Virtual Nordic Events for June 2021

With more of the country beginning to open up and summer breaks on the horizon, virtual events seem to be slowing down a bit. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to cook, read, watch, make, learn, and discuss virtually with others from around the country. What interests you?

Beginning in June and continuing through the summer is a special collaboration between Scandinavia House in New York, NY, and the streaming service Topic to bring you a taste of classic Nordic Noir. Topic’s Summer of Suspense series will introduce viewers to three Danish series: Follow the Money in June, The Bridge in July, and The Killing in August. Viewers will get a sneak peek at the first two episodes of each season before they are released on Topic. Ticket sales will go to support Scandinavia House. All guests registered for the screenings will receive a promo code for 50% off their first 3 months to Topic.


Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Mini Swedish Celebration Cakes with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Thursday, June 3, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

Get ready for summer celebrations with sweet, Swedish-inspired cakes! Taking inspiration from the traditional princesstårta (a marzipan covered cake popular for both birthdays and Sweden’s National Day on June 6) and the classic Midsommar jordgubstårta (a strawberry and cream confection), Erin will walk students through preparing a simple cake base at home and then assembling and decorating the cakes to be ready to share. These simplified mini cakes are especially perfect for small gatherings or to drop off with friends and family. You’ll leave inspired to bake up some sweet new treats! 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.

Summer of Suspense: Follow the Money, Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2 (Thursday, June 3 – Sunday, June 6)

In the first series of Summer of Suspense, viewers are introduced to the Danish series Follow the Money (Bedrag) which looks into the dark side of an industry where clean energy is a dirty business. Episodes 1 & 2 of Season 1 will be available June 3-6, followed by Season 2’s episodes 1 & 2 June 10-13, and then Season 3’s episodes 1 & 2 June 17-20. As part of the Summer of Suspense premiere screenings, Scandinavia House will host a Nordic Film Club discussion group online. Viewers can gather after watching each series to chat about what they’ve watched. On Wednesday, June 30, 6:00 p.m. PT, they’ll be discussing Follow the Money (details).

Cooking with Undset (Friday, June 4, 6:00 p.m. ET)

Join Paris Review’s Eat Your Words writer Valerie Stivers and wine expert Hank Zonai for virtual Undset-themed drinks on The Paris Review’s Instagram account. They will discuss food and drink in Undset’s work. Special guest Raphael Lyon from Enlightenment Wines will join them. This is a free virtual event.

Baking for a Scandinavian Midsummer with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, June 5, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT)

Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen as she teaches participants how to bake some favorite recipes for a Scandinavian midsummer get together. This class will feature Strawberry Cream Cake (Jordgubbstårta), Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies (Hallongrottor), and Swedish Oat Crackers (Svenska havrekakar). The class is live, interactive, and hands-on. You will receive the recipes, ingredients lists, and equipment lists in advance.

Virtual Kids’ Craft: Make Your Own Ski Jumper (Saturday, June 5, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PST)

This craft is offered in connection with National Nordic Museum’s temporary exhibition Sublime Sights: Ski Jumping and Nordic America. How far can a ski jumper jump? Kids will make their own ski jumper at home with this crafty experiment. Participation is free, but you must RSVP to receive the link.

Online Nordic Book Club: On Time and Water (Tuesday, June 8, 6:00 p.m. ET)

The Nordic Book Club at Scandinavia House in New York, NY, selects novels from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On June 8, they’ll be discussing the new book On Time and Water by Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason, who joined Scandinavia House for a panel on “Capturing Sustainability in the Arctic” on March 24. “Based on interviews and advice from leading glacial, ocean, climate, and geographical scientists, and interwoven with personal, historical, and mythological stories, On Time and Water is a rich and compelling work of narrative nonfiction that illustrates the reality of climate change—and offers hope in the face of an uncertain future.”

Jewelry Making Workshop – Viking Knit Bracelet (Wednesday, June 9, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. PT)

Join Debra Carus from Elentari Handverk for a jewelry making workshop. Using silver and copper wire, pliers and wooden dowels, create one of the most ancient and lovely chains dating back to Viking times. Essential skills learned include: weaving fine wire around a wooden dowel (similar to looping), drawing down the wire to compress it into a bracelet form, finishing with simple wire wrapping techniques and adding a pre-made clasp.  Materials will be mailed to you in advance of the class. No experience necessary.

Stranger’s Guide: Scandinavia – Virtual Panel (Friday, June 11, 1:00 p.m. PT)

Join Scandinavia House for a roundtable discussion on the Stranger’s Guide Scandinavian edition. The Stranger’s Guide book series is an award-winning publication that focuses on improving global citizenship by providing excellent and unexpected storytelling from around the world. To celebrate the release of their Scandinavian issue, distinguished guests will talk about the changing face of the region from an environmental, societal, and cultural perspective. Editor Kira Brunner Don will also give an overview of the Scandinavian issue and the planning and thought process behind it.

Nordic Spirit Classics: Second Friday Series (Friday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. PT)

The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA, is hosting a monthly series of Nordic Spirit Classics, a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia. This month they will present Gudridur, a dramatic performance from the Vinland Sagas of Gudridur, “the far traveler,” portrayed by Icelandic actress Thorunn Claussen. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link.

Tastemakers: Effecting Change in Farming, Food Processing, and Packaging (Saturday, June 12, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST)

The National Nordic Museum is hosting Nordic Talks, a series sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers focused on the theme of food security and sustainability. In this second talk, the panel will investigate how companies in the Nordic countries and the United States demonstrate their commitment to sustainable strategies to maximize growth and minimize waste. The talk is free, but you must RSVP to receive the link.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Midsommar Smörgåstårta with Patrice Johnson (Wednesday, June 16, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT)

Celebrate Midsommar this year with a fantastic smörgåstårta, Sweden’s very own “sandwich-cake!” A festive option that can be scaled up or down for parties large or small, the smörgåstårta is a savory centerpiece composed of classic sandwich ingredients, but beautifully “iced” (with whipped cream cheese) and decorated with vegetables, herbs, and meat or fish. It is a true retro classic from Sweden, and a great and filling main course at any party – including a Swedish-style Midsommar buffet. In this 90-minute demo, Patrice will walk through the process of building and serving a summery smörgåstårta inspired by classic Midsommar flavors, with a discussion of fun variations and the many options for decorations.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Group): An Enemy of the People (Wednesday, June 16, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT)

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 June for a conversation about the play An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, a later part of Ibsen’s collection of work that explores the tensions of economics and ethics, loyalty to family and profit. Enrollment Deadline: June 14.

Scandinavian Midsummer Dinner with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, June 19, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT)

Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen as she teaches participants how to make a gorgeous midsummer meal. The class will prepare Swedish 75 Cocktail, Mushroom Almond Spread, Scandinavian Roasted Salmon with Creamy Mustard Dill Sauce, Herbed New Potato Salad with Pickled Golden Beets and Capers, Quick Swedish Pickled Cucumbers. The class is live, interactive, and hands-on. You will receive the recipes, ingredients lists, and equipment lists in advance.

Norway House’s Midtsommer Gala: Not-So-Late Show and Silent Auction (Tuesday, June 22, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT)

The Midtsommer Gala is Norway House’s annual celebration, dinner, awards, and fundraising event, a centerpiece of their community celebrations for almost 15 years. This year Norway House’s signature event has been transformed into a late-night talk show for 2021—a festive online show jam-packed with Norway House highlights, interviews, musical guests, and more. The silent auction, to be announced by email as the Gala date nears, is a varied assemblage of Nordic treasures, vacations, getaways, and gifts. For more information and to register for this free online event, visit the event page.

Vesterheim “TVprat” – Atlantic Crossing (Monday, June 28, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT)

With a twist on Vesterheim’s monthly bokprat discussions of Scandinavian authors and Scandinavian life, join Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, for a “TVprat” discussion of the popular series Atlantic Crossing. Inspired by a true story of a friendship forged in wartime, Atlantic Crossing explores politics and ambition as Norway’s Crown Princess Martha flees to America for safety when her country is invaded by the Nazis, and is taken under the wing of the U.S. president, Franklin Roosevelt. Registrants should have viewed all eight episodes of Atlantic Crossing discussion before the meeting. Enrollment deadline: June 24.


Which June 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.

Virtual 17th of May Celebrations for Norway’s Constitution Day

Curious how you can celebrate Norway’s national day on Monday, May 17? With the pandemic still limiting how we can celebrate, organizations are hosting virtual events this year as well. Below you’ll find a sampling of virtual events from various locations around the U.S. with strong Norwegian ties as well as Norway’s own national broadcast. In this listing, all times have all been converted to Pacific Daylight Time for ease of planning.

On our national day, Norwegians celebrate the signing of their constitution which happened on May 17, 1814. However, Norway’s call for independence was not accepted and so it stayed in a union with Sweden and didn’t become independent until 1905.

It is known to be a day of children’s parades and marching bands, hot dogs and ice cream, speeches and songs, and bunads and flags. “The celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Day is a party like no other.”


11:50 p.m. (5/16) – 7:00 a.m. (5/17) Pacific Daylight Time — NRK’s Gratulerer med dagen!

This is a tough one for folk on the U.S. West Coast to watch live due to the time difference, but you’ll be able to watch a recording at your convenience. Produced by Norway’s national TV station, program hosts Nadia Hasnaoui og Christian Strand will be filming from Oslo’s Akershus festning (Akershus Castle) overlooking the Oslo Harbor. In addition to seeing how Norwegians all over Norway celebrate, you will also get a glimpse of how the royal family will commemorate the day. There will be food and entertainment segments as well. For details on the program, visit Slik blir 17. mai 2021 på NRK (in Norwegian).

7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. PDT — Norway Day: A Virtual Celebration from New York City & Washington DC

Norway Day is a collaboration between Sjømannskirken in New York and Norwegian groups and organizations in New York and Washington, D.C. At 7:00 a.m. PT, join the Raising of the Flag ceremony which includes a speech by the Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S., Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, and music from Rockville Brass Band. This is followed by a church service from the Norwegian Church in New York at 8:00 a.m. PT (service in Norwegian). Finally, at 1:00 p.m. PT enjoy a 17th of May concert with musicians from both Norway and USA.

9:00 a.m. PDT – 17. mai Celebration at Pacific Lutheran University/Scandinavian Cultural Center

Join PLU’s Scandinavian Cultural Center in Tacoma, WA, for the premiere of their 17. mai – Norwegian Constitution Day celebration.

10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT — Virtual Kids’ Craft: Collage a Norwegian Flag for Syttende Mai

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, and celebrate Syttende Mai with a Norwegian flag art project! Make a Norwegian collage flag. Cost: Free; RSVP required to receive the link.

10:00 a.m. PDT — Syttende Mai with Vesterheim

Join Vesterheim in Decorah, Iowa, for a free webinar as they celebrate Syttende Mai with friends from Norway and the United States! First Norwegian storyteller Anne Elisebeth Skogen will join the webinar from Ryfylkemuseet at Sand, Norway, to tell the story, Schoolgirl and My Very First May 17th Parade in 1962. Next, Decorah musicians Beth and Jon Rotto (playing fiddle and rhythm guitar, respectively) will offer Norwegian and Norwegian-American tunes from the Bethania Church in Vesterheim’s Heritage Park.
Register to receive the free Zoom link.

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT — Syttende Mai Celebration with Seattle

Join an online celebration from Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood. It will begin with a pre-program lineup of entertainment and fun from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Then a virtual program from The National Nordic Museum will feature remarks from Grand Marshal Mayor Marte Mjøs Persen from Seattle’s Sister City Bergen; Honorary Marshal Eric Nelson, CEO, National Nordic Museum; and Ambassador Anniken R. Krutnes, Royal Norwegian Embassy; and His Majesty King Harald V of Norway. It will also include memories from past Syttende Mai celebrations and Syttende Mai song sing-alongs.

