News: Latest News
For a listing of events, go to our Regular Events page.

Scholarship News
The Seattle Swedish Community Scholarships have announced the following award winners for the 2013 scholarship competition:

Bert Hagg Awards $3,500 Erik Gest Mercer Island High School
Michelle Ann Wasan Cleveland High School
Erik Strand Awards $3,500 Nicole Polyakov Federal Way High School
Emina Dacic Foster High School
Yaraly Preciado-Macedo West Seattle High School
Brett Davis Auburn Riverside High School
Fern and Sven Halgren Award $3,500 Sarah Braun Interlake High School
Josef Oscarsson Award $1,500 Andry Xevandry Chief Sealth High School
 
Congratulations to all the winners. The Seattle Swedish Community Scholarships are awarded annually to high school seniors in King County. Swedish heritage is not required. Information about scholarships for 2014 will be posted this fall.
Another Royal Wedding
Two years ago, it was Crown Princess Victoria's royal wedding that grabbed all the headlines in Sweden. Not to be outdone, Victoria's younger sister has announced her engagement. Princess Madeleine, 30, is planning to marry Chris O'Neill, a financier with dual British-U.S. citizenship.
Chair and Chair Alike
Endowing a chair at a university is a little out of reach for most of us, but perhaps you can endow one in the Swedish Club's library. Per and Inga Bolang are seeking your help to buy 18 new Globus designer chairs to match the new tables and shelving. They've issued a challenge: For every chair that members fund, Per and Inga will buy one to match it. We need eight more chairs, so that's four from the Bolangs and four from members like you.

Each chair costs around $315 with tax. if you'd like to send in a donation for Per and Inga to match. Let's see how soon we can get our library fully equipped with snappy new seating!

A Rolling Toy for Royalty
Faced with the cancellation of an event on his schedule, Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf decided to drop in at the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan on Wednesday. His Majesty arrived in a chauffered Volvo, although the Secret Service officers who escorted him were driving a Saab. Museum director Peter Backstrom presented the king with a toy Saab for his granddaughter, Princess Estelle—it certainly couldn't hurt to have another automobile enthusiast in the royal family!
It's in the Bag
Before bottles, wine was often kept in leather bags, or wineskins. A new Swedish brand, Vernissage, has a twist on that old idea: a wine container that could pass for a fashion handbag. Available in Chardonnay/Viognier, Syrah Rosè and Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon (all produced by Nordic Sea Winery), the award-winning "Bag-in-Bag" design blurs the line between alcohol and accessory. Our only question: What do you do with your real purse when you're carrying this around?
Born to Build
Renting a new apartment in Seattle? Chances are about one in five that you'll have Club member Brian Runberg to thank. The Seattle Times reports that Runberg's Pioneer Square architecture firm has been busy of late with multifamily projects, all influenced by the Scandinavian design principles he absorbed as a student in Copenhagen. We're sure you'll enjoy learning more about Brian and his philosophy of building community through design.

©UNESCO, Frederic Boukari
Find Me an Expert!
When you're having a "Swedish folk art emergency," who ya gonna call? The Swedish Club in Seattle, naturally! A Wall Street Journal reporter rang us up recently, in a panic. He needed to interview an expert on Swedish folk art right away, for a story about seven farmhouses in Sweden that had been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites because of their 19th-century folk art interiors. Of course we dropped everything, started making calls from Vancouver to Värmland, and found the experts he needed. For us, it was all in a day's work.
The Speech Heard Round the World
Lars Jonsson, Honorary Swedish Consul to Washington and Oregon, was the featured speaker at our Swedish National Day celebration last month—a neat trick, since he was in Stockholm at the time. He delivered a stirring "State of Sweden" speech, which you can read in its entirety right here. Want to know how he pulled it off? You'd better read the whole story, in which you'll also learn more about our raffle winners and Swedes of the Year.
Not Vintage, Just Drawn That Way
We're enjoying the Swedish folk art of Leif Sodergren. The Göteborg-based artist sells posters, cards, mugs and more, along with hand-painted items featuring his neo-traditional designs.
You Don't Have to Be Swedish, Just Smart
Seattle Swedish Community Scholarships has announced its scholarship winners for 2012. Nine local high school seniors received a total of $29,500. Congratulations!
The Needle's Choyce
Club member Karen Choyce made her Space Needle hat to wear to “Seattle in the ’60s,” the Swedish club’s 50th anniversary auction last fall. But she put it on again to wear to the Space Needle’s 50th anniversary. Karen was a hit with the print media, including The Seattle Times, which published her on the front of its NW section, and two television channels that interviewed her. In addition, Karen estimated that at least 200 people asked her to pose for photos. Hey Karen, what are you wearing to “Dancing with Swedish Stars” this fall?
Music, Anyone?
We’re looking for musicians (piano, guitar, fiddle, accordion, etc.) to help set the mood at our Friday Kafé, from noon to 2 p.m. We’ll put out the tip jars for you during lunch, and provide you with meal tickets for either the Kafé or a pancake breakfast. Are you up for it? Contact We hope to find enough musicians to cover every Friday with each person or group playing once a month. We’d love to enjoy your music.

