Swedish-American Society 
Newsletter, June 2002 Edition
                   President: Bentley Anderson 340-9757
WHEN NEXT WE MEET:
Sunday, June 16, 2002 
Ruritan Club, Witchduck Road
Välkommen!

3:00 PM  SMÖRGÅSBORD SETUP  Doors open and setup begins.  Sue Airth  will
setup for the meeting and meal.  Sandy MacGregor will set up the beverage
table.

 4:00 PM   Fellowship Hour: Club provides the soft drinks, beer & wine, but
depends on the membership for the hors d'oeuvres (cheese, crackers, nuts,
etc).

5:00 PM    Välkommen to members and guests, followed by Du Gamla Du Fria,
My Country Tis of thee, and I Jesu Namn Til Bords Vi Gå, after which, the
grilling of burgers can proceed.

DINING:  This basically is a Midsommar picnic so everyone must bring their
own food.  Bentley Anderson will clean the picnic area outside on Saturday,
June 15, and provide a charcoal grill and charcoal for those who wish to
grill hamburgers, kielbasa, brats, etc.

5:45 PM   Business Meeting: Treasurer's Report, Other Business.

6:00 PM  Larry Leonardson will bring the Maypole and greenery, Merri Jo
Milner will lead the dancing around the Maypole and we hope everyone can
participate and have some fun.  This will occur either outside if the
weather is pleasant or inside if the weather is too hot or raining or Thor
is throwing his hammer around too much.  (See below).

6:45 PM  Raffle with Diane Newlon made possible by gifts from the members,
and very important in keeping our Treasurer from attacks of anxiety.

7:00 PM   Hälsä Dem Där Hemma and the clearing of tables and stacking of
chairs.

OUR ADDRESS ON THE WEB:
               http://members.tripod.com/~SweAmer

 

DIRECTIONS TO OUR MEETINGS
If coming from the peninsula, take I-64 across the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, follow 64 to 264 East (144). Follow 264 to the Witchduck Road exit, after exiting, turn left onto Witchduck Road. About 1/4 to ½ mile is Ruritan Drive (fire station light is there). Turn left on Ruritan, go the end of the street, building is on the left 
CHILDREN’S CORNER
It is felt that the children will like to dance around the maypole and so
there is no need for a special children's program.  Nellie Leonardson, says
she has the materials for making little maypoles and will bring these
materials or send them along, depending how she is feeling.
MEMBERSHIP DUES?
As much as we would love to continue to send newsletters, I have to do some pruning. If there is a date beside your name on the mailng label then you have not paid membership dues and will no longer receive a newsletter. We would love to see all of you again so “come on down” for Midsömmar and rejoin our local club!

CLUB OFFICERS:
President  -  Bentley Anderson (340-9757), 
Vice-President  -  Glenn Gerdin,
Treasurer -  Donald Lundquist, 
Secretary  -  Edward Unser, Asst. Secretary-  Merrie Jo Milner, Raffle Master  -  Diane Newlon, 
Web Master  -  Larry Leonardson, 
Beverage Master  -  Sandy MacGregor, 
and Concert Master  -  Ted Johnson.

When Last We Met

 The monthly meeting of the Swedish American Society was held at the Ruritan Club, Witchduck Road, Virginia Beach on May 19, 2002.  Sue Airth set up for the meeting and meal and Olaf Storaasli set up the beverage table.
      The fellowship hour began at 4:00 with soft drinks, beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres provided by the members.  The attendance totaled 30 adults and nine children.  Guests included Mary Lewis, Dustin Lewis, and Marcie Blanchard.

