultural shift led Swedes to buy the raw materials and ingredients we no longer produced ourselves. The Christmas table of 2017 therefore contains the food of more urban and higher-standing folks dating back to the early 20th century … although there are still a few ancient ingredients left. One way to understand a family’s Christmas table is to describe it in terms of different layers of archaeological findings. There are often seven or eight layers of mixed national and family history. At the top are contemporary dishes that have not yet become part of the family heritage, such as fresh vegetables, meatballs with taco flavor, beans or chili glögg. If we continue the excavation we encounter a big change in the 1960s and 1970s: The three-part Christmas meal with a smörgåsbord for starters, lutfisk as the main course and rice porridge for dessert becomes a single buffet table. The trans-

formation came about by the desire of the time to eat easier meals, when women were employed and could not spend all of December making Christmas food preparations, and Tore Wretman’s newly launched smörgåsbord was eaten as a single meal. Dishes from the summer table that were saved in freezers were lifted onto the winter’s Christmas smörgåsbord. And the old dishes from the Christmas slaughter—such as liver paté and Christmas sausage, but also cabbage dishes—were now joined by the food industry’s frozen meatballs, ready-made lutfisk and other whole and semimanufactured products.

Early 20th century

During the first part of the 20th century, just as in the old peasant community, Christmas Eve was a working day. The work was usually terminated in the middle of the day; but before everyone went home, a simple meal was often taken, by which the employer thanked the employees for the past year. In this meal, we have the origins of today’s corporate holiday party, which nowadays take place throughout December. Christmas Eve afternoon was then devoted to the family and the church’s Christmas prayer, where the thundering “Hosianna” was a popular ritual. After church it was time for dinner, which in bourgeois social classes usually consisted of a four- or five-course meal. (August Strindberg instructed his housekeeper in the early 1900s to arrange a Christmas dinner for the author plus a few guests containing five dishes: a smörgåsbord, then Swedish sauerkraut soup, fish of the season, fried bird with fried potatoes and ending with butter cake.) During this national romantic epoch, Christmas as a tradition became important for the cultural elite. They sought Sweden’s authenticity beyond the shrink of industrialism, and inspired by Germany, where Christmas was appointed as the feast that would make the newly-merged German nation become one. In Sweden, people created four-color images of Santa with a red hood, Christmas music, dishes, ornaments in paper, Christmas porcelain, and newly invented rituals such as dancing around the (German) Christmas tree became common. The staging for Christmas became important in a manner similar to rural commoners’ traditions with folk costumes and folk music, and central artists in this process were, amongst others, Carl Larsson and Jenny Nyström. The genuine traditional foods—such as cooked meat dishes or the Julhögen, the “Christmas Heap” (individual bread piles, sometimes an apple or a piece of cheese from which the common folk would eat whenever they pleased)—were not considered good enough, however. The National Romantics wanted French food craft, and thus the Christmas smörgåsbord was born. It contained new industrially produced dishes such as spiced anchovy, bourgeois food such as salads with mayonnaise, various kinds of pickled spiced herrings, liver paté, and some older

slaughter dishes such as Christmas sausage, brawn and headcheese were kept.

Into the 19th century

The Christmas smörgåsbord was still a starter at the end of the 19th century, so the meal needed a main dish: steak. At this stage, the salted ham was perceived as old fashioned and connected to Christmas Eve. In the older farming society, however, the food of celebrations should differ

“Why fish prepared with lye is for both fasting and fests is hidden in the darkness of history.” from everyday life, so salty food was not the finest selection for a feast. The slaughter at Lucia was precisely about having fresh food to break the Christmas fast. Even if a fresh steak had been cut out, the peasants considered it too valuable to be wasted at Christmas. Instead, it was salted and saved for summer, and so fresh thick pork spareribs, boiled or oven-baked, has become one of the truly ancient parts of the Christmas table. On 19th century bourgeois tables, steaks were decorated with beautiful decorative needles, socalled hatelettes, and this became customary for the Christmas ham as well (the commoner had never seen such bling, so it soon got a popular name: “Skinkpinne” or ham stick). The working class of the cities and the people in the countryside imitated this and rejected the old traditions with Christmas Heap, smörstake (slightly aged butter), surost (sour milk cheese), fresh boiled meat and barley porridge. (Astrid Lindgren described the new Christmas table when Emil in Lönneberga invited the poor to “the great Christmas table” in Katthult, where old was mixed with new.)

Before herring and sweet glögg

Even today, the ham for Christmas is a Swedish feature. Food magazines that can be published with the same cover picture in the different Nordic countries at other times of the year must, before Christmas, adapt their cover to the national ideals, otherwise the readers do not understand that it is the Christmas issue. On the Norwegian Christmas cover, there is a fresh pork steak, on the Danish a duck and on the Swedish a Christmas ham. If you dig further into the Christmas archeology, prior to the herring salad and sweetened glögg of the 19th century, you will find brawn and head cheese or gingerbread cakes with paradise pepper, and the 17th century’s variation of gravlax, dried dates, figs, nuts and marzipan, right down to the Catholic era,

where the lutfisk was fish for both fasting and feast. Lutfisk—often made from pollock, ling or cod—is a dish that originates from the late Middle Ages and still belongs to one of the oldest taste lines without broken continuity. Why fish prepared with lye is for both fasting and fests is hidden in the darkness of history. Perhaps people felt clean and sin-free to eat the white fish bleached with lye? In the oldest layer of Christmas table history lies the slightly sour butter put on dry cumin rye bread and aged cheese, then a spicy, salty fish and maybe smoked meat. If someone did not have pork or beef, they ate meat from sheep, goats or maybe game. Accompanying drinks were freshly brewed Christmas beer and of course a spiced aquavit. These five ingredients—with taste of salt, umami and spicy aromas—still have an almost magical power over us. Even today, it is difficult to imagine the other annual festivals without this introductory accord of flavors.

Food, peace and goodwill

Exactly what the Christmas table should contain, we will never ever agree upon. Instead, it’s up to every new generation to find its own Christmas celebration. The last time the Christmas table was fundamentally changed was in the 1970s, when it went from being an appetizer to becoming a single buffet. Then the food industry also began to make Christmas food, and today one can purchase an entire Christmas dinner in the nearest store and then assemble it somewhat like a piece of Ikea furniture. All you have to do is invite the guests. At the turn of the new millennium, postmodern ideals and the Christmas food concept expanded to include seafood dishes, beans and an everincreasing dessert area. A luxurious Christmas Eve breakfast is one of the latest features of Christmas, and of course Christmas can be celebrated in many other ways: Today there are Christian Christmas celebrators in Sweden who eat pizza, while some secular Muslims celebrate Christmas with ham and prawns—and watch Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) on television like “everyone else” does. Therefore, when we look over our own Christmas table today, we’re not only seeing a landscape of food but a design of what is important for our families. On the plates and in the bowls are the values we protect, but every new dish is also an expression of peace on earth and goodwill to all people. Richard Tellström Dr. Richard Tellström is a researcher of Swedish food culture history and teacher at the Department of Ethnology at Stockholm University. Find out more at or follow Tellström’s blog at

