7.20.2011

Abroad & Below: Folk Art and My Folks

July 10th

Well we rolled out of bed and sucked down some coffee before Isabelle and I were picked up for another day of sightseeing. First stop was Nordiska Museet, or the Nordic Museum. There probably isn’t a more gorgeous building in Stockholm. I can’t even describe it except to say it is beaming with intricacy and thought. I would call it quintessential Stockholm. However it houses even more within its walls. Displaying Swedish folk art, interiors, homes, fashion and traditions, the Nordic Museum gives a real sense of where Nordic influences derive from. There is an exhibit on the native Sapmi and even one of August Strindberg, bridging the gap between the past and the infamous. The museum even has a playhouse where children can pretend they are living in the old Scandinavian days. This place was certainly a treasure. Not to mention of representation of the pride Sweden holds for their progress and their representation to the rest of the world.

Feeling a little nostalgic after seeing all the Swedish traditions, we headed to Skansen, where one of our families most nostalgic pieces of history happens to reside. Skansen is like a combination of a zoo and Knott’s Berry Farm. They have native Nordic animals, small rides, and numerous exhibits. Although we had a fun time scoping out the reindeer and moose (my dad’s absolute favorite), we can to Skansen for a attraction that is dear to our heart. My great great great grandfather lived in Delsbo and his house was chosen long ago as a perfect representative model of that region’s housing. So perfect, in fact, that Skansen took it apart, brought it to Stockholm, and put it back together. Skansen has quite a few historic houses that you can tour and they even keep records for them. We were so excited. Of course we had visited before in 2004 but I hardly remembered. Finally my history and heritage is of enough interest to me that I know I will keep these memories forever.

The house is beautiful. With hand-painted walls and custom carpentry, it makes you wonder prefabricated houses ever caught on. There was a spinning wheel exactly like the one my farmor has and other memorabilia that allows you to imagine what life really looked liked in that house. Skansen has their employees dressed to the time period of old Sweden and the woman who sits in our house was happy to share all the documents and records she had. I know they could have picked any house for this display, but I feel a great sense of pride knowing that our family was able to maintain one so fantastic that it will be viewed by thousands for years to come.