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Swedish Press N Y A



Swedes in the Golden Gate City


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November 2019 Vol 90:09 $5.95

09 2019

Orienteering Interview with Barbro Osher Greta Thunberg Optibag

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Saturday Dec 14th, 1 pm & 6 pm at the Scandinavian Centre

Svenska Kulturföreningen Swedish Cultural Society SwedishCulturalSociety.ca Scandinavian centre, 6540 Thomas St, Burnaby, BC

Scandinavain Smörgåsbord Music and Dancing December 7th, 2019 www.sbc-bc.ca

Tickets $75, early bird $10 discount, if paid before November 15th, 2019 ALL ARE WELCOME!

1:e December 2:e December 2018 kl 18:00 2019 kl 18:00 18:00 i Danska Kyrkan i Danska Kyrkan Danska Kyrkan 2:e December 2018 6010 Kincaid Avenue 6010 Burnaby Kincaid kl 18:00Avenue BC Kincaid Avenue i Danska Kyrkan Burnaby BC Burnaby BC 6010 Kincaid Avenue

MycketBurnaby sang och BCmusik, samt predikan. Mycket sang och sang och musik, musik, Adventskaffe serveras samt predikan. predikan. Mycket och musik, efter sang gudstjansten. Adventskaffe serveras Adventskaffe serveras samt predikan. efter efter gudstjansten. gudstjansten. Adventskaffe serveras efter gudstjansten.

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 info@swedishpress.com TEL +1 360 450 5858 TOLL FREE +1 866 882 0088 PUBLISHER Claes Fredriksson Claes@swedishpress.com EDITOR Peter Berlin Peter@swedishpress.com





4 Letters to the Editor 5 From the Editor’s Desk Swedish Headlines 6 Headline News 7 Swedes in the News 8 Landskapsnyheterna Business 9 Business News 10 Company File – Envac Optibag AB Heritage 11 Svenska Kyrkan i San Francisco – där mycket känns som hemma

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Lifestyle 20 Top Sju 21 Film: I Saw A Illustration from Øyvind Film Sagåsen’s popular comic Radio Gaga. Photo © 22 An Insider Øyvind Sagåsen Look at Swedish Culture – Vad tycker vi svenskar om Greta Thunberg egentligen? Hemma Hos 24 Design: A Celebration of Comics – Gothenburg Comics Festival 25 Treats à la Michaela Swedish Press Connects 26 SCA – Swedish Council of America Road to Community 27 Changes to Migrant’s Accommodation in Sweden In the Loop 28 Calendar & Events

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CONTENTS ( November 2019 )

ART DIRECTOR Joan Law Joan@swedishpress.com

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Swedish Press

29 Ads and Info The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo: Ekaterina Pokrovsky

Feature 12 Om svenskheten i San Francisco Bay Area Interview 14 Consul General Barbro Osher – We Nordics Are More Alike the Further Away We Are from Home Heritage 16 Hittade släkt längst upp i norra Kanada 18 Orienteering – a Swedish-born Centenarian

30 Sista Ordet Charles Holmes, a Swedish American Poet of 40 Years Cover images: 1. Golden Gate Bridge. Photo: Simon Dann1 hauer | 2. Cable car. 4 5 Photo: SFMTA Photo Archive | 3. Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. 7 6 Photo: Maciej Błędowski 4. The San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. Photo: Nader Khouri/San Francisco Travel Association | 5. Fisherman’s Wharf . Photo: Brian Kinney | 6. La Cultura Contiene la Semilla de Resistencia que Resplendor (Culture Contains the Seed of Resistance that Blossom) at Balmy Alley off 24th Street. Artist: Miranda Bergman | 7. San Francisco skyline with famous Painted Ladies, Victorian homes at Alamo Square.




Swedish Press | November 2019 3

Letters to the Editor received comments from historians in Sweden as well as Canada. Now I must bear down on the academic article. I appreciate your interest and patience. Tack så mycket! Dr Frank Leonard Department of History, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Enjoy reading Swedish Press? Email us your pictures along with your name and comments to info@swedishpress.com and we’ll be happy to publish them. Hi Joan: Among my parents’ things (both Swedish) I found a deck of cards, and wonder if anyone knows the game played with them. There are six diamonds and six clubs, numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, Queen; seven hearts, numbers 3, 5, 7, 9, Jack, King, Ace, and twentynine spades, numbers 5, 7, twenty-four 8s, 9, J, K. The writing on the box is Fox Lake Playing Cards, Haines House of Cards, Norwood, Ohio. I would be very glad to know what game my parents played with them, so please help! My e-mail is pebarr@tbaytel.net Elinor Barr Thunder Bay, Ontario Hi Joan, I am so happy and proud of Swedish Press celebrating your, “90 Years Anniversary” publication! What a feat! Bravo to your dedicated staff and countless of contributors. I have spread the good news with my international friends especially from Mumbai. When convenient it would be wonderful to have a digital copy of this 90th Anniversary edition, and one

Vivienne Kjono with actor Prashantt Gupta at the Chinese Movie Theatre Premier under the “Dance with the Films, limitless” forum in Hollywood on June 15th.

more hard copy to be placed on the Hall of Memories in my studio office. Vivienne Kjono Dolphin Imagination, LLC Lincoln, California Dear Joan, Thank you so much for sending the issue to me, with Ake’s article on page 21. He passed away but his knowledge continues to spread... Suzanne Dufresne Ryhagen Montreal, Quebec Hej Peter, Thanks so much for the opportunity to write my first Axel Wenner-Gren article for Swedish Press. I have already

Hej Peter! Här kommer min senaste artikel från Kvällsstunden. Häromdagen kom pappersupplagan av Swedish Press – många intressanta levnadsöden som du presenterar! Alaska och familjen Boysen bl a. Jag är född 1945 och minns att det på 50-talet pratades mycket i radion om Wenner-Gren och den fantastiska järnvägen i Kanada. Men då var jag för ung att förstå vad allt gick ut på. Ha det bra! Lars Sönnergren Västerås, Sweden Hello Peter, Joan, Got the hardcopy of the September issue in the mail now. Just want to say I think it looks great – the interview with Per Lindberg but also the magazine as a whole. Well done! Best regards / Bästa hälsningar, Ola Kinnander Media Relations Manager Epiroc AB, Nacka, Sweden

airbags • seatbelts • steering wheels • autoliv.com Half Page Ad v4.indd 1


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12/19/18 9:33 AM



from the Editor’s Desk

San Francisco – the Golden Gate City We need your support!

Swedish Press strives to create a high quality magazine for you, but the costs are considerable and ever-increasing. Please consider making a generous donation to help keep your publication, and Swedish heritage, alive. You’ll find a form on page 29. Tack!

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.


all it what you will – Baghdad by the Bay, Fog City, The Golden Gate City, The City of Brotherly Love – San Francisco is all of those things. Living in SF in 1960, I had some direct experience with “Brotherly Love.” In those days, homosexuals were generally unwelcome except in San Francisco where, unbeknowst to me, the city had become something of a gay hub. I was once approached by a man in the street who asked if I was gay. The same happened another time in a movie theater. Back in Sweden I had been taught at school that gay was synonymous with happy, so on both occasions I replied: “Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Why do you ask?” My answers were met with expressions of incredulity which left me none the wiser. 1960 also heralded the beginning of the hippie movement whose characteristic counter-culture had already taken root among many of the university students with whom I mingled. As an impressionable 19-year-old, I soon bought into their antibourgeois philosophy (“Sturm und Drang!”) and made Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks my ideological bible. In my diary I wrote down twenty anti-bourgeois resolutions about the person I should never allow myself to become, such as turning into a salaryman, living in a detached house in the suburbs, owning two cars, and having a wife, three children plus a cat and a dog. Twenty-five years later I rediscovered the diary and stumbled upon the longforgotten page with 20 resolutions. There I sat in our suburban home enjoying some leisure time from my 9-to-5 job and leafing through my old diary. Looking up, I could see our two cars in the driveway outside, and from the bedroom came the clamor of our three children playing with our Siamese kitten. But at least we didn’t own a dog. Bottom line: Anybody who has lived in San Francisco for any length of time is bound to come away with memories for life. SF is not like any other American city in terms of geography, topography, tectonics, climate, architecture, people, and cuisine. Rather than elaborating on why this is so, I urge you to read on and enjoy the articles and interviews by – and about – individuals who have made San Francisco their home. After reading them, maybe you will resolve to visit the Golden Gate City someday, if you haven’t already.

Peter Berlin Editor Peter@Swedishpress.com November 2019

Cable car. Photo: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency


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Swedish Headlines


Royal, Political and Academic Winners and Losers Swedish King Grabs the Headlines


By Peter Berlin n October 7, the BBC broadcast the following headline: Swedish King Carl Gustaf removes grandchildren from royal house. Many expat Swedes watch BBC World News in search of objective reporting on world affairs, and they must have been alarmed by the apparent implications of the headline. Was the King frogmarching his grandchildren out of the Royal Castle as punishment for exceptionally bad behaviour in their nursery? Were their parents left standing in the palatial doorway crying their eyes out as the children disappeared into the dark world of homelessness?

Left: Princess Madeleine, Mr. Christopher O’Neill, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne. Photo: Anna-Lena Ahlström/ Kungahuset | Right: Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia, Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel. Photo: Josefin Persson/Kungahuset

A quick online consultation of Swedish newspapers offered reassurances to the contrary. The five children in question, who range in age from one to five, were simply being excused from performing future royal duties which include representing

Nobel Prizes Anno 2019

The Swedish Academy

Here is a list of Nobel Prizes awarded 7 – 14 October 2019.

Speaking of the Nobel Prize, the Swedish Academy is trying to repair its tattered reputation following last year’s scandals involving influencepeddling, sexual harassment, multiple resignations among its members, and suspension of the 2018 literary awards. The decision was taken at the time to give out two literary awards in 2019 instead of the customary single annual award.

Physiology or Medicine: Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, Gregg L. Semenza and William G. Kaelin Jr – For their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability Physics: James Peebles – For theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology Physics: Michael Mayor and Didier Queloz – For the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star Chemistry: John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino – For the development of lithium-ion batteries Literature: 2018: Olga Tokarczuk (Polish) – For a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life. 2019: Peter Handke (Austrian) – For an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience. Peace: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali – For his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. Economics: Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer – For their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.


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USA & North Korea Stalemate It may not be widely known that Sweden is currently hosting nuclear disarmament negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea. The previous negotiations took place in the North Vietnamese capital Hanoi in February and ended abruptly when Presidents Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un walked out of the meetings without signing any agreement. The current negotiations are taking place at the

Sweden on behalf of the King, a role that comes with the title of Royal Highness. They are now free to live a “normal” life, deprived of their Royal Highness titles but keeping their designation as princes and princesses. Far from being heartbroken, their parents are delighted. Behind the King’s action is a move in Parliament to reduce the appanage (taxpayers’ annual subsidy) to the royals, which is proportional to the number of Royal Highnesses in the household. That household has grown significantly with the birth of all the grandchildren. By formally exempting the grandchildren from royal duties and removing them from the household in a constitutional sense, the King is in effect pre-empting Parliament’s austerity initiative.

