Category Archives: Culture

Just an observation

So this is by no means a restart of this blog. In a perfect world I’d post regularly (not with years in between), but I simply lack time and motivation. I just had an observation that I’d like to share with the internet.

volodymyryaroslav

At the moment I’m writing an essay on the usage of history on the banknotes of post-independence Ukraine and today I, again, visited the royal coin cabinet of Stockholm. I was very happy to find a couple of coins from the medieval Kiev Rus’ era featuring to dudes which have returned in the modern era. The two coins above are from the 10th and 11th centuries and the feature the Rus’ princes Volodymyr (often called the great) and Yaroslav (the wise). To the right of the coins are portrays of the princes on the current edition of the Ukrainian hryvnia. It’s fascinating that a thousand years since these princes lived they still play an important role in the creation of a modern Ukrainian identity. It should of course be mentioned that they also play a huge role in the creation of modern Russian identity as well, even though I’ve yet to seen them on the ruble.

Who knows, maybe I’ll write some more in the future!

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God Jul!

In Sweden Christmas Eve, this day, is the most important day of Christmas. So here is a greeting from snowy Uppsala, Sweden. Merry Christmas! God Jul!

fyrisån

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The Royal Coin Cabinet

Earlier this week I made a daytrip to the Swedish capital – Stockholm. Stockholm is a city with about 1 million inhabitants (1,4 million if you count the suburbs) and it spreads over two sides of Lake Mälaren and some islands in between. My favorite part of Stockholm is Gamla Stan (the Old Town) and this is where I spent most of my time.   A tradition for me, when visiting Stockholm, is to visit The Royal Coin Cabinet a museum dedicated to currency and of course coins. I go there either to visit the museum or to get my hands dirty among the random coins that are for sale. I often leave the museum with a couple of new coins that I’ve found.   Here are some photos from The Royal Coin Cabinet.

The entrance to The Royal Coin Cabinet. Its Swedish name is Kungliga Myntkabinettet.

The entrance to The Royal Coin Cabinet. Its Swedish name is Kungliga Myntkabinettet.

The museum is located next to the Royal Palace. This is the resident of the Swedish King and Queen.

The museum is located next to the Royal Palace. This is the resident of the Swedish King and Queen.

It’s in this chest that I get my hands dirty when looking for coins that I want for my collection.

It’s in this chest that I get my hands dirty when looking for coins that I want for my collection.

Coins from the classical antiquity – ancient Greece and Rome.

Coins from the classical antiquity – ancient Greece and Rome.

A piece of Swedish plate money from the 17th century. Sweden had the largest copper production in Europe at the time. In order to have coins that matched the value of silver they were made into these huge pieces of metals with stamps showing their value. This is a 1 daler “coin”.

A piece of Swedish plate money from the 17th century. Sweden had the largest copper production in Europe at the time. In order to have coins that matched the value of silver they were made into these huge pieces of metals with stamps showing their value. This is a 1 daler “coin”.

And this piece of plate money is considered the largest coin the world (that’s actually been used to pay with). This one is also from the 17th century and it’s extremely heavy. I tried to lift one and I barely managed it.

And this piece of plate money is considered the largest coin the world (that has actually been used to pay with). This one is also from the 17th century and it’s extremely heavy. I tried to lift one and I barely managed it.

Coins and banknotes from all over the world.

Coins and banknotes from all over the world.

This little boy is found in a small courtyard near the coin cabinet and he’s often referred to as “Iron boy” or “Boy that looks at the moon”. It’s common for tourists and visitors to stroke him over the head and leave a coin by him (the coins are later collected for charity). This day there were a lot of rubles and euros. Someone had also put a hat on his head so he wouldn’t freeze.

This little boy is found in a small courtyard near the coin cabinet and he’s often referred to as “Iron boy” or “Boy that looks at the moon”. It’s common for tourists and visitors to stroke him over the head and leave a coin by him (the coins are later collected for charity). This day there were a lot of rubles and euros. Someone had also put a hat on his head so he wouldn’t freeze.

If you want to know more about The Royal Coin Cabinet you can follow this link!

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Moldova: 10 bani 2005

Moldova is an ex-soviet state which gained its independence with the fall of the USSR in 1990/1991. Since the independence Moldova has had quite a troublesome time. The country hasn’t had the same economic development like successful ex-soviet states such as Estonia, and Moldova is today considered to be one of Europe’s poorest countries. It’s been politically unstable as well. Just a couple of years ago, in 2009, the parliament was besieged by angry protesters. Fortunately Moldova has been spared by the type of dictatorship still present in Belarus.

Unfortunately I would have to say that Moldova is one of Europe’s most anonymous countries. A minority of people in Sweden knows the location of the country and fewer knows the name of the capital Chișinău (many people think that this is hard to pronounce). It’s sad, because I think that the country has a lot to offer, with a rich and diverse culture and history.

The Moldovan coat of arms is featured on the coin, and my favorite part of is the small cross in the eagle’s beak. The bani is the subunit of the Moldovan leu.

One last thing that I need to say about Moldova is that they always have very catchy song in the Eurovision Song Contest (a music competition with European countries represented by one song each). This song is from Moldova’s first year in the competition. In translation it’s called: Grandmamma Beats the Drum.

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On this day…

11 years ago the world changed drastically. On this day a large portion of the world turned to fear and prejudice instead of reason. On this day many people lost their lives and many people are continuing to do that. Violence feeds violence, and will continue to do so until we start using other means of solving our differences.

Here is a state quarter (25 cent) from the state New York. This coin was minted 11 years ago in 2001. 1788 is the year when Ney York became a member of the union. The coin features George Washington on the obverse side (like all quarters) and on the reverse side you can see the outlines of the state with the Hudson River and the Erie Canal marked on it. In the foreground stands the Statue of Liberty. Through history New York has been the first place that immigrants come to when looking for a better life in America, it is because of this that the caption “Gateway to freedom” is featured on the coin.

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