DECEMBER 15, 2017 15


Christmas trends in food Swedish, organic and green are the trends for this year’s Christmas foods, and a majority of people in Sweden prefer local, raw ingredients. Julbordet, the Christmas table, is such a strong concept that most restaurants in Sweden, regardless of ethnicity, offer their own versions: Alternative Christmas tables representing Asian, Persian, Lebanese or Greek “julbord” are offered in Stockholm, or why not enjoy an American version at the Hard Rock Café? It includes hickory smoked BBQ ribs, steak and chicken with roast potatoes and apple cobbler pie. Of course there’s also the full vegetarian julbord— Hermans restaurant near Fotografiska, the Museum of Photography in Söder, serves a mostly-green menu and was one of last year’s vegetarian hot spots. While many of the old favorites remain for the Christmas table, food writer Gunilla Blixt tells us the trend, even among traditionalists, includes more salads and greens this year, with vegetarian and vegan dishes, including the popular veggie “Christmas ham” spiced, baked celery root. Here are a few of Gunilla’s preferred green dishes:

Kale gratin

What fits better with green cabbage than cream and Västerbotten (or a similarly aged) cheese? Serve at the buffet, at the Christmas table or as an accessory to just about anything. Serves 4 1-1/2 cups (400 g) fresh kale 1 small yellow onion 2 teaspoons butter 1/2 crown of grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt Pinch of ground white pepper 1 1/4 cup (3 dl) cream 1/2 cup (1 dl) aged, grated cheese

Wishes you and your family God Jul & Gott Nytt År Thank you for a great 2017 All the best for a happy and healthy 2018! 349 Main Ave. | Norwalk, CT 06851 | Phone: 203-529-3244 Email: | 16 NORDSTJERNAN

1. Heat the oven to 225º. Rinse the kale carefully and remove the coarse stalks. Tear it roughly. 2. Peel and chop the onion and fry in butter. 3. Put the kale and the onion in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper. 4. Sprinkle the cheese and pour over cream. Lower the heat in the oven to 200° and cook the gratin for 20 minutes. Follow Gunilla Blixt’s cooking and recipes at

*GI = The low-glycemic (low-GI) diet is based on the concept of the glycemic index; it’s a measure that ranks food according to their effect on blood sugar levels)

Salad with avocado and pomegranate

A colorful salad always looks good on the Christmas table. This salad picks up the Christmas green and red with avocado and pomegranate. A lovely salad for GI* friends. 2 cups (500 g) seasonal greens 2 cups (500 g) of arugula or rucola leaf 2 bell peppers (orange or yellow) 3 avocados 2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice 1 pomegranate 1. Mix the greens and put them on a large dish. Rinse and slice the peppers. Put the strips on the greens. 2. Split the avocados and remove the pits. Cut into rough squares and pull out with a spoon. Mix with lemon juice or lime juice. 3. Split the pomegranate and extract the seeds. Top the salad with avocado and pomegranate. Drop over vinegar before serving.

Orange boiled carrots

Add flavor to the cooked carrots with orange and spices.

1. Rinse, peel and julienne the carrots. Squeeze the juice from the orange and pour into a saucepan. Add olive oil, bay leaf and thyme. 2. Put to boil, then add the carrots and let simmer until the carrots are soft all the way through. Let them cool in the liquid of the saucepan. 3. Remove the bay leaf and strain the liquid. Season the carrots with salt and pepper. Chop the parsley. Put the carrots in a bowl and garnish with parsley.

5 carrots 1 orange 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon thyme salt and ground black pepper 3 ounces (1 dl) chopped parsley

Swedish, organic and green are the trends for this year’s Christmas foods, and a majority of people in Sweden prefer local, raw ingredients.

Sillagurka (herring cucumber)

Guests who do not eat fish can have a dish similar to the pickled herring on the smörgåsbord. If you skip the honey, the recipe is GI green. 1 green cucumber ¼ cup (1/2 dl) water 2 teaspoons salt 1-1/2 tablespoons vinegar (12% ättiksprit)

5 peppercorns 3 cloves 1 bay leaf 2 teaspoons honey

1. Pour water, salt and vinegar into a small saucepan. Add peppercorns, bayleaf and cloves. 2. Boil, dissolve the salt and remove from heat. Stir down the honey and let cool. 3. Cut the cucumber into thin strips and put into a bowl. Pour the liquid over and keep cold for serving.

As for leftovers of the traditional Christmas ham (a rare occurrence for many), I always recommend a basic casserole:

Mamma’s macaroni casserole

When I started cooking, the macaroni casserole was one of the first dishes I ventured to try. My mother had found a recipe in Pernilla Tunberger’s cookbook that we used as a base. When I later worked as a nanny, the children taught me how to make a pink macaroni casserole by mixing ketchup in the batter. Serves 4 1-1/2 cups (4 dl) sausages or leftover ham 1-1/2 cups (4 dl) cooked, cold pasta 3 eggs

1-1/2 cups (4 dl) milk 1/2 teaspoon of salt Pinch of ground white pepper 3 ounces (1 dl) grated cheese

1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cut the sausage or ham into cubes or strips. Grate the cheese. 2. Beat together eggs and milk, and season with salt and pepper. 3. Grease an ovenproof dish and put in the pasta and the mixed meats. Cover with egg mixture. 4. Bake for about 45 minutes in the oven, or until the eggs have baked and the casserole has a nice color. DECEMBER 15, 2017 17


Ice cream with seasonal spice For Christmas we want ice cream to taste of cinnamon, cardamom, saffron or nuts. And also gingerbread or chocolate. The flavors of Christmas. Some of the small local manufacturers stop producing during the winter, but others make ice cream that fits the season. Local Stockholm producer Wermdöglass makes saffron ice cream with a taste of honey, almond and cardamom ice cream. From Gotland and Guteglass there’s also a cardamom and a saffron flavor. Even ice cream from the more well-known brands, which can be purchased in the freezer section of regular grocery stores, now comes with Christmas flavors. Triumph Glass in Göteborg has launched a Dumle ice cream with a taste of gingerbread called Ginger Pint. SIA Glass offers a flavor of cinnamon buns and a special candy and marshmallow Santa ice cream. Ice cream parlors and gelato shops also offer fun Christmas flavors. For example, anyone staying in Stockholm can visit a Stikki Nikki’s store and find gelato with up to 10 different holiday flavors. How about gelato with the taste of saffron, cardamom or polkagris? There is also gelato with a taste of gingerbread, hazelnut or cream and raisins. This year’s great news is a sorbet with a taste of julmust (Christmas soda). The most spectacular flavors are called Dirty Santa’s Beard (coconut with chocolate) and Moose Tracks (chocolate ice cream with pieces of fudge and chocolate chips). Sticki Nikki is famous for its different flavors and unexpected combinations. Those who want to experiment at home can make their own Christmas ice cream by flavoring and decorating it. A good base is vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Crushed Christmas candy, Christmas cake decorations or crumbled Christmas cookies are suitable as toppings.

