Swedish Conversation Group

Back in January we told members about the formation of a Swedish Conversation group to meet on a weekday evening at an Edinburgh cafe or pub.  This proved very successful, but unfortunately had to suspend its operations following the lockdown.

It is now re-starting with video meetings.  The first of these will take place on Tuesday 23 June at 20:00.  If you would like to join, please use this link to email angus.mccarter

 

Church Visit to Edinburgh, 20 and 21 February 2020

Here are the details of the Church visit to Edinburgh in February:

Hej, nu kommer snart Svenska kyrkan på besök till Edinburgh!

Vi som kommer den här gången är kyrkoherde Katarina Bäckelin, diakoniassistent Kerstin Garplid samt våra ungdomsvolontärer Isak och Carolina. Vi ser fram emot att välkomnas och möta alla som vill vara med och dela gemenskapen!

20 februari 2020 klockan 12.30
Gudstjänst kl. 12.30 i Greenside Parish Church (1b Royal Terrace, EH7 5AB). Därefter samlas vi för lunch på Joseph Pearce’s bar (23 Elm Row, EH7 4AA).
Svenska kyrkan bjuder på lunchen. För att veta hur många vi blir på lunchen vill vi gärna att du anmäler dig till
laydeaconkerstin@swedishchurch.com eller ringer 020 7723 5681 senast 13 februari 2020. Meddela också om du är vegetarian eller behöver specialkost.

21 februari 2020 klockan 15.00
Vi bjuder på fika på Hemma (Tunbuilding, 73 Holyrood, EH8 8AU). Fika och svensk film för barnen samt en chans att prata svenska, byta böcker m.m. Alla är hjärtligt välkomna!

Om du känner någon som vill komma men inte fått inbjudan, sprid gärna detta vidare!

Varma hälsningar,

Kerstin Garplid
Diakoniassistent

Would you like to brush up your Swedish?

An English-speaking member who is wanting to improve his Swedish has suggested that it would be useful to set up a Swedish conversation group. The idea would be to meet on a regular basis for a general and informal chat in Swedish, perhaps with one or more fluent Swedish speakers to help people along where needed.
Quite a number of our existing regular activities take place during normal working hours, but the idea here is to find a time that allows people at work to come along.  Perhaps a weekday evening in a pub, for example.  It would take place in Edinburgh.
We undertook to sound out members to judge the level of interest. If you think this could be something for you, please let us know by email to: membership@scottishswedish.org  We will pass on all responses.

Edinburgh Coffee Mornings

The next Edinburgh Coffee Mornings will be as follows.

Tuesday 14 January, 10.30 – 12.00, at Kerstin Grant’s house in Balerno.

Tuesday 4 February, 10.30 – 12.00, at Christina Coltart’s house at Holy Corner, Edinburgh.

Contact the hostess to let her know that you would like to attend.

There is a coffee morning every month.  If you email Kerstin Phillips she will let you know future dates and where the hostess lives.  info@scottishswedish.org

En riktigt trevlig bok!

Kanske måla dörren blå av Anna Bokedal

Anna med man och fem barn flyttade till Aberdeen helt plötsligt från Göteborg och hon skrev kåserier om upplevelser i denna för henne okända miljö under de första åren.  De hade inte ens sett sitt hus i förväg innan de anlände med barn och piano.  Det var kallt!  Barnen skrevs in i skolor som kändes mycket annorlunda än skolorna i Göteborg.  Skoluniform för fyraåringar.  Skolmaten som är så olik svensk skolbespisning.  Bara att ordna med byråkratin och blanketter är komplicerat för en som lätt har klarat sig i Sverige.  Kanske är det lika komplicerat här som att skaffa personnummer som nyinflyttad utlänning i Sverige.  Att liksom Annas barn gå och lägga sej med kläderna på.  Värmen från ett litet element som bränner framsidan av benen men lämnar ryggen kall.  Kontakten med en skicklig rörmokare, kolgubben som levererar kol och takgubben som går omkring utan säkerhetsrep är nya upplevelser.  Och de upptäckte att folk inte pratar den engelska man lär sig i Sverige, det är nya ord, uttal och uttryck.

Vid ett tillfälle skulle hon baka tårtor till ett bröllop och bakade fina gräddtårtor.  Som sen serverades som små kladdiga fyrkanter på servetter och utan kaffeskedar.  Är det inte intressant att svensk baktradition är så olik Skotsk bakning. 

För oss som har anpassat oss och fått rötter här kan man känna igen händelser och känslor från våra första år här.  Jag läste boken med glädje och igenkännande.  Mycket hade jag glömt om hur det var att flytta till Skottland men nu kom minnen tillbaka.  Jag gladdes att läsa om Annas upplevelser och hur fint hon berättar om dem.

Jag skulle önska att svenskar som flyttar till Skottland får tag på den här boken!  Man blir glad över hur familjen har anpassat sig och, liksom så många andra svenskor, nu uppskattar den rikedom det är att få lära känna skottar, kulturen och Skottland.  När jag läser Facebook förfrågningar från unga människor i Sverige som vill flytta hit skulle den här boken vara välkommen.  Anna och hennes familj anpassade sig och lärde sig mycket om seder och bruk här. 

Brygg dej en kopp te, sätt dej i en skön stol och ha det riktigt trevligt med att läsa den här boken!

Boken kan köpas via Amazon.  Tyvärr finns boken ännu så länge bara på svenska.

ISBN 978-91-9853909-2-8

Kerstin Phillips

Edinburgh University Conference on Nordic Branding

On 22 and 23 October. the University of Edinburgh is arranging an important conference entitled “Nordic Branding and the Reception of the Nordic Model”.  The closing address on 23 October will be given by Hallgrimur Helgason.

