November 2022 Nordic Events: Virtual & Los Angeles Area

I hope your fall season is off to a wonderful start. Believe it or not, the holiday season is around the corner which you will see in the following list of Nordic events. The events in my monthly postings are no longer exclusively virtual. Readers will now also find a selection of in-person events primarily in the Los Angeles area that may be of interest.

Online Nordic book clubs continue to be popular. Visit my page Online Nordic Book Club Meetings to see reading selections and meeting dates for November and upcoming months.

Los Angeles Area In-Person Events

The Norwegian Church’s annual Julebasar (Christmas Bazaar) will take place Friday, November 11, through Sunday, November 20, in San Pedro. The church will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland. There will be Christmas gifts for young and old, a bakery with Norwegian Christmas baked goods, and a café with delicious food. There will also be a raffle with great prizes. They guarantee a true Christmas atmosphere and a great experience! (The Christmas bazaar’s opening hours are 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except on Sundays, when the shop and cafe will open after the service has finished, approximately at 12:00 p.m.)

SWEA Orange County’s annual Swedish Christmas Fair will take place on Sunday, November 20, in Huntington Beach. It is a traditional Christmas Fair with Lucia Pageants (12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.), Swedish food and baked goods, glögg bar, handicrafts, kids activities, Santa, and much more. They offer a choice of attending one of two sessions, a mid-morning one (10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) or an afternoon one (1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.).

Mark you calendars for the Scandinavian Film Festival LA with BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA which returns in person this winter season. After two virtual years, the festival will be back at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills for two weekends in January 2023 (14th & 15th and 21st & 22nd) with films from Scandinavia and their Nordic neighbors. Stay tuned for information about the program of Nordic and Baltic films. In the meantime, consider becoming a donor to help make it all possible.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is currently hosting an exhibition, Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980, co-organized by the LACMA and the Milwaukee Art Museum in collaboration with the Nationalmuseum Sweden and the Nasjonalmuseet in Norway. It is the first exhibition to examine the extensive design exchanges between the United States and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) during the 20th century. It will be open through February 5, 2023.

Virtual Events

NY Baltic Film Festival (November 2-13)

The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have been producing motion pictures since 1910. While not as well-known as those in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, their industries have met challenges in one era or another that ultimately only galvanized their creative ambitions for features, documentaries, and animation shorts. Through the screening of both the latest productions and selected classics, the New York Baltic Film Festival offers New Yorkers and audiences across the U.S. an unprecedented opportunity to enjoy the best in Northern European filmmaking and see the world through Baltic eyes. See the 2022 Festival Line-Up.

Meet the Author: Ryan Thomas Skinner, Afro-Sweden (Sunday, Nov. 6, 1:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for  virtual conversation between author Ryan Thomas Skinner and Dr. Ethelene Whitmire (Professor and Department Chair of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison) as they discuss his book, Afro-Sweden: Becoming Black in a Color-Blind Country. Contemporary Sweden is a country with a worldwide progressive reputation, despite an undeniable tradition of racism within its borders. In the face of this contradiction of culture and history, Afro-Swedes have emerged as a vibrant demographic presence, from generations of diasporic movement, migration, and homemaking. In Afro-Sweden, Ryan Thomas Skinner uses oral histories, archival research, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the history and culture of this diverse and growing Afro-European community.

Gift Guide Auction by The Norwegian American (November 10-20)

This year, why not beat the holiday rush and take some of the stress out of the Christmas season by shopping online with The Norwegian American? For the first time, they are offering the opportunity to purchase a selection of items in their Holiday Gift Guide Auction. Working with select vendors, they have tried to find something for everyone on your list: decorations, toys, books, clothing, treats, and more! For a preview of the auction, visit their website. Bidding will start on November 10 and end on November 20. All proceeds go to The Norwegian American.

Vesterheim Registration for Winter Session Opens (Thursday, Nov. 10)

Vesterheim Folk Art School registration for the winter session (January through March 2023) opens on Thursday, November 10, at 12:00 p.m. CT with many online classes in rosemaling, woodworking, metalworking, jewelry, cooking, fiber arts, weaving, and heritage and language, plus youth and family programming. View the class schedule. Classes sell out so don’t delay if interested.

Introduction to Finnish (Sunday, Nov. 13, 12:45 p.m. CT)

Are you curious about the Finnish language, but not ready yet to commit to a multi-date class? Are you looking for a quick and low-pressure way to get excited and prepare for an upcoming visit to Finland? This two-hour introductory workshop taught by Joona Sundström is the perfect way to get a feel for Finnish, pick up a bit of grammar, and learn how to pronounce some words as part of basic conversation.

Typical American/Typiskt svenskt Discussion (Tuesday, Nov. 15, 5:30 p.m. CT)

Enjoy a fun, open discussion about Sweden and the United States with instructor Gunn Edberg-Caldwell. What do we assume or generalize about each other’s countries? Let’s compare and find out how different yet alike we are. This class is also offered on November 17th.

Swedish Holidays Throughout the Year (Tuesday, Nov. 15, 5:30-7:00 p.m. CT)

Celebrate not just the jul season but the entire Swedish calendar year as you learn about all the traditional Swedish holidays in one evening! This class, taught by instructor Gregg White, will provide students with an overview of Swedish holidays with a specific focus on how they have historically been celebrated throughout time.

