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The Swedish North Star, continuously published since 1872. Volume 146 No. 6, April 15, 2018. Price per copy $3.50.

There’s no such thing as bad weather ... At a very young age Swedes learn “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” (Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder). /P18, 20

Trip Down Memory Lane

Christoffer Collin/imagebank.sweden

Anders Andersson was 11 years old when he emigrated from Sweden nearly 70 years ago. His new life in the United States wasn’t as full of cowboys as he expected, but his family adjusted and lived successful lives in their adopted country. Like many proud Swedish immigrants, they assimilated to American ways but didn’t forget their heritage. Fast forward to present day and Andersson’s American-born son Erik is proud of his Swedish roots. Which made the trip he and his father took to the homeland all the sweeter. / P12 Reading=Hope x Change, says newest Astrid Lindgren award winner / p4

Swedish architects, and homeowners, often put nature first /p14

zLAtan is making himself at home in the Galaxy / p27

Come rain or come shine

Swedes – and other Scandinavians – have a veritable reverence for nature, no matter the weather. As a culture, they enjoy as much time outdoors as they can while also respecting it, preserving it – and learning from it. That attitude may be a product of both nurture and nature, but it does start early on. The decades-old Skogsmulle program has traversed the continents to take hold in Scandinavian schools in the U.S. as well, and our contributor shared his experience during one such field trip in nature. / P18

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was “Mulle” in the family of 1 Who Gösta Frohm, inspiring the name of the Skogsmulle program? A) a beloved pet B) a tree C)a troll D) a country cousin

2 What was a common term for Vikings in the British Isles? A) Berserkers B) Geats C) Ice people D) Danes

Name’s Days of the Swedish Calendar Namnsdagar i april

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

New York Chicago Stockholm Kiruna Lund Los Angeles 2 NORDSTJERNAN

Olivia/Oliver Patrik/Patricia Elias/Elis Valdemar/Volmar Olaus/Ola Amalia/Amelie Anneli/Annika Allan/Glenn Georg/Göran Vega Markus Teresia/Terese Engelbrekt Ture/Tyra Tyko Mariana |

Sunrise & Sunset

6.17 am 6.10 am 5.33 am 4.49 am 6.02 am 6.21 am

7.35 pm 7.31 pm 8.03 pm 8.31 pm 8.12 pm 7.24 pm

– on the real Blåkulla island in the Baltic Sea? A) bad luck B) ancient burial ground C) stone labyrinth d) buried treasure

7 Varberg Fortress, built in the 13th century with

a moat that may now be home to an unidentified lake monster, is in what province? A) Gotland B) Vastergotland C)Halland D) Blekinge

3 How were the monarchs who ruled in Norway 8 Switzerland and Sweden are the only two Euroand Denmark during WWII related? A)They were brothers B) They were father and son C) They were the same person D) They were both descendants of a Swedish princess

pean countries that can claim what distinction? A) They both export watches B)Neither has been in a war in over 200 years C) They both joined the EU in 1995 D) Both are constitutional monarchies

4 Scandinavian Scotland was colonized in 1100 9 What energy source accounts for 95% of Sweden’s mainly by Viking and Norse settlers from where? A) Sweden B)Norway C) Minnesota D) Denmark

5 What supposedly ancient Viking game gained

renewed popularity in the 1980s? A)Kubb B) Skijoring C) Chinese checkers D) Jenga



renewable energy? A) hydropower B) wind farms C) solar energy D) geothermal

10 What is the oldest city – and first capital – of Sweden? A) Visby B) Kalmar C) Lund D)Sigtuna Answers: 1:C, 2:D, 3:A, 4:B, 5:A, 6:C, 7:C, 8:B, 9:A, 10:D

The Swedish Outdoor Association (“Friluftsfrämjandet”) was established in 1892 as a voluntary, nonprofit organization to promote skiing. The program grew to include other outdoor activities all year round, and eventually more were developed so younger people could reap the benefits of being outdoors. In the mid-1950s, it was agreed that an outdoor school for children as young as age 5 ought to be established. Gösta Frohm, who worked at Friluftsfrämjandet’s central office since the early 1940s, was tasked with developing a program with new activities and support for leaders in education. He developed Skogsmulle to facilitate play-focused development in nature. All activities were based outdoors with the goal of stimulating children’s imagination and to enhance physical, mental and social development. Using the concept of a forest character, stories and songs, Skogsmulle became a means for teaching children according to their age or development. Frohm stayed with the program, becoming “Mr Friluftsfrämjandet,” until he retired in 1973; he continued to work as a volunteer until he died at age 90. Parties and special observances were held all over Sweden in honor of Skogsmulle’s 60th birthday in 2017. For more on how Skogsmulle affects lifestyle in Sweden and partly the U.S., see p18-20

6 Folklore aside, what exists – with unknown origins


April 18 - Valdemar Valdemar is an Old Norse name related to the Slavic name Vladimir, which supposedly means “Lord of the World” or “praised for his power.” According to some sources, the name has German roots. Many Nordic kings have had the name Valdemar. In Sweden the name was popular at the beginning of the 20th century, but the popularity then waned, now it’s slowly on the rise again. Today there are 12,922 Valdemars. April 23 - Georg Georg, the man’s name, is originally Greek and arrived to Sweden via the Latin form Georgius. The meaning of the name is “farmer.” Swedish versions of the name Georg are Örjan, Göran and Jörgen. In the past years the British spelling of the name, George, has become more common. Georg was a popular name in the early 20th century. Example: The late actor Georg Rydeberg (1907-1983).

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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this week…

April TO DO 4.20 DANCE & EAT PEPPERMINT CANDY: “Polkagrisdagen” AKA Amalia’s nameday / Amalia Eriksson started the now 160-year-old peppermint candy industry in Gränna, Sweden, probably naming the candy after a popular dance of the time, the polka. 4.21 BASK IN THE BEAUTY OF SPRING’S CHERRY BLOSSOMS: “Körsbärsblommans dag” / Like Cherry Blossom Festivals around the globe, the one at Kungsträdgården in Stockholm includes music, theatrical productions, dance, food and drink; this year it’s with special recognition of Sweden’s 150th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Japan. 4.22 RECYCLE, INVEST IN GREEN TECHNOLOGY, EAT LOCAL & ORGANIC FOODS: “Världsdagen” / International Earth Day is for acknowledging the importance of environmental protection. For most Swedes, sustainability is already a way of life. 4.28 VISIT A LOCAL DAIRY FARM: “Kosläpp” / Letting Out the Cows is the happy occasion when farmers open the gates, and their cows jump and prance into their pastures after the long winter - and the community is entertained (and often served ice cream and other dairy products). 4.30 DON A WHITE CAP AND ATTEND A BONFIRE* “Valborgsmässafton” / Walpurgis Night: Bonfires are lit and everyone sings songs to mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. *Valborgsmässafton, along with many other holidays, is a night of singing in Sweden, though it’s set apart from others by the songs of spring that are sung, who is singing them (well, everyone does, but it’s historically college men’s choirs who get the spotlight on Valborg) and the fact that many people are wearing their white school caps while they sing - a tradition that grew because students were once also celebrating their last day of school on April 30.

A sharp pen silenced

I’ve had a hard time putting things together for the column we’ll run with the above headline in our next issue. Long-time columnist, Nordstjernan benefactor and Sweden’s most renowned journalist passed away in March. Ulf Nilson, world reporter, writer for Nordstjernan for over 20 years, died in Stockholm, one of many of his beloved metropolises in the world. Columnist and reporter Ulf was first and foremost a dear friend and constant source of inspiration. “Ulf [Ulf addressing me], assume that everyone knows everything and has usually known it for several days when the newspaper comes out. The most important articles in the future are the ones that explain why something happened — and points out the consequences.” My meetings with Ulf were in so many ways manifestations of his vast understanding of media — not always loved by my wife Mette or Ulf’s wife Aino, another dear friend whose unexpected death preceded Ulf’s own four years ago. In later years, after Ulf turned 70 our wives more often than not accompanied us to keep track of our indulgences in some of the good things in life. Ulf died on March 10 and I’ve been struggling a bit with how to best show my and our respects to this giant of a journalist and encyclopedia of world events since the 1950s. He wrote for Nordstjernan for over 20 years and had more fun doing it than most colleagues in Sweden could grasp … in his own words: “With Nordstjernan, I get to publish things that would never reach print in Sweden, where publicists and editors are too weary about being too far out of the mainstream.” His last book, in 2007, was for Nordstjernan, called What Happened to Sweden. Ulf loved the United States where he spent a good part of his professional life in New York as correspondent for then-largest Swedish daily Expressen. We covered his arrival in Nordstjernan in 1963 as he replaced another Swedish media icon, Arne Thorén, who went on to become Sweden’s voice in America for Swedish radio and also a columnist for Ulf Barslund Mårtensson Nordstjernan. More to come in the next issue. Much more. Editor & Publisher

Swedish cows jump for joy when they’re let out of the barn for the first time during “Kosläpp” this month.

Dashboard, p4-5

The Swedish Vessla / Another Swedish export: Hollywood Music / Swedes, pizza and Vegas / Swedish Footprints in DC / U.S. author wins Swedish literary award

Events calendar, p6-9

What’s going on in Swedish America.

