Return to Sweden
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It is the ancestral home of millions of Americans whose grandparents and great grandparents came from Sweden. The story is similar for even more millions of Americans whose roots go back to other countries of Scandinavia, and to all of Europe itself. Armed with meager knowledge, only the names and birthdates of my great grandparents and virtually nothing else, I was to discover more than I had dared hope...even the farm where my great-grandfather was born and grew up. I would walk the fields of his childhood and discover not only the land of my ancestors, but Sweden today.
Sweden is probably one of the most civilized countries of the world...where mutual trust permeates all aspects of life;home of the Nobel Peace Prize;high standards of excellence in manufacturing and medicine;cities that are safe and clean;it has, at times, enjoyed the highest standard of living in the world.
In The North, the Sami...Lapplanders...still round up their reindeer in the Spring in scenes reminiscent of the American West. "Mid Sommer" is still celebrated with raising the Maypole and young girls dance with garlands of flowers in their hair. Stockholm, sometimes called the "Venice of the North," reverberates with pulsing life. The presence of the Vikings can still be felt here in the Ale''s Stones, Sweden''s "Stonehenge," and lynx still stalk the wild forests. From glassblowers to grizzlie bears, Sweden is a place of amazing variety... and vitality. A land of great beauty, it''s wildlife protected, it''s farms prosperous. If I were to leave America, Sweden is the only land to which I would go...the land of my ancestors.