The beauty of Swedish summer

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Sweden is marvellous. This country has a great variety of landscapes and climates. Sweden today consists of 25 counties from north to south and in summer time Sweden flourishes in many ways, despite the society problems that also do exist. The avarage temperature in Summer time vary between 15 and 32 Centigrades, and most commonly between 15 and 27-28 Centigrades. In early summer especially the days are long and the sun sets between eight and 9.30 in the evenings. The photo you see in the beginning of this article I took on Midsummer’s Eve in north-west Scania near a place called Höganäs. What you see is the top of a may pole, or Midsummer pole. If you want to learn more I suggest that you read two of my blog articles from last summer http://www.andersmoberg676.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/swedens-national-commemoration-day-last-week and also http://www.andersmoberg676.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/midsummer-celebrations.

When I participated in the celebrations of our national commemoration day June 6th a couple of months ago I also listened to a school choir singing a famous summer psalm. That particular psalm, “Den blomstertid nu kommer”, Psalm No 199 in the Swedish psalm books, is almost always sung when the schools have their gatherings to celebrate the end of the school year and the coming of summer. The lyrics were written a little more than 300 years ago in 1695 by a bishop in Visby on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. His name was Israel Kolmodin. Especially the first two paragraphs of the total six are usually sung nowadays. Since Kolmodin wrote his texts 300 years ago minor alterations have been made in the spelling and a few words exchanged since his days to make it more accessible for the present day Swedes. The melody was already known and also used for other psalms as well when Israel Kolmodin wrote his lyrics. In translation it appears in Norway’s psalm books too as number 763 and in Finland translated as “Jo joutoi armas aika” as number 571. When I heard the school choir sing this Swedish psalm on the Mayor Square/Stortorget here in Malmö two months ago I then decided to make an English translation or interpretation of the text. Here are the two first paragraphs:

“The flower time is coming
with joy and splendour great.
Now lovely summer’s roaming
with green and fertile fate.
The warming sun is giving
a new life to the dead.
The pastures green are living
and rebirth it has spread.

The fairest flower meadows
and seed on noble ground.
The rich and herbal shadows
and all the trees so sound,
will for us be reminders
of wealth so rich-Devine.
Let all of us be finders
of mercy long and fine.”

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This summer has been great for me in many ways. I have made new contacts, got a new job, have been socialising with family and friends and experienced various cultural things. I’ve been enjoying the beautiful landscapes, been swimming on warm summer days, been to theatre, cafés, restaurants, concerts and other events. There are many things to do and to enjoy. I would like to conclude this article with some more photos of Swedish summer.

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Anders Moberg, August the 11th 2014

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