May 2023: Nordic Events & Norway’s National Day

A big month for Norwegians, both at home and abroad, is coming up! Norway’s national day, known as 17. mai or Syttende mai, is Wednesday, May 17. Norwegians celebrate the signing of their constitution in 1814 with flags, children’s parades, traditional costumes, and ice cream, plus more of course, but those are the cornerstones. Read more here about the history of Norway’s constitution and Norway’s unique traditions for the day.

Once again, Norway’s national TV station NRK will broadcast live on the big day starting 7:50 a.m. Central European Time (Monday, May 16, 10:50 p.m. PT). In addition to glimpses of celebrations from all over the country, viewers will enjoy delicious food, special guests, lively entertainment, and of course beautiful traditional costumes.

Locally and in person, SoCal readers are invited to celebrate Norway’s national day at the Norwegian Church in San Pedro on Wednesday, May 17. Doors open at 5 o’clock. The program will be a varied and entertaining mix of professionals and amateurs. Enjoy food and drink for sale, games, speeches, singing, music, and raffles. And as always, there will be a parade around the neighborhood. A recent addition to the entertainment program is violinist Alexander Rybak, winner of Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with this song Fairytale.

Also happening in Southern California this month is the Scandinavian Heritage Fair in Mission Viejo on Saturday, May 27, hosted by the Daughters of Norway, Turid Jespersen Lodge #44. There will be demonstrations of spinners, weavers, rosemaling, wood burners, and wood carvers along with displays of bunads and knitted sweaters. Watch the making of aebleskiver, krumkake, lefse, and waffles and enjoy open face sandwiches, soups, kransekake, and other Scandinavian desserts. Admission is free. View their flyer for details.

Vesterheim Folk Art School registration for July through September 2023 opens on Wednesday, May 10, with new online classes in rosemaling & painting, Nordic cooking, Norwegian language (classes start in August), weaving, fiber arts, and woodworking. View the class list here. If anything catches your eye, sign up quickly because spots go fast.

And finally, if you’re a reader, consider joining an online Nordic book club. Visit my page Online Nordic Book Club Meetings for details on reading selections and meeting dates for May and the upcoming summer months.

What’s on your calendar this month as the summer approaches?


Virtual Events in May

Eurovision 101 (Wed., May 3, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT)

Thanks at least in part to a Will Ferrell movie and a band of Italian heartthrobs, the annual Eurovision Song Contest has finally piqued the interest of viewers throughout the U.S. So what’s the big deal? In this musical evening program taught by Vanessa Vaughan, learn the history of the longstanding music competition which launched Swedish pop icons ABBA into stardom, and get a taste of what’s to come for this year’s event. Participants will leave with an understanding of how, why, and when to watch Eurovision this year, and why Swedes in particular go so wild about this competition.

Vesterheim FamilieTid: The History of Trolls (Sat., May 6, 11:00 a.m. CT, Free)

Once upon a time, strange and dangerous creatures known as trolls roamed freely in the mysterious Norwegian mountains and forests. But the trolls only went out at night, in the dark, because there was only one thing that could scare a real troll – sunlight. Gather the family together and join celebrated storyteller Lise Lunge-Larsen as she shares stories and the history of trolls in Norwegian folklore. This is certain to delight both the young and the young at heart!

Nordic Language Café (Sun., May 7, 5:00-7:00 p.m. PT)

Join The Scandinavian School & Cultural Center for their virtual Language Café meet-up 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. All levels are welcome. The Cafés are very relaxed and friendly, and if you feel more comfortable listening rather than speaking we have a spot for you in our 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 SSCC to join. And are you a native speaker up for a chat? They would love for you to join us as well!

My Polar Experience (Wed., May 10, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Fjällräven Polar is an annual event developed to show that with the right knowledge, equipment, and support anyone can learn to appreciate nature – even in arctic winter conditions. For several days each year, participants drive their own dog sled across the vast landscapes of northern Scandinavia, experiencing a world completely different from their own. Join Vesterheim for an hourlong conversation as Lacey Jean shares about how winning a contest to participate in an opportunity of a lifetime connected her to her roots and acted as a catalyst for a life of adventure and tradition. You’ll be inspired by the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, embracing living outdoors as part of everyday life.

Aquavit Cocktails for Syttende Mai with Emily Vikre (Fri., May 12, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Skål! Back by popular demand, join Vesterheim for this cocktail class featuring aquavit, the traditional Scandinavian spirit with centuries of tradition and celebration. (This class is a repeat offering of the class taught in May 2022.) Emily Vikre of Vikre Distillery will inspire you with her creative cocktail tips and her storytelling about the history of aquavit, as well as her memories of celebrating Syttende Mai as a Norwegian-American dual citizen. Be prepared to concoct delicious aquavit drinks while engaging with Emily and other cocktail enthusiasts during this fun evening class. Enrollment Deadline:  May 5.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series (Fri., May 12, 7:30 p.m. PT)

Save the date for this session of Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series presented by the Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, California.

Celebrate Syttende Mai with the World’s Best Cake: Kvæfjordkake! with Nevada Berg (Sat., May 13, 10:00 a.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and celebrated cook and author Nevada Berg in making one of Norway’s most beloved cakes from her new cookbook, Norwegian Baking through the Seasons. Vanilla sponge baked with meringue becomes the centerpiece of this dreamy layer cake filled with custard and whipped cream. Come ready to learn, eat, and have fun! This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along. Enroll by  May 5.

Stolen Virtual Book Talk with Ann-Helén Laestadius & Mathilde Magga (Tues., May 16, 12:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House for a virtual book talk with Swedish Sámi author Ann-Helén Laestadius on her new novel Stolen, out now in translation by Rachel Willson-Broyles from Simon & Schuster. The discussion will be moderated by Mathilde Magga, and will later be available to stream. Based on real events, Ann-Helén Laestadius’s award-winning novel Stolen is part coming-of-age story, part love song to a disappearing natural world, and part electrifying countdown to a dramatic resolution—a searing depiction of a forgotten part of Sweden. This program will be followed by Nordic Book Club Online discussion of Stolen on June 6 (learn more and sign up here).

Syttende Mai Live with Vesterheim featuring Vidar Skrede (Wednesday, May 17, 12:00 p.m. CT)

Vesterheim invites everyone to celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day, with them with a livestream performance by Nordic folk musician Vidar Skrede. Vidar Skrede is a freelance Nordic folk musician, playing fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, and guitar. He is from Norway and currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has a background in the traditional music of Rogaland, his home area in the south west of Norway, and has a masters degree in Nordic folk music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden. No registration required. View on YouTube.

Summer Family Book Adventure: In the Hall of the Mountain King (Register by May 18)

Join Vesterheim for this family-fun reading adventure that begins June 1 and is available all summer long. You will be reading, thinking, creating, and even up and moving – indoors and out – with Luther College Nordic Studies instructor Evelyn Galstad. A kit delivered right to your home contains supplies for book-reading, a fun craft, a snack, and a scavenger-hunt-type adventure. This summer you’ll be reading The Story Orchestra: In the Hall of the Mountain King. Discover the spellbinding magic of Edvard Grieg’s musical retelling of Peer Gynt, and push the button on each beautiful scene to hear the vivid sound of an orchestra playing from Grieg’s score. You’ll also learn more about the composer and the instruments, rhythms, and musical techniques used. In the spirit of the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, the scavenger-hunt-type activity will get your family out into the great outdoors.

Rhubarb in the Nordic Kitchen with Kristi Bissell (Thurs., May 18, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Celebrate rhubarb in all its forms! In this virtual class presented by American Swedish Institute, Kristi will demonstrate a trio of rhubarb recipes, taking inspiration from Nordic ingredients and traditional dishes. From dessert to beverage and sweet to savory, this class will cover a range of ways to incorporate rhubarb’s tart flavor and beautiful color into anyone’s early summer kitchen. Finally, Kristi will tackle rhubarb’s savory side. After all, it is botanically a vegetable, so it’s about time to try using rhubarb beyond crisps and pies! This is a live, virtual class taught through Zoom. This class is designed as a demonstration, so students can watch the entire process and ask questions before tackling the dishes at home at a later date.

Billedvev Frame-Loom Weaving Virtual Workshop with Allyce Wood (Sun., May 21, 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET)

Learn the basics of weaving through the use of humble materials and step-by-step instruction in a Billedvev workshop. A common picture frame, with glass and backing removed, becomes the ultimate structure with which to create upon. Learn how to wind it with cotton thread to create your warp, and build up your piece weft by weft with a variety of yarns. Discover how color blocking, thread patterns, and textured effects can yield endless possibilities!

Intro to Swedish (Tues., May 23, 1:00-3:00 p.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.

Painting with Wool: Robin Needle Felting Virtual Workshop with Laura Berlage (Thurs., May 25, 6:00-9:00 p.m. ET)

Have fun with needle felting in a virtual class teaching you to make your own wool robin! Fiber arts instructor Laura Berlage will guide you step-by-step through transforming carded wool into your own adorable spring critter, using a kit of supplied materials including hand-dyed wool from  her farm’s flock of sheep, robin-specific accoutrements, and a foam work surface. Enjoy the process of making your own cute wool friend! The kit supplies enough materials to make a second robin later, offering further practice in your newfound felting skills.


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.

April 2023: Nordic Events

Happy Spring! And welcome to the latest listing of monthly Nordic events. This month’s post also includes a peak at some of what’s happening in May, an important month for Norwegians with our national day on May 17.

Details on 17th of May celebrations will come soon. In the meantime, readers in the Southern California area can mark their calendars with the Scandinavian Heritage Fair in Mission Viejo hosted by the Daughters of Norway, Turid Jespersen Lodge #44, on Saturday, May 27. There will be demonstrations of spinners, weavers, rosemaling, wood burners, and wood carvers along with displays of bunads and knitted sweaters. Watch the making of aebleskiver, krumkake, lefse, and waffles and enjoy open face sandwiches, soups, kransekake, and other Scandinavian desserts. Admission is free.

Are you a reader? Expand your Nordic reading repertoire by joining my 2023 Nordic Literature Reading Challenge. Or join an online Nordic book club. Visit Online Nordic Book Club Meetings for details on reading selections and meeting dates for April and upcoming months.

What’s on your calendar for April?


Virtual Events in April

The Mystery of the Missing Swans and Maidens: A Frida Hansen Tapestry Tale (Sunday, Apr. 2, 4:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Southward, a tapestry of swans and maidens with shimmering threads from the famous Art Nouveau artist Frida Hansen, was an important, often-displayed monumental tapestry, so when the curators for the blockbuster show, Scandinavian Design in the United States, 1890-1980, sought key textiles, Frida Hansen’s tapestry was top of mind. But where was this 11’ x 10’ weaving now? Only a few grainy black-and-white photos and many glowing descriptions remained. In January, 2021, nearly ninety years after Southward was last displayed publicly, noted rug dealer Peter Pap opened a Tupperware container in a storage building in Maine. He unfolded a woven treasure in dusty, but pristine condition, and with a quick google search, he learned it was a long-lost Frida Hansen tapestry. Join Robbie LaFleur for this timely webinar to celebrate the life and work of Frida Hansen, and especially to hear about the Southward tapestry mystery as it unfolded.

Nordic Language Café (Sunday, April 2, 5:00-7:00 p.m. PT)

Join The Scandinavian School & Cultural Center for their virtual Language Café meet-up 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. All levels are welcome. The Cafés are very relaxed and friendly, and if you feel more comfortable listening rather than speaking we have a spot for you in our 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 SSCC to join. And are you a native speaker up for a chat? They would love for you to join us as well!

