Scandinavian Culture

Information about Scandinavian Culture

Published on March 9, 2008

Author: jbuckley12



Scandinavian Culture : Scandinavian Culture Jessica Buckley Heather Besse Charlsey Gentile Gabe Mercurio History : History Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe which includes the kingdoms of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. As a cultural and historical concept, Scandinavia can include Finland as well The Norwegian Leif Eriksson remains a major figure in Viking and Scandinavian history, becoming one of the first recorded Europeans to reach North America. Traditions : Traditions Glass blowing Wood carving Weaving Traditions continued… : Traditions continued… Ceramics Cooking Metal work Holidays : Holidays Easter Easter week starts with Palm Sunday, commemorating Christ’s triumphant entry in to Jerusalem. People believed that witches were especially active and their black magic especially powerful during this week. Even in modern times people have believed that women who practice black magic ("Easter hags") were out and about practicing their witchcraft. On Maundy Thursday they were thought to fly off on brooms to consort with the devil at some place called "blåkulla", returning the following Saturday. Holidays continued… : Holidays continued… Walpurgis Night Named after St. Walpurga, an eighth-century abbess in Germany. On the evening of April 30th, crowds of Scandinavian men and women gather around roaring bonfires. Originally, during the Viking Era, the fires were set to hurry along the coming of spring as well as to scare off witches, but today they remind distant watchers of a warmth soon to come. The crackling bonfires can be seen all around the countryside. The traditional meal on this evening is gravlax, fresh salmon marinated in salt, sugar and fresh dill. Holidays continued… : Holidays continued… Lucia The morning of December 13. Lucia, dressed in a white gown, a red sash and a crown of lingonberry twigs, emerges out of the darkness singing the familiar Italian song "Santa Lucia" with candles glowing carrying a tray of rich saffron buns, steaming coffee and occasionally glogg, a mulled wine, to wake the family. The celebration symbolizes the light of faith and the promise of the sun’s return. As a winter icon, Lucia has become nearly as popular and Jultomte, the Swedish Santa Claus. Holidays continued… : Holidays continued… Mid-summers eve The longest day of the year is celebrated between June 20th and June 26th. The Swedes dance around a maypole, a symbol of fertility, that is trimmed with garlands of flowers. The celebrants join hands and dance around it to tunes played on an accordion and a fiddle. In Finland, midsommar is known as Juhannus and is celebrated with a bonfire by the lakeshore with dancing into the morning hours. In Norway and Denmark bonfires are also an important part of the celebration. The customs date back to pagan times when tribute was paid to the powers of the sun god with bonfires signifying the defeat of darkness. The Norwegians also form processions early in the evening, usually led by a musician. Holidays continued… : Holidays continued… Christmas In ancient times angels would come during the feast of Christmas to hide lucky barley stalks around the house. Julnisse is the mischievous elf who lives in the attic and plays jokes on one and all. he has now multiplied into a group of gnomes who come on Christmas Eve to bring gifts to good children.   The Christmas goat (Julbock) made of straw is a very popular Christmas decoration. It is named for the goat that drew the cart of Thor, the god of thunder in Norse mythology. St. Urho's Day: March 16th St. Urho came into Finland and chased grasshoppers out of the ancient Finland and saving the grape yards and the jobs of the vineyard workers.  He repeatedly utter the phrase "grasshoppers, grasshoppers, go to hell" It is celebrated with a feast and wearing the colors royal purple and nile green. The national days : The national days Swedish Flag Day, or Svenska Flaggans Dag Norway's National Day and Norway's Liberation Day Finland’s Independence Day (declared from Russia and Sweden) on December 6, 1917  June 5th marks Constitution Day for Danes Music : Music An Arab merchant visiting Hereby, Denmark, in the 10th century had this to say about the Viking's singing: "Never before I have heard uglier songs than those of the Vikings in Slesvig (in Denmark). The growling sound coming from their throats reminds me of dogs howling, only more untamed." Norway : Norway Population: approximately 4.7 million Government: constitutional monarchy with parliament Religion: 83% are Evangelical-Lutheran Average temperature: 25-65° Slide 13: Norwegian Viking Music (Traditional) Slide 14: National Anthem of Norway Sweden : Sweden Population: approximately 9.2million Government: a parliamentary democracy, close to a modern day social democracy Religion: 75% are Lutheran Average temperature: 20-70° Slide 16: Swedish National Anthem Denmark : Denmark Population: Approximately 5.5 million Government: Constitutional monarchy Religion: 83% Lutheran average temperature: 30-70° *91% of those that live in Denmark are of Danish Decent Slide 18: National Anthem of Denmark ABBA : ABBA A major worldwide Swedish Edison award and Eurovision winning pop/dance group active between 1972 and 1982. The band members were at one time married respectively, and together they have topped the charts worldwide from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group member's given name Literature : Literature Slide 21: Scandinavian Non-fiction (Age 6-12)   Anderson, L. & Bjork, C. (1989). Linnea’s almanac. New York: R & S Books. ISBN 91 29 59176 7   Summary: Linnea has written her own almanac, where she keeps track of her indoor and outdoor activates all year round. In January, she opens a “bird restaurant” on her windowsill; in March, she finds the first spring flower; in July, she goes beach combing (and finds a message in a bottle); and in December, she makes her own natural Christmas presents. Her neighbor Mr. Brush takes Linnea along to his little country house, where she plants flowers and harvests vegetables, and her friend Mr. Bloom explains why the leaves change colors in the fall. (Anderson & Bjork) * Linnea is a popular flower in Scandinavia, and means "twin flower" .   