A Midsommar Day's Dance
Since ancient times, Swedes have raised the majstång (maypole) at midsommar. It’s one of the delightful ways the pagan past continues to weave itself into modern Swedish life—and the obvious symbol of fertility, bedecked with fresh summer flowers, only increases the fun! Swedes in the Northwest have three opportunities to celebrate the summer solstice and dance around the pole. The first is Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17, at Vasa Park on the west side of Lake Sammamish, at 3560 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway SE in Bellevue. Children’s activities are featured, along with the traditional majstång, Scandinavian crafts, Swedish pancakes, swimming in the lake, and dancing. The event is free. More information here.

The second opportunity is at the Club, where you can celebrate midsommar during Happy Hour on Friday, June 22. The pole will be raised by 4 p.m. and ready for your help to decorate it. A traditional smörgåsbord of Swedish summer food, including herring, potatoes, and strawberries, all prepared by Ann-Margret, will be available for your enjoyment too. Richard Svensson will play traditional dance music.

The third is Skandia’s Midsommarfest on Sunday, June 24, at St. Edwards State Park in Kenmore. Decorating and raising the pole and then dancing around it in costume are definitely the focus of the day. Talented musicians and performers and a spectacular array of Scandinavian costumes make the trip worthwhile. More information here. All of the events welcome children, and embrace native Swedes as well as those just beginning to explore their Swedish heritage. Be really Swedish this year and join one of the midsommar events here in the Northwest!
Speak Up!
Linguists from the universities of Oslo and Stockholm would like to interview Swedish speakers in Seattle. They're interested in how Swedish has developed for people who learned it here in the States. If you're one of those people and would like to participate, please contact Janne Bondi Johannessen Interviews start in Seattle on June 19.

Soft Power to the Swedish People
Sweden ranks sixth among world nations in " soft power," defined as "the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option and attraction." This according to a survey published in the UK's Monocle magazine, which gushed: "With their pretty Bond-girls, Millennium novels, skinny jeans, indie rock bands and innovative technology solutions, Swedes have long stood for beauty, mystery, health and modernity." Stop it, you're making us blush already.

Photo: SEATTLEPI.COM
A Tasty Trend
Quick—what was Britain's hottest cuisine in 2011? Believe it or not, the answer is Scandinavian food, according to the BBC. Sales of Swedish food in the UK are up 30 percent over the past five years, and Norwegian and Danish food are trending up as well. Good news if you're planning a British vacation—odds are you can find some good Swedish buns for breakfast, so you won't have to settle for beans on toast.
Support Your Swedish Club
There's nothing else like the Swedish Club, but we wouldn't exist without you, our members. Please give today to make your investment—in the programs, events, and services we offer now, as well as in our plans for the future. Reply to our appeal letter, make a secure donation online, or upgrade to a premium membership. When you donate, you'll receive a "We Are the Swedish Club" button. We hope to see you soon, wearing one with pride. Give today!
Our Happy Hour Is a Newsworthy Night
On Friday night on Dexter Avenue, everyone can be Swedish. So reports the Ballard News-Tribune in a review of our weekly Happy Hour. Their reporter was impressed with our chefs' hot Swedish meal and our bartender's generosity, not to mention Seattle's best view of Lake Union. But we implore you not to take her word for it: Next Friday, come and check it out for yourself.
Fund-A-Need Campaign
We're making a special appeal for you to give directly to support two of our time-honored and vitally important efforts to promote Swedish culture. One is our newsletter (we need help taking it from quarterly back to monthly); the other is our scholarship program for students in Swedish language and culture at the UW. Donations collected through our Fund-A-Need campaign go directly to support these two programs. We hope you'll give today!
Make a Member of a Friend
As a member of the Swedish Club, you probably know that we offer a variety of membership options to suit various needs. Well, here’s one more option: Now you can introduce a friend to the club with an Invitational Membership Gift. For just $25, your friend gets full membership for six months, plus two pancake breakfast tickets. And you get the pleasure of introducing a brand-new member to the Swedish Club. Apply online or use this form to buy an Invitational Membership Gift today.