Virtual Book Talk with Erika Fatland on High: A Journey Across the Himalaya, Through Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and China (Tuesday, Apr. 4, 12:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House for a virtual discussion with bestselling Norwegian author Erika Fatland (The Border and Sovietistan) on her epic new book High: A Journey Across the Himalaya, Through Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and China, out now from Pegasus Books. The Himalaya weaves through five very different countries, where the world religions of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism are mixed with ancient shamanic religions. Countless languages and vastly different cultures live in the secluded mountain valleys; modernity and tradition collide, and great powers fight for influence. In today’s program, Fatland will discuss this captivating new travelogue, which invites us into her close encounters with the many peoples of the region while also taking us on a dizzying, high-altitude trip through incredible landscapes and their dramatic, unknown histories.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: The Ships That Built the West (Friday, Apr. 14, 7:30 p.m. PT)

Join the Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, California, for a virtual presentation on how the “Scandinavian Navy” built the West. The program will feature West Coast history and Scandinavian immigrant history that was essential for building the West. Nineteenth century Scandinavian immigrants settling the Midwestern prairies are well-known. Not so well known but extremely important are the Scandinavians who captained and crewed the lumber schooners that helped build the West — that brought lumber from the forests of the Pacific Northwest to build the cities of the Southwestern United States and more. So many of these lumber schooners that plied the West Coastal waters were captained and crewed by Scandinavians that they were nicknamed “The Scandinavian Navy.” Olaf T. Engvig, maritime historian and restorer of historic Norwegian ships, will tell about these lumber schooners, their crews, and their important contribution to the development of the West Coast. This presentation was originally given at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Participation is free; registration is required.

Lecture: Sámi Silver Traditions of Northern Norway (Sunday, Apr. 16, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join American Swedish Institute and Liz Bucheit, a Minnesota silversmith and recent recipient of an American Scandinavian Foundation fellowship to study Sámi silverwork in Norway, to hear more about her spring 2022 trip. As one of the pre-eminent American silversmiths working in the Norwegian bunad tradition, Liz has also held a long and deep interest in Sámi silverwork. She has studied both forms along traditional jewelers in Norway and maintains close ties with Norwegian and Sámi colleagues. Her 2022 trip allowed her to broaden her knowledge of historic and contemporary Sámi silverwork design, tools, and techniques in the context of her studies of Scandinavian ornament traditions. In this hour lecture, Liz will share stories and lessons from her journey through northern Norway that enrich our understanding of Sámi silverwork and its place in historic Scandinavian folk culture as well as its vibrant present.

Virtual Book Talk with Barbara Sjoholm on From Lapland to Sápmi (Tuesday, Apr. 18, 7:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House for a virtual talk with Barbara Sjoholm on From Lapland to Sápmi, out in March 2023 from University of Minnesota Press. She’ll discuss the book’s exploration of the cultural history of Sápmi and the Nordic countries as told through objects and artifacts. Material objects—things made, used, and treasured—tell the story of a people and place. So it is for the Indigenous Sámi living in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, whose story unfolds across borders and centuries, in museums and private collections. The objects created by the Sámi for daily and ceremonial use were purchased and taken by Scandinavians and foreign travelers in Lapland from the 17th century to the present, and the collections described in From Lapland to Sápmi map a complex history that is gradually shifting to a renaissance of Sámi culture and craft, along with the return of many historical objects to Sápmi, the Sámi homeland.

Introduction to Kolrosing (Saturdays, April 22 and May 6, 10:00 a.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim for an introduction to kolrosing. Kolrosing is an art form practiced by the peoples of Scandinavia. It was used to add embellishments to handcrafted wares. Traditionally, a pattern was incised into wood, antler, or bone, and then a darkening agent like ash or bark was used to highlight the design. In this two-part class, you will learn the history of kolrosing and try your hand at the very techniques used more than 1,000 years ago. Instructor Chelsea Bowen will guide you through traditional geometric patterns, and you will create your own freehand designs as well. Included in the cost of the class is a full kit of materials (a $50 value) with kolrosing tools, practice wood, and two final projects. Enrollment Deadline: April 7

New Nordic Spring Meal with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, April 22, 4:00 p.m. CT)

Gather some friends and family and get ready to prepare a delicious spring soup and sandwich supper! Kristi Bissell, the founder of True North Kitchen, will walk you through the process of making a creamy asparagus soup and a tasty grilled goat cheese sandwich to serve alongside. We will finish with a simple berry dessert to celebrate the season! This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along. Enrollment Deadline:  April 7

Bowl Turning: Nordfjord Style Ale Bowls (Wednesday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim Gold Medalist Patti Goke and master woodworker Roger Abrahamson in this webinar as they discuss historic bowl turning and Nordfjord-style ale bowls. Traditionally, decorated bowls were used to serve ale ceremonially for special events, such as weddings, Christmas, christenings, and others. Pieces from Vesterheim’s collection will be discussed, as well as historic examples in Norway and contemporary work made in the historic tradition. This event will fascinate woodworkers, rosemalers, and folk art enthusiasts alike!


Looking Ahead and Planning for May

Scandinavian Loom Beading: Blue Bookmark (Mondays, May 1-22, 5:30 p.m. CT)

Explore the beauty and fun of beading on a loom in the Scandinavian tradition! Inspired by designs from Nordic bandweaving, this class will take you from start to finish for making your own sparkly beaded bookmark. Learn about the historic use of loom beading and how a remarkably simple process can transform seed beads into delightful designs. The class kit includes a handmade loom designed by the instructor and enough beads, silk thread, needles, and patterns to make two projects, if you wish. Enrollment Deadline:  April 18

Vesterheim FamilieTid: The History of Trolls (Saturday, May 6, 11:00 a.m. CT)

Once upon a time, strange and dangerous creatures known as trolls roamed freely in the mysterious Norwegian mountains and forests. But the trolls only went out at night, in the dark, because there was only one thing that could scare a real troll – sunlight. Gather the family together and join celebrated storyteller Lise Lunge-Larsen as she shares stories and the history of trolls in Norwegian folklore. This is certain to delight both the young and the young at heart!

Nordic Yellow Pea Soup with Patrice Johnson (Saturday, May 6, 4:00 p.m. CT)

Across Scandinavia yellow pea soup is a Thursday night standard. How did this centuries old tradition begin? In this class, Patrice will discuss yellow pea soup origins, its accompaniments, and how each country has its own variation. Menu includes yellow pea soup with ham and homemade mustard, Norwegian crepes with jam and cream, and a signature cocktail and non-alcoholic beverage. This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along. Enrollment Deadline:  April 21

Aquavit Cocktails for Syttende Mai with Emily Vikre (Friday, May 12, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Skål! Back by popular demand, join Vesterheim for this cocktail class featuring aquavit, the traditional Scandinavian spirit with centuries of tradition and celebration. (This class is a repeat offering of the class taught in May 2022.) Emily Vikre of Vikre Distillery will inspire you with her creative cocktail tips and her storytelling about the history of aquavit, as well as her memories of celebrating Syttende Mai as a Norwegian-American dual citizen. Be prepared to concoct delicious aquavit drinks while engaging with Emily and other cocktail enthusiasts during this fun evening class. Enrollment Deadline:  May 5

Celebrate Syttende Mai with the World’s Best Cake: Kvæfjordkake! with Nevada Berg (Saturday, May 13, 10:00 a.m. CT)

Join celebrated cook and author Nevada Berg of North Wild Kitchen in making one of Norway’s most beloved cakes from her new cookbook, Norwegian Baking through the Seasons. Vanilla sponge baked with meringue becomes the centerpiece of this dreamy layer cake filled with custard and whipped cream. Come ready to learn, eat, and have fun! This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along. Enrollment Deadline:  May 5


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.

March 2023: Nordic Events & Films at The Oscars

Welcome to the newest listing of Nordic events happening this month!

With the Oscars around the corner (March 12), there’s no time like the present to watch the films with Nordic connections, most of which you can watch from the comfort of your own home. Two Nordic films are nominated for Best Short Film (Live Action) – Norwegian film Night Ride filmed in Trondheim (YouTube, free), and Danish film Ivalu filmed in Greenland (Amazon Prime Video or Vimeo). Triangle of Sadness, directed by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund, is nominated for three awards – Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture (Fandango). Animated short film My Year of Dicks directed by Icelandic director Sara Gunnarsdóttir (Vimeo, free) and documentary A House Made of Splinters directed by Danish filmmaker Simon Lereng Wilmont (Amazon Prime Video) are nominated in their respective fields. Have you seen any of them?

While on the topic of films, there’s a new Norwegian movie available to stream at Netflix. At the beginning of February, Netflix released Viking Wolf (Vikingulven), an original Norwegian horror/mystery movie that premiered in Norway in the fall of 2022. It’s about a teenager who starts having strange visions and bizarre desires after witnessing a grotesque murder at a party in her new town. The movie is directed by Stig Svendsen from a screenplay co-written by him and Espen Aukan. Will you watch it?

In music news, Norwegian singer-songwriter Anna of the North has a US and Canada tour happening in March and April. “Anna Of The North makes the kind of music you can take along with you on the dancefloor, on a long drive with a loved one, or in the dead of night when you’re alone and need someone to understand how you feel.” Read more about her here. Her North American tour celebrates the release of her third full-length album, “Crazy Life.” Visit her site for schedule and ticket information. She will be in Los Angeles at El Rey Theatre on Wednesday, March 29.

Are you a reader? Expand your Nordic reading repertoire by joining my 2023 Nordic Literature Reading Challenge. Or join an online book club meeting. Visit Online Nordic Book Club Meetings for details on reading selections and meeting dates for March and upcoming months.

What’s on your calendar for March?


Virtual Events in March

Rønnaug Petterssen Presentation (Saturday, Mar. 4, 3:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Join Vesterheim and Bodil Petterssen Meleney for an online presentation about beloved dollmaker Rønnaug Petterssen. Petterssen’s dolls are featured in Vesterheim’s exhibition, Dolls: Playing with Identity. Rønnaug Petterssen was born in 1901 into a rural fishing community in Eidsfjorden in Vesteralen, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle. Growing up, time to play was scarce and toys were a luxury. Rønnaug made herself a doll and she would make repairs and fashion new clothes as needed. In 1934, Rønnaug started her own dollmaking business and by 1936-37 she had two or three employees. She developed dolls with Norwegian costumes, studying costumes in the collection of the Norwegian Folk Museum. Rønnaug Pettersen made a variety of dolls (pressed felt and plastic) and was the leading maker of Norwegian costume dolls from 1934 to 1979. The 8-inch costume dolls were particularly popular with American tourists.

Introduction to Swedish (Sunday, Mar. 5, 1:00 p.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.

Billedvev Frame-Loom Weaving Workshop with Allyce Wood (Sunday, Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Learn the basics of weaving through the use of humble materials and step-by-step instruction. A common picture frame, with glass and backing removed, becomes the ultimate structure with which to create upon. Learn how to wind it with cotton thread to create your warp, and build up your piece weft by weft with a variety of yarns. Discover how color blocking, thread patterns, and textured effects can yield endless possibilities!

Virtual Nordic Language Café with The Scandinavian School in San Francisco (Sunday, Mar. 5, 5:00 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.

Lecture: Handweaving in Sweden Today (Tuesday, Mar. 7, 6:30 p.m. CT)

Are you curious about the state of handweaving in Sweden today? Weaver Christine Novotny of CAN Goods traveled through the Nordic countries summer 2022 as part of North House Folk’s Artisan Development Program and is here to report on her trip! In particular, Christine has takeaways from visiting the new generation of weavers coming out of Sweden’s largest craft education schools, Handarbetets Vänner in Stockholm and Sätergläntan Institute for Craft in Dalarna. She will share the stories of some of the younger weavers she met, the work they are doing, and how they are both pushing the boundaries of traditional Swedish weaving as well as preserving knowledge of techniques and materials. Christine will also share some of her other favorite travel highlights (textiles and beyond) from her time in Stockholm and Dalarna.