Christmas dessert with ice cream, lingon and gingerbread

Inspiration for this ice cream comes from popular TV chef Jessica Frej. Great for us Swedes, who always have deep-frozen lingon in the freezer – fresh or frozen is available in the U.S. through www. and frozen is available through (If you decide to use the jarred lingonberries, please select one with more fruit and less jelly, for instance at www.aljohnsons. com – IKEA’s is just as good with meatballs; for ice cream you want something fruitier.) When the sour lingon meets the sweet taste from the dulce de leche, caramel, sweet sounds are created in the palate. For 4 servings you need: 1 dl deep-frozen lingon 1 tablespoon of sugar 3 dl whipped cream 1 teaspoon of sea salt 1 dl of caramelized milk (dulce de leche) 4 cups vanilla ice cream 5 gingerbread cookies You also need: High-stemmed glasses for serving 1. Let the lingonberries thaw halfway and sprinkle the sugar over them. 2. Beat the cream lightly. Crush the gingerbread cakes. Mix the sea salt with caramelized milk. 3. Put a scoop of ice cream in each glass. Layer cakes, lingon, caramelized milk and whipped cream on top. Serve immediately. Text and photos: Gunilla Blixt


swedish christmas markets The year’s most important celebration is just around the corner and there are still Christmas markets and Lucia celebrations all over the U.S. In Sweden there’s a large variety of markets to choose from—most towns, even castles and manor houses organize their own. Here’s a list of some of the country’s best markets that are all easily accessible from Stockholm, Göteborg or Malmö. If you’re visiting Sweden, the markets are a shortcut to everything you need prior to Christmas—the saffron aromas of fresh lussekatter [Lucia buns], knäck candy bark, sweet marzipan, spicy glögg and fine craftsmanship. Christmas market at Liseberg, Göteborg Sweden’s largest amusement park turns into a sparkling Christmas town with millions of lights, ice ballet, open winter carousels, glögg and around 80 vendors of Christmas candy and delicacies. Everything accompanied by Christmas music, of course. Here you can ski, visit the rabbit country, go on a hunt in the medieval village and visit Santa’s Christmas cabin to submit your wish list. Open Nov. 17 until Dec. 30. Check the web for details. Stortorget Christmas Market, Gamla Stan, Stockholm The Christmas market on Stortorget in the Old Town of Stockholm is Sweden’s oldest. Gustav Vasa controlled it as early as 1523. Since then, it has occasionally been moved and once banned. The latter was 1907 when it was felt there was too much trouble around the market. But since 1915 the Christmas market at Stortorget is back. Here

you find wildlife products and game, ceramics, Christmas ornaments, marzipan, honey, cheeses and spices. In addition, there are gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate, sugar candy, waffles and sweets. Open every day from Dec. 2 until Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Skansen Christmas Market, Stockholm Skansen has offered a Christmas market since 1903 and it is easy to understand why the open air museum with its old buildings, beautiful surroundings and views of Stockholm is a real classic. On Skansen you can buy crafts and Christmas candy, dance around the tree, make Christmas ornaments, listen to the Advent concert in Seglora church and try making your own candles, Nov. 25 through Dec. 17. Kosta Christmas Market If you are looking for a white Christmas head to Kosta Christmas Market in Småland between Växjö and Nybro. Techniques from the world of movie making are used to create the ultimate Christmas feeling. In addition to snow, it offers a visit to Kosta Glasbruk, Kosta Boda Art Gallery, horse carriage rides, pony riding, face painting and Santa’s hats for all children. With a variety of activities and varying open times, the Kosta Christmas Market is open through Dec. 30 Jamtli Christmas Market, Östersund For those who look for more than the usual Christmas market activities, the location to visit is the Östersund Open Air Museum Jamtli. A magical atmosphere is created among the old preserved

farms from the 19th to the early 20th century. Among the old beautiful houses there are crackling fires, choirs singing, Christmas puzzles, candy and crafts, a gingerbread house exhibition and the opportunity to go dog sledding or by horse-drawn sleigh. The market is only open for three days this year, December 8-10, but was last year visited by over 20,000 people. Christmas Market, Sigtuna For 50 years, Sigtuna’s Christmas Market, a mere half hour north of Stockholm, has attracted visitors from near and far. In addition to the market with classic Christmas goods, Santa visits to receive children’s wish lists. There is also Christmas music, Lucia and dancing around the Christmas tree. The Christmas Market extends along Storgatan to both Stora Torget (the Large Square) and Lilla Torget (the Small Square) in Sigtuna and is open every Sunday between Nov. 26 and Dec. 17. Old-fashioned Christmas Market in the Falu Mine, Dalarna For those who are looking for that little extra, the Christmas market in the middle of the World Heritage Site Falu Mine, is definitely worth a visit. The market is held for the 15th consecutive year, bringing together 170 craftsmen who sell locally produced food, Christmas wreaths, roasted almonds and genuine handicraft. Be sure to take a guided tour of the mine (should be pre-booked), go by horse and trolley and leave the wish list with the mining Santas. The market is one day only, on Dec. 10.

DECEMBER 15, 2017 19

feature Castle Christmas Market in Kungsbacka A Christmas decorated castle with hundreds of exhibitors, candy showers, clowns, trolls and Christmas music is what you meet at Tjolöholm Castle’s Christmas market outside Göteborg in November. This particular market is over when you read this but there are ample opportunities elsewhere to enjoy a market in a traditional castle setting or at the mansion of Swedish Nobel laureate, the author Selma Lagerlöf’s Mårbacka in Värmland. For more detailed info, see for instance

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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: Rolf Williams, Norfolk How long have you been the Swedish consul? I was appointed Honorary Consul in 1989. What is your full-time occupation? I am president of Anders Williams & Company. We are ship agents and have other maritime related businesses which operate along the U.S. East Coast. How much time do you spend on consular matters? Do you have help? I have a consular assistant who can help me if I am traveling. Otherwise, I handle all consular matters by myself. I normally spend some time each day on consular activities but it varies depending on what the needs are.

About Swedish food: Come December, I do not start my mornings with glögg, but it is a nice seasonal thing, normally at parties, perhaps at the end of the day sometimes. And though I had lutfisk once and don’t really care for it, of course I enjoy matjes herring! Most admired Swede: Raoul Wallenberg. Saving thousands of Jews from concentration camps and probable death was a monumental task. It always saddens me to think he was never seen again after doing so much good for mankind. The biggest misconception about Sweden: People think the Swedish government is overburdening with taxation and that Swedes are stifled by it. Most questions people ask are about the social system and taxation. What the U.S. can learn from Sweden: A flexible approach to a new economy—after the last downturn Sweden was ready to bounce back, especially in electronics, design and engineering.

