Saturday, December 29, 2018

... on Sweden

All about SWEDEN, the land of happy vikings
J.J. McCullough | 3.XI.2018

0:49 Skansen?

If you ever get to Södertelge (it's unfortunately spelled Södertälje these days), don't miss Torekällberget!

2:21 Did you see any year on the lions?

I was in Stockholm in military service early 1990 ... and I don't recall those lions.

2:33 "give kings last names"

Actually, there is only Gustaf Adolf and Carl Gustaf.

There are six Gustaf, the even ones are Adolf and there are sixteen Carl, obviously with numbers 10 and 16 adding Gustaf.

Otherwise, you don't find double names in Swedish monarchs.

In Prussia, you had lots of Friedrich Wilhelm. (You also had some Friedrich and some Wilhelm that were not Friedrich Wilhelm).

Yes, I forgot Carl XIV Johan - there is only he as far as Carl Johan goes, so, if you just say Carl Johan or in Norway Carl Johann, they'll know you mean him. Unless the context allows for a private person unrelated to anything royal.

There is also a ruling Queen who had a double name, Ulrika Eleonora, who ruled two years after the death of her brother CHarles XII, until the kingship was transferred to her husband.

Nobelmuseet ...

"Nobelmuseet är ett museum om Nobelpriset och Nobelpristagarna, beläget i Börshuset på Stortorget 2 i Gamla stan, Stockholm, invigt 2001 i samband med 100-årsfirandet av Nobelpriset."

OK, that recent ... no wonder I haven't heard of it!

4:17 "and with it the rise of a strong centralized Protestant monarchy by the 15th C."


  • 1) Sweden was officially Catholic from 1000 to 1527
    (it was deprotestantised in 2000, so, the Protestant religion has less history in Sweden overall than Catholicism).

  • 2) This means, arrival of Christianity and of Protestantism were two WIDELY different things.

  • 3) Also, you seem to have mistranslated "1500-talet" to 15th C. when it's actually 16th C.

"The Swedish kings had conquered all of Scandinavia but then they lost it all in the Great Northern war."

No again. It's like saying "French kings conquered Québec from England" (as you would know : not true).

  • 1) Between Sweden's Medieval independent and Catholic monarchy and the modern times independent and Protestant monarchy, there was an all Scandinavian monarchy (a Catholic one).

  • 2) This all Scandinavian monarchy included three kingdoms, but five modern countries : Finland was part of Sweden (SW of Finland had been conquered even before the Viking age, Swedish crusaders had enlarged the Swedish part, by 1400 there was no independent pagan Finland, there was Swedish Roman Catholic Finland and Russian Russian Orthodox East Carelia).

  • 3) It split up between two monarchs, both still Catholics, in 1520. Christian II of Denmark had accused Swedish nobility of schism and conducted a crusade to correct this. One of the executed men was father of a man who became the Swedish King, namely Gustaf Wasa.

    Now, Gustaf Wasa needed support against Denmark, got it from Lubeck and when trying to finance a pay back of debts to Lubeck, that already Lutheran town suggested introducing Lutheranism and pillaging Church property, which Gustaf Wasa did. By then his liberation of Sweden (with Finland) from Denmark (with Norway and Iceland) was already an accomplished fact. Nevertheless, recalcitrant Catholics (including over a century later a mayor of Södertelge, Georg Bähr or Ursinus) could be convicted of treason like betraying Swedish liberty to the Danes or sth (or simply not obeying King Gustaf enough).

    Denmark followed suit.

  • 4) Above Sweden (except Scanian lands) and Finland, later on Swedish kings (I think already Gustaf Wasa, who ruled to 1560) came to rule parts of the Baltic. Yes, the Swordbearing Knights introduced Protestantism as well, thereby making their régime obsolete, and the dukes of Livonia and Curonia gave their land in heritage to Sweden.

  • 5) There was a war in 1658 in which Charles X Gustaf gained Scanian lands - Scania, Blekinge, Öland, Halland - as well as a part of former Norway, Bohuslän.

  • 6) THEN came the Great Northern war you mentioned, 1700 - 1721. All South of Finland, Livonia and Curonia, were lost to Russia, as well as a good part of West Carelia.

  • 7) THEN came the Napoleonic wars, old dynasty ended basically with Gustaf IV Adolf, who, as he thought Napoleon was Antichrist, opposed him, and as Russia back then was still pro-Napoleon, a war started 1808 and ended in 1809, in which Russia took Finland with Åland and tempoorarily occupied Norrland. When this occupation ceased, Sweden had its modern borders, basically.