5:00-6:00 p.m. PDT — Syttende Mai Celebration with Minnesota

Syttende Mai Minnesota will host an online event in honor of Norway’s Constitution Day. Connect with the Norwegian-American community and hear remarks from Her Excellency Ambassador Anniken Krutnes, Norway’s Ambassador to the United States. Afterwards, Ethan Bjelland from Norway House and Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language & Culture Program will lead us in singing a few celebratory songs! This event is complimentary and accessible to everyone. Register by May 16.

5:30 p.m. PDT — 17. mai feiring med Sjømannskirken i Los Angeles

Sjømannskirken in Los Angeles is hosting an in-person celebration with limited capacity. However, festivities will be live-streamed on their Facebook page for those who would like to follow along. The program includes speeches, music, song, Norwegian flags, and a raffle.


How will you be celebrating 17. mai this year?

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (April 2021)

Lately, it turns out I’ve been varying my reads by setting. In March, I visited South Korea, Norway, and the USA through my books. In April, I returned to the USA and also visited the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. I usually read and listen to more than one book at a time so different settings help keep the books’ characters and plots from blending. And with the pandemic still interrupting international travel, it’s a great way to escape to another world.

Where have you traveled lately in your reading?


🇺🇸 🎧 Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (Narrated by Jennifer Garner)

This is the book I wish I could have read back in 2017 when I made a pledge to understand our country’s political outcome. But Tightrope wasn’t published until January 2020. At first I wasn’t interested in this book because I thought it just focused on a small group of people in one small, rural area of the U.S., but it actually explores issues and personal stories all over the U.S. It’s an eye-opening book sharing at times shocking and disturbing scenarios about “the other America”. But intertwined are stories of hope about organizations and people making a difference and providing hope. A shoutout to my mother who read it and told me it was a must-read book, and many thanks to my book club for joining me in reading it.


🇬🇧 📖 I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

This was my very first Book of the Month pick back in 2016, and I finally read it now. Why did I wait? I really enjoyed it. I stayed up too late reading and was eager to return home from work so I could continue reading. The alternating perspectives and storylines were extremely engaging. The twists were very well done. It’s about Jenna whose life in Bristol, England, turns upside down after a tragic hit-and-run accident. She escapes to a small cottage along the coast in Wales, but she is haunted by the past which makes it difficult to move forward. At the same time, detectives back in England try to get to the bottom of the accident. I highly recommend this psychological thriller. I look forward to reading more by Clare Mackintosh, but don’t know where to continue so feel free to recommend!


🇳🇱 📖 Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok

This book intrigued me because it was an immigrant story with a twist. It was about a Chinese immigrant family in America, but the oldest daughter, Sylvie, had been raised in the Netherlands until she was nine years old and then reunited with her parents and younger sister in New York City. When the grandmother in the Netherlands is dying, Sylvie returns to the Netherlands only to disappear without a word. Her sister travels to try to find her. It alternated between the perspectives of the sister and the mother in the present and Sylvie a month before she disappeared. I really enjoyed the setting in the Netherlands and the slow unraveling of the family secrets as the story progressed. Unfortunately, I guessed the biggest secret before it was revealed but I still enjoyed the ride.


What have you been reading lately?

By the way, if you’re interested in snagging some Scandinavian ebooks at great discount, check out my Scandinavian Ebook Deals. Currently, there are several ebooks available for $0.99. Some offers stay around for a long time, others only a short period. If anything looks intriguing, grab it before it’s gone.

Disclaimer: AVikingInLA is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Virtual Nordic Events for May 2021: Norway’s National Day, Syttende Mai 🇳🇴

It was a year ago this month that virtual events started making an impression on me. Norway’s national day was coming up on May 17 with nowhere to celebrate. However, I soon discovered virtual events were being hosted by various organizations which allowed me to celebrate in a new way. I published my How to Celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day, May 17, during Coronavirus Times with a list of virtual events and activity ideas. My favorite event was Norway’s own day-long virtual celebration where they shared footage of traditions and Norwegians all over Norway celebrating interspersed with food, music, and interview segments.

Little did I know there would be virtual events for the 17th of May in 2021 as well, though maybe not as many since this year there is some reopening and 17th of May falls on a Monday instead of a Sunday. Scroll down for a listing of current virtual Syttende mai events. More will added as I learn of them. Once again, Norway’s national television station will be broadcasting a day-long program of festivities from all over Norway. On Monday, May 17, starting at 7:50 a.m. Central European Time, you can watch along. In the meantime, watch highlights from last year’s broadcast here.

In case you missed the news, Denmark’s Another Round directed by Thomas Vinterberg won the Oscar for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday, April 26. It’s a comedy about four high school teachers who consume alcohol on a daily basis to see how it affects their social and professional lives. Interestingly, English language remake rights have been sold and the remake may star Leonardo DiCaprio. If you haven’t seen it, you can rent, buy, or stream through Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Hulu, and other services.

What events interest you?


New Nordic Cinema Week 10: Diana’s Wedding (Norway) (Friday, April 30 – Thursday, May 6)

The tenth session of the New Nordic Cinema series features the film Diana’s Wedding (Norway, 2020; dir. Charlotte Blom). On July 29, 1981, Lady Diana Spencer is marrying Prince Charles in the majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. And on that same day, another celebration is taking place in the canteen of a Norwegian small-town factory: the wedding party of Liv and Terje, attended by their newborn daughter Diana. While less glamorous than those of the royal counterpart, the wedding and its following years are indisputably more fun — for all but the young Diana, who sees it as a rollercoaster filled with chaos, inflicted by the worst parents in the world.

The Fairytale World of Elsa Beskow (Premieres Saturday, May 1, 11:00 a.m. ET)

On Walpurgis Day on May 1, join Scandinavia House in New York, NY,  to welcome in the spring with a special celebration of the iconic Swedish author Elsa Beskow! Special guest Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz (Scandinavian American Theater Company) will introduce Beskow’s world of beautiful illustrations and children’s literature, which Swedish children have grown up with for over 100 years, and have since made the author known internationally as the “Beatrix Potter” of Sweden. Ingrid Kullberg-Bendz will introduce her work with examples of illustrations, followed by a virtual art workshop based on Beskow’s literature. The video will premiere at 11:00 a.m. ET on May 1 and be available through Saturday, May 8.

Virtual Book Talk: Meet the Author w/Patrik Svensson (Sunday, May 2, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, on May 2 for a virtual book talk with Swedish author Patrik Svensson to discuss his book The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World. “Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal.” Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma moderates the talk and the session includes an opportunity to ask questions.

Thursday Night Soup: Fish Chowder with Patrice Johnson (Thursday, May 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT)

Join celebrated Nordic cookbook author and food historian Patrice Johnson (AKA the Nordic Food Geek) to make a traditional Nordic-style fish chowder. Fish is an important part of many food traditions around the world and particularly in Scandinavia with its abundance of lakes, rivers, and seacoast. To accompany the course, we will make a loaf of simple rye bread. Patrice will also discuss the differences in fish soup across the region. This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along and Vesterheim invites exchange between the instructor and students in order to build community around food traditions. Enrollment Deadline: April 29.

New Nordic Cinema Week 11: Run Uje Run (Sweden) (Friday, May 7 – Thursday, May 13)

The 11th session of the New Nordic Cinema series features the film Run Uje Run (Sweden, 2020; dir. Henrik Schyffert). The autobiographical story of Uje Brandelius, a family father, radio host and keyboard player in his pop band Doktor Kosmos, Run Uje Run stars Uje and his family in their initially harmonious and ordinary suburban life outside Stockholm: where family dinners, homework, negotiation on drop-offs to the kindergarten, and his daughter’s chess and fencing training are their main concerns. But Uje finds himself faced with a life-changing crisis upon learning that he has Parkinson’s disease — which he at first keeps as a secret, while also reflecting on many of the the big questions in life.

Virtual Nordic Table Workshop: Bake Your Own Kardemummabullar with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Friday, May 7, 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CT)

This class is sold out, but you may be added to the waitlist. New to baking and want to make a batch of cardamom buns start-to-finish with a (virtual) helper right in your kitchen? Join Erin for this three-part class (10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1-2 p.m. & 3-4 p.m. with breaks for the dough to rise) to make these Swedish classics at home. This is a participatory class and spots are intentionally limited to allow interaction between students and the instructor.

Growing Up in Iceland (Friday, May 7, 7:30-8:30 p.m.)

Join Nordic Northwest virtually and listen to Dr. Líney Árnadóttir share about her lived experience growing up in Iceland. Dr. Líney Árnadóttir is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. Líney was born in the late seventies and grew up in Reykjavik. Like many children her age she spent summers on a farm in the south of Iceland with her grandparents. Líney got her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Iceland after which Líney moved to Seattle for graduate school and has lived in the Pacifc Northwest since. Líney visits Iceland often to see family, hike and go horseback riding with her father. This is offered as both an online streaming event and in-person program.

Tradition for Inspiration – A Contemporary Interpretation of Traditional Folk Art with Artist Siri Bergløff Berrefjord (Saturday, May 8, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and celebrated artist Siri Bergløff Berrefjord, author and mother of the artform bunadsplast, as she and Vesterheim Collections Manager Jennifer Kovarik discuss her journey of examining and questioning the traditions of Norwegian jewelry and textiles and reimagining them for the modern world. Norwegian cultural heritage has been defined by centuries of tradition and is made visible in the crafting and wearing of bunader and søljer. Today, there is growing interest in applying modern materials and techniques to traditional artforms, combining both the past and the present into new and innovative jewelry and clothing. Enrollment deadline: May 6. Program is free but you must register.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: How to Make Kardemummabullar with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Saturday, May 8, 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT)

Swedish cinnamon rolls get a lot of press, but even more unique are their cousin – the kardemummabulle, or cardamom roll. These sweet yeasted rolls are flavored exclusively with Sweden’s favorite spice, with the cardamom acting as the main event in the dough, the filling and the glittery sugar topping! 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. The recipe packet will be available for download one week in advance and a recording will be shared after class, offering the ability to re-watch as needed.

Virtual Lecture: Among Forests and Lakes Curators’ Talk (Saturday, May 8, 2:00-3:00 p.m. PST)

Join Anu Utriainen, Senior Researcher, and Hanne Selkokari, Curator, from the Ateneum Art Museum, the Finnish National Gallery in Helsinki, for an in-depth look at National Nordic Museum’s new exhibit, Among Forests and Lakes: Landscape Masterpieces from the Finnish National Gallery. Selected scenes cover more than 150 years and 800 miles, with artworks capturing the splendor and grandeur of Finland from the coast and archipelago in the south to Sápmi and the Arctic Ocean in the north.

Online Nordic Book Club: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (Tuesday, May 11, 6:00 p.m. ET)

The Nordic Book Club at Scandinavia House in New York, NY, selects novels from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On May 11, they’ll be discussing Fredrik Backman’s new book Anxious People.

Sámi-Inspired Sparkle Hoop Earrings (Wednesday, May 12, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and Liz Bucheit to explore a new “twist” on a traditional craft! Using pewter wire thread and a macramé style weave, students will create a pair of hoop earrings with a silver drop and sterling silver French hook ear wires. Finished hoops are approximately 1 inch in diameter and display a soft shimmery sparkle in sunlight and candle light. No previous experience is necessary, but a willingness to use hand tools is required. Kits come with all supplies needed (an $80 value!) with the exception of pliers. This class is also offered on Friday, May 14.

