Home Away From Home

After my visit this summer to Strömsborgs Vilohem at Rådmansö, north of Stockholm, I’ve felt curious about the time my relatives spent out of China as well. In some ways, these years and months are not as well documented. Yes, they did write letters to their missionary colleagues in and out of China - but... Continue Reading →

Revealing Past Summers

They had spent a couple of lovely summers at “Strömsborgs Vilohem*” when time came for Dagny and Robert to once again set out to China to fulfill their obligation as missionaries in the year of 1912. This time was to be quite different in one deciding way. Four of their children were too old to... Continue Reading →

Icons forever

Painting icons is an art in itself. You need to have a lot of patience and the technique is quite elaborate. Icons are painted with egg tempera - a combination of color pigment, egg yoke, water and a drop of vinegar - and they are, as you can imagine, full of symbolic meaning. Icons are... Continue Reading →

Finding Family And Family Finding You

Researching family history is interesting in many ways. Aside from understanding more about where you come from, you can connect with present-day relatives that you might not even have known existed. This has happened to me on a few occasions since I started researching and writing about my geneaology findings, and is also a big... Continue Reading →

Celebrating spring and graduation

Today, students all over Sweden, get to wear their student hats for the first time. In Sweden we call it "mösspåtagning," and it's a sure sign spring is here. Tomorrow, we celebrate Walpurgis night/Valborgsmässoafton, and all the bonfires will have choirs wearing their student hats, singing to welcome spring. Looking back to the beginning of... Continue Reading →

Remembering those we have lost

We are many who have lost loved ones the past years. Coping with grief is part of life and something we all go through at one point or another, always hoping it will be later, rather than sooner. Through the years I have written a few obituaries. It has always felt a bit strange, trying to... Continue Reading →

Not everyone can still be found

Driving back from a short ski trip to Dalarna, about 300 km northwest of Stockhom, I came to think of an old map I once got from my grandmother Edna. She had kept it as it was a record of how grandfather's relatives had moved around in Sweden, from the 17th century onward. As I... Continue Reading →

Living in turmoil

What we are experiencing in Europe today is on everyone's mind. No one knows how this will end, how many lifes will be affected or what will happen to our world. WWII is not that far away in the past, and even though my own generation did not have to live through it, our parents... Continue Reading →

Celebrating and harvesting

As we're finally leaving the dark, cold and poor January behind us in Scandinavia, the Chinese are about to enter their big festivity of the New Year. In 2022 the year of the Tiger starts on the 1st of February. In 1905, the newly baked missionary Olga spent her first Chinese New Year celebrating the... Continue Reading →

It’s coming on Christmas

... and I have not been writing or researching for such a long time. This autumn has been pretty intense. I have had to make some priority changes - mainly focusing on seeing friends and family when I have not been travelling with work. We've had a short window of social possibilities in Sweden, which... Continue Reading →

Persistence – the key to change

This year, September is a month of celebration in Sweden. A hundred years ago women could finally vote in the Swedish election of 1921. On the 17th of December 1918, the Swedish parliament decided in favour of voting rights for both men and women. This was the first procedural decision that paved the way for... Continue Reading →

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

My great grandmothers Olga and Dagny were both alone when they travelled back to Sweden after having spent their entire adult lives in China being missionaries together with their husbands. Olga’s husband Nils passed in ileus, in 1942 (age 61) and Dagny’s husband Robert died from heart disease in 1930 (age 62). They were both... Continue Reading →

Taking risks during Christmas in China

From the stories my grandmother used to tell me when I was little, there is one I often think about come Christmas. It was 1895 and my grandfather's parents, Dagny and Robert, were newlyweds. They lived in a small Chinese mountain village called Hancheng in the northwest. There were no other Europeans there, and it... Continue Reading →

Scouting – a Family Affair

"We had two scout troops. One for the boys and one for the girls." My grandmother Edna always told her childhood stories in a very soft voice. Her life stories were my bedtime fairytales, and perhaps that is why I remember them so vividly. "When we had days off, we went on hikes down to... Continue Reading →

The Hero Behind the Scenes

Her name was Li-Niang. She worked with Olga and Nils at the station in Dali/Tungchowfu in China. Li-Niang was a hard-working woman, who helped my great grandparents take care of their children. My grandmother Edna loved Li-Niang. It was Li-Niang who taught her Chinese, who made sure she got bathed and hid Edna when bandits... Continue Reading →

Popping Olga

China missionary Olga turns up again - this time in an influencial old nurses' dictionary by Honnor Morten.

Context is King

Since I have been looking into my family history and reading letters from the past, I have become increasingly interested in the context my relatives lived in. They were born in the 19th century and passed  into the 20th, with everything that happened and was invented at the time. Just as I find it hard... Continue Reading →

Preserved for Generations

Photography is the art of preserving what we do not want to forget. Through photography we can see the world both as it is, and discover new interpretations of that same reality. Back in the days, when photos didn’t lie – when retouching and editing photos was non-existing – photography was something very special. People... Continue Reading →

Scars For Life

Reading letters from my great grandmother I slowly unveil her history and piece together the puzzle that is our familys' legacy

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