Swedish Weeknight Dinners (Thursday, Mar. 9, 5:00 p.m. CT)

Need some fun ideas for simple, creative weeknight dinners? Look to the Swedes for some unique flavors that are easy to pull together even on those busy nights. You’ll make an American version of västerbottensostpaj (cheese pie), embrace the Swedish motto “Tacos, not just for Friday’s anymore” with taco paj, and you’ll dive into the oddly delicious Swedish hotdish called flygande jakob. Menu will include signature cocktails that every age can enjoy.

Introduction to Finnish (Sunday, Mar. 12, 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.

Scandinavian Modern Design in Norway (Tuesday, Mar. 18, 7:00 p.m. ET)

Join the Sons of Norway Washington D.C. lodge and Vesterheim Chief Curator Laurann Gilbertson for this online presentation on Norway’s contributions to the Scandinavian Modern Design movement. There were many, but the artists and products were not as well known as their Danish, Swedish, and Finnish counterparts. During the presentation, Laurann will introduce some of the most important designers of the mid-twentieth century and learn about their work in furniture, textiles, silver, glass, ceramics, and enamel.

Demo: Scandinavian Waffle Day with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Mar. 23, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Get ready for våffeldagen (Waffle Day) on March 25 by watching how Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen makes a batch of Scandinavian style waffles with festive toppings. Kristi will demo how to mix and cook the typical thin, heart shaped Scandinavian waffles and share fun ideas for making them into the centerpiece of a meal for this unique holiday. Students will leave with the recipes and lots of tips, inspired to bake their own batch of waffles at home!

Tropical Aquavit Cocktails with Emily Vikre (Friday, Mar. 24, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Although you may not expect it, aquavit pairs deliciously with tropical fruits! Whether or not you have taken a class with us already, you will enjoy learning some new cocktail recipes in this new class featuring aquavit, the traditional Scandinavian spirit with centuries of tradition and celebration. Emily Vikre of Vikre Distillery will inspire you with her Nordic twist on classic tropical cocktails and her storytelling about the history of aquavit, as well as her contemporary lifestyle as a dual Norwegian citizen living in Duluth, Minnesota. Be prepared to concoct delicious tropical aquavit drinks while engaging with Emily and other cocktail enthusiasts during this fun evening class.

FamilieTid: Baking with Kristi Bissell (Sunday, Mar. 26, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Gather the family and join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen as you make two classic Scandinavian cookie recipes together: Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies (Hallongrottor) and No Bake Chocolate Oat Balls (Chokladbollar). These are two fun, family-friendly sweet treats you will want to make again and again.

 


Looking Ahead and Planning for April

Påskebord, Easter Table (Saturday, Apr. 1, 4:00 p.m. CT)

Across Scandinavia, Easter/Påske fare includes all of the familiar suspects: chocolate, eggs, chocolate eggs, and chocolate bunnies. There is also påskeøl (Easter beer) and egg hunts in the garden. But other traditions look a little more like Halloween, especially as Swedish children dress up like witches and go door to door asking for treats. Join Patrice Johnson and learn about these traditions while whipping up a Påskebord (Easter table) that includes Not-so-devilish eggs, gjetost cider soup with rye croutons, trout with horseradish butter and mushrooms, an orange-almond dessert, and a signature cocktail/mocktail.

The Mystery of the Missing Swans and Maidens: A Frida Hansen Tapestry Tale (Sunday, Apr. 2, 4:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Southward, a tapestry of swans and maidens with shimmering threads from the famous Art Nouveau artist Frida Hansen, was an important, often-displayed monumental tapestry, so when the curators for the blockbuster show, Scandinavian Design in the United States, 1890-1980, sought key textiles, Frida Hansen’s tapestry was top of mind. But where was this 11’ x 10’ weaving now? Only a few grainy black-and-white photos and many glowing descriptions remained. In January, 2021, nearly ninety years after Southward was last displayed publicly, noted rug dealer Peter Pap opened a Tupperware container in a storage building in Maine. He unfolded a woven treasure in dusty, but pristine condition, and with a quick google search, he learned it was a long-lost Frida Hansen tapestry. Join Robbie LaFleur for this timely webinar to celebrate the life and work of Frida Hansen, and especially to hear about the Southward tapestry mystery as it unfolded.

Virtual Book Talk with Erika Fatland on High: A Journey Across the Himalaya, Through Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and China (Tuesday, Apr. 4, 12:00 p.m. ET, Free)

In April, join Scandinavia House for a virtual discussion with bestselling Norwegian author Erika Fatland (The Border and Sovietistan) on her epic new book High: A Journey Across the Himalaya, Through Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and China, out now from Pegasus Books. The Himalaya weaves through five very different countries, where the world religions of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism are mixed with ancient shamanic religions. Countless languages and vastly different cultures live in the secluded mountain valleys; modernity and tradition collide, and great powers fight for influence. Fatland will discuss this captivating new travelogue, which invites us into her close encounters with the many peoples of the region while also taking us on a dizzying, high-altitude trip through incredible landscapes and their dramatic, unknown histories.

Scandinavian Flat Plane Carving: Figure with Cap and Cane (Wednesdays, Apr. 5-19, 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and carver Charles Banks as he guides you through the creation of your very own flat plane figure. A Scandinavian classic, a stylized old man with cap and cane will be the character you create. Following the tradition of flat plane figure carving, students will use only a single knife to carve out this character. Students will receive an overview of the history and traditions of this style of carving, be introduced to the cuts and techniques of the reductive carving process, and learn finishing techniques – all culminating in their very own carving. Live instruction and video tutorials will be utilized as educational tools, as well as practice sticks, a unique “head study,” and printed imagery of your character. A complete kit of materials (blanks, a knife, safety gloves, a strop and stropping compound, try sticks, and a sweet treat from Vesterheim) is included and will be mailed to you.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series (Friday, Apr. 14, 7:30 p.m. PT)

Save the date for the next session of Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series presented by the Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, California. The program will feature West Coast history and Scandinavian immigrant history that was essential for building the West.

Lecture: Sámi  Silver Traditions of Northern Norway (Sunday, Apr. 16, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Liz Bucheit, a Minnesota silversmith and recent recipient of an American Scandinavian Foundation fellowship to study Sámi silverwork in Norway, to hear more about her spring 2022 trip. As one of the pre-eminent American silversmiths working in the Norwegian bunad tradition, Liz has also held a long and deep interest in Sámi silverwork; she has studied both forms along traditional jewelers in Norway and maintains close ties with Norwegian and Sámi colleagues. Her 2022 trip allowed her to broaden her knowledge of historic and contemporary Sámi silverwork design, tools, and techniques in the context of her studies of Scandinavian ornament traditions. In this hour lecture, Liz will share stories and lessons from her journey through northern Norway that enrich our understanding of Sámi silverwork and its place in historic Scandinavian folk culture as well as its vibrant present.

Virtual Book Talk with Barbara Sjoholm on From Lapland to Sápmi (Tuesday, Apr. 18, 7:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House for a virtual talk with Barbara Sjoholm on From Lapland to Sápmi, out in March 2023 from University of Minnesota Press. She’ll discuss the book’s exploration of the cultural history of Sápmi and the Nordic countries as told through objects and artifacts. Material objects—things made, used, and treasured—tell the story of a people and place. So it is for the Indigenous Sámi living in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, whose story unfolds across borders and centuries, in museums and private collections. The objects created by the Sámi for daily and ceremonial use were purchased and taken by Scandinavians and foreign travelers in Lapland from the 17th century to the present, and the collections described in From Lapland to Sápmi map a complex history that is gradually shifting to a renaissance of Sámi culture and craft, along with the return of many historical objects to Sápmi, the Sámi homeland.


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.

February 2023: Nordic Events & Sámi National Day

February brings an interesting mix of in-person events for Angelenos and online events for everyone. Of special interest this month is Sámi National Day, an ethnic national day celebrated by the indigenous Sámi people across northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. It is always on February 6, the date when the first Sámi congress was held in 1917 in Trondheim, Norway. On that day, Sámi from Norway and Sweden met to discuss common issues. For more information on the history and culture of the Sámi, visit Life in Norway’s “The Sami People”.

There’s a new Norwegian movie available to stream. At the end of January, Netflix released Narvik, an original Norwegian World War II movie that takes place in 1940 in the port town of Narvik in the far north of Norway, 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is subtitled “Hitler’s First Defeat”. The events that inspired Narvik are true, but the story is told from the perspective of fictional characters. The movie, directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg from a screenplay by Christopher Grøndahl, is available dubbed or with subtitles. The film premiered in Norway in December 2022. Will you watch it?

Looking ahead… Norwegian singer-songwriter Anna of the North has a US & Canada tour happening in March and April. “Anna Of The North makes the kind of music you can take along with you on the dancefloor, on a long drive with a loved one, or in the dead of night when you’re alone and need someone to understand how you feel.” Read more about her here. Her North American tour celebrates the release of her third full-length album, “Crazy Life.” Visit her site for tour and ticket details.

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


Los Angeles Area In-Person Events in February

Norwegian Classes at the Norwegian Church in San Pedro — Starts Feb. 4

Learn Norwegian at the Norwegian Church in San Pedro starting on Saturday, February 4. Three levels will be offered: Beginners at 10:00 a.m., Intermediate at 12:00 p.m., and Advanced at 2:00 p.m. Suggested donation is $100 for the whole course (10 Saturdays). While you’re at the church, enjoy a bowl of Saturday porridge! For more information, contact mof@church.no or call (310) 467-5180.

Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890-1980 @LACMA — Ends Feb. 5

This exhibit closes February 5. 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. See it before it closes! Many of the issues considered in the exhibition remain relevant today, including the contributions of immigrants to their adopted societies, the importance of international exchange, critical analysis of cultural myths, and concern about environmental sustainability and accessibility. Read about the process of designing the exhibit at Designing an Exhibition: Scandinavian Design and the United States.

Nordic Spirit Symposium: Scandinavian Design — Feb. 10 & 11 in Thousand Oaks

This year’s theme is Scandinavian Design: Simple and Beautiful. In the middle of the 20th century, Danish Modern and, more generally, Scandinavian Modern Design, gained popularity in the United States. This symposium will examine the reasons for this popularity, will delve into different design media for two countries, Finland and Norway, and will treat the long-term history of ceramic and glass design in Denmark and Sweden. The theme of Scandinavian design applied to architecture and interior design will be addressed in the opening talk February 10 by an Icelandic American architect. All presentations will be amply illustrated. In addition, the program will include music as three string instruments of different designs, the Finnish Kantele, the Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle, and the Swedish Nyckelharpa, will be described and played.

For complete program details, see the brochure or visit the website. The meal registration deadline has been extended through February 3. To pay by check, use the printable registration form. To pay by credit card, use the Eventbrite event page.

Concert Celebrating Female Nordic Composers at the Norwegian Church — Happening Feb. 11

Join the Norwegian Church in San Pedro for a concert on Saturday, February 11, at 2:00 p.m. celebrating female Nordic composers. Performers will be Helena Falk on violin (Meet Helena Maria Falk), Christina Sandsengen on classical guitar (Meet Christina Sandsengen), and Lene Skomedal on French horn (Meet Lene Skomedal). Concert is free; donations to the musicians accepted.


