The reality - the country they left behind

Far from Cirkus...
If you travel 5 hours from Stockholm, the latest "home" for the musical you´ll come to the county much affected by the emigration-era. The emigration is a very important part of our history and almost everyone has someone from their ancestor who took the decision to try to find a better life on a continent in the West.

Småland is a county in southern Sweden and that was the county from which Kristina and her family and friends went to the US. She and Karl-Oskar were not alone. Over 1 million people emigrated from Sweden during the emigration era, the significant thing with Kristina and Karl-Oskar was that they were the first to emigrate from their parish. They emigrated in 1850 before the emigration "trend" had started. The first emigrants were often mocked and laughed at when they left their homes, but then the emigration started for real and noone was mocked for their desicion to move to another country. the real Duvemåla located.

Korpamoen, Karl-Oskar´s home and also the home of
Kristina when they got married
Vilhelm Moberg, the author behind the books about Kristina and Karl-Oskar started on the novels in the late 40s and the first book (The Emigrants) came in 1949. He set the story in a time when poverty was common in Sweden, when Sweden was one of the poorest countries in Europe. The country was mostly a farmers-country with a lot of farmers trying to survive on their land.
The parish he is writing about is Ljuder, and that is a real parish in Småland. You can find several of the locations and houses Moberg is writing about.

In 1973 Jan Troell made two TV-movies based on the books by Moberg. It was one of the biggest movieproject in Sweden ever, since it had to big shot in several different places and situations. The home in Sweden, the boat-trip, the train, the steamer, and their home at Ki-Chi-Saga. It was a very exciting project for everyone involved and Vilhelm Moberg himself was very much involved in it, he would never had agreed on making the films if he hadn´t been asked about the script and casting of roles. Kristina was played by the norweigan actress Liv Ullmann and Karl-Oskar by swedish Max von Sydow, both well-known actors in several movies made by Ingmar Bergman. The Korpamoen seen in the films is today a museum where you can look at the houses, both interior and exterior.

Klasatorpet, Korpamoen in the film