Inbox, p10

A reader asks for clarification (that others may need) and we get tips on what sets apart another favorite food: Swedish pizza Our Swedish Honorary Consuls, who are they really? We decided to find out. /p11

Art and Culture, p21

#Bergman100 movie review you don’t want to miss: Cries & Whispers

Swedish News, p26

Another win for Volvo / Sweden also drives eSports / Swedish bears outsmart hunters / Unexepected discovery / Explicit consent required / LA welcomes Swedish superstar / Unemployment breaks records / Good genes and curiosity p27

The Exchange Rate:

$1.00 = SEK 8.21 (03.16.2018)

APRIL 15, 2018 3

dashboard | april 15, 2018

The Swedish Vessla Just in case Elon Musk’s electric Tesla car feels like too much of an investment, here’s the perfect alternative for stressed metropolitan residents: the Swedish developed scooter Vessla. Easy to drive and easy to park with a portable battery that charges in an ordinary outlet and takes you 25 to 35 miles, the Vessla* was released with almost perfect timing. New EU rules introduced early this year tighten the emission requirements for gasoline engines, and since September, anyone buying electric bicycles or scooters in Sweden also receives 25 percent of the price – or a maximum of SEK 10,000 ($1,200) – contributed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Rickard Bröm’s dream of arriving home in time for dinner with his family urged the development of his own electric scooter. The traffic jams at Slussen became the final straw for the father of three. He had already found it difficult to get home on time with public transportation, but when the construction at Slussen started, he realized he needed to move on two wheels instead. He couldn’t find an electric model he liked (“Gasoline was never an option,” he said), so he built one based on an existing model but replaced components that cope

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 - Ted Olsson - Leif Rosqvist - Kitty Hughes 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

better with Swedish conditions. The first Swedish Vessla scooter was sold in early August 2017. At that time, the first 100 models were released for $2,500 (SEK 20,000) and sold in three weeks – in spite of the fact that no one had been able to test drive it; the only demo model delivered in the late summer was stolen in July during the filming of a movie. The scooter has so far been delivered to Norway, Germany and the south of Spain but it’s unclear when the scooter will make it to the U.S. The company is taking preorders for a third batch of its first model. For more info, see www. *Vessla in Swedish = weasel

Another Swedish export: Hollywood Music In just about every category imaginable, Swedes are making and exporting music more than any other commodity. Swedish composers have been writing soundtracks to Hollywood movies already for decades. In 1993, Björn Isfält wrote parts of the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio. Most recently, Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson wrote the score for the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther,” that primarily takes place in the fictitious African country Wakanda, which has secretly become the most technologi- Ludwig Göransson wrote the score for both “Creed” and cally advanced nation on earth. Göransson recent marvel blockbuster “Black Panther.” spent a month in Africa in preparation for writing the score and has been widely praised for infusing African sounds and instruments with an orchestra and modern production techniques. Another prominent Swedish Hollywood composer is Jon Ekstrand, who composed (parts of) the soundtracks for many Swedish hit movies, including “Hamilton: In The Interest of The Nation” and “Borg vs. McEnroe.” The former starred Mikael Persbrant (who played Beorn in “The Hobbit”) while the latter starred Sverrir Gudnason as Borg and Hollywood actors Shia LaBeouf (“Transformers,” “Indiana Among fellow Swede Jon Ekstrand’s credits. Jones”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Thor,” “Avengers”) as McEnroe and Borg’s coach Lennart Bergelin, respectively. Ekstrand has worked extensively with director Daniel Espinosa, whose movie credits include “Snabba cash” (starring Joel Kinnaman who played the lead role in the 2014 re-make of “Robocop”), “Child 44” and the alien movie “Life,” which features a minimalistic and suspenseful soundtrack that fits perfectly with the desolation of space. Swedish composers are continuously showing their excellence and versatility, enhancing the cinematic experience of Hollywood blockbusters. Jimmy Granström

dashboard | april 15, 2018

U.S. author wins Swedish literary award American Jacqueline Woodson has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest prize for children's writing. Woodson, 55, has authored more than 30 titles - from novels to poetry and picture books - often about young people on the frontier between childhood and adulthood, and tackling issues such as racism and sexual identity. One of her most celebrated books is the National Book Prize winner Brown Girl Dreaming, a memoir of her childhood written in verse. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, and in January she was appointed as America’s National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, which raises awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education and the development and betterment of the lives of young people, a two-year mission. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is considered among the most prestigious children's literary awards in the world. Woodson, who resides in Brooklyn, NY is the 18th recipient of the prize (Maurice Sendak was the first in 2003), named after the beloved Swedish author, creator of Pippi Longstocking, Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, the Bullerby Children, and much more. Woodson will receive SEK 5 million ($600,000) at a ceremony in Stockholm in May. The cash award is funded by the Swedish government. For more info, see /

Swedes, pizza and Vegas

West Hollywood pizza chef Vito Iacopelli shows off his pizza to judge Mike Arvblom.

Sweden’s foremost pizza champion Mike Arvblom was in Las Vegas for the International Pizza Challenge, where he judged pizzas made by chefs from all over the world. As a maker of both traditional and unique pizzas (remember the Volcano?), Arvblom judged the Napoletana Divison (original Italian margarita pizza), won by Umberto Forbito from Italy, beating out 32 others from around the world; he also won the title of 2018 Pizza Maker of the Year. Arvblom was looking forward to the new ideas to take back to Sweden, especially for his Pizza Champion Cup happening April 20 in Göteborg, For his thoughts on Swedish pizza, see page 10.

Swedish Footprints in DC

There were many enthusiastic guests at House of Sweden’s opening night of “Swedish Footprints: Shaping the Future,” their 2018 Public Diplomacy Program that celebrates Sweden’s contributions to the strong economic, cultural, political and interpersonal ties between Sweden and the U.S. The program is made up of exhibits that tell the story of our shared past as well as the most vibrant areas of cooperation for the future. Two exhibits within the program are part of the year-long Ingmar Bergman Centennial celebration: A Never-Ending Whispering Conversation – The Fanny and Alexander Process, and Bergman Moods – Costumes & Images. They explore the creation of a Bergman atmosphere through costumes and imagery and displays historic and contemporary garments, including original costumes used in Bergman productions and new designs created for films like Bergmans Reliquarium, in which classic Bergman scenes are reimagined and reinterpreted by contemporary Swedish actors. Swedish Footprints: Shaping the Future is open every weekend at the House of Sweden Washington, DC. For more information on the exhibits see pages 7 and 21 or call 202.467.2644.

Swedish Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter welcoming guests at the House of Sweden’s opening night of “Swedish Footprints: Shaping the Future” on March 21. Photo by Embassy of Sweden APRIL 15, 2018 5

local events

Local Events California

Sacramento 04.21, 10 AM - 4 PM 3 5 t h S a c ra m e n t o S c a n d i n a v i a n Festival: Food and merchandise for sale, information about the Nordic countries, music, entertainment and door prizes, Scandinavian folk dancing and exhibits, a children’s area with arts and crafts, and a Viking camp with a ship. Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 916.501.9256 / San Francisco 04.20 & 04.27, 10:30 AM-Noon Barngruppen: Play, sing and share a snack together every Friday at the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, 425.632.8504 / www. 04.29, 5-7:30 PM *Bergman100 - Ingmar Bergman Through the Choreographer’s Eye: The U.S. premiere brings special guests Ingmar Bergman, Jr. and dancer/choreographer Alexander Ekman to participate in a postscreening discussion and Q&A, moderated by former Royal Swedish Ballet dancer Katja Björner. A special reception follows to celebrate the anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth. Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, 3200 California St. South Pasadena 04.22, 9 AM– 5 PM

West Coast Kubb: The 3rd annual West Coast Kubb Championship is open to players of all levels and ages. Teams can consist of a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 6. Registration $50/team, $25/individual, free/South Pas student team. Orange Grove Park, 815 Mission St., / www.lakubb. org/wckc


Wilmington 4.22, noon-4 PM SpringFest 2018 (AKA Festival at the Fort): Experience the rich historical heritage of the 7th Street Peninsula and the Colonialera cultures of the Lenni Lenape, Swedes, Finns, Dutch and English. An afternoon of fun and learning for the whole family. Old Swedes Foundation, 302.652.5629 / info@ /


Valborg Gasque in New York

Boca Raton 04.21, 6-8:30 PM Roberta Swedien - Swedish Rhapsody: Take an armchair journey into the heart of Sweden through a musical celebration of Sweden’s inspiring beauty and landscape of the Swedish soul in words and music. Piano music is interspersed with narrations of the Swedish countryside, Viking poetry and reminiscences by the composers. It finishes with a medley called “The Swedish Flag.” Congregational Church on the Hill, 251 SW 4th Ave.

The Uppsala University U.S. Alumni Chapter celebrates with two traditions on April 28 – Valborg and a gasque (student dinner party). Watch the sun set over the waterfront and the Statue of Liberty while enjoying a night with friends and fellow Uppsala alumni, in the celebration of Swedish Valborg! Everyone is welcome, so bring a guest who wants to experience the Swedish culture and the Uppsala student life at its finest. Earlybird prices available, tickets include cocktail hour with appetizers followed by a 3-course dinner and open bar throughout the evening, with, of course, Swedish aquavit. 6-10 p.m. at Battery Gardens in New York. / www.

Daytona 05.06, 12:30-5:30 PM Swedish Hockey Camp with Swedish coaches. For age 8-13. Daytona Ice Arena, 352.409.8599 /


*Bergman100 - see page 21 for movie reviews and more info on The Year of Bergman /

LOS ANGELES Söndag 6 maj kl 11.00

SVENSK GUDSTJÄNST Kyrkoherde Hans Bratt Hernberg predikar, kören medverkar och lunch serveras.

Fredag 11 maj

SVENSKA KYRKANS FUNDRAISER Vårens stora fundraiser, till förmån för kyrkans diakonala arbete, arrangeras i samarbete med Pixi Beauty. Läs mer och anmäl dig på kyrkans webbsida. Begränsat antal platser.

Tisdagar kl 18.30

SVENSKAFTON med film, bibelstudier, sång och gemenskap.

Onsdagar kl 19.00 Kyrkans kör övar. Välkommen du också!

Fredagar kl 9.30

MORGONANDAKT För aktuell information om våra evenemang, inklusive kommande fundraiser, se vår facebook- och hemsida.

SVENSKA KYRKAN LOS ANGELES 1035 South Beacon Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 Tel. (310) 292-7080 • Epost: Hemsida: 6 NORDSTJERNAN

Chicago 04.20, 11 AM Hejsan Story and Crafts: Come explore the rich music culture of Sweden. All ages are welcome to attend with a caregiver for this free (with admission) program. Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration at Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / 04. 28, 3:30 PM Mulle Day: Mulle, or Skogsmulle, is a Swedish children’s character who loves to play, sing and tell children all about nature. Mulle was created in 1957 and has been used to teach children how to respect nature ever since. Just a few days after Earth Day, the Swedish American Museum will go for a city nature walk followed by crafts and much more. $5/ages 2+. Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / South Elgin 04.28, 9 AM-5 PM Valborg Day: Welcome spring and help get the park ready for the festival season - lunch is provided and there are always plenty of activities for all skill levels. It’s a great day at Vasa Park, 847.695.6720 /


Lindsborg 04.28, 11 AM Art Auction: Featuring original works by Swedish artist Birger Sandzén, as well as many other well-known artists. View consigned art; see them on the day of the auction at Trinity United Methodist Church, 224 S Main St.


