Reason for many New England friends to gather for coffee, gloegg, a waffle or to shop for Christmas essentials early in the season.
To capture the spirit at Swedish Yuletide in Boston is next to impossible. It’s a treasure for all of New England and a reason for many old friends to gather for coffee, glögg, a waffle with jam and whipped cream, a piece of princess cake or to shop for sweets, gifts, decorations or food for the upcoming holidays.
Karina Granbom led two immensely popular Lucia processions at this year’s celebration on December 6. The first appearance had 80 participants including a playgroup from the local Swedish school, pupils from the Swedish school, students from Berklee College of Music and visiting au pairs. The two Lucias were Sara Granholm and Helen Olsson. Other entertainment throughout the day included accordion music, the choral group Stämbandet (The Vocal Cord), Monica Zetterlund tunes by Hanna Nilsson and friends from Berklee, and 20 young American violin students from New Hampshire performing Swedish Christmas music.
The exhibition Swedish Crime Scenes, first shown in America at Swedish Yuletide, took visitors on a tour through Sweden from Ystad in the south to Kiruna in the north. Sweden, hardly a crime-ridden country, has in recent years become known for fictional crime writers; this special exhibition visited the crime writers’ most common scenes, from Mankell’s Ystad and Luackberg’s Fjällbacka to Åsa Larsson’s Kiruna.
Kudos to the organizers for yet another warm and welcoming day.
Swedish Yuletide is an annual fundraiser to enable support for local organizations and two important SWEA Boston annual scholarships. The local chapter of SWEA supports through donations the Swedish School, the Scandinavian Library and the Scandinavian Cultural Center, and sponsors local cultural programs. SWEA Boston is for instance one of the main organizers of the annual Vasaloppet. The Boston Chapter also offers an annual scholarship of $8,000. Each year, it is awarded to one or two well-merited female undergraduate or graduate students at a New England university pursuing studies or a work/study program in Sweden for at least one semester. Also, special research projects in Sweden by New England women are encouraged and considered. The 2014 recipients of the SWEA Boston Scholarship were Naomi Mastico, who will study at Uppsala University for a year and Sydney Smoot, who is attending the Swedish Program in Stockholm for a semester. The SWEA mission to spread knowledge about Sweden and Swedish culture will be further strengthened by two highly motivated women upon their return to the U.S. More info on SWEA Boston Scholarships: www.sweaboston.org/kalendar/scholarship