Saturday, August 01, 2009

Dang, did my people leave too soon?

My father's parents came from Sweden at the end of the nineteenth century and met in the US. As readers here know, I am a typical third-generation American from an earlier era. My grandparents learned English but spoke Swedish in the home. Dad and my aunts and uncles all spoke Swedish and English as children. My sister, cousins, and I have pretty much zip of the ancestral culture.

My inner self is Mediterranean/Latin American. Nothing about me (except being tall and blue-eyed) seems Swedish. But when I see things like this video I cannot help feeling proud of "my people."

Dadlabs has a video just under ten minutes on Swedish social policies and paternity leave. Rather enlightened. We really need to get over the use of "socialism" as a scare tactic.

At the official Swedish website I saw this:
Why Pride in Sweden?
by: Stephen Whitlock
Summer brings a number of arts festivals, concerts … and gay Pride parades. In the four decades since the modern gay rights movement began in the United States, Pride marches have become well-established highlights of the warmer months in many cities around the world.
Read more about Pride in Sweden
Today is the Pride Parade in Stockholm.

h/t to Democrats Ramshield for the post at DK today: An American expat's view of the European social safety net versus the American social safety net.

OK, my roots are showing today. Another bit from
Carl Linnaeus is Sweden's most famous natural scientist. Yet his importance is not confined to the international history of science. As the author of living classics which people still read he can also be said to be a part of Swedish everyday life today.

The Swedes, perhaps, look upon him primarily as a traveller and explorer of their own country, while to others he is the father of the modern classification of flora and fauna. But he was much more than this - an inspiring teacher, for example, who sent his students on voyages of scientific discovery all over the world.
I add this tidbit because my grandmother honored him by naming one of my aunt's Violet Linnea.

¡Bueno! ¿No les parece suficente? Ya puedo regresar a mi disposición cotidiana de alma latina en cuerpo sueco.
--the BB


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Your Mediterranean inner self is in my view a very Swedish trait...

Many here feel the same ;=)

Paul said...

Tak, tak, Göran. Given the Swedish winters, this should not be surprising, eh? And with the Varangian guard in Byzantium, I may well have Mediterranean ancestors too.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...


The last Viking tour, about 1045, got to the Caspian coast of Iran...

And with the Swedish flicka going everywhere ;=)

Diane said...

I'm half Swedish and proud too.