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Swedish Press is the world’s leading magazine on all good things Swedish. An authority on design, business, culture and travel since 1929, Swedish Press delivers insightful news and commentary in a visually striking format. With a nod to the past, and a peek to the future, Swedish Press is your go-to source for updates and inspiration from Sweden. SWEDISH PRESS (ISSN 0839-2323) is published ten times per year (Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, July/Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec/Jan) by Swedish Press Inc, 862 Peace Portal Drive, Suite #101, Blaine WA 98230 for $45 per year. Periodical postage paid at Blaine, WA 98230-9998 (No. USPS 005544). US POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Swedish Press, PO Box 420404, San Diego, CA 92142-0404 OFFICE: 9040 Shaughnessy Street, Vancouver, BC V6P 6E5 Canada US MAILING ADDRESS: PO Box 420404, San Diego, CA 92142-0404 WEBSITE www.swedishpress.com E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org TEL +1 360 450 5858 TOLL FREE +1 866 882 0088 PUBLISHER Claes Fredriksson Claes@swedishpress.com EDITOR Peter Berlin Peter@swedishpress.com ART DIRECTOR Joan Law Joan@swedishpress.com REPRESENTATIVES Calgary: Carin Pihl +1 403 931 0370 Edmonton: Ruth E. Sjoberg +1 780 237 6730 Thunder Bay: Elinor Barr +1 807 344 8355 Toronto: Gunilla Sjölin +1 905 751 5297 Winnipeg: Nancy Drews +1 204-668-7262 Los Angeles: Birgitta von Knipe +1 310 201 0079 New York: Timothy Lyons +1 732 685 3747 San Diego: Sue Eidson +1 858 541 0207
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Heritage An Insider’s Look at Swedish Culture: Vasaloppet – en resa i svensk historia för alla
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Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi. Photo: Asaf Kliger
Heritage 18 Fapur, Mopir, Sun, Dottær and the Law 20 An Estonian-Swede Who Became a Proud Canadian Lifestyle 22 Top Sju 23 Book: The Darker Side of Swedish Immigration Hemma Hos 24 Design: It’s a Grand Celebration of the 30th Icehotel 25 Treats à la Birgitta Durell
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CONTENTS ( February 2020 )
ADVISORY COMMITTEE Björn Bayley, Peter Ladner, Brian Antonson, Christer Garell, Anders & Hamida Neumuller
ADVERTISING visit www.swedishpress.com/advertise-us for advertising rates. Call +1 360 450 5858 or +46 725 607800.
Viking ship carrying Harold III of Norway against his half-brother Olaf II in 1030, c.1375. Source: History Today
Feature 12 Scandinavian Studies Thrive in Alberta Interview 14 Lars Bergman, Secretary General, Sverigekontakt – 40,000 People Abroad Study Swedish Global Swedes 16 Scott Mellor, President of ASTRA, the Association of Swedish Teachers and Researchers in America
Road to 2045 26 Learning from Sweden’s Climate Targets Swedish Press Connects 27 SVIV – Brain circulation för ökad internationell kompetens In the Loop 28 Calendar and Events 29 Ads and Info 30 Sista Ordet En släkthistoria
Cover image: A student learning Swedish. Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
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Letters to the Editor Enjoy reading Swedish Press? Email us your pictures along with your name and comments to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to publish them. Former California Lutheran University regent, honorary Swedish consul Siri Eliason dies at 87 I am sad to share with you that Siri Eliason, a former chair of the Board of Regents, passed away on December 15. She was 87. Siri served as a regent during a critical time in the university’s growth from 1994 to 2003. As chair of the board from 1999 to 2002, she played a leading role in strategic planning and the “Now Is the Time” capital campaign that raised $93 million for new facilities, programs, centers, endowed professorships and scholarships. She helped oversee the sale of land that eventually became University Village Thousand Oaks and the infrastructure development needed for the growth of north campus. A native of Sweden’s northern Ångermanland province, Siri came to America in 1957 with her husband, Sven, and together they founded Scandiline Industries, an office furniture manufacturing company. Siri was also CEO of Los Angeles-based Danica Inc., a chain of retail stores selling
Siri Eliason 1932-2019 Photo: Brian Stethem
Scandinavian furniture. The Eliasons moved to San Francisco in 1984 when Sven was named honorary consul general for Sweden. After Sven passed away in 1985, Siri succeeded him as honorary consul general for 14 years. In addition to her service as a regent, Siri strengthened Cal Lutheran’s ties to the Scandinavian community through the Scandinavian Cultural Center, the annual Scandinavian Festival and Nordic Spirit Symposium, and other activities. In recent years as a resident of University Village, Siri maintained close ties to the university, often attending Board of Regents meetings as a regent emerita. She was very proud of Cal Lutheran, its academic and
cultural growth, and its graduates. In recognition of her service to and support of the university, she was awarded the Exemplar Medallion in 1986 and an Honorary Alumni Award in 2018. The university community will miss Siri’s style, grace and powers of persuasion. Please keep her only daughter Jane Eliason in your thoughts and prayers. We will share details of Siri’s memorial service when they are set. Chris Kimball, President California Lutheran University Vill du översätta de svenska artiklarna? En av våra trogna SweMail översättare har beslutat att träda tillbaka efter bara 19 år på jobbet. Det skulle vara bra att hitta någon (eller två) som kan ersätta honom. Kanske skulle det bli du som läser det här? Kan du förstå de svenska artiklarna i tidningen? Kan du skriva det motsvarande på duglig engelska? Här har du en chans att använda dina kunskaper! Detta är också ett utmärkt tillfälle att skärpa dina språkkunskaper och borde bara ta några få timmar ur ditt liv varje månad. Intresserad? Nyfiken? Var into skygg. Skriv till mig vid firstname.lastname@example.org Ingemar Olson Parksville, British Columbia
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Learning Swedish – Who and Why? We need your support!
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Whether your Swedish is fluent or rusty, we hone your language skills by publishing some articles in Swedish. But never despair: you will find English translations online thanks to our valiant team of volunteer translators. Simply go to http://biolson. atspace.cc/swemail/ and you will find translations of all Swedish articles going as far back as to August 2007.
nother chequered year has passed into history. We at Swedish Press hope you, our reader, had a memorable Christmas and New Year’s holiday (“memorable” in the positive sense!). In our first issue this year we focus on the tens of thousands of people who are currently learning Swedish, and explore their reasons for doing so. Immigrants and asylum-seekers in Sweden have an obvious incentive to learn the language, but what about people in other countries? Surprisingly, approximately 225 universities in nearly 40 countries around the world offer Swedish classes. Some 40,000 university students are hard at work studying Swedish as we speak. In addition, a substantial number of high school students in Finland and the Baltic States are learning Swedish. The reasons for all this enthusiasm vary and are discussed in our exclusive interview with Lars Bergman, Secretary General of Riksföreningen Sverigekontakt whose mandate it is to promote Swedish language skills abroad (page 14). We are also including an exclusive interview with Scott Mellor, President of the Association of Swedish Teachers and Researchers in America (ASTRA)(page 16). The history and scale of Swedish language studies at the University of Alberta is further examined by Nordahl Flakstad in our Feature Story (page 12). Our article Fapur, Mopir, Sun, Dottaer and the Law explores where the Swedish language came from and where it is going (page 18). Learning Swedish can sometimes lead to surprising outcomes. Some years ago my Canadian wife and I spent several months in Kiruna in Swedish Lapland. While I was busy lecturing at the university, my wife used her time to learn Swedish by attending the local, state-sponsored “Swedish For Immigrants” program. The two Swedish tutors came from a region called Tornedalen which borders on Finland. Both spoke Swedish with a strong Finnish accent, with the result that my wife’s Swedish, overlaid with Finnish inflection and Canadian-English phonetics, came out as … Danish. Go figure! Elsewhere in this issue we review a book by distinguished author and literature critic Ola Larsmo telling the true stories about a former Swedish immigrant ghetto called Swede Hollow in Saint Paul, MN (page 23). Enjoy Alar Olljum’s reminiscences of Estonian-Swedish immigrant Irene Gunhild (née Dyrberg) Olljum who contributed massively to the promotion of the Swedish language and cultural heritage in Canada, and who passed away in Vancouver BC on 14 October 2019 (page 20). Brace yourself for the tragedy recounted in the new book Det kom för mig i en hast (“It Suddenly Dawned On Me”), as summarised in the article by the book’s author Maria Bouroncle (page 30). In addition to the above interviews and articles, we treat you to the most recent political, social, business, cultural and culinary news from Sweden and Swedish-America.
Peter Berlin Editor Peter@Swedishpress.com February 2020
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Falling Down from Great Heights Swedish Air Crash Victims By Peter Berlin
ccording to Ukrainian government sources, 10 Swedish citizens were among the 176 casualties of the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 that crashed in Iran shortly after take-off from Tehran on January 8. Another seven victims were foreign residents in Sweden. The dead included several young refugees and two families with young children. In a written statement, Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has joined other heads of government
Flowers and candles are placed in front of portraits of the flight crew members of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran. Photo: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
from affected countries to demand a full and open scrutiny of the cause of the crash. His statement reads: “Iran has accepted responsibility for downing the aircraft, and that the act
Taking the Long View
n January 9, several Swedish news outlets reported that the famous Rökstenen (Rök runestone), chiselled in the 9th century, may contain a coded warning about future climate change with disastrous consequences for our planet. This is the conclusion of four Swedish researchers working under the supervision of Professor Per Holmberg at Gothenburg University. The report has created headlines in Sweden as well as abroad, notably in the U.S. (CNN), the UK (The Guardian), Germany (Spektrum), Finland, Russia, France, and Japan. The Rök runestone features the longest known runic inscription in stone. It is considered to be the first example of written Swedish literature. The stone was discovered in the 19th century inside the walls of the 12th century church in the village of Rök, Östergötland Province. Using runestones as building material was not uncommon at the time. The stone was
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was the result of human error. The acknowledgement constitutes an important prerequisite for a thorough and transparent investigation aimed at revealing all the facts surrounding the crash.” Background: Following the Boeing 737 MAX debacle and the recent Ukrainian/Iranian incident, some news media have been quick to point out that the Boeing 737-800 series has a history of fatal crashes, as if to suggest that most 737s suffer from inherent design flaws. But since the Iranians have now confessed to shooting down the Ukrainian plane, the tragedy can no longer be attributed to design flaws.
