Sweden Post 2

This is the inside of the Kloster Pub where the pics of the people on the sidewalk were taken.

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This is Irene’s ancestor tree.  All Swedes have an ancestor tree.  Each line of holes in the tree represents an ancestor; Irene’s ancestors, being Geats, use 5 hole lines.  As you can see Irene’s tree has many ancestors, including Beowulf, whose hole line Irene is just able to touch as she extends her arms.  Surprisingly, Beowulf is not viewed as the biggest deal ancestor on her tree.  That honor belongs to Sigrid Larsdotter, a warrior queen who drove a bunch of  some other invading Germanic tribe out of the countryside around Dalum in the 7th century.  She is said to have been a small but powerful woman with a round head.

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May Day Celebration Syndicalist (Socialist/Anarchist)  Drum Group.

 

 

 

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This is Gustaf Adolf’s Torget (Square) after the demonstrations.  What used to be the Communist Party, now the Left, or Socialist Party has gathered to hear the party leader Jonas Sjo:stedt.  The Statue of Gustav II Adolf is pointing down where supposedly in 1621 he said “Here I will build my city.”  I like that the construction crane is still doing his work.

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This is Kosla:pp.  On this day Cows are set free into pasture.  A big deal in some places.  Irene and I went a bit out of town, saw the cows, and got free milk and bulle (Swedish buns; the ones with cinnamon and cardamom, I am becoming quite fond of).

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Many Swedes are in the forefront of Animal Rights.  These Swedes are protesting Kosla:pp.  One sign reads “It’s not your mom, it’s not your milk,” another says “Who wouldn’t be happy after months in prison.”

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Sweden post 1

Today was Valborg Day in Sweden. In Gothenburg it coincides with Hanami in the Biological Gardens. Hanami in Japanese means “flower viewing,” and was a big deal in the town where I lived in Japan. Hadn’t heard of it since, really, and here it is in Gburg, for no apparent reason. Japanese dancing, story telling, etc here, but nary a Japanese in sight… odd. Beautiful huge arboretum maintained by the City and the University, and a short walk from Irene’s house.

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Swede’s seem to mingle nicely in large groups; I haven’t quite got a handle on it yet, but they seem to comfortably take private selves into public places, and not intrude into each other’s space. The Swedes I have asked about this say “Ja, quite possibly something like that.” One guy suggested that Americans are probably more aware of their surroundings. There seems to me to be something like a palpable absence of something like fear or “wariness” is Irene’s suggestion….again, can’t write put my finger on it.

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Here are Emilie and Irene ready for Hanami

Valborg day is a semi-holiday with obscure German pagan roots, that has to do with witches and devils and bonfires and spring. It is also the day when the university students parade (“cortege”) and make fun of different political things that have happened during the year. This year seemed a bit lame, but the students were having fun and often well lubricated. They have some sort of pipeline that is constructed from the Brewery to the University during the week before Valborg. Only one Trump float.
After that we bicycled to the park for the bonfire and enjoyed the loooooonnnnggg Swedish twilight that lasts now until after 10:00.

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Then we bicycled back to Irene’s neighborhood to join in some group singing to welcome spring.

Swedes act like this everyday. The country is perfect, everyone is happy. All the children are lovely. They closed the borders yesterday, and no one else is allowed in. Those of us here now will live in happiness all our lives.
Irene suggests however we risk dying of boredom, but I feel she is too cynical in this matter.

Love,
Ben

Slideshow of Swedes from my favorite bar in Stockholm: Kloster on Hornstullgatan in Sodermalm

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