Typical American/Typiskt svenskt Discussion (Thursday, Nov. 17, 10:00 a.m. CT)

Enjoy a fun, open discussion about Sweden and the United States with instructor Gunn Edberg-Caldwell. What do we assume or generalize about each other’s countries? Let’s compare and find out how different yet alike we are. This class is also offered on November 15th.

ASI Demo: Host a Glögg Party with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Nov. 17, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Celebrate the season Swedish-style with a glöggmingle or Mulled Wine Party! Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen will share some of her favorite seasonal recipes, including her take on Swedish mulled wine or glögg, a trio of mini open-faced sandwiches, and a Pear Cardamom Cake. Whether you are inspired to host a feast or just incorporate these recipes into other seasonal meals, you’ll be set with great options for savory and sweet nibbles throughout the holidays. This live virtual class taught over Zoom includes access to the class recording for one month after the class; registrants may attend live or plan to watch the recording at their convenience during that time.

Introduction to Swedish (Saturday, Nov. 19, 10:00 a.m. CT)

Are you curious about the Swedish language, but not ready yet to commit to a multi-date class? Are you looking for a quick and low-pressure way to get excited and prepare for an upcoming visit to Sweden? This two-hour introductory workshop taught by Jean Hanslin is the perfect way to get a feel for Swedish, pick up a bit of grammar, and learn how to pronounce some words as part of basic conversation.

Viking Era Clothing and Jewelry (Saturday, Nov. 19, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Join historian and artist Steph Anderson for an hour-long exploration of Viking era clothing and jewelry. From tunics and cloaks to arm rings, necklaces, and brooches, Vikings dressed according to sex, age, and economic status. This webinar will shed light on the traditions of people from more than 1,000 years ago! This program is free of charge. Registration is required.

Introduction to North Sámi (Sunday, Nov. 20, 2:00 p.m. CT)

Are you curious about the Sámi language and culture? Are you looking for a quick and low-pressure way to get excited and prepare for an upcoming visit to the north of Finland, Sweden, or Norway? This two-hour introductory workshop taught by Áila O’Loughlin is the perfect way to learn some history of the nine living dialects of Sápmi, get a feel for North Sámi, pick up a bit of grammar and learn how to pronounce some words as part of basic greetings. Families welcome!

Virtual Nordic Language Café with The Scandinavian School in San Francisco (Sunday, Nov. 20, 5:00-7:00 p.m. PT)

Get ready to practice your Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish! This is a perfect opportunity for you to practice your speaking and listening skills and meet other people who share your passion for all things Nordic. Are you a beginner? No worries! All levels are welcome. The Cafés are very relaxed and friendly, and if you feel more comfortable listening rather than speaking there is a spot for you in the Café too. Participants will be divided up into different breakout rooms in their chosen Nordic language. You don’t have to be a student at The Scandinavian School & Cultural Center to join.

The Reindeer Hunters—Virtual Book Talk with Lars Mytting and Maren Johnson (Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2:30 p.m. ET, Free – Now available for streaming)

Join Scandinavia House for the book launch of bestselling Norwegian author Lars Mytting’s The Reindeer Hunters out November 22 in translation by Deborah Dawkin from The Overlook Press. With moderator Maren Johnson, Associate Professor of Nordic Studies at Luther College (Decorah, IA), he’ll discuss the international bestseller and gripping historical novel set in the world of his novel The Bell in the Lake. Conceived on an epic scale, The Reindeer Hunters is a novel about love and bitter rivalries, sorrow and courage, and a world with a mythic and mystical undercurrent battling the pull of the future. This event will take place as a Zoom webinar. Registration is required at the link above.

Plan Ahead

Scandinavian Fest: Virtual Holiday Market (Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3)

Scandinavian Fest: Virtual Holiday Market returns Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, on Facebook. Scandinavian Fest brings Nordic shops and businesses from around the globe together in one online location. Join the Virtual Holiday Market to discover unique Nordic products, take advantage of discounts, and win giveaways. To participate, mark that you are “Going” or “Interested” in the event and then follow the Discussion tab on the event page for products, discounts and giveaways. For more information, visit their website.

ASI Demo: Saffron Buns with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Get ready for Luciadagen (St. Lucia Day) on December 13 by watching how Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen completes all the hands-on steps for a batch of Swedish saffron buns (also known as lussekatter or lussebullar) in just an hour. Kristi will use multiple batches of dough to demonstrate how to mix and knead this special saffron yeasted dough, shape a pre-risen batch of dough into the typical lussekatter shapes, and bake the buns until golden. Students will leave with the recipe and lots of tips, inspired to bake their own batch of buns at home!

ASI Virtual Lucia Celebration Concert (Sunday, Dec. 11, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CT)

This magical concert set in American Swedish Institute’s Larson Hall brings light to the dark winter through a performance of classic and traditional Swedish- and English-language songs sung by the ASI Lucia Choir and ASI Lilla Lag. This is an in-person event in Minneapolis with tickets for live-streaming available.

Vesterheim TVprat: Hjem til Jul, Season 1 (Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, Free)

In a twist on Vesterheim’s monthly bokprat discussions, join Dr. Maren Anderson Johnson in December for a discussion of the Norwegian television series Hjem til Jul (Home for Christmas), available on Netflix. This rom-com follows Johanne as she scrambles to find a boyfriend to bring home for Christmas, making dubious decisions along the way. This program is free of charge. Registration is required.

Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

Be sure to visit previous months’ listings of virtual Nordic events. Many of the events are now available to view as saved recordings.

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