Travel Seminar – Spectacular Mountains, Waterfalls, and Fjords of Norway (Wednesday, May 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. CT)

Join Magne Hatlevik of Mindekirken Norwegian Language & Culture Program in Minneapolis, MN, for a tour across beautiful landscape as you visit some of Norway’s most important national symbols featured in Eidvoll, Hamar, Lillehammer, Åndalsnes, and Trollstigen. We will also travel through Western Norway’s rugged terrain winding our way from Sunnmøre all the way back to Oslo.

Virtual Poetry Reading and Discussion: Outgoing Vessel and Sense Violence (Thursday, May 13, 2:00 p.m. ET)

On May 13, see a virtual poetry reading and discussion with Nordic poets and translators Helena Boberg, Johannes Göransson, Katrine Øgaard Jensen, and Ursula Andkjær Olsen, moderated by Paul Cunningham (The House of the Tree of Sores). Helena Boberg and Johannes Göransson will present readings of works from Boberg’s new book Sense Violence, now out in English translation by Göransson from Black Ocean, and Ursula Andkjær Olsen and Katrine Øgaard Jensen will present readings from Olsen’s new book Outgoing Vessel, now out in English translation by Jensen from Action Books. Following the readings, they will discuss new topics in Nordic poetry and translation.

Rick Steves – Travel to the Nordic Countries (Thursday, May 13, 7:00-8:15 p.m. PT)

Join Nordic Northwest for lively evening with Rick Steves, widely considered America’s most respected authority on travel to Europe. Steves will highlight travel to the Nordic countries with special sites to visit, travel tips and how to have a fun, affordable and culturally broadening experience. We will also learn from Steves how to discover the Nordic countries through the backdoor. This event will include an extensive Q & A period where you can ask Steves your burning questions.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: Viking Archaeology in Saga Iceland (Friday, May 14, 7:30 p.m. PT)

The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA, is hosting a monthly series of Second Friday Nordic Spirit Classics, a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia. This month join them for Viking Archaeology in Saga Iceland, a fascinating illustrated talk by Professor Jesse Byock, UCLA. Participation is free. Register here to receive link.

Norwegian Strawberry Cream Cake for Syttende Mai with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, May 15, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT)

This class is sold out, but you can join the waitlist. Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen to make a show-stopping Norwegian celebration cake filled with roasted strawberries and pastry cream and topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Perfect for Syttende Mai or any summer occasion! This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along and they invite exchange between the instructor and students in order to build community around food traditions.


🇳🇴 17th of May Celebrations 🇳🇴

NRK’s Gratulerer med dagen! (Monday, May 17, 7:50 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Central European Time)

Program hosts Nadia Hasnaoui og Christian Strand will be filming from Akershus festning overlooking the Oslo Harbor. In addition to seeing how Norwegians all over Norway celebrate, you will also get a glimpse of how the royal family celebrates. For details on the program, visit Slik blir 17. mai 2021 på NRK.

Norway Day: A Virtual Celebration from New York City & Washington DC (Monday, May 17, 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. ET)

Norway Day is a collaboration between Sjømannskirken in New York and Norwegian groups and organizations in New York and Washington, D.C. At 10:00 a.m. ET, join the Raising of the Flag ceremony with a speech by the Norwegian Ambassador to the US, Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, and music from Rockville Brass Band. This is followed by a church service from the Norwegian Church in New York at 11:00 a.m. ET (service in Norwegian). Finally, at 4:00 p.m. enjoy a 17th of May concert with musicians from both Norway and USA.

Virtual Kids’ Craft: Collage a Norwegian Flag for Syttende Mai (Monday, May 17, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, and celebrate Syttende Mai with a Norwegian flag art project! Make a Norwegian collage flag. Cost: Free; RSVP required to receive the link.

Syttende Mai with Vesterheim (Monday, May 17, 12:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim in Decorah, Iowa, for a free webinar as they celebrate Syttende Mai with friends from Norway and the United States! First Norwegian storyteller Anne Elisebeth Skogen will join the webinar from Ryfylkemuseet at Sand, Norway, to tell the story, Schoolgirl and My Very First May 17th Parade in 1962. Anne Elisebeth grew up in the little town of Egersund, Norway, south of Stavanger. With an education in drama and storytelling, Anne Elisebeth runs her own storytelling business, telling stories for schools, organizations, festivals, and companies. Next, Decorah musicians Beth and Jon Rotto (playing fiddle and rhythm guitar, respectively) will offer Norwegian and Norwegian-American tunes from the Bethania Church in Vesterheim’s Heritage Park.

Syttende Mai Celebration with Seattle (Monday, May 17, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PT)

Join an online gala celebration from Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood. It will begin with a pre-program lineup of entertainment and fun from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Then a virtual program from The National Nordic Museum will feature remarks from Grand Marshal Mayor Marte Mjøs Persen from Seattle’s Sister City Bergen; Honorary Marshal Eric Nelson, CEO, National Nordic Museum; and Ambassador Anniken R. Krutnes, Royal Norwegian Embassy; and His Majesty King Harald V of Norway. It will also include memories from past Syttende Mai celebrations and Syttende Mai song sing-alongs.

Syttende Mai Celebration with Minnesota (Monday, May 17, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT)

Syttende Mai Minnesota will host an online event in honor of Norway’s Constitution Day. Connect with the Norwegian-American community and hear remarks from Her Excellency Ambassador Anniken Krutnes, Norway’s Ambassador to the United States. Afterwards, Ethan Bjelland from Norway House and Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language & Culture Program will lead us in singing a few celebratory songs! This event is complimentary and accessible to everyone. Please register by May 16.


Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Group): The Snowman (Wednesday, May 19, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT)

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 for a conversation about one of Jo Nesbø’s most famous novels, The Snowman, part of the Harry Hole detective series. Harry investigates the disappearance of a young boy’s mother when he comes to discover that women have disappeared on the day of the first snow for the past several years. Enrollment deadline: May 17.

Vesterheim June Family Book Adventure (Register by May 20)

Join Vesterheim for this family-fun reading and outdoor adventure! A kit delivered right to your home contains supplies for book-reading, a fun craft, a snack, and a scavenger-hunt-type adventure. In the spirit of the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, the scavenger-hunt-type activity will get you up and moving in the great outdoors. For June, you will follow Norwegian author Håkon Øvreås through his fun and moving book, Brown, the first book in the award-winning My Alter Ego Is a Superhero series from Norway. Enrollment deadline: May 20.

Handcraft at Home with Vesterheim: Try Kroting! (Register by May 20)

Kids and parents, learn a simple technique to personalize anything made out of wood! Kroting is a type of decoration that began long ago on the western coast of Norway. The oldest examples are often geometric, but the tradition later evolved to include tulips and vines. In this at-home experience, you’ll be encouraged to be creative and make pictures and designs that are entirely your own! The price of the class includes a special folk-art class kit designed for two participants to explore kroting. Kit includes all of the specialized folk-art materials needed, some images as inspiration from the Vesterheim Collection, and a treat. Enrollment Deadline: May 20.

Norwegian Language + Genealogy with Michael Knudson (Thursday, May 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m.)

Language is a powerful tool that not only allows us to communicate thoughts and events, but that inherently transmits the context and world within which each letter, document, or record was produced. Michael Knudson, Ph.D. candidate in Scandinavian Studies–Philology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will walk through the history of Norwegian from the earliest times to the present day and look at ways we as researchers can more fully make sense of the records we read. The session will conclude with an opportunity to ask questions to get guidance on your own genealogy research.

Virtual Folk School Class: Skolt Sámi Mittens with Laura Ricketts (Saturday, May 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST)

Join this two-part class (also May 29) to knit a pair of Skolt Sámi mittens based on a pair held in the The National Museum of Finland. While Skolt Sámi knitting is normally in white or grey base yarn with red and blue accents, this mitten was knitted in grey, red, yellow, and green. The green shows the influence of the neighboring Inari Sámi peoples, who regularly use green in their traditional garments. The yellow most likely indicates the original mitten was used by a woman. Lastly, the original yarn was spindle spun. This class requires students to provide their own materials.

Nordiska Book Club: For the Love of Cod: A Father and Son’s Search for Norwegian Happiness (Thursday, May 27, 6:00 p.m. PST)

Join Nordiska as they discuss For the Love of Cod by Eric Dregni, a comic travelogue that focuses on the intergenerational relationship between Dregni and his son, Eilif, as they explore the concept of Norwegian happiness asking why this Nordic country consistently rates at the top of the World Happiness Report and how it translates into other contexts. Not only is Norway’s Constitution Day the 17th of May, but also Dregni and his son travel to Norway during the month of May in order to experience the festivals and the beginnings of the midnight sun. Therefore, this Nordic travelogue represents a perfect pick for this month’s book club as it should lend itself well to a discussion on contemporary Norway and the Nordic America connection.

Virtual Nordic Talks: Fine Dining for All: How Chefs Fed Communities during COVID-19 (Saturday, May 29, 12:00-3:00 p.m. PST)

The National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA,  will host a series of Nordic Talks, sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers, focused on the theme of food security and sustainability. The first of the Nordic Talks series, this panel will explore how fine dining pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving households that are food insecure or adopting new business models. COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, curfews, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders exacted a heavy toll on fine dining restaurants. However, creative chefs and resilient restauranteurs responded swiftly with innovative solutions to continue serving the public. Among the panelists are Danish Chef Rasmus Munch from The Alchemist in Copenhagen and Finnish Chef Sasu Laukkonen from Ora Restaurant in Helsinki. Cost: Free; RSVP to receive the link.


Ongoing Events

PBS Masterpiece: Atlantic Crossing (Premiered April 4)

The Norwegian eight-part drama series Atlantic Crossing came to PBS Masterpiece on April 4. A princess steals the heart of the president of the United States in an epic drama based on the World War II relationship of Franklin Roosevelt and Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Sex and the City) stars as Roosevelt, opposite Swedish star Sofia Helin (The Bridge) as the beautiful Martha, who flees the Nazis with her three young children and lives under Roosevelt’s protection.

Digital Exhibition: Conversations with a Shipwreck (Through June 5)

On March 4, Scandinavia House Online introduced the interactive digital exhibition Conversations with a Shipwreck, a haunting, multimedia meditation on the Swedish warship Vasa, created in word and image by ASF Fellows Joan Wickersham and Adam Davies. Through presentations of poems and large-format photographs, with short durational video and audio, this digital art and literary exhibition responds to the legendary warship — which sank only minutes into her maiden voyage — exploring themes of memory and oblivion, technological triumph and fiasco, permanence and impermanence, mortality and time.


Which May 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.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (March 2021) & Latest #ScandiReadingChallenge Reads

March was quite the mixed bag in regards to the setting and genre of my books which made for a great month of very interesting and engaging reading. I also made good progress on my 2021 Scandinavian Reading Challenge checking off two more prompts. What have you been reading lately?


The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
(Narrated by Jennifer Lim)

I love novels that teach me about a real time and place that I know little or nothing about. This book did exactly that, and it had strong female characters to boot. The story takes place on the South Korean island of Jeju starting in the late 1930s. Women were the main providers for their families by diving and harvesting from the sea, while men watched the children and cooked. It follows the close friendship of two women from very different backgrounds as they begin their diving careers. Readers follow their struggles and their resolve during the Japanese colonization of the island, World War II, Korean War, and into modern times. It provides fascinating insight into a unique culture where women are in charge. The language was also beautiful. It was almost like reading a foreign book but yet it was in English. I listened to the book which was a wonderful experience because it helped with Korean names and words which were used often. I highly recommend this, but don’t expect a light and easy read. It’s a moving story, at times heartbreaking, about women during very challenging times.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This young adult book has been on my TBR list since it was published in 2017. I didn’t want to see the movie because the book is always better. It was worth the wait and didn’t disappoint. Sadly, the book’s topic is still very relevant today. What I thought most interesting about the story was how the main character, Starr, navigated her two identities, her Black self from the poor, gangridden neighborhood where she lived with her family and her private school self in a nice neighborhood away from home. She was careful to watch her language and behavior both places so she wouldn’t stand out. That became hard when she was witness to a police shooting of a childhood friend from her home neighborhood which became headline news. This is a powerful story that inspires empathy and compassion without being preachy.


