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Traces of our ancestors

1937: Picture stones at a farm in Änge in Buttle. Photo by Harald Faith-Ell / National Heritage Board Archives

You can see them everywhere, the traces of our ancestors. Some traces more visible than others, like these picture stones at a farm in Änge on Buttle, Gotland.

Our ancestors for hundreds of generations have left traces in every landscape, in every village, in every hamlet. You can see them everywhere, if you just open your eyes and look. A cleared field, a mossy stone wall, an old country road.

Someone was wrestling with stumps and rocks in that field. Somebody put every rock in that wall with their bare hands. Someone was the first to walk through that primeval forest, which became a path, which became a road. If you have Nordic origins, you don't need to visit a museum to learn about your history - your roots. You just have to open your eyes. It is enough to dig where you stand, literally.

That's why it's so easy to dismiss all the talk about Swedes having no culture of their own, or that "all development has come from outside", as the romantic fantasies of immigration they really are. Because all we have to do is lift our eyes from the latest slush column in the slush press and they are right there in front of our noses.

Our roots.

Our history.

Our Swedish and Nordic culture.

And you know what? Our culture is not perfect. It is definitely not "right". But it is ourand it is beautiful.

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