Zlatan Bits the Dust
Professor Per Holmberg examines the famous Rökstenen (Rök runestone) in the village of Rök. Photo: Acke Holmberg
bronze statue in Malmö of the internationally renowned Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović has been subjected to several recent acts of vandalism, ostensibly because Zlatan betrayed his home town and football club by buying shares in the rival Hammarby football club in Stockholm. On January 5 the statue finally fell to the ground when nighttime vandals sawed through its ankles. The authorities subsequently carried it away in a body bag.
extricated from the wall soon after its discovery and is now on display outside the church. The message on the stone appears to have been deliberately encrypted, and it is only recently that researchers have reached a consensus about its meaning. It alludes to light, darkness and the foreboding of a catastrophe related to weather and climate known in Nordic mythology as Ragnarök – the end of the world.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic statue removed after further damage from fans. Photo: Christian Örnberg/ BildByrån
Swedes in the News
Music and Awards in Season Stellan’s Globe
Stellan Skarsgård. Photo: Rachel Luna/Getty Images North America
Stellan Skarsgård, 68, recently won a Golden Globe in the category of Best TV Supporting Actor for his role as Boris Sjtjerbina, Vice-Chairman of Soviet’s Council of Ministers 19841989, in HBO’s nuclear drama production “Chernobyl.” The Swedish actor, who has also appeared in movies such as “Good Will Hunting” and “Mamma Mia!” thanked Swedish director Johan Renck and American screenwriter/ director Craig Mazin for involving him in the project. Skarsgård also credited makeup artist Daniel Parker for giving him a proper set of eyebrows – finally making his face more memorable to audiences all over the world. “Chernobyl” also won the category for Best Mini-Series. Miss on Tour Swedish singer/songwriter and pianist Linda Therese Karlsson, a.k.a. “Miss Li,” kicks off her spring tour in Jönköping, Småland on
February 13. Miss Li, 37, is widely known for hits such as “Oh Boy”, “Dancing the Whole Way Home” and “Bonfire.” The beloved pop artist has also participated in the celebrated Swedish music show “Så Mycket Bättre” on two occasions – most recently last fall. Miss Li and her band will tour 16 Swedish cities this year.
Photo © Magnus Lygdbäck
where 85 percent of meals should be healthy and 15 percent consist of treats, i.e. something one truly enjoys. Through the Eliason Merit Award, SACC-LA honors people who have strengthened relations between Sweden and the United States.
– a musical stage or film performance featuring his best-known music. Audience members can look forward to music by Holm and his talented copywriters Ingela Pling Forsman, Monika Forsberg and Torgny Söderberg. Actors and artists have not yet been selected, but casting will begin soon. Holm said he is euphoric over the project, which is planned to premiere in Gothenburg next year. Radio Nominee
Holm Makes Music Linda Therese Karlsson.
Lygdbäck’s L.A. Award Swedish personal trainer and nutritionist Magnus Lygdbäck, 40, recently earned a 2019 Eliason Merit Award at a ceremony hosted by The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles (SACC-LA). The Umeå native was celebrated for his accomplishments as wellness expert and world-renowned personal trainer. Lygdbäck is well known for having trained actors, including Alexander Skarsgård for his role as Tarzan, and Alicia Vikander for her role as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. He was also praised for his exercise and diet method “The Magnus Method”
Max Martin. Photo: Axel Öberg
Photo © Lasse Holm
Lasse Holm’s songs are becoming a musical! The Swedish singer/songwriter, 76, revealed that he is working on a musical based on his many hit songs, including “Diggilo diggiley” and “Främling,” during an interview on Swedish podcast Hitfabriken. The musical, currently called “Det är det här vi kallar kärlek,” will be a so-called “jukebox musical”
Swedish songwriter and record producer Max Martin, 48, has been nominated for Producer of the Year at this year’s Iheart Radio Music Awards. Radio platform Iheart Radio Music annually hosts the award show honoring celebrated music artists of the past year. Martin is up against fellow record producers Andrew Watt, Benny Blanco, Finneas and Louis Bell. We’ll keep our fingers crossed during the American radio gala held on March 29.
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SKÅNE Polisregion Syd (Skåne län, Blekinge län, Kronobergs län och Kalmar län) tar hjälp av pensionerade poliser vid större eller omfattande utredningar. – Vi har ju flera stora utredningar gällande mord och sprängningar. Ett exempel är mordet på Sergels väg i Malmö som inträffade i augusti månad. Där har vi en rutinerad pensionerad polis som stöttar oss i utredningen, sa Jimmy Arkenheim, tillförordnad chef för utredningssektionen. Att Polisregion Syd tar hjälp av pensionerade poliser beror på brist på personal och att de pensionerade poliserna kan bidra med kompetens och erfarenhet. – Vi behöver all hjälp vi kan få och är beroende av att ha rutinerade medarbetare som hjälper oss med de svåraste utredningarna, sa Arkenheim.
“Bee the change” – Ian Lee Sklarsky ställer ut på Arvika Konsthall.
New York-konstnären Ian Sklarsky ställer ut på Arvika konsthall i Värmland. Sklarsky är bland annat känd för att använda sig av en sällsynt teknik som kallas ”blind contour”. – Han kollar aldrig på pappret när han gör sina illustrationer, sa Marcus Modh, konsthallsansvarig på Arvika Konsthall. New York-konstnären, som även är biodlare, har gett sin utställning namnet ”Bee the change”. Besökare kommer bland annat att kunna ta del av vad som påverkar bin positivt och negativt. UPPLAND
Polisens utredning. Foto: Värnamo Nyheter
VÄSTERGÖTLAND I Västsverige har flera skolor börjat med så kallad mindfulness (medveten närvaro). På Internationella skolan ISGR i Göteborg anser man att övningarna har haft positiv inverkan på eleverna. – De kan fokusera på sitt arbete bättre, blir inte lika distraherade av andra och jag behöver inte repetera instruktioner, sa läraren Camilla Martinsson. Martinsson är utbildad mindfulnessinstruktör och håller själv i de mindfulness-övningar som eleverna praktiserar. Övningarna har många fördelar och skolans mål är att under 2020 införa mindfulness i 20 av skolans klasser.
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Teo, 6, tog med sig familjen ut på svampplockning i Upplands-Bro i januari. – Han ville att vi skulle plocka svamp, och vi har ju våra guldställen. Han hittade en stor kantarell, tolv centimeter i diameter, det första han gjorde. Så då var det bara att leta vidare, sa Teos pappa Tom Eklund Dolk. Teo och hans pappa lyckades plocka med sig en hel liter svamp som de sedan gjorde svampstuvning på. Familjen gladdes åt sina fynd, men
DALARNA GÄSTRIKLAND VÄSTMANLAND VÄRMLAND
DALSLAND ÖSTERGÖTLAND BOHUSLAND VÄSTERGöteborg GÖTLAND SMÅLAND HALLAND SKÅNE
tyckte samtidigt att det var märkligt att de hittade svamp i januari. – Någonting är fel med klimatet, kanske. Vi har inte hittat några kantareller så här sent på säsongen tidigare. Inte i januari, sa han. Enligt Ellen Larsson, mykolog vid Göteborgs Universitet, har det att göra med det milda klimatet. – Det har varit så milt i år och då är det inte alls ovanligt, så länge det finns energi för svamparna att växa. Om det är fuktigt och varmt, kring 7 plusgrader, så tuffar de på, sa Ellen Larsson. Summary in English: Retired police officers are hired for investigative work at Polisregion Syd. Mindfulness is on the curriculum at several schools in western Sweden. New York artist Ian Sklarsky puts on an art exhibition about bees at Arvika konsthall. A six-year-old boy finds chanterelles in January, unusual for that time of the year. Ellen Larsson, mycologist at the University of Gothenburg says it is due to the mild weather.
[Business] News Bad Things Coming to an End No More Negative Interest By Peter Berlin
magine going to the bank to deposit your savings and having to pay a fee for the privilege instead of being offered positive interest. Well, that is what negative interest is all about, except the intended victims have been commercial banks rather than you and me. Commercial banks are used to depositing their “excess reserves” (i.e. loose cash) with the Swedish Riksbank (Central Bank) in order to earn some interest rather than letting it go stale in their vaults earning no interest at all.
End to the Cashless Society
n January 1, a new law came into force that will stop Sweden’s slide into becoming a cashless society. Commercial banks have long tried to save money by not having to deal with cash. The banks have instead referred customers to ATMs, but these machines have become scarce as a result of yet another cost-saving measure by the banks. The difficulty of obtaining cash has posed problems for many people – the elderly, for example – who are not able to make payments via smartphones and computers. Moreover, the economy in a cashless society would grind to a halt in the
Statistics published by Statistics Sweden, on behalf of the Riksbank as of January 10, 2020.
However, during the past 5 years, the Riksbank has had a negative interest policy, meaning that banks wanting to deposit their excess reserves with the Riksbank have had to pay a fee. The idea behind the policy was to stimulate the economy by motivating banks to
offer their excess cash to lenders at lower-than-usual interest rates, rather than just sitting on it. Historically, this approach has sometimes been adopted by central banks particularly in Sweden and Denmark, although is seen as somewhat unorthodox in other major economies. Indeed, the negative interest rate has pushed up inflation in Sweden from almost zero in 2015 to the desired target of 2 percent, as businesses have been busy investing using cheap bank loans that they could otherwise not afford. Having reached the target, the Riksbank decided in December 2019 to raise the interest rate from minus 0.25 percent to zero percent.
case of major power outages due to natural disasters or military conflicts. From now onwards, all Swedish banks will be obliged to receive and dispense cash over the counter.
No More Iran Air Flights
he Transportstyrelsen (Swedish Transport Agency) has withdrawn the permission for Iran Air to serve Swedish airports. The measure – unusual by international standards – has been taken following the death of 17 Swedish residents in the January 8 downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines passenger plane by an Iranian ground-to-air missile. Passenger safety is quoted as the reason for the withdrawal. Flygskam and Tågskryt in Action he number of passengers on Swedish domestic flights fell by 9 percent in 2019, while the railways saw a corresponding increase of 10 percent. Ecologists like to attribute the change in travel patterns to flyg-
skam (“shameful flying”) and tågskryt (“bragging about choosing trains over planes”) – in other words, a growing awareness among the general public that trains do less harm to the global climate than airplanes. However, economists see the fall in domestic air travel more as the result of increased fares due to the weak Swedish currency, and also due to the new tax on domestic flights. Another factor is that most domestic airline passengers are business people, and that their employers now favour video conferencing over short-haul flights to save time and money. Chances are that both the ecologists and the economists are right.