Photo: SCANPIX SWEDEN/REUTERS
Chillin' Out
A Swedish man found inside his car in a forest near Umea, Sweden, claimed he had been snowed in there for two months with no food—prompting a debate on whether it's possible for human beings to hibernate.

Don't let this happen to you. The Swedish Club provides access to delicious Swedish food, and it would be a crying shame to hibernate while we have so many wonderful events going on.
Godspeed, Gunnar
Gunnar Wallin, past president of the Swedish Club and one of its strongest supporters, passed away at Overlake Hospital on Feb. 9. No one could match his passion for supporting the club and all things Swedish. One of his last acts on behalf of the Club was to make sure that our "We are the Swedish club" logo was changed to reflect correct Swedish style. Gunnar won the Pea Soup Challenge every year we ran the contest. He's shown here with his wife, Birgitta, supporting the club at an outdoor festival. We love you, Gunnar, and we'll miss you!
Sounders Welcome Another Swede
The Seattle Sounders have signed Swedish defender Adam Johansson to a three-year deal, the Seattle Times reported. Adam has spent the past seven years playing for IFK Göteborg in Sweden's top league.
Our Own Top Chef
We knew we had a hidden gem in our Swedish chef, Ann-Margret Lightle. Well, now everyone knows it, thanks to her new profile in the Swedish Press, North America's only Swedish newspaper. Learn more about Ann-Margret and get three of her fantastic recipes. After you've tried them, there's more where they came from at our Friday Kafé.
Pancakes in the Press
A story in the Aug. 14 Seattle Times is the latest media triumph for our monthly pancake breakfast. Read it online—and be sure to click through the slideshow for lots of photos! Thanks to all of our pancake volunteers who faithfully show up every month and help put on an event worthy of a great story like this one.
Vikings and Their Volvo
A classic is always worth defending. Maybe these guys got lost on the way to our Sweden Day car show? Executive Director Kristine Leander spotted them in Vancouver, B.C., in June.
We Heard It on NPR
OK, Midsommar has been here and gone, but you can still party like a Swede if you want to. We missed it the first time around, but no less a media empire than National Public Radio ran this story on June 15, encouraging listeners to throw solstice parties, Swedish style—complete with recipes and lots of advice on drinking aquavit. Our recommendation: Go ahead and give it a try if you're not partied out already. It's gotta be good for you ... it was on public radio!


Speak Swedish and carry a big spoon: Gunnar Wallin triumphs again in our Pea Soup Challenge.
A Swede and an Irishman Walk into a Kitchen...
This year's Pea Soup Challenge at the Swedish Club was a little different, as Pat McMonagle's green Irish recipe went head to head with champion Gunnar Wallin's yellow Swedish concoction. Perhaps not surprisingly, Gunnar carried the day once again—but just because we're Swedish doesn't mean the voting was rigged. Food blogger Leslie Seaton of Fresh-Picked Seattle was in attendance, and shared these photos with us. If you missed the Challenge and would like to boil a batch of Gunnar's bravissimo burgoo for yourself, you can get the recipe on page 6 of this newsletter.

In Sweden, Enjoy What's Good for You
What if the right thing to do were also the fun thing to do? At the Odenplan metro station in Stockholm, Volkswagen engineers found a creative way to motivate people to choose the stairs over the escalator.
Leander Lauded
She put Leif Erikson in his place, raises her own chickens and can talk you into buying a sheaf of wheat that she cut herself. Now the Ballard News-Tribune has nominated Swedish Club Executive Director Kristine Leander as a "Neighborhood Gem" for her work on behalf of Seattle's Scandinavian community. Photo: Anne-Marije Rook/Ballard News-Tribune.
Speaking of Vikings
The Viking influence on history, culture, language and the arts can still be felt today, both in Scandinavia and further abroad. Whether you've delved deep into the sagas or have never studied the Vikings before, you're sure to enjoy our weekly Viking discussions, every Friday at 6 p.m. at the Swedish Club.