Full details are available in the conference booklet, here:

NordicBrandingBooklet

Everyone is welcome to attend, either the whole conference or just the closing address.  It is free.  Tickets are, however, required and can be obtained by following these links:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nordic-branding-and-the-reception-of-the-nordic-model-abroad-tickets-74804340797

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-northern-scholars-lectures-hallgrimur-helgason-tickets-74995594843

 

Scottish/Swedish Concerts in Glasgow & Kirkcaldy

We have just received the letter below.  Despite the short notice these concerts may be of interest to members.

My name is Paul Anderson and I’m a traditional Scottish Fiddle player from Aberdeenshire. At the moment I have the leading Swedish Nyckelharpa player with me doing series of concerts featuring traditional music from Scotland and Sweden called “Music of the North”. We’ll be performing at St Columba’s Gaelic Church on St Vincent Street in Glasgow tomorrow night [that is Wednesday 9 October] and at the Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Club on Thursday night [10 October]  It never occurred to me to get in touch earlier but do you think any of your members might be interested?
Peter whom you may well know or have heard of has been a key figure in taking the Nyckelharpa from near extinction to a point where there are over 10,000 players in Sweden now. He’s been a two time World Champion, performed at Swedish Royal weddings, performed with Benny Anderson’s folk group and is one of only 20 people to have been awarded the gold Rikkspeilman medal (folk music laureate).
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions.
The website is :
http://www.paulandersonscottishfiddler.com

Edinburgh Coffee Mornings, Autumn 2019

Det har varit en lång sommar men nu när det börjar bli kyligare och Festivalen är över vore det roligt att ses igen.  Barbro Wright i Penicuik bjuder oss på kaffe onsdagen den 16 oktober.  Ring henne om du tänker komma,  07434 418 535.  Onsdagen 6 november är du bjuden till mej, Kerstin Phillips.  Mitt telefon nummer är 0131 667 5322 och jag bor nära Kings Buildings i Edinburgh.  Kaffemorgonen börjar klockan 10.30 och vid 12 tiden åker vi hem.  Om du behöver hjälp med att hitta så prata med värdinnan.  Välkommen!  Om du har möjlighet att bjuda in oss på kaffe under de kommande månaderna, kontakta mej.  Du behöver inte alls baka men något till kaffet vore gott.  Det väsentliga är ju att vi träffas och kan prata med varandra.

Going to Church at Hvalsey

It may be around 600 years since anyone attended a service at Hvalsey church. Even if you are in a hurry, and I wasn’t, the journey to this outpost of Nordic life still takes a little while.

So I set off from Scotland for some days of travelling. The first was on a large jet plane full of visitors going home to America but, in the middle of the second day, I arrived with 30 or so others on the twice weekly little flight to the nearest airport. The sun shone from a clear sky, and a warm and persistent breeze blew from the higher ground. Low willow bushes covered the hill sides like grey-green fur. The ground was covered with a profusion of yellow, blue and purple flowers and icebergs glistened in the bay.

 

 

Harebells (Campanula Gieseckiana) at Narsarsuaq

That night I spent near the airport and next day took a boat across the loch, for there is no road around it, to the small village on the opposite side. This is where, some 1,000 years ago, Eric the Red set up his farm and called it Brattahlid, though they now call it Qassiarsuk. It is set in an area of gentle slopes where it catches the warmth – sweet peas are to be found growing wild – and is now the centre for the area. There are three or four sheep farms. There is a well-stocked shop selling groceries and ammunition, a primary school and a dormitory as well as a bright modern church. Behind the village there are hay fields and some turnip crops. Scattered amongst all this, are the foundations of the Norse buildings. They must have been made of turf above a couple of courses of stone.  It is these stones that remain and that trace the outlines of the long house, the farm buildings and the original church.

 

Qassiarsuk

But, it was still a long way to Hvalsey. The slow boat, more of a miniature ship, takes around 5 hours to go down the loch to the small town of Narsaq. It is both a charming village of brightly painted wooden houses set under a steep and striking mountain, and something of an industrial centre with its abattoir and fish processing factory. We will hear more of it in years to come as the valley behind has strategic minerals which have attracted the attentions of the US and China.

Narsaq

The journey continued the next day on the regular boat to Qaqortoq.  In the second Nordic colonisation of Greenland this was known as Julianehåb and was a centre for the whalers, some of whose houses remain around the central square. A kayak regatta was in progress and later some of the participants were to be found celebrating. Their resilience had almost matched that of the children paddling and splashing in the sea while their parents watched the races.

Central Qaqortoq

The next day was the final leg of the journey. Early on there was some mist but this had cleared during yet another calm, sunny morning. Dressed in stifling survival suits, the few passengers set off in a small rubber dinghy equipped with an enormous engine. It roared at a tremendous speed along the coast jumping between the crests of the, fortunately very small, waves. We weaved between the icebergs but then, after an hour or so, entered a large, ice-free bay backed by high, and surprisingly green, hills.  At the very head of the bay, almost hidden by a substantial island, stands the church.

The Church at Hvalsey

It is a modest enough building. A rectangle of thick dry stone walls, now entirely lacking a roof, set in flower filled grassland a few yards up from the shore. There is an arched east window, and a small west window above the door way, but it must have been a dark place when it was used. No tower nor grand pillars nor flying buttresses. It was built for the local people. Archeologists tell us there were maybe 30 farms in the neighbourhood and there are some traces of the main one close by the church. Despite its favourable position, only one small, isolated farm remains today some way off to the east.

They say that the last record of the old Norse colony in Greenland concerns a wedding here at this church in 1408. And then silence.