Collector: “Give us a brief history on practice and use of the Hambo.”
Informant: “The Hambo is Swedens national dance, and is a couple’s dance that originated in the late 19th century and became popular across Sweden and other Nordic countries. It is characterized by its graceful, flowing movements and the use of a gliding step that gives the dance a smooth and fluid quality. The music for the Hambo is typically played on a fiddle or accordion and has a lively, upbeat tempo. The dance is usually performed at traditional Swedish celebrations, such as Midsommar, festivals, and weddings. It is more often taught in schools as part of physical education and is sometimes performed by professional dance troupes.“
Collector: “How did Hambo play a role in your life?“
Informant: “Dancing is a very integral part of Scandinavian celebrations and ceremonies, symbolizing joy, unity, and tradition. My father made me start Scandinavian dancing from a young age, so it has just become a part of who I am. From this I have developed a tremendous appreciation for dance, which brings a joy I cannot obtain from anything else.“
The Hambo seems to play a crucial role as a performance in the carrying out of many Swedish traditions, which makes sense since it comes from a nordic country. Sweden is a small nordic country, regions known for having rich, nationally recognized folklore. These countries typically weaponized folklore against the presence of outside, unwelcomed invaders during the 19th and 20th centuries. With this weaponization comes a greater sense of nationalism, and as a result, spurs the interconnectedness of its peoples and cultures. This way, countries like Sweden are able to act more like a single body, and strengthen themselves under their unity. Larger, more powerhouse countries like France, the UK, or the USA, did not require such weaponization for their strength was more industrial as opposed to cultural. This is why you see a weak, distilled presence of folklore within all of them.