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      At 5:00 P.M., Ted Johnson led us in singing Ja må han leva,
Kostervalsen, Dansen den går uppå Svinnsta skär, Hälsa den därhemma,
America, and Du gamla du fria , and then in praying the table grace I Jesu
namn.
      This was followed by a smörgåsbord of catered food organized by
Marilyn Melendy including baked salmon, plain and pickled herring, herring
salad, curried herring, and herring and capers.
      The 25th birthday celebration of this Society began at 6:00.  Kirsten
New made the birthday cake.  Don Lundquist led a discussion of the history
of the Society which was organized at the First Lutheran Church in Norfolk
in 1977.  Don Lundquist was the first president.  Anna Rydingsvard, Marilyn
Melendym and Bror Anderson (Bentley Anderson's father), Gladys Nelson, and
Ruth Nelson were among the original members.  Past presidents were honored
including Don Lundquist, Elva Wilson, Gordon Nelson, Mauritz Nelson, Leland
Peterson, and Larry Lenardson.
      The raffle, conducted by Bob Olson, was held at 6:30.  The meeting ended and the tables and chairs were stacked.

                                        Respectfully Submitted,
                                          Ed Unser, Secretary

This Scandahoovian joke came from the book: Grade A Fresh Scandinavian Yokes (Eggs Press, Minneapolis, 1979), graciously lent to the editor by
Leland Peterson.

      A Norwegian, a Finn, and a Swede were discussing what they would do if they awoke one morning to discover they were millionaires.  The Norwegian said that he would take a trip on a big 747 back to dear, old
Norway.  The Finn said that he would build himself a really fine home in the North Woods with his own private sauna.  The Swede said that he would go back to sleep again to see if he could make another million.

Old Norse Mythology Department.

      This is a new feature intended to inform the membership about the mythological heritage of the Scandinavian people.  The main source here is
my mythology book:  Encyclopedia of World Mythology, A. Cotterell Gen. Ed.,
Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 2001, ISBN 0-7607-2855-0.

      Note some of the days of the week are named after the Old Norse or Germanic Gods: Tuesday ? Tyr's day; Wednesday ? Woden/Odin's day; Thursday
? Thor's day; and Friday ? Frigg's day.

      While the coming of Christianity wiped out this old religion, Sweden was a relatively late holdout, with the Norse religion lasting well into the 12th century.  Huge statues of Thor, Odin, and Freyr resided in the
magnificent temple in Uppsala, where there were sacrifices held which apparently included humans.  In some cases people hedged their bets by praying to both Jesus Christ and the Old Norse gods.

      Iceland is where the interest in the Norse gods lasted the longest, perhaps as poetic stories or Eddas told around the fire on the long dark winter night.  In about 1220, the Icelandic scholar and major landowner,
Snorri Sturluson  wrote a book about the Norse gods to preserve this heritage for future poets.  His book, the Edda, gives us the clearest picture of Norse Mythology.  Also there is another major source from 13th century Iceland called the Poetic Edda, which is a collection of mythological poems.
      The Aesir were a group of Norse gods, that included Odin, Frigg, Thor, and Balder.  Odin was the chief god of this group.  He was a powerful magician and the god of war, death, kings, poetry, and magic.  He cared more about magical power than he cared for his subjects, and so could not always be trusted by the populace.  Frigg was his beautiful queen who like him, could foresee the future.
      The protector of Asgard (were the Aesir lived) was Thor; he was the god of thunder and Odin's son.  When the gods got into trouble with their enemies, the giants, Thor would instantly appear swinging his unstoppable
hammer, Mjollnir, and defeat the giants.  Thor was reliable as a protector and this extended to men; the people put their faith in Thor.  

For example, my dad grew up in Torsby in Sweden, which literally means Thor's town. Thunder was believed to be caused by Thor throwing his hammer.
      Another son of Odin was Balder, the wisest, kindest, best looking, and most beloved of the gods.  He was tragically killed by the gods through
treachery of Loki (a giant).  Tyr was another god of war and the bravest of the gods.  The Aesir gods also included Bragi, god of poetry, and Ull, the god of archery and hunting.
      Balder's Death.  Mortal danger filled Balder's dreams, and this was considered a bad omen by the Aesir.  His mother Frigg thought up a plan to
keep him safe.  She got everything in the world to promise not to hurt Balder: from fire, water, birds, animals, snakes, plants, stones, trees, earth, metals, diseases, and poison.The Aesir then took great sport in throwing and/or shooting these things at Balder knowing that he could not be harmed, and these objects would swerve away at the last second to avoid touching him.  