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Turning a Chore into Something Fun By Peter Berlin
ow many times have we taken on the challenge of learning a new language, only to give up after a few days or weeks when the effort seemed greater than the reward? Perhaps the day will come when instant language acquisition can be achieved simply by connecting the brains of the tutor and the learner using some kind of Wifi (taking care not to drain the tutor’s brain in the process!). In the meantime, we can only continue to develop existing teaching methods, aiming to increase the effectiveness and enjoyment of language learning. Even though most Swedish professionals speak English, learning Swedish will benefit your long-term career goals if you are moving to Sweden for work. Knowing the language shows respect for Swedish culture and will speed up your acceptance in Swedish society. A quick browse through the Internet reveals a large number of organisations that provide Swedish language courses both in Sweden and abroad. For example, the Swedish Institute (www.si.se) has a free web course in Swedish. This course is also available as an iOS and Android app. Immigrants to Sweden are encouraged to attend language classes given by Utbildning i svenska för invandrare (“Swedish For Immigrants”, or SFI). Not only are these classes free of charge, but
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maximize enjoyment and engageasylum-seekers are even given a ment by capturing the interest stipend to attend. of learners and inspiring them to The company we are profiling continue learning. Blended learnthis month is Swedish for Profesing is an approach to education sionals which offers customised, that combines online educational flexible and interactive Swedish materials and opportunities for language courses for a fee. Claudia Olsson and Kristina Persson founded interaction online with traditional classroom methods. the company in 2014 as an innovaAlong with employer-sponsored tive alternative to more traditional courses at the workplace, Swedish Swedish language learning. The for Professionals offers private focus is on interactivity, flexible customers one-on-one tutoring scheduling, and digital tools. Many (in-person or as a distance course) of the language coaches have as well as group courses. Some emthemselves been expats and are ployers also sponsor accompanying hired for their ability to engage and motivate adult learners. The clients spouses who learn Swedish at the company’s offices in Södermalm, are mainly employers who choose Stockholm. to invest in the integration of their In addition to language tutorforeign staff. ing, Swedish for Professionals has Swedish for Professionals courses that provide insights into typically teaches Swedish at the Swedish culture, such as work participant’s workplace, enabling etiquette, conflict adversity and foreign staff to combine language business-specific terminology. learning with their normal work. Understanding what makes the The participants have access to Swedes tick facilitates the newdigital content in an app and an comer’s integration into Swedish online tool, as well as a book with exercises. Digital tools include videos society and avoids negative kneejerk reactions in the face of for grammar and vocabulary exerunfamiliar behaviour. cises provided in preparation for For further information, go to the in-person sessions where the www.swedishforprofessionals.com. focus lies on practicing and implementing acquired knowledge under the tutelage of a language coach. With the help of “gamification” and “blended learning” techniques, the participants learn Swedish in a fun and effective way. Gamification is an educational approach that motivates students to learn by using video games and other game Photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson/imagebank.sweden.se elements. The goal is to
H E RI TAG E
An Insider’s Look at Swedish Culture Vasaloppet – en resa i svensk historia för alla Av Yvonne Gossner
åratal har jag genom mitt jobb mött nya svenskar och andra generationens svenskar som kämpar med att lära sig svenska – något som självklart är oerhört viktigt för alla nyanlända för att kunna trivas och lyckas i Sverige. Likaså irriterar det oss svenskar när invandrare inte anammar vår svenska kultur. Men vad gör vi svenskar själva för att bibehålla vårt svenska kulturarv och traditioner? Är det verkligen självklart att det som idag anses som typiskt svenskt alltid kommer att leva kvar? Låt mig ta Vasaloppet som ett exempel. I alla år har jag följt loppet med glädje från TV-soffan, men jag har aldrig haft en tanke på att medverka frivilligt, detta trots att jag nog anses som rätt hurtig. På min
Instagram (där de flesta av mina följare är icke-svenskar) framkom uppfattningen utomlands att de flesta svenskar någon gång i livet “åker” Vasaloppet som en del av
den svenska kulturen. Lite genant insåg jag att så inte var fallet, eller rättare sagt känner jag väldigt få som kört de 9 milen mellan Sälen och Mora. Jag själv skulle kunna skylla på att jag bor i Skåne och att snön lyser med sin frånvaro lika ofta som det regnar på midsommarafton, men det känns samtidigt så oerhört trist att erkänna detta faktum. Kanske ännu påtagligare blir känslan för mig eftersom jag jobbar dagligen med svensk kultur. Att då inte vara en del av det svenskaste som finns känns som en trist förlust. Sagt och gjort – jag anmälde mig till Vasaloppet och fick med mig 4 väninnor från Skåne och en mer “snövan” väninna från Stockholm. Nu tränar vi så gott vi kan utan snö, och gymmets stakmaskin är vår räddning. För mig är detta skidäventyr inte bara en fråga om att orka ta sig i mål, utan även att få vara en del av vår svenska historia i Dalarna. Det var ju vår förste kung Gustav Vasa som stakade de 9 milen när han blev jagad av danskarna. Givetvis ska jag göra allt för att klara loppet även om jag inser att de 90 km jag har framför mig är mer än vad jag har åkt längdskidor under hela min livstid – sammanlagt! Det som ändå gör att det är värt besväret att ta ledigt från jobbet (trots risken att bli sjukskriven efter Vasaloppet), att förlora en natts sömn natten innan start och att spendera semesterkassan på ett par nya skidor, är ändå lyckan att med egna ögon få uppleva detta helt magiska och kända skidäventyr. Låt mig bara för en sekund drömma om att jag klarar de 90
km den 1 mars: då kommer det att bli min personliga största bragd någonsin (då har jag ändå bestigit Kebnekaise, hoppat fallskärm och fött barn utan smärtlindring). Genom att deltaga hoppas jag kunna inspirera andra svenskar såväl som icke svenskar att finna ett intresse i Vasaloppet. Det är vår skyldighet gentemot kommande generationer och våra nya svenskar i landet att sprida kunskap om det svenskaste som finns, nämligen Vasaloppet! Summary in English: Vasaloppet is an historic, annual 90 km cross-country ski race held in the Province of Dalarna. Many foreigners acquainted with Swedish traditions believe that most Swedes cover the trail at least once in a lifetime. If only that were true, laments the author. She hopes that newcomers in Sweden will follow her example and give it a try, thereby helping to preserve this important tradition.
Footnote: Yvonne Gossner är en f.d universitetsadjunkt och Swedish influencer, numera ägare av Learn Swedish Culture AB. www. learnswedishculture.com
Swedish Press | February 2020 11
Scandinavian Studies Thrive in Alberta By Nordahl Flakstad president of the Scandinavian Studies Association
niversities generally benefit from good townand-gown relations. For example, take the University of Alberta (UofA) as the gown, and consider the Nordic communities in Alberta as the town. The Scandinavian Studies Association (SSA) was incorporated under Alberta’s Societies Act in 1990. For almost three decades it has lent financial and moral support to the UofA’s Scandinavian Studies program. The program originated when the University began offering Scandinavian language courses in 1970. The arrival shortly thereafter of Dr. Christopher (Chris) Hale, as program head, bolstered the program. Professor Hale, who died in 2019, contributed actively to the Scandinavian Studies program as an administrator and instructor for almost 50 years. Under his leadership, the UofA became the only Canadian university granting a BA in Scandinavian Studies. Shortly before the formation of the Scandinavian Studies Association, individuals, businesses and organizations had supported the establishment of a Scandinavian Professorship Endowment Fund (SPEF). The local Swedish-Canadian community has played a conspicuous role since the Association’s
Swedish Press | February 2020 12
early days – notably through the support by Vasa Order of America, Scandia Lodge No. 549. The late Lennart Petersson, no doubt familiar to many readers, was SSA’s founding president. Another prominent Vasa member, Linnea Lodge, not only served as Association president from 2000 to 2014 (and remains an honorary president) but also was a generous benefactor to the endowment. The fund now honors Linnea and her late husband in its title – Henry Cabot and Linnea Lodge Scandinavian Professorship Endowment Fund. The late Anna Marie Campbell, also of Swedish descent, was another significant donor. Dr. Kenneth Domier was long active in SSA. He is of partial Swedish extraction and spent part of his career as an engineering professor in Sweden. Marianne Lindvall, a native of Sweden, for many years taught both Swedish and Norwegian at the UofA. She was succeeded as an instructor in Swedish and Norwegian by Dr. John Eason. In addition to holding advanced degrees in Scandinavian from the U.S., he worked for seven years in Sweden as a Swedish-English translator. Over the years, the SSA has led the parade in raising money for the endowment fund. Throughout, a fundamental Association motivator has been ensuring that Scandinavian Studies, and notably language instruction, could withstand the ups and downs in university funding and administrative changes. Canadian and Scandinavian governments, individuals, companies and Nordic organizations have contributed to growth of the endowment. So have the proceeds from countless volunteer-hours
University of Alberta’s North Campus. Photo: University of Alberta
at casinos, rummage sales and other fundraisers. Today, the University oversees a $3-million-plus endowment, whose earnings provide steady support for Scandinavian Studies instruction.
Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
The Association reaches out to the wider community through annual Lecture Events, featuring lectures on a wide range of Scandinavia-related themes. Topics have included the impact of ABBA on pop culture; Pippi Longstocking; and Scandinavian choral music. The 2019 lecture featured a presentation on the Danish arctic explorer Jens Munk. Beside being instructive and entertaining, the Lecture Events help raise the wider public profile of Scandinavian Studies. In 2012, Dr. Natalie Van Deusen succeeded Dr. Hale, becoming the Henry Cabot and Linnea Lodge Scandinavian Professor. Beyond her teaching, Professor Van Deusen’s academic research centres on Norse and Icelandic-related subjects. Her lectures, far-ranging in their scope, generate enthusiastic responses and often overflowing classes. Themes of recent Scandinavian Program courses include Scandinavian crime fiction, Scandinavian children’s literature, and Old Norse mythology and legends. The syllabus also includes introductory and advanced instruction in Swedish and Norwegian (Danish was formerly taught). The makeup of students enrolled in Scandinavian courses, including language instruction, has evolved over the years. Earlier on, students often had personal or family ties to Scandinavia. Currently, quite a few students have no direct Nordic links. They may enroll due to interest in Nordic literature,
music or pop culture, or perhaps an intention to work or study somewhere in Scandinavia. The Scandinavian Studies Association recognizes shifting motivations, but still sees value in developing and enhancing Scandinavian language skills. With that in mind, the Association encourages enrolment in advanced Scandinavian language instruction by offering scholarships through the recently created Scandinavian Studies Fund, which runs parallel to the well-established endowment fund. To that end, SSA is working with the Torskeklubben of Edmonton, a service club, to raise funds for up to eight annual scholarships. The first ones are expected to be awarded in 2020. The University of Alberta sees the Scandinavian Studies Association as a template for campuscommunity partnership. In 2018, the UofA demonstrated its appreciation of SSA by nominating it for recognition on National Philanthropy Day for the support of Scandinavian Studies. The nomination to the Edmonton & Area Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals noted: ‘’Scandinavian Studies are thriving at the University of Alberta thanks to the incredible and long-standing support of the Scandinavian Studies Association.” Viking ship carrying Harold III of Norway against his half-brother Olaf II in 1030, c.1375. Source: History Today
Swedish Press | February 2020 13
E X C L U S I V E
I N T E R V I E W
40,000 People Abroad Study Swedish
Lars Bergman. Photo: Sverigekontakt
Riksföreningen Sverigekontakt (The Royal Society for Swedish Culture Abroad), headquartered in Gothenburg, has members all over the world. They are united in their interest in Sweden, the Swedish language and Swedish culture. The society – dating back more than 100 years – is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to help Swedes and descendants of Swedes abroad maintain their ties with Sweden. In the following interview we have the pleasure of introducing Lars Bergman, Secretary General of the Society.
Swedish Press | February 2020 14
W I T H
L A R S
B E R G M A N
Please tell us about your background. I am a teacher of Swedish and History and have worked mainly at high school level. Between 1991 and 1996 I was the Director of the Swedish School in Fuengirola in Spain. I was the Headmaster of a restaurant school here in Gothenburg, as well as Headmaster of several other schools. Between 2004 and 2007 I was in Japan as a lecturer in Swedish at Yohaka University. I held the same position in Shanghai, China, in 2008 – 2009. Along with the above I have been working as the Marketing Director for a dental company here in Gothenburg, selling dental products all over the world. And now here I am as Secretary General at Sverigekontakt, a position I have held for around 10 years.
for a variety of reasons; some people like to visit Sweden, others have a house in the Swedish countryside, and still others are interested in Swedish society and culture. If we were to add up all the people in the world who are learning Swedish in the evenings at a non-academic level, I estimate that the number is around 40,000. In addition, there are students at both elementary and high school level who take Swedish as a regular daytime subject. You find them mainly in Estonia, Russia and Northern Germany. Of course, there is also Finland, but we don’t count them in this context because all Finnish students are required to learn Swedish as a foreign language.
Who learns Swedish these days, and why? There are several categories. Let us start with the 18 Swedish schools abroad, mainly in Spain, but also in Thailand and Argentina, plus two schools in Africa and one in Saudi Arabia. The schools have tuition in Swedish, and the pupils are mainly Swedes whose parents are living in these countries for one reason or another. Then there are the international schools where the students take Swedish for a few hours per week as an optional subject. This involves approximately 5000 students around the world. The students want to learn the language primarily because one or both parents are Swedish. Next, we have language education for adults interested in foreign languages in general and Swedish in particular. Taking Germany as an example, we estimate that around 20,000 adults attend evening classes to learn Swedish as a foreign language. They do this
Why is learning Swedish actively promoted in other countries? Take the Swedish Institute (SI) as an example. The SI is a government agency with the mandate to spread information about Sweden outside the country. It exists to promote Swedish interests and to organise exchanges with other countries in different
E X C L U S I V E
I N T E R V I E W
W I T H
areas of public life, in particular in the spheres of culture, education, and research. Both the SI and ourselves receive some funding from the Foreign Ministry in Stockholm. Even though we are independent of each other, we both have similar agendas, namely to spread the word abroad about Swedish culture and language. Many other countries do the same thing, and it has to do with conveying a positive image abroad, as well as attracting tourism and investment. Although the SI is a government agency and Sverigekontakt is a non-profit organisation, we do collaborate a great deal. What aspects of the Swedish language do foreigners find most challenging? One difficulty for English-speakers is the gender of Swedish nouns – the “en” and “ett”, plus the fact that the gender determines the form of associated adjectives. Most Europeans are used to this in their own languages, but English-speakers often struggle. Then there is the spelling, in the sense that the same phonetic sound can be spelled different ways in Swedish. For example, “sj”, “sk”, “sch”, “skj” and “stj” are often (but not always!) pronounced as “sh” in the English word “she”. English is becoming the predominant working language in certain Swedish corporations, at universities, and even in high schools offering the International Baccalaureate. Is there a risk that the Swedish language will eventually become marginalized, even within Sweden? I don’t think the Swedish language will ever become marginalised, and certainly not within Sweden. It is true that scientific reports are often written in English, and in some fields
L A R S
B E R G M A N
What qualifications should a teacher of Swedish as a foreign language possess? It is not enough just to be Swedish, because you have to be able to explain Swedish grammar and syntax correctly. Teachers should have studied Teaching Swedish As A Foreign Language at university.
the necessary Swedish terminology is lacking, but Swedish remains a living language. With some 10 million people speaking Swedish and a thriving Swedish literature, the language will never disappear. Are there scholarships that people abroad can apply for who wish to learn Swedish? We offer ten scholarships every year for students from abroad who have already studied Swedish in their home countries. They are invited to stay at a chosen Swedish folkhögskola (adult college) for one semester, i.e. 4 – 5 months. It is a good environment for learning Swedish, because they stay at the school, live with Swedish students, and take the same subjects. It is like total immersion. The scholarship amounts to SEK 5000 per month, which is essentially pocket money for them, since their tuition and accommodation are free. Most of the foreign students come from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but we have also had students from North and South America.
Please tell us about the magazine Sverigekontakt. Our magazine has been coming out four times a year since around 1913. It informs our members about things we have been doing and are planning to do. It is distributed to around 700 Swedish teachers abroad, as well as to every Swedish embassy and consulate, along with some Swedish churches and societies in different countries. In Sweden it reaches another 500 members of Riksföreningen Sverigekontakt. The total printed edition is 2300 copies per quarter. The magazine is independent of any political or religious movement. Most articles are contributed by external authors rather than by inhouse journalists. Interviewed by Peter Berlin
Swedish Press | February 2020 15
A Terrible Argument: ... Dr. Scott Mellor, President of ASTRA, the Association of Swedish Teachers and Researchers in America
Dr. Scott Mellor. Photo: University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Association of Swedish Teachers and Researchers in America (ASTRA) is a non-profit organization for researchers and teachers involved in Swedish language, linguistics, literature, culture, and area studies. ASTRA promotes the study of Swedish language and culture, as well as other Swedish-speaking contexts at all levels, and works to facilitate cooperation between scholars engaged in these fields. In the following exclusive interview Dr Scott Mellor, President of ASTRA, talks about his background and highlights the mission and vision of the Association.
Swedish Press | February 2020 16
cott was born in Los Angeles, but in the 1960s the air quality was so poor that his parents realized they no longer wished to live there. His mother’s parents and family had come from Minnesota, so Scott’s parents decided to move the family to Minnesota when he was 5 years old. “At a fairly young age I knew exactly that I wanted to be a physicist. I had a neighbor who was very much into physics, and I had watched Carl Sagan on TV and found the subject very exciting. I graduated from high school when I was 17 years old and decided I wanted to take a year off rather than going straight on to college. While in high school, I had studied a number of languages. I took Russian because we were in the middle of the Cold War; we were told we were supposed to hate the Russians and I wanted to know why. I studied French, because the dominant cultural component of my family was French – my mother’s last name was LaPlante. I also studied Spanish, and I was very influenced by a teacher from Africa, so I even had a semester of Swahili.” Scott decided to approach the Rotary Club to arrange his gap year abroad. The way Rotary works in Minneapolis is that they ask you to pick three regions. Going to the Soviet Union was impossible for obvious reasons, but he knew he
would love to go to France. His second choice was West Africa. He struggled to think of a third region when it occurred to him that his mother’s mother was half German and half Nordic. Her mother, in turn, was Swedish and Norwegian, so Scott picked Scandinavia as his third region, thinking that he would probably get his first or second choice anyway. “Of course, the Rotary people picked Sweden, so I ended up spending a year with a family in the outskirts of Stockholm. The family members didn’t speak any English, so I learned pretty good Swedish. When I returned to the U.S. I still wanted to become a physicist but discovered that I hated math. That was a bit of a problem. I took two years off in the middle of college to revisit both Scandinavia and Germany, as I was very interested in linguistics. After I came back I finished my degree in linguistics. Over time I got lured into folklore studies, and that became the subject of my PhD at the University of Wisconsin here in Madison.” Our conversation turned to the mission of ASTRA. Scott explained that the Association is essentially about supporting teachers and researchers in Swedish language, linguistics, literature, culture and area studies throughout North
Putting Sweden on the Map Abroad
America. The Svenska Institutet (SI, or Swedish Information Service) used to arrange conferences every fall. Initially, so many participants showed an interest that it proved necessary to organize two separate conferences: one on the East Coast and another on the West Coast. Then it was decided to bring the two conferences together in one location so that the East Coast and West Coast participants would have a chance to meet. The SI still provides materials, and nowadays the conferences move to various institutions throughout the US where participants can gather and talk about all things Swedish. We asked Scott about who in North America learns Swedish, and why? “That varies. The majority are ‘heritage learners’ (i.e. people with Swedish ancestors). The others are typically interested in cultural imports like crime novels, metal music, the gaming industry, sports – especially ice hockey – and men whose girlfriends are Swedish. My favourite example goes back to the 1980s when a student was learning Swedish because her father had just won the Nobel Prize in Physics, and she wanted to be able to speak Swedish at the ceremony!” On the subject whether North Americans find Swedish difficult to learn, Scott offered the following
.... ‘They all know English’ insight: “We have introductory meetings for first-year students. One of the selling points we make about learning Swedish is that the grammar is so simple compared to Spanish or French, for example.” However, one thing the students find challenging in Swedish is the practice of putting the subject after the verb at the beginning of certain sentences (as in Sedan stannade bilen, literally “Then stopped the car”). The same goes for the suffix on nouns instead of definite articles (e.g. “cyklarna” instead of “the bikes”). According to Scott, the biggest challenge for the students is the pronunciation, what with the stj, skj, sch confusion, not to mention the vowels y, ä, ö. The interest in learning Swedish has changed over time. “I have been teaching Swedish for nearly 30 years, so I have a pretty good overview of how the interest has changed. The numbers are down from what they were 30 years ago, and I think that is largely due to the altered language requirements at our universities back in 1990. I don’t really care if you take Arabic or Swedish or whatever, but we have a global economy, like it or not. So if you learn Swedish, it helps you grow cultural confidence that you don’t have otherwise. The argument that is often used is that ‘they all know English,’ but that in my view is a terrible argument. Sure, they may know English, but that means that they have a great advantage over you, because you know nothing.”
