About Svenska Folkdansringen
Swedish Folklore Association (Svenska Folkdansringen), was founded 1920 and has more than 350 groups all over Sweden. 15.000 members of all ages pursue activities covering our original folk culture, mainly focused on dance, music, traditional costumes and handicraft.
We strongly believe that the elderly generations shall be able to share their knowledge of their own and their ancestor's culture with the younger generations in a natural way. This is best achieved through normal association between the generations in day to day activities, as dance practices, travels and other arrangements the dance groups arrange. During dance practices we, by practical and pedagogical reasons, work in various ages groups.
We are most known through the folk dance. Dance is an extensive field of subject, in which the members gain a broad knowledge. The dance groups not only activate their own members, but also pursue widespread public activities with courses, performances and festivals.
In various courses we study the history and development of our dance heritage. In conferences and exchanges between groups the dancers meet to learn from each other and to exchange experiences. Dancing gives, apart from exercise, also knowledge of your own body and how you control it in rhythmic movements.
The Folk music
We emphasize the combination between dance and music. Musicians active within our organisation participate in courses, seminaries, fiddler meetings and performances. Many of the groups also have their own groups of musicians.
The Zorn badge
We are responsible for the Zorn badge, an appreciated badge issued to merited musicians. The Zorn badge is the visible part of the gift that Emma Zorn handed over to Swedish Folklore Association more than 60 years ago. Through yearly auditions for this badge the musicians are stimulated to preserve a genuine folkloric tradition. The musician that has earned the Zorn badge in silver has also the right to call her-/himself riksspelman (musician of the country).
During the 1990's the interest for folk music increased considerably, not least among the youth. This trend has continued thanks to numerous courses, often under the production bySwedish Folklore Association. Here the interested persons can learn how to build their own instrument, to play it, take care of if and enter deeply in the history of the instrument and the music.
By learning the history of our national costumes, their social function and how they have been carried at different occasions through the past, we want to create an understanding for the national costume as such, but also show that the national costume has had a considerable meaning for unifying the districts. Dresses, marking social affiliation as such are not a new phenomenon. A continuous research is ongoing to document the national costumes and practices around it in many areas of our country. Ww also cooperate with other organisations for domestic crafts.
Handicraft is an activity with close relations to the national costumes. But there are much more in handicraft and old traditional crafts. By stimulating creativity and fantasy it will be natural to preserve the old methods of crafts, learn the techniques and to keep them alive for the future. Craft methods as weaving, sewing, vegetable dyeing, silver forging, casting, straw craft and woodwork are some examples of areas where our members are active.
Manners and customs
In many groups and districts there are sections working both with old habits as well as practice of today. Research, chronicles and education has resulted in an extensive material for education and several books. We have published this material ourselves, and in cooperation with other publishers and institutes.
Our groups have freedom to act within the different areas of the organisation. This means that all groups have not the same activities. Mutual influence, comradeship, fellowship and understanding give freedom to create broad activities with many different subjects and fashion of the groups.
Exchanges and travels are popular activities. Every year there are tours to folk dance and folk music festivals both within Sweden and abroad. Destinations vary but through good international contacts there are travels and exchanges all over the world. These festivals, meetings and even conferences render rich opportunities to meet with other people, take part in their culture and share our own with them. This creates a basis for understanding over all borders.
We are a member of various international organisations. In the Nordic cooperation we work in the NORDLEKRÅDET – the Nordic folk dance and folk music cooperation committee. Every third year this organisation arranges a Nordic folklore and fiddler meeting called NORDLEK.
Outside the Nordic countries the cooperation is carried out within the Swedish Section of CIOFF (International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts) that is an international organisation for festivals and folklore. Through these two organisations we also get in contact with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Information and contact
If you want to know more about us and all our groups and of our living roots, please contact our national secretariat.