Villa Elfvik Strand conference center in the Stockholm suburb of Lindingö – or at least they were until the latest meeting broke up in acrimony in October. The North Korean chief negotiator Kim Myong-Gil declared the negotiations closed after accusing the U.S. delegation of bringing nothing new to the table. Stephen Biegun, Head of the U.S. delegation, contradicted his counterpart’s statement, claiming that the discussions have so far been constructive and would resume in two weeks. Neither side – or the Swedish hosts for that matter – is willing to share any details of the talks with the news media. Sweden plays an important role as a facilitator in the dialogue between the two adversaries, since it is one of the few Western countries to maintain diplomatic relations with North Korea. Sweden also represents the U.S. in routine contacts with the secretive dictatorship.



Swedes in the News

Honorary Appointments and Birthday Fun Shirley’s Show

Shirley Clamp. Photo: Nynäshamns Posten

Swedish singer/songwriter Shirley Clamp’s show Nästan 20 år som artist om man avrundar uppåt (Almost 20 years as an artist if you round it up) premieres on Maximteatern (The Maxim Theatre) in Stockholm on November 7. Combining humor, vibrant story line and powerful text and vocals by Clamp, this very live musical was directed by Swedish comedian William Spetz. Clamp, who started out as a backup singer and has since become her own artist, has participated in the Melodifestivalen six times and released hit singles, such as “Med hjärtat fyllt av ljus,” “Min kärlek” and “Kom.” Info: www.maximteatern.com. Rasmusson Turns 80 Sweden’s very own baking queen Birgitta Rasmusson recently turned 80. The Ljungskile native is wellknown for having worked at ICA’s test kitchen for many years and having participated in putting together Swedish

cookie bible Sju sorters kakor. Rasmusson also stands behind popular baking-books, such as Birgittas bästa: favoritrecepten till det svenska fikat and Birgittas bästa julkakor. Entering her ninth decade has not slowed down the productive 80-year-old, who released her new book Kakor vi minns the day after her birthday. Rasmusson also returned as judge on the new season of Hela Sverige Bakar on Swedish Channel 7 this fall.

directors and playwrights, currently works as artistic director at Backa teater in Gothenburg. Andersson replaces former head of theater Eirik Stubø. Farewell Weise Eric Nelson. Photo: Vasa Order of America

to be the recipient of these honors. It’s really a tribute to the entire community that has supported the National Nordic Museum and our mission,” he said. Other Swedish-Americans presented with the award since its establishment in 1960 include UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and actress AnnMargret Olsson. Andersson Takes Dramaten

Birgitta Rasmusson. Photo: Karin Wesslén/TT

Award of the Year The Swedish-American organization “Vasa Order of America” named Eric Nelson, CEO and Executive Director of the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, Swedish-American of the Year. VOA’s annual ceremony took place in Värmland, Sweden. Nelson, whose family emigrated to the US from Sweden at the end of the 19th century, was honored for having paved the way for a thriving museum promoting Nordic history and culture. “I’m humbled

Mattias Andersson. Photo: Karin Wesslén/TT

Swedish dramatist and director Mattias Andersson will take on the role as Dramaten’s new theater director and artistic leader next March. Andersson, who is considered by many as one of Sweden’s most acclaimed

Arne Weise. Photo: Carl Johan Söder

Beloved journalist and television presenter Arne Weise, 89, passed away on September 25. Weise began his career as a journalist on Swedish Radio in 1952 and joined Swedish Television’s youth department in 1963. Weise is especially well known for hosting Swedish Television SVT’s Christmas Eve broadcast, watched by millions of Swedish TV viewers, between 1972 and 2002. SVT’s CEO Hanna Stjärne said Weise was one of Sweden’s biggest television personalities and that his presence had been especially significant for those alone on Christmas Eve. Between 1996 and 2012, Weise hosted the TV show “Minnenas television.” He received the Swedish Television award “Kristallens hederspris” in 2013.


Swedish Press | November 2019 7

[Landskapsnyheterna] BLEKINGE Försvaret i Karlskrona söker just nu civila medarbetare till 60 lediga tjänster inom Marinbasen och Sjöstridsskolan. – Detta är en väldigt omfattande förstärkning, vilket vi vanligtvis inte gör, sa Jonas Källestedt, chef på Sjöstridsskolan. Marinen hoppas på gensvar från bland annat ingenjörer, sjuksköterskor, lärare och handläggare. Källestedt förklarar varför försvaret valt att söka efter just civila medarbetare. – Det är där vi kan förstärka just nu. När vi snabbt ska bli bättre som organisation är det till civila vi vänder oss. Handläggaren Anna Carlbrant är en av de nyanställda hos marinen. – Jag sökte tjänsten för att försvaret alltid lockat mig. Jag kände verkligen att detta är det jag alltid velat göra, sa hon.

bland annat inte ut sig och får tid till att umgås med varandra. – De är ganska delaktiga med varandra, när de sitter i de här lådorna. Vi är ju med, men inte i lådorna, så de får möjlighet att prata och samspela med varandra, sa förskolläraren Josefine Persson. Karlberg förskola satsar på att använda lådcyklarna åtminstone en gång i veckan. – Det är ett tillfälle för oss att upptäcka fler delar av Karlskoga. Roligast hittills var biblioteket. Där får dom åka hiss och skanna böcker, plus att det finns en lekpark utanför, så det har nog varit roligast hittills tror jag. För barnen är det en riktig upplevelse. Det är oftast kul bara att ta på hjälmen, som blinkar där bak. I vagnarna finns även bälte till barnen. Josefin Persson tycker att lådcyklarna är praktiska. – Dels kan vi ta oss längre och det är smidigare för oss. Vi kan även ta med oss de minsta barnen som inte skulle orka annars, sa hon. DALARNA

Ombord på HMS Trossö jobbar nyanställde signalmatrosen Jens Ros. Foto: Försvarsmaktens

VÄRMLAND På Karlbergs förskola i Karlskoga får barnen, till sin glädje, skjuts av sina fröknar när de ska ut på längre utflykter. På skolan finns nämligen två stycken eldrivna lådcyklar till hands. Fördelarna är många; barnen tröttar


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På äldreboendet Backåkern i Boda Kyrkby i Rättvik anordnades nyligen en digital älgjakt. Efter att Backåkerns äldreboende intagit en lätt måltid var det flera som vågade sig på att skjuta med geväret. En del pensionärer hade erfarenhet av att jaga sedan tidigare och tyckte att geväret kändes som en riktig bössa. – Det var 10 år sedan jag senast höll i ett gevär, nu har jag inga bössor kvar, sa Mats Ryd. För andra inneboende var det första gången. Gudrun Sens, som aldrig jagat förut, var pricksäker och hanterade bössan väl. – Det gick bra, nu ska jag nog ut på älgjakt, sa hon. JÄMTLAND Åre kommun har lyckats bra med sin integration av flyktingar – så pass bra att representanter från Estlands regering nyligen besökte kommunen
















inför planeringen av sin egen integrationsstrategi och för att lära av Åres framgångsrika integrationsarbete. Sammanlagt 14 personer från Estlands regering medverkade vid den tre dagar långa studieresan i Åre kommun. – Vi är främst här i Åre för att se hur Åre hanterar integrationsfrågan. Jag skulle säga att i Estland hanteras frågan snarare på nationell nivå. Kommunerna är inte särskilt delaktiga i diskussionen kring integration, sa Kerli Zirk, rådgivare på inrikesdepartementet.

Summary in English: The Swedish Navy is hiring civilians to speed up the deployment of new systems. School teachers take children on weekly excursions using electric box bikes. Pensioners practice marksmanship using digital rifles. Estonia has sent a delegation to study Swedish methods of integrating refugees into society.

[Business] News The Swedish Economy in Roller-Coaster Mode


Bad News and Good News

he economic swells caused by the trade wars initiated by the US against China and the EU are making the Swedish banking and industrial export sectors seasick. Matters are made even worse by the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, because the UK is one of Sweden’s primary export markets. The Riksbank (Swedish Central Bank) is running out of tools to stabilize the market. Especially the commercial banks accuse the Riksbank of squandering past opportunities to prepare for the present situation by mismanaging its fiscal policies. As a result, the credibility – and hence the future – of the Riksbank Governor is now in doubt. The good news is that some Swedish companies are doing very well. Fortknox, a developer of accounting software, has seen its value on the stockmarket rise by 170 percent so far in 2019. Northvolt, whose giant battery

manufacturing plant is under construction in Skellefteå, is in negotiation with Volkswagen to build an even bigger facility in Germany. Spotify has beaten Amazon, Netflix and Disney as the most relevant audio streaming platform for American consumers.


The Fall of SEK to Continue?

ome economists predict that the value of the Swedish currency will continue to fall relative to other major currencies. The reasons appear to be both that the Swedish Riksbank is keeping the interbank interest rate close to zero, and that the world economy is showing a downward trend. Both factors make it uninteresting for speculators to hold the currency of a relatively small economy like that of Sweden. Swedish exporters who are typically paid in US dollars are delaying repatriation of their foreign income, hoping to make a windfall later if the SEK keeps depreciating.






0.1012 Jul 8 Months in 2019. Source: Oanda

Aug 7

Heart Aerospace Taking Off

Sep 6

ES-19 electric airliner. Source: Heart Aerospace


wedish start-up company Heart Aerospace has leased a facility at Säve Airport near Gothenburg to develop its projected ES-19 batterydriven electric airliner. The aircraft is expected to be ready for flight by 2025 and will carry 19 passengers for distances up to 400 km (250 miles), making it suitable for short-haul routes. The development constitutes a Swedish effort to create a zeroemission alternative to conventional aviation which currently contributes 2 percent of global CO2 emissions. According to the Heart Aerospace website, electric aircraft are also quieter, and there is less vibration. Electric motors actively compensate for turbulence, giving passengers a smoother ride in all weather conditions. Battery technology is evolving, allowing ever more energy to be stored per kilogram of battery weight. Electric airliners are expected to become prevalent on short-haul routes, and eventually also on medium-range routes. Whether they will ever become suitable for long-haul flights remains in doubt, unless major advances are made in electric energy storage technology. In the absence of such a breakthrough, an alternative might be hybrid aircraft which employ fossil fuels for take-off and electrics for cruising.