How many Swedish citizens are in your area? Although there is no way of knowing for sure, I believe there are between 1,500 and 2,000 Swedes in Virginia. Normally the Swedes have married Americans and decided to reside in Virginia. We also have expatriate employees, students and Swedish military officers who live here. Are there other local Swedish institutions or organizations you cooperate with? The two cultural organizations in my section of Virginia are SWEA and The Swedish American Society of Tidewater. Both organizations are active and healthy. Does your district differ from other Swedish honorary consulates? Norfolk is one of the largest ports in the U.S. and home to the largest naval base in the world. We are also the home to NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, one of the two strategic commands in NATO. What is the Swedish Consulate’s most important job for the community in your area? I promote Swedish business in the U.S. whenever possible and assist the Swedish community in promoting Swedish culture. This is done primarily with the cities in southeastern Virginia. Volvo Penta is the largest Swedish company in our area

and I work with their Swedish employees on a regular basis. IKEA will be opening a new location in Norfolk, and I have met with Norfolk’s Economic Development people and the management of IKEA and intend to offer consular services for their Swedish employees and help to promote the new store if possible. If you had more funds what would you do in your region to spread the word about Sweden? I find that the SWEA group and other Swedish citizens, along with the Swedish Americans in our area are proud of their heritage and excited to promote “all things Swedish.” We have Swedish film festivals and cultural bazaars. Everyone enjoys the Christmas Lucia celebrations. Although more funding for the promotion of Sweden is always appreciated, I think our local Swedes are doing a very good job in promoting Sweden in Virginia. All of our local Swedish events are being produced without any funding from the Swedish government. The secret to more successful events is having more dedicated members. In today’s world, that is not an easy task! What made you choose to accept this position? I was honored to be chosen for the position when the honorary consul before me — my father — reached the mandatory retirement age. What is your personal connection with Sweden? I am an American citizen. My grandfather was a Norwegian sea captain who came ashore in Norfolk and built a business that served the Swedish and Norwegian vessels calling in Norfolk. My connection is primarily due to the maritime business and my father’s consular activities. Swedish Honorary Consulate General in Norfolk 201 East City Hall Ave. Norfolk, VA 23510 757.457.8311 DECEMBER 15, 2017 21


Dwayne Erickson at 80 Several dozen friends and family gathered at the Swedish American Hall to celebrate Dwayne Erickson’s 80th birthday. Photo: Ted Olsson

Lisa Wiborg congratulates “the kid.” Photo: Susan Bianucci

league meeting and additional hikes in the Bay Area and beyond. A cherished postcard reminded her of one hike she and Ramona Talbot took with him when they stopped at a café in the country to surprise him with birthday cake and a skål. She also noted his remarkable affinity for nature and sharing its secrets with the public on nearby trails; he has become a local hero at the Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail, on the cliffs above the ocean near his home. Dwayne alwaays knows all the plants and which ones are toxic or therapeutic. Susan’s husband Fred remembered how his wife would often return from those hikes with four cookies, a home-baked gift from Dwayne. They were so delicious that Fred didn’t believe Susan could bring home the whole gift without nibbling on any; so he once asked Dwayne how many cookies he gave Susan, confirming that she had indeed shared all of them with Fred. Dwayne’s culinary skills were commented upon by many, especially the contingent of friends from Fylgia Lodge. Many of them fondly referred to the lodge’s annual korv fest at Dwayne’s. In late fall before the holidays, members come to his home to create their own potato sausages (“potatiskorv”) and dine together on a feast entirely prepared by Dwayne: mashed mixed roots (“rotmos”), sausages, jellies and sauces, as well as his delicious chocolate potato cake with coffee. These iterative descriptions so enticed everyone at this party that it became clear Dwayne will have to prepare this year’s feast for many extra visitors. Anyone who has visited this genial bachelor’s home

has seen samples of many of his talents: the clocks he made; the farm implements he used or rescued; the carpentry of homes as well as the walls of photos; the model trains and other equipment. Even the whimsical tools and toys in his immaculate garden testify to his talents. It is unfortunate that so many of his neighbors — especially their kids, who love “Uncle Dwayne” and whom he has helped to raise — were not present to tell their stories.

A wonderful party was held at the Swedish American Hall to celebrate Dwayne Erickson’s 80th birthday. The occasion was hosted by Fylgia Lodge, the Swedish Club and the Swedish Society of San Francisco, all in which Dwayne has been involved and considered a longtime valued friend. He is one of the most notable volunteers for many of the major Swedish organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Apart from greeting the guest of honor and other friends, the best part of the evening was hearing about Dwayne’s life through testimonials from everyone, explaining how much the man means to them. Dwayne grew up on his Idaho family farm raising potatoes and other root vegetables. He left home to join the military where he gained professional skills as an anaplastologist, specializing in creating artificial eyeballs. In retirement he chose to stay in the Bay Area, in Pacifica, just south of San Francisco. Cherishing his Swedish heritage, he belongs to most of the Swedish organizations here; so he is familiar with many in the community. Everyone knows Dwayne volunteers to help on all occasions. He is always so fit and looks much younger than 80 — with the stamina to match. People noted how he was famous for being the first to set up each occasion and the last to leave after cleaning up. Susan Bianucci remembered how she first met Dwayne as a fellow delegate at the Swedish American Patriotic League’s meetings. They discovered a mutual enjoyment in walking, which resulted in two decades of monthly treks through San Francisco before each

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.). The sequel,


was just released. The story of 15-year-old Elsa-Carolina’s illegitimate daughter Kajsa,who was cast out into the world from a foster home at the age of 8. 22 NORDSTJERNAN

Sitting beside Dwayne at the head table were his family, friends and neighbors from his Idaho family home. A cousin reminded him of family tales. A brother and his wife surprised Dwayne by showing up unexpectedly — a tearfully delightful birthday present. He spoke of his beloved older brother, whom they only see during Dwayne’s annual trips to Idaho. A younger sister was so grateful they could all be together for this birthday. Dwayne is a life member of the Congregational Church, which also celebrated his birthday. Acting on charity, he had recently returned from building a hospital for his church in Africa. Robert Peterson III spoke of Dwayne’s many contributions at church and how his own family has always welcomed Dwayne celebrating Christmas with them. Dwayne has known several generations of the Peterson family for decades, watching the younger ones grow into responsible positions in the Swedish community. One of Dwayne’s favorite and frequent sayings is, “We have much to be grateful for.” All celebrants agreed that Dwayne himself is one of the many treasures for whom they are thankful. Ted Olsson

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God Jul Glad Jul och Gott Nytt År! tillönskas Vasamedlemmar och övriga föreningsmedlemmar av Fylgia Lodge Nr. 119 V.O.A. Scott Schulkin, Ordförande Roxanne Schulkin, Sekreterare

Wishing all our friends A Very Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year The Talbot Family Carol, Kurt, Marilyn, Christopher & Erika, Alexandra, Kaley & Wayne Wood

The Van Horns

AnnMarie, Karen Richard III, Rick Dylan, Jeff, Elise, Stephanie & Bryan

God Jul Gott Nytt År Greetings from California

Swedish Ladies Society of San Francisco

God Jul & Gott Nytt År önskar Board of Directors and members The Swedish Society of San Francisco

Björn och Inger Skogström

En riktigt

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Zaida Singers


Season’s Greetings to all our friends

God Jul och Gott Nytt År Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year önskar Jane Sandler

God Jul och Gott Nytt År

Swedish American Patriotic League

Laura Carlson President

Conor Massey Vic President

Meryl Ferrari Secretary

Sandy Watts Treasurer

DECEMBER 15, 2017 23

Merry Christmas God Jul & Gott Nytt År

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year From the Board of Directors and Members Swedish Club of San Francisco and the Bay Area

Eva, Oskar & Nils Welin

God Jul och Gott Nytt År YOU


Jul & Nyårshälsningar från Uncle Bo till The McKinleys, Regstads & The Thomsens




ch o l u J God t Nytt Got År!