The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

It was the setting of this historical fiction novel that piqued my interest: early 1600s on an island in the extreme northeastern part of Norway. You can practically not get any further north or east in the country. And the story is based on true events that were unfamiliar to me, a storm in 1617 that killed the men of a village and the 1621 witch trials in the same area. It’s a story about women’s resilience and ability to fend for themselves and strong female bonds in the aftermath of the storm and at the arrival of a man sent to set these women straight and rid the community of witchcraft. The setting was intriguing and I love a story with strong female characters.

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2021: A book originally written in a language other than Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish that takes place in Scandinavia


Jeg vet hvor du bor by Unni Lindell (In Norwegian)

I read this book as part of a virtual Norwegian language and literature class with Mindekirken in Minneapolis, MN. They had already read the first third in the fall, and I joined them for the second third this winter. The return to work and the gradual restarting of sports and school for my boys made it hard for me to continue with the class this spring, so I finished reading it on my own. It is hard to read a crime novel over many months! You forget what turns out to be important details. I really enjoyed being able to read the last third on my own in a matter of days. I didn’t always like the decisions the main investigator made, but overall, the story and plotting were very engaging. It took place in Oslo which is always a bonus for me. Book #2 in the series, Dronen (in Norwegian), is on my TBR list.

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2021: A buddy read or group read (in real life or virtually) of a Nordic book


What have you been reading lately?

By the way, if you’re interested in snagging some Scandinavian ebooks at great discount, check out my Scandinavian Ebook Deals. Some offers stay around for a long time, others only a short period. If anything looks intriguing, grab it before it’s gone.

Disclaimer: AVikingInLA is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Virtual Nordic Events for April 2021

Happy Spring! And God påske (Happy Easter) to those celebrating. April offers a new slate of virtual Nordic events to attend. Food including full spring meals, books, film, handcrafts, dance, history, and culture… whatever your interests, there are many options. Mark your calendars now so the opportunities don’t pass you by.

In Norway, Easter is synonymous with crime fiction. It even has its own name, påskekrim (Easter crime). You can read more about this unique Easter tradition here (Life in Norway). Amazon currently has many great Scandinavian crime fiction books on sale for 99 cents as well as other good books in translation. Take a look at my Scandinavian Ebook Deals if you’re interested in adding to your kindle library or need something new to read this Easter weekend.

What events interest you?


Nordic Easter — Virtual Crafts and Celebration (Friday, April 1 – Monday, April 5)

Join the Children’s Center at Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for an Easter-themed workshop exploring unique traditions and children’s crafts from different Nordic regions! Easter in the Nordic countries is all about welcoming the long-awaited spring after the dark and cold winter months, and Nordic families head out to the countryside to enjoy the long weekend together. All Nordic people love their chocolate eggs, but children’s Easter traditions differ in each country.

PBS Masterpiece: Atlantic Crossing (Premiering April 4)

The new Norwegian eight-part drama series Atlantic Crossing is coming to PBS Masterpiece on April 4. A princess steals the heart of the president of the United States in an epic drama based on the World War II relationship of Franklin Roosevelt and Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Sex and the City) stars as Roosevelt, opposite Swedish star Sofia Helin (The Bridge) as the beautiful Martha, who flees the Nazis with her three young children and lives under Roosevelt’s protection.

Norwegian Dancing Alone Together (Monday, April 5, 10:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. CT)

This is the first of three connected dance classes offered by Carol Sersland and Kari Tauring of Norway House in Minneapolis, MN. It has been a tough year for dancing and they want to give participants of all ages and abilities a chance to move to a tune called Tussen i Buchmannhaugen, or The Land Spirit in Buchmann’s Hill. This tune is a gangar from Telemark, Norway, and played on the hardingfele, or the hardanger fiddle. The second (April 12) and third (April 19) classes build upon the first one.

Skolt Sámi-Inspired Hat with Laura Ricketts (Tuesdays, April 6 & 13, 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT)

The Skolt Sámi people’s homeland is where the modern countries of Norway, Russia, and Finland meet – in the Petsamo (or Pechanga) region. This hat is inspired by several of the Skolt Sámi knitted motifs observed at the Sámi Museum Siida in Inari, Finland; the Ä’vv Skolt Sámi Museum in Neiden, Norway; and the Skolt Sámi Heritage House in Sevettijärvi-Näätämö, Finland. This class includes a kit shipped to your home with three colors of Cascade 220 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, the printed pattern, and a special treat from Vesterheim. This class is two Zoom sessions on April 6 & 13 (6-7:30 p.m. CT).

Breaking Boundaries: A Conversation with Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité and Marcus Samuelsson (Thursday, April 8, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST)

Hip-hop artist Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité and chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson host the podcast “This Moment” that examines current events through the lenses of their respective current countries (Sweden and USA) and their deep roots in both places, with the thoughtfulness of two of the world’s most respected creative artists in their fields. Together, along with their vast network of compelling global guests, they are able to uniquely capture This Moment for us all. Join the four major Swedish-American Museums for a webinar that explores the road towards the creation of the podcast and a look at how the Swedish-American community can find its way forward in this global movement.

New Nordic Cinema Week 8: Aalto (Finland) and Fred Jüssi: The Beauty of Being (Estonia) (Friday, April 9 – Thursday, April 15)

The eighth session of Scandinavia House’s series, New Nordic Cinema, features the film Aalto (dir. Virpi Suutari; 2020, Finland), a documentary and love story of Finnish modern architecture/design masters Alvar and Aino Aalto; and the film Fred Jüssi: The Beauty of Being/Fred Jüssi. Olemise ilu (dir. Jaan Tootsen; 2020, Estonia), a documentary about the Estonian biologist, nature writer, and photographer Fred Jüssi. The films are available as a special double-feature package.

The Sámi People of Norway (Friday, April 9, 7:00 p.m. CT)

Vesterheim is giving an online presentation for the Scandinavian Club of Albuquerque. Former Trustee, Kate Martinson, will speak about the indigenous people of the North and the interesting story of their history and current ways of life. The Sámi people have long lived across Norway and as far as Western Russia. Their unique experiences include aspects of religious transition, stewardship of land and mineral wealth, survival after near devastation during WWII, and the development of a separate Sámi Parliament in Norway. They continue to herd reindeer, protect a unique language, and share their culture and customs. Learning about the Sámi people opens a new aspect of Norway and its history.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: The Icelandic Sagas (Friday, April 9, 7:30 p.m. PT)

The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA, is hosting a monthly series of Second Friday Nordic Spirit Classics, a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia. This month they present a video presentation by Professor Merrill Kaplan about the Icelandic Sagas. Participation is free. Click here to register for the presentation. After you have done so, a screen will appear giving you the link. The link will also be sent to the email with which you register.

Scandinavian Crispbread Baking Workshop (Saturday, April 10, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PST)

Ever wondered how that extraordinary Scandinavian crispbread is made? Join native Dane Leda Jessen of Scandinavian School in San Francisco for a traditional baking event and get the chance to learn the secrets to how the bread gets its crisp! You will be sent a list of the ingredients needed and a Zoom link at least 48 hours prior to the event.

Virtual Book Talk — My Friend Natalia (Saturday, April 10, 1:00 p.m. ET)

On April 10, join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for a book talk with Finnish author Laura Lindstedt and translator David Hackston to discuss My Friend Natalia, the author’s U.S. debut, available from Liveright Publishing on March 23, 2021. My Friend Natalia is a linguistic sexual thriller centered on one woman’s potent affliction: Natalia cannot stop thinking about sex. The unnamed, ungendered therapist who narrates the novel has leapt at the chance to employ their most experimental methods.

New Nordic Springtime Supper (Saturday, April 10, 5:00-6:30 p.m. CT)

Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen to make an easy roasted salmon supper with a zesty, fresh relish featuring cucumbers, radishes, scallions, and prepared horseradish. For a second course, you will make a versatile and delicious warm pearl barley salad with mustard, lemon juice, and fresh garden herbs. And then top it off with a simple free-form tart with rye crust and a delicious strawberry rhubarb filling. This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along and invites exchanges between the instructor and students in order to build community around food traditions.

Collection Connection: Bridal Crowns and Wedding Traditions (Monday, April 12, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT)

Collection Connections is a series of Vesterheim-hosted conversations featuring beloved folk-art school instructors. Summer is wedding season in both Norway and America. Whether you are a practicing jewelry artist, an inspired folk artist, or planning a wedding of your own, join master jeweler Liz Bucheit as she highlights bridal crowns and other wedding objects from the Vesterheim collection.

Online Nordic Book Club: Youth & Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (Tuesday, April 13, 6:00 p.m. ET)

The Nordic Book Club at Scandinavia House in New York, NY, selects novels from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On April 13, they’ll be discussing the books Youth and Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen, volumes 2 and 3 in The Copenhagen Trilogy, which has been recently re-released in translation by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman. This session follows their Online Nordic Book Club of Childhood on March 16. The trilogy was the subject of a recent panel discussion with Michael Favala Goldman, Morten Høi Jensen, Rachel Kushner, and Ben Lerner, available to stream here.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Baking Tunnbröd (Flatbread) (Thursday, April 15, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

Swedish flatbreads come in all shapes and sizes: thicker, thinner, harder, softer, grainy or full of spices. In this class, instructor/ASI staff member Erin Swenson-Klatt will demonstrate a few thin, soft flat breads – think of them as the tortillas of Sweden! The recipe packet will be provided via email one day before class with log in information. This class is recorded and shared afterwards with registrants; interested students who cannot tune in live for the weekday class may still register and watch later.

Virtual Cinema — The County (Iceland) (Thursday, April 15 – Sunday, April 18)

See a virtual screening of the film The County / Héraðið directed by Grímur Hákonarson (Iceland, 2019). Set in a small Icelandic farming community, The County tells the story of Inga, a middle-aged dairy farmer, who rebels against the monopolistic practices of the Erpsfjörður, a powerful local farming cooperative. Screenings are co-presented by Scandinavia House with National Nordic Museum and Scandinavian Film Festival of Los Angeles. It is available to audiences throughout the US (92 minutes, in Icelandic with English subtitles).

May Family Norwegian Language Adventure: Norges historie (History of Norway) (Deadline to sign up: April 16)

Join Eddy of Vesterheim this May for some family fun and learn some Norwegian language and history 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 Syttende mai themed craft, and a yummy treat. The adventure starts on May 1 and the vocabulary and phrases will focus on Norges historie, Norway’s history, during this special month of Norway’s Constitution Day, Syttende mai (on May 17). Enrollment deadline is April 16.

Virtual Book Talk: Meet the Author w/ Ruth Lillegraven (April 17, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, on April 17 for a virtual book talk with Norwegian author Ruth Lillegraven to discuss her book Everything Is Mine. The talk is in conversation with Dr. Elizabeth De Noma. Family secrets, revenge, and righteous fury collide in an international bestselling novel of psychological suspense and intrigue.

Nordiska’s Book Club: An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (Thursday, April 22, 6:00 p.m. PST)

To broaden readers’ Nordic reading repertoire and to engage with fellow bookworms, Nordiska, a Nordic gifts and goods store in Poulsbo, WA, has created Nordiska Book Club. In recognition of Norway’s fascination with mystery and crime during Easter, they have selected a lighthearted Nordic mystery novel, An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good written by Helene Tursten and translated into English by Marlaine Delargy. For more information and to register, click here.