Swedish Press | November 2019 9

[ ]

Company File

When Sorting Garbage Begins to Look Like Fun By Peter Berlin


t is a familiar routine: Every week you sort your garbage into bins, boxes and bags of various shapes and colors, trying to remember which garbage goes in which vessel, and carry the lot into the street for noisy collection at some ungodly hour. Will this chore ever come to an end? Probably not, but the Swedish company Envag Optibag AB has figured out a way of making the sorting less onerous and just a little more fun. The idea is that you do the sorting in the comfort of your kitchen or garage using bags of different colors. Each color identifies which kind of garbage belongs in that particular bag. Then you stuff all the bags into one garbage bin and take it outside. That’s it, you are done! (Except if you wish to obtain a deposit refund for glass and plastic bottles, you still have to take them to your local supermarket.) What happens next is that the garbage truck collects all the colorful garbage bags in the neighborhood and deposits them on a conveyor belt at the waste sorting plant. Along the belt there are sensors that spot the color of each bag and direct a mechanism to push them into the appropriate sorting slot for onward processing. It is called Optical Sorting. The bags come in 9 different colors for sorting food waste, paper packaging, plastic packaging, metal, textile, newspapers, colorless glass,

[ ]

Swedish Press | November 2019 10

colored glass and combustible waste. For example, food waste goes in the green bag, while textiles go in the purple bag. This is so much simpler to remember than the current systems where metals and glass might go in one box, while plastic and cardboard are combined in a different box, and general waste goes in yet another vessel. The bins come in different sizes, from 120 to 1100 liters, so households only need to select the right size for the number of bags they expect to fill. The Optibag system contributes to a better environment. There is no need for many different garbage trucks to collect all the various bins; you only need one bin. The waste is transported in well-sealed bags throughout the process (so there is no smell from kitchen waste), from transportation to separation. The fully automatic optical sorting system is controlled and monitored by computers and by an operator in a control room. This leads to a modern, environmentally friendly and hygienic work environment throughout the whole collection and sorting process. In other words, the Optibag approach provides great opportunities for efficient planning of transport logistics and reduced CO2.

The objective for Sweden and the EU is that 50 percent of all household waste should be recycled by 2020. Municipalities with optical sorting already meet the environmental objectives for food, paper, plastic, newspapers and metal. The targets for food waste may take a little longer to achieve. That said, in the Swedish city of Eskilstuna food waste is already being converted to fuel for buses, while non-recyclables are processed to generate heating that is distributed via a pipe network to households. Envac Optibag AB is owned by Envac AB. Envac has more than 50 years of experience in automated waste management and has 35 offices in 22 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America. Optibag has been developing and designing optical sorting plants since 1989. The company has built and installed more than 25 plants of varying sizes in Scandinavia and in France. Communities in North America and Asia have also expressed interest. Optibag currently has two offices in Sweden (MjÜlby and Stockholm). See also www. optibag.nu. In conclusion: Waste will not disappear, but it can become a resource that is recycled and lives on in our society. Illustrations Š Envac Optibag


‘Svenska kyrkan, en mötesplats för alla’ Svenska Kyrkan i San Francisco – där mycket känns som hemma Av Kristin Hamrén


ångt upp i backen på en av de branta gatorna i San Francisco ligger den Norska sjömanskyrkan, där även Svenska kyrkan San Francisco har sina lokaler. På långt håll ser man de skandinaviska flaggorna vaja från balkongen. Därifrån har man en vidunderlig utsikt över San Francisco-bukten, inklusive Golden Gate-bron och Alcatraz. Detta är en mycket vacker och uppskattad plats att fira sitt bröllop eller att döpa sitt barn! Utanför kyrkan rullar San Franciscos klassiska spårvagnar (cable cars) förbi, och några kvarter bort ligger Fisherman’s Wharf. Går man åt andra hållet kommer man istället till världens kurvigaste gata, Lombard Street. Besöker man kyrkan, får man uppleva mycket av det som kännetecknar San Francisco, samtidigt som man kliver in i en värld där mycket känns som hemma. Kyrkan är öppen tisdag till lördag mellan klockan 12 och 17, och vem som helst kan titta in för en pratstund och en kopp kaffe. En blandning av turister med vägarna förbi och lokalt bosatta skandinaver, som kanske vill handla något svenskt godis i kiosken, tittar in under en vanlig dag. I dessa lokaler har det firats svensk gudstjänst sedan 1950-talet, med svensk präst och svenska psalmer. Efter gudstjänsten, som alltid är andra söndagen i månaden, samlas alla medverkande för kyrk-

Foto: Linnea Norberg/Svenska krykan SFO

kaffe och fin gemenskap. Svenska kyrkan i utlandet (SKUT) sänder ut en präst för att verka i församlingen. Förutom gudstjänst har församlingen aktiviteter för barn, studenter och au pairer. På studentmiddagarna kan uppemot 80 skandinaviska unga vuxna samlas för att äta hemlagad mat och umgås. Under barnsången träffas svenska föräldrar för att sjunga barnsånger tillsammans med sina barn, prata svenska och umgås med andra svenska familjer. Svenska kyrkan San Francisco fungerar som ett “home away from home” för många svenskar och är öppen mötesplats för alla. Vi firar alla svenska traditioner såsom jul, lucia, påsk och nationaldagen i

kyrkan. När svenska artister och musiker befinner sig i området kan de hålla sina konserter i kyrkan, och vi bidrar på så sätt till att sprida svensk kultur och talang. Församlingen arbetar även tätt ihop med andra svenska föreningar och organisationer i området. Personal från kyrkan besöker personer som befinner sig på sjukhus, och gör hembesök till äldre och ensamma. Om någon befinner sig i kris kan personen vända sig till kyrkan för att få stöd och vägledning. Som präst i en utlandskyrka får man uppleva mycket och ofta befinna sig på språng. Ingen dag är den andra lik, och prästen får ta på sig många olika roller beroende på sammanhang. Men församlingen skulle inte kunna bedriva sitt arbete utan alla hängivna och entusiastiska volontärer som bidrar med arbetsinsatser och glädje! Summary in English: The Swedish Church in San Francisco is a spiritual hub for many Swedish residents and visitors. Services in Swedish take place every 2nd Sunday in the month. The Church also hosts Swedish seasonal festivities and helps spread knowledge about Swedish culture.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 11

Om svenskheten i San Francisco Bay Area Av Lena Axelsson, SWEA San Francisco


an Francisco Bay Area är ett stort område med nio counties. Ytan är en och en halv gånger Skånes yta, men med nästan 8 miljoner invånare. Det är en paradoxernas område med de flesta Golden Gate-bron, San Francisco. större teknologiföretagens Foto: Somchai Jongmeesuk huvudkontor och djupa skogar och jordbruksmark mindre än 20 minuters bilresa bort. Uppskattningsvis bor det runt 10 000 svenskar i området. Och det finns en hel del i svenskhetens tecken att uppleva här: två IKEA varuhus, svenska sportstjärnor, sommarstugeområde, restauranger, vingårdar och en stor julmarknad. För oss svenskar i området så är det Sharks och NHL som gäller med en svensk assisterande tränare och fem svenska spelare i år. Att få gå på en av deras hemmamatcher – särskilt när det är Swedish eller Nordic Heritage Night – är en härlig blå-gul tillställning. Sveadal, ett svenskt sommarstugeområde, ungefär en och en halv timmes bilfärd söder om San Francisco, är byggt på ett område som köptes redan 1926 av Swedish American Patriot League, en sammanslutning av olika organisationer i San Francisco Bay Area som bildades 1894 i syfte med att anordna svenskt midsommarfirande varje år. Denna fest hålls nu på Sveadal och är ett evenemang som drar många svenskar och svenskättlingar varje år. Sveadal har förutom privata sommarstugor också några stugor för uthyrning, klubbhus, simbassäng och härlig vandringsled.

Foto: Zhudifeng

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Swedish Press | November 2019 12

Den största svenska tillställningen varje år i San Francisco är dock julmarknaden som SWEA San Francisco har ordnat första lördagen i december sedan 1984. Den hålls i centrala San Francisco i Cathedral of St Mary of the AssumpCathedral of St Mary of the tion och drar drygt 3000 Assumption på 1111 Gough Street. besökare. Julmarknaden är något som många svenskar i området ser fram emot; många återkommer varje år och för traditionen vidare till barn, barnbarn och icke-svenska vänner. Det är ofta kö utanför katedralen innan dörrarna öppnas. Julmarknaden bjuder på lättare svensk julmat, försäljning av svenska matvaror, julpyssel för barnen, 32 försäljare av svenska varor och ett Luciatåg med 70 barn och ungdomar som framförs i katedralen. Detta evenemang är helt samordnat av volontärer, och vinsten går till att stödja svenska språket och vår kultur i San Francisco Bay Area. Ett populärt utflyktsmål är Filoli, en California State Historic Landmark; huset byggdes 1915 – 1917, och 1937 köptes det av Mr. och Mrs. William P. Roth. Mrs. Roth var född Lurline Bernice Matson och dotter till den svenskfödde sjökaptenen Carolers på Filoli, en California och rederiägaren William State Historic Landmark. Foto: Matson. Något att tänka på Patricia Dennis) varje gång du ser en container med Matson tryckt på utsidan. Huset är av Georgian Revival tradition och är öppet för besökare som ett museum som tillsammans med trädgården är värt ett besök alla årstider. Filoli ligger strax söder om San Francisco uppe i Santa Cruz Mountains, en härlig grön lunga med många vandringsleder i närheten. Redan i receptionen välkomnas besökaren av fantastiska blomsterarrangemang som förnyas varje måndag med blommor från Filolis egen trädgård. Det finns alltid guider som välkomnar besökarna och står redo med

djup kunskap om huset och trädgården. Varje månad har man också olika evenemang som hör årstiden till: Mors Dag, skulpturutställning i trädgården under sommaren, harvest festival, Halloween och inte minst julfirande som bjuder på allt extra. Mike Sjoblom, Sjoeblom Winery. Efter en promenad i Foto: Sjoeblom Winery trädgården (glöm inte att beundra Percy, påfågeln som vandrar runt ägorna) kan ett besök till kaféet vara på plats. Kaféet serverar lättare lunch och kaffe med godsaker. Vissa dagar har de även afternoon tea, och glöm inte deras underbara museumbutik! Varje årstid bjuder på något speciellt, så för lokalbefolkningen kan ett årskort vara en bra investering. Vad vore väl en artikel om San Francisco och Bay Area utan att nämna vintillverkningen? Och ibland med en svensk twist: Sjoeblom Winery som skapar sin egen glögg, medan GRO Wines och Lars Björkman hämtar sin inspiration från den svenska vildmarken. Lars är född i Kalifornien men tillbringade somrarna i Södermanland där han fick upptäcka de svenska smakerna av kräftor, vilda svampar och blåbär. Lars är också vinmakare på Lars Björkman, GRO Wines. Foto: Saddleback in Oakville, en GRO Wines vingård där man kan boka vinprovningar som Lars gärna håller på svenska. Och ej att förglömma – West Wines, en liten mysig vingård som ligger i det vackra norra Sonoma County i området Dry Creek Valley. Distriktet har 60 olika vingårdar, men bara en som är svenskägd och som har levererat till Nobelmiddagen! West Wines, som ägs av paret Katarina Bonde och Bengt Åkerlind, är känt för sin vällagrade Cabernet Sauvignon och andra franskinspirerade viner.