Barbro, Liza, Kristina, Lotta & Tara






Ted & Astrid Olsson Zander & Cam Juli & Ryan

God Jul & Gott Nytt År

Wishing everyone a Wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year Siri Eliasson


önskar er alla

En Välsignad Jul och Ett Gott Nytt År


Sveadal Club

God Jul och Gott Nytt År Till Våra Vänner

Jörgen & ViviAnne Regstad

Wishes You and Yours


God Jul och Gott Nytt År 24 NORDSTJERNAN

Happy Holidays

and a New Year filled with many happy hours in beautiful SVEADAL

OCH GOTT NYTT ÅR! Linnea Lodge, VOA Petaluma, CA


Att vänja sig vid nya tider Prylar jag växte upp med: Utedass, slaskhinkar att bära ut, fotogenlampor, isdösar, toalettpapper, Allers och Åhlén & Holms katalog. Även om jag håller på att bli lastgammal är jag tacksam och stolt över att konstatera att jag under min levnad förmodligen tillhör den generation som upplevt de största förändringar i tillvaron. Jag växte upp på en bondgård på den platta Närkesslätten. På sätt och vis var jag priviligierad. Gården hade många rum. Kallades herrgård. Precis som andra någorlunda stora gårdar. 225 tunnland, 25 mjölkkor, en tjur, en hingst, Fredrik hette han, fem ardennerhästar, Svarten, Lisa, Bläsen, Oskar, Torsten. Varierande antal drängar och pigor. När kvällen kom tände vi fotogenlamporna. Elektriskt ljus installerades, sedan jag tagit realen. Genom folkskolan gick det bra att läsa under flämtande fotogenlampor. Minns ännu den dag, när det gick att tända ljus i vartenda rum med en enkel knäppning. Erik och Tekla i grannhuset hade dessförinnan skaffat karbid lampor. Karbidlampor hade obarmhärtigt kallt, vitt ljus. Det för gården gemensamma utedasset hade fem fjölar. Fjölarna var anpassade efter storleken på gårdens rumpor. Breda för de vuxna och stormagade. Mindre för yngre årskullar. På den priviligierade herrgården hade vi torrdass på vinden. Det var kallt på

vinden om höstarna och smalt på trappan dit. Slaskhinkarna från köket bars ut och tömdes på en plats intill utedasset. Kylskåp och dylika finesser kom långt senare. Is sågades upp och togs hem med häst och vagn från Igelsjön. Allvarsmannen, Friden, tog emot vid isdösen. Ingen kunde lika förnämligt som Friden sortera och täcka sågspån över de bastanta isflaken. Vedspisen i köket värmde gott. Under spisen låg katten Lisa och dåsade. Vid höstslakten av grisar kom Jenny från Hagalund. Hon förvandlade forna grisar till korv, revbensspjäll, kotletter och aladåber. Jenny använde sig av nyslipade knivar och en köttkvarn som skruvades fast i köksbordet. Jenny var tystlåten. Hon hade som troende knut i nacken på håret. Jenny visste hur man skulle ta hand om allt. Blod, tarmar och inälvor. En kamin i tamburen värmde hela huset, när det blev som kallast i januari. Täljstenskaminen räckte nästan alltid att hålla temperaturen i huset någon grad över fryspunkten. Kakelugnar fanns i de flesta rum. De användes på julafton och om kylan blev för hård. Veden kärrades in på en skottkärra av Valle från vedbon. I ett rum på nedre botten hängde telefonen på väggen. Den som ville komma ut på telefon måste ringa telefonstation Askersund. Där svarade Hanna med titeln kommisarie. Hon kopplade dig till det nummer du angav. Ingen visste mer än Hanna om vad människor

pratade med varandra om i telefon. Mamma Elsa fick TV-apparat i present när hon fyllde 60. Därefter kunde vi på TV-bilden följa vad som hände av glädje och sorg långt borta i världen. Översvämningar och nazistupplopp i Berlin. Min Bror Lars dog av lungsot i tjugoårsåldern. Då fanns varken penicillin, antibiotika eller andra underverk. Det är enormt mycket som hänt under min livstid. Av gott och ont. Vid sådana tillbakablickar, som jag nu gjort, frågar jag mig, om det inte varit nyttigt för mig och andra i min ålder att ha upplevt hur det en gång var. På den så kallade gamla goda tiden. Långt innan all utveckling medfört att tillvaron blivit bekvämare och på många sätt rikare.

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”

not my time to die Titanic and the Swedes on Board by Lilly Setterdahl The 123 Swedes on board made up the third largest ethnic group on the Titanic after the American and the British. The book profiles each of the Swedish passengers; including the 34 survivors... Perfect bound, large size paperback, 296 pages. Richly illustrated.

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Stockholm Walkabout: Klara kvarteren The place most Swedes would regard as the center of Stockholm is Sergels Torg (The Square of Sergel). This is a popular meeting place in Stockholm for all tourists, and it happens to be close to the “lost soul of Stockholm,” the so-called Klara neighborhood.

Sergel Square

by leif rosqvist Clara Church Central Station

Fetch a Stockholm street map and come with me on an interesting and educational walkabout in Klarakvarteren. The name Klara originated from the St. Klara Priory, active from 1289 until the reformation in 1527. Klarakvarteren is generally demarcated by the following streets: Vasagatan, Klarabergsgatan, Drottninggatan and Fredsgatan, all easily found on a map. I start my walkabout at the south end of Klarabergsgatan (at the bridge) and Vasagatan and am looking north. In the period of the 1500s I would have seen a large ridge, Brunkeberg, that stretches all the way to Brunkebergs torg (Brunkeberg’s Square at the end of Vattugatan, level with Sergels Torg). The bridge was approximately 19 meters (40 feet) higher than it is today. All of this was part of Stockholm’s demolition rage (“Rivningsraseriet”), the extensive urban renewal project in the 1950-60s due to automotive traffic and commerce. Over 450 buildings were torn down and most of the existing houses in this area were rebuilt. Before the demolition, the area was characterized by an abundance of small shops and workshops, but the new buildings were mainly office buildings. Many writers and journalists have condemned these demolitions. Nils Ferlin, the famous Swedish poet, part of the group known as Klara-bohemerna (the Klara-bohemians), wrote:

Klarakvarteren, the Klara neigborhood

City Hall The Royal Palace

Det Rivs… Det sprängs, det tutas och skopas runtom i gamla kvarter. Det minsta staket ska slopas, såvitt jag bedömer och ser. En främling – skraltig och grånad, planlöst jag driver omkring i kvällningens bleka blånad och tänker på många ting… It’s torn ... It explodes, it honks and scoops around the old quarter. Even the smallest fence to be abolished, as far as I assess and see. A stranger - rickety and hoary, aimlessly I’m drifting tonight, in the pale blue light and thinking about many things... - Nils Ferlin, ”Det rivs…” from Svenska Turistföreningens årsskrift, 1956 26 NORDSTJERNAN

Hundreds of houses were demolished in the middle of Stockholm city in the 1950s and 1960s. Where new subway lines and car tunnels would emerge everything was demolished. Above, the area between Klarabergsgatan and Mäster Samuelsgatan at the end of the 50s. Photo: Herman Ronninger

With its 116 meter high tower, Klara church is Sweden’s and Scandinavia’s second highest church, after Uppsala Cathedral.