Painting Bryggen with Jana Peterson (Thursdays, April 22 & April 29, 5:30-7:00 p.m. CT)

Jana Peterson joins Norway House in Minneapolis, MN, to offer a two-part online painting class. Participants will learn how to make their own “Bryggen” masterpiece over the course of two 1.5-hour sessions. Jana will take you through the steps to create the pictured work of art. Each session will have an opportunity for questions to be asked and answered live. You’ll need a set of supplies to participate and they have options: purchase one of their Curated Kits with your registration if you sign up by April 8 or use the materials list to compile your own supplies.

Scandinavian Fest: Virtual Spring Market (Friday & Saturday, April 23 & 24)

Scandinavian Fest brings Nordic shops and businesses together from around the globe in one online location during the absence of in-person festivals. The event will include 55+ Nordic vendors, giveaways, new products and more. To participate, visit the event’s Facebook page and mark that you are “Interested” or “Going” and keep an eye on the “Discussion” tab as soon as the event starts to join in the action.

New Nordic Cinema Week 9: Games People Play (Finland) (Friday, April 23 — Thursday, April 29)

The ninth session of the series features the film Games People Play / Seurapeli (Finland, 2020; dir. Jenni Toivoniemi). A comedy about the tragedy of remaining forever young, Games People Play takes place over the course of a nostalgic weekend, when an old group of friends gathers to celebrate Mitzi’s birthday at an idyllic seaside villa — just as they did as teenagers. But the party gets off to a bad start when it turns out that the birthday girl isn’t so happy about the surprise; and with the addition of a new boyfriend in the group, who happens to be a Swedish Hollywood star.

A Modern Syttende Mai: An Intimate Cook-Along Class with Nevada Berg of North Wild Kitchen (Saturday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT)

Join celebrated food writer and author Nevada Berg from North Wild Kitchen in making a traditional 17 May meal with a few modern twists. Whether in Norway or abroad, Norway’s Constitution Day is a celebration full of lively parades and gatherings with elaborate tables of delicious spreads and outdoor grills on the ready. In this class, you’ll make the toppings from Nevada’s cookbook for two of her Nordic-inspired hot dogs – The Summer Dog and The Viking. She’ll show you how to prepare homemade strawberry ketchup and two variations of aioli. For the side, you’ll prepare a spring potato salad bursting with radishes and cucumbers. To round off the meal, you’ll make traditional potato tarts with fresh berries and whipped cream. Enrollment Deadline: April 3, 2021. This class is also offered on Sunday, April 25.

Virtual Nordic Handcraft Workshop: Posament Bracelets with Liz Bucheit (Saturday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. CT)

Learn how to make elegant posament bracelets, which have been found in Viking burial sites, by braiding pewter thread and sewing it to a soft leather strip. “Posament” refers to knotting and braiding wire into ornaments used to decorate textiles. Students will practice creating either a “Josephine” or triangular series of braided knots on nylon cord before class, then join jewelry instructor Liz Bucheit over Zoom to construct a length of knots with coiled pewter thread and sew the finished braid to a softened leather strip to fashion a bracelet. A pewter button provides the finishing touch. Kits are included in the class fee.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Group): The Almost Nearly Perfect People (Sunday, April 25, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT)

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 for a conversation about The Almost Nearly Perfect People by author Michael Booth. An American living in Denmark, Booth explores the perception in Western media of the Nordic region as a utopic place. Through his engaging anecdotes of personal experiences and research on the social welfare state, he presents some of the realities – as he sees them – of the Nordic region today. Enrollment deadline: April 23.

Indigenous Activism in the Nordic Countries (Wednesday, April 28, 1:00 p.m. PST)

Join American Scandinavian Foundation for a virtual round-table discussion on Indigenous activism in the Nordic countries, with Sámi artist Sofia Jannok, Inuk anthropologist and Indigenous rights activist Qivioq Nivi Løvstrøm, and Sámi activist Beaska Niillas, moderated by Iñupiaq Inuit wildlife and conservation biologist Victoria Qutuuq Buschman. In their discussion, the panelists will look at what comprises activism in the Nordic countries and the issues being addressed. They will also look at common misconceptions about Indigenous peoples and their rights, how Indigenous activists today are engaging with climate change, and how others can best support activism in the Arctic countries.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: A Valborg Fest with Patrice Johnson (Wednesday, April 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT)

Get ready to grill for Valborg, Sweden’s holiday to welcome back spring! Whether we can gather with friends outside or not this year, Valborgmässoafton on April 30 has always been an opportunity for Swedes to look ahead to warmer and longer days ahead with a big bonfire and music. Patrice will demonstrate an appropriately spring-y menu that could even inspire a Minnesotan to break out their grill in April, or at least give some great ideas for dinners into May and beyond. This class is designed as a demonstration, so students can see several recipes and prepare them later.

Webinar with Norwegian State Secretary on the COVID-19 Response (Thursday, April 29, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT)

The Norwegian Consulate will kick off their 2021 speaker series with a virtual presentation by Anne Grethe Erlandsen, State Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Care Services in Norway (equivalent to Deputy Minister of Health). She will speak about Norway’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This free event will be hosted on Zoom.

New Nordic Cinema Week 10: Diana’s Wedding (Norway) (Friday, April 30 – Thursday, May 6)

The tenth session of the series features the film Diana’s Wedding (Norway, 2020; dir. Charlotte Blom). On July 29, 1981, Lady Diana Spencer is marrying Prince Charles in the majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. And on that same day, another celebration is taking place in the canteen of a Norwegian small-town factory: the wedding party of Liv and Terje, attended by their newborn daughter Diana. While less glamorous than those of the royal counterpart, the wedding and its following years are indisputably more fun — for all but the young Diana, who sees it as a rollercoaster filled with chaos, inflicted by the worst parents in the world.


Which April 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.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (February 2021)

This was a niche reading month for me! All the books were in translation from Scandinavia. They did at least represent a variety of sub-genres — refugee and immigration fiction, folktales and legends, and crime fiction. And very fulfilling for me was that I finally checked off the last prompt for my 2020 Scandinavian Reading Challenge. Now I can focus fully on the 2021 Scandinavian Reading Challenge and other reads.

What have you been reading lately?


Skyggedanseren (The Shadow Dancer) by Sara Omar
(Translated to the Norwegian from the Danish by Inge Ulrik Gundersen)

This is the follow-up to a book I read a year ago, Dødevaskeren (The Dead Washer). This duology is about Frmesk, a Kurdish woman who immigrates to Denmark at a young age, and the abuse and struggles she had to endure as a female in a Muslim community, both in Kurdistan and Denmark. The structure of the two books combined was very unique and interesting. Book #1 alternated between Frmesk’s life as a young child in her grandparents’ household in Kurdistan and her life in Denmark 30 years later when she was alone in a hospital bed for unidentified reasons. Book #2 filled in many blanks in Frmesk’s life. It alternated between the next years with her grandparents in Kurdistan and her young adult years in Denmark when she was a university student and then married a Kurdish man. Frmesk lived a difficult, hard, and painful life. The only shining light for her was her grandparents. Everyone else failed her. It was an extremely tough read with much abuse happening at all ages in her life, but it was eye-opening to see what girls and women in certain parts of the world have to endure even when they emigrate to supposedly more open-minded societies. The story of Frmesk has made a deep impact on me.

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2020: A book by or about refugees to Scandinavia


By the Fire: Sámi Folktales and Legends, Collected and Illustrated by Emilie Demant Hatt (Translated from the Danish by Barbara Sjoholm)

This is another book that’s been on my radar for a while and that I finally read when an opportunity arose to join a virtual book club meeting to discuss it in honor of Sámi National Day which was February 6. I’m not normally interested in folk tales and legends, but I am intrigued by Sámi history and culture. I did enjoy reading these stories collected by a Danish artist and ethnographer during her travels among the Sámi in the 1920s. This collection of stories with accompanying linoleum prints and “Field Notes and Commentary” by the author as well as an “Afterword” by the translator which featured photos of the storytellers and more background information provided a very unique and enlightening look at Sámi culture.

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2021:

  • A buddy read or group read (in real life or virtually) of a Nordic book
  • Bonus 1: A prompt from a previous year’s challenge (2020: A book by, about, or involving the Sámi indigenous people)

Smoke Screen (Alexander Blix & Emma Ramm #2) by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger (Translated from the Norwegian by Megan Turney)

I don’t usually read the next installment in a series this quickly (I read #1, Death Deserved, in November 2020), but I wanted to read #2 in advance of a virtual event with the authors and a favorite bookstagrammer which took place this month. I really enjoyed the first in the series, so it wasn’t hard to pick this one up. Just like in the first book, online news journalist Emma Ramm and police investigator Alexander Blix inadvertently join forces to solve a mystery. In this case, there’s an explosion in Oslo on New Year’s Eve and one of the victims is the mother of a girl who was kidnapped 10 years earlier and never found. What ensues is a dual investigation as the cold case of the kidnapping is reopened and the explosion is investigated. I like smart police procedurals with likeable investigators, and the setting being Oslo is certainly a plus. This was a very engaging read which I may have liked even better than the first one. For those wondering, book #2 can be read without having read #1.

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2021:

  • An unplanned or impromptu Scandinavian read
  • Bonus 2: A book by a Nordic author you’ve enjoyed before

Pakkis by Khalid Hussain
(Translated from the Norwegian by Claudia Berguson and Ingeborg Kongslien)

This book has been on my radar for many years, and I finally seized the opportunity to read it when I learned that it was the pick for Vesterheim’s monthly reading group in February. Written by the author when he was 16 years old, it’s a short account exploring a slice of life of a teenage Pakistani immigrant and his family in Oslo. It’s based on his own experiences as an immigrant in the 1970s. The book’s character, Sajjad, arrived in Norway at the age of 4 and learned the language easily. His parents, however, had more trouble assimilating. The book tackles the difficulty Sajjad has of navigating his two conflicting identities, that of his family and religion and the other of his assimilated Norwegian identity. It also explores conflicts that arise relating to the father’s expectations and the son’s wishes. Originally published in 1986, it seemed like it could have been written recently. The only things missing were cell phones and social media. It was an interesting look at an immigrant family’s experiences which most likely shares many similarities with immigrant experiences elsewhere and in contemporary times.

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2021:

  • A Scandinavian book you’ve been meaning to read
  • A buddy read or group read (in real life or virtually) of a Nordic book
  • Bonus 1: A prompt from a previous year’s challenge (2018: An immigrant story)

What have you been reading lately?

By the way, if you’re interested in snagging some Scandinavian ebooks at great discount, check out my Scandinavian Ebook Deals. Currently, the first book in the Alexander Blix & Emma Ramm series, Death Deserved, is free!

Some offers stay around for a long time, others only a short period. If anything looks intriguing, grab it before it’s gone.

Disclaimer: AVikingInLA is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Virtual Nordic Events for March 2021: More Nordic Film & Language Learning Opportunities

Welcome to March and a new slate of virtual Nordic events. Mark your calendars now so the opportunities don’t pass you by.

March welcomes another virtual Nordic film event, Nordic Lights Film Festival hosted by National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA. Films will stream March 7-14. Partnering with National Film Festival for Talented Youth, they will also be presenting a shorts program that includes emerging filmmakers from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Some of the feature films have been geo-blocked by their production companies; those films will only be viewable in Washington State. However, many have no restrictions. For programming and ticket information, visit the festival website. Personally, I’m intrigued by The Birdcatcher’s Son/Fågelfångarens son, a drama from Sweden that takes place in the late 1800’s on the Faroe Islands.