Vingården är certifierad ”California Sustainable”, en hållbarhetsstämpel. År 2010 valde Nobelstiftelsen att servera West Wines Cabernet Sauvignon på Nobelmiddagen, tillsammans med tryffelstekt piggvar, vintersallad med kantareller och oxsvans-tryffelsås. SWEA var nyligen och smakade fantastiska viner som Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Tuscan Cuvée, Crest Cuvée och deras berömda Cabernet Sauvignon. Vinerna var goda, personalen trevlig och det bjuds fantastiskt vackra vyer av vinrankor så långt ögat kan nå med gröna kullar i bakgrunden. När det gäller mat så finns det underbara alternativ till IKEA, varav två återfinnes i San Franciscoregionen. Inne i San Francisco finns restaurangen Pläj, som man hittar på listan över de 100 bästa restauSWEA Utflykt, West Wines. rangerna i San Francisco Foto: SWEA San Francisco med omnejd. Där serverar Roberth och Andrea Sundell kalifornisk mat med skandinaviska influenser på rätter och smak. På menyn ingår både Toast Skagen, rårakor och köttbullar! Dessa två individer har också öppnat en ny restaurang, Stockhome, av det lite enklare slaget uppe i Petaluma – ett perfekt stopp på vägen upp till en eftermiddag av vinprovning i Napa. Stockhome bjuder på rätter både av mer traditionell svensk smak såsom tunnbrödsrulle, köttbullar och gravlax, till mer mellanöstern-inspirerade rätter som Falafel, Tabbouleh Parsley sallad och saffran basmati-ris. Till efterrätt kanske svenska pannkakor passar bra. På vägen ut, glöm inte att plocka upp en påse av det svenska lösgodis de säljer! English summary: The author describes the annual celebration of Swedish traditions in the Bay Area. She then takes the reader on a tour to local vineyards and restaurants with a Swedish twist.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 13


We Nordics Are More Alike the Further Away We Are from Home

Barbro Osher. Photo: Thron Ullberg

We are pleased to introduce Barbro Osher, Honorary Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco. She chairs The Bernard Osher Foundation and is president of The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. She is the founder of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) chapter in San Francisco. She also serves on the boards of the University of California (Berkeley) Foundation and the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 14


e had an initial interview warm-up by talking about Barbro’s upbringing and career. “My family moved around Sweden quite a bit and we all became bilingual – so-called ‘proper’ Swedish at home and the applicable dialect with local buddies. I graduated from highschool in Motala during the golden age of Swedish education and went on to the University of Stockholm for a Masters, with the hopes of being admitted to the Foreign Ministry. The CV ought to include a study visit to the US, so I applied for scholarship from The Experiment in International Living. 10 Swedes were handpicked in 1962, sent by a student ship to New York and then Washington DC before being distributed to hosts in different parts of the country!” Barbro ended up in Kennebunkport, Maine, where she by chance met her present husband, businessman and philanthropist Bernard Osher. They were married 18 years later. She did NOT apply to the Foreign Ministry, but accepted the task as honorary Consul General of Sweden in Los Angeles in 1995, followed by San Francisco from 1999 onwards. As for the work as Honorary Consul General, Barbro offered the following explanation. “I have excellent staff (women only) who take care of the day-to-day consular matters, which is the core of our mandate. We also do a lot of promotional work as well as planning and executing visits by parliamentary groups, governmental officials and other dignitaries. Presently I would say that we have a lot of focus on combined Nordic views and collaboration. Being ‘honorary’ in essence means that I am unpaid. You have a position but no profession.”

In addition to being the Chairperson of the Bernard Osher Foundation, Barbro is the President of her own Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. “I realized I could do more substantial work for Sweden and the Nordic countries within the parameters of my own Pro Suecia Foundation. It supports areas such as higher education and cultural institutions and programs both in the U.S. and in Sweden.” Barbro estimates the size of the Swedish and Swedish-American communities in the Bay Area to be between 5,000 and 10,000 individuals, but the numbers fluctuate. “During Election time in Sweden we open as a poll station and can in some ways measure a sizeable increase. The same is true when Swedes renew their passports – a service the Swedish Embassy provides to Swedish citizens. The numbers are the same for SwedishAmericans in the area. Possibly 100,000 Americans of Swedish origin live in California, but that is an unverified number. On the subject of preserving one’s Swedishness, Barbro explained: “That is something I have been doing persistently and professionally since I first arrived in this country. I missed my life in Sweden: my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my job and nature. My language! I still do! I would say that we all feel a deep connection with our Swedish past, also in the Swedish-American community.” The San Francisco chapter of Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) was started by Barbro in 1982. Swedish sisterhood is special and she wanted to recreate it locally. SWEA SF has been very successful and is globally one of the largest chapters. It organizes a magnificent Christmas Fair every year


with Lucia pageant of course, visited by over 3.000 people. San Francisco is proud to have a Swedish American Hall built in 1907, now a Historic Landmark, in an area that used to be inhabited by Scandinavians. This is still a gathering place for Swedish and Swedish-American activities. Swedish midsummer has been celebrated in the Bay Area since 1894 and is still going strong. Sveadal, for instance, a Swedish recreational village south of San Francisco, gathers thousands for their annual Midsummer celebration with parade, maypole, “Midsummer Queen”, dancing, food and drinks. During 17 years Barbro was owner and publisher of the venerable Swedish -American newspaper Vestkusten, established in 1886. “I wanted to keep that paper alive as Vestkusten was important for the Bay Area and the West Coast. It was owned by Karin Persson. A fundraising campaign was held every year to keep the paper afloat. She had absolutely no pretentions and no demands on material goods. She really ran this paper for a long time on a shoestring – an incredible achievement! But she could not outrun new technology. As she aged, I stepped in, bought and ran the bi-lingual paper from 1991 to 2007 – although not by myself. I had great professional help!” Barbro and her team marketed the paper all over the West Coast, but the costs remained bigger than the income. The timely question arose: should they go digital. In the end Barbro donated the paper to the Nordstjernan newspaper. Vestkusten disappeared for good. We asked Barbro how has America changed since her first arrival in 1962. Her reply: “Those were the Kennedy years and change was in the air. The

Special issue of Vestkusten devoted to Swedes on the West Coast, with much on the Panama Pacific International Exposition. The National Library in Sweden is credited with having a copy.

women’s movement began to take shape, and there were soul-searching discussions and actions against discrimination and racism. The United States was a country that was finally opening up to the world in more ways than one. Since then we have been through wars, AIDs epidemics, mass murders, impeachment processes, economic down turns, national disasters, 9/11, Metoo… Presently the formerly civilized tone in the public discourse has disappeared – or maybe just taken a break? I would say that California and the whole West Coast are at the forefront not only in technology but also by leading the way towards more inclusiveness, fairness, insight, and the awareness of climate change.” We went on to discuss the future development of political, cultural and trade relationships between Sweden and the United States. “I would like to address that as a Nordic issue rather

than strictly Swedish. We Nordics are more alike the further away we are from home. Sure, there are differences, but there is also a lot of samsyn (shared view). Basically, we take a similar view on civilized society as concerns inclusiveness, fairness, social welfare, and climate change. We all work for the common good. We believe Government is responsible and caring for the citizens, whereas here, Government is always looked upon with great suspicion. That is one of the big dividing lines between the Nordic countries and America. If together we take the Nordic view, I think we can achieve quite a lot as role models, even for the US.” But do Americans even know who we are? “If they know anything at all, they usually have a positive view of the Nordic countries, including Sweden,” says Barbro. “Gone are the misconceptions of the four S’s: Socialism, Sex, Suicide and Supertaxes. At this moment Sweden is attracting a lot of positive publicity thanks to Greta Thunberg. She is remarkable!” When asked about her family, Barbro concluded: “My present husband and I have no children, but I have a fabulous daughter from my first Swedish marriage. She is an MD in Denmark, has a practice as a GP outside of Copenhagen, is married to a Dane, and has three boys. Her grandmother was Norwegian, so you can imagine why I am working in the Nordic way!” What is the next challenge in Barbro’s busy life? “My goal before retiring is to get all the Nordics together in Northern California, including cohabitation for representation, and building a strong Nordic presence at the universities, the business communities and the cultural institutions.” Interviewed by Peter Berlin

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Swedish Press | November 2019 15


Hittade släkt längst upp i norra Kanada

Alfred och hans bror Petter Norberg växte upp under fattiga förhållanden i slutet av 1800-talet. Alfred stannade kvar hemma i Härnösand, men när Petter var 15 år gick han till sjöss. Han fick höra talas om att det hittats guld i Australien och for dit.

Av Lars Sönnergren

Hur vore det att hitta släkt längst upp i norra Kanada vid Ishavet? Det har far och son från norrlandssläkten Norberg gjort. En dokumentärfilm har producerats om släktträffen.


redrik Norberg skriver nu på en bok om hur han fann sin pälsjägarsläkt i det lilla samhället Kugluktuk. Pappan Lars Erik var också med på resan dit. En svenska boende i Kanada har förberett en film om mötet. Kugluktuk ligger längst upp i norr på Kanadas fastland. När man lämnar samhället kan man ta sig ut på det kalla havet. Därefter vidtar en lång resa förbi ett antal stora och små öar. Sedan är man uppe vid Nordpolen. I släkten Norberg har det ofta berättats om Fredrik Norbergs farfars fars bror, som for till Kanada – men aldrig återkom.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 16

Petter Norberg gick till sjöss som 15-åring, hamnade i Kanada och bildade familj där.

Svensken bildade familj Så småningom kom Petter Norberg ut i Kanadas vildmark. Han bildade familj och fick tre barn. Någon gång vid början av 1930talet ska det ha funnits en artikel i Stockholms Dagblad om den svenske äventyrarens liv. Ja, den kvarvarande släkten i Sverige berättade då och då om Petter Norberg. Så fick Fredrik för några år sedan för sig att han skulle ta reda på mer om farfars fars brors liv. Han hittade en bok som sjöfartshistorikern Lennart von Post i Härnösand skrivit om utvandraren.

Via Google fanns vissa uppgifter att få. Dessutom hade en släktforskare med efternamnet Norberg forskat om släkten Norberg i Kanada, tills hon upptäckte att det var fel släkt Norberg som hon var inne på. Uppgifterna överläts till Fredrik Norberg. Samtidigt på andra sidan Atlanten, på andra sidan av den nordamerikanska kontinenten, i Vancouver, har den svenska dokumentärfilmaren Eva Wunderman forskat om Petter Norbergs liv. Av en slump hade Eva Wunderman också fått läsa von Posts bok och fascinerats av detta svenska levnadsöde. Möttes i Kanada Våren 2016 möttes Eva Wunderman samt Fredrik och Lars Erik. De flög först till den stora staden Edmonton, ett stycke norr om gränsen till USA, och sedan vidare långt upp mot norr. För att få en uppfattning om avstånden kan det nämnas att det tog drygt fyra timmar med ett mindre flygplan att komma fram till Kugluktuk. Där mötte Norbergarna sin släkting Edna Elias, som är barnbarns barn till Petter Norberg och hans hustru Dora. Förr kallades folket där eskimåer; nu är den moderna benämningen inuiter. – Det bor drygt 1 100 personer i Kugluktuk. Vi kan säkert räkna släktskap till närmare ett 70-tal av byborna. Vi hann nog prata med 25–30 av våra släktingar och förklara varför vi kommit, berättar Fredrik Norberg. Ytterligare ett 70-tal släktingar finns spridda i Kanada.


