Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here's another of the cards I have received, this time from the Anarkisterna site in Sweden. the image here may be familiar to readers of this blog as I have used it before, but it deserves to enter the classics anyways. In Sweden, by the way the traditional Christmas figure, Tomte the Christmas elf/gnome, is gradually being replaced by the American Empire Santa Claus. Too bloody bad. May they never cease serving the traditional Swedish drink "glogg" (I shit you not), a sort of mulled wine. What an appropriate name.
In any case here is the greeting from Sweden, along with a repeat of their request for solidarity. Molly is off on the highway tomorrow morning so I wish you the best for the next few days. Keep it clean and don't let the ruling class bite, and, if they do, call the exterminator. Til later......

Seasons' greetings from Athens:‏
Just to get you all in the right spirit - from all of us to all of you:
And while we're at it, a reminder of the people needing our support:
The “December Collection” (Decemberinsamlingen) serves as emergency help for the family that has lost almost all of their belongings in the attack on their apartment:
Re: Decemberinsamlingen
Addressee: SAC
IBAN: SE24 9500 0099 6034 0809 9236
The Cyklopen activists are determined to rebuild their center – financial help can be sent here:
Re: Cyklopen
Addressee: Kulturkampanjen
IBAN: SE09 9500 0099 6034 1607 5525
In solidarity!
/embryo collective
Molly wishes the "embryo" a happy birth and a prosperous life.


Rüyacı said...

Dear Molly,
Please Check our links Greece solidarity News From Turkey
And releated category.

M. Ottemark said...

Hi! Actually the Tomte is a very recent invention - it replaced the ancient "julbocken" which was the main symbol of christmas - it may even date to pre-christan days - read up on it

mollymew said...

Hi Altemark,
I did indeed have a look, but to me the Tomte seems to have a "prehistory" at least as ancient as that of the "Christmas Goat/julbocken". The "modern" form of the Tomte seems to date from the 1800s. In that you are quite right, but it still seems a shame to me to lose that particular image in favour of the American "Santa Claus". The image of the original St. Nicolas(totally seperate from our 'Santa Claus'), of course,predates anything that can be established about ancient Scandanavian beliefs, even from archeology.
For myself I "like" the image of the Christmas Goat, and I'm happy you pointed this out. If you are Swedish good luck to you on bringing this image into the modern world. Til then I will take the compromise of the Tomte as very much better than Santa Claus for many reasons.
Happy Goat Day or "Goatmas" ?????? It brings up all sorts of questions. When were goats introduced into Scandanavia ? Goats can survive a Canadian prairie winter WITH SHELTER PROVIDED BY HUMANS, but could they survive an admittedly much milder Scandanavian winter without human intervention ? That's something else for Molly to look up. Many trails to be followed here.

mollymew said...

God Almighty I love this trail. What we DO know of Scandanavian mythology dates from as late as the 11th century (considerably later than the 3rd and 4th century St. Nicolas), but it is interesting nonetheless. This was the time of the transition to Christianity in Scandanavia.
I have been unable to find any firm date for the introduction of the goat into Scandanavia,though it is indeed mentioned in the accounts of Norse mythology that we have ie it predates the 1000s. Having dealt with goats in a veterinary aspect in the past I have found that the present agricultural population of Sweden confirms my idea of their "ill-adaption" to northern climes. Apparently the present sheep population of Sweden is about 400,000 while the goat population is 3,000 !!!!! Here in Canada we obviously have better systems of keeping the buggers alive.
All this, of course, says nothing about the "aesthetic" value of the "Yule Goat" versus the Tomte. One thing I DID find in my research is the "Gavle Goat". It's a wicker goat that is built each year in Sweden, and its construction is a challenge for various "vandals" (heroes in another point of view) to burn down. Quite frankly I cannot think of anything in my own boring country, Canada, that equals this yearly contest between the authorities and those who take authority as a challenge. Long live Sweden !!!!!!