Stora Hult

Back in the countryside for a few weeks. While here, I’ll be casually working on one of my ongoing projects; documenting the ancient fishing village of Stora Hult in Vejbystrand.

First mentioned in writing back in 1524, Stora Hult is one many typical rural villages in southern Sweden where the sea and farmland converge in the most charming, picturesque way. I really love the unpretentious atmosphere and have been photographing and filming here for at least a decade – though much more coherently/cohesively in recent memory.

Even though only at best vaguely acquainted, folks out and about in Stora Hult tend to spontaneously greet each other with smiles and often times, a casual wave. I’ve experienced and enjoyed the same small town equable, approachable attitude in many other places – both in Sweden and elsewhere. And we actually enjoy a little of this in the increasingly eclectic Västra Hamnen, Malmö. Sometimes, when in the mood, I’ll even provoke passersby to react to my hellos and waves. But to be crass, in return, I’m usally only rewarded with a forced acknowledgment followed by a pinch of suspicion. As an American, I really feel contempt for people that aren’t generous with their smiles or, even worse, when they look at me as if I was either a deadly contagion or out to mug them. It’s certainly gotten better over the years, but even after living here for so long, I still find it hard to deal with the level of introversion and reservedness. It’s just so unnatural and unfriendly. As if the climate didn’t make it cold enough.

Vejbystrand is home to about 3000 permanent residents and probably as many holiday visitors that enjoy a week or two here during July and August. There’s a really nice library in “Downtown”, a small grocery store, a florist, hairdresser, couple of restaurants and not much more. Which is fine, really. I think narrowing down the choices is a good thing when you’re on a break from urban life.

Fortunately, as of last year, there is decently fast Internet speed to be enjoyed. While here in the relaxing countryside, it’s still good to keep connected with the world outside of Stora Hult.