Fredrik Norberg och Lars-Erik Norberg flankerar sin släkting Edna Elias vid mötet i Kugluktuk, norra Kanada.

Både Fredrik och hans far är verksamma i IT-branschen. Det blev en verklig omställning för dem att från vår moderna civilisation komma ut i islandskapet. Det var minus 25 när de var där i april. Det går att handla proviant i samhället, men det är dyrt. Så byborna lever till stor del på självhushållning. De fångar renar, äter köttet och klär sig i renens päls. Norbergarna var med ut på fiske på isen. De var också med då säl jagades. Klipp från filmen kan ses Detta får man se i dokumentärfilmen. Den som är nyfiken kan redan nu se ett klipp från filmen på Eva Wundermans hemsida. Filmen heter Edna’s Bloodline (kolla även på Google och YouTube). Det är erkänt svårt att släktforska om svenskar som utvandrade till Kanada och blev pälsjägare. Det fanns ju inga personnummer ute i vildmarken. Och det fanns få myndighetspersoner som höll kontroll på invånarna. Men Petter Norberg har lämnat vissa spår efter sig. Det finns kvitton på vad han sålde till pälsupp-

köparna. Han såg till att den första handelsstationen – den då mest nordliga handelsstationen för företaget Hudsons Bay – öppnades där uppe. Han räddade en dansk forskningsexpedition. Han var den andre som lyckades segla genom Nordvästpassagen. Han hittade kvarlevorna efter en annan nordlig expedition. Den svenske invandraren hade gjort så många avtryck i den kanadensiska historien att de intresserade svenskan Eva Wunderman. Hon kom till Kanada redan 1981. Via olika arbeten – hon drev bland annat en butik med svenskt hantverk – kom hon till den kanadensiska radion. Därefter kom hon in på filmandet. Två av hennes filmer har visats i svensk tv. Den ena handlar om hur amerikaner och japaner försonas efter andra världskriget, den andra om konstgjord narkotika. Visades 2017 Filmen om svenskarna som hittar sin släkt i Kanada visades i SVT under 2017. Eva Wunderman filmade för något år sedan när Edna Elias via sin dator och Skype kunde knyta de första kontakterna med sina svenska släktingar. Edna Elias är inte helt okänd i norra Kanada, då hon varit regeringens representant i territoriet Nunavut, där byn Kugluktuk ligger. Och Edna Elias har nu också varit på besök i Sverige. Eva Wunderman filmade när Edna deltog i midsommarfirandet i Härnösand sommaren 2016. Film Västernorrland har gett ett visst stöd till projektet.

En del av filmen behandlar när Norbergarna ger sig ut på floden Coppermine River. Det blir rörande ögonblick då de kommer fram till Bloody Falls och minns sin släkting. Man tror det var vid dessa vattenfall som Petter Norberg omkom. Hans kanot hittades där, men aldrig kroppen. Fredrik Norbergs farfars fars bror var född 1876. Då han försvann var han 58 år, men han är ännu hågkommen av sin släkt i Sverige och Kanada. Två mindre öar bär hans namn i Ishavet. Norbergsislands är också namnet på den internetsida där Fredrik berättar om Petter Norberg.

Edna’s Bloodline (2017). Nedan: Kugluktuk, Nunavut. Photo: DestinationNunavut.ca

Summary in English: Petter Norberg emigrated from Sweden to Canada in 1898 and settled down as a fur trapper in Nunavut. A few years ago, two of his descendants visited Kugluktuk where they met a very distant relative. A documentary has been produced that tells the story of their encounter.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 17


‘Orienteering started in Stockholm 100 years ago...’ Orienteering – a Swedishborn Centenarian By Leif Lundqvist


t’s pitch black on a November night and my headlight, strong as it is, can’t penetrate beyond the trees around me. All I can see is a wall of illuminated fir trees practically in my face. I’m participating in a Night-O event, and I must decide which direction leads me out of the tree stand to the boulder marked on the map. In the darkness you really need your compass to translate a direction from the map to the real world. It works! After about 150 m in my bubble of light, I see a red-bluewhite reflecting staff hanging next to the boulder. Often when I talk about my favorite sport people will ask: “What’s orienteering”? If you’re a Swede it’s been part of your school curriculum. Swedish Middle School grades include sports which in turn include a test in orienteering: a combination of crosscountry running and navigation at the same time. You’re given a map with a set of marked check points known as “controls,” and your task is to run a course passing a set number of controls in a given order. But contrary to ordinary trail-running you have to navigate and decide yourself which way is the best and quickest to complete the course using a map and a compass. Sounds easy, right? Well it can be, but it can also be fiendishly difficult. Competitions and courses vary from city parks to rugged mountains. Young kids run short courses mostly on trails. Adventure racers may like 48-hour team extravaganzas. Older

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Swedish Press | November 2019 18

runners may have the skill but not the strength, so tricky short courses on large-scale easy-to-read maps suit them. But there is a common thread: the need to concentrate and be able to think clearly during physical exertion. On March 25, 1919 the first orienteering competition in the world was held in a suburban forest southeast of Stockholm. 220 competitors found their way along a 12 km course using only a map and a compass for navigation. The invitation included a dress code: “Daily clothes = hat, jacket, vest and shirt, long or short trousers, knee socks or puttees, leather boots reaching above the ankles. No spikes or dubbed shoes. No running shoes or linen trousers.” A hundred years later, in July 2019, the world’s largest orienteering event, O-Ringen, was held near Norrköping, drawing close to 20,000 competitors from all over the world.

In this remarkable annual event the dress code has morphed into wearing slick, colorful, ultra-light uniforms, and special shoes. Maps have improved, compasses have changed, and the magnetic north pole has wandered around, but the greatest change is the modern use of software and electronics, from map production, e-punch pins used for timing, and GPS-trackers carried by the top runners, to the live displays and huge TV-screens where you can follow the world’s best orienteers finding the best and quickest way through the woods. Orienteering has come a long way since 1919. Today it’s a global sport with national and international federations, with committees for rules, standardization of maps, scheduling of events, and computer software for every task. But it all started officially with that first com-

Map of the world’s first public orienteering course from 1919 held near Stockholm. Total course distance was 12 km as the crow flies. Map scale 1:100 000. 220 participants. The winner, O.B. Hansson, ran the course in 1h, 25min, 39 sec


petition in Stockholm 100 years ago. Before that time there were small events here and there, but mostly it was an army activity. After 1919, orienteering quickly became a part of the Swedish sports establishment, and it grew very fast into a national sport with many different local clubs all around the country. Attention also turned to equipment, especially the compass. The traditional compass consisted of a magnetic needle in a protective housing filled with air. The needle moved easily and, as one of my running mates put it: “To get it to stop, you yourself had to stop”. The solution came around 1930 when three brothers named Kjellström teamed up with a tool maker named Tillander and invented a liquiddamped compass. They mounted the rotatable compass housing with a protractor on a baseplate ruler, a real breakthrough for orienteering compasses. The partners formed a new company named Silva (Latin for forest) in 1933. Time went on, the sport thrived, not just in Sweden but in many other countries. In the U.S., in the early 1940s, a few orienteering events were organized in New Hampshire, but otherwise it was mostly a military activity. This changed in 1946 when Björn Kjellström moved to the U.S. and founded Silva companies in the U.S. and Canada. He began a career of promoting orienteering in the two countries, and in 1955 he published his book “Be Expert with Map and Compass”. It is still in print and, by now, over 500,000 copies have been sold. Orienteering in Canada and the U.S. developed along similar lines.

Orienteering competition map from Tucson, AZ. From Start this 4 km course goes up into the hills. Every contour line represents a 5 m (abt. 12 ft) climb. Control 2 is at a bend in the stream and 3 on a spur above a stream. Then the course goes on to a delta of small seasonably dry streams, loops into lesser hills back to the delta, on to control 8 and then 9, a small re-entrant, and back to Finish.

The COF (Canadian Orienteering Federation) was founded in 1967, preceding the foundation of USOF (United States Orienteering Federation). The first Canadian Championship was held in 1968 in Gatineau Park, northwest of Ottawa. Today COF has about 35 club members, more per capita than the U.S. but that may just reflect the size of the country. The first U.S. public O-meet was held in 1967 in Valley Forge, Delaware. It was organized by the newly formed Delaware Valley Orienteering Association. In 1971 USOF was founded. Björn Kjellström was one of the co-founders, but by now a critical mass of interested participants had been reached and more clubs were

started and joined USOF. Today there are close to 90 O-clubs spread across the 50 states. Orienteers get to try many different terrains and visit many different parts of the world. I’ve spent almost 20 years as a snowbird in southern Arizona, and I’ve developed a special fondness for orienteering in the Sonoran desert. It takes a while to learn how to dance your way around all the sharp cactus spines, thorns, and prickly bushes. I remember one Night-O in February when a young Swedish runner on his first visit to Tucson fell straight into a Cholla cactus. It took a very long time to get all the spines out. In Arizona you carry tweezers and a comb on the course!

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Swedish Press | November 2019 19


Top Sju

119 BLOSSA Glögg recently launched their yearly edition of mulled wine. This year the brand is drawing inspiration from the beautiful islands of Hawaii. “Blossa 19 Aloha” is flavored with passion fruit, hibiscus flower, coconut and coffee. Its bottle, colored pink with big white florals, was also created with Hawaii, the hibiscus flowers, corals and the Hawaiian shirt in mind. The big blue numbers on the bottle were inspired by the sea. “Blossa 19 Aloha” can be found at governmentowned Swedish liquor store chain Systembolaget. The cost for a bottle is approximately 119 SEK.

2019 Good news for those who fancy a sweet or salty snack every now and then! Salty snack giant OLW, Finnish food corporation Fazer, The Coca-Cola Company and Swedish gingerbread brand Anna’s Swedish Thins (“Annas pepparkakor”) are all releasing new products this winter. How about the new “Dumle Caramel Cranberry” – soft and caramel-flavored with cranberry and velvety chocolate; OLW’s “Cheez Snow Balls” flavored with

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Swedish Press | November 2019 20

white cheddar and sour cream; Coca-Cola’s cinnamon edition; or Anna’s Swedish Thins very own gingerbread ice cream? Search your local Swedish grocerystore. Ready, set, snack!

6 In Swedish Television SVT’s new competition show Mästerskaparna, Swedish craft tradition takes center stage. During six episodes, amateur craftsmen and women are challenged to express themselves as designers using materials such as wood, paper, leather and ceramics. Participants are judged by a jury led by designer Samir Alj Fält. Mästerskaparna is hosted by Swedish TV presenter Pernilla Månsson Colt.

