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
This was followed by a smörgåsbord of catered food organized
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.
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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
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.
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.
||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.
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.