The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned.
Dag Hammerskjold of Sweden (1905 - 1961) was the second Secretary General of the United Nations. He was one of the most important statesmen of the 20th century. His mighty efforts to establish peace have left behind a great legacy. The first Secretary General was also a Scandinavian, Trygve Lie, from Norway.
I've always had a fascination for the history and culture of Scandinavia from the Vikings up to modern times, and wondered why those 5 nations have never really taken a place in the mainstream of European life. It comprises formidable stretch of land from the Finnish/Russian border to western Greenland, which is part of the Danish Kingdom.
We hear of Norway when the Nobel Prizes are handed out, but otherwise the nations of the north seem to remain in the shadows.
There are three famous Scandinavian composers: Edvard Grieg of Norway, Carl Nielsen of Denmark and Jan Sibelius of Finland. But there are many other excellent composers: Hugo Alfven of Sweden, Wilhelm Stenhammer of Sweden and Dag Wiren also of Sweden just to named a few.
Two great playwrights were Scandinavians: Edvard Grieg of Norway and August Strindberg of Sweden. But again there were many other fine authors. I've done some of their plays. I used to belong to a theatre company in New York that specialized in modern Scandinavian drama.
One of my favorite filmmakers is the Swede, Ingmar Bergman. His film "Wild Strawberries" is listen in my Profile as one of my favorites.
So why are those 5 nations still outside of the mainstream of European and world culture? Why do so many of the artists have to live in southern Europe to receive the recognition they deserve? Why don't those cities, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Reykjavik and Stockholm have the same standing in the world as Berlin, London, Paris and Rome?
The world is changing and spreading out. Maybe the time is coming for there to be a cultural tectonic shift and the Scandinavians will get the spotlight, because the sure can use the vision of the People of the North.
DB - The Vagabond