Scandinavia House in New York, NY, continues to celebrate contemporary Nordic filmmaking with its virtual New Nordic Cinema film event. Festival films will be available to ticket holders all over the U.S. Each session is limited to 250 tickets. The sessions will take place over seven days (Friday – Thursday), with all films available for viewing on a virtual cinema screening platform throughout this period.

  • Week 3, February 26-March 4: Maria’s Paradise/Marian paratiisi (Finland, 2019; dir. Zaida Bergroth) and The Reformist – A Female Imam/Reformisten (Denmark, 2019; dir. Marie Skovgard)
  • Week 4, March 5-11: Uncle/Onkle (Denmark, 2019; dir. Frelle Petersen)
  • Week 5, March 12-18: Force of Habit/Tottumiskysymys (Finland, 2019; dir. Kirsikka Saari, Elli Toivoniemi, Anna Paavilainen, Alli Haapasalo, Reetta Aalto, Jenni Toivoniemi, Miia Tervo)
  • Week 6, March 19-25: Echo/Bergmál (Iceland, 2019; dir. Rúnar Rúnarsson)
  • Week 7, March 26-April 1: Beware of Children/Barn (Norway, 2019; dir. Dag Johan Haugerud)

March is also when many Scandinavian language centers begin their spring semesters of language learning opportunities which are still online and available to a wider audience.

What events interest you?


New Nordic Cinema Week 3: Maria’s Paradise and The Reformist (February 26 – March 4)

Celebrate the start of Women’s History Month with this double feature, both directed by women and about strong women: Maria’s Paradise/Marian paratiisi (Finland, 2019; dir. Zaida Bergroth) and The Reformist – A Female Imam/Reformisten (Denmark, 2019; dir. Marie Skovgard). The Reformist is a documentary about Muslim leader Sherin Khankan as she established Europe’s first female-lead mosque. Maria’s Paradise is about a charismatic seer in 1920s Finland.

Nordic Women in Film – Iceland: Borders & Boundaries (Tuesday, March 2, 5:00 p.m. – Thursday, March 4, 5:00 p.m. PST)

In the final week of Nordic Women in Film, watch the Icelandic movie And Breathe Normally (director Ísold Uggadóttir, 2018). “Two women’s lives will intersect while trapped in circumstances unforeseen. Between a struggling Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau, a delicate bond will form as both strategize to get their lives back on track.” Q&A and panel discussion will take place Wednesday, March 3, 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST exploring the question “How do filmmakers influence physical, geographical, and emotional boundaries?” Registration opens February 15.

Digital Exhibition: Conversations with a Shipwreck (March 4 – June 5)

Beginning Thursday, March 4, Scandinavia House Online is proud to introduce the interactive digital exhibition Conversations with a Shipwreck with a haunting, multimedia meditation on the Swedish warship Vasa, created in word and image by ASF Fellows Joan Wickersham and Adam Davies. Through presentations of poems and large-format photographs, with short durational video and audio, this digital art and literary exhibition responds to the legendary warship — which sank only minutes into her maiden voyage — exploring themes of memory and oblivion, technological triumph and fiasco, permanence and impermanence, mortality and time.

New Nordic Cinema Week 4: Uncle (March 5 – 11)

In the fourth week of Scandinavia House’s New Nordic Cinema, watch Denmark’s Uncle/Onkle (2019, dir. Frelle Petersen), “a beautiful exploration of small-town Danish life that is both stunningly picturesque and quaintly endearing in its navigation of young love and complicated relationships” (view trailer).

New York International Children’s Film Festival: Sisters: The Summer We Found Our Superpowers (March 5 – 14)

Screening at the New York International Children’s Film Festival is the Norwegian live action film Sisters: The Summer We Found Our Superpowers directed by Silje Salomonsen and Arild Østin Ommundsen. Vega, 9, and her wild sister Billie, 5, are going on an overnight outdoor hike in the lush Norwegian woods. The trip is full of exciting climbs, silly jokes, and happy trekking until Dad pulls one acrobatic stunt too many, falling into a cave and injuring his leg badly. Unable to move, he asks Vega and Billie to get help. Anxiously retracing their steps, they know that everything depends on them now, as Vega tries to keep them focused on the goal despite setbacks, surprises, and Billie’s many distractions. They bravely face their fears, discover their superpowers, and find strength in their sisterhood. Recommended for ages 7+. In Norwegian with English subtitles.

Thursday Night Soup: New Nordic Ärtsoppa (Thursday, March 11, 6:00 p.m. CT)

Most Americans probably aren’t familiar with Sweden’s Thursday night soup tradition of ärtsoppa (yellow pea soup). It might be safe to say that many young modern Swedes are not as familiar with ärtsoppa as the generations that came before them, and the national dish has fallen out of fashion in more recent years. While pea soup has been around for many centuries, the ärtsoppa tradition dates back to the time when Catholic rule came to Sweden and meat was forbidden on Fridays, thus a meat-fast began Thursday nights. The soup is said to have been used to assassinate King Erik XIV who consumed a bowl laced with arsenic in the late 1500s. In class, you will learn about the traditional Thursday night soup and prepare a modern ärtsoppa flavored with Thai curry, coconut milk, cilantro lime yogurt, and fried lefse crisps, as well as ärtsoppa’s long-time partner pancake dessert (plättar). Sign up for this small-group event to be able to interact with food historian Patrice Johnson as she cooks.

Second Friday Nordic Spirit Classics: Viking Women: Valkyries and Housewives – Mistresses and Mothers (Friday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. PT)

The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA, is beginning a monthly series of Second Friday Nordic Spirit Classics, a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia. The topic of the first one is “Viking Women: Valkyries and Housewives – Mistresses and Mothers” by Marit Synnøve Vea of Avaldsnes, Norway. Participation is free. A link for the virtual presentation will be given the day before the event. For access information, please contact nordicspiritclassics@gmail.com.

The Nordic Book Club: Exile by Jacob Ejersbo (Sunday, March 14, 4:00 p.m. PT)

The Scandinavian School and Cultural Center in San Francisco welcomes you to join their Nordic Book Club where they’ll read books by Nordic authors in English. They plan to cover writers from all the Nordic countries. March’s book is Exile by Danish writer Jacob Ejersbo. It’s the first in a trilogy inspired by his own childhood in Tanzania. The event is free of charge, but you must register.

Virtual Intro to Finnish (Sunday, March 14, 12:45 – 2:45 p.m. CT)

Are you curious about the Finnish language, but not yet ready to commit to a multi-date class? Are you looking for a quick and low-pressure way to get excited about a new language? 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.

Virtual Intro to Swedish (Sunday, March 14, 3:00 – 5:00 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. This class is currently sold out, but you can be added to the waitlist.

Seattle Jewish Film Festival: The Crossing (Sunday, March 14, 5:00 p.m. – Wednesday, March 17, 5:00 p.m. PT)

This is the story of adventurous 10-year-old Gerda and her brother Otto, whose parents are in the Norwegian resistance movement during the Second World War. Just before Christmas 1942, their parents are arrested, leaving the siblings on their own, whereupon they discover two Jewish children, Sarah and Daniel, hidden in a secret cupboard in their basement. It is now up to Gerda and Otto to finish what their mother and father started: to help Sarah and Daniel flee from the Nazis, cross the border to neutral Sweden, and reunite with their family. Directed by Johanne Helgeland with screenplay by author Maja Lunde, this is a family drama (rated PG) in Norwegian with English subtitles. Ticket sales end 2 hours before streaming period. There is no grace period after the 72-hour timeframe expires. Available for viewing throughout the United States.

Online Nordic Book Club: Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen (Tuesday, March 16, 6:00 p.m. ET)

The Nordic Book Club at Scandinavia House in New York, NY, selects novels from some of the best Nordic literary voices. At this meeting, they’ll be discussing the book Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen, which has been recently re-released in translation by Tiina Nunnally as part of the The Copenhagen Trilogy. The trilogy was the subject of a recent panel discussion with Michael Favala Goldman, Morten Høi Jensen, Rachel Kushner, and Ben Lerner, available to stream here. This event is free. For more information and to register, visit the event page.

April Family Norwegian Language Adventure: Vår i Norge / Spring in Norway (Deadline to sign up: March 17)

Join Vesterheim in April for some family fun and learn some Norwegian language and culture along the way! The theme for the April adventure Vår i Norge (Spring in Norway). 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. Gather your family to share in the fun as you gain a new understanding of the Norwegian language and Norwegian culture. Enrollment deadline is March 17.

Panel Discussion: Seizing Symbols: Hate Groups’ Co-opting of Culture (Sunday, March 21, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for this panel discussion. Why have far-right extremist groups co-opted symbols of the Nordic countries’ pre-Christian past? What is understood and misunderstood by such groups about the culture referenced? This panel will explore the appropriation of Norse symbols by white supremacists and other types of hate groups in North America and Europe. This event is free, but RSVP is required to receive link.

Collection Connections: Dairy Production & Cooking Utensils (Tuesday, March 23, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Norwegian food specialist and Vesterheim instructor, Darlene Fossum-Martin, and Vesterheim Collections Manager Jennifer Kovarik as they focus on objects in the collection that tell a story about Norway’s unique food traditions. From wooden dough bowls, to cheese molds, to milk strainers, and beyond!

Collection Connections: Gudbrandsdal Rosemaling from Past to Present (Wednesday, March 24, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim Gold Medalist and rosemaling instructor, Pam Rucinski, and Vesterheim Collections Manager Jennifer Kovarik as they highlight the journey and shifts in the painting style of Gudbrandsdal rosemaling. Pam will share some examples from the collection. She will discuss how travel to Norway has influenced the work of contemporary Gudbrandsdal rosemalers. Pam will trace the impact Jakob Klukstad and other master artists, including woodcarvers, have had on rosemaling for over 300 years.

Travel Seminar – Spectacular Mountains, Waterfalls and Fjords of Norway (Wednesday, March 24, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. CT)

Join Mindekirken’s Magne Hatlevik, a Møre og Romsdal native, for a tour across beautiful landscape as you visit some of Norway’s most important national symbols featured in Eidsvoll, Hamar, Lillehammer, Åndalsnes, and Trollstigen. Travel through Western Norway’s rugged terrain winding your way from Sunnmøre all the way back to Oslo. During a time when Norway’s borders might be closed for all but necessary travel, Magne will bring a piece of Norway to you.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Group): The Mercies (Wednesday, March 24, 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. CT)

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 her in March to discuss The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. “After a storm has killed off all the island’s men, two women in a 1600s Norwegian coastal village struggle to survive against both natural forces and the men who have been sent to rid the community of alleged witchcraft… Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1620 witch trials, The Mercies is a feminist story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.” (Description from Goodreads)

Virtual Nordic Table Workshop: Waffles for Våffeldagen with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Thursday, March 25, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CT)

Jump right in and make some waffles to celebrate one of Sweden’s well known food holidays, Våffeldagen (Waffle Day). Students can follow along from home to make a light lunch or afternoon fika from Swedish-style waffles. Traditionally thin and heart shaped, these recipes will work with any thinner waffle iron. This is a live “cook along” class taught over Zoom. A shopping list will be shared one week in advance so students can make sure they have the ingredients on hand.

Nordiska Book Club — The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman (Thursday, March 25, 6:00 p.m. PT)

To broaden readers’ Nordic reading repertoire and to engage with fellow bookworms, Nordiska, a Nordic gifts and goods store in Poulsbo, WA, has created Nordiska Book Club. In recognition of International Women’s Day in March, they have decided to highlight a lesser-known woman’s narrative from Nordic history. They will be discussing The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown. Join them in reading and discussing this Viking woman’s story. For more information and to register, click here.