Virtual Events in February

In Trunks, Hands, and Hearts: What Norwegian Immigrants Brought to the United States (Thursday, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m. CT)

Join Sons of Norway Nidaros Lodge # 1-001 (West Minneapolis) and Vesterheim Collection Manager Jennifer Kovarik to explore the immigrant experience through stories associated with artifacts in Vesterheim’s collection. Between 1825 and 1980, nearly one million Norwegians left for new lives in America. We’ll consider the reasons for leaving, what they brought, and where they settled.

The Living Archive: Examining and Reimagining Heirloom Heddles with Kerstin Neumüller (Saturday, Feb. 4, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join celebrated Swedish carver and weaver Kerstin Neumüller as she examines heddles from Vesterheim’s collection. Used in bandweaving, heddles were often carved by men as a courting gift for women. Because of this, many historic heddles are ornately decorated with everything from hearts to dates to initials. Throughout the discussion of Vesterheim’s collection of heddles, Kerstin will also share about her relationship with traditional handcraft in contemporary Scandinavia.

Meet the Author: Nicklas Brendborg, Jellyfish Age Backwards (Sunday, Feb. 5, 10:00 a.m. PT)

Join Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma (DeNoma Literary Services) in virtual conversation with Nicklas Brendborg, author of the international bestseller Jellyfish Age Backwards: Nature’s Secrets to Longevity. This eye-opening work offers a revelatory scientific deep dive into how plants and animals have already unlocked the secrets to immortality – and the lessons they hold for us all.

Introduction to North Sámi (Sunday, Feb. 5, 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!

Demo: Baking Swedish Semlor with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Feb. 9, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Pick up tricks for making a sweet winter treat by watching Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen bake and fill a batch of cardamom and almond flavored semlor in this virtual demonstration. Traditionally served on Fat Tuesday and now enjoyed throughout the winter, semlor are an indulgent winter treat across Scandinavia. Kristi will use multiple batches of dough to demonstrate how to make the Swedish version of these buns, from mixing and kneading the cardamom flavored dough, to preparing the almond paste and whipped cream filling, to baking and assembling the finished buns. Students will leave with the recipe and lots of tips, inspired to bake their own batch of semlor at home!

Sámi Film Fest (February 9-12)

The 5th Annual Sámi Film Festival explores Sámi stories through film in a must-see hybrid event taking place both in-personal and virtually. The Festival is organized by the National Nordic Museum in Seattle and Scandinavia House in New York and presented in partnership with Pacific Sámi Searvi. Attendees can screen films online on February 9-12 and in person at both venues on February 11. The program will include a variety of contemporary Sámi documentaries, short films, and panel discussions with the filmmakers. In 2023, the Sámi Film Festival will feature the selections of this year’s guest curator of film and acclaimed Skolt Sámi director Katja Gauriloff.

Registration for Vesterheim Folk Art School Spring Classes Opens (Friday, Feb. 10, 12:00 p.m. CT)

Vesterheim Folk Art School in Decorah, Iowa, is a popular destination for online classes. Registration for April through June 2023 classes opens on Friday, February 10, at noon (CT) with classes in rosemaling, woodworking, jewelry, cooking, fiber arts, weaving, and heritage and language, plus youth and family programming. See a list of spring classes here. Classes sell out quickly so if you see something interesting, sign up quickly!

Love Spells from Norwegian Grimoires: A Conversation with Eirik Storesund from the Brute Norse Podcast (Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Old Norse philologist Eirik Storesund, host and creator of the Brute Norse podcast, has translated a curated selection of charms, spells, and sorcerous recipes from Norwegian grimoires and vernacular tradition on the topic of love and romance. Learn about everything from Norwegian “black books” to bowl inscriptions as he discusses folk magic and shares some terrible ideas and (mostly) bad advice for your love life. Join us for a fascinating glimpse into the magically infused romantic liaisons of pre-industrial Scandinavia. Registration is required for this free event.

Painting with Wool: Dala Horse Needle Felting Workshop (Saturday, Feb. 18, 11:00 a.m.)

Join Scandinavia House and explore the magic of needle felting with a delightful Dala horse image and take your colorwork skills to a new level. Dala horses have been a Swedish icon for centuries, and this class will take a new spin on the traditional wooden-painted form by recreating the image in wool. During this class, students will learn how to stretch a felt backing onto an embroidery hoop and keep it tight for ease of use. Plus, they will learn to transform the beautiful array of hand-dyed roving from the instructor’s farm’s sheep into their own interpretation of the project. Focus will be given to shape creation, colorwork, and three-dimensionality. This is a beginner-friendly course. See class description for what it is included in the kit and would you need to provide.

Silver Threads: Exploring Norwegian Sámi Silver with Liz Bucheit (Saturday, Feb. 25, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Goldsmith and folk-art instructor Liz Bucheit is a 2021 recipient of the American Scandinavian Foundation’s Scandinavian Folk Arts and Cultural Traditions in the Upper Midwest Fellowship. Liz traveled to northern Norway to research and study Sámi silver work in order to broaden her knowledge of historic design, tools, and techniques unique to the Sámi culture. She is sharing this knowledge in an effort to encourage a broader awareness of Sámi silver work within the folk culture and traditions of Scandinavian ornament. Registration is required for the free event.


Looking and Planning Ahead to March

Cozy Cocktails for Cold Weather (Friday, Mar. 3, 7:00 p.m. CT)

An important part of Nordic culture is the willingness to embrace the cold, dark winter. In this class, you will focus on hot beverages and the power they have to get us feeling koselig, or “cozy.” You’ll learn some new recipes while also developing the skills to create your own unique hot toddy. Take your warm cocktail outside and embrace the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, or getting outdoors. Skål!

Billedvev Frame-Loom Weaving Workshop with Allyce Wood (Sunday, Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Learn the basics of weaving through the use of humble materials and step-by-step instruction. A common picture frame, with glass and backing removed, becomes the ultimate structure with which to create upon. Learn how to wind it with cotton thread to create your warp, and build up your piece weft by weft with a variety of yarns. Discover how color blocking, thread patterns, and textured effects can yield endless possibilities!

Virtual Nordic Language Café with The Scandinavian School in San Francisco (Sunday, Mar. 5, 5:00 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.

Swedish Weeknight Dinners (Thursday, Mar. 9, 5:00 p.m. CT)

Need some fun ideas for simple, creative weeknight dinners? Look to the Swedes for some unique flavors that are easy to pull together even on those busy nights. We’ll make an American version of västerbottensostpaj (cheese pie), embrace the Swedish motto “Tacos, not just for Friday’s anymore” with taco paj, and we’ll dive into the oddly delicious Swedish hotdish called flygande jakob. Menu will include signature cocktails that every age can enjoy.

Tropical Aquavit Cocktails with Emily Vikre (Friday, Mar. 24, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Although you may not expect it, aquavit pairs deliciously with tropical fruits! Whether or not you have taken a class with us already, you will enjoy learning some new cocktail recipes in this new class featuring aquavit, the traditional Scandinavian spirit with centuries of tradition and celebration. Emily Vikre of Vikre Distillery will inspire you with her Nordic twist on classic tropical cocktails and her storytelling about the history of aquavit, as well as her contemporary lifestyle as a dual Norwegian citizen living in Duluth, Minnesota. Be prepared to concoct delicious tropical aquavit drinks while engaging with Emily and other cocktail enthusiasts during this fun evening class.


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.

January 2023 Nordic Events

Godt nytt år! Happy New Year! For Nordic enthusiasts in the Los Angeles area, there are big in-person events happening this month. For those around the country, virtual events continue to be on the program.

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


Los Angeles Area In-Person Events

The Scandinavian Film Festival LA with BalticFilmExpo @SFFLA is around the corner. After two virtual years, the festival is back at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills on January 14 and 15 and January 21 and 22 with films from Scandinavia and their Nordic neighbors. View the festival program. Festival goers can purchase a festival pass which includes access to all screenings as well as the opening reception or individual tickets. Buy passes and tickets here.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibition, Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980, will close February 5. 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. See it before it closes!

Save the date! The Nordic Spirit Symposium returns February 10 and 11 in Thousand Oaks, CA. This year’s theme is Scandinavian Design: Simple and Beautiful. In the middle of the 20th century, Danish Modern and, more generally, Scandinavian Modern Design, gained popularity in the United States. This symposium will examine the reasons for this popularity, will delve into different design media for two countries, Finland and Norway, and will treat the long-term history of ceramic and glass design in Denmark and Sweden. The theme of Scandinavian design applied to architecture and interior design will be addressed in the opening talk February 10 by an Icelandic American architect. Visit Scandinavian Design: Simple and Beautiful to see details on the program. The February symposium is in-person. However, the initial January presentation on Danish Modern will be virtual (see below for details).


VIRTUAL EVENTS in JANUARY

Danish Modern: Design for Living (Nordic Classics’ Second Friday Series) (Wednesday, Jan. 11, 12:30 p.m. PT live or Friday, Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m. PT pre-recorded, Free)

Join Tova Brandt, Executive Director of Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa, for a presentation on Danish Modern design. Brandt will show the wonderful furniture designs that came out of Denmark in the 1950s and 1960s, and explain why so many pieces are known by descriptive names like the Ant Chair, Peacock Chair, and Artichoke Lamp. She will discuss the iconic designs and designers of the period, such as Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, and Arne Jacobsen. She will also discuss the strategies through which American consumers developed a taste for Danish Modern, and how that legacy continues into the 21st century. Participation is free but registration is required. The program is  hosted by The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Family Handcraft at Home: Carving a Dala Horse (Enrollment Deadline: Jan. 18)

This February, Vesterheim invites you to try your hand at the historical handcraft of figure carving. Folk artist and art educator Charles Banks will inspire you to be creative in unexpected ways through a warm video demonstration. The best thing about this class is that you can watch the video and open your kit materials to explore carving whenever it is most convenient for you and your family members! Your registration provides you with a kit that includes everything you need to explore this handcraft as a family at home! On the first of the month, you will receive an email with the links and information about how to access.

Demo: Scandinavian Pea Soup Supper with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Jan. 19, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen for a low-effort, high reward wintery supper of vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Barley, simple salad with Lingonberry Vinaigrette, and Swedish Oat Crackers. Each of these recipes work well to make ahead and have on hand for a satisfying cold weather meal but make a tasty meal for entertaining too. As always, Kristi is sure to share lots of inspired tips and tricks for cooking Nordic food simply at home.

Workshop: Needle Felted Chickadee (Friday, Jan. 20, 2:00 p.m. CT)

Create a sweet felted chickadee inspired by Minnesota’s northwoods in this afternoon-long class. Led by instructor Laura Berlage, students will follow step-by-step instructions to transform hand-dyed wool from the instructor’s own sheep into a felted chickadee that will fit in the palm of your hand. Needle felting is fun, easy and therapeutic, and as your wooly friend comes to life, you’ll enjoy conversation with other students and learning more about wool and the sheep who produced your kit materials! Your kit even contains enough wool to make a second chickadee, perfect for continuing with this craft beyond class.

Knit a Norwegian-Inspired Pot-Holder (Saturday, Jan. 21, 1:00 p.m. CT and Sunday, Jan. 22, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Add Norwegian beauty to your home by knitting a kitchen accessory! In this class, you will use a circular needle to cast on and knit a beautiful pot holder using the two stranded colorwork technique. With the aid of live Zoom interactions and prerecorded demonstration videos, class instruction will include Norwegian knitting techniques, reading charts, knitting with two colors, tips for color changes, finishing, blocking, and more. You choose one of two patterns. Enrollment Deadline: January 13.

