Thursday, June 11, 2009

"The New Country" New Exibition about Swedish Emigration opens in Eksjö

On June 5th The Swedish Emigrant Institute opened a new Exhibition called "Det nya landet (The New Country) in its new temporary branch in the city of Eksjö.
The new exhibitions theme is the Swedes life in USA .Their life in the cities and their social situation both in comparison to the majority culture and in comparison to other immigrant groups. The exibition is to bee seen as a complement to the Exibitions in The Swedish Emigrant Institutes main exibitions in Växjö wich focuses on the Emigrants life in Sweden and on their experiences in rural USA.

The Mayor of Eksjö Lennart Bogren declared the
exhibition open and also held a short speech about
the Exhibition and the fact that many immigrants
had left the Eksjö area and settled in different
places in USA.

Willy Läth checks the exhibition a last time before the ribbon is cut !

A brass band wearing the old uniforms of the old
Småland Hussar regiment.entertained by playing old military music.

Several people came to take a first view of the exibition. The exhibitions main theme is the swedish emigrants experiences in the new country. Both with the majority American society as well as with and in comparison to other immigrant groups.

The United States sometimes saw its immigrants and and diverse ethnic make up as a strength.
And Sometimes as a weakness.
Swedes were sometimes looked
down up on. But in general they
had the advantage of being "White" and "Protestant"and so ended up on the upper part of the pecking order.
The Swedes were often pitted against the Irish which they also looked down on (and vice versa).

Many Swedes home in USA came to be in the expanding cities such as Chicago,Denver and Jamestown(on the left). sometimes the part of town they ended up in were among the simple neighborhoods as in "Swede Hollow" in St. Paul (to the right).

Carl Werner Pettersson and Yngve Turesson and Bertil Fransson seem
very happy with the exhibition.

Tore Sandh gives Lars Hansson and the Swedish Emigrant Institute a picture ofJohan (John) Vifvat (a civil war veteran) and his son Sam Vifvat( a soldier in WW1). Johan Vifvat came from the area of Eksjö and immigrated to USA in the 1850thies.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Swedish National Day celebrated on June 6th in Växjö

The Swedish National Day is celebrated June 6th. The National Day has only been a Holiday since 1983.
Before that it was called "Svenska Flaggans Dag"(The Day of the Swedish Flag).
This year here in Växjö it was celebrated in the Park outside "Smålands Museum"(The county Museum). The celebrations contained both ceremonial and more relaxed elements.

Firstly members of the folkdance group Värendsgillet danced tradtional swedish Folkdances.

The Lord Mayor of Växjö Nils Posse gave stipends and rewards to people and organisations who have done beneficial work for the local community. Among the persons who recieved awards were.Ingemar Nordström wellknown saxophone player for his work with his dance orchestra and his his other support for local culture.

And Dalala Abdel Gani for helping young women and girls integrating in swedish society and for her work against honour related violence.

Coffe and cake were also served at the Swedish Emigrant Institute. I sat down there to eat a typical Swedish dessert (or perhaps typical for the province of Småland) "Ostkaka med hallonsylt (Swedish cheesecake with Raspberry jam).

As a closing of the National Day celebrations. The Swedish National Anthem "Du Gamla du Fria" (You old you free) and some other patriotic songs were sung by the Växjö Male choir.