Invitation to Sweden
"Sometimes it feels like we are going back to Sweden, but then I remember we’re going the other way… over this huge ocean with our loved ones, full of hope to start a new life in a promising new land. We’re all apprehensive, too, even though we don’t admit it to our neighbours. But we have nothing to stay for in Sweden. There have been serious famines that have totally destroyed our crops… the government has made the farms smaller so that village life is totally changed. There are so many of us without our own land… we’ve tried to find work in the cities but there still aren’t enough jobs for all of us. So – we’re here on this ship now, doing what a lot of our landsmän have done … we’re making a go of it and we’re going to have something way better in Canada, we just know it!"
So now, we are here. It is about 100 years later. We are the descendants of the emigrants and we have their memories, dreams, and stories within us. We have come together, a few evenings, as the light is waning and the geese are leaving on their important destinies, to share stories, thoughts, pictures and artifacts of remembrances of these remarkable ancestors. We have become a study group of about 20, who are learning more each session of the incredible conditions in which our grandparents began their new lives, as young hopefuls – in places such as Mulvihill, Spearhill, Arborg, Meadows, Red Lake, Eriksdale, Sanford, Red Sucker Lake, Swan River, Lilyfield, Sprague, Hilltop…
We are also going to be sharing our information with Umeå University in Sweden, because, of course part of our heart is in Sweden, where our loved ones came from – Lappland, Norbotten, Västergötland, Småland, Skåne, Varmland, Blekinge…
We would like to invite you to our last class, Thursday, October 16th at 7:00, at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre, 764 Erin St., upstairs.
There will be many things to see, many stories to hear and good Swedish coffee and treats to enjoy.
The Study Group
Swedish Cultural Association
Laurel Anderson-McCallum, Instructor and Communications Chair