The 45th Annual Kalevala Day Festival – The Healing Power of Singing (Saturday, March 27, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. PST)

The National Nordic Museum together with the Finnish Choral Society invites you to the 45th Annual Kalevala Day Festival—The Healing Power of Singing. The Kalevala Day tradition goes back to 1835, when the national epic of Finland, the Kalevala, was published for the first time by Elias Lönnrot. The Kalevala epic played an important part in developing Finland’s national identity and Finnish language, art, and music. The first Kalevala Day was celebrated on February 28th, in 1885. The Kalevala Day celebration continues to this day in Finland with cultural events. The event will be shown on YouTube Live on the Museum’s website starting at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 27.

Meet the Author: The Copenhagen Trilogy (Sunday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, to discuss The Copenhagen Trilogy by Danish author Tove Ditlevsen. In this talk, translator Michael Favala Goldman as well as Professor Marianne Stecher-Hansen will discuss this courageous and honest trilogy from literary icon Tove Ditlevsen—a pioneer in the field of genre-bending confessional writing—which explores themes of family, sex, motherhood, abortion, addiction, and being an artist. The talk will be moderated by Elizabeth DeNoma.

 


Which March 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.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (January 2021)

My 2021 Scandinavian Reading Challenge is live, but I’m still reading my last book for the 2020 Scandinavian Reading Challenge. Too many other books have wormed their way onto my currently-reading list so it’s taking longer to complete the ones in progress. I’m not in a rush, though, and I’m enjoying each book in its own time and place, whether it’s on a walk, in the car, inside or outside, or in bed.

What have you been reading lately?


The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott
(Narrated by an ensemble of seven)

This was a book club pick for which I had not been a part of the selection discussion, so I went into it not knowing anything about it. I loved that it introduced me to a part of history with which I was not familiar, the CIA during the Cold War, in particular the role of women at the agency. Additionally, I was introduced to Boris Pasternak, a famous Russian poet at the time and the author of Dr. Zhivago, and his mistress Olga. All of this intrigued me. I liked how the story jumped between East and West until the plot lines merged. I definitely enjoyed the first half more than the second half which I felt dragged a little. Unfortunately, the ending was unsatisfactory for me. Overall, however, it was a very enjoyable listen with an ensemble of seven narrators, and I appreciated the insight into the role of the agency, women, and literature during the Cold War.


The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

This book has been on my TBR for a while and reading it now was spurred by an upcoming virtual visit by the author to my son’s English class. It’s a Southern California immigrant story, but not your typical one. The story takes place in a small town in the Mojave Desert. A Moroccan immigrant who’s lived in the area with his family for 20+ years is killed in a hit-and-run accident. The book explores the family’s grief and the aftermath of the incident from the perspectives of a diverse group of people in the community. I liked the slow reveal of who was responsible for the hit-and-run and the secrets kept by the family members. I enjoy complex structures, and in this case, the various perspectives jumped back in time as well. I really enjoyed this book.


The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
(Narrated by Emily Shaffer, Kirby Heyborne, Lauren Fortgang)

This was an impromptu pick after seeing it mentioned on Instagram several times and the audiobook being available at hoopla. It being a Jane Eyre retelling meant nothing to me since I haven’t read Jane Eyre, but I was drawn to the domestic thriller/mystery aspect. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it instead of listened to it? The narrators’ performances of the main characters were good, but the voice and tone for the housewives annoyed me. Also, the language in the book was off-putting, so many f-bombs. This was maybe even more obvious because I was listening to it and couldn’t skim over them. I didn’t like any of the characters but kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen next and that’s what got me to the end.


When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson (Author, Illustrator), Omar Mohamed (Author), Iman Geddy (Illustrator)

This book will stay with me for a long time. It’s a middle grade graphic novel memoir about the refugee camp experience of Omar and his disabled brother. Omar and Hassan had to flee civil war in Somalia as very young children without their parents and arrived at a refugee camp in Kenya as orphans and lived there for about 15 years before being resettled to the USA. It was an eye-opening look, both heart-breaking and heart-warming, at life in a refugee camp from the perspective of a child — the living situation, food insecurities, educational system, and resettlement process. The drawings added tremendous value to the story. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I highly recommend this book.


What have you been reading lately?

By the way, if you’re interested in snagging some Scandinavian ebooks at great discount, check out my Scandinavian Ebook Deals. Some offers stay around for a long time, others only a short period. If anything looks intriguing, grab it before it’s gone.

Disclaimer: AVikingInLA is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Virtual Nordic Events for February 2021: Sámi National Day & Nordic Film plus more!

A new month means new opportunities to attend virtual Nordic events on topics of all kinds. There are films, crafts, books and authors, cooking and baking along with family language and art opportunities.

This is also a month to bring awareness to the only  indigenous group of Europe, the Sámi. Saturday, February 6, is Sámi National Day celebrated by the indigenous peoples of Sápmi, an area consisting of land in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The first Sámi National Day was celebrated in 1993. It commemorates the first Sámi congress which was held February 6, 1917, in Trondheim, Norway, when Sámi from Norway and Sweden met to discuss common issues. Sámi National Day didn’t become an official flag day in Norway until 2003. Celebrating the day has become increasingly popular with celebrations and programs not just taking place domestically in those countries but also abroad. (If you’re interested in more information on the history and culture of the Sámi, visit Life in Norway’s “The Sami People”.)

February is the month for virtual film events! Three film events featuring Nordic films will take place over the next few weeks.

Nordic Women in Film is a free, 5-part event series presented by the five Nordic embassies in the US. (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), Women in Film and Television International, and Women in Film & Video Washington, DC. Weekly film screenings will be accompanied by Q&As and special conversations relating to the week’s film and theme.

  • February 2-3: “Boundless Art, Boundless Success” featuring Finland’s Tove
  • February 9-11: “Inconvenient & Outrageous Women” featuring Denmark’s Queen of Hearts
  • February 16-18: “Personal Stories & Big Budgets” featuring Norway’s Hope
  • February 23-25: “The Gaze” featuring Sweden’s Lucky One
  • March 2-4: “Bordering & Boundaries” featuring Iceland’s And Breathe Normally

South Social Cineclub’s Travel the World features films from Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. All screenings are at 7:00 p.m. UK time (11:00 a.m. PST, 2:00 p.m. EST) and you can watch the films as part of their exclusive BFI Player extended free trial offer.

  • Thursday, February 11: The Painter and the Thief by Benjamin Ree (Norway)
  • Wednesday, February 17: The Hunt by Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)
  • Tuesday, February 23: Rams by Grímur Hákonarson (Iceland)
  • Wednesday, March 17: Festen by Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)
  • Tuesday, March 23: Under the tree by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson (Iceland)
  • Tuesday, April 27: A white white day by Hlynur Pálmason (Iceland)

Scandinavia House’s New Nordic Cinema celebrates contemporary Nordic filmmaking by showcasing some of the best new contemporary feature films and documentaries in weeklong sessions.

  • Week 1, February 12-18: The Deposit /Tryggð (Iceland, 2019; dir. Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir) and Gods of Molenbeek /Aatos ja amine (Finland, 2019; dir. Reetta Huhtanen)
  • Week 2, February 19-25: Phoenix /Føniks (Norway, 2018; dir. Camilla Strøm Henriksen) and Transnistra (Sweden, 2019; dir. Anna Eborn)
  • Week 3, February 26-March 4: Maria’s Paradise /Marian paratiisi (Finland, 2019; dir. Zaida Bergroth) and The Reformist — A Female Imam /Reformisten (Denmark, 2019; dir. Marie Skovgard)

What events interest you?


Nordic Women in Film – Finland: Boundless Art, Boundless Success (Wednesday, February 2, 8:00 p.m. – Thursday, February 3, 8:00 p.m. EST)

In the first week of Nordic Women in Film, watch the Finnish Oscar-nominee Tove (director Zaida Bergroth, 2020) about Moomin-creator Tove Jansson. “In the midst of her artistic struggles and unconventional personal life, Tove Jansson found worldwide success from an unexpected side project: the creation of the beloved world of the Moomins. TOVE is a captivating drama about the creative energy of an iconic talent and her turbulent search for identity, desire, and freedom.” (Film only available to viewers in the US.) Q&A and panel discussion will explore the question “What does it mean to live and create freely? What lies behind artistic ambition and who is to judge the worth of one’s work?”

  • Online Q&A on Tove with director Zaida Bergroth, actress Alma Pöysti, producer Andrea Reuter and screenwriter Eeva Putro: Wednesday, February 3, at 3-3:30pm EST
  • Online Special Conversation on Boundless Art, Boundless Success. Speakers: Zaida Bergroth (FIN), Isabella Eklöf (SWE), Terry Pheto (ZAF/US), Pamela Green (US). Wednesday, February 3, at 3:30-4:30pm EST

Virtual Nordic Stories (for Kids): Children of the Northlights (Thursday, February 4, 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for story time and craft with their special guest, librarian Sara Jensen. Listen to the story Children of the Northlights by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire. Inspired directly by a remarkable journey the d’Aulaires took to northern Europe and their time spent among the Sámi, Children of the Northlights is a brightly illustrated portrait and celebration of the Sámi people, culture, and snow-covered landscapes of the frozen north, from two of the twentieth century’s greatest storytellers. After the story, Sara will teach kids how to make a craft with items found at home.

Thursday Night Soup: Swedish Ärtsoppa (Thursday, February 4, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. CT)

Most Americans probably aren’t familiar with Sweden’s Thursday night soup tradition of ärtsoppa (yellow pea soup). It might be safe to say that many young modern Swedes are not as familiar with ärtsoppa as the generations that came before them, and the national dish has fallen out of fashion in more recent years. While pea soup has been around for many centuries, the ärtsoppa tradition dates back to the time when Catholic rule came to Sweden and meat was forbidden on Fridays, thus a meat-fast began Thursday nights. The soup is said to have been used to assassinate King Erik XIV who consumed a bowl laced with arsenic in the late 1500s. In class, you will make this traditional classic. Sign up for this small-group event to be able to interact with food historian Patrice Johnson as she cooks.

Bieggolmmái: Sámi National Day (Friday, February 5, 9:30 a.m. PST)

Join The British Museum in London for a celebration of Sámi culture on February 5, ahead of Sámi National Day on February 6. In this event, they ask how Sámi way of life can remain strong and resilient in the face of climate change, land encroachments and other challenges, while remaining hopeful for the future. Leading the discussion about this unique culture are Anne May Olli, Director of Norway’s RiddoDuottarMuseat; Liisa Holmberg from the Sámi Film Institute; Ingá-Máret Gaup Juuso, a Sámi Yoik artist; and Chair Pirita Näkkäläjärvi, an elected member of the Sámi Parliament in Finland. You can also view this event on YouTube any time after it is streamed.

Nordic Spirit Symposium: Nordic Spirit Classics (Friday, February 5, & Saturday, February 6)

This year Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation’s annual Nordic Spirit Symposium will be virtual. It will bring you some of the best presentations from the early Nordic Spirit years, including Dr. Richard Hall’s “Vikings in England”, Dr. Steven Koblik’s “Scandinavia During WWII”, and Prof. H. Arnold Barton’s “Scandinavian Immigrants to America”. Participation is free. For schedule details and access information, visit Nordic Spirit Symposium: Nordic Spirit Classics.

Sámi Anthem Sing-Along (Saturday, February 6, 9:30 a.m. PST)

Join Sámi Cultural Center of North American for a virtual Sámi Anthem Sing-Along to celebrate Sámi National Day. Start your celebration with a brief slideshow and performance of Sámi Sova Lavlla by musician Martin (Baehr) Dodd. English lyrics will be provided. Listen, lip-synch, or sing along from home. Request the Zoom link by emailing samicenterna@gmail.com.