To illustrate the point, Scott recalled that John F. Kennedy used to have Jacqueline sit in on meetings with the French, because she knew French. He didn’t want the people across the table to be able to caucus in French among themselves when the Americans couldn’t do the same thing on their own side. We wanted to explore with Scott what role Swedish Press might play in the ASTRA context. “I have spent most of my time focused on Scandinavia, and less so on Sweden in America. This is something I would like to do more of, especially in the next three years as President of ASTRA. It would be wonderful to have a resource where we can feature our Institution and things we are doing. That way your readers can be made aware that if they want to pursue Scandinavian studies or learn Swedish, they can come to us or to Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, MN, or many other institutions. I also plan to tell my colleagues at our Institution about your magazine. I think this could be to our mutual benefit, because there is a certain overlap between your readership and our audience.” Interviewed by Peter Berlin
Swedish Press | February 2020 17
H ERITAG E
Fapur, Mopir, Sun, Dottær and the Law By Peter Berlin
efore the 8th century, the peoples of Scandinavia spoke more or less the same Germanic language called Proto-Norse. During the Viking period it evolved into separate dialects known as Old West Norse and Old East Norse. The Old East Norse spoken in Sweden became known as Runic Swedish, because most of the written records from the period used runes – that angular alphabet that Vikings used to chisel into rune
stones. The runes gave way to Latin letters when Christianity took hold in Sweden. The earliest written sample in Latin script is found in the Västgötalagen, a law book written in the 13th century. Here is a taster:
Sun ær fapurs arvi. Ær eig sun. pa ær dottær. Ær eig dottær. pa ær fapir. Ær eig. fapir pa ær moper. pa ær broper. Ær eig broper. pa er. systir. Ær eig systir. pa æru sunærbörn etc.
Translated into contemporary Swedish: Son är faders arving. Finnes ej son, då är dotter. Finnes ej dotter, då är fader. Finnes ej fader, då är moder. [Finnes ej moder,] då är broder. Finnes ej broder, då är syster. Finnes ej syster, då äro sonbarn etc.
... and into English: The son inherits the father. If there is no son, then the daughter [inherits]. If there is no daughter, then the father. If there is no father, then the mother. If there is no mother, then the brother. If there is no brother, then the sister. If there is no sister, then the son’s child, etc.
For a native Swedish-speaker it is not too difficult to follow how the language evolved. Most people can just about read 13th century Swedish
Swedish Press | February 2020 18
A page out of Västgötalagen. Source: www. litteraturbanken.se
by studying a page or two in the law book, keeping a modern translation on the side. In the same century parts of Sweden joined the Hanseatic League, a forerunner of the European Union which was heavily dominated by the Germans. The Swedish language was enriched with Middle Low German vocabulary. (Example: Stadt in German became stad in Swedish.) After 1818 the language assimilated a large number of French words when one of Napoleon’s generals was headhunted to became King of Sweden. (Example: fauteuil in French became fåtölj in Swedish.) Fast forward to the mid-20th century when American English began to infiltrate the language, to the chagrin of Swedish linguistic purists who maintain that the English words have eclipsed perfectly adequate Swedish equivalents. (Example: vocabulary in English has become vokabulär in Swedish, when the Swedish word ordförråd does the same job.) Another English language influence is the habit of younger Swedes to split up written compound
H E RI TAG E nouns and adjectives into their element parts which sometimes leads to hilarious misunderstandings. Dividing up “En brunhårig sjuksköterska” (verbatim: “A brownhaired sicksister”, i.e. a nurse) yields “En brun hårig sjuk sköterska”, which will be understood as “A brown hairy sick sister”. According to +Babbel Magazine, Swedish is the second easiest foreign language for English-speakers to learn (the easiest of all is Norwegian). The reason is that many words are the same, and the grammar is not too different either. However, Swedish nouns do come in two genders which have to be learned by heart, similar to le and la in French. Another peculiarity is that the English “the” is tacked on at the end of nouns. (Example: “the car” in English becomes “bilen” in Swedish, and “the cars” becomes “bilarna”.) Then there is Swedish pronunciation. In the 1950s Scandinavians were exempted from carrying passports when travelling between Sweden, Norway and Denmark …
but not non-Scandinavians. At the ferry terminal in Malmö, incoming travellers from Copenhagen had to choose between two doorways, one marked “For Scandinavian Citizens” (i.e. no need to show a passport) and the other “For NonScandinavians” (passport required). To catch any Non-Scandics trying to sneak through without a passport, an immigration official was posted just beyond the “Scandinavian” doorway who challenged each traveller with the words “Say after me: sjutusen sjuhundra sjuttisju” (Swedish for “7777”). Only true Scandinavians pronounce this correctly. Arriving from Copenhagen, I once amused myself by affecting a foreign accent and failed the test. I was less amused after having to spend another 15 minutes in an interrogation room … By learning Swedish, do you get Norwegian and Danish thrown in for free? Well, not quite. It is true that Norwegians and Danes can understand each other without difficulty, but Swedes are different. Understanding spoken Norwegian
Comparison of the Nordic Languages. Illustration © Minna Sundberg
is manageable as long as the speaker doesn’t use one of the many dialects. Spoken Danish is another matter. I grew up in Malmö across the Strait of Öresund from Copenhagen, so I understand Danish better than many Swedes, but it can still be a struggle. One technique I have developed is that, after listening to a Danishspeaker for a few minutes, I develop a kind of mental phonetic look-up table, and from then onwards I manage to understand spoken Danish fairly well. I can do the same thing with Norwegian. But memorably, on one occasion I had dinner with Danish and Norwegian colleagues. Switching my concentration back and forth between the two languages threw my fragile look-up tables out the window. I hardly understood a word of what was said all evening. After all that, are you longing to start learning Swedish? If you want to know who else is doing it and why, please read our interview with Lars Bergman on page 14. Lycka till!
Older Västgötalagen and its appendices in Cod. Holm. B 59. Published by The Society for Västgötalitteratur by Per-Axel Wiktorsson, Part 1. Source: www.litteraturbanken.se.
Swedish Press | February 2020 19
H ERITAG E
An Estonian-Swede Who Became a Proud Canadian
By Alar Olljun
rene Gunhild (née Dyrberg) Olljum passed away on 14 October 2019 in Vancouver, BC. She was born to Lovisa and Johannes Dyrberg on a cold winter’s day on the 20th of January 1926 on Larsosgård, or Lars farmstead, in the village of Bergsby in Läänemaa province of the then-newly independent young state of Estonia. She was the second child of Lovisa and the eighth and second-to-last child of Johannes, whose first wife Eva had died giving birth to a still-born child just a few years earlier. Bergsby at that time was a Swedish-speaking community, part of Aiboland or the part of Estonia (northwest coastal communities and adjacent islands) inhabited by Swedes, possibly descendants of Vikings, for more than seven centuries. Even if they were relatively poor in a material sense, for the most part dependent on fishing, forestry and subsistence agriculture, the Swedish minority in Estonia was culturally vibrant and
Irene’s highschool class in Hapsal (Svensk avdelning) where she needed to board starting at age 12 .
Swedish Press | February 2020 20
Irene Gunhild Olljum January 20, 1926 – October 14, 2019 resilient, fiercely defending their status as free peasants in the face of repeated attempts by some of the landed Baltic-German nobility to enserf them. Irene was fortunate enough to grow up in free and independent Estonia, the first country in the world to adopt an official policy of multiculturalism, guaranteeing the linguistic and civil rights of all minorities. She attended Swedishlanguage elementary schools near her home and then the Swedish Gymnasium or High School in the provincial capital of Haapsalu. It was there she had her first sustained exposure to the Estonian language, and it was also there she took her first steps to an independent life. In Haapsalu in the fall of 1939, Irene witnessed first-hand the influx of Soviet Red Army forces after the
Estonian government caved in to Stalin’s ultimatum to allow for the establishment on its territory of Soviet bases, part of the arrangement agreed between Stalin and Hitler to divide up Europe between themselves. Sadly, it was the Estonian Swedes who were among the first victims of this pact, being forced to evacuate several islands that they had inhabited for countless generations to make way for the Soviet bases. Irene was one of the last to graduate from her school before she and her remaining family members were evacuated to Sweden on board the M/S “Juhan” on 13 July 1944. Some years later, at a friend’s birthday party, she met a handsome young Estonian war-refugee by the name of Rudof (‘Rudi’) Olljum. Despite her father’s initial misgivings, the two
The newlywed couple (Irene and Rudi) on the ship “Gripsholm” in 1951.
