Archive for the 'IN ENGLISH' Category

How do you make God laugh?

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

There has been pouring in questions to our FAQ-department for a long time now, we are currently understaffed so we are backlogging. Sorry for the inconvenience. Here is a recent question that we felt was important enough to hasten it’s public appearance:

 

Q: How do you make God laugh?

A: Tell God about your plans.

The summer solstice

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

The Summer Solstice is here again and Midsummer is just around the corner. It is fascinating to see during the nights now, how the light actually comes from the north. The night is simply not darker than a twilight, and in fact, further up in the northern Sweden (above the arctic circle), the sun never sets during the summer months! Midsummer has been celebrated with the traditional food and drinks (which in Sweden happens to be the same traditional food as for Easter and Christmas – pickled herrings of all types and tastes.

Midsummer actually means “the middle of the summer” but simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice. More often it refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place on the preceding evening. The midsummer-related traditions, and celebrations have been superficially Christianized as celebrations of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist as “Saint John’s Eve festivals”. An old trick – to hijack competing religions and spiritual festivities, and so forth.

The Midsummer Eve is particularly important in Northern Europe – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden – but are found also in Ireland, parts of Britain (Cornwall especially), France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, other parts of Europe, and elsewhere – such as Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico, and even in the Southern hemisphere: Brazil (where this imported European celebration would be more appropriately called “Midwinter”).

Midsummer is also sometimes referred to by neo-pagans and others. The fire festival or Litha – Summer solstice is a tradition for many pagans. Solstice celebrations in Sweden are probably the biggest celebration of the year. And has none or very little to do with the Church. No one cares about Old Johnny the baptist really. The main celebration is the height of summer, and traditional foods. The first potatoes of the season, pickled herring, sour cream, and possibly the first strawberries of the season are on the menu. Drinking songs are also important at this feast, and many drink heavily. Traditionally copious amounts of alcohol consumed.

In modern Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day (Midsommarafton and Midsommardagen) are celebrated from the eve of the Friday between June 19 – 25. It is arguably the most important holiday of the year, and one of the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated, even if it has been influenced by other countries long ago. The main celebrations take place on Midsummer Eve, and the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole (one typical dance is “the frog dance”). Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole. Raising and dancing around a maypole (majstång or midsommarstång) is an activity that attracts families and many others all over Sweden. People dances around the pole to traditional music and some wear traditional folk costumes. (A bit like the Native Americans dancing around the totem-pole).

Because Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Some argue that some form of Midsummer pole occurred in Sweden during the pre-Christian times, and was a phallic fertility symbol, meant to impregnate the earth. Since there are no records from those times it cannot be proven, and this idea might just be a modern interpretation (dirty minds) of the poles form. The earliest historical mention of the maypole in Sweden is from the Middle Ages, although it was most probably not the first time it was celebrated. Midsummer was linked to an ancient fertility festival, even though it retained many pagan traditions, as the Swedes were slow to give up the old heathen customs. The connection to fertility is naturally linked to the time of year. Many young people became passionate at Midsummer, and this was accepted, probably because it resulted in more childbirths in March which was a good time for children in the Nordic countries to be born – when the winter and snow slowly giving way for the spring…

The pagan holiday, Midsummer

Midsummer is one of the only pagan holidays that are still celebrated in Europe (if not the only). In Denmark and Norway it is referred to as the eve of St. Hans but it’s only in Sweden that it has kept its original name.

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

I just had a discussion if you’d say “Glad Självständighetsdag” or “Trevlig Självständighetsdag” in Swedish for “Happy Independence Day”. I said, yes. In principle… I guess you’d rather say “Trevlig självständighetesdag”, but both sounds weird in Swedish. Perhaps since we don’t have or celebrate an Independence Day. Sweden don’t have any. So I guess we are still suppressed, or something… ????

No, but seriously, we’ve never been invaded since the wars with Denmark and Norway ended (in 1600-something), and I think the usual Swedish way of pretending that nothing happened by not acknowledge it, is very much at play when it comes to those wars… (War, what war? We never lost anything, and we certainly wasn’t invaded. That land was Danish and/or Norwegian then. So it wasn’t Sweden so we cannot have been invaded…).

And when it came to WW2, well, let’s not mention the war… The sweetest way to describe Sweden towards Nazi-Germany is to say we bent over backwards to please Hitler and his pals. They we’re A-OK. Hell, Goering even had a summer-cottage in Sweden and was married to a nice Swedish-girl named Karin (or Carin). And everyone was Nazi in Sweden! Until the tide turned… and then we became very Anglo-friendly all of a sudden, and those damn Krauts could go fuck themselves. And no one was nazi anymore. Until recent years when the old nazis started a new party in Sweden calling it “The Sweden Democrats” – but let’s not mention that to the voters. They might be upset. Let’s just brush it in under the carpet, as we say here in Sweden. Donät mention it. Pretend it was never so.

And by the way, Sweden was never occupied during WW2. Nope. We were neutral! And handed over shitloads of iron-ore to the Nazis – as much as they could use. Just to be extra neutral. And we let their soldiers go home on leave through Sweden in special trains. That’s how super-neutral we were in those days.

goering carinhall

Goering and Karin in their nice little Swedish summer-cottage.

Interesting changes to “the normal”

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” But in 1934 something had changed about that… all of a sudden it changed, to be “normal”.

It doesn’t interest me…

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for – and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool – for love – for your dreams – for the adventure of being alive.”

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

A miracle…

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

“A miracle is what seems impossible, but happens anyway.”

I don’t…

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

“I don’t follow current events past the industrial revolution.”

All organisms…

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

“All organisms evolve and develop along patterns only recognized in retrospect.”

In other words, we live our life in forward, and understands it backwards…

If your personal integrity…

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

If your personal integrity has a price tag… you don’t have any.

Being a fool…

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Being a fool is a luxury. It requires no empathy, no ethics. No moral, nor thought. No sentiment or compassion. It takes no effort, requires no warmth, no spirit, no mind or kindness. It doesn’t use intellect. It doesn’t need sharpness, neither accuracy nor depth. Being a fool is surely a luxury.