 Loki, the giant, decided to do some mischief and turned himself into a woman and went to visit Frigg to ask about this.  Frigg told this woman (Loki) 'Neither weapons nor wood will harm Balder, I have promises from them all.'
Then Loki asked 'Really!  Has everything sworn such an oath?' 'Well', Frigg replied, 'mistletoe seemed too young and weak to have to swear an oath.'

Of course Loki proceeded to find mistletoe and made it into an arrow and a bow.  He then went to the blind god Hod, who was standing alone on the sidelines of  the target practice on Balder.  He asked Hod, 'Why aren't you shooting at Balder?'  Hod replied, 'I can't see him and have no weapon.'  Loki said, 'It would honor Balder for you to shoot at him.  I will let you have this bow and arrow and show were to shoot.'  Hod lifted up the mistletoe bow and arrow and shot where Loki directed; Balder was pierced through by the arrow and fell dead.

      The Aesir gods were struck dumb and wept.  Frigg finally spoke and asked the gods, who would ride down to Hel (the underworld) and find Balder and offer a ransom to Hel's guardian Hel, to permit Balder to return to Asgard.  Hermod, brother of Balder, volunteered and rode away to Hel on Odin's eight-legged  horse Sleipnir who could gallop across the sea and in the air.

      When Hermod got to Hel, Balder was sitting in the seat of honor. Hedmod pleaded with Hel to let Balder go, and described the weeping of the Aesir.  Hel said the strength of feeling for Balder must be tested first,
before she would release him.  'If all things in the world will weep for Balder, then I will let him go, but not if even only one thing refuses him.'

      Messengers were sent out over the whole world to ask everything to weep for Balder.  Everything did this: people, animals, the earth, stones, trees, and every metal.  But on the way back, the messengers noticed Thokk, a giantess, had not been asked.  Thokk replied to their request, 'Thokk will weep dry tears for Balder.  Let Hel keep her prize.'  So Balder stayed
put.  Many believed Thokk was Loki in disguise.

      Note if you have trouble reading this message, please send me a
reply.  Glenn Gerdin
 
24th of June Midsommar (Midsummer)

Midsummer is celebrated around the 24:th June. 24:th June is the "real" Midsummer Day, when the days are at the longest and nights are as short as they get. The original celebration of Midsummer comes from the Vikings, who celebrated the sun. 
To celebrate Midsummer in Sweden, people dance around a big pole stuck in the ground, called Midsummer pole. The Midsummer pole is decorated with flowers and birch leaves. We sing a lot of songs when we dance around the pole. On Midsummer, the most favoured dish is pickled herring with new potatoes and schnapps; for dessert, strawberries with cream and/or sugar.
According to tradition, girls should pick 7 different kinds of flowers before they go to bed. If they put them under their pillow and sleep on them, they will dream of their future husband. 
Midsommer is a very special holiday for Mellbystrand. People from all parts of Sweden arives and there is one party in every summer house. A special fair is situared in central Mellbystrand and the beach is crowded with people.

Fruktsoppa   Fruit Soup serves 6
 3/4 cup dried apricots
 3/4 cup dried prunes
 6 cup cold water
 1 cinnamon stick
 2 lemon slices
 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
 1 cup granulated sugar
 2 tablespoons raisins
 1 tablespoons dried currants
 1 tart cooking apple, peeled, cored & cut into thin slices

 Soak the dried apricots and prunes in 6 cups cold water in a large pot for 30 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick, lemon slices, tapioca and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring.  Stir in raisins, currants and apples slices and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until the apples are  tender.  Pour into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Remove cinnamon stick.
Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.


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