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Airdate: Dec 25, 2000
Scientist: Mark Esping

Kalas

Kalas
In Lindsborg, Kansas, folks still mark this time of year with traditions their ancestors brought from Sweden.

Transcript:
KalasMusic; Ambience: Swedish music, folk dancingJM: In the mid- '1800's, Swedish settlers founded the town of Lindsborg, Kansas. Today, folks here still observe many of the seasonal traditions their ancestors brought with them from Scandinavia. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. On December 13, many people in Lindsborg attend church services in honor of St. Lucia, who is revered in Sweden. Another Swedish tradition that lives on here in Lindsborg is the Kalas, an open house held on Christmas day. For more than twenty years, friends and family have gathered for a Kalas at the Elmquist house, where they enjoy traditional Swedish foods like "patahtas korve", potato sausage. A favorite lunchtime meal on the day before Christmas is the "dipping pot" called "doop" or "doopagreeta". Marla Ann Elmquist says in her family folklore, the doopagreeta began back in the days of the manor houses.MAE: "When we would have doop, my father would always tell us this story that they would put a large pot of broth in the middle of the table, and it was usually the broth that was used to cook the korve, and boiled meats and potatoes. Then they would have bread that was dried. And then everyone, from the manor area would come in and dip out of the same pot, showing that before God we all stand as equals. It was also a way of sharing meat and that kind of thing with people that might not have had much, because on a manor there would've been people living in poverty as well as people who are very wealthy." JM: For Marla Ann Elmquist and others here in Lindsborg, Kansas, a Kalas is still a time of welcome and sharing.MAE: "Anyone who comes to the door is welcome and everyone's on an equal footing, whether they're people who have a difficult time in life or people who have an easy time in life."JM: To hear about our CD, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.