129 IKEA shoppers queued for hours to get their hands on American fashion designer Virgil Abloh’s specially designed rug last spring. IKEA now releases the rest of his collection Markerad, including a new version of the 7 SEK classic blue IKEA bag. Abloh’s version – a plastic-reinforced (plastförstärkt) paper bag – is available in two sizes. The large one has about

the same dimensions as the classic IKEA bag and costs 129 SEK. The smaller bag sells for 99 SEK. Abloh’s limited-edition collection is available in select stores on November 1.

16 Swedish dancer and choreographer Örjan Andersson is turning Mozart’s “Requiem” into a dance performance on Malmö Opera’s stage between November 16 and December 15. Backed by an opera choir and opera orchestra, Örjan Andersson and his team have put together an impressive array of dancers, singers and musicians, taking you through a dance experience full of life and stormy emotions to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music. For tickets, see www.skanesdansteater.se.

70 Swedish textile museum “Textilmuseet Borås,” in

collaboration with Borås TME and Versace-expert Karl Von Der Ahé, presents an exhibition of Italian luxury fashion designer Gianni Versace called Gianni Versace Retrospective starting on November 30. During the exhibition at the textile museum in Borås visitors are invited to admire 70 male and female outfits designed by Gianni Versace between 1989 and 1997. The garments have been borrowed from some of the world’s biggest collectors of Gianni Versace’s design.

11,000,000 Swedes are consuming more and more nonalcoholic beer. Thanks to evolving brewing processes and increased consumer interest, brewers are producing more non-alcoholic beer versions, such as pale ale, sour beer (suröl) and stout. The summer months are considered high season for non-alcoholic beers. Between January and July this year about 11 million liters of non-alcoholic beers were sold, which is an increase of 25 percent compared to the same period last year, reports food association Livsmedelsföreningens trade magazine Livsmedel i focus.

[Lifestyle] Film I Saw A Film By Alice Shih


wedish director Roy Andersson garnered the Best Director Silver Lion Award at the 2019 Venice Film Festival with his latest masterpiece, About Endlessness. “The ‘Endlessness’ in the title is about the endlessness of signs of existence, the signs of being human”, he explained. Andersson reflects the essence of humanity through a kaleidoscope of vignettes in life. The film is compiled of episodes viewed through a pair of watchful eyes. A serene female voice introduces each scene to us with the line “I saw a…”, and we see how the subjects interact as the ode and lament of humanity unfolds. Andersson’s unique view on life is broad, encompassing themes of hope versus despair, joy versus tragedy, life versus death, youth versus aging, war versus peace, humour versus solemnity, fantasy versus reality, contrasting absurdity and rationality. Human existence is vulnerable, full of volatility amidst banality in this world. Realizing this vulnerability could possibly help his audience appreciate life in a more embracing manner, even though it may not always be pleasant.

All photos © Roy Andersson

Unpleasant scenarios they might be, but images on Andersson’s screen are always pristine and orderly. His visual style has been inspired by paintings, and he shot his films mostly on sets where he could have more artistic control. Die Neue Sachlichkeit artists influenced Andersson when he was designing the look of About Endlessness. (Die Neue Sachlichkeit –“The New Objectivity” – was a

movement in German art that arose during the 1920s.) A painter could draw all objects sharp and distinct, as in the paintings of the pre-Da Vinci period. For the medium of film, it would be difficult to keep everything in focus. It is almost impossible, as reality is visually perceived through perspectives. Andersson’s cinematographer Gergely Palos worked closely with his director to bring out the clarity of every person and object, hoping to mimic this intended painting style on screen. The stunning scene of an embracing couple floating over a war-torn Cologne becomes a revelation of cinematic genius. It was shot with the couple both hanging from wires, and the set of Cologne built out of Styrofoam below them. A touch of abstract realism is celebrated as in a painting by Chagall. Even though the subject matter explored in About Endlessness may be sombre, Andersson prefers not to smother his audience with heavy air. He humours us to see the tragedy in a different light, like in the episode of the devastated priest who has lost his faith. He hopes to seek help from a psychiatrist but he reaches the clinic while it is closing up. The doctor has a bus to catch, leaving the heart-broken priest in more despair than before his arrival. Human existence is indeed vulnerable and unpredictable, as depicted brilliantly by Andersson. Alice Shih is a Toronto-based film journalist, and an advisory board member of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 21

An Insider’s Look at Swedish Culture Vad tycker vi svenskar om Greta Thunberg egentligen? Av Yvonne Gossner


ag – en kvinna mitt i livet som efter 15 års erfarenhet i skolans värld bestämde mig för att kasta livlinan och starta mitt företag inom svensk kultur – det är alltså jag som nu upptar din uppmärksamhet i några minuter och som bl.a. förklarar hur vi svenskar ser på vår tids Pippi Långstrump: Greta Thunberg. Uppvuxen på gränsen mellan Halland och Småland, närmare bestämt Långaryd, tillbringade jag mina första år fram till studenten i en by så likt filmen Änglagård du kan tänka dig. Om inte det vore för att jag var den enda i min klass med en utländsk mamma hade jag nog aldrig kunnat odla mitt intresse för olika kulturer som jag gjorde på ett tidigt stadium. För mig har det alltid varit berikande att få lära känna flera kulturer och att som 18-åring få möjlighet att göra det som var trendigast just då, nämligen att åka till Boston i USA och jobba som au-pair. Att jag senare i livet skulle bli utbytesstudent

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Swedish Press | November 2019 22

i Australien och att jag några år senare träffade min svenske blivande man med nästan hela sin släkt boende i USA – ja, det var enbart ett stort plus i kanten innan jag bestämde att tacka ja till frieriet. Åren som lärare tog ut sin rätt och min entreprenörsådra var tvungen att få utrymme i mitt liv, men jag kunde aldrig drömma om att jag en dag tack vare mitt företag skulle bli inbjuden till svenska ambassaden i Washington DC, landskapsvandra med Kronprinsessan Victoria, skriva kontrakt med världens största möbelföretag eller att få stora äran att ha egen krönika i denna tidning. Jag är oerhört tacksam över att jag kan driva ett enmansföretag i Sverige trots de alltför höga skatterna för företagarna. Det finns en enorm drivkraft och vilja få fram nya, hungriga entreprenörer i Sverige, och det myllrar av helt fantastiska nätverk som gör att jag numera hela tiden siktar framåt och min entreprenörsådra får gehör. En av de vanligaste frågorna jag numera får när jag föreläser om svensk kultur är: vad tycker du egentligen om Greta Thunberg? Vi svenskar är enligt min åsikt ibland rädda för att ta ställning. Precis som att vi varken

vill prata med våra vänner om hur mycket vi tjänar eller vad vi röstar på, lika lite pratar vi om var vi egentligen står i frågan om Greta Thunberg med vår omgivning. Därför krävs det en närmare förklaring till hur debatten om Greta Thunberg pågår hemma i Sveriges stugor. Det jag med säkerhet kan säga efter att jag regelbundet träffat svenskar med olika bakgrunder är att vi nog alla är lite i hemlighet imponerade över hur denna unga svenska kvinna kan ha tagit hela världen med storm. Liknelsen att Greta har blivit vår tids nya starka och revolterande Pippi Långstrump är inte svår att förstå. Att Greta Thunberg påverkar oss alla det är helt klart. Jag kan bara för egen del medge att jag tidigare inte varit världsbäst på att sortera sopor, och att jag flugit alldeles för mycket utan att skämmas. Men Greta har faktiskt påverkat mig att köpa en elcykel och använda min bil mindre, vara noggrannare med att sortera mina egna sopor där vi bor i Limhamn och äta vegetariskt en gång i veckan trots att jag älskar kött. Kanske är jag också påverkad av att jag har två flickor och skulle ha skämts inför dem om jag inte hade blivit mer miljömedveten;


det är ju trots allt deras framtid och inte min egen som påverkas av miljön. Våra två flickor följer Greta Thunberg med ibland skräckblandad förtjusning. Kanske ger det dem hopp om att man som ung tjej kan faktiskt påverka framtiden och kan bli hörd även om man inte ens har gått ut skolan. Jag som pedagog står dock inte bakom att elever ska strejka under skoltid. För mig är skolan så oerhört viktig, och skolan är tyvärr inte en självklarhet för alla världens barn. Det måhända att Greta var tvungen att strejka för att först få publicitet, men jag tror aldrig att det var hennes avsikt att så många elever skulle missa sin tid i skolan genom att strejka för miljön. Min man som jobbar i bilindustrin är också imponerad över Greta Thunberg, men hävdar samtidigt att det måste vara någon annan som ligger bakom Greta Thunbergs framgångar och att hennes barndom blir förstörd. Det argumentet samt att hon blir utnyttjad av en PR-firma tillhör kritikernas röster. Då kan jag inte låta bli att tänka: är det för att Greta är en ung kvinna som går mot normen och stampar på ömmar tår? Jag har full

Greta Thunberg. Foto: Anders Hellberg Alla andra foton: Yvonne Gossner

förståelse för att människor p.g.a. sina yrken och karriärer blir rädda för Greta Thunberg. Hon påverkar den nya generationen att inte ha samma behov och att detta kommer att påverka världsekonomin, men om vår framtida miljö försämras snabbt, då har vi inget val längre, utan då måste vi alla göra små förändringar gemensamt. Vår grannes dotter vägrar numera att åka på flygresor med familjen (har inte varit helt konfliktfritt), och därmed måste familjen se till att hitta andra sätt att resa på. I detta kan jag också finna en viss beundran i att somliga barn av idag inte nödvändigtvis tar sina egna behov i första rummet utan hittar andra alternativ till att uppnå lycka genom att anpassa sina behov efter miljöns bästa.

Den stora frågan i Sverige och säkert utomlands kommer dock bli den närmsta tiden: kommer Greta Thunberg få Nobelpriset? Som om detta inte vore nog, vad kommer ske de närmsta åren med Gretas framfart världen över? Jag är en obotlig optimist och ser med spänning fram emot att få följa henne, och jag är stolt över att hon kommer från Sverige och sätter många av världens ledare på plats. Det viktigaste av allt är dock helt klart att vår miljö förblir vinnaren genom vår tids Pippi Långstrumps engagemang. Det kan ingen i hela världen säga emot, inte ens poliserna Kling och Klang! Footnote: Yvonne Gossner är en f.d universitetsadjunkt och Swedish influencer, numera ägare av Learn Swedish Culture AB. www.learnswedishculture. com

English summary: The author reports on the current thinking in Sweden about Greta Thunberg’s daring speeches at top international climate change conferences. People’s admiration for her fearlessness is mixed with scepticism about the motives of apparent corporate backers and concern about Greta’s childhood.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 23

Hemma hos

A Celebration of Comics – Gothenburg Comics Festival


By Kristi Robinson


he Gothenburg Comics Festival is returning to the delight of fans and comic enthusiasts after almost a decade. The festival is taking place from October 28 until November 3 in various venues across the city including City Library Gothenburg, Frölunda Culture House, Youth Prison (a prison turned youth centre), Science Fiction Bookstore, and other locations. Geared largely toward children and youth, the festival is action packed with events to entertain and engage kids and adults alike. Swedish Press had the pleasure of speaking with Yvette Gustafsson, project manager for the Gothenburg Comics Festival, and she filled us in on what all the buzz is about. With much enthusiasm Yvette says, “It’s amazing how people have brought so F e s t i valbild av J o h a n Wa nlo o

Marknad & scenprograM! 10.00-18.00 * fri entré kvällsröj! 19.00-23.00 inträde 150 kr …och kul aktiviteter under hela höstlov et vecka 44!

