On 6 June the Swedish people celebrate National Day without really knowing why. In other countries they have salutations with canons and different processions. In Sweden we mainly stand a bit embarrassed at the back of a crowd of people at the Skansen Open Air Museum and wave with a small blue and yellow paperflag the size of a napkin glued on to something that looks like a Chinese chopstick. The Japanese chopstick are shorter, so on them there is noplace to glue Swedish napkins.We celebrate our national day because … on his day … it has something to do with Gustaf Vasa. He skied and slept in haystacks. And then his father got his head chopped off in Stockholm. By the evil king of Denmark. But that is not much to celebrate. So I guess the reason for the Swedish National Day is something else.
Gustaf Vasa went from Lübeck to Kalmar. There he watched football before he went through the rest of the south and middle parts of Sweden. Then he came to Stockholm. Maybe he had a meal at Burger King in Norrköping on his way.
He saw farmers in woolen underwear, busty matrons serving wine out of decanters, servants to the Royal Court who had a seemingly gay appearance. But we do not read about this in our history books. When he rode in to Stockholm there were no fireworks, and according to the paintings of Carl Larsson he was riding on a real life Dalecarlia horse. Not bad for a king-to-be.
Gustaf Vasa was a man who liked challenges. He did not settle for being a farmer in a Stockholm-suburb. No sir-ee. He wanted to be KING! And he became just that. What a rolemodel for the suburban children of today. Get yourself a goal, and a horse, and the right set of parents. Before anyone can say Llanfair Caereinion you could be king. Especially if your father is beheaded in the Big Square in Stockholm. By the Evil Danes. Then you have a career.
Gustaf was also good at carving wooden figures. That is not so commonly known. He learned that when he was put in the woodwork shed as a child. Just like Emil from Lönneberga. Gustafs carving of ”Caesar crossing the Rubicon” is a veritable masterpiece. For being a carved stick. But Rubicon is not easy to localise on that stick.
Something reminding of a river or a hippopotamus would help. But Caesar has both arms and legs. And a Dalecarlia goat.
(To be continued)
[bloggar] humor, humour, satir, satire, märsta, tomas ahlbeck, comedy [/bloggar]