Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Sejla Hodzic is a foreign exchange student from Sweden. She is being hosted by my family who lives in Willard, Utah. She is 18 years old. She has lived in Sweden her entire life, but her parents are from Croatia. She lives with her father and her brother. She came to the United States of America for the first time at the beginning of August 2018.
I collected this piece when I went to visit my family. Sejla and I went into our basement so that we could sit and talk with minimal interruption. Our basement is usually pretty quiet during the day and it has comfortable seating. I had given her previous information about what I was going to ask her, so she knew what traditions that she wanted to talk about. This tradition was shared in a collection of other Swedish customs. This tale was told as an aside when talking about the holiday festivities that accompany St. Lucia’s Day. Sejla could not remember where she learned this information from, but she felt like it was probably taught to her at school because of the importance of the Lucia tradition.
Cuz I know like Lucia, she was a girl in the Bible I think. She was born in Italy I think and then something happened to her. Eh, [pause] eh, ya. She was a martyr who died. Em, She was Adam’s first wife. So you know Eva and [talking about Adam and Eve]… So, um, people believe that she was his wife or something, it was kinda weird. Ya and her name is Lucia because before they believed that she was like, she was kinda related to Lucifer. It was like Lucia and Lucifer and he was like the bad one and went to hell and she was the good one and was like an angel.
Sejla did not seem very sure about the true origins of the story, but she told me what she knew. A reason these details were not told with surety can be a result of of Sweden not being a very religious country. Sejla told these details as a way to help me better understand the tradition of Lucia and some of the symbolism that is contained in the activities that take place during the holiday. Her relation of this folktale allows for a better understanding of the tradition of Lucia and why the activities are carried out in the specific way that they are. For further details on the tradition of Lucia and to see how this story fits into the custom, see “St. Lucia Celebration.”
Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
Miller, Alana, "Story of Lucia" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 514.