Response: The beautiful illustrations by Lena Anderson enhance the wonderful story of Linnea’s adventures throughout the year. Anderson and Bjork create an average young girl who is curious about all things in nature. The illustrations bring Linnea and her curiosity to life and have a sense of calming and cheerfulness. This book would inspire anyone who reads it to go outside and enjoy the nature that is around them.   Curriculum Connections: science, nature   Activities: Have the children pick out seeds and plant them in small containers in the classroom. The children can keep a journal on how the plant is growing. When their flowers are grown the children can press the flowers. The flowers can then be glued to paper and displayed around the classroom. Do research on different trees around the school. Have the children collect the changing and colorful leaves. The children can research their own leaves and create a fact sheet about what they’ve learned. They could also make leaf crowns as Linnea did in the book. Linnea’s Almanac By Cristina Bjork & Lena Anderson Slide 22: Gallagher, J. (2001). The Viking explorers: Explorers of the new world. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 0-7910-6165-5. Genre - non fictional history Grade Level: ages 9-13 Summary: This book is thorough in talking about he Vikings from who they were, where they're from and where they went, to what they did.  Some famous Vikings mentioned were Erik the Red and his son Leif Erikson, who was the first person to document landing in North America (even before Columbus) to Karlsefni, who had the first encounters with Native Americans.  This book discusses that Viking origins were in Scandinavia but they spread out and colonized in Iceland and Greenland first and discovered many new places.  It also talks about how they were feared by many because they raided and pillaged many other countries, in particular Ireland and England. Personal Response: I think this is a great book for children because it is rich in Scandinavian history and it is easy for children to read.  The words are uncomplicated and large and spaced out.  The pictures in the book are also interesting and connect with the reading.  One of the best things is that it also has a glossary and a time line in the back, for easy reference! Curriculum connections - history and geography Classroom activities: Have them draw their own Viking ship and talks about who they would bring with them on a voyage Have them draw out a map and where they would travel to and why, and also write a little information about the places they would go. I would also have them create their own country and describe how they would run it, what it would be like there, and what they would name it because Vikings were first to inhabit many places and had to make up their own rules and name things.  Erik the Red gave Greenland it's name because he thought an attractive name would draw people to live there. The Viking Explorers By J. Gallagher Hans Christian Andersen : Hans Christian Andersen Prolific Danish writer H.C. Andersen has inspired generations of young and adults with his popular fairy tales. He is called "the king of fairy tales", since most of his stories are part of the world's popular culture. Tales such as "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "Little Ugly Duckling", "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Tinderbox", "Princess and the Pea" or "The Snow Queen" have been translated into more than 100 different languages and have influenced other famous authors like Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde or C.S. Lewis. The 3 Billy Goats GruffBy Hans Christian Andersen : The 3 Billy Goats GruffBy Hans Christian Andersen Traditional Literature: Folktale (Primary 4-8) Appleby, Ellen (1984). The three billy goats gruff. New York: Scholastic. ISBN: 0-590-06058-9 Synopsis: Three billy goats, all with the name of gruff, decide to go up to a hillside to get fat. One billy goat crossed a bridge on the way up to the hill. A large troll lived under the bridge. The troll became very angry and said he was going to eat the smallest Gruff. The billy goat told the troll to wait for the second Gruff who was much bigger than he. Later the second Gruff began to walk across the bridge. Again, the troll became mad and told the second gruff he was going to eat him up. The second Gruff pleaded with the troll to wait for the third billy goat who was the largest of the three. A little while later, the third and largest Gruff began to walk across the bridge. Again the troll became angry and threatened to eat the billy goat. But this billy goat was not scared and told the troll that he would fight back and crush him. And that is exactly what he did. All three Gruffs made their way to the hillside and got very fat. Response: Ellen Appleby’s