The Fantastic Art of Paper Cutting with Danish Paper Cut Artist Torben Jarlstrøm Clausen (Sunday, Jan. 22, 12:00 p.m. ET)

Back by popular demand, celebrated Danish paper-cutting artist Torben Jarlstrøm Clausen returns for a workshop on creating wonderful paper-cut beings! In this online workshop held via Zoom, Clausen will share his techniques and guide viewers through creating their own paper-cut magic. Participants will also explore the paper-cut artwork of renowned storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, and hear about Clausen’s own journey to becoming a paper-cutting artist. The class will be limited to 30 participants to allow for audience interaction.

Virtual Nordic Language Café with The Scandinavian School in San Francisco (Sunday, Jan. 22, 5:00 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.

Virtual Book Talk – Collected Works with Lydia Sandgren & Emily Temple (Saturday, Jan. 28, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

This January, join Scandinavia House for a virtual book talk with Swedish author and psychologist Lydia Sandgren on her new book Collected Works. With moderator Emily Temple, she’ll discuss her compelling mystery and poignant bildungsroman about love, power, and art—and what leads us to make the pivotal decisions that change the course of our lives.

Meet the Author: Ann-Helén Laestadius, Stolen (Tuesday, Jan. 31, 11:00 a.m. PT)

Join Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma (DeNoma Literary Services) in virtual conversation with Ann-Helén Laestadius, author of the spellbinding Swedish novel Stolen. Louise Erdrich meets Jo Nesbø in this spellbinding Swedish novel that follows a young indigenous woman as she struggles to defend her family’s reindeer herd and culture amidst xenophobia, climate change, and a devious hunter whose targeted kills are considered mere theft in the eyes of the law.


LOOKING and PLANNING AHEAD to FEBRUARY

Scandinavian Loom Beading (Thursdays, Feb. 2, 9, 16 & 23, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Explore the beauty and fun of beading on a loom in the Scandinavian tradition! Inspired by designs from Nordic bandweaving, this class will take you from start to finish for making your own sparkly beaded bookmark. Learn about the historic use of loom beading and how a remarkably simple process can transform seed beads into delightful designs. The class kit includes a handmade loom designed by the instructor and enough beads, silk thread, needles, and patterns to make two projects, if you wish.

Tropical Aquavit Cocktails with Emily Vikre (Friday, Feb. 3, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Although you may not expect it, aquavit pairs deliciously with tropical fruits! Whether or not you have taken a class with us already, you will enjoy learning some new cocktail recipes in this new class featuring aquavit, the traditional Scandinavian spirit with centuries of tradition and celebration. Emily Vikre of Vikre Distillery will inspire you with her Nordic twist on classic tropical cocktails and her storytelling about the history of aquavit, as well as her contemporary lifestyle as a dual Norwegian citizen living in Duluth, Minnesota. Be prepared to concoct delicious tropical aquavit drinks while engaging with Emily and other cocktail enthusiasts during this fun evening class.

Meet the Author: Nicklas Brendborg, Jellyfish Age Backwards (Sunday, Feb. 5, 10:00 a.m. PT)

Join Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma (DeNoma Literary Services) in virtual conversation with Nicklas Brendborg, author of the international bestseller Jellyfish Age Backwards: Nature’s Secrets to Longevity. This eye-opening work offers a revelatory scientific deep dive into how plants and animals have already unlocked the secrets to immortality–and the lessons they hold for us all.

Introduction to North Sámi (Sunday, Feb. 5, 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!

Workshop: Four Band Color Braid Bracelet (Wednesday, Feb. 8, 5:30 p.m. CT, Registration closes Jan. 29)

Braid and finish a beautiful bracelet inspired by the Sámi art of tenntråd, or pewter wire art, led by instructor Liz Bucheit. Students will receive a kit with all the materials to make a bracelet out of natural materials including pewter wire, reindeer leather, and an antler button, plus a reusable clamp for future braiding projects. Kits ($35 value) are included in the class fee. Registration for this kit-based class closes January 29.

Demo: Baking Swedish Semlor with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Feb. 9, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Pick up tricks for making a sweet winter treat by watching Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen bake and fill a batch of cardamom and almond flavored semlor in this virtual demonstration. Traditionally served on Fat Tuesday and now enjoyed throughout the winter, semlor are an indulgent winter treat across Scandinavia. Kristi will use multiple batches of dough to demonstrate how to make the Swedish version of these buns, from mixing and kneading the cardamom flavored dough, to preparing the almond paste and whipped cream filling, to baking and assembling the finished buns. Students will leave with the recipe and lots of tips, inspired to bake their own batch of semlor at home!

Sámi Film Fest (February 9-12)

The 5th Annual Sámi Film Festival explores Sámi stories through film in a hybrid event taking place both in-personal and virtually. The Festival is organized by the National Nordic Museum in Seattle and Scandinavia House in New York and presented in partnership with Pacific Sámi Searvi. Attendees can screen films online on February 9-12 and in person at both venues on February 11. The program will include a variety of contemporary Sámi documentaries, short films, and panel discussions with the filmmakers. In 2023, the Sámi Film Festival will feature the selections of this year’s guest curator of film and acclaimed Skolt Sámi director Katja Gauriloff.


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.

December 2022 Nordic Events: Christmas Edition

The holiday season is upon us! 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 December and upcoming months.


LOS ANGELES AREA IN-PERSON EVENTS

The Norwegian Church in San Pedro hosts many Christmas events this time of year, the first of which is their annual Christmas Luncheon on Tuesday, December 6 (registration required). Another highlight is the Christmas Concert on December 17 (free, no registration required, donation appreciated). See the latest newsletter for details on these events as well as Christmas services and more. Visit their Facebook page for updates on Christmas events.

Have you marked your 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. Details about the programming is expected to be released before the holidays. In the meantime, visit their new website and consider becoming a donor to help make it all possible.

Scandinavian Design and the United States, 1890–1980

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 in 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. Check the Event Calendar for information on gallery tours with a LACMA docent.

 


VIRTUAL EVENTS

Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language & Culture Program Winter Registration Opens (December 1)

Registration for Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language & Culture Program for the next trimester of classes (January – March 2023) is now open. Each trimester, they offer a range of Norwegian classes for beginning learners to those that are more advanced, many of them online. Culture classes are designed to expand learners’ knowledge of traditional and contemporary Norwegian culture.

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.

Virtual Workshop: Papercutting for the Holidays (Dec. 4, 10:00 a.m. PT)

Join National Nordic Museum for a holiday-themed papercutting workshop with Anna Brones. In this season of Advent we are focusing on slowing down and creating moments of warmth and joy, and the same goes for this class. Together, we’ll design our own holiday-themed paper cuts—perfect to gift someone special! This workshop is also offered Dec. 13 in the evening.

Lecture: Edible Evergreens (Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. CST)

Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are indeed edible, so let forager Maria Wesserle guide the way! In fact, northern cultures have a rich tradition of using evergreens for food and medicine. Maria will discuss some of the common evergreens available in the upper Midwest, including how to identify, harvest, and prepare. Maria will also demonstrate how she uses white pine to make tea and other infusions, and students will receive instructions in case they want to follow along at home. This virtual class has limited space to better facilitate participatory learning.

ASI Demo: Swedish Saffron Buns with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, Dec. 8, 1:00-2:00 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!

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: Sankta Lucia Celebration from Gränna, Sweden (Friday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. PT.)

By popular demand, the Nordic Spirit Second Friday program will bring the enchanting 2019 Sankta Lucia celebration from Gränna, Sweden. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link. The monthly series of Nordic Spirit Classics is a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia hosted by The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Workshop: Paper Quilled Ornaments (Thu, Dec 15, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CST)

Try out paper quilling in this intro level class while creating a quilled ornament perfect for displaying or gifting! Students will learn about the basic tools and materials used in paper quilling with artist Kayla Ann while working on a winter themed ornament that could hang on a tree, window or gift. You’ll come away with lots of inspiration and materials to make a second ornament. This class includes a kit ($5 value); please see the website for more information. Suitable for ages 16+. Registration for this kit-based class closes December 5.

Norway House: 12 Days of Christmas Online Auction (December 10-22)

Norway House’s online holiday auction is back for the third year running, serving as both a unique opportunity to support Norway House AND check items off your shopping list at the same time! The majority of items will be available in a traditional auction-style, closing at 11:59 p.m. on December 21. Alongside their auction, you’ll also find an Instant Shop of items, open and convenient for immediate purchases of Norway House special merchandise.

Vesterheim’s FamilieTid: Music (Sunday, Dec. 11, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Gather the family together and join celebrated Finnish musicians Soili Perkiö and Maija Karhinen for an hour of Scandinavian music. Soili and Maija return to Vesterheim by popular demand after last year’s event. This captivating and engaging hour of singing, dancing, and play will set toes tapping for participants of every age!

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

This magical concert set in ASI’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.

Virtual Workshop: Papercutting for the Holidays (Dec. 13, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. PT)

Join National Nordic Museum for a holiday-themed papercutting workshop with Anna Brones. In this season of Advent we are focusing on slowing down and creating moments of warmth and joy, and the same goes for this class. Together, we’ll design our own holiday-themed paper cuts—perfect to gift someone special! This workshop is also offered Dec. 4 in the morning.

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, 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.

Virtual Crafts & Cocktail (Dec. 15, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT)

Oh, the weather outside is frightful—so stay in and join National Nordic Museum for a much-needed crafting + cocktail happy hour! A fantastic way to unwind from a long day, it’s also a great excuse to hang out with friends and meet other craft + cocktail lovers. All from the comfort of your own home. This month’s craft project + cocktail is: Holiday Woven Paper Hearts + a Scandinavian Sour!

Vesterheim Family Book Adventure: What Does the Fox Say? (Registration Deadline Dec. 18)

In this family-fun reading adventure, Luther College Nordic Studies instructor Evelyn Galstad will get you reading, thinking, creating, and even up and moving – indoors and out! A kit delivered right to your home contains supplies for book-reading, a fun craft, a snack, and a scavenger-hunt-type adventure. For January, you’ll be reading What Does the Fox Say?, based on the 2013 smash-hit pop song by the Norwegian pop duo The Ylvis. This picture book is geared for young children, but readers of all ages will laugh at the silliness and delight at Svein Nyhus’s playful illustrations in this irresistibly entertaining read-aloud picture book. In the spirit of the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, the scavenger-hunt-type activity will get your family out into the great outdoors.


Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

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

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.

October 2022: Virtual Nordic Events Plus Art, Music, & Film in SoCal

Happy fall! The offerings for virtual Nordic events continue with presentations, cooking classes, book talks, and book clubs. If you’re a reader interested in seeing what online Nordic book clubs around the country are reading, visit my page Online Nordic Book Club Meetings to see reading selections and meeting dates. In addition to the virtual offerings, this month also offers some exciting in-person art, music, and film events in Southern California.

2022 Nordic Council Literature Prize Nominees

A special virtual event happening this month is Scandinavia House’s literary series with nominees for the 2022 Nordic Council Literature Prize. This prize has been awarded annually since 1962 to a work of fiction (poetry, prose, or drama) written in one of the Nordic languages. This year’s nominees span the entire Nordic region with works from all countries and language areas. The winner will be announced on 1 November in Helsinki, Finland.

In-Person Experiences

Are you local to the Los Angeles area? The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents a new 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 October 9, 2022 through February 5, 2023.

