Monday, February 3, 2020

The man who is involved in the Gammalsvenskby's life

February 3, 2020 (VIMEO.COM) Zmiyivka, in southern Ukraine, is also known as ”Gammalsvenskby” or ”Old Swedish Village.” The inhabitants of Gammalsvenskby trace their roots back to the 13th century, to Dagö, an island off the coast of Estonia, which was at that time under Swedish rule. When Sweden lost Estonia to Russia in 1721 the Swedes on Dagö found themselves in enemy territory. In 1781 Catherine the Great, the Russian empress forced the 1200 Swedes to leave Dagö and march 1,242 miles to the Dnieper River in Southern Ukraine. 
The people of Ukraine have suffered through wars, pestilence, and famine. Still, the Dagö Swedes have survived and maintained their identity and their language. The old Swedish dialect is still spoken by the elders in the village. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, contact with the motherland, Sweden, has been reestablished and children are learning Swedish in school. Over the last twenty years, many visitors from Sweden have come through here and met the people of the village, but few have become as involved in village life as Tage Brolin. We follow Tage as he visits with the ladies of the village who share their incredible stories of hardship and trials growing up in Ukraine.