cute, colorful, and whimsical illustrations light up this simple traditional folktale. The small presentation of the book makes it easy to read and handle for smalls children. This story tells a tale of three billy goats who trick a mean troll and fight back and win. It is a message that children should learn; fight back when being bullied. The violence of the story might be a little too much for some children and is something that should be taken into consideration before reading this story to children. Curriculum Connections: Counting, Math Classroom activities: Create a simple prop box with three billy goats, a troll, and something to represent a bridge. Have the children use the props when reading the story to get a better understanding. Have the children draw a scene from the story using their favorite animal Brainstorm with the children how the story could have ended differently, have them vote on their favorite ending, and rewrite the story. They could also make a class book. Fairy Tales & StoriesBy Hans Christian Andersen : Fairy Tales & StoriesBy Hans Christian Andersen Traditional Literature: Fairy Tales (Ages 4-8) Andersen, Hans, Christian. (1960). Fairy Tales & Stories. London: J.M. Dent & Sons LTD. Astrid Lindgren : Astrid Lindgren Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren is one of the most famous children's authors in the world. When her daughter Karin fell ill, Astrid would sit by her bedside and make up stories of a remarkable red-haired girl called Pippi Långstrump. Pippi LongstockingBy Astrid Lindgren : Pippi LongstockingBy Astrid Lindgren Scandinavian Literature: Fiction (Ages 4-8) Lindgren, Astrid, . (1950). Pippi Longstocking. New York: The Viking Press.  Synopsis: Pippi lives alone with her monkey, Mr. Nilsson, and her horse, Old Man, in an old house named Villa Villekulla, located in a small Swedish village. Her friends and next-door neighbors, Tommy and Annika Settergren, accompany her on her adventures; though the children's father disapproves of Pippi's sometimes coarse manners and lack of education, Mrs. Settergren knows that Pippi would never put Tommy and Annika in harm's way, and that Pippi values her friendship with the pair above nearly all else in her life. Though lacking much formal education, Pippi is very intelligent in a common-sense fashion, has a well-honed sense of justice and fair play, and has learned from a wide variety of experiences. She will show respect (though still in her own unique style) for adults who treat her and other children fairly. Her attitude towards the worst of adults (from a child's viewpoint) is often that of a vapid, foolish and babble mouthed child, and few of her targets realize just how sharp and crafty Pippi is until she's made fools of them. Pippi has an amazing talent for spinning lies and tall tales, though they are usually in the form of humorously strange stories rather than lying with malicious intent. (Wikipedia) Response: Pippi Longstocking has been one of my favorite series since I was small. Her adventurous spirit and ambition to always succeed, no matter what grownup is telling her “no”, is an inspiration to any child or child at heart. She is strong, capable, and fearless. This series is perfect for children who want to develop their exploratory side. One message that is strongly sent in these stories is a message of confidence. Pippi is as sure of herself as any child, and will show children what they can accomplish with a little self-esteem. Thrilling and courageous, Pippi Longstocking proves to readers that the world is their playground. Curriculum Connections: Adventure Classroom activities: Ask the children what powers they would possess if they had a choice. Have the children discuss what life would be like on their own, with no adults to tell them what to do (maybe circle around to how lonely it would be in the end!) Have the readers draw pictures of what places in the world they would travel to if they were Pippi, given her funds and freedom. The TomtenBy Astrid Lindgren : The TomtenBy Astrid Lindgren Scandinavian Literature: Fiction (Pre-K-2) Lindgren, A. (1979). The Tomten. New York: Coward-McCann, Inc. Book Summary This book is about a Swedish winter. The cold, cold life on a farm, Tomten, a little gnome, wanders around the land. No one can see him, but the children can see his tracks in the snow. He speaks to all the animals living on the farm; the cows, sheep, dog, and cat, and they can all understand him because he speaks in a silent little language they all know. He tells everyone that the winter is cold, but it is almost over and soon the summer will be here and they will be able to graze in the fields. He tells them summer too will come and go and it will be winter again. Response This is a great book to show the winter life in Sweden. The illustrations really depict the bitter cold and how everyone stays warm. The language is understandable for a child and is delightful to ready. I really enjoyed this book and think it is a great way to learn about another culture. Also, the idea of the gnome is a great way to introduce the children to Swedish fairy tales. Curriculum Connections Drama, weather Classroom activities Research the winter weather here and compare and contrast it to the winter in Sweden Have the children draw a picture of what they think winter is and write something about the picture Have them talk about what they would have Tomten do for them while they were asleep during the nights of winter Slide 29: Slutten (The End) References : References

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