Norway and Syttende Mai

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Snakker du norsk?  May 17 is Syttende Mai, Norway’s Independence Day.  All over Norway the people pour into the streets, the children parade, the bands march, the dignitaries orate, and everyone sings “Ja, vi elsker dette landet”, the Norwegian national anthem.  Here’s a program to help us all celebrate!

Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its rugged mountains, wandering coastlines, and spectacular fjords.  It is home to a number of ethnic delights for us to check out, including lefse, lutefisk, and smalahove to eat and reindeer to race.  We’ll cruise up and down some of those wonderful fjords and follow the famous Norwegian explorers of a century ago to the far north and far south.  Norway is a monarchy, so we’ll have some royals to look in on, along with the Hardanger fiddles and rosemaling.

Minnesota, especially, owes a debt to the hardy Norwegian pioneers who helped settle it.  Minnesota has, to this day, more people who speak the Norwegian language than any other place on the continent.  We’ll visit the Hjemkomst Museum in Moorhead for a look at a full-size replica of a Viking ship and another replica of a Norwegian church, and see what else Norway has sent to America.  Tusen takk!

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