New Orleans Ongoing Why Is Everything A Rag: Stockholm-based artist Jockum Nordström exhibits in the U.S. for the first time. Children’s books, jazz and blues vinyl covers, collages, drawings, paintings and paper sculptures collected from the start of his career through today, figure in a practice animated by and built of a visual vernacular. Through June 17. Contemporary Arts Center, 504.528.3805 /


Greenbelt 04.21, 7-10 PM Scandia DC Saturday Dance: Review or learn popular Scandic dances, no partners necessary. This month’s live music features Lillhärdal (Polkettering, Hambo & Bakmes) and Paul Carlson and the Scandia DC Spelmannslag and some recorded music. Teaching 7-8 p.m., open dancing 8-10 p.m. $10. Greenbelt Community Center Dance Studio, 202.333.2826 / linda@scandiadc. org /


Newton 4.28, 1-2:30 PM Swedish folk meets American jazz: Swedish singer and accordionist Sunniva Brynnel performs Swedish folk songs in a jazz context with her trio of students

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

local events

Swedish Footprints: Shaping The Future Swedish artist Karin Broos makes her Washington, DC premier with her exhibit “Still Life” at The House of Sweden. The House of Sweden’s new exhibit, “Swedish Footprints: Shaping The Future, whose theme creates a platform to highlight not only Sweden’s and the United States’ shared past but also some of the most vibrant areas of cooperation between those countries today, opened to rave reviews in March. The exhibit is made up of several exhibits inside the broader theme, which includes, among others, Still Life by Karin Broos. Broos is one of Sweden’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, and this is only the second presentation of her work in an exhibition outside of Sweden. With her photorealistic portrayals of domestic and intimate scenes drawing largely from her home in the Värmland countryside, her paintings alternatingly evoke melancholy, nostalgia, love and despair.

In this exhibition, her work is complemented by the inclusion of excerpts from Sara Broos’ acclaimed film Speglingar (Reflections), which explores their mother-daughter relationship as well as reflections on other cultural greats in art and literature. Broos’ exhibit is made possible through collaboration with Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde Art Museum and Alma Löv Museum. It, along with the other exhibits - including the world premier of The Creative Nation: Swedish Music and Innovation and two exbihits celebrating Bergman100, the centennial celebration of Ingmar Bergman - can be seen every weekend at the House of Sweden in Washington, DC. For more info, call 202.467.2644 or see www. #swedishfootprints

from the New England Conservatory. Scandinavian Cultural Center, 617.795.1914 / / www.

Östersund, Sweden, with Ulla, who has her own bakery. Step into Ulla’s world through wooden sculptures that Suneson carved onsite, see Ulla and her cinnamon buns, meet the dog, see the chicken and climb onboard a snowmobile by Suneson - all in ASI’s Family Gallery’s intergenerational, imaginative play environment. American Swedish Institute / /


Minneapolis 04.20, 12 PM First Look Art Opening: Sculptor Kim Simonsson of Finland crafts life-sized figures of child and animals in “mosscovered” ceramics, often found in natural settings that lead the viewer into an imaginative, fairytale-like world inspired by the forests of Finland. On exhibit through July 15 at American Swedish Institute / / 04.21, 9:15 AM *Bergman100 - Persona is screened at St. Anthony Main Theatre, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, 612.331.7563 /

04.22, 9:15 AM *Bergman100 - Summer With Monika is screened at St. Anthony Main Theatre, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, 612.331.7563 / 04.25, 6:30-8:30 PM Nordic Table: Swedish Kroppkakor (potato dumplings) are common across many cultures, but few are as imposing as the Swedish versions. Make them with instructor Patrice Johnson then enjoy eating them; menu to include modern Swedish potato dumplings with lingonberries, sauce and salad. $45/ members , $55/non-members. American Swedish Institute / / Ongoing Ulla the Baker: Anders Suneson’s cheerful, illustrated children’s books come to life and families are transported to winter in

Scandia 05.27, 1-4 PM Immigrant for a Day: Experience a free day as an immigrant making a new life on a small farm in the late 1800s. As part of annual Minnesota Museums Month, visit each of the five historic and fully furnished buildings to work and play as residents of this small farm - hauling water, packing your trunk for America, making butter, doing laundry and playing games at recess in the new school yard. Dress in

period costume to add to your experience. Gammelgården Museum, 651.433.5053 / South Haven 04.28 Valborg: The Uppsala University Minnesota Chapter celebrates at Chairman John Hasselberg’s farmstead. Alumni and friends are all welcome to join. Jhasselberg@ / alumni-network/events New York Brooklyn 04.07, 10 AM-12 PM Swedish Cinnamon Buns Three Ways: Learn a life skill with FIKA author Johanna Kindvall: to make the cinnamon bun topped with pearl sugar, cardamon bun twists with cardamon sugar and long braided buns with an almond filling. Endless coffee or tea and a signed copy of FIKA are included APRIL 15, 2018 7

local events in the ticket price. Archestratus Books + Foods, 160 Huron St., 718.349.7711 / www.


NORDSTJERNAN 1.800.827.9333 Ext 10

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 continental U.S.).

Bronx 04.29, 4:30-8:30 PM Scandinavian Night at Yankee Stadium: Come share your Scandinavian Heritage with other Scandinavians in New York at New York City Football Club’s first-ever Scandinavian Night at Yankee Stadium. See the club (with Scandinavian players Anton Tinnerholm, Jo Inge Berget and Alexander Ring) face off against FC Dallas. Pre-Match event starts at 4:30 p.m., kickoff at 6 p.m. Sign up to ensure your spot, 646.873.5744 / / https://fevo. me/2FXRwmE

639 38th Street Rock Island, IL | 61201-2296 309-794-7204 swenson 8 NORDSTJERNAN

On May 12, Families visiting Seattle’s new Nordic Museum can interact with Viking reenactors, check out Viking artifacts in the core exhibition Nordic Journeys, and make Viking craft projects in one of our classrooms. Free (with museum admission) and appropriate for all ages, no reservations needed. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the new Nordic Museum, 2655 NW Market St., Ballard, 206.789.5707 /

New York 04.17, 6:30 -9 PM Grieg quartets with Quartetto Testosterone: Norwegian string quartet Quartetto Testosterone presents both Edvard Grieg’s quartets in an entirely Scandinavian program. Written at two very different stages of his life, Grieg’s string quartets offer a clear contrast to one another, yet share folkloric elements common in Norwegian music of the national romantic era. Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / 04.19, 6-9 PM Per Tengstrand & Opus 21: Mozart and Brahms. Swedish pianist Per Tengstrand is joined by a string quartet from Opus Twentyone, a group of talented musicians from Princeton University. Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / www. New York 04.24, 6-7 PM Nordic Book Club: In Days in the History of Silence by Merethe Lindstrøm, a couple hides painful facts about their own respective histories from one another and their children. As memories resurface and take on new weight, what are the consequences of mistaking silence for peace? Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 /

National archives and library for Swedish-American historical research Publishers of Swedish American Genealogist

Family Viking Day kicks off the Kids and Family Series at Seattle’s new Nordic Museum

04.25, 6-9 PM New Nordic Cinema: View Going West/ Rett vest, a warm and comic road-trip film from Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken (Norway, 2017), 79 min. in Norwegian with English subtitles. Kaspar’s mother, an expert quilter who has been scheduled to compete on the island of Ona, has died. To honor her legacy, he travels alongside his estranged transgender father to bring her final masterpiece to the competition. Scandinavia House, 212.779.3587 / www. 05.12, 11 AM – 12 PM Nordic Storytelling: This popular ongoing children’s series with some of New York’s most famous storytellers from the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center, present exciting fairy and folk tales and fantastic adventures from Scandinavia and the far north. Ages 5+. Scandinavia House, , 212.779.3587 /


Portland 4.30, 6-8:30 PM Walpurgis Night Bonfire: Come join the Vappu/Valborgsmässoafton fun with beverages, varmkorv (hot dogs), sweets,

The new Nordic Museum in Seattle officially opens its doors for its Grand Opening Weekend on May 5. The new Nordic Museum, 2655 NW Market St., Ballard 206.789.5707 / songs sung in Swedish, plus a beautiful bonfire. Free! Portland Scandinavian Chorus /


Philadelphia Ongoing Walking with Reindeer: Erika Larsen introduces us to the day-to-day lives of modern Sami families through her acclaimed photography exhibition: Sami Walking with Reindeer. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 / www. Ongoing Enchanting Transparency: Explore 300 years of glass production and the companies who launched their products into households around the world. See photographs and sketches from the 20th century artists and artisans who brought Swedish glass to global fame and find the magic within the everyday objects. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 / www.americanswedish. org 04.15, 2:30-4 PM Swedish Travel Language Class: If you are planning a trip to Sweden, interested in learning about culture or getting local travel tips, Join this 5-week language class for an overview of Sweden with general facts, geography, weather and places worth visiting. We can help you consider accommodations, transit options, sightseeing, etc. The class covers the basics of shopping and eating in Sweden, tipping, reading signs, and the etiquette

of visiting with Swedes. Sundays through May 13. Register at 215.389.1776 x106 or / www. 04.17, 10:30-11:30 AM Toddler Time: A Mooving Experience Dairy Cows in Sweden. Learn where dairy products like milk and cheese come from and experience some special Swedish dairy farm traditions. Farmers from What-Knott Farm will join us and bring the guest of honor: a calf! In addition to the live animal presentation, toddlers will enjoy a themed story, get a chance to “milk” their own cow, and enjoy a Swedish dairy inspired snack. 05.15, 10:30am-11:30am Toddler Time: In conjunction with the Sami exhibit, toddlers learn about this special culture. ASHM will introduce the important role reindeer play in the lives of the Sami people in Scandinavia. Join us while we read Inger’s Promise by Jamie Parkison, play reindeer games, create a reindeer craft to take home, and enjoy a snack.American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 /


Houston 04.26, 5-8 PM Traditional Swedish Thursday : Join us and friends from other Nordic and European Chambers of Commerce in Houston for a night of networking and traditional Swedish meal of pea soup, pancakes, punch, beer, wine and champagne. At Chef Søren’s Kitchen /

local events Virginia

McLean 04. 28, 4-8 PM Valborgsmässafton / Walpurgis Night: Family celebration around the bonfire with singing, music, games and pizza. Bring a picnic and folding chairs. Get more info and RSVP by 4.20 to arnedrottlodge@gmail. com /

05.05, 3 PM Nordic Miniatures: Now and Then. Roberta Swedien is at the Grand Opening of the new Nordic Heritage Museum with her musical celebration of Sweden. Nordic Heritage Museum, 206.789.5707 / / www.