Virtual Book Talk—Sámi Media and Indigenous Agency in the Arctic North (Saturday, February 6, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, on February 6 for a Sámi National Day book talk with authors Tom DuBois and Coppélie Cocq. “In Sámi Media and Indigenous Agency in the Arctic North authors Tom DuBois and Coppélie Cocq examine how Sámi people of Norway, Finland, and Sweden use media to advance a social, cultural, and political agenda anchored in notions of cultural continuity and self-determination.” Event is free but you must RSVP to receive the Zoom link.

Online Nordic Book Club: The Women I Think About at Night (Tuesday, February 9, 6:00 p.m. ET)

The Nordic Book Club at Scandinavia House in New York, NY, selects novels from some of the best Nordic literary voices. At this meeting, they’ll be discussing the book The Women I Think About at Night by Mia Kankimäki, who joined Scandinavia House last month for a book talk on the novel with moderator Heli Sirviö (available to stream here). Visit the event page for more information and to register.

Nordic Women in Film – Denmark: Inconvenient & Outrageous Women (Tuesday, February 9, 5:00 p.m. – Thursday, February 11, 5:00 p.m. PST)

In the second week of Nordic Women in Film, watch the Danish movie Queen of Hearts (director May El-Toukhy, 2019). “A woman jeopardizes both her career and her family when she seduces her teenage stepson and is forced to make an irreversible decision with fatal consequences.” (Film only available to viewers in the US and Canada.) Q&A and panel discussion will explore question “How are women portrayed in unexpected ways in films, and what happens when women are “inconvenient” and outrageous? Why is it so important to be seen on screen?”

  • Online Q&A on Queen of Hearts with director May El-Toukhy and lead actress Trine Dyrholm: Wednesday, February 10, at 3-3:30pm EST
  • Online Special Conversation on Inconvenient & Outrageous Women. Speakers: Trine Dyrholm (DK), Sofie Helin (SWE), Elina Knihtilä (FIN). Wednesday, February 10, at 3:30-4:30pm EST

Koselig Cocktails with Vesterheim (Thursday, February 11, 7:00 – 8:00 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! Cost includes the price of the kit, some spices, and an ingredient list you will need to source materials for your class. Registration deadline is February 1.

Virtual Book Talk: Meet the Author w/ Kristín Eiríksdóttir (Saturday, February 13, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for the next talk in their popular series Meet the Author. On February 13, Icelandic author Kristín Eiríksdóttir will discuss her book A Fist or a Heart (Elín, ýmislegt). The talk is in conversation with translator Larissa Kyzer and moderated by Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma.

Fastelavn Buns – Scandinavian Baking Workshop (Saturday, February 13, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PST)

The Scandinavian School in San Francisco, CA, invites you to join native Dane and baker extraordinaire Leda Jessen for a Scandinavian baking event for Fastelavn, a family celebration in Denmark. Learn how to make Fastelavn buns, a round sweet roll usually covered with icing and filled with cream. You will be sent a list of the ingredients needed prior to the event, and together with Leda you will bake the day away.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Swedish Semlor (Saturday, February 13, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CT)

Learn how to bake a wintery Swedish treat, the semla, or Fat Tuesday bun. Semlor are cardamom-infused, almond paste-filled, and whipped cream-topped treats originally indulged only on Fat Tuesday, before the Lenten fast until Easter. These days, Swedes eat semlor in many forms, from New Years until Easter. In this one-hour class, Erin Swenson-Klatt will share a recipe that even novice bakers can tackle at home, along with lots of baking tips and some history and cultural context for these classic baked goods. After watching this one-hour demo, students will be prepared to tackle semlor on their own at home, any time.

Winter Wonderland Snow Art Workshop (Premiered February 13)

As the snow starts falling and creates a winter wonderland outside, take advantage of the weather by making your own snow and ice art! Snow is an excellent medium for all kinds of art-making, including three-dimensional snow murals and molded snow sculptures. You can also freeze colored water with natural objects to create your own snowy fort, similar to a community art installation now up in Ruovesi Finland!

Virtual Book Talk: The Memory Theater (Tuesday, February 16, 2:00 p.m. ET)

On February 16, Swedish author Karin Tidbeck (of Amatka and Jagannath) joins Scandinavia House for a book talk on her latest novel The Memory Theater, available beginning today from Pantheon Books. With moderator Sara Lefkowitz, she’ll discuss her new novel, a fantastical tour de force about friendship, interdimensional theater, and a magical place where no one ages — except the young.

Nordic Women in Film – Norway: Personal Stories & Big Budgets (Tuesday, February 16, 5:00 p.m. – Thursday, February 18, 5:00 p.m. PST)

In the third week of Nordic Women in Film, watch the Norwegian movie Hope (director Maria Sødahl, 2019). “What happens with love when a woman in the middle of her life gets three months left to live?” Q&A and panel discussion will take place Wednesday, February 17, 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST exploring the question “Movies about personal stories tend to receive less attention and smaller budgets than films about broader topics. Why is that and what makes the personal political?” Registration opens February 1.

Vesterheim Collection Connections: Hardanger Fiddles (Tuesday, February 16, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim Gold Medalist Karen Rebholz and Vesterheim Collections Manager Jennifer Kovarik as they discuss Hardanger fiddles, the national instrument of Norway. Harkening back to its inception in the Baroque period, the Hardanger fiddle is richly ornamented with shell, bone, and ink and is played with asymmetric rhythms, multiple tunings, and non standard tones. The Hardanger fiddle has four or five sympathetic strings that resonate with the four bowed strings producing an ethereal sound. The traditional music has been preserved by means of an unbroken aural chain. Using examples from Vesterheim’s collection and Karen’s own collection, they will show how each fiddle is a work of art with unique form, decoration, and sound.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Swedish Pea Soup and Pancakes (Wednesday, February 17, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CT)

Looking for some tips and tricks to make Swedish pea soup a part of your winter repertoire? Patrice Johnson will walk you through a traditional örtsoppa recipe along with its classic accompaniment, Swedish pancakes. These recipes are both simple and satisfying, and their history as a traditional Thursday dinner in Sweden are fascinating, so Patrice will cover history as well as cooking tips.

Radical Nationalism and the Politics of Nostalgia — Virtual Panel (Thursday, February 18, 10:00 a.m. PST)

Join American Scandinavian Foundation for a virtual round-table discussion on “Radical Nationalism and the Politics of Nostalgia,” which will touch upon topics such as Nordic and U.S. right-wing extremism, populism, white melancholy, and the normalcy of whiteness. The event will take place as a Zoom webinar. For more information on panelists and to register, visit here.

March Family Norwegian Language Adventure: Vikings and Mythology! (Deadline to Join: February 18)

Join Vesterheim in March for some family fun and learn some Norwegian language along the way! The March adventure will focus on Vikings and mythology. 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. Gather your family to share in the fun as you gain a new understanding of the Norwegian language and Norwegian culture. Enrollment deadline is February 18.

Family Handcraft at Home: Try Rosemaling! (Deadline to Join: February 22)

Rosemaling or rose painting is a decorative painting technique characterized by scrolls, leaves, and flowers and has been traditionally applied to woodenware. Several distinctive styles developed throughout Norway. Vesterheim invites you to try your hand at this historical handcraft. Your registration provides you with a kit that includes everything you need to do the family handcraft at home. You can watch the video and open your kit materials to explore rosemaling whenever it is most convenient to you and your family members. Enrollment deadline is February 22.

Launch Celebration: Smoke Screen by Enger & Horst (Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 p.m. UK)

To celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of their latest Nordic Noir thriller Smoke Screen, Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst will be in conversation with top crime fiction reviewer Abby @crimebythebook. This is the second installment in the Alexander Blix and Emma Ramm series. “When the mother of a missing two-year-old girl is seriously injured in a suspected terrorist attack in Oslo, crime-fighting duo Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the case, and things aren’t adding up…” Email cole@orendabooks.co.uk if interested in attending.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Group): Pakkis (Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 p.m. CT)

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 her in February to discuss Pakkis by Khalid Hussain. Drawing from his own personal experiences as a Pakistani immigrant to Norway in the 1970s, Hussain discusses the challenges of Sajjad, a teenager in Oslo, as he tries to negotiate his identities as Pakistani and as a new immigrant to Norway. This coming-of-age story illuminates the struggles and challenges of negotiating race and integration in Norway.

Nordic Women in Film – Sweden: The Gaze (Tuesday, February 23, 5:00 p.m. – Thursday, February 25, 5:00 p.m. PST)

In the fourth week of Nordic Women in Film, watch the Swedish movie Lucky One (director Mia Engberg, 2019). “Ageing gangster Vincent works long nights and dreams of another life. When he is unexpectedly given responsibility for his teenage daughter Grace, his life starts to change.” Q&A and panel discussion will take place Wednesday, February 24, 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST exploring the question “What happens with the world when young women define their own reality instead of being defined by others?” Registration opens February 8.

Virtual Book Talk: A Silenced Voice: The Life of Journalist Kim Wall (Thursday, February 25, 10:00 a.m. PT)

Join Scandinavia House for a book talk with Ingrid and Joachim Wall on the book A Silenced Voice: The Life of Journalist Kim Wall, their moving memoir of an inexplicable crime, a family’s loss, and a legacy preserved, out now in translation by Kathy Saranpa from Amazon Crossing. “Kim Wall was a thirty-year-old Swedish freelance journalist with a rising career. Then, in the summer of 2017, she followed a story that led to an eccentric inventor in Copenhagen. Instead of writing the next day’s headline, she’d become one.” The event will take place as a Zoom webinar. For more information and to register, visit here.

Virtual Crafts & Cocktails (Thursday, February 25, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PST)

Recharge from your day with an evening of creativity and fun with National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA. Get a mini virtual tour from one of their docents, learn a cocktail recipe, and make a craft using supplies you might have around the house. This month’s craft is handmade polaroids! Materials needed for this craft are paper, pen or pencil, watercolors/markers/collage materials, and scissors.

Nordiska’s Book Club — By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends (Thursday, February 25, 6:30 p.m. PT)

To broaden readers’ Nordic reading repertoire and to engage with fellow bookworms, Nordiska, a Nordic gifts and goods store in Poulsbo, WA, has created Nordiska Book Club. Each month they will select a title from their library and then host a virtual club meeting via Zoom to discuss the book. This month, they will be discussing By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends collected and illustrated by Emilie Demant Hatt (first published in Danish in 1922) and translated by Barbara Sjoholm (2019). The translator will be a part of the meeting to discuss her work on the book. For more information and to register, click here.

ASI’s Virtual Midwinter Folk Festival (February 27 & 28)

This joyous annual celebration of folk music, dance and songs brings together some of the foremost artists and practitioners from Sweden, locally and nationally to share the Scandinavian skills and traditions in a weekend of virtual workshops and a culminating concert. For programming and ticket information, visit the event page.

Nordic Women in Film – Iceland: Borders & Boundaries (Tuesday, March 2, 5:00 p.m. – Thursday, March 4, 5:00 p.m. PST)

In the final week of Nordic Women in Film, watch the Icelandic movie And Breathe Normally (director Ísold Uggadóttir, 2018). “Two women’s lives will intersect while trapped in circumstances unforeseen. Between a struggling Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau, a delicate bond will form as both strategize to get their lives back on track.” Q&A and panel discussion will take place Wednesday, March 3, 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST exploring the question “How do filmmakers influence physical, geographical, and emotional boundaries?” Registration opens February 15.


Which February 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.