Tuesday, April 07, 2009

longwinded association

In Wilhelm Moberg's series of novels (there is also a musical based on the novels, written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the two Bs from ABBA) about a group of Swedes emigrating to America in the 1860s, the character Kristina spends most of her life in Minnesota being homesick for the old country. She has brought with her apples, and she plants a seed the first year. By the time she dies, the tree bears fruit in the new country.

The tree is of the Astrakan variety. Because of the popularity of the novels and musical, the word 'astrakan' has taken on a new meaning in Swedish. It connotates longing, belonging, homesickness, and loss.

So I laughed, and snapped a photo, when I found this sign at IKEA, the mothership of modern-times emigrant Swedes.

Min Astrakan (My Astrakan), from the musical:

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