Washington, DC

Seattle 04. 17, 7:30PM Book Talk: As part of the weeks-long celebration of the opening of the Nordic Museum (May 5-6), this event is in partnership with Town Hall Seattle. Acclaimed Norwegian journalist and war correspondent Åsne Seierstad shares excerpts from her book Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad. Join Seierstad for a sobering, true account of a family’s crisis enfolding profound lessons about belief, extremism, and the meaning of devotion. At the Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St. /

04.21, 12-3 PM Family Fun: Swedish Art Workshop with Swedish artist and art teacher

Karin Lithell. FREE admission and no registration required. 
Room for Children is a Swedish library and arts studio that inspires with books, music, storytelling and self-expression. House of Sweden, 202.536.1500 / swedeninusa/


Chippewa Falls 04.29, 8:30 AM SpringFest Kubb Championship: Beginner and experienced teams welcome, limited to 48 teams. Each team can have 3 or 4

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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June 2, 2018

Come celebrate a weekend of Culture and Fellowship at:


Presentation of Swedish artist Gunnar Widforss by Alan Petersen, Curator of Fine Arts, Museum of Northern Arizona

Akvavit Kryddat Brännvin World Championship

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

MAIL TO: P.O. Box 1710 New Canaan CT 06840 or CALL 1.800.827.9333 - ext 10

Sweden Day 8220 Croy Road, Morgan Hill, CA 95037

05.03, 10:30 AM Nordic Stories: Children’s stories from the Nordic countries, along with fun craft projects, centers this month around: Boo and Baa Have Company by Lena and Olof Landström. This is the last Nordic Stories at Secret Garden Books in downtown Ballard before they begin again at the Nordic Museum. Free. 2214 NW Market St. / Ballard


players, $60/team, with every registered player receiving a 3-day pass to all SpringFest activities and two beverage tickets. The Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, / www.

Activities and games Tours and hiking Saturday Evening Catered Dinner Cabin Reservations: Information: Jim Melin (408) 272-1700

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APRIL 15, 2018 9

readers forum


Dear Editors, As a loyal reader of Nordstjernan, I was very interested in the articles in the last two issues about my favorite Swedish staple - knäckebröd, or crispbread, or as I and my family had always called it - hardtack! I never thought of this terminology as being controversial, however perhaps some of your readers can help me resolve my dilemma. This became an issue, when my son, his friend Chris and I visited a distillery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. In addition to sampling some of their fine akvavit, a mini smörgåsbord was also available, which also was very tasty. Among the foods offered, was a home-made knäckebröd, served with fine cheeses, herring and of course, akvavit. This is where I apparently went wrong. In praising the food, I referred to the knäckebröd as (gasp) Hardtack! At this point, I was reprimanded (in a nice sort of way) by the owner, for using an antiScandinavian connotation such as hardtack! The correct term being “Crispbread! “ I had absolutely no understanding as to whom I was offending! Still don’t! In doing some research on the term, “hardtack”, it is used quite frequently as describing the bread consumed by soldiers in the Civil War. It was also a term used by my mother as in, “Anders, would you like some more hardtack?” Anders Andersson Salem, Oregon Thanks for sharing Anders. No one’s offended here, though us naturalized Swedes hadn’t heard of hardtack before. Your comment made us curious ... Wikipedia had this to say: “Hardtack is a simple type of biscuit or cracker, made from flour, water, and sometimes salt. Hardtack is inexpensive and long-lasting. It is used for sustenance in the absence of perishable foods, commonly during long sea voyages, land migrations, and military campaigns.” It sounds like hardtack may be a very basic item whereas knäckebröd involves a couple types of flour, milk, fresh yeast and much more preparation ... and if the owner in Ballard baked the knäckebröd herself and was aware hardtack was historically used as rations for sailors, she might have been “offended” for that reason. We also checked with a couple native Swedish Americans on the subject and the consensus? “Hardtack is what anyone and everyone from the continental U.S. who hasn’t been in direct contact with Scandinavian culture would call it!” Food for thought. /Ed 10 NORDSTJERNAN

Dear folks at Nordstjernan I enjoy receiving the newspaper. I love baking and look forward to your recipes. We made the mazariner Swedish pastry from the March 1 issue, enjoyed them very much and will be making more. I always look forward to the publication as I am from Swedish roots. Thank you and hope to have some more recipes! Dagny Masin, PA Dear Dagny, you can safely keep baking and cooking, we’ll keep the recipes coming. /Ed. If we were comparing, we might say Swedish pizza is a lot like New York style pizza - with a thin crust, a layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and additional toppings. But we know there’s something a little different about Swedish pizza, so we asked Sweden’s world champion pizza chef Mike Arvblom about it. He says there are three distinct things that make a pizza “Swedish:” ONE. “It started in the early 1970s when pizza was still new to the Swedish people,” he said. “At the time there weren’t many pizza restaurants, so those few were very busy. A pizza maker came up with an idea to keep all the hungry customers at ease while they waited a long time for their pizzas: the Swedish pizza salad.” The salad was complimentary to every pizza, and the idea spread like fire - today all traditional pizza shops in Sweden serve a complimentary salad with every pizza. Only in Sweden. Swedish Pizza Salad recipe (2-3 servings) Ingredients: * 1/2 medium-sized head cabbage * 1 dl oil (rapeseed oil is a good one since it has no distinct flavor) * 2-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar * oregano * salt & pepper

Instructions: 1. Take away the outer cabbage leaves and cut off the rootstock 2. Shred the cabbage and put in a bowl 3. Mix oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper in a pot and heat, but don’t let it boil 4. Pour the oil mixture over the cabbage and stir 5. Let it stand for a few hours or overnight. The longer it stands, the softer it gets. 6. Serve with pizza and enjoy

TWO. Swedish pizza has been embraced by the Middle Easterners in Sweden, who have added their traditional kebab sauce on pizza. It has become the most sold pizza in Sweden, perhaps making it “the” Swedish pizza. THREE. Swedes love their sauce, and it’s no different when it comes to pizza. It’s not uncommon for Swedes to add beef tenderloin with a Bearnaise sauce to spice up their weekend, a kind of a gourmet pizza.

Hello Editor, In your February 1 edition, on page 7, you misidentified Liv Ullman and Bibi Andersson. Bibi is on the left and Liv is on the right. I always enjoy reading the paper. I have been a subscriber for many years. Med vänlig hälsning Mireille Key, CO You (and others) are of course correct Mireille. Here’s an additional image of the two, at a press conference for Persona, 1965. L-R: Bibi Andersson, Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann. /Ed.

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 Vice Consul: Ylva Westin, Raleigh Behind many honorary consuls, is a vice consul, who is often the daily contact for local Swedes. The Vice Consul keeps track of a variety of things, especially in a large district, including important routine matters and administrative tasks for the Swedish Foreign Office. In the previous issue we introduced North Carolina’s Honorary Consul Magnus Natt och Dag, and here is Honorary Vice Consul, Ylva Westin.

Come December, do you start your mornings with a cup of glögg? I love glögg but prefer to drink it when it is cold outside; the weather here is mild, so I don’t drink it as much as I did in Sweden. Explaining Sweden to others: Sweden is a fantastic country with so much to explore, a variety of beautiful nature from north to south. I hope everyone can visit, it has so much to offer. Sweden’s biggest achievement in history: The advancement of science through the Nobel Prize The Swedish company everyone has everyone heard of: IKEA. It is for everyone, it has everything with good prices for the quality. Most admired Swede: Raoul Wallenberg The biggest misconception about Sweden: That we have watches, the Alps and chocolate! What Sweden could teach America: Allemansrätten, energy efficiency What it means to be Swedish: Punctual, fika, outdoor activities, humility, innovation.

How long have you been the Swedish vice consul? Since 2006 How much time do you spend on consular matters? The consulate is open 2 days a week. I spend a considerable amount of time the other days working from home answering phone calls and emails. Unforeseen critical events will get the necessary attention outside our office hours. Do you have help? Yes, when I’m on vacation. How much are you guided by directions from the embassy in Washington, DC? We follow “Handbook for Swedish Consulates” issued by the government in Sweden. We receive updates from the embassy as soon as there are any changes in consular matters. The embassy organizes a consular conference once a year, which is very appreciated and important for our work. Sweden recognized the United States on April 3, 1783, when the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Sweden was signed in Paris. The Swedish minister in Paris approached Benjamin Franklin in 1782 with the suggestion of concluding a treaty between the two entities, remarking that he hoped it would be remembered that “Sweden was the first power in Europe which had voluntarily and without solici-

What is the Swedish Consulate’s most important job for the Swedish and American communities? Americans moving to Sweden can get our help regarding which authority in Sweden to contact in order to facilitate a transition. Initial interviews are also held at the consulate for residence permits. We maintain relations with other country consulates in the area to share knowledge where we have common grounds. If you had more funds what would you do to spread the word about Sweden? It would be fantastic if we could open a small “House of Sweden” for events, exhibitions, movies and so on. What made you choose to accept this position? It’s a great honor and pleasure to work for your home country while residing abroad. What is your personal connection with Sweden? I am a dual citizen. I was born in Linköping and grew up in Västerås. I moved with my family to Zurich, Switzerland 1988 and have since then lived abroad. Some of my favorite memories are from our summerhouse in Skåne, and with relatives and friends in Sweden. Swedish Honorary Consulate in Raleigh 940 NW Cary Parkway, Suite 102 A Cary, NC 27513 919.531.0062 tation offered its friendship to the United States.” Franklin informed Congress of this initiative and was then empowered to negotiate with Sweden. Diplomatic relations were established in 1818 when the United States named David Erskine as the first Consul to Stockholm on May 22. On September 20, 1947, H. Freeman Matthews was appointed to be the first U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.

APRIL 15, 2018 11

readers forum

a trip down

memory lane Fulfilling a promise to my son Fulfilling my number one bucket list goal I can distinctly remember the day I suggested to my son, Erik, that I really would like to travel back to my hometown of Norrtälje with him. I wanted him to experience the feeling of a small Swedish town, walk the same narrow streets I walked as a child, and reconnect with my Swedish relatives. He had visited members of my family shortly after finishing grad school in 1987, but much has changed, and most importantly, I had not been with him. In September of last year, I was able to fulfill my promise and primary “bucket list” goal when we left Seattle for a 10-day visit to my beloved homeland.