We're devoting the next nine months to a 36-part film series on the Vikings by Prof. Kenneth Harl of Tulane University. After each film, we'll have a discussion. We hope to see you soon at a Viking discussion group meeting!



Terje Leiran, chair of the UW Scandinavian Studies Department, congratulates Club scholarship winners Margaret Berry and Emilia Sternberg.
SC’s Scholarship Winners
It’s an act of faith to award scholarships for 2010–11 when we haven’t raised the money yet. (Our annual auction pays for the scholarships, and we moved the auction from the spring to the fall this year!) But we are confident of being able to further the education of these two splendid young Swedish scholars.

Margaret Berry has a double major in European studies and Swedish language (with departmental honors) and a minor in Russian. She first became interested in Swedish at age 16, when she spent an exchange year in Stockholm. She hopes to explore the roles that the Nordic states, Russia, and Eastern Europe play in international organizations such as the European Union, as well as their influence on each other. Her GPA is 3.96. She has been accepted into a direct exchange program this fall with Uppsala University, and will begin her year of studying abroad thanks to the SC scholarship. Margaret told us: “I am very thankful for the opportunity to represent the UW and the Swedish Club while I study in Sweden next year.”

Emilia Sternberg just finished her second year at the UW, majoring in Swedish and international studies with a human rights focus. She was born in Sweden and moved to Minnesota when she was 9. She is studying Swedish because it’s important for her to stay connected to her roots and possibly move back to Sweden to study and work after graduating. She loves teaching Swedish to children at the Swedish School on Sundays at the Club. This summer she will study sustainability and creative writing in Ecuador with one of the UW’s Honors exploration seminars. Her GPA is 3.87.



Earth Day Photo Contest Winner
Out-of-town members Eloise and Leroy Nelson of Northbrook, Illinois, won our recent Earth Day contest with this photo. Eloise writes: "Whenever I feel stressed, I think about watching the sunset from the deck of our cottage in northern Wisconsin, and a peaceful calm quiets my thoughts. This little lake, on the Spread Eagle chain in Florence County, is free of invasive species because of the watchfulness of dedicated volunteers and the vigilance of the lake association, committed to keeping these lakes pristine for future generations."



Got Viking Books?
Search on Amazon.com for Viking books and you get 50,000 titles. Make that Viking history and you’re down to 2,500 books. The Nordic Heritage Museum carries about 15 Viking books. But visit the Swedish Club’s library, and you’ll find only three. We’re going to change that! The Viking lecture group, which meets every Friday at 5:30 p.m. for a 30-minute recorded lecture, is asking Club members and friends to search their bookshelves and bring in any Viking books or videos they can part with—either new or used, for children or adults. We hope to have a collection worthy of anyone who wants to borrow a book or just leaf through one when you’re at the Club. Our goal is to have 100 Viking books in our library by Leif Erikson Day, Oct. 9, 2010. Please bring your books to the Club and drop them off in the office.

Seattle Weekly Discovers the Smörgås
Food critic Jonathan Kauffman's search for international sandwiches brought him to our Friday Kafé recently to sample the smörgås. Here's what Jonathan, writing in the Seattle Weekly, had to say about the experience:
If the bocadillo is the My Bloody Valentine of the sandwich world, the Swedish smörgås (pronounced more like "smurgos") is its Sufjan Stevens: delicately flavored, intricately composed, and awfully pretty to look at. If you visit the Swedish Club on Dexter Avenue for its Friday Kafe and happy hour (which starts at noon), the sandwiches aren't the only sight. You and a half-dozen faded blondes in their 70s will be dining in the bar—Arne Jacobsen chairs, pale-blue carpet, and mid-century pendant lighting still in place—with a 180-degree, Canlis-like vista of Lake Union, all for the price of an $8 open-faced sandwich.

