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athgarvan

Why these traditions?

Mar Krook statue 2I've never been to Sweden but I came across this post in the interesting blog, SWEDISH LOVE AFFAIR , which describes a statue (by Marie-Louise Ekman) erected in Stockholm to the memory of actress Margaretha Krook. Margaretha was one of the most beloved Swedish actresses of the 20th century. Her statue stands outside the Royal Dramatic Theater.  Margaretha used to stand there and smoke between rehearsals, so when she died 2001 (aged 75) that was where they put her statue.

It’s very shiny, since it’s a 'must touch' for every tourist to Stockholm. You see, this statue is always warm – even in the middle of winter. Nobody quite believes it until they feel it for themselves, but it’s true! (In fact, it has an internal heating system).

Why does some public and religious art become a 'cult' object? Here in Ireland statues in Catholic Churches are frequently rubbed by the devout. Why do people throw coins into fountains, rub statues or walk around a sculpture? Because others do it? What starts the tradition?  Why do people need this kind of tradition?

Comments

I don't know who starts the modern traditions, but they reflect ancient traditions that go back into prehistory.

I think it's human nature to touch. In fact it's an effort to stop people doing it. I remember my parents repeatedly saying to me, "You look with your eyes, not your hands!" when I was small and wanted to touch things I shouldn't. I had to do the same with my own kids. That's why art galleries and museums have all those "Do Not Touch" signs.

Throwing coins into water also goes back to pre-history and making sacrifices to water gods and spirits, so modern wishing wells are an echo of this.
Thank you. Rubbing certainly helps us 'know' things.
Probably for much the same reason videos go viral...