The article deals with Świętosława (also known as Sigrid the Haughty, Sigrid Storråd, Gunhilda), a figure from the early days of Polish statehood and Christianity, member of the Piast dynasty, a queen of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, a mother of the Canute the Great, a (Viking) king of England and finally both Slav and Pole, and British, and Nordic can be approached from various perspectives. The particularly appealing appears however the opportunity to reflect on the Nordic dimension in Polish social thought, culture and politics.
Świętosława faced a challenge of learning the Nordic people, their language, and all this that is included in the programme of Scandinavian studies at the University of Gdansk “from inside”. Her situation resembles the one investigated by Jerzy Szacki in his sociological survey of tradition. It refers to learning oneself an others once the safe boundary is overstepped and the first step towards what is foreign, different and perhaps shocking is made. It relates to the authentic adventure of migration, but also to education and cross-culture communication promoting mutual understanding of differences and to new perspectives for community development. Finally, it concerns the geopolitical implications of northern dimension for the Polish political ethos, culture and education