: instagram ocH faceBook @goteBorgseriefestival

Biljetter finns på Billetto.se

rogrammet Hela festivalpjandet.se på seriefram

Göteborg seriefestival arrangeras av Seriefrämjandet med stöd av Västra Götalandsregionen och Wilhelm & Martina Lundgrens understödsfond.


Gothenburg Comics Festival poster illustrated by Johan Wanloo. Photo © Göteborg Seriefestival

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Swedish Press | November 2019 24

Illustration from Øyvind Sagåsen’s popular comic Radio Gaga. Photo © Øyvind Sagåsen

much to this festival to make it so big”. Originally intended to be a one-day event when first approached by Seriefrämjandet, an established Swedish organization for the promotion of comics, Yvette began talking to collaborators who had their own ideas for programs, and the pieces quickly came together for a week-long festival. Comic artists invited to participate in the festival include many wellknown names. Gothenburg-born Johan Wanloo is the main local guest. Wanloo has just released his new book ‘Enklare fysiska övningar’ (Simple Physical Exercises), a book of jokes with exercises for the untrained middle-aged cartoonists. Wanloo will be doing signings and a number of stage talks. International guest Øyvind Sagåsen will also be doing talks at the festival. Sagåsen has his own comic magazine in Norway, Radio Gaga, a humorous and satiric account of six people working together at a radio station. A couple of faces that everyone will recognize are Karl Johnsson and Sara Bergmark Elfgren who co-wrote bestselling graphic novel ‘Vei’. Throughout the festival there will be lectures, workshops, signings, and a number of other events like free books for 12-25 year olds courtesy

of Värsta boken (Awesome book), and an award ceremony where one national and one international artist will be given the Adamsson statuette by Svenska Serieakademin (the Swedish Academy of Comics). Aspiring comic artists known as fanzinists (a play on ‘fan’ and ‘magazines’) will be on show with their self-published comic books.

Simple Physical Exercises by Johan Wanloo. Photo © Johan Wanloo

There will be a number of workshops where fans and aspiring artists can learn to draw in comic style. Internationally known artist Maria Fröhlich is holding a workshop for 13-18 year olds, focusing on drawing comic characters. Co-creator of the comic book series ‘Pax’, Henrik Jonsson will lead a monster drawing workshop for 9-12 year olds. A manga workshop is being held for youth who are interested in learning how to draw in the popular style of Japanese comics. There’s also an after work drawing workshop for adults. To catch the full line up of events and scheduling go to serieframjandet.se/ projekt/Goteborg

Hemma hos

Havre & Hasselback By Michaela Taylor


was born in Sweden, just north of Stockholm. When I was almost 3 years old, my parents and my younger sister moved to Fresno, California. Fresno was known mostly for agriculture and being the “Gateway to the Sierras”. I don’t think my parents had any idea that even one other Swede could possibly be living in the area. My dad worked at one of the local hospitals in Fresno, when he was approached by a man who had seen him wearing “träskor” (clogs) and asked if he happened to be Swedish. It’s because of that curious question that my parents ended up meeting an entire group of Swedes who became lifelong friends. When we moved to Fresno, I had already learned the amount of Swedish that one would learn when you have reached the age of three. I have memories of playing with the neighbor kids, me speaking in Swedish and they speaking in English. As kids, however, the international language of “play” meant that we understood each other perfectly. At Christmas, we would have a “Smörgåsbord” with “Hej tomtegubbar” playing in the background. During the summers we spent several weeks at our summer cottage in Södermanland. My parents spoke only Swedish with us at home, so we are fluent in both English and Swedish. At home, my mom kept many Swedish recipes going, year after year. There are two things that I remember my mom always making: a crispy


à la Michaela

oatmeal cookie we call “havrekakor” – flat, crispy yet chewy oatmeal squares. The other: a side dish served with fancier dinners, “Hasselbackspotatis” (Hasselback potatoes). When we visit mom now, there are always havrekakor in the freezer, and often we get to eat her Hasselbackspotatis. I live in San Francisco and am an active member of the local Bay Area Swedish community, as well as of SWEA San Francisco. I have been managing the Tombola (raffle) at the annual “Julmarknad” (Christmas Fair). I live with my American

Havrekakor Ingredients: • 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal • 1/2 cup sugar • 1 stick melted butter • 1½ tbsp dark corn syrup • 1 tbsp cream

husband and our son, both of whom understand and speak Swedish. Enjoy these recipes!

Crispy Oatmeal Squares Preparation: Mix all ingredients together and spread it on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 400 F. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Hasselbackspotatis Ingredients: • 6 Yukon gold potatoes • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish • ½ cup breadcrumbs • flaky sea salt, to taste

Hasselback Potatoes Preparation: Preheat oven to 425 F. Slice the potatoes: Set a potato on a cutting board. With a sharp, thin knife, make vertical cuts 1/8-inch apart, but without cutting all the way through the potato. Place the potatoes with the cut side up in the baking dish, spaced a little apart so each one has some room. Fan the potatoes open slightly. Season the potatoes: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, oil, breadcrumbs and parsley. Drizzle this over the potatoes and then use a pastry brush to spread the butter and oil mixture evenly and in between the slices of each potato. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 25



Swedish Press Connects

Swedish Council of America

Vilhelm Moberg’s Sources in Minnesota By Gregg White, SCA Executive Director


early everyone in Swedish America is at least somewhat familiar with Vilhelm Moberg’s masterwork, The Emigrants. This four-volume series, published between 1949 and 1959, depicts the incredible hardships and perhaps eventual triumphs that confronted the over one million Swedes who boldly (or perhaps foolishly) crossed the Atlantic to start a new life in America. The protagonists of his novels are Karl-Oskar Nilsson and his wife, Kristina Johansdotter. The books follow them as they and their extended family move from Småland to Chisago County, Minnesota, where they farmstead and eventually prosper to some degree. The series was highly successful in both Sweden and the United States and is arguably one of the most influential Swedish works of fiction ever published. What was Moberg’s source material for this incredible story of SwedishAmerican history? How did he research the stories of actual Swedish emigrants to this part of Minnesota, which had only recently been opened to settlement at the time of Karl-Oskar’s and Kristina’s fictional arrival? Two major sources stand out in his studies. Vilhelm Moberg Statue, Chisago The first are his interCity, MN – Credit: Martin Gringo views and observations in Chisago County immediately after the conclusion of World War II. Travelling by bicycle, Moberg spent months going from farmstead to farmstead in this very Swedish part of the state. There he interviewed scores of Swedish emigrés and their descendants to learn of their personal histories and those of their grandparents. Still today, the Swedish influence in Lindstrom, Center City, Scandia and Almelund can be experienced as one travels the Swedish Immigrant Trail that intersects Chisago County.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 26

The Andrew Peterson family and homestead, Waconia, MN – Credit: Carver County Historical Society

Just as important, and perhaps more detailed from a first-person perspective, were the diaries of Andrew Peterson, which Moberg spent many hours reading and researching in the archives of the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) in Saint Paul. Containing nearly daily entries from Mr. Peterson’s arrival in America in 1850 to two days before his death in 1898, they depict both the mundane chores of a hardworking farmer and the heart-felt emotions of a stoic but loving family man as many of those he loves predecease him. Until now, this important source of Swedish immigrant history was difficult to access. However, the Carver County Historical Society (CCHS) has just released a complete 733-page translation of the Diaries of Andrew Peterson. Translating the handwritten diaries was a daunting undertaking. Not only was the Swedish used an older form of the language, but as Peterson adapted to life in America, his syntax became more “Swenglish”. Fortunately, the members of the translation team were all native Swedish speakers, and two were familiar with his dialect. It is a remarkable project and Swedish Council of America is proud to have provided funding for its completion. More information on the Diaries of Andrew Peterson can be found at www.carvercountyhistoricalsociety.org. SCA is Swedish America’s community foundation. Our mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of Swedish heritage and culture in North American life and to strengthen contemporary cultural and educational ties between North America and Sweden. We achieve this by providing grants to organizations, scholarships to youth, recognition to leaders and communications to the community – all focused on furthering our mission. www.swedishcouncil.org



Road to Community

Road to


Changes to Migrants’ Accommodation in Sweden By John Hultengård & Gustav Wiigh, Fores


he EBO-act, roughly translated as “The Act of Own Accommodation” (in Swedish Lagen om Eget Boende) dictates the right of asylum seekers in Sweden to arrange their own housing, should they so wish. The act enables asylum seekers to forgo accommodation arranged by the Swedish Migration Agency in favor of living with friends or family without the risk of losing their benefits. Changes to the EBO-act was a central question in the January agreement struck between the Social Democrats, the Green Party, the Centre Party, and the Liberals. The changes were most notably in regard to whether or not asylum seekers should partially lose benefits (dagersättning) if they choose to live in areas with established socioeconomic challenges. These changes were processed by the Swedish Parliament on the 24th of September and later voted on. The revised EBO-act is proposed to become law the 1st of January 2020.

The act was originally implemented in 1994 by the coalition government led by the Swedish Moderate Party. It was preceded by a situation where asylum seekers had no right to benefits if they chose to arrange their own accommodation. The purpose of the law was to lessen the need for governmental housing and to increase the responsibilities of the individual. Enabling people to seek their own housing outside of governmental control was in turn believed to facilitate easier reception and integration of asylum seekers, as they themselves would be responsible to find accommodation. Following the implementation of the law, critics have argued that the EBO-act leads to overcrowding and segregation. Municipalities such as Malmö and Södertälje have seen a large increase in migrants utilizing the rights dictated by the EBO-act, which has led to disproportionalities between them and other regions in the country. In light of this critique, the question of a more proportional distribution between municipalities has become prevalent in the public debate.