Klarakyrkan (the Klara Church or the Church of Saint Clare), originally founded as a convent in the 13th century, was torn down during the Reformation under Gustav Vasa’s reign, and while the building of the church started in 1572, the 381-feet-tall church tower wasn’t built until the 1880s (at 116 meters tall, it’s Scandinavia’s second highest church, after Uppsala Cathedral). Right: Klarabergsgatan 37. Source: Wikipedia DECEMBER 15, 2017 27

feature I walk toward Sergels Torg near Klarabergsgatan 37, which is an office building in the neighborhood named Pipe organ 5 (Orgelpipan 5), and when I arrive at Klara Västra Kyrkogata, to my right I’m able to see what is left of Klara Old School (Gamla Klara skola). I’m able to see the clear contrast between the modern city of concrete and glass versus the old classical plaster facade with its soft brownish color giving the old school building its period charm. As I turn right on to Klara Västra Kyrkogata, I see the wonderful old Klara Church (Klara kyrka) to my left behind the old schoolhouse’s southern facade. There are many intriguing stories connected to this area around the church, some more true than others. One is about a nun that never left the church and was supposedly buried in it. “The Clara nun is a very mysterious person, who every boy in Klara Old School had learned about in earlier decades, but without anyone ever managing to see her. She was buried in the grave basement of the east gable of the church, where a small hole apparently existed, because you could see her glittering coffin down there. But anyone who looked down through the hole did not neglect to spit three times afterward ...” The second story is about the Klara bomb shelter (Klara skyddsrum), which is one of the largest shelters in Stockholm. It was built during the Cold War era to protect members of the government and the local population (up to 8,000). The bomb shelter is located under Sergels Torg and Klara kyrka, and the ground must look like a rat’s nest. Very few inhabitants in Stockholm know about the shelter. Adjacent to the church is Klara Old School (Klara Gamla Skola), one of the classical old buildings that survived the demolition. Klara Old School was a secondary school (trivialskola) and later became an elementary school. The school is known for educating Swedish author August Strindberg, who spent four years there from 1856, and is mentioned in his Old Stockholm letters using the spelling Clara School. At the graveyard surrounding Klara Church, we find the names of several Swedish celebrities, like Carl Michael Bellman, Anna Maria Lenngren, Anna Christina Wolf (Cajsa Warg), among others. Inside the church are several epitaphs commemorating the dead. I take some time and let the beauty sink in but get a subtle feeling of discomfort as I think about all the old buildings gone and replaced by glass and cement. I’m exiting Klara Church grounds through the south end and continue my walk along Klara Västra Kyrkogata toward the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, mostly called Konstakademin, a name it’s carried since 1810. It is located in a block at Fredsgatan 12, in one of the remaining old buildings that stretch up from the quay along Strömgatan to Jakobsgatan. Konstakademin arose during the 1700s as a school of drawing, called the Royal School of Drawing. The purpose of the school was to foster the development of the 28 NORDSTJERNAN

Klara School, 2010, view from Klarabergsgatan. Photo: Lars Jäderholm. Right: The school in 1903. Source Stockholmskällan.

Statues at the stairs inside the entrance to Konstakademien, the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts on Jakobsgatan in Stockholm.

Sagerska Huset, the Sager House, official residence of the Swedish Prime Minister at Strömgatan 18. The present tenant is Stefan Löfvén.

Konstakademien, the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts seen from Strömgatan.

arts in Sweden. When I enter the stairs inside the entrée I see a beautiful statue of an angel ... am I in heaven or what? Situated in another area in the Klara neighborhood was “Tidningskvarteren” (“the newspaper district”), the old center for the Stockholm newspapers. This was definitely the hub of the Stockholm news industry and quite possibly the spiritual home of Swedish journalism. Here the newspapers lived by the old school of newspaper methods: research and fact-based reporting by obtaining information by interacting with people on the street: Dagens Nyheter located at Klara västra Kyrkogata 6 Svenska Dagbladet located at Karduansmakargatan 11 Stockholms-Tidningen and Aftonbladet located at Vattugatan 12 Arbetaren located at Klara västra kyrkogata 17 Expressen located at Klara södra kyrkogata 7 Svenska Morgonbladet located at Klarabergsgatan 58 Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå located at Tegelbacken, 1922-1960. Only four of the initial newspapers are still alive,

and they have totally or partly adopted today’s fast moving information retrieval model of network information that is in many cases questionable and is not based on research and fact finding. But, this is the life we live these days … and I’m glad my father insisted that I read at least one left and one right newspaper daily, which he provided. I recently learned about a Danish author and philosopher, Piet Hein, who once wrote:

Klara was the original home for the Stockholm press, with every newspaper represented in the district.

Do remember to forget Worry, anger and regret. Live while you have life to live, Love while you have love to give. (One of my favorite quotes and an epithet I used to describe the outlook on life, lifestyle and spirit of Leif and GunMarie Rosqvist of Portland, Oregon. /Ed) “Stockholm, Stockholm, Städernas stad” (the city of cities) you still live in my heart even after so many years … Leif Rosqvist

Dagens Nyheter

Above, Stockholm Klara neigborhood in 1967 and right, today.


Svenska Dagbladet DECEMBER 15, 2017 29


Tankar i advent och jultid Advent är mörker och kyla. På jorden är mörkt och kallt. Man drömmer om fred och om vänskap. Men bråkar och slåss överallt. (Sv Psalm 609:1) I stora delar av världen går vi mot en mörkare tid, där det är höst och vinter alltså. I Svenska kyrkans söndagstexter i advents- och jultid talas det om ljusets ankomst. Hur går det ihop? Jag tror att det har att göra med dom villkor som vi människor lever under. Tiderna förändras. Världen präglas av politisk oro och det är många som vill se en förändring i land efter land. Människor är på flykt och krigen och motsättningarna fortsätter. Situationen är inte så olik den tid då Jesus föddes. I den mörka oroliga tiden kommer hoppets budskap om ljusets ankomst. Då som nu. Berättelsen om Jesus ger oss hopp om en bättre värld och ett slut på motsättningarna. Nyckeln till detta är att vi tar till oss budskapet om att vi människor hör ihop och inte behöver vara rädda för varandra. Det är vad Jesus lär och lever. Jesus öppnar för en ny Gudsbild. En ny Gudsrelation som är mänskligare, närmare och enklare. Gud blir människa i Jesus och plötsligt är den så långt bortavarande-guden nära i ett litet barn. Vad finns att frukta i det? Värnlöst, naket, utsatt i ett stall. Vi får en ny Gudsbild och ett nytt sätt att tänka i Jesu närhet. Gud blir den älskande föräldern, den som bryter samhällsmönster, som själv blir flykting, och som kommer fattig ridande på en åsna. Advent är mörker och kyla. Vi tänder ett ljus och ber. Förbarma dig Gud över jorden, all nöd, all förtvivlan du ser. (Sv Psalm 609:2)