Making the most of day 1

So as not to be a burden to my cousins and to be as independent as possible (without hurting anyone’s feelings), we rented a Volvo (what else?) at Arlanda Airport and a beautiful cottage through Airbnb, in Baltora, just outside Norrtälje. On Saturday, our first full day in Sweden, we met up with my cousin’s son, Johan, and his family, who showed us all the changes in town. Although much of it has retained its historic image, big changes are forthcoming, especially in the harbor area, where a major condominium project was in development where grain silos formerly stood. While we have grown accustomed to such development in northwest cities like Portland and Seattle, this type of urbanization is still novel in Norrtälje. Nevertheless, I was glad to see the old steamship “S.S. Norrtelje” anchored at the usual spot, and still being used as a functioning restaurant. The highlight of the day for me was to walk the length of the street of my childhood, Skeppargatan, with my son, and reminisce about where I played, and in which house so-and-so lived. We stopped at Skeppargatan 1, my home from my birth in 1939 to November of 1950, when my parents and I left for America. Not much had changed on the outside except for the color of the siding. An interesting side note: In 1949, a unique cafe, called the DC3 Café, opened a few hundred feet from our home adjacent to the park. It was a popular place to “fika” until sometime in 1975 when the business closed. The DC3 had a long and historic background, and was beloved by the residents of the town. It had survived threats of being scrapped a number of times, but has now found a permanent resting place on the outside limits of Norrtälje. An important task on our first day was to load up on 12 NORDSTJERNAN

essential groceries for our stay, so my cousin directed us to the popular supermarket called “Flygfyren,” located in an area that had previously been the local airport. Man, was I impressed! It wasn’t just the “radar guns” used to read the bar codes (perhaps a glimpse into future shopping experience here in the U.S.), but for me it was the sheer amount (and variety) of hard tack/crisp bread and caviar. The latter, consisting of cod roe, spices and numerous other ingredients in a tube resembling your favorite toothpaste, is totally foreign to Americans. Johan did find an American section of the store, though, with peanut butter, mac n cheese, Pop Tarts, Jello, and Wild West Beef Jerky!

Family reunion

Sunday was family reunion day in Rö, 20 minutes west of town. Prior to the family festivities, we stopped at Rö Kyrka (church), where the Eriksson family has worshipped for many generations and where all the departed family members are buried. My cousin Kärsti and her husband Nils hosted the reunion on their farm, in Nils’ family for 10 genera-

tions. It is the perfect Swedish farm, with the typical red houses with white trim. Erik and I were given the honor of lowering the “vimpel” on the flagpole and hoisting the beautiful blue and yellow Swedish flag. We had also decided to do some sightseeing in Uppsala and Lövstabruk, where generations from my father’s side of the family lived. There we visited Uppsala Slott and the fabulous and historic Uppsala Domkyrka (cathedral). Although much has been written on both these cultural icons, they deserve articles devoted strictly to each of them. My farmor had passed away several years before I was born, however I recall going to Lövsta or Leufsta to visit her sisters, my father’s aunts. As my son and I stood before the imposing manor in the heart of the town, I could recall seeing a photograph of my father and his brother standing in the exact same location approximately 90 years earlier. How happy would my father be to see his son and grandson enjoying the beautiful little town so near and dear to him? At a moment like this history does come alive! In the 18th century, Lövsta was home to one of the world’s biggest ironworks, Lövstabruk. The iron produced at Lövsta (or Leufsta) was of a kind known in England as oregrounds iron, after the Swedish port town of Öregrund. The brand mark used at Leufsta was an “L” inscribed in an open circle, so that its products were known in England as “Hoop L iron.” (According to Wikipedia, the contemporary spelling in the 18th century was Leufsta, with French orthography reflecting the Walloon workforce in the famous ironworks. The latter part of the name - bruk -means mill town or ironworks.) A sample of this iron has been passed down to me, and has now been passed on to my son. The ironworks was sold to Gino-Österby AB in

readers forum 1917, and most of the woodlands to Korsnäs AB in 1935. Iron production ceased in 1926 and all production facilities were torn down shortly after, while virtually all surrounding buildings remain intact. The manor and the adjoining land was owned by the de Geer family for 13 generations until 1986 when it was transformed into a foundation made up of the local county, Uppsala University, Tierp Municipality, and the de Geer family. I found a photograph of Baroness (Grevinnan) de Geer in our family photo album.


During the course of the week, Erik and I spent more quality time enjoying the area and visiting with family and friends. One special moment came when we stopped in to see one of my mother’s best friends, Kerstin Larsson, who had just recently celebrated her 101st birthday. She even served coffee and cake, prepared by the staff at her retirement home. She kept looking at Erik, saying, “This is fantastic!” Somehow I felt my mother smiling at this happening. In the middle of the week we had another family reunion, this time on the ferry “MS Rosella” that departs from Kappellskär (near Norrtälje) to Mariehamn on the island of Åland, a Finnish possession. Traveling back and forth across the Åland Sea is a very popular activity among the locals, as there is a fantastic luncheon buffet, and a tax-free shop on board, where candy, perfumes and various distilled spirits are offered for sale. Among the enormous number of choices of various fine spirits on board was one brand of particular interest to us and not available in the U.S.: Norrtelje Brenneri is a small craft distillery located about a metric mile north of Norrtälje. Their slogan, “Spirit of Roslagen” reflects their fine handcrafted beverages (some of which have now made their way to our respective homes!) and later in the week, we were invited to tour their facility with Kristina Anerfält Jansson, who with her husband Richard, operates the distillery

using selected fruit and berries as well as other ingredients found on their farm. After our tour of the distillery, we continued to Söderby-Karl and Väddö, the childhood home area of my mother and her family. We stopped to walk the grounds and cemetery of Söderby-Karl’s Kyrka, where a number of our relatives lie at rest. It must have been a special moment for my son - it was for me. My cousin Hans (Hasse to his friends), knows the area like the back of his hand, and guided us to several picturesque houses on the Baltic coast, formerly owned by relatives, now owned by wealthy folks from Stockholm. I guess it’s the same everywhere! We ended the day at one of my favorite places operated by a close friend of Hans. They call him Musko - although his real name is Leif Strandberg, owner and operator of the Musko Rökeri in Väddö. A rökeri is a smokehouse, specializing in ham and other pork products, fine sausages and much more. Musko can be seen in his handsome Stetson hat (he has quite a number of them), a red striped shirt, and sometimes even a sheriff badge. The week in Norrtälje was drawing to a close. We had set aside a few days at the end of our time in Sweden to play tourist in Stockholm, to see my cousin Barbro and the Vasa Museum as well as the ABBA Museum. Before leaving Norrtälje, we enjoyed fika with my childhood friend Inger Pettersson, her husband and her daughter. (Inger found me on Facebook after 70 years!) Coffee and princesstårta - it doesn’t get any better! We also had dinner with my friend for over 75 years, Ing-Mari Forsman, her daughter and grandchildren. And I would be remiss if I

didn’t thank my cousin, Kärsti, who prepared my favorite Swedish dishes so superbly and made my son a fan of fried strömming. I haven’t tasted that since my mother used to fix it on special occasions. Speaking of favorite dishes, we discovered a Swedish culinary phenomenon served everywhere: räkmacka. These are shrimp sandwiches, an attractive dish served at the Vasa Museum, on the ferry to Åland, at the local bakery/coffee shop, and at almost every restaurant. Erik and I have since prepared it at home using local salad shrimp on a bed of lettuce, mayonnaise and sliced hardboiled eggs, preferably served on Swedish limpa. The time went by so quickly, but I easily remember the special moments when my son and I shared that feeling of being Swedish, getting to know a whole new group of relatives, or having those Swedish roots that makes you feel a lump in your throat when you see the Swedish flag or knowing the meaning of the word “lagom.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m an American! Not only does it say so on my passport, but I swore my allegiance to this country several times - once when I became a citizen, and the second time when I entered the U.S. Air Force. That being said, I’m extremely proud to come from a country of 10 million people who have made so many contributions to mankind and whose government and citizen philosophy has become a model for others to emulate. And to boot it all - my son drives a Volvo! Anders Andersson

APRIL 15, 2018 13


extreme simplicity

in the woods Renowned Swedish architect Gert WingĂĽrdh has created a coastal villa of such simplicity that it merges into the wild, rugged landscape.



eople who commission an architect to design a new home often want the building to stand out. Think of the lavish mansions in LA, Miami or along the Cote d’Azur. The Swedes, on the other hand, have never been an ostentatious people, so it’s no surprise that their citizens put nature first and seek architecture that doesn’t compete with it. Celebrated architect Gert Wingårdh is a man who loves nature. Hence, when commissioned to build a new villa on the beautiful, rocky windswept coast south of Gothenburg, his principal concern was to make it so simple you would hardly know it’s there. “Villa Ann was a very interesting project, in part because of the clients,” explains Wingårdh. “They are an older couple who had lived in a mansion with lots of art and antiques but they wanted to go to the other extreme and live much more minimally. They wanted a house made from simple materials that could be carried from the outside to the inside. They didn’t want anything ornate or elaborate.”

Location, location, location

The gently sloping plot by the sea was a very generous size (the house offers some 32,000 square feet of living space), but a small road crosses it at the bottom, providing access for around 30 homes in this exclusive enclave. “So to maximize the space, we wanted to tuck the house at the back of the site, which would allow for a terrace with a pool at the end, then a raised parterre garden that would mean the road wasn’t visible.” Strict planning codes don’t allow walls to be higher than 3.5 metres. But by making the villa lower at the back, the double height at the front could be 7 metres, because the 3.5 metre rule applies to the mean height from the four corners. The client wanted one big open space, so Wingårdh designed the villa as a rectangle running the

width of the site. He opted to build it from pre-cast concrete, which the clients wanted, with glass walls across the entire frontage that looks down to the sea. “It’s a very precise shape, with only a few materials — just concrete, wood and glass. There is steel in the structure but you aren’t aware of it,” he says.

Space and light

You enter the house at the back, into a modern, stainless steel kitchen, then the whole ground floor is one space that has been partially divided into specific areas with floor to ceiling cupboards made from Douglas fir. “These dividing closets are a good device, because as well as marking out the dining area, for example, they provide lots of storage.” But the general feeling is one of openness; the dividing closets do not run the entire length of the ground floor and there is no need for doorways. After the dining section are two polished concrete walls shielding the staircase, behind which is a huge living room. It too has pale grey concrete walls, with a fireplace set about a quarter of the way up the double-height end wall, with insets on either side to store logs. A seating bench runs along the back wall, while chairs are positioned around the fireplace. On the left is low, built-in storage and a comfortable seating area. “We didn’t put a lot of furniture or accessories in here because the beauty of this room is in its space and its light, while the fireplace provides a warm focal point. Who says minimal design is cold!” says Wingårdh.