Kristina and Claes Båvik's Svedala Bakery stand may have left Pike Place Market as of October 25, but the couple still sells pastries with Ikea-esque names (Tosca, Katalan) at Whole Foods. Since June, they've also been catering Fridays at the Club. On the day I went for a midday meal, the Båviks had prepared four types of smörgås for the refrigerated case, each as lovely as a bento box: a slim oval of rye with rippling curls of smoked ham and slivers of cornichon tucked into their folds; two slices of brie on thickly buttered bread with two slim apple slices arranged at angles upon them; smoked salmon garnished with a drizzle of sweet mustard, the tips of dill fronds, and shaved lemons; and a mound of penny-sized pink shrimp balanced on hard-boiled egg slices and a gratifying amount of mayonnaise. You eat a smörgås with a fork and knife as well as with your eyes, feeling not a little as though you should be having two martinis and a rubber of bridge with your meal. One smörgås, in fact, is not enough to feed a slightly overripe man in the prime of his eating years, so a cup of soup, a shared plate of Swedish meatballs for the table, or a domed wedge of Svedala's princess cake is needed to finish off a meal. Perhaps even all three.
Well, we knew our smörgås couldn't remain Seattle's best-kept secret forever. If Jonathan's description has whetted either your curiosity or your appetite, then head on down to the Swedish Club next Friday—before the food critics and faded blondes eat all the sandwiches.



Looming Large
The Swedish Club's new 19th-century loom was installed in the lobby on a Wednesday afternoon, just after our Kafferep. Don Johnson from the Seattle Weaver’s Guild crafted some replacement parts and helped with final assembly. Thank you, Don!

It’s a four-foot loom with two heddles and two paddles, shipped from Sweden to the United States in the late 1800s. Last used in 1955, it still has the remains of a 32-inch-wide rug. We're brainstorming a new weaving project soon, so watch for updates. If you have expertise to share, or you’d like to learn with along with the rest of us, please call 206-283-1090 or




Warren Moy's red 1961 PV544 Volvo won first place in our June 6 car show.
Saab Story
The Club hosted classic Volvos and Saabs in the parking lot for our first-ever car show to celebrate Swedish National Day on June 6. Many came to see the various cars, peek under the hoods, and admire the leather seats and well-kept interiors. The older cars (up to 1973) triggered many memories of living in Sweden. One woman asked to sit in the back seat of a Volvo 544 because when her family left Sweden for the United States, her last view of Stockholm was from a 544’s rear window. We enjoyed hearing personal stories about how these cars have enriched people’s lives. And the real Swedes in the group explained how to tell our Volvos (or spouses) “I love you”: “Jag alskar dig.”

All in all, there were 18 cars: 12 Volvos (444, 544, 1800, 122), four Saabs, and a new Volvo and Saab provided by local dealerships. The People’s Choice awards were as follows:

First place: Warren Moy for his 1961 Volvo 544.
Second place: Ingvar Carlson for his 1960 Saab 93.
Third place: Walt Tartar for his 1953 Volvo 444.
Fourth place: Dick Klomp, for his 1965 Volvo 1800.
Fifth place: Dick Libby for his 1964 Volvo 544.
Sixth place: Gary Ramstad for his 1967 Volvo 122.

After presenting the awards (wine, oil, silver platter, oil filter, car vacuum), we declared that classic Swedish cars should be considered the eighth wonder of the world (which would place them ahead of Ferraris)! The car show was followed by dancing, a festive dinner, and the drawing of the SwedeStakes winners. Mark Hillman won $1,000; Beverly Sperry won $500; and the winner of a year of pancake breakfasts was Barbara Wilkins.



Seattle Makes an Impression on Norwegian Pop Star
Trondheim chanteuse Lise Olden wowed us with her performance at Nordic Exchange and other concerts in March—but it turns out she and her band were quite taken with America as well. Check out Lise's blog of her Seattle trip, including video clips and photos. She even sent along an MP3 demo of the lullaby "Vuggevisa" for her Seattle fans to enjoy.



What's Cookin'
Swedish chef Jonas Lundgren represented his native country at the Bocuse d'Or—one of the world's most prestigious cooking competitions—held in January in Lyon, France. He took second place, while first was captured by a Norwegian, Geir Skeie.

Born in Stockholm, Lundgren, 29, has worked in restaurants in Napa Valley, London, Paris, and Oslo.
 



Auction Report
The Swedish Club's 2009 auction, Voyage Aboard the Swedish American Line, was a resounding success thanks to our generous donors, volunteers, and attendees. Get more details.