Two Norwegian musical performances will be in the area next month. First Norwegian pop star Sigrid will be in California as part of her “How To Let Go” tour. She’ll be performing with guest Ber first in San Francisco at Bimbo’s 365 Club on October 11, followed by October 12 in Los Angeles at The Novo, and then October 13 in San Diego at Music Box. Wardruna, a Norwegian “music constellation dedicated to creating musical renditions of ancient Norse and Nordic traditions” will be in California November 1 through 4 with concerts in Oakland (Nov. 1), El Cajon (Nov. 2), and Los Angeles (Nov. 4).

   

Another special event happening this month is the Newport Beach Film Fest at which both a Norwegian film and a Swedish film are being screened on Tuesday, October 18. Either watch the Norwegian film Long Flat Balls III: Broken Promises directed by Harald Zwart (followed by Q&A with cast and crew) or the Swedish film Tisdagsklubben (Food and Romance) directed by Annika Appelin, and then if you’d like, attend the Newport Beach Film Festival’s European Showcase Celebration honoring the best in European filmmaking.

What’s on your calendar for October?


The Way Further West (Sunday, October 2, 1:00-2:15 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and the Slooper Society of America for this free 75-minute webinar, open to the public. Norwegian storyteller Anne Elisebeth Skogen will join the webinar from Ryfylkemuseet at Sand, Norway, to tell the story The Way Further the West. This story is the sequel to the program With Restauration through Hell Gate to the Promised Land, which Anne Elisebeth presented online with Vesterheim in October 2020. The first part of the story told about the initial Norwegian emigrant entourage that left Stavanger, Norway, on July 4, 1825. During The Way Further West, you will hear about what awaited the immigrants in Kendall, New York, and how their lives turned out there. Then you will follow them in new upheavals and their travels further west. Where did they settle and what happened to them? Storyteller Anne Elisebeth Skogen has followed in the footsteps of several of the Sloopers herself, and she looks forward to sharing their story with you.

The Nordic Council Literature Prize Nominees: Finland (Tuesday, October 4, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

One of this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize nominees from Finland is Kaj Korkea-aho’s Röda rummet (Red Room, 2021). Korkea-aho, a Finnish-Swedish author, columnist, and comedian, will discuss his novel with critic and essayist Sara Abdollahi. This event will take place as a Zoom webinar. You may ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to info@amscan.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on their Virtual Programming page and on their YouTube channel.

Vesterheim Benefit Auction (October 8, 12:00 p.m. CT – October 16, 9:00 p.m. CT)

Items are available to view now at www.biddingforgood.com/vest-auction. Each year this auction is full of one-of-a-kind folk art by artists working in the Norwegian tradition. Many of the pieces in the Benefit Auction are donated by Vesterheim Gold Medalists and exhibition ribbon winners from Vesterheim’s annual judged competition, The National Norwegian-American Folk Art Exhibition. Proceeds from the auction benefit Vesterheim’s Folk Art School, which has provided classes since 1967 in fiber arts, woodworking, painting, cooking, jewelry, blacksmithing, knifemaking, and more.

Pears in the Nordic Kitchen (Saturday, October 8, 3:00-5:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen for a delicious afternoon of cooking and baking with pears. Begin by making a fragrant Roasted Pear Compote with Cardamom, Vanilla, and Fresh Ginger, and then Kristi will show you how to turn that compote into a savory appetizer with blue cheese and hazelnuts and a show stopping pear bundt cake.

New Nordic Grain Bowl (Sunday, October 9, 4:00-5:30 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and instructor Hannah Garry in making a delicious grain bowl featuring traditional Nordic ingredients like barley, dill, and beets that makes for the perfect dinner party offering or lunch on the go. Use fresh vegetables that are in season in your region to top the bowl. Each participant’s meal will be a beautiful reflection of their own local food web. Class participants will also learn to make a creamy, vegan, herb-packed dressing that can be used on just about anything, as well as a Nordic-inspired apple cocktail (or mocktail) perfect for early fall.

The Nordic Council Literature Prize Nominees: Faroe Islands (Tuesday, October 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

One of this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize nominees is Faroe Islands’ Beinir Bergsson’s poetry collection Sólgarðurin (Forlagið Eksil, 2021). In this talk, Bergsson will discuss the collection with translator Randi Ward, a 2021 ASF Translation Prizewinner. This event will take place as a Zoom webinar. You may ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to info@amscan.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on their Virtual Programming page and on their YouTube channel.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series—Margi Preus & West of the Moon and Other Places You Can’t Get Get to with GPS (Friday, October 14, 7:30 p.m. PT)

Join the Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA, for a live virtual presentation by children’s author Margi Preus from Duluth, Minnesota. An old family diary, true immigrant stories, and Scandinavian folk and fairy tales combine to tell the story of West of the Moon, a “mesmerizing tale of Astri’s treacherous and harrowing mid-19th century emigration to America.” (Booklist, starred review). Preus’s research into Norwegian immigration led her to startling revelations about the role of women healers, the relationship between a common 19th century childhood ailment and the belief in changelings, and the reverence and fear our Norwegian ancestors had for The Black Book, “whose pages teach how to recover lost goods, find buried treasure, turn back the attacks of snakes and dogs, and more.” Preus will discuss how she combined history, fiction, and folklore in this novel and may give a sneak preview of her brand new book Windswept, also inspired by Norwegian fairy tales and populated by trolls. Participation is free; registration is required.

Meet the Author: Nancy Marie Brown, Looking for the Hidden Folk (Sunday, October 16, 1:00-2:00 p.m. PST)

Join author Nancy Marie Brown in virtual conversation with filmmaker Sara Dosa, as she discusses her book, Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland’s Elves Can Save the Earth. In exploring how Icelanders interact with nature—and their idea that elves live among us—Brown shows us how altering our perceptions of the environment can be a crucial first step toward saving it.

The Nordic Council Literature Prize Nominees: Iceland (Tuesday, October 18, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

One of this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize nominees from Iceland is Elísabet Jökulsdóttir’s Aprílsólarkuldi. She will discuss her novel with translator Larissa Kyzer. This event will take place as a Zoom webinar. You may ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to info@amscan.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on their Virtual Programming page and on their YouTube channel.

Cooking Class: Swedish Meatballs (Tuesday, October 18, 4:00-5:00 p.m. CT)

Join Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL, for a cooking class to learn how to make variations to the Swedish meatball. What other Swedish dishes can be prepared with similar ingredients? You will receive the recipe in advance. You can then either cook alongside or watch and try later. It is an interactive Zoom so you will be able to ask questions.

The Nordic Council Literature Prize Nominees: Sámi Language (Thursday, October 20, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

One of this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize nominees is Sámi language areas’ Mary Ailonieida Sombán Mari’s poetry collection Beaivváš mánát (Mondo Books, 2020). It draws readers into the Sámi experience of abuse of power, racism, and contempt on the part of public authorities. Written in two languages — Norwegian in the first part and Northern Sámi in the second — the collection empowers Sámi readers while offering insight to non-Sámi readers through its portrayal of moments in time. The author will discuss the collection with moderator Lisa Monica Aslaksen. This event will take place as a Zoom webinar. You may ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to info@amscan.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on their Virtual Programming page and on their YouTube channel.

Demo: Fall Fika Favorites with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, October 20, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Apples, squash, and warm spices—what more do you need for fabulous fall treats? Join American Swedish Institute and Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen for three delicious fall fika favorites to add to your baking repertoire. Kristi will demonstrate her takes on the Swedish apple cake, a sweet and quick Pumpkin Rye Bread with Cinnamon Sugar topping, and her grandmother’s pepparkakor (ginger snaps) recipe. This class is designed as a demonstration, so students can watch the entire process and ask questions before tackling the recipes at home at a later date. The recipe packet will be shared via email and available for download one week in advance.

Looking Across the Atlantic: Swedish-American Relations in the 20th Century (Thursday, October 20, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join the House of Sweden in Washington, DC, for a panel on Swedish-American relations and how ideas, conceptions and images travel between the two countries. Even though Sweden and the United States are separated by an entire ocean, the two nations have a close and longstanding relationship. Cultural, social, political and economic links bind the two countries together across the Atlantic. Dag Blanck, Director of the Swenson Center in Illinois, and Professor of North American Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden, will present in-person at the House of Sweden, but the event will be live-streamed on YouTube as well.

Workshop: Filmkväll – Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter (Thursday, October 20, 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT)

Join American Swedish Institute and Patrice Johnson for this one-of-a-kind Nordic Table class: cook a thematic menu in your own kitchen with Patrice’s guidance, then settle in for a filmkväll (movie night) at home with the classic 1984 Ronja Rovardotter. Patrice will pull inspiration from Ronja’s life in the castle and woods to build a menu that can be assembled over the two-hour class, before everyone settles in for the film at home over dinner.


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.

September 2022: Virtual Nordic Events & Vista Viking Festival

It’s with mixed feelings that I observe the shift from virtual back to in-person events. These last couple of years I’ve discovered many amazing new-to-me Nordic institutions around the country and participated in cooking and crafting classes, watched film screenings and listened to concerts, and attended author talks, book club meetings, and lectures that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Now, the variety and frequency of such virtual opportunities is decreasing as in-person events are returning, but luckily there’s still much to share.

While many institutions are cutting back on virtual events, I do want to highlight two institutions and a particular area of interest that are continuing strong with virtual events: Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum & Folk Art School, in Decorah, Iowa; the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and book clubs around the country! Visit Vesterheim and ASI for information on their offerings, many of which fill up fast. For upcoming book selections by online book clubs, visit my page to see if there’s a Nordic book you’d be interested in reading and discussing with fellow reading enthusiasts.

On the topic of the return to in-person events, this fall Southern Californians will see the triumphant return of the family friendly Vista Viking Festival. California’s premiere Viking festival and Norse heritage event takes place September 17 and 18 just north of San Diego. Visitors can mingle with Vikings and the Norse gods at the living history Viking Village, play and craft in the KidZone, splurge on Nordic goods at the marketplace, learn all things Norwegian with cultural demonstrations, indulge in festive foods and drinks, and enjoy live entertainment including the Viking band KRAUKA, straight out of Denmark. Will you be there?

This Labor Day Weekend, take advantage of the last discount opportunity and save 10% by buying your tickets with promo code LABORDAY (through midnight 9/5). Buy tickets here.

What’s on your calendar for September?


Demo: Swedish Breakfasts (Thursday, September 8, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Swedish breakfasts capture many traveler’s imaginations; whether you stay in a home or at a hotel, you’re sure to get a selection of open-faced sandwich ingredients as well as cold or hot cereals, juice, fruit and more. These spreads are not complicated to put together, but it can be helpful to have a formula ready to go for both casual mornings and more elaborate hosted affairs. Nordic Table coordinator Erin Swenson-Klatt will share her go-to Swedish breakfast table collections and a few simple recipes to deck out a perfect frukost buffet in this virtual class inspired by the exhibit, The Morning Dip.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series—Trolls: A Retrospective: “Trolls of the Millennium” (Friday, September 9, 7:30 p.m. PT)

Britte Rasmussen Marsh, writer, educator, and researcher from Portland, Oregon, returns live for her fourth and final retrospective presentation on trolls. As Scandinavian immigrants set sail for new beginnings on the North American continent, so too do their troll stowaways. Trolls globalized and commercialized in the new Contemporary Era. Sometimes their shape and form resurged as nostalgically Nordic, other times they were redefined to reflect the cultural landscape of changing times. In any case, trolls dispersed along with the rapid expansion of media and found their germination through film, sculpture, marketing, gaming, and the arrival of the Internet Age. What does it mean now to be a 21st century troll? Why do trolls still resonate across demographics, and what’s next? Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link.