(Left) Because the villa is so private, it was possible to have glass walls across the front looking out to sea. APRIL 15, 2018 15



Upstairs are two very large, light bedrooms with walk-in closets, and ensuite bathrooms, a sauna (of course …) and a separate loo. The ground floor is covered with wide planks of fir that have been lightly bleached. This white tinge adds a certain elegance to the space — darker planks would have been too heavy for such a light-filled structure. Swedes do not like radiators on walls, preferring underfloor heating, while the owners have boldly abstained from adding blinds and curtains. The lighting is “not particularly special,” says Wingårdh. “Just a few halogen recessed lights, and we hung modern pendants by Arteluce over the dining room table. You know, I prefer to use lamps around the house for general lighting. I haven’t gotten into LEDs and fiber optics.” The house is eco-friendly. The glass walls reduce heat loss because they each consist of two panes in-filled with argon gas. “It’s very special glass — along with the gas, the outer pane is 10 millimeters thick and this reduces heat loss by a third,” says Wingårdh. “Generally, this house neither consumes or emits much energy.” In summer the owners spend most of their time outside, on the decked patio, in the pool or tending the elevated parterre. Wingårdh commissioned landscape architects Nature Oriented Design to design it in stylized waves as an unusual touch that harkens back to previous centuries. The owners, needless to say, could not be happier in their modern, pared-down home. “It’s very precise but it’s so simple. You know, I find it quite supernatural when I arrive because you hardly know it’s there.” Text by Abby Trow Photo by James Silverman For more info, see: (Facing Page) The dining area is dominated by a huge bespoke rectangular wood table / The minimalist interior is warmed by a real fire. // (This Page) The front of the villa, as seen from the road that leads to it, is low, in keeping with strict planning regulations. APRIL 15, 2018 17


Education occurs inside and out nature is a critical part of school for scandinavians. I

accompanied 10 preschoolers (3- to 5-yearolds) as we took the school bus to woodland parks within the city of San Francisco for the school’s Outdoor Program, developed and led by co-head teachers Åsa West and Jesper Klinghed. I arrived at school early this morning when Jesper was already cooking up lunch for the kids. We chatted and he finished cooking and put the food in thermoses and to-go containers. He told me about growing up in Sweden, and while vacationing in 18 NORDSTJERNAN

I learned so much at school today! I visited the Scandinavian School of San Francisco, where being outdoors and in nature is essential - rain or shine for the education of children. Barcelona he met a lot of Americans and decided to come here. Here he earned a degree at San Francisco State University in kinesiology, which seemed the perfect expertise for today’s trip. By 9 a.m. the kids began arriving. Jesper and I had already begun to pack the bus for the day’s outing. There were cartons of toys and games as well as a library of appropriate picture books the kids could request. I was taught all the emergency equipment on the bus, and I noted how ingenious

the seats were: The center of the seat back folded down raising the seat height for the kids and behind this were the kids’ safety harnesses, securing them while traveling. The rule was that a teacher had to secure and release each harness; the kids were not allowed to do this themselves. This was a modern bus, similar to a small touring or para-transit bus, but the front two rows had two seats on either side of the center aisle followed by a space about two rows long without any seats.

The last two rows of seats faced each other and had a table between them. There was even a small bathroom. The luggage racks above the seats held all the food, books, toys, extra clothes, blankets and nap pads. And these racks on each side also contained speakers so the kids could hear familiar Scandinavian songs during the ride. Åsa and I sat facing each other at a back table for the ride to the Presidio outlands. She was one of the original parents at the school, then was invited to join the school board, later to become a teacher, and now both she and Jesper run the Outdoor Program. Jesper had mentioned that he and Åsa handle these outings like packing for a family picnic - everyone knows the routine and is familiar with their roles, attire and responsibilities. Normal routine is very reassuring to the children, and they look out for each other and remain within eyesight of the teachers.

Time among the trees

Since its beginning in 2002 (which makes it the oldest Scandinavian school currently in the U.S.), it has been important for daily playtime outside, to have time with their pals in school as well as free time to scramble among the trees in the wilderness. No safety-manufactured jungle gyms for them; they wanted to meet trees that would challenge them. Knowing each of their charge’s skills and abilities, the teachers do not hover over them — though they are vigilant. By 10 a.m. we arrived at their favorite Presidio site bordered by a road and a long row of houses facing this wilderness in the city’s original Spanish fort lands. When the kids disembarked they were ready for climbing with their rubber boots and distinctive yellow Ikea safety vests. The kids had fresh fruit and vegetable snacks out on a log, and played in groups of friends, always within eye and earshot of the teachers. This was not a nature lecture; this was letting kids exercise, socialize and explore their surroundings and their own talents and fitness. I watched a boy named Shiloh shimmy up a huge branch that had toppled from a tall cypress but still leaned against its trunk. He was rightfully proud of himself, talking and gazing down on other guys in his group. He reminded me of my kids, for whom limits were merely challenging opportunities. Jesper and I watched nearby but were not needed, though Jesper gave him some advice, which he heeded because of the rational explanation that APRIL 15, 2018 19

feature accompanied it, not because of any order. While I was watching the Scandinavian kids, another group of a dozen or so kids arrived nearby. Each group was interested in their own tangle of woods. They chose a site where the cypress trees had bent over, providing lots of horizontal climbing over the ground below. Just before noon we all piled back onto the bus. The boots were removed, the kids were secured, each with a preferred book and Jesper drove us halfway across the city to Golden Gate Park. Here too was another familiar spot for the kids, which they enjoyed and felt comfortable in. The familiarity was easy to spot, dangling from a couple trees were little white-bearded tomte Christmas ornaments, which had inconspicuously adorned this favorite site earlier by the school. The kids played for a while, and Åsa spread a blanket near a picnic area with a pair of tables where Jesper was setting out the lunch. Everyone was called down to lunch and they quickly assembled around the table, wiped their hands with moist wipes, drank water and received a nutritious lunch according to their wishes: a vegetable chili stew, brown rice, corn and buttered knäckebröd. And there still was plenty for seconds. Their tummies full, the children climbed up the hill to the bus for a nap. The teachers made each child comfortable in a seat with a book or resting on a floor pad in the aisles or between the rows covered with light blankets. I joined them at the table admiring the organization of it all. I guess they weren’t the only ones who needed I nap: I woke up after all the kids were back outside calmly playing with Lego or throwing a Frisbee. By 3 p.m. everyone was back on board the bus headed back to school. Classes had already ended for the core program students and they were in the yard playing. Parents began to arrive to pick up their kids, and after all were gone, the bus was unpacked, everything was returned in order, and Jesper could park the bus. The Outdoor Program is a special program beyond the Core Program, which parents pick and pay for their students, to provide them this quite typical component of Scandinavian schools’ education. Serving Scandinavian parents or those valuing this modern pedagogy and values of their own ancestors, the kids are well prepared for entering kindergarten after this school. Ted Olsson For more info, see

If you’re in the Chicagoland area, the Swedish american Museum is organizing a “Mulle Day” just after Earth Day, April 28. For more info, see or call 773.728.8111 20 NORDSTJERNAN

Recommended reading for all new parents for the inspiration, humor and real life experiences:

‘There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather’

A recently released book by Linda Åkesson McGurk offers more on the perspective of the families who send their children to the Scandinavian School, for which the Outdoor Program plays a vital part in providing a well rounded education. The Swedish-born author who lives in the U.S. aims to raise her kids in this healthy, resilient Scandinavian way, too. When McGurk moved to small-town Indiana with her American husband to start a family, she quickly realized her outdoorsy ways were not the norm. In Sweden, children play outside all year round regardless of the weather; and letting young babies nap outside in freezing temperatures is not only common, it is a practice recommended by physicians. On the other hand, she found American playgrounds, which she had expected to be teeming with children, were mostly deserted. In preschool, children were getting drilled to learn academic skills while their Scandinavian counterparts were climbing trees, catching frogs and learning how to compost. Worse, she realized that giving her daughters the same freedom to play outside that she had enjoyed as a child in Sweden could quickly lead to a visit from Child Protective Services.

The brewing culture clash finally came to a head when McGurk was fined for letting her children play in a local creek, setting off a virtual firestorm when she expressed her anger and confusion on her blog. The rules and parenting philosophies of her native country and her adopted homeland were worlds apart. Struggling to fit in and to decide what was best for her children, McGurk turned to her own childhood for answers. Could the Scandinavian philosophy of “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” (Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder) be the key to better lives for her American children? And how would her children’s relationships with nature change by introducing them to Scandinavian concepts like friluftsliv (“open-air living”) and hygge (the coziness and the simple pleasures of home)? She embarked on a six-month journey to Sweden to find out. In There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather, McGurk shares a fascinating personal narrative that highlights the importance of spending time outdoors, and illustrates how the Scandinavian culture could hold the key to raising healthier, resilient and confident children in America. There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather Hardcover, 304 pages Publisher: Touchstone (October 3, 2017) ISBN: 978-1501143625 Available at Amazon from $16.50 and up

art and culture

Movie review:

Cries & Whispers “Viskningar och rop” was Ingmar Bergman’s first film in color. It is saturated with crimson fade-ins and -outs, perhaps emphasizing its message of love, though some critics and many who only know the artist by his reputation for being dark and gloomy, consider this a movie of sin. The plot of Cries and Whispers includes three Swedish sisters and a maid who grew up in the early 20th century. The youngest and oldest sisters have married and moved away but returned because their bedridden middle sister is dying. In the course of one day, with several flashbacks to reveal each sister’s character, Agnes (Harriett Andersson) dies, the estate is settled, and the maid Anna (Kari Sylwan) is dismissed. The eldest sister, Karin (Ingrid Thulin), is out of touch and unfeeling; the youngest, Maria (Liv Ullman), is coquettish with everyone but her cuckold husband, who even after trying to kill himself was refused help from his wife. Bergman once defined this film as a portrait of his mother Karin, the four actresses each playing different aspects of her. We are accustomed to multiple faces being facets of a single character (as in Persona) in Bergman’s biographical and psychological films. Bergman tried to deny this association with his mother, but it is clear the pretty mother (also portrayed by Ullmann), whom all the daughters loved and wanted to be loved by, had a chilling effect upon her daughters — just as Ingmar felt about treatment from his mother.