  • 8) Later on in Napoleonic wars, the uncle of the deposed king who was childless, was "king" (usurper, Miraz style) and adopted Maréchal Bernadotte, a k a Carl XIV Johann.

    He made Sweden a double monarchy up to 1905 by conquering Norway from Denmark. This included respect for the Norwegian declaration of independence from 17 May 1814, it had been signed by a Danish prince regent a few months earlier, but in order to conquer Norway, Carl XIV Johann had to declare he respected it.

    So, Norway continued as "other kingdom of Swedish kings" but not as part of Sweden, up to 1905.

5:05 Dalecarlian horses ... well, Dalecarlia is where Gustaf Wasa had his independentist troups against Denmark from ... not counting legionaries from Lubeck, of course.

It is also a region where Protestantism was opposed, a bit like Pilgrimage of Grace in Yorkshire.

6:33 "fika" is originally a noun, in backslang, the real syllables being "kaffi" which is more usually spelled "kaffe" - it means a drink on burnt ground beans,. Coffee.

But yes, since one class of nouns ending in -a, especially if you can't have a clarifying plural of it in -or, would seem to coincide with infinitive ending, so, "fika" is also a verb.

Take a coffee break.

If you say that "jag fikar" when you are taking a tea break, a hot chocolate break or something other than a coffee break, it's a bit ... cavalier about the coffee part.

8:13 To be fair, the Vikings that pillaged in England and Ireland were usually from Norway and especially Denmark (including Scania, back then), while the Swedish Vikings colonised Lapps, parts of the Finns, founded Kievan Rus' (Ukraine and Russia are in dispute over whether it counts as Russia or Ukraine) and served in the imperial guard of Constantinople, the Variags.

That said, Danes and Norwegians also love the Viking ancestry, and cute Vikings is a bit like .... shall we say Hitler with children congratulating him, you don't seem to see him angry at children ...

This said, Viking age did involve brutality ongoing in our countries, like the slavery called thraldom - where slaves could come from Finland or from ... Ireland. I read a fairly honest novel about two slaves, brother and sister, from Ireland who come to Sweden ... Denmark? Norway?

8:30 AW-berry (in two syllables - the last -ry doesn't form a separate third one).

As you mentioned Moomins ... their author is from Swedish Finland.

You know, the part of Finland that sticks out like Québec does in Canada ... kind of.

And yes, Moomins are probably the most favourite part of Scandinavian childrens culture to me.

Along with Danish Rasmus Klump.

Alfons Åberg is 4 years about younger than I.

I prefer Pellefant and Bamse, by Rune Andreasson.

Not Classic liberalism in economic ethics, though, actually Croesus Vole is the same kind of lampooned ultrarich capitalist as Rastapopoulos.

So is "Storpotäten" (Big Potato) in Vilse in Pannkakan ...

I also definitely relish Hedvik Hök in Från A till Ö along with her owl friend Helge.

Both these programs lack English wiki articles.

And Fablernas värld ... I just learned it is originally Dutch, De Fabeltjeskrant.

When reading that article, remember, it's not the Dutch names I recall.

I mean, there is LOTS of things that make me more nostalgic than Alfons Åberg.

As I just discovered that Fablernas värld is originally Dutch, here are two more:


Oh, pardon, Spike and Suzy are Belgian, like Tintin, just he's Walloon and they are Flemish. Sorry.

Trocadero iconic?

In Norrland, yes, I just found out. Elsewhere, it may be Pommac.

11:04 Endorse food products "that they like"

It's more like even being a purveyor to the royal court:

"Royal warrants of appointment in Sweden are granted to the purveyor (Swedish: Kunglig hovleverantör) by the king or the queen."

Denmark has similar arrangements, like with Carlsberg. I wrote Her Majesty a letter in early 2000's indicating I thought she ought to degrade Carlsberg from that position, since Carlsberg had bought up the Pripps factories, closed down one and laid off its workers.

The kind of thing I dislike with Capitalism.

Carlsberg is still purveyor to the court of Denmark:

If you want a good Danish beer, I will suggest Faxe Fadøl from this concern:

That said, if you are in Sweden offered a Pripps or a Carlsberg ... you might do well to take the Carlsberg.

But the Swedes who prefer Pripps ... well, there are Swedes who like Alfons Åberg too!

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