Nordic Book Club: The Last Wild Horses: A Novel by Maja Lunde (Tuesday, September 13, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Scandinavia House’s online Nordic Book Club. Each month they select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On September 13, they’ll be discussing The Last Wild Horses by Norwegian author Maja Lunde, out in translation by Diane Oatley. Maja Lunde’s heart-wrenching new tale, set in the distant past and the dystopian future, explores extinction and survival, family and hope.

National Danish Book Club Series: Justine by Iben Mondrup (Tuesday, September 13, 5:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with this nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author is selected and discussed in a virtual setting via Zoom and YouTube. This month’s selection is Justine by Iben Mondrup in translation by Kerri A. Pierce. “A personal meditation on artistic identity, the creative process, and the male-dominated art scene, the novel veers between the erotic and the savage, resulting in a spellbinding read from one of Denmark’s edgiest contemporary feminist writers.”

October Family Norwegian Language Adventure: Vikinger og Mytologi with Evelyn Galstad (Register by September 16)

Join Vesterheim for some family fun and learn some Norwegian language and culture along the way! Through hands-on activities, fun crafts, light-hearted games, and short videos, you and your family will learn and practice your new Norwegian skills. A kit will be delivered right to your home containing supplies for these language activities, a helpful reference sheet for all the new words and expressions you will be learning, a fun craft, and a yummy treat. The theme for October is Vikings and Mythology. These videos and activities are geared towards all ages, but most appropriate for families with school-age children.

New Nordic Tapas and Cocktails with Patrice Johnson (Saturday, September 17, 4:00-5:30 pm CT)

Join the self declared “Nordic Food Geek” Patrice Johnson and throw a Nordic-inspired cocktail party that will dazzle your friends! Inspired by seasonal, local, and tasty New Nordic trends, you’ll spend a happy hour together preparing small bites that pair with aquavit and tasty cocktails/mocktails.

Swedish Princess Cake with Kristi Bissell (Sunday, September 18, 1:00 pm CT)

Swedish Princess Cake is a showstopper of a dessert but can be an intimidating project for a home baker. Fear no more! Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen and learn how to make a foolproof Swedish Princess Cake at home. Kristi will walk you through the process step-by-step so that you can confidently make this gorgeous Scandinavian cake in your own kitchen. This class is currently sold out but you can be added to the waitlist.

Virtual Book Talk: The Viking Heart by Arthur Herman (Tuesday, September 20, 7:00 p.m. ET, Free)

This September, join Scandinavia House for a new virtual book talk on The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World with Arthur Herman, a New York Times historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist. In a follow-up to his 2021 talk at Scandinavia House on the book’s release, Arthur Herman returns to discuss themes that have gained new relevance over the past year — including recent archeological discoveries regarding the Viking legacy, Finland and Sweden’s application to join NATO, and the Viking context to the Marvel film Thor: Love and Thunder.

Virtual Book Talk: W. A Novel by Steve Sem-Sandberg with Saskia Vogel (Sunday, September 21, 2:30 p.m. ET, Free)

On September 21, August Prize-winning Swedish novelist Steve Sem-Sandberg and translator Saskia Vogel join Scandinavia House for a virtual discussion on W. A Novel, out on June 28 from The Overlook Press. They’ll discuss the writing and translation of this new literary reimagining of one of modern literature’s touchstone texts, the play Woyzeck.

Vesterheim Bokprat: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder (Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, facilitates a monthly bokprat, discussing Scandinavian authors and Scandinavian life. Join in September to discuss Sophie’s World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder. This page-turning novel is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought and has fired the imagination of readers all over the world with more than twenty million copies in print.

ASI Demo: Easy Kanelbullar (Thursday, September 22, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Get ready for kanelbullendag (Cinnamon Bun Day) on October 4 by watching how Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen completes all the hands-on steps for a batch of easy Swedish cinnamon buns in just an hour. Kristi will use multiple batches of dough to demonstrate how to mix and knead the sweet yeasted dough, prepare the cinnamon filling, shape a pre-risen batch of dough into the typical knots, and bake the buns until golden brown. Students will leave with the recipe and lots of tips, inspired to bake their own batch of buns at home!

The Morning Dip Virtual Exhibit Tour (Tuesday, September 27, 5:00-5:45 p.m. CT)

Unable to explore the American Swedish Institute in person? Discover featured exhibitions The Morning Dip: Photography by Peggy Anderson and Birger Sandzén: Distant Horizons through a live, virtual tour led by an ASI educator. Get up close with Peggy Anderson’s large-format photos and Birger Sandzén’s captivating paintings while hearing stories of the artists’ techniques and their artwork. Have the opportunity to ask ASI educators all your questions about these exhibitions.

Symbols in Bandweaving: The Emojis of Traditional Handcraft (Wednesday, September 28, 7:00-8:00 pm CT, Free)

Join folk artist Kathleen Almelien for a webinar exploring the symbols used in bandweaving, the “emojis” of their time. Woven bands played an important role in traditional Norwegian clothing. Used to close or support clothing (the way we use zippers, buttons, and snaps), they also added beauty and interest to clothing. Additionally, the symbols woven into the band communicated that the person came from a particular area of Norway and imbued the band with meaning to the wearer. Almelien will highlight her own bands as well as those in Vesterheim’s collection and will draw parallels with the symbols used in other traditional Norwegian handcrafts. This program is free of charge. Registration is required.

Nordiska’s Book Club: Ronia (Thursday, September 29, 6:00 p.m. PT)

Nordiska, a boutique specializing in Nordic-inspired goods and gifts in Poulsbo, WA, hosts its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. They invite you to expand your Nordic reading repertoire and discuss a variety of written works with them the last Thursday of each month. For September’s meeting, they will be reading Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren translated from the Swedish by Patricia Crampton. Receive 15% off your purchase of the book at Nordiska’s website by using the code “bookclub22”.


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.

Summer 2022: Virtual Nordic Events & Scandinavian Festival

View towards Oslofjorden from Grefsenkollen, taken June 2019

Happy Summer! I’m combining June, July, and August events into one post and will update as new events come on my radar. Don’t delay in signing up for classes you may be interested in. They fill up quickly. Of particular interest for some may be the many online Nordic cooking classes offered by Vesterheim, American Swedish Institute, and The Nordic Heart this summer. Explore herring, gravlax, Scandinavian waffles and cakes, Nordic inspired cocktails and meals, and more!

Interested in joining other readers to discuss Nordic books? Find summer selections for online book clubs listed at the end of the post.

And finally, for Los Angeles area readers, I hope you’re planning to attend the 45th Scandinavian Festival in Thousand Oaks on June 4 and 5 at California Lutheran University. It’s the largest Nordic-themed event in Southern California celebrating the cultures and traditions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Sami people of the Arctic regions of Scandinavia. Enjoy historical craft demos, food demos, a Viking village and games, Saami camp, country crafts, a children’s stage in addition to the main stage (which will feature ABBA FAB – Tribute to the Music of ABBA both days), Nordic vendors, Nordic food booths, and more. See festival map.

New in-person event addition!  Norwegian 80s band a-ha has two concerts scheduled in California in July. On Friday, July 29, they will perform in Napa at Oxbow RiverStage (ticket information). Then on Sunday, July 31, they will perform at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (ticket information). Will you go see them?

What’s on your calendar this summer?


Family Friluftsliv Adventure with Vesterheim (Register by June 1)

Looking for a fun way to explore Norwegian culture with your family on your own schedule? Vesterheim’s June Family Friluftsliv Adventure is for you! Through hands-on activities and short videos, you and your family will explore the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, spend time outdoors together, and learn and practice Norwegian words and phrases, all on your own schedule. A kit will be delivered right to your home containing supplies for these activities along with a helpful reference sheet for all the new words and expressions you will be learning and a yummy treat.

National Nordic Museum’s Virtual Meet the Author: The Border by Erika Fatland (Saturday, June 4, 11:00 a.m. PT)

Join Dr. Scott Radnitz, the Herbert J. Ellison Associate Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, as he talks with Norwegian author Erika Fatland about her latest book The Border. “An astute and brilliant combination of lyric travel writing and modern history, The Border is a book about Russia without its author ever entering Russia itself. Erika Fatland gets to the heart of what it has meant to be the neighbor of that mighty, expanding empire throughout history. As we follow her on her journey, we experience the colorful, exciting, tragic, and often unbelievable histories of these bordering nations along with their cultures, people, and landscapes.”

Typiskt svenskt/Typical American Discussion (Tuesday, June 7, 9:30 a.m. CT)

What is assumed or generalized about Sweden and the United States? Compare and find out how different yet alike Swedes and Americans are in this fun and open discussion hosted by American Swedish Institute. This class is also offered Thursday, June 16, at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Scandinavia House’s The Border Virtual Book Talk with Erika Fatland (Tuesday, June 7, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Join Scandinavia House for a virtual talk with acclaimed Norwegian author Erika Fatland on her new book The Border: A Journey Around Russia Through North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and the Northeast Passage, out now from Pegasus Books. This event will take place as a Zoom webinar;  ask questions in the chat or send them in advance to info@amscan.org. Registration is required; please sign up at the link above. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on their Virtual Programming page and on their YouTube channel.

ASI Nordic Table Demo: Family Camp Recipes with Emily Vikre (Wednesday, June 8, 6:30 p.m. CT)

Seeking some fun inspiration for outdoor drinks and snacks this summer? Look no further than the new The Family Camp Cookbook from Emily Vikre. Emily will share a little about her newest cookbook and talk about pinnebrød, a favorite camping bread from across the Nordic countries. And because Emily owns Vikre Distillery in Duluth, she’ll also show us how to whip up a couple beverages, one alcoholic cocktail and one family friendly option. Recipes will be shared in advance so you can prepare a drink alongside Emily if you like.

ASI Workshop: Intro to Papercutting (Thursday, June 9, 6:30 p.m. CT)

Papercutting is an art that spans history and cultures, from simple silhouettes to intricate designs. Join artist Anna Brones to learn the basics of papercutting and how to create your very own papercuts using a craft knife and cutting mat. This evening workshop will cover everything from paper and cutting techniques, to composition and design inspiration.

ASI Nordic Table Demo: Midsommar Made Simple with Patrice Johnson (Friday, June 10, 6:30 p.m. CT)

Whether you are going all out with a big celebratory smörgåsbord or taking a simpler approach, we could all use a few easy recipes for our Midsommar tables. Follow along as Patrice demonstrates simple preparations for gravlax, herring, potatoes and strawberries. You’ll feel totally ready to tackle some of these classic dishes at home after class!

Celebrate Midsummer with Aquavit and Herring with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, June 11, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. CT)

No Midsummer gathering is complete without aquavit and herring. Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen and learn how to make an aquavit cocktail to pair with three unique flavors of pickled herring, all starting with jarred pickled herring from the store. Students will be sent the ingredients list and class preparation approximately one week before the class in order to prepare. Enrollment deadline: June 3.

Workshop: The Fantastic Art of Paper Cutting (Sunday, June 12, 12:00 p.m. ET)

Join Scandinavia House and learn to create wonderful paper-cut beings with celebrated Danish paper-cutting artist Torben Jarlstrøm Clausen in a class held via Zoom. Clausen, who has held paper-cutting workshops in Denmark, Japan and the U.S., has created a magical paper-cut universe inhabited by beings previously confined inside the paper. In this online workshop, Clausen will share his techniques and guide viewers through creating their own paper-cut magic. Participants will also explore the paper-cut artwork of renowned storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, and hear about Clausen’s own journey to becoming a paper-cutting artist. The class will be limited to 30 participants to allow for audience interaction.