From external to internal: Peace to agony

As the scene opens dawn breaks on a late summer day. The back of a lyre player—as if to accompany this lyric natural panorama—is in blue shade but the sun has begun to stream in the windows of the big house. Various clocks in the home emphasize the passing of time, not only today but in their lives. The clocks begin to chime and Agnes rises from her bed in great pain. This is a remarkable performance by Andersson, first in the agony of her facial expressions, later in her very labored breathing, or in her scream (the true meaning of the word “rop” in the Swedish title), with Anna’s hands comforting her by clasping the sides of her face. At first light she gets up to write in her diary about her pain. Reminding herself of how her mother used to retreat to the estate’s garden to relax, Agnes takes out a white rose, appreciating its color—in contrast with her room and living room beyond. Bergman sets a symbolic palette: By mid-morn-

Agnes (Harriet Andersson) and Anna (Kari Sylwan). Photo: Bo-Erik Gyberg/AB Svensk Filmindustri

ing the sisters, dressed in their finery (Karin in a severe black suit, Maria in a seductive red dress) are ready to go in to greet Agnes (in her white bedclothes). Anna the maid, up very early and dressed in a simple gray outfit with white apron, has already said her prayers. Despite the pretense of affection, it is apparent the healthy sisters have a strained relationship with their siblings, being much more invested in themselves. This is another one of Bergman’s favorite devices: the mask — the character shows one face to others, assuming that others cannot decipher her true character. The doctor (Erland Josephson) has been called, his diagnosis is cancer of the womb; but rather than dwell on that, Agnes clutches his hand in hers and brings it toward her face as she tenderly looks upon him. He tells the others their sister’s time is short. In pain Agnes calls out for her sisters, but they ignore her. It is Anna who comes to comfort her, then climbs into bed and cradles the dying woman so she can sleep. This beatific Pieta scene of Anna and Agnes establishes the dynamic among the four women.

diplomat husband mince few words while he eats dinner. Karin spills her blood-red wine and shatters the glass after he says he will forego his coffee to have their usual night’s sex later. Retrieving a shard of glass, Karin goes to her dressing room where Anna attends her. While Anna is behind looking at her in the mirror, Karin screams at her not to stare, then slaps her hard. She pleads forgiveness twice, but Anna refuses. After Anna leaves, Karin cuts herself enough to smear blood all over her smiling mouth as her disgusted husband looks at her vindictive taunting grin. So, the “healthy” sisters are shown to be anything but; rather, they are deceitful, guilty and loveless. The men in the film are sterile and unloved. The only time the siblings show pity for their dying sister is when they briefly wash and change her before returning her to bed to read and entertain her. Later, as daylight outside the window gradually dims, Agnes glances at the dying Anna beside her, whereupon Anna closes her eyes, clearly indicating her death.

Crimson flashbacks

Death and God

As the doctor prepares to leave, Maria waits for him. She flirts with him, but he walks out. In a flashback we see she entertained him while her husband was away on business. She mentions the tryst to her husband when he returns, and he attempts suicide by stabbing himself in the abdomen. He calls for help, but Maria abandons him; he survives for later scenes of a failed marriage. A matching flashback shows the vindictive cruelty of Karin. Sitting across from each other at a long dining table, Karin and her unemotional

The next scene shows the church women arranging the body in funereal pose on her bed, then beckoning the priest, sisters and Anna to attend during a brief beside service. Even the priest feels abandoned by God, asking Agnes—who is dead— to plead for forgiveness for each of these people. The priest recognizes the meaning of “Agnes” and “agnus” (“lamb” or “Lamb of God” in Christian theology), for indeed as in earlier historical times, Agnes can be seen as the scapegoat that Abraham finds. In Greek, “Agnes” means “pure” or “holy,” APRIL 15, 2018 21

art and culture each other; we do not hear their words. Instead, a Bach cello suite in C-minor plays during this temporary harmonious reconciliation. The scene is reminiscent of a flashback in which Agnes, as a terrified little girl, comes at her mother’s beckoning, admitting how frightened she is, and her mother caresses her face with pity. The Year of Bergman 2018 celebrates Often Bergman uses the rich legacy of Swedish filmmaker dreams or similar devices Ingmar Bergman, who would have to show the psychology of a celebrated his 100th birthday on July character. In an earlier day 14, 2018. divination was common. Bergman merely updates the technique to cinema, using a “resurrection dream California sequence” following AgBAMPFA, 2155 Center St., Berkeley / nes’s death: At the end of 04.15, 3PM: A Ship Bound for India the day, Anna seems to hear 04.20, 7:30 PM: Music in the Dark whispering from Agnes that 04.22, 3 PM: Music in the Dark she is cold, and we assume this resurrection of Agnes is Massachusetts a dream until the dead sister Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St., Amherst / reaches up to clasp Maria’s series/ingmar-bergman face. Anna relays the mes04.15, 2 PM Persona sage to Karin but Karin re04.18, 7 PM Persona fuses her, for Karin declares 04.22, 2 PM Cries and Whispers that Agnes is dead, and she 04.25, 7 PM Cries and Whispers never liked Agnes anyway. Karin leaves and Anna hears Michigan Agnes call for Maria. When Detroit Film Theatre, 5200 Woodward Ave. / Maria returns, she feels Ag04.21, 2 PM: The Magician nes’s dead hands hugging her face. Screaming, she breaks Ohio away, saying her husband Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, 11610 Euclid Ave., and children need her. Once University Circle / / again Anna holds the dead 04.19, 9 PM: Shame sister in a Pieta pose (made 04.21, 5 PM: Shame so famous that it became a 04.26, 6:45 PM: Cries and Whispers Swedish postage stamp). 04.28, 7:40 PM: Cries and Whispers After totaling up accounts, the cash-cold Karin divvies up Washington, DC the legacy: they will sell the The Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street, NW / property for cash and heart04.19-22 After the Rehearsal/Persona lessly dismiss Anna with a

as Anna (from Greek and Hebrew) means “favor,” “grace” and “beautiful.” Following this comes another remarkable scene in which the remaining sisters make up with each other. We only see them speak endearments to

Ingmar Bergman 100 screenings

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

pittance, offering her a “keepsake” from Agnes. But Anna says she will take nothing. The closing scene, however, is Bergman’s benediction, accompanied by Frédéric Chopin’s lively Mazurka No.13 in A-minor. In her own room packing, we see Anna has rescued for herself the most meaningful memento of Agnes: her diary. The trifle that Karin had dismissed as worthless and pitiable is a great treasure to Anna. On the first page, Agnes has written about a time with her youthful and caring sisters, calling it the most perfect day of her life. The film concludes with a final crimson fade-out at one sentence: “Så tystnar viskningarna och ropen” (So the whispers and shouts are silenced).

Technical masterpiece

Cries and Whispers (1972) continues the psychological examination and creative experimentation that Bergman began in The Silence (1963) and in Persona (1966). The film was panned in Sweden, but it was raved about in the U.S. An early critic said the film was so carefully crafted that it almost doesn’t need the dialogue, since one can understand so much from the images and scenes, particularly the crimson fade-ins and fade-outs on the characters, which reveal so much more about them than their actions on the day of their sister’s death. In his own comments, Bergman said he and cinematographer Sven Nykvist, who won an Academy Award for this film (which was nominated that year for three other awards: best picture, best director and best screenplay—extraordinary for a foreign film), spent a month of practice shooting to examine every texture, décor and person in the film’s symbolic red color scheme. Yet another novel aspect of this film was Bergman’s first use of the zoom lens, as recommended by Nykvist. Bergman was not sure about this innovation but Nykvist used the technique so skillfully that Bergman was extremely happy and accepted the new tool. The filming techniques as much as the expressive interpretations given by the actors emphasize how much his films are not merely his

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art and culture why are some characters simply allegorical rather than symbolically complex? We describe some people as “dramatic” when they overemphasize their actions or words, not merely to attract attention to themselves but to make a point memorable. All of these reasons are often used by dramatists to serve their theme. Such is the case in Cries and Whispers: the oppressive atmosphere, the two pairs of women who are so different, the natural world outside that’s warm and beautiful, with cruelty inside. We see a physical disease killling the patient and a spiritual one wrenching the other sisters. The great film critic Roger Ebert once said of this film: “Cries and Whispers is about dying, love, sexual passion, hatred and death—in that order.” That doesn’t sound very satisfying; however, that is the very formula for half the world’s greatest operas. Even the film’s epilogue—silence conquers all—can be said of most of the world’s great tragedies, as Shakespeare concludes Hamlet: “the rest is slence.” inspiration but also the collaboration of his superb team of experts. While Bergman said he identified red with the soul, it carries cultural symbolism of blood, love and life. So the obsession with red in the Swedish manor is significant; however, so are the identifying flashbacks about each of the key women. Bergman is a masterful author, and his images illustrate his words but must not distract from them. Like the images themselves, the words and phrases are often repeated at crucial moments in the film. And, sometimes the mastery is in the wordlessness, such as when the two sisters are apparently speaking in endearing terms but we hear only Bach’s harmonious music.

From pity to compassion

Why do Bergman’s films include horrifying scenes, some we do not even want to see? Or others that are painful but we can’t stop watching? Why do we hate some scenes but tolerate others? And

and the actors—each playing exquisitely their allegorical roles as instruments in Bergman’s symphonic drama (as he liked to think of this masterpiece), but the marvel of this team is that they make this imaginative act live for us and resonate within us long after we leave the theater. Ted Olsson

A symphonic drama

To celebrate Ingmar Bergman, Sweden’s cultural hero, the government published a stamp recognizing his achievement. Did they choose a picture of the filmmaker himself? A picture of the spiteful daughter or of the selfish one? They chose as an emblem of Bergman’s art the iconic photo of this film: the Pieta moment for Anna and Agnes, the picture of human kindness and compassion. It is unfortunate that so many viewers do not know how to see Bergman films or how to comprehend them. They see only abhorrent scenes and focus upon repellant images, rather than remember the essence of the film by Bergman and his collaborating artists. In the end, seeing the ruin of the lives of the three sisters and the composure of the survivor, we can only pity our human condition for those who are unable to witness daily the miracle of the mundane and the kindness of others. Instead we witness a callous plague daily in the news of today. We are left to marvel at the concept of the film

Pomona’s Lost Children, A Book of Uncommon Antique Fruits By Jay Stratton

Jay Stratton’s book is a comfortable mix of memories, facts, trivia and hundreds of recipes, but also a revelation for a variety of reasons. If you grew up in the countryside or with access to a summerhouse or garden in Sweden, you have most likely grown up around red and black currant bushes along with gooseberries, elderberries and all sorts of other fruits that these days, as we’ve learned, are considered super berries. Having grown up in upstate New York, it turns out Stratton’s childhood was all about these widely forgotten fruits and berries—and quite a few we weren’t aware of, such as the Jostaberry, the Pawpaw or the Saskatoon.