Det är genom det sätt vi lever på som Gud uppenbaras. När vi försöker leva i respekt för varandra och som varandras medmänniskor uppfyller vi det som tidigare kallades lagen och profeterna. Jesus utmanar både hög och låg och visar på möjligheten att vara ljusets bärare. Var och en har ett ansvar. Var och en kan bidra. Ingen är förmer än någon annan. Han vänder upp och ner på uppfattningar och försöker få oss att förstå att vi är älskade som vi är. Olikheter är en tillgång och till och med nödvändiga för att världen ska fungera. Det är ingenting vi behöver vara rädda för. Tänk om vi skulle våga tro att det är så. Att alla våra mänskliga försök att förstå vår tillvaro, i politiska och religiösa ideologier, bara är försök och att när de resulterar i förtryck av andra på grund av olikheter är de inte av godo. Det som stänger och låser för inte framåt. Det som öppnar ger hopp och framtidstro. Det har gått många år sedan Jesus vandrade på jorden. Varför sker förändringen så långsamt? Det kan tyckas så. Ändå har mycket skett och den utveckling som till och med du och jag fått uppleva under våra levnadsår är häpnadsväckande. Många i världen har fått det bättre och världen har kommit närmare genom teknikens utveckling. Att komma varandra närmare ökar förståelsen för varandra och minskar rädslan för det annorlunda. Mycket av den goda utvecklingen kring mänskliga rättigheter och jämställdhetsfrågor har hämtat sin inspiration från Jesu budskap. I vår tid står miljön i fokus. Guds skapelse. Den måste vi värna. Så låt dig inspireras av adventstiden och julens budskap. Låt det bli till ett hopp och något som du genom ditt liv hjälper till att uppfylla. Advent är väntan på Kristus: Kom Herre kom hit i tid. Och lär oss ta hand om varandra och leva tillsammans i frid. ( Sv Psalm 609:3)

Jesus predikar ett kärlekens budskap där relationen oss människor emellan blir den viktiga.

Guds välsignelse och allt gott önskar jag dig. Pether Ström Broman Kyrkoherde, New York

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Thoughts of Advent and Christmas Advent is dark and cold. Over all the world it’s dark and cold. One dreams of peace and friendship. But battle and fights everywhere. (Svenska Psalmboken 609:1) A large part of the world goes toward a darker time, where there’s autumn and winter. The Swedish Church’s Advent and Christmas season texts talk of the arrival of light. How do these go together? I believe it has to do with the circumstances under which we live. Times are changing. The world is characterized by political unrest and many want to see changes in country after country. People are on the run and war and conflicts continue. The situation isn’t so different from when Jesus was born. In these dark and troubled times comes the message of hope of the arrival of light. Then as now. The story of Jesus gives us hope for a better world and the end of unrest. The key is for us to hear the message to include each other and not be afraid of one another. That is what Jesus taught and lived. Jesus opens for us a new image of God. A new relationship that is more human, closer and easier. God becomes a man in Jesus and suddenly the far away God is as close as a little child. What is there to fear? Vulnerable, naked, exposed in a stable. We receive a new image of God and a new belief in Jesus’ presence. God becomes the beloved father, the one who breaks the patterns of society, who himself becomes a refugee, and comes to us poor and vulnerable on a donkey. Advent is dark and cold. We light a candle and pray. God, have mercy on the world, on all despair, all distress you see. (Svenska Psalmboken 609:2) Jesus preaches a message of love where our relationship with each other becomes important. It is in the way we live that God is revealed. When we

have respect for each other we fulfill the words of the prophets. Jesus challenges us all and shows us the way as the bearer of light. One and all are the answer. One and all can contribute. No one is better than anyone else. He does everything he can to make us understand how loved we are. Our differences are an asset and even necessary for the world to work. There is nothing to be afraid of. Imagine if we dare to think this is so. That all our human attempts to understand our existence, in politics and religious ideologies, are only attempts, and when they result in the oppression of others because of differences, it is not of goodness. That which closes and locks doesn’t have a future. That which opens gives hope. It has been many years since Jesus walked on this earth. Why is change happening so slowly? It may seem so. Nevertheless, much has happened and the development that you and I have experienced in our own lifetimes is astonishing. Many have it better as the world comes closer together through advances in technology. To come closer together increases understanding for each other and reduces the fear of our differences. Much of the good development around human rights and gender issues has gained inspiration from Jesus’ message. In our time the environment is in focus. God’s creation for us to guard. So let yourself be inspired by the messages of Advent and Christmas. Let them be the hope and something that you with your life help to fulfill. Advent is waiting for Christ: Come oh lord, come here soon. And teach us to take each other’s hand and live together in peace. (Svenska Psalmboken 609:3 God’s blessings and all good wishes to you, Pether Ström Broman Kyrkoherde, New York

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Pether Ström Broman with his wife Åsa, who is also a priest with the Swedish Church Abroad, responsible for Latin America as a roving priest in Brazil, Argentina and a couple other countries.

Pether Ström Broman, kyrkoherde at the Swedish Church in Manhattan is no newcomer to the Swedish Church Abroad. The kyrkoherde (vicar) has worked in Denmark, Greece, Spain and a previous time in New York City prior to arriving at his present 5-year post in March 2015. His roots are in the province of Östergötland where he grew up in a rather typical Swedish family in Linköping—spending more Sundays working at the summer house than at church. His interest in religion and theology grew through Communion in his early teens and deepened during a year as an exchange student in Hickory, NC where religious education and Sunday mass were part of the weekly schedule. Ordained in 1982, Ström Broman spent a long time as a priest in the archipelago of Östergötland that borders Småland and sees some parallels to his work in New York: “The big difference between my earlier congregation, St Olofs in Norrköping, where I had 60 coworkers, is size — and the fact that we have so many temporary visitors in New York. The number of weddings speaks for itself; so far, 100 this year between myself and fellow Swedish priest Joachim Franzen.” Other than that, this church, which employs seven, has the same kinds of activities as any church in Sweden, with children’s groups, a choir and serving as a meeting place for young and old, whether permanently or temporarily in New York. Ström Broman himself is also often on the move, working with visiting ships or going to Philadelphia, Delaware or Washington, DC to visit congregations or seamen in the Swedish mercantile fleet. Life in New York City is different from anywhere else, he says, on his way to leave for Washington. “We have our house and roots still in Östergötland, in a small village just north of Norrköping called Getå, and as every expat can attest, returning “home” in the summer becomes an eye opener after spending a longer time in the capital of the world.” For more information on the Swedish church in Manhattan, see DECEMBER 15, 2017 31

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news in brief

Swedish News

As Carlsberg Sverige commits to becoming even more environmentally responsible than it already is (which is saying a lot), it’s also aiming to develop the first-ever biodegradable wood fiber bottle by 2018. Image by Carlsberg

Sustainable future for beer

After committing earlier this year to aim for a Zero Carbon Footprint by 2030, Carlsberg Sverige already has a brewery 100 percent powered by biogas and green electricity. The global brewing company in Falkenberg, Sweden—which produces beer, soft drinks and cider—announced the launch of its first carbon-neutral brewery now completely powered by renewable electricity. The brewery has been using green electricity for years—26% of its thermal energy came from biogas generated from the brewery’s own waste-water—and it recently converted the remaining 74% of its electricity to biogas.

Space technology for cities

Using NASA’s designs and solutions for astronauts living in enclosed systems, Cecilia Hertz, CEO of Umbilical Designs, which represents Sweden in the European space technology transfer network, is challenging city planners in Lund to think beyond the stars. From small steps like waterless washing machines that use bacteria to clean clothes to large buildings that recycle energy and water, Hertz has laid a foundation for using space technology in city planning.