H E RI TAG E were officially engaged in 1949 and finally married in St. Jacob’s Church in downtown Stockholm on a sunny spring day on 27 May 1950. Less than a year later, the newlyweds were once again on the move, this time to forge a new life in Canada. Rudy soon embarked on a new career in BC as a home-builder, eventually constructing whole new sub-divisions in Burnaby and thereby winning the privilege to name the resulting new streets after places real and mythological from his beloved homeland, e.g. Tallinn Avenue and Taralawn Court. In the meantime, Irene got an accounting job at Empire Motors, then a large Ford dealership on Burrard Street. By then the new Canadian couple evidently felt secure enough to begin making their own family, with Irene giving birth to Lilian in April of 1956. Irene continued working at her day-job until my birth in October of 1959, after which she started up her own private practice as accountant, working from home. In 1965, Irene established her own accounting office at the new family home that Rudy had in the meantime built at 6850 Oak Street. Even if Irene considered herself first and foremost a Swede, she was proud to be Estonian and also very much a proud Canadian. She never saw any contradiction between these identities; for her they were fully complementary. Irene’s contributions to the promotion of Swedish cultural heritage in Canada have been impressive. She was a founder and teacher in the 1960s of the weekly Swedish school. She served in various functions of the Swedish Cultural Society through many years, including a stint as its President. She was the initiator and main organiser over
many years of the annual Swedish Lucia grand pageant that, at its height in the 1970s, saw hundreds of attendees gather yearly in the big ballroom of the Bayshore Inn to witness this magical event. In the mid-1980s she was the initiator and convenor of the “Swedish Coordinating Committee” that involved all Swedish-related organisations in preparation for Swedish participation at Expo ’86. When Sweden finally chose not to participate at Expo, the committee instead organised a Scandinavian Festival at Vanier Park the same year and in 1988 helped to host a very successful visit to BC of the King and Queen of Sweden. This “coordinating committee” later evolved into what is now known as the Sweden House Society, having successfully leveraged proceeds from the sale of the old Swedish Hall on Hastings Street as well as various fundraising events to finance the creation of the Scandinavian Centre in Burnaby. Irene’s manifold contributions to promoting the Swedish language and cultural heritage in Canada were officially recognised and honoured already in 1991 when she became,
after the decision of the King of Sweden, only the third Canadian and the first-ever BC recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of the Polar Star of Sweden. The importance of Irene’s contributions to preserving and promoting Estonian and Swedish cultural heritage in BC was officially recognised by the BC government by its Order in Council 1721 of 23 November 1989, appointing her as a member of the BC Advisory Committee on Cultural Heritage. As already mentioned, Irene’s professional career as an accountant started in Vancouver in the early 1950s. By the mid-1970s Irene decided she wanted an official accreditation and so she went back to school, graduating in 1977 – still young at heart at the age of 51 – as a CGA or Certified General Accountant. After many years of serving as a senior member of the CGA, it was on St. John’s day, 24 June 2015, at the age of 89, that Irene received a certificate that she could now sign her name as CPA or Chartered Professional Accountant! Besides her volunteer work as treasurer for various community organisations over the years, Irene was also well-known as a highly competent and astute tax advisor, often working for free or trading her service in kind for barter, the latter keeping her family well-supplied with home-baked sourdough black rye bread, smoked wild sockeye salmon and other delicacies. Of course, she was the financial brains behind Olljum Construction Limited whose management passed relatively recently to the next generation, as my sister took increasing responsibility for running the family business, but always under the “eagle eye” of our mother, of course!
Swedish Press | February 2020 21
2020 Decorator and designer Maria Löw told Expressen’s Leva&Bo magazine to be on the lookout for five interior design possibilities that might become big trends in 2020. Starting with earthy colors and tones, Löw suggests choosing warmer colors, such as light brown and beige with elements of pastel and classic blue. Round shapes such as vaults and arches are also on trend. Sustainability through the use of classic and vintage furniture will most likely become popular. Next on the list is playful and eclectic styles with inspiration from the 70’s and 80’s – think big green plants and applications that you yourself have repaired or patched. Löw also suspects that Manchester furniture and pillows will be fashionable this year.
200,000 Swedish hit musical “As in Heaven” by Kay Pollak, Carin Pollak and Fredrik Kämpe, with approximately 200,000 tickets sold, is back at the Oscarsteatern in Stockholm between January and March. Performances continue at The Theatre, Gothia Towers, in Gothenburg between May and
Swedish Press | February 2020 22
Marabou Havssalt combines Marabou’s traditional smooth milk chocolate with a hint of salt, said to enhance the sweetness of the chocolate bar. Perfect for a loved one (or yourself ) on Valentine’s!
June. The powerful “As in Heaven” ensemble includes artists Philip Jalmelid, Malena Ernman and Tuva B Larsen. This is said to be the absolute last season of the show, so seize the opportunity! Tickets can be bought at www.showtic.se.
29.50 Many European cheeses have been blacklisted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) because of negative effects in the following areas: climate, biodiversity, chemical pesticides, animal welfare, and antibiotics. Swedish hard cheese and the Swedish variant of halloumi did, however, receive the green light. Red-labeled cheeses included hard cheese and salad cheese from Denmark and Germany, halloumi from Cyprus, mozzarella from Italy, and feta from Greece. ICA’s Swedish alternative to halloumi can be found in stores for 29.50 SEK.
279 New year, new challenges! “Snusfri – vägen till lyckan i en snusfri vardag” by Anders Åkerman was written for those who wish to kick the habit of using snuff, while having fun doing so. Åkerman’s book is based on research in health, lifestyle and cognitive behavioral therapy. The author offers hands-on tips, inspirational advice and fun anecdotes. Åkerman’s main goal is for people to have fun while on the road to a snuff-free life. A healthy New Year’s gift for yourself or someone close to you. Price at Akademibokhandeln is SEK 279.
11 Chocolate lovers take note: “Marabou Havssalt” arrives on January 11 in the huge selection of sweets at Swedish video store chain Hemmakväll.
4 Good news for Swedish vegans! Scandinavian dairy brand Carlshamn Mejeri’s new spread “Fyra frön” (Four Seeds) is made from vegetable oils and roasted sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds. The spread is not only delicious on sandwiches, but works in cooking and baking as well. If you like seeds, this spread is for you.
14 February 14 is Valentine’s Day! The event, named after Saint Valentine, first became popular in Sweden during the 1960s. Celebrations, however, first took off around the 1990s when Valentine’s Day earned its place as a theme day in the Swedish calendar, and schools started paying great attention to the love-filled occasion. Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by most Swedish couples and is advertised by most stores.
[Lifestyle] Book The Darker Side of Swedish Immigration By Peter Berlin
ever judge a book by the first chapter. When I first started reading this novel, I thought it was just another predictable story about Swedish immigrants in the style of Wilhelm Moberg’s epic novels on the same subject. The Klar family, consisting of husband, wife and three children, decides to leave their untenable situation in Sweden and start a new life in America. The year is 1897. Their journey across the Atlantic in the bowels of a steamship is a nightmare characterized by overcrowding, seasickness and bad food. They arrive exhausted in New York with no knowledge of English and very little money. Work is difficult to find in the big, noisy city, so they take the train to Minnesota in a renewed attempt to improve their lot.
Swede Hollow (Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society)
In Ola Larsmo’s novel, the Klar family joins other Swedish immigrants in Saint Paul, MN. In a shantytown lining the slopes of a ravine called Swede Hollow, the Swedish
settlers live alongside close-knit Irish and Italian communities, but there is minimal interaction between them due to cultural, religious and language barriers. From here onwards the story takes off, and I found it difficult to put the book down. The men hire on as poorly paid day laborers, while the women clean houses, work at laundries or sew clothing in stifling factories. The Klars endure hardships, indignities, accidents and death, but also experience loyalty, kindness and moments of joy. This haunting story of plausible characters in a real place echoes the huge challenges of immigration in the 20th century, and even today. Due to their lack of education and marketable skills, the Klars are doomed to remain poor. Over time, poverty becomes almost a virtue. When one of the Klar daughters marries a lawyer and joins the middle
class, it only leads to mutual embarrassment and alienation within the family. The story spans the period from 1897 to 2007. By the early 1930s many of the older settlers had died, and the younger ones moved to other neighborhoods. In 1956 the Saint Paul authorities deemed the shantytown in Swede Hollow to be so unsanitary that they had it burned down. After the demolition, the area became a dumping ground and gathering place for the homeless. In the 1970s the ravine was cleaned up, and it was designated a nature center in 1976. Nowadays it a recreation area known as Swede Hollow Park. Ola Larsmo is a prize-winning critic and columnist for Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter. He is the author of nine novels, as well as collections of short stories and essays. The Swede Hollow story is extensively researched and beautifully written. It was first published in Swedish in 2016. The English translation by Tiina Nunnally was released in October 2019 and can be pre-ordered at www.amazon.com.
Swede Hollow by Ola Larsmo. University of Minnesota (2019). ISBN 978-1-5179-0451-7. Photo: Christine Olsson
Swedish Press | February 2020 23
It’s a Grand Celebration of the 30th Icehotel
By Kristi Robinson
here’s one in Canada, Norway, Finland, Romania, and even in Andorra high up in the Pyrenées, but Sweden’s Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi was the first in the world, and this year marks its 30th birthday. Of the fifteen teams of designers selected for their skill and artistry, many of them chose to celebrate the occasion through their designs. Some are whimsical, some heartfelt.
‘Torneland’ Icebar by Luc Voisin & Mathieu Brison of France celebrates the Icehotel’s 30th birthday.
Almost as long as the Icehotel has been around there have been some features integral to the whole experience. The Icebar, a popular spot for socializing and enjoying a chilled drink from a glass of ice is certainly one of them. The bar’s designers, veterans Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison of France, describe their creation ‘Torneland’ as a fairground on the rocks that celebrates the 30th birthday in grand style. The bar is decked out with a rollercoaster, ferris wheel, unicorn carousel, and hot air balloon, all carved out of
Swedish Press | February 2020 24
The ‘Ginko’ Ceremony hall by Johan & Nina Kauppi symbolizes love and longevity.
crystal clear ice harvested from the Torne River. Another regular feature of the Icehotel is the Ceremony Hall. The hall sees about eighty weddings each year. It also hosts vow renewals and blessing ceremonies. Established Swedish designers Johan and Nina Kauppi created this year’s Ceremony Hall named ‘Ginko’. The incorporation of the ginko, the oldest living tree species, is a symbol of longevity, and represents strength and hope. Its heart-shaped leaves embody peace and eternal love. Thirty little lights in the arched ceiling signify stars in the sky, one for each Icehotel. Some of the artists for the guest suites also joined in on the celebration. Jonathan and Marnie Green from the UK, who carved an enchanted underwater seascape last year,
‘A Night at the Theatre’ by Brits Jonathan & Marnie Green invites guests to be a part of the legacy.
returned to honour the anniversary. ‘A Night at the Theatre’ room sculpted by this father/daughter duo was inspired by London’s West End theatre district. The room is dressed with snowy theatre curtains. At one end of the suite is a row of seating, ready for the audience to enjoy the grand show. On the opposite end is the stage, celebrating thirty years of ice adventures. Also returning artists Marjolein Vonk of the Netherlands and Maurizio Perron from Italy had a fun take on the birthday celebration with their suite ‘The Day After’. As the story goes the Icehotel had a big 30th
‘The Day After’ by Marjolein Vonk of the Netherlands & Maurizio Perron from Italy tells a tale of a wild party.
birthday party. The next morning the ice chandelier was found crashed to the ground, and a cork was stuck in the ceiling. Aside from these remnants of a rowdy party, no one really knows what happened. The room pays tribute to all the crazy ideas that came out of late night parties at the hotel, and the people who dared to dream with boundless imagination to make the Icehotel the most iconic and renowned ice hotel in the world. All photos © Asaf Kliger/Icehotel
Forget the Pans, Sell Your Crackers!