“The mix of tips on growing, on cooking with memories, mythology and ethnobotany of Pomona’s Lost Children makes it an easy read and the hundreds of recipes are a welcome bonus.”

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Slimming variations on classic dishes

There are more reasons than taste to spice up your food, and here are variations on two traditional Swedish dishes with added twists, along with post-Easter inspiration. Cinnamon (kanel in Swedish) can be used as a way to control your weight because it stabilizes blood sugar—Swedish meatball aficionados will grumble, but this lamb-based variation on the traditional Swedish meatball is delicious served on rice or couscous. As for our fish dish, there are reports that ginger (ingefära in Swedish) can boost metabolism by 20 percent. By increasing the rate of metabolism, ginger can help burn off some of the fat stored in the body. This not only translates to weight loss but it can also help reduce cholesterol. Add a teaspoon of ginger to your breakfast juice and burn 43 more calories after your meal, according to a study from Columbia University. Of course the fact that these tips are helpful in slimming down isn’t the most important aspect of these delicious Swedish dishes.

Cinnamon lamb meatballs in tomato sauce Serves two

Ingredients: 8 ounces minced lamb 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 pinches cinnamon 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil (or canola) 8 ounces strained tomatoes 4 ounces water 2 pinches raw sugar 4 ounces couscous 2 tablespoons raisins parsley to taste salt and pepper to taste

Cinnamon lamb meatballs. Cinnamon gives food a sweeter taste without the addition of sugar. The spice can also be used as a way to control your weight because it stabilizes blood sugar.

Instructions: Mix the meat with egg, salt and spices. Shape into four big balls and brown them in oil about 2 minutes. Pour tomatoes, water and raw sugar on top and let boil until the balls are ready, around 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper. Make the couscous according to directions of the box, and add raisins. Remove from heat and let sit 3-5 minutes. Around 455 calories per portion.

Salmon with ginger Serves two

Ginger is another spice that will keep you healthy.

Ingredients: 2 salmon filets (5 ounces each) salt and pepper 1-1/2 ounces fresh cheese (any taste) 1 lemon 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (or other herb) 4 ounces couscous 1 teaspoon butter 1/2 red bell pepper, diced 4 ounces green peas 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Make a cut in the salmon pieces. Salt and pepper them and put in an oven-safe pan. Mix the cheese with the newly ground peels of half a lemon, ginger and herb. Spread the mixture on top of the salmon and add lemon juice from the other half of the lemon. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Make couscous following the directions on the box. Stir in butter, bell pepper, peas and turmeric, and juice and peels from the rest of the lemon. About 455 calories per portion. Serve with a green salad.

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A proud VolvoCars N.A. CEO Anders Gustavsson.

Another win for Volvo

In an exciting surge of rebounding business in the U.S, Volvo’s knack for building safe, unique cars, is again rewarded in their XC60: named World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show. The mid-size luxury utility vehicle has been racking up the awards, this time chosen by a panel of more than 60 jurors and among the most prestigious in the industry. “I am pleased to see our company’s product investments paying off,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “We are up against some tough competition, but this award for the XC60 shows that Volvo has the right combination of design, connectivity and safety that appeals to customers across the world.” The Volvo XC60 was chosen from an initial entry list of 34 vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of 10, reduced to three finalists announced in Geneva earlier this month: the Mazda CX-5, the Range Rover Velar and the Volvo XC60. “The New York International Auto Show is proud of the tradition it has built with the World Car Awards to recognize the ‘best of the best’ in the auto industry,” said John LaSorsa, chairman of the New York International Auto Show. “Over the past 12 years this awards program has grown to become one of the most coveted honors for the world’s automakers.”

Sweden also drives eSports

eSports, or multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators, is a booming business. They aren’t exactly like the sports typically associated with competition, but recent data shows 20 percent of Swedes watch eSports (that’s four times higher than the average European). Nordic gamers are driving much of the growth in the industry, with the Swedish and Danish markets at the top, right after Russia. They have the highest concentration of professional eSports players in the world, and they are eager to spend money to compete or watch. The European market is predicted to reach a peak in audience and players next year as the Swedish market continues to grow – fast: Swedes are expected to spend SEK 350 million ($42 million) on eSports by the end of 2019.

news in brief

Swedish News Swedish bears outsmart hunters

Scandinavian brown bears are heavily hunted in Sweden, and they know it. There is legislation against shooting mothers with cubs, however, and it appears the bears’ instincts have evolved accordingly: They have learned to protect themselves by staying with their cubs longer than in the past. Some have extended their time with cubs from 18 months to 30, increasing survival rates for both the mother and her offspring. According to a team of international researchers who published a study in the journal Nature Communications, the number of mothers keeping their young with them for an extra year increased in Sweden from 7 to 36 percent between 2005 and 2015.

Unexepected discovery

When a group of scientists at Uppsala University discovered a forgotten test tube, its contents had turned into a completely unexpected substance. “It had many incredibly unique features ... the material absorbs water better than any other already existing substance at low levels of humidity,” said research team leader professor Maria Strømme. The gellike material was named “upsalite,” an anhydrous form of magnesium carbonate. It has potential uses in reducing the energy needed to control environmental moisture in electronics as well as ice rinks and warehouses, for example. It is in development by Strømme’s new company Disruptive Materials, now manufactured in Germany and sold in China as a spray used for dry shampoo; it will soon hit the European market with a super-dry powder aimed at professional rock climbers.

Explicit consent required

The Swedish government proposed legislation on March 20 that outlaws sex without explicit consent. In the proposal, which could go into effect on July 1, 2018, sexual consent is based on the obvious: it must be voluntary. After having a relatively broad definition of rape, Sweden joins Britain and Canada in their tighter laws, where the lack of consent, even

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without violence, is enough to constitute a crime. Accordingly, convicting a perpetrator of rape will no longer require that violence or threats were used, or that the victim’s particularly vulnerable situation was exploited. Other proposals considered by the Council on Legislation are: increasing the minimum penalty for rape of a child; enhancing the protection provided under criminal law concerning sexual offenses against children where the perpetrator displayed negligence with regard to the child’s age; and providing support to victims of sexual offenses at an earlier stage of the process.

Good genes and curiosity

zLAtan is welcomed in the U.S.

Soccer phenom Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced he is leaving Manchester United and heading to LA to play with the Galaxy. After a knee injury that had him playing in only seven games for United this season, Zlatan, 36, is eager to seek new pastures. “I decided to sign with Galaxy because I think it’s the right place for me. I have a lot to give, I can help them a lot, and they are the best team in the U.S.,” he said. “I’m hungry to play because it’s gone too long now, I haven’t felt involved in the game and I need to feel involved. Because this is what I’ve been doing all my life,” he added. Zlatan’s move to the United States takes his career to a seventh league across seven countries having played in his native Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and England.

Unemployment breaks records

New figures show unemployment was down to 5.9 percent in February, a 10-year low. While the fall in housing market prices has been dramatic, the unemployment figures from the Swedish Statistics Bureau Unemployment were better than economists’ forecasts. In fact, the February figure was the lowest reading since August 2008.

Photo: Henrik Garlöv /

On March 20, HRH King Carl XVI Gustaf and HRH Queen Silvia welcomed 105-year-old Dagny Carlsson to the Royal Palace, she is known as Sweden’s—and probably the world’s—oldest blogger. Carlsson will turn 106 on May 8, she was born in 1912 in Kristianstad. She is the 25th oldest person in Sweden (the oldest is 111) and credits good genes and curiosity for her longevity. Carlsson, who calls herself Bojan on her blog, was a seamstress for much of her life, and at age 99 she went to a class to learn more about computers; by age 100 she had become well known for her blogging (and her age) and had a large readership. Carlsson has been a host on Swedish Radio, participated in several TV-shows and the SVT documentary series “Det är inte så dumt att bli gammal” (It’s not so dumb to get old). She has also been a guest in the Nordic talk show Skavlan and had a small role in the 2016 film “Hundraettåringen som smet från notan och försvann” (The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared).

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Malmö set to defend title The 2018 Allsvenskan opened April 1 and if the Swedish Cup is any indication, defending champions Malmö FF has definitely come to play. “We are undoubtedly the top team right now in the Allsvenskan,” Malmö trainer Magnus Pehrsson told Kvällsposten in an interview March 28. “I think we are already ahead of where we were last year at this time.” Malmö had a slow start to the 2017 season before finding a gear few teams could match and cruising to its fourth title in five years. The reigning champions retooled the team that won the league year but crashed out of the Champions League in the qualifiers. Malmö said goodbye to five free agents, three of whom left to play in Major League Soccer – Anton Tinnerholm and Jo Inge Berget, who signed with New York City FC, and Magnus Wolf Ekrem, who went to the Seattle Sounders. Malmö also sold defensive midfielder and Danish international Anders Christiansen to Ghent in Belgium for a reported fee of 16 million kronor ($3 million). “This year we have many new players so we all had conversations where we said, ‘Here’s how we play. This is your role, so we can do it differently,’” Pehrsson said. One of the most important new players is Fouad Bachirou. Bachirou went to Östersund when Graham Potter took over the club and helped guide the team from the lowest rungs of Swedish football to the Allsvenskan. Östersund became the darling of Swedish football as it advanced to the Round of 16 in the Europa League before English Premier League club Arsenal ended its run in February. “We have an extremely good squad with a lot of depth, but there are not a lot of players like Fouad,” Pehrsson. “He is the engine that can drive us.” Bachirou joined the team in January but has already become one of the leaders of the team, which will need his steadiness even more after a scandal rocked the team on March 28, when Kingsley Sarko was arrested on rape charges. It is the second time he has faced rape charges in Malmö and the club essentially cut its ties with the 21-year-old striker, ordering him to stay away from training and any club events. Despite the intense media coverage of the story, Pehrsson said the rest of the players are concentrating on Elfsborg, working to establish what Pehrsson calls “Malmö football.” Malmö faces Djurgården in the Cup final on May 10. Djurgården has its eyes on both the Swedish Cup and the Lennart Johansson trophy, although questions linger as to whether the retooled side can score enough to mount a serious challenge. AIK and Östersund seem to be the most likely teams to stop Malmö from winning a third-straight title. Chipp Reid 28 NORDSTJERNAN