ASI Nordic Table Workshop: Knäckebröd Two Ways with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, June 16, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Kristi for this cook-along virtual workshop where you will practice baking two different types of Swedish knäckebröd! Knäckebröd, or crispbread, is a classic part of the Midsommar table, but also a great snack to have on hand for light summer meals and picnics. Students will work in their own kitchens to make a batch of rye and oat-based crispbread and a gluten free seed-based crispbread. While the breads bake, Kristi will even share some ideas for tasty seasonal toppings for your homemade knäckebröd! This class is designed as a cook along experience, perfect for cooks who want a few extra tips and tricks while tackling a classic Swedish baked good.

Typiskt svenskt/Typical American Discussion (Thursday, June 16, 5:30 p.m. CT)

What is assumed or generalized about Sweden and the United States? Compare and find out how different yet alike Swedes and Americans are in this fun and open discussion hosted by American Swedish Institute. This class is also offered Tuesday, June 7, at 9:30 a.m. CT.

July Family Book Adventure: Lena, The Sea, and Me (Enroll by June 16)

Join Vesterheim for this family-fun reading and outdoor adventure! Your family can be any combination of folks as long as there’s at least one adult to help navigate the online portion. Decorah schools librarian Shannon Horton will get you reading, thinking, creating, and even up and moving – indoors and out! A kit delivered right to your home contains supplies for book-reading, a fun craft, a snack, and a scavenger-hunt-type adventure. This program has been designed for families to experience on their own schedules. There is no live Zoom event and no scheduled class time – your family can participate anytime during the month when it works for your schedule! On the first of the month, you will receive an email with the links and information about how to access.

Nordic Lit in Translation: Laxness’s Salka Valka with Philip Roughton & Doug McIntyre (Tuesday, June 21, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Translator Philip Roughton joins Scandinavia House with Doug McIntyre for a discussion on celebrated Icelandic novelist and Nobel Prize Laureate Halldór Laxness’s novel Salka Valka, out June 7 in new translation from Archipelago. “A feminist coming-of-age tale, an elegy to the plight of the working class and the corrosive effects of social and economic inequality, and a poetic window into the arrival of modernity in a tiny industrial town, Salka Valka is a novel of epic proportions, living and breathing with its vibrant cast of characters, filled with tenderness, humor, and remarkable pathos.”

Viking Metal-Weaving Bracelet Class (Saturday, June 25, 10:00 a.m. PT)

Dating back to the Viking era, this metal-weaving project is a great introduction to jewelry making. In this virtual class, learn the steps for metal knitting—a simple looping technique—using copper and silver wire over a round, wooden dowel. Once the knitting is made, a drawplate is used to pull the knitting through, which compresses and lengthens the wire into a beautiful hollow chain. Then, by attaching end caps and a clasp, you’ll transform the chain into a lovely bracelet. All bracelet materials are provided, including complete instruction from start to finish through discussion and demonstration of all steps in the process. Materials will be sent by mail upon registration.

Nordiska’s Book Club: Jansson’s Moomintrolls (Thursday, June 30, 6:00 p.m. PT)

Nordiska, a boutique specializing in Nordic-inspired goods and gifts in Poulsbo, WA, invites you to expand your Nordic reading repertoire and discuss a variety of written works the last Thursday of each month. For June’s meeting, they will be reading their first children’s novels featuring the Moomins, lovable hippo-like characters created by the talented Tove Jansson. Since the Moomin books are shorter in length, they have selected the first two books for June’s book club discussion: Moomins and the Great Flood (1945) and Comet in Moominland (1946).


JULY

Swedish Museum Series: Alma Löv Museum of Unexpected Art (Wednesday, July 6, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT)

ASI’s Swedish Museum Series returns with a virtual tour of Alma Löv, the unique contemporary museum nestled deep in the forests of Värmland. This low-budget museum project, with high artistic ambitions, was founded by artist Marc Broos in 1998 and is today run by his daughter Stella Broos.

Summer Scandinavian Waffles with Patrice Johnson (Sunday, July 10, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CT)

Nordic waffles are one of Scandinavia’s most iconic foods. They can be sweet or savory and are topped with a variety of (occasionally unusual) garnishes. Join the “Nordic Food Geek” Patrice Johnson as you create your own versions of Nordic waffles. Waffles aren’t just for brunch anymore! Enrollment deadline: June 24.

Book Talk—A Postcard to Annie with Ida Jessen, Martin Aitken, & Désirée Ohrbeck (Wednesday, July 13, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Acclaimed Danish author Ida Jessen joins Scandinavia House with translator Martin Aitken for a virtual discussion on the new book A Postcard for Annie, available June 28 from Archipelago. With moderator Désirée Ohrbeck, they’ll discuss the writing and translation of the prizewinning anthology hailed as an “insightful, original collection” (Kirkus Reviews) following the inner lives of several women on the brink, or sidelines, of catastrophe.

Introduction to Swedish (Wednesday, July 13, 6:00-8:00 p.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 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.

ASI Nordic Table Demo: Blueberries in the Nordic Kitchen with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, July 14, 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT)

Blueberries are a classic summer fruit in the north, whether you gather them in the wild or find them at the market. Just in time for blueberry season, join Kristi as she demonstrates a trio of Nordic-inspired recipes featuring this fruit in different ways: Blueberry Rye Crumble Bars, Blueberry Cardamom Compote and a Blueberry Creme Fraiche Tart with Rye Crust. Students are sure to leave with new ideas and baking tips.

Summer Potatoes In The Nordic Kitchen with Kristi Bissell (Friday, July 15, 3:00-5:00 p.m. CT)

Join Kristi as she prepares three delicious recipes for tender summertime new potatoes! Make an Herbed New Potato Salad with Pickled Golden Beets and Capers and a Savory Goat Cheese and New Potato Tart. Finally, Kristi will demonstrate a few ideas for potato open-face sandwiches on rye bread (smørbrød), which are very popular in the Scandinavian region and a great way to use up leftover potatoes. Enrollment deadline: July 1.

Introduction to Finnish (Sunday, July 17, 12:45-2:45 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 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.

ASI Nordic Table Demo: A Dip into Swedish Seafood with Patrice Johnson (Wednesday, July 27, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT)

Summertime calls for casual seafood lunches and dinners in Sweden. Join Patrice for a fun demo of easy, breezy summer dishes inspired by the coast! Patrice will share three simple courses, including a caviar dip appetizer, a Skagen-inspired shrimp salad first course, and a stunning (but not so tricky to pull off) Västkustsallad, or West Coast Salad filled with vegetables and shellfish. With Patrice’s coaching, you’ll be ready to dive right into any of these dishes!

Nordiska’s Book Club: The Cold Song (Thursday, July 28, 6:00 p.m. PT)

Nordiska, a boutique specializing in Nordic-inspired goods and gifts in Poulsbo, WA, invites you to expand your Nordic reading repertoire and discuss a variety of written works the last Thursday of each month. For July’s meeting, they will be reading The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann, translated from the Norwegian by Barbara J. Haveland.


AUGUST

Run Like a Viking Virtual Challenge (August 1-31)

From August 1-31, let the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, inspire you to keep moving and remain active, while having fun with your friends and family! Choose between a 5K, 10K, or half-marathon challenge race. International participation is encouraged! All entrants will receive a custom Run Like A Viking T-shirt, racing bib, and two (2) general admission tickets (expire August 2023) to the National Nordic Museum. For more information about the National Nordic Museum, visit www.nordicmuseum.org.

ASI Nordic Table Demo: Nordic Cocktail Hour with Patrice Johnson (Friday, August 5, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT)

Whether you’re entertaining or not, sometimes we all just need a few fun recipes to play with for a Friday night. Join Patrice for some light bites that can stand alone as a snack or appetizer or can be combined for tapas style grazing for a summery dinner. And we won’t forget a few drinks with both alcoholic and N/A options, all taking their inspiration from a glorious northern summer, to complete our seasonal Nordic cocktail hour.

FamilieTid: How To Get Along With The Hulderfolk (Saturday, August 13, 11:00 a.m. CT, Free)

More than just stories from ancient folklore, the belief in the Hulder Folk is alive and well in the high grazing areas of Northern Gudbrandsdalen. It is a centuries-old belief that serves as an explanation for the mischief that occurs on farms as well as the practices for the protection of animals and farms. Instructor Arna Rennan met with Asta, Anna, and Ann Helen Brimi, shepherd girls on Brimi seter (mountain grazing farm) who shared their encounters with the Hulder Folk or “Hidden Folk.” She also learned local folk songs from Jarnfried Kjoek that the Hulder sing to wake up sleepy shepherd girls to milk their cows. Gather the family for this special program that includes images, folk songs, and stories and draws you into the special life in the high mountains of Norway! This event is perfect for the young and the young at heart.

New Nordic Light Summer Meal with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, August 13, 3:00-5:00 p.m. CT)

Get ready to wow your friends and family with this light and delicious Nordic-inspired summer supper! Kristi will show us how to make a Roasted Beet Salad with Whole Grains, Arugula and Creamy Skyr Sauce, Lingonberry Cordial, Gluten Free Seed Crackers (Norwegian Crispbread), and a stunning Summer Skyr Tart with Fresh Berries. Enrollment deadline: July 29.

ASI Nordic Table Demo: Scandinavian Summer Salads with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, August 18, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

Make the most of your garden produce this harvest season with a bevy of inspiration for some Scandinavian summer salads! Watch Kristi prepare New Potato Salad with Pickled Golden Beets and Capers, Creamy Cucumber Salad with Lemon and Dill, and Warm Barley Salad with Fresh Garden Herbs. Students will get lots of inspiration for using up their late summer garden bounty or farmers markets finds.

New Nordic Cocktails Featuring Locally Sourced Herbs (Friday, August 19, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT)

Celebrate the herbs growing in your garden or your community’s local farms with this class via Zoom! Join instructor Hannah Garry to learn how to make four New Nordic cocktails featuring traditional Scandinavian flavors along with fresh summer herbs like basil, mint, thyme, and rosemary. Enrollment deadline: August 5.

New Nordic Brunch With Rye Bagels and Gravlax with Patrice Johnson (Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28)

Join Patrice Johnson, the self-titled “Nordic Food Geek,” for a delicious Nordic-inspired brunch! This two-day class via Zoom will have your kitchen smelling like a Nordic deli! We’ll make rye bagels topped with caraway and everything else, gravlax, a signature cocktail and mocktail, and other delicious bites perfect for your favorite weekend meal. Enrollment deadline: August 12.

Nordic Language Café (Sunday, August 28, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Join The Scandinavian School & Cultural Center virtually to practice your Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish, the choice is yours! This is a perfect opportunity for you to practice your speaking skills and meet other people who share your passion for all things Nordic. All levels are welcome. Participants will be divided up into different breakout rooms in their chosen Nordic language according to their conversational skills, ranging from beginner to advanced. You don’t have to be a student at SSCC to join, but they are of course hoping to see both current and former language adult learners on the screen. Are you a native speaker up for a chat? They would love for you to join them.

Vesterheim Bokprat: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder (Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, facilitates a monthly bokprat discussing Scandinavian authors and Scandinavian life. Join in September to discuss Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder. This page-turning novel is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought and has fired the imagination of readers all over the world, with more than twenty million copies in print!


Virtual Summer Book Clubs

Scandinavia House Online Nordic Book Club

  • Tuesday, June 7: Quake by Auður Jónsdóttir, tr. from the Icelandic by Meg Matich
  • Tuesday, July 12: The Land of Short Sentences by Stine Pilgaard, tr. from the Danish by Hunter Simpson
  • Tuesday, September 13: The Last Wild Horses by Maja Lunde, tr. from the Norwegian by Diane Oatley

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Illinois

Swedish American Museum


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.