à la Birgitta Durell
By Birgitta Durell www.cultcrackers.com
first met my friend and business partner Dianna at our kids’ school. At the time, I was a distributor for my family’s Swedish cookware company, and Dianna was the Editorial Director for a global ecommerce lifestyle brand. We share a love of good food, good cooking and really good crackers. Our story begins with the homemade Swedish crackers I would bring to trade shows to help sell my cookware. People would say, “forget the pans, sell your crackers.” Dianna, who is a professionally trained cook, and I tweaked and refined the recipe, found a commercial gluten-free kitchen, and Cult Crackers was in business. What makes Cult Crackers taste so good is that we bring good-for-you ingredients together with great flavor and crunch. We call it crunchy
goodness. We bake at the Berkeley Kitchens, a wonderful community of small food producers in Berkeley, California. Growing up in Sweden I took “knäckebröd” for granted. Most crackers in Sweden are based on rye flour, but during the last decade more flavors as well as different flours have appeared on the shelves. Many Swedes make crackers at home; as a matter of fact it has
become quite trendy to bake your own crackers. Or they buy them in bakeries or in regular grocery stores where there sometimes are 2 – 3 aisles with scores of different cracker varieties. Here is a recipe for a corn cracker. It’s delicious and quite healthy. You can enjoy it as your morning or afternoon fika. You can also pair it with anything from pickled herring to lingonberry jam and goat cheese – or simply avocado, sea salt and Aleppo pepper. PS: Read all about Birgitta, her business partner Dianna and their company Cult Crackers in the upcoming March issue of Swedish Press!
Swedish Seeded Corn Crackers Ingredients: • 1 cup of cornflour • ½ cup of sunflower seeds • ¼ cup of sesame seeds • ¼ cup of flaxseed • 2 tbsp of chia seeds • 1 dash of sea salt • ¼ cup olive oil • 1 cup of boiling hot filtered water
Preparation: Turn on the oven to 300 F. Prepare the sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicon sheet. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the oil to the water and mix well. Add the oil and water mix to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread out the dough evenly with a spatula. You can also try placing another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and use a rolling pin to even out the dough. Add some fancy flake salt on top of the dough. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 60 minutes. Take out the crackers and break into pieces. Another option is to take out the sheet pan after 5 minutes and cut into the square size you prefer, and then stick back the sheet pan in the oven for another 55 minutes.
Swedish Press | February 2020 25
Road to 2045
Road to 2045
Learning from Sweden’s Climate Targets
areas. Hence, ecolabelling established a direct link between public awareness and industry.
By Jakob Lagercrantz
n June 2017 Sweden adopted the most far-reaching climate target for the transport sector in the world. Parliament committed to a 70 percent reduction of CO2 by 2030 compared to 2010. This is yet another area where Sweden has put its foot down with a bold climate-saving initiative. As more and more countries are setting ambitious targets, we need to learn from the good examples. Let’s look at Sweden.
Wind turbine in the midst of yellow rapeseed fields in Skåne. Photo: Jerker Andersson/imagebank.sweden.se
Maybe not the most exiting feature, but Sweden’s Environmental Protection Agency was formed already in the late 1960’s. It received a strong boost by the first UN Conference on Environment and Development that took place in Stockholm in 1972. A clear structure and a consistent improvement of legislation is the backdrop we need. It was strengthened by the joint effort by politicians and industry to dispense with imported petroleum in the aftermath of the 1974 oil crises.
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The climate discussion intensifies
An old-growth forest in Norra Kvill National Park, a small national park near Vimmerby in Småland Photo: Sven Persson/IBL
Sixty-eight percent of the Swedish territory is covered by forests. There are almost 100,000 lakes, and many generations of Swedes have learned to love nature. During the 1960’s, acid rain from the industries in Europe affected primarily the west coast of Sweden. This resulted in clear but biologically dead lakes, and the sight caused alarm among the general public. So with awareness and a structure, the foundation had been laid for environmental development. But for a long time it remained an issue mostly for the public and political sectors.
The second assessment report of the UN Climate Panel in 1996 suggested that human activities had an impact on the climate. Since then the development has accelerated, and we have seen more ambitious industrial and socio-economic targets. In 2013 the Swedish government ordered a public review into decarbonizing the transport sector – traditionally the most difficult sector. During the review a conscious effort was made to involve all sectors of society. The report was widely accepted and led to a political settlement in 2017 supported by seven of the eight parties in Parliament. This is where Sweden excels: Cooperation between all sectors and between different actors in society, along with long term visions and concrete goals.
Ecolabelling communicates sustainability
In 1988, industrial environmental development started, initially as an intensive media debate on effluents from the pulp industry. Later in the year a canine virus marked the seal populations along the Swedish coasts, and dead seals started to float up on Swedish shores. This created an outcry from the general public, and at that moment the Swedish Nature Conservation Society launched ecolabelling on laundry detergent and paper. Today the system covers 11 product
The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is a world-leading ecolabel with high awareness and credibility. Photo: Svanen.se
The Swedish 2030-secretariat was formed to support the decarbonization of the transport sector in Sweden. The secretariat is independent from political parties and technical solutions.
Swedish Press Connects
Svenskar i Världen
Brain circulation för ökad internationell kompetens
tt säkra inhemsk kompetensförsörjning borde vara högsta prioritet hos alla företag och länder. USA, Kina, Frankrike, Israel och Irland är några av de länder som framgångsrikt har fokuserat på så kallad brain circulation genom att medvetet stimulera och stödja utflyttande medborgare och sedan aktivt locka tillbaka dem. Svenska bolag och samhället i stort brottas istället med så kallad brain-drain, genom att färre svenskar flyttar ut för att skaffa sig internationell erfarenhet, och dessutom väljer alltför många av dem som faktiskt flyttar ut att inte flytta tillbaka. Konsekvensen blir en växande brist på svenskar med internationell kompetens. Dubbla karriärer Utmaningen med att få ut nyckelpersoner på internationella uppdrag är bland annat ett resultat av Sveriges så framgångsrika arbete med jämställdhet – dubbla karriärer i familjen är idag mer regel än undantag. Med tanke på att den internationella kompetensen är en förutsättning för bolagen att säkerställa sin konkurrenskraft, har bolagen mycket att vinna på att uppmuntra och stödja de medföljande så att medarbetaren kan ta sig an det internationella uppdraget. Även medarbetaren har att vinna på bolagens engagemang eftersom den internationella erfarenheten ofta är en förutsättning för vidare karriär inom bolaget. Ur ett nationalekonomiskt perspektiv är den internationella kompetensen som tillförs landet en grundsten för att fortsätta bygga ett konkurrenskraftigt Sverige i en global kontext. Stöd till medföljande Som ett led i att öka svensk brain circulation hjälper organisationen Svenskar i Världen, SVIV, sina företagspartners genom att erbjuda stöd åt företagens medföljande. Genom SVIV:s program får de medföljande ett eget syfte och nätverk under utlandsposteringen med möjlighet att på frivillig basis arbeta med projekt inom exempelvis kommunikation och påverkansarbete. När flyttlasset går hem igen erbjuds de stöd tillbaka till den svenska arbetsmarknaden genom kontakt med
rekryteringsbyrån Novare. Väl hemma kan de medföljande fortsätta arbeta volontärt för Svenskar i Världen i väntan på ett jobb. Stress att vara ifrån arbetsmarknaden Svenskar i Världens generalsekreterare Cecilia Borglin var själv medföljande några år i Australien. Hon berättar att det inte var helt självklart att säga upp sig och sätta sin egen karriär på paus. ”När min man och jag Cecilia Borglin. Foto: Bengt Säll diskuterade möjligheten att bo några år i Sydney förstod jag omedelbart att det skulle gynna hans karriär, men att min egen skulle sättas på paus. I vårt fall åkte vi hem ett år tidigare, eftersom jag kände en stress över att vara ifrån arbetsmarknaden.” Förutom att ansvaret för barnen, med allt vad det innebär, läggs på den medföljande är det inte alltid givet att den medföljande får arbetstillstånd. ”Hade jag fått erbjudandet om att engagera mig som representant för SVIV och därmed hållit igång mitt CV, för att inte tala om möjligheten att få kontakt med Novare, hade jag känt mig mycket lugnare inför utflytten och vi hade nog stannat hela den tänkta perioden. Som det blev nu så gissar jag att min mans företag inte direkt jublade över det tidiga uppbrottet”, avslutar Cecilia Borglin. Fakta: Svenskar i Världen, SVIV, är en ideell organisation som sedan 1938 arbetar för att stödja svenskar som flyttar utomlands, bor utomlands eller flyttar hem. Organisationen är även utlandssvenskarnas röst i Sverige genom att vara remissinstans och bedriva opinionsbildning till nytta för de 660 000 svenskar som arbetar, studerar och bor utomlands. @svenskarivarlden (Instagram och Facebook) Summary in English: “Brain drain” is a problem for Swedish industry, since many Swedes who move abroad to enrich their professional experience opt not to return to Sweden. Another problem is that accompanying spouses/ partners often have to sacrifice their own careers in Sweden. SVIV provides support to accompanying spouses in order to facilitate their professional skills, both abroad and when returning to Sweden.
