By Niels Kayser Nielsen

This ebook contains a few cultural-historical and ethnographic experiences of the historical past of game within the Nordic nations. The reports learn the contribution made by way of game to the improvement of Scandinavian nationalism within the 19th century, and research the ways that recreation turned interwoven with the social lifetime of voters within the numerous Scandinavian nations within the 20th century. the main target of this quantity, for this reason, isn't at the organizational heritage of recreation, neither is it on society vis-ГЎ-vis recreation - i.e., activity as a mirrored image of a definite societal constellation. particularly, what's of curiosity is recreation in society, and consequently the booklet goals to demonstrate the ways that game has been used and has served to assist clarify and comprehend Scandinavian society forms.

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Additional resources for Body, Sport and Society in Norden: Essays in Cultural History

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Many people considered them to be a passing whim that was being realized by immature louts, while the rifle and gymnastic movements were regarded as serious activities as they were both pro-national 48 body, sport and society in norden and character-forming. Also these other forms of sport had the disadvantage of lacking party-political support, something which rifle shooting and gymnastics did not. The right looked very kindly upon shooting in particular, while the Liberals had primarily a positive view of gymnastics, which in the form of the so-called “Swedish” gymnastics was a political-symbolic representation for the Grundtvigian peasantry.

Another problem was that of instruction. This problem was rectified surprisingly fast by the publication of a handbook on Instructions for the Use of Weapons, and by the summer of 1861 shooting exercises had also been organized. This handbook was supported economically from above, as the War Ministry – by request of the rifle movement’s central committee – paid 100 rigsdaler so that it could be published all over the country. Finally there was the question of guns and ammunition. Since Mønster did not expect any support from the state, he applied to the local authorities, the local rifle clubs and the richest landowners.

A number of rifle clubs in Vejle Amt followed their example and started a “new” rifle movement, resulting in two rifle movements from 1886. Subsidies from the state still did not change. Both the “old” movement that was led by the Left and the Grundtvigian “Folk High School Movement”, as well as the “new” right-wing movement, had a part in the subsidies. The amount of 34,000 DKK was shared with two-thirds to the Liberals and one-third to the right wing. The rifle movement and organized athletics in the form of gymnastics were regarded as “a national affair” and thus concern for them was more important than political conflicts.

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