Meteor in Norrbotten

A major meteor was spotted over Norrbotten, Sweden in November and had people hunting for its landing spot. The meteor was so large it was seen in both Norway and northern Sweden, probably the remains of a comet, with meteorites each weighing as much as 10 kilos (22 pounds). Light-

ing the sky in yellow, red and green, observers filmed its descent as it landed somewhere in northern Finland.

enough to combat the calories. When compared by total weight, the Statistics Bureau in Sweden says Swedes collectively consume the equivalent to 350,000 moose.

American pushing boundaries

Nordic solutions help Ireland

Five top foreign professionals spoke at Sweden’s annual Executive Day in Gothenburg, including American Gary Vaynerchuk, who is known as the “social media master” in the United States. A pioneer in leveraging the power of social media to engage with an audience and create new methods of selling, Vaynerchuk, who owns VaynerMedia (www., shared his wisdom and advice at the popular Brain Supplement seminar, “Push Your Boundaries Into the Impossible.”

City leaves children in the dark

In a move that has angered residents, Gagnef municipality in Dalarna has decided to turn off the streetlights—without any consultation from the community. While it means schoolchildren wait for their busses in the dark (in December, the sun rises around 9 a.m. and sets at 2:45 p.m.), city leaders say the move has money saving benefits.

Swedish Artist of the Year

Singing sensation Zara Larsson was named Swedish Artist of the Year by MTV at the European Music Awards in London. Larsson, who turns 20 on Dec. 16, competes against the likes of music superstars Taylor Swift and Eminem. The Swedish pop and hip hop singer expressed her appreciation for the award to her 1.3 million followers on Twitter (www.twitter. com/zaralarsson).

At the first Nordic Green conference hosted by the Nordic embassies in Dublin, ambassadors of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland offered to help Ireland reduce its emissions. They agreed to collaborate on developing a range of technologies in offshore wind projects and decarbonizing the Irish energy sector. Research shows using Nordic solutions has proven to work and could drastically cut global CO2 emissions by 2030, said Anna Gran, coordinator of the Nordic Climate and Air Pollution Group. In the past 50 years, Sweden has cut CO2 emissions in half, doubled its GDP and kept energy consumption constant.

Hoping Santa brings that puppy

Researchers from Uppsala University conducted a huge study revealing that pet owners have a 20 percent lower risk of dying compared to people who don’t have a pet. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, followed 3.4 million Swedes, some of whom owned dogs and some of whom didn’t, and all of whom in 2001 had no pre-existing heart conditions. After 12 years, the data shows that people with dogs had a 23 percent reduced risk of death from cardiac diseases like heart failure, stroke or heart attack than their dogless peers. Though all breeds don’t “protect” their owners equally (e.g. owners of hunting-breed dogs had some of the lowest risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and death), the Swedish study supports the American Heart Association’s 2013 report that dog owners get more exercise, have better blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lower stress levels.

It’s all about the bulle

For Swedes, nothing comes close in food love than the kanelbulle (cinnamon bun). This pastry is so popular that a chart was created to track the number consumed each year versus the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories each contains. It reveals the average Swede eats the equivalent of 316 bullar a year, and their average twicea-week workouts aren’t DECEMBER 15, 2017 33


Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates with Malmö FF after the team won its 20th Swedish championship Nov. 5 in Malmö. Christian Örnberg/Bildbyrån

Swedish players coming to the U.S. After claiming its record breaking 20th title on Nov. 5, Malmö general manager Daniel Andersson is now fighting to preserve the team that brought home the Lennart Johansson trophy. At least two players are bound for Major League Soccer. Yoshimar Yotun has already signed with Orlando City while Seattle is likely to be where Anton Timmerholm lands. Filipe Carvalho has also jumped ship, signing with Östersund, which continues its run in the Europa League. Oscar Lewicki and Erdal Rakip are free agents on January 1, and Magnus Wolff Eikrem is headed back to Norway. Andersson moved quickly to replace Tinnerholm, signing Eric Larsson from GIF Sundsvall. He has also targeted Trelleborg Under-21 star Dino Islamovic for a move to the yet-to-be-renamed Swedbank Stadium. Despite the changes, the mood at the club remains festive. Malmö won its 20th championship, claiming the league with 64 points – seven points better than second place AIK. Djurgården finished third with 52 points. Malmö celebrated the win with a little help from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who received a massive ovation as he walked onto the pitch holding the league trophy up high with one hand. He broke protocol as he walked past Swedish federation head Karl-Erik Nilsson, who was supposed to hand the trophy to Malmö captain Markus Rosenberg. Instead, Ibrahi34 NORDSTJERNAN

movic motioned for Rosenberg to come with him to the podium where the rest of the team was waiting, and handed him the trophy himself. "Of course it's special to receive the trophy from him. He's an icon for the club and Swedish football," Rosenberg said.

MLS going Swedish

One of the last things Erik Friberg did after helping the Seattle Sounders win the LMS Cup last season was tell his club about a friend he thought could help Seattle this season. The Sounders took heed and signed Gustav Svensson from the Chinese league. At 30, the well-traveled, former IFK Göteborg midfielder was thinking he would end his career in MLS, but he became one of the biggest stars in the U.S. league and even earned his way back onto the Swedish national team. Svensson played 71 in both playoff games against Italy as Sweden shocked the football world by beating the Azzurri to advance to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. For Svensson, a chance to compete in the World Cup is a dream come true. After he made the decision to leave IFK Göteborg in his native Sweden to join the Chinese Super League in 2016, he knew his national team chances had all but evaporated. He figured the same when he joined the Sounders this past offseason, but he’s embracing this newfound opportunity in front of him.

Facing Germany at World Cup

The Swedish men’s national team, fresh off its historic elimination of four-time World Champion Italy, will face five-time winner Germany when the finals open in June at the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.Brazilian star Cafu pulled Sweden’s name out of lottery pot three as the draw grouped all 32 teams in the tournament. In addition to playing Germany on June 23, the Blågult face Mexico on June 27 and South Korea (Korean Republic) on June 18. This is Sweden’s 11th World Cup campaign, they are currently 18th in the FIFA Coca-Cola World Rankings. Sweden is the first team ever to reach the finals by defeating three former world champions. The Blågult topped France 2-1 and Holland 2-1 in the qualifying stage before defeating Italy 1-0 on aggregate in a playoff to reach Russia. The Swedes have not played in the World Cup since 2006.

Swedish coach in San Jose

The success of Friberg and now Svensson at Seattle in part influenced San Jose to turn to former AIK and Göteborg boss Mikael Stahre as its new head coach. Stahre, from Stockholm, began his coaching career in 2007 with FC Väsby United of the Swedish third-tier. Under his guidance, FC Väsby finished in second place with the third-best offense in the league, earning promotion to the second-tier Superettan. He remained with the club one more year, where he possessed the youngest team in the league, then moved to AIK in 2009. He led the Gnaget to a double win – claiming the Allsvenskan and Swedish Cup in 2010. Chipp Reid

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Profile for Sweden in America

Nordstjernan 1717  

The evolution of a tradition / Julbordet, the ever-changing Christmas Table / Christmas trends in food / Stockholm Walkabout / Swedish Chris...

Nordstjernan 1717  

The evolution of a tradition / Julbordet, the ever-changing Christmas Table / Christmas trends in food / Stockholm Walkabout / Swedish Chris...