Sunday, September 23, 2012

Scandinavian Ethnicity

Modern Day Location

Norway, Sweden, Denmark
In the northern latitudes, the sun rarely dips below the horizon in the summer, meaning very long days and very short nights. However, the tables are turned the rest of the year, with almost no daylight at all in the middle winter months.

About Your Region

Looks like you may have some Viking blood in you. Your genetic ethnicity ties you to Scandinavia, which includes the modern-day nations of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. While the Vikings were feared by the coastal towns of medieval Europe as seaborne raiders and violent pillagers, they were also well-travelled merchants and ambitious explorers. They raided the Mediterranean coast of Africa, settled areas as far south as the Black Sea, and traded with the Byzantine Empire. And it was a Norse sailor, Leif Ericson, who is credited with being the first European to travel to North America—500 years before Columbus.
And it wasn't just the Vikings who had an irrepressible urge for adventure. In the days of the mighty Roman Empire, the Goths, originally from Sweden, wandered south and settled in what is now eastern Germany. In the year 410, they invaded and sacked Rome, setting the stage for the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire.
In the more recent past, the Scandinavian nations have embraced a new identity. Considering their neutrality during the World Wars, high quality of life, and relatively egalitarian societies, they are known more for their peaceful ways than their ancient Viking lineage might suggest.

Migrations into this region

As the glaciers retreated from Northern Europe, roaming groups of hunter-gatherers from Southern Europe followed reindeer herd inland and marine resources along the Scandinavian coast. Neolithic farmers eventually settled the region beginning about 6,000 years ago. However, the tradition of hunting and reindeer-herding remains among the Sami people of northern Scandinavia. The Sami formerly occupied much of northern Scandinavia and Russia, and likely had connections with the Volga-Ural region (where there are other languages similar to Finnish and Sami).

Migrations from this region

The rise of the Viking culture spread Scandinavian ancestry far throughout Europe. Their earliest coastal voyages took them to Scotland, northeastern England and established the settlement of Dublin, Ireland. As their power continued to grow, the Vikings spread farther afield, down the Volga River in Russia, to the coast of France and Spain. But perhaps their most famous accomplishments were the oceanic voyages across the Atlantic, establishing villages in Iceland and Greenland and exploring the northern coast of Canada. Few, if any of the early Scandinavian settlers, are thought to have survived in the Americas. However, Iceland remains a flourishing post of Scandinavian language and culture.

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