Swedish Press | February 2020 27
Calendar & Events
A guide to fun and interesting Swedish events outside Sweden
CHICAGO Swedish American Museum 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640 Tel: 773-728 8111 | email@example.com www.swedishamericanmuseum.org Ongoing through March 1 – Exhibition: Natural Scenics – Photograper Jack Carlson’s exhibit “Natural Scenics” are from his travels around this country, throughout the world and his own yard. Feb 6 – Thurs 6 pm: Sámi National Day – “Scandinavia’s Indigenous People: The Sámi and Their Cultural Representations in Literature, Music and Handicrafts” – Talk by Dr. Charles Peterson Feb 22 – Sat 10 am to 12 noon: Genealogy Session – “What’s New in Arkiv Digital” presented by Kathy Meade. Feb 25 – Tues 11 am to 3:30 pm: Semlor Pop-up Cafe. DETROIT Swedish Club of Southeast Michigan 22398 Ruth St, Farmington Hills, MI 48336 Info: 734-459 0596 www.swedishclub.net Feb 2 – Sun 1 to 2:30 pm: Buffet MINNEAPOLIS American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55407 Tel: 612-871 4907 | www.asimn.org Ongoing through March 22 – Frederick D. Somers: Borders & Betweens – This exhibition is a retrospective of the work of Minnesota-based artist Frederick D. Somers. Feb 14-16 – Fri to Sun: ASI Midwinter Folk Music Festival – a weekend full of concerts, workshops and drop-in musical opportunities. Feb 29-Jul 5 – Exhibition: extra/ordinary – Discover never-before-displayed artifacts from the American Swedish Institute's collection and the untold stories that make them truly extraordinary in this playful new exhibition at ASI. PHILADEPHIA American Swedish Historical Museum 1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19145 | Tel: 215-389 1776 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.americanswedish.org Ongoing – Exhibition: New Nordic Cuisine will be on display through August 2020. 8
Swedish Press | February 2020 28
This is the defining exhibition on one of the most important cultural phenomena to come out of the Nordic countries in recent decades. It focuses on a value-driven food system that has captured the attention of world-famous chefs and home cooks alike over the past 15 years. Feb 8 – Sat 11 am to 2 pm: Semlor & a Movie Feb 13 – Thurs 7 to 9 pm: Special Collection Tour – Peasants & Presidents: Folk Art and Political Portraiture. Feb 29 – Sat 6 pm: A Nordic Tasting Menu: An Evening with Chef Frida Johansson & JAM Catering. PORTLAND Nordic Northwest Nordia House, 8800 SW Oleson Rd., Portland, OR 97223 | Tel: 503-977 0275 www.nordicnorthwest.org Ongoing through May 2020 – Exhibition, “Mind The Earth,” uses satellite imagery to share new vantage points about the global climate crisis. The exhibition focuses on challenges and international best practices to provoke action at all levels of society regarding the way we use our planet’s shared and finite resources. Feb 22 – Sat 4 to 6 pm: Festelavn – Celebrate the Carnival season in the Nordic fashion with this family-friendly afternoon event. SEATTLE Swedish Cultural Center 1920 Dexter Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98109 Tel: 206-283 1090 | www.swedishclubnw.org email@example.com Feb 2 – Sun 8 am to 1 pm: Swedish Pancakes. Music and dancing, plus authentic Swedish pancakes, ham, lingonberries, coffee and orange juice. Music by Skandia Kapell, Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag and Tinn Felen. Feb 27 – Thurs: Swedish Club Seattle Annual Meeting – New and current members are welcomes. Nordic Museum 2655 NW Market Street, Seattle, WA 98107 Tel: 206-789 5707 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.nordicmuseum.org 18
Feb 28-Mar 1 – Fri to Sun: Nordic Lights Film Festival. All films are screened at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood. VANCOUVER Scandinavian Community Centre 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby, BC V5B 4P9 Tel: 604-294 2777 | email@example.com www.scancentre.org Feb 1 – Sat 1 to 9 pm: Sámi Celebration – Doors open at 12:30 and Opening Ceremony at 1pm. Talks, films, displays, Lavvu (tent) and dinner. Contatc Carolyn Thauberger firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Feb 8 – Sat: 2010 Olympics Anniversary Celebration. For more information please contact: Karina – email@example.com or Kristiina – firstname.lastname@example.org Feb 11 – Tues 7 pm: Swedish Cultural Society Annual General Meeting. Feb 21 – Fri 6:30 pm: Swedish Cultural Society Meet & Greet. Food will be served and it will be a cost of $10 cash. Music and games are there as well. WINNIPEG Swedish Cultural Assn of Manitoba 764 Erin Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 2W4 | Tel: 204-774 8047 | Reservations at: email@example.com Feb 7 – Fri 11:30 am to 1 pm: Svensk lunch; Enjoy traditional open-faced sandwiches, homemade soup, dessert and coffee with fellow members and friends. Feb 9 – Sun 10:30 am to 1 pm: Swedish Sunday Brunch; Bring your family and friends for a delicious brunch; celebrate a birthday or special event. Let us know what the occasion is so we can help make it special for you! Tickets $16.00 adults; $8.00 Children (8-12) 7 under free. Feb 9 and March 9 – Full Moon Cross Country Skiing at Kildonan Park; Join us for a fun skiing adventure under the beautiful full moonlit skies! Please register as above for further information; Event is dependent upon the weather. Feb 20 – Thurs 7 pm: Fika Night with Semlor Buns; Enjoy these delicious traditional “Swedish Fat Tuesday Buns” along with coffee and fellowship. 28
[Ads] and Info Swedish Press Classified Alberta Organizations Svenska Skolan i Calgary bedriver undervisning för barn 3-15 år gamla på lördagar kl 9:30-12. Alla barn är välkomna. Undervisningen sker på svenska. Kontakta Svenska Skolan genom Scandinavian center 403-284-2610 eller skicka epost till firstname.lastname@example.org. Läs mer om vår skola på www.swedishschool.com BC Organizations Scandinavian Business Club Monthly meetings feature business speakers. Guests and new members welcome. Call SBC: 604-484-8238. Visit us at www.sbc-bc.ca Scandinavian Community Centre Scandinavian Community Centre Beautiful setting for weddings, parties, birthdays, meetings and seminars. 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby, BC email@example.com 604-294-2777 www.scancentre.org Svenska Kulturföreningen Ordförande Ellen Petersson 604-970-8708. Kassör är Linda
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Olofsson, 604-418-7703 www.swedishculturalsociety.ca. Email: swedishculturalsociety.ca@ gmail.com Sweden House Society President: Rebecca Keckman Vice President: Dorothy Carlson Treasurer: Carole Walkinshaw, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Swedish Canadian Village Beautiful Assisted Living Residence & Senior Subsidized Apartment Buildings Located in Burnaby, BC. Ph# 604-420-1124 Fax# 604-4201175 www.swedishcanadian.ca
Washington Organizations Nordic Museum has moved to a beautiful, brand-new building! In Seattle, 2655 N.W. Market St., Ballard; 206-789-5707. Swedish Club 1920 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109; Tel: 206-283-1090. Open Wednesday evenings for supper and games, Friday for lunch and dinner. Pancake breakfasts on first Sundays of the month. Rental venue for meeting, parties, etc. www.swedishclubnw.org Advertising Sales Reps wanted Swedish Press is looking for full or part-time advertising sales representatives. E-mail email@example.com for more information.
Swedish Club of Victoria Dinners, Events and Meetings, for information contact Annabelle Beresford @ 250-656-9586 or Swedish Club of Victoria Facebook.
Antique bonad woven Swedish tapestry. Fine wool. Excellent condition 55.5”L x 25.5”W $120 CAD plus shipping. Details & photos: Monica firstname.lastname@example.org
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Släkthistorien som avslöjade en ohygglig händelse En släkthistoria Av Maria Bouroncle
En God Jul med klingande bjällror vid facklornas sken, I en doft av granskog och snö, i skimrande Julmorgons stjärnors sken få vardagstankarna dö.
ulen 1925. En mor skriver till sin dotter Elsa. Vädjar att hon ska komma hem till Sverige. Till sin far som blivit allvarligt sjuk. Jag håller kuvertet med det tummade julkortet i min hand, jämför adressen med namnet på den gröna gatuskylten framför mig. Det var alltså här Elsa bodde, tänker jag och går fram till den pampiga porten. Det röda trevåningshuset i tegel på 7716, Eastlake Terrace är byggt 1910. Endast de nya, stora fönstren vittnar om att tiden nu är en annan.
Porträtt av Elsa Andersson.
Det är sommaren 2018. Jag bor sedan sexton år tillbaka i Washington DC men reser ofta över Atlanten för att forska i min svenska släkthistoria som har visat sig rymma en ohygglig
Swedish Press | February 2020 30
händelse, och som förtigits i flera generationer. Jag letar som besatt i arkiven för att fylla luckorna och känner att jag måste få ned berättelsen på papper. Berättelsen om min mormors syster Ingeborg. Jag flyger till Chicago för att ta reda på mer om Elsa, Ingeborgs svägerska. Det är mitt första besök i staden, och en kylig bris blåser in från sjön fast det fortfarande är mitt i sommaren. Efter ett besök på Harold Washington Library tar jag pendeltåget till Rogers Park. Fyrtiofem minuter senare kliver jag av i ett lugnt, lummigt bostadsområde. I början av förra seklet bodde det fler svenskar i Chicago än i Göteborg, och många av dem slog sig ned i förorterna norr om staden. Här, på andra våningen med utsikt över Lake Michigan, bodde också Elsa. En modern kvinna i en modern lägenhet. En svensk bondflicka som spelade piano och i unga år följde med sin morbror västerut för att söka lyckan i det nya landet. Elsa tog båten över Atlanten den där julen 1925. Men resan är lång. Den 5 januari 1926 dör hennes far, 76 år gammal, och hon hinner inte fram i
tid. Elsa och hennes två bröder, Artur och Holger, ordnar med begravningen. På föräldragården bor även min mormors syster Ingeborg som är gift med Artur, och deras två små barn som snart ska bli tre. Elsa är fast besluten att flytta tillbaka till Chicago så snart hennes mor kommit över sorgen. Men tiden går. Och en ny tragedi hinner emellan. Tre år efter faderns död, en kall påskmorgon 1929, dränker Ingeborg sina tre barn i en kopparkittel i köket. Elsas brorsbarn, Tor, Efraim och lilla Lucia, blir bara fem, tre och ett år gamla. När Ingeborg förs bort av landsfiskalen samma dag, blir Elsa den enda arbetsföra kvinnan kvar på gården. Modern vädjar återigen till sin dotter. Att stanna. Och Elsa stannar. Ända till sin död 1995. Elsa återvänder aldrig till Chicago fast hon blir nästan 100 år gammal.
Maria Bouroncle. Fotograf: Kristina W Smith Maria Bouroncle, född 1965 i Göteborg, är efter en lång karriär med internationellt biståndsarbete i Helsingfors, Köpenhamn och Washington DC tillbaka i sin hemstad som författare på heltid. “Det kom för mig i en hast: Historien om barnamörderskan Ingeborg Andersson” är hennes debut.
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Swedish Press is the world’s leading magazine on all good things Swedish. An authority on design, business, culture and travel since 1929, S...
Published on Jan 18, 2020
Swedish Press is the world’s leading magazine on all good things Swedish. An authority on design, business, culture and travel since 1929, S...