Western Harbour, Malmö. Photo: Aline Lessner/imagebank.sweden.se

The future of the EBO-act

The question whether limitations to the EBO-act should be implemented has been present in the public debate over the past couple of years, but it is still unclear what these limitations will entail. In 2016 the Minister of Justice, Morgan Johansson, opened up for changes to the EBO-act, which meant that municipalities that received a large number of asylum seekers would be subjected to a “social review.” This means that if an asylum seeker, for example, would want to move into a house or an apartment where several families already live, the municipality would first have to approve the housing arrangement. Johansson meant that by reviewing asylum seekers’ potential accommodations, problems of overcrowding and other unsustainable living conditions could be prevented. A later proposal about revising the EBO-act was originally presented in a governmental memorandum in 2018. The proposal contained, as previously alluded to, suggestions of restricting asylum seekers’ benefits should they choose to move into certain socioeconomically challenged areas. The proposal specifically mentioned 32 municipalities where the revision of the EBO-act would be particularly relevant, among them Södertälje. The proposal, now part of the January accord, also opens up for allowing municipalities themselves to restrict the right for asylum seekers to arrange their own housing in certain areas. The proposal, now having been through the process of referral to the Council of Legislation, will be processed by the relevant committees of the Swedish parliament and later voted on during the fall.

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Swedish Press | November 2019 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 | info@samac.org www.swedishamericanmuseum.org Ongoing – Exhibit: Lost Houses of Lyndale – through Jan 5; Display of Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera puppets ends Dec 1. Nov 2 – Sat 6 pm: “Aspire!” the Museum’s annual benefit dinner-dance and recognition of board member Janet Nelson at Park Ridge Country Club. Nov 16 – Sat 3 to 6 pm: Andersonville Viking Pub Crawl and costume contest. Nov 22 – Fri 7 pm: Annual Got Glogg competition among amateur brewers. Nov 23 – Sat 10 am: Swedish American Genealogical Society review of Swedish American church records by ArkivDigital. DETROIT SWEA® Michigan www.michigan.swea.org | Info: 568-457-0417 Nov 23 – Sat 9:30 am to 2pm: Swedish Christmas Fair – at Finnish Cultural Center, 35200 W 8 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills Lucia 11 am and 1 pm; Cafeteria; items and food imported from Sweden. Swedish Club of Southeast Michigan 22398 Ruth St, Farmington Hills, MI 48336 Info: 734-459 0596 www.swedishclub.net Nov 3 – Sun 1 to 2:30 pm: Annual autumn buffet hosted by Scandia ladies chorus. MINNEAPOLIS American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55407 Tel: 612-871 4907 | www.asimn.org Nov 21 – Thurs 7 to 8:30 pm: Glögg Tour – ASI’s popular after-hours tour of the decorated Turnblad Mansion is centered around this year’s holiday exhibition, Time Tested. Tradition Approved. PHILADEPHIA American Swedish Historical Museum 1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19145 | Tel: 215-389 1776 | info@americanswedish.org | www.americanswedish.org Ongoing through Jan 31, 2020 – Photo Exhibition: The Finnish Cause is Ours: Finnish War Children in Sweden 1939-1945. 8




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Swedish Press | November 2019 28


Nov 2 – Sat 8:30 am to 3 pm: New Sweden History Conference – a day-long exploration of the life and legacy of the New Sweden Colony (1638-1655). Conference location at Lazzaretto Ballroom, 99 Wanamaker Ave, Essington, PA 19029. PORTLAND Nordic Northwest Nordia House, 8800 SW Oleson Rd., Portland, OR 97223 | Tel: 503-977 0275 www.nordicnorthwest.org Nov 22-24 – Sat to Mon 9 am to 4 pm (Sun 9 am to 1 pm): Nordic Vintage Sale – get in the gift-giving spirit with the annual vintage, book and treasure sale! SEATTLE Swedish Cultural Center 1920 Dexter Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98109 Tel: 206-283 1090 | www.swedishclubnw.org info@swedishculturalcenter.org Nov 2 & 3 – Sat & Sun 9 am to 3 pm: Scandinavian Holiday Bazaar. Nov 2 – Sat 6 to 11 pm: Skandia Ball. Skandia Folkdance Society hosts the 65th Skandia Ball at the Swedish Club. Nov 3 – Sun 8 am to 1 pm: Swedish Pancakes. Music and dancing, plus authentic Swedish pancakes. Music by Seattle Skandia Spelmanslag, Direct from Sweden: Per-Thomas Eriksson & Pasi Pasanen and Nordiska Dancers. Nordic Museum 2655 NW Market Street, Seattle, WA 98107 Tel: 206-789 5707 | nordic@nordicmuseum.org www.nordicmuseum.org Nov 23-24 – Sat to Sun 10 am to 5 pm: Julfest – a Nordic Christmas Celebration – This annual event turns the Museum into a winter wonderland. CALGARY Swedish Society of Calgary 739 20 Ave. N.W. Calgary, AB T2M 1E2 Tel: 403-284 2610 | www.swedishsociety.ca Nov 3 & 7 – The Swedish Embassy and the Swedish Society is sponsoring a Swedish film “Becoming Astrid”. Nov 10 – Sun 10:30 am to 3 pm: Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar & Craft Sale at Scandinavian Centre, 739 20 Ave. N.W. 18





EDMONTON Edmonton Scandinavian Centre Assn 13312 – 142 Street, Edmonton, AB T5L 4T3 Tel: 780-452 2861 | http://dutchcanadiancentre.com Nov 10 – Sun 10 am to 3 pm: Dutch Canadian Centre & Home of the Scandinavians! The Edmonton Scandinavian Centre Association (ESCA) and its five Scandinavian societies – Danish Canadian Society (DANIA), The Finnish Society of Edmonton, The Icelandic Canadian Club of Edmonton, Sons of Norway Solglyt Lodge 4-143, and Vasa Order of America, Skandia Lodge 549 – annually bring Christmas to Edmonton in November. Free admission! For more info call Brenda Carlstad at 780-430 6451. TORONTO Svenska kyrkan i Toronto 25 Old York Mills Road, Toronto ON M2P 1B5 Tel: 416-486 0466 | toronto@svenskakyrkan.se www.svenskakyrkan.se/toronto Nov 16 – Sat 11 am to 2 pm: Julbasar i Svenska kyrkan Toronto. VANCOUVER Scandinavian Community Centre 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby, BC V5B 4P9 Tel: 604-294 2777 | info@scancentre.org | www.scancentre.org Nov 16 & 17 – Sat and Sun 11 am to 4 pm: 2019 Christmas Fair – Coffee, drinks, sandwiches and pastries available to feed you while you are shopping. WINNIPEG Swedish Cultural Assn of Manitoba 764 Erin Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 2W4 | Tel: 204-774 8047 | Reservations at: svenskclub17@gmail.com Nov 3 – Sun 10 am to 1 pm: Vasa Waffle Breakfast – Charleswood Legion, hosted by Lodge Strindberg. Nov 17 – Sun 11 am to 2 pm: Christmas Market and Cafe – Variety of beautiful homemade crafts, Scandinavian baking and delicacies. Free admission. Nov 21 – Thurs 7 to 9 pm: Christmas Fika and Sweets – Enjoy coffee and fellowship. Nov 23 – Sat 12 noon to 4 pm: Children’s Christmas Party – Lunch, crafts and a fun filled cultural event. 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 contact@swedishschool.com. 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 info@scancentre.org 604-294-2777 www.scancentre.org Svenska Kulturföreningen Ordförande Ellen Petersson 604-970-8708. Kassör är Linda

[Swed sh Press] N Y A




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: swedenhousechair@gmail.com 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 Swedish Heritage in BC 1812 Duthie Ave. Burnaby BC Laila Axen Ph# 604-526-7464. Visit us at www.swedishheritageinbc.org E-mail: swedishheritagebc@gmail. com Swedish Club of Victoria Dinners, Events and Meetings, for information contact Annabelle Beresford @ 250-656-9586 or Swedish Club of Victoria Facebook.

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 Classified Advertising Sales Reps wanted Swedish Press is looking for full or part-time advertising sales representatives. E-mail info@swedishpress.com for more information. Swedish Press Classified Ad Rate is as low as 50 cents per word (minimum $10). Send your ad to advertise@swedishpress.com

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Swedish Press | November 2019 29



Sista ordet

“Charles Holmes writes to touch people’s lives” Charles Holmes, a SwedishAmerican Poet of 40 Years

comes from being alone and living in a difficult neighborhood, with a mind wondering what’s ahead. Here are two poems from Streets That Speak:

By Peter Berlin


harles Holmes writes to touch people’s lives. His father, Charles John Holmes Sr., was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was a skilled craftsman with hand and pen, who loved the sea, stamp collecting, and baseball. His mother, Rosalie Louise Gallick, enjoyed quiet churches, entertaining community gatherings (radio too) with piano and song, and fulfilling her lifelong ministry of goodness. Holmes is also a surrogate grandfather for an 11-year-old boy named Aidan, grandson in heart.

Holmes has written four lifereflecting poetry books, For Understanding Eyes, Reflections of the Heart, Reflections of the Soul, and Streets That Speak about some realities of streets which do not have enough, and streets that do have enough. He recalls a moment of great loss and sorrow when he was 17 years old: The boarding school that I attended offered a five-day vacation at Easter time. I had lived with my mother at the Christmas break in a small apartment on the second floor of a large corner

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Swedish Press | November 2019 30

Out There

building. For a reason I do not know, I received a ride from school to San Francisco, arriving early evening. I took my luggage, rang the doorbell, only to find strangers in the dwelling. I suddenly found myself without a place to live. My mother did not know I would be coming home. Some months before she lost her cashier job, owners reluctant to give her benefits and pension, she a long-time employee age 56. I made a phone call to no avail, and walked and walked and walked up and down San Francisco’s Market Street. I didn’t know where my single parent mother was. It was getting late. I was near the Greyhound bus depot. I spent the night there, sitting as best I could on a bench. When I awoke the next morning, I prepared for the day, and went to a nearby hotel on this main street. I had little money, and rented the cheapest room, near bathroom and elevator. In the summer I resided in a small room at the YMCA in the Tenderloin, perhaps San Francisco’s most famous slum. Disturbing noise was part of day, as well as other annoyances in the stay. My Swedish father, with whom I lived until I was 5, died July 6th. My book, STREETS THAT SPEAK, touches upon a fragment of the feeling which

Pain raced across his ankles bare, while his forehead stretched in eloquent age. Thirty-seven years of walking alone had carved a “dance-less” statue of shaggy skin on silent air. But, he roller skates after work now, with biking speed, wires and all, even the ones behind sidewalk trees. There, the money scream can’t be heard, clothes don’t matter, nor the lane he’s in, it’s just him and the wind on his face.

Tenderloin Kids Playing, 1979 Children in school yard, skating, falling, resting, laughing, hitting, running, throwing, kicking, dodging. So unaware of life, perhaps so aware of it. Happy to be alive, appreciative of the moment, wrapped up in Now. So unconcerned about supper, night’s rest, day’s work. So conscious of play, where they are. They are children, determined to enjoy TODAY.




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Profile for Swedish Press

Swedish Press November 2019 Vol 90:09  

Swedish Press is the world’s leading magazine on all good things Swedish. An authority on design, business, culture and travel since 1929, S...

Swedish Press November 2019 Vol 90:09  

Swedish Press is the world’s leading magazine on all good things Swedish. An authority on design, business, culture and travel since 1929, S...