Virtual Nordic Events for January 2021 + Scandinavian Film Festival LA #SFFLA

A new slate of virtual Nordic events is available for all to enjoy. There are exciting opportunities to explore Nordic film, books & authors, cooking & baking, arts & crafts, languages, music, and history. What interests you?

This is the month when Angelenos would normally gather in Beverly Hills to enjoy and discuss movies from the Nordic and Baltic countries. This year, however, film enthusiasts from all over can enjoy the Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. (SFFLA) with Baltic Film Expo (@SFFLA). It will take place virtually over three weekends in collaboration with Scandinavia House in New York, NY. Starting this Thursday, January 7, view films chosen by the Nordic and Baltic countries to compete for an Oscar nomination for Best International Feature Film from the comfort of your own home on your own time. Explore the schedule and plan your weekends. You can buy a Festival Pass for access to all screenings or individual tickets.

Finally, have you set a goal to learn or improve a Scandinavian language? This is the time to consider registering for a class that you normally wouldn’t be able to attend. See In-Person Scandinavian Language Classes Now Online to explore classes that normally meet in person, but now due to COVID restrictions, they are meeting online and available to you. I’ll be joining a language and literature class offered by Mindekirken Norwegian Language & Culture Program in Minneapolis that’s being conducted in Norwegian and will be reading a Norwegian crime fiction book. I’m so curious to see how that will work out for me.


The 22nd Scandinavian Film Festival LA (SFFLA) with Baltic Film Expo @ SFFLA: Weekend One (January 7 – 10)

For three weekends this month, SFFLA and Scandinavia House in New York, NY, will bring you “top films from the top of Europe.” Weekend One offers Oscar submissions from Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, and Estonia. Weekend Two you can watch Oscar submissions from Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, and Finland. Weekend Three offers an animated feature submission from Norway/Latvia plus possibly additional programming. Support the festival with a Festival Pass or you can purchase single tickets.

Weekend One film talks/Q&As available to watch include:

Virtual Nordic Stories (for Kids): Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats (Thursday, January 7, 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 Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats by Alicia Potter. The story is illustrated by Icelandic artist Birgitta Sif. After the story, Sara will teach kids how to make a craft with items found at home.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Home Baked Limpa (Saturday, January 9, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

Slightly sweet and aromatic limpa bread is a familiar Swedish-American standby. Simply the word for “loaf” in Swedish, it makes a great accompaniment to soups, a yummy sandwich base and excellent toast. The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN, invites you to tune in to watch Erin Swenson-Klatt walk through this loaf from start to finish in an hour. This is a live virtual class taught over Zoom. The recipe packet will be provided via email one day before class with login information. This workshop will be recorded and available to all registrants after class to watch later.

Virtual Intro to Finnish (Sunday, January 10, 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 offered by the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN, 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.

Vesterheim’s Family Heritage Cooking Series: Kringle with the Mineck Family (Sunday, January 10, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim in Decorah, IA, as they celebrate Scandinavian heritage, share family stories, and make memories in the kitchen together. In this live, family-led cooking demonstration, you’ll learn about traditional Nordic holiday recipes, passed down from one generation to the next. Upon registration, you will receive a list of ingredients and equipment needed, a recipe, and the Zoom link for the event. This event is free.

Virtual Intro to Swedish (Sunday, January 10, 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 offered by the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN, 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.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Group): Growth of the Soil (Sunday, January 10, 5:30-6:45 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 January to discuss the classic Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun.

Race in the Colonial Past and Present (Tuesday, January 12, 12:00 p.m. EST)

American-Scandinavian Foundation invites you to a virtual conversation between artists Jeanette Ehlers and La Vaughn Belle on “Race in the Colonial Past and Present,” moderated by Ursula Lindqvist. In the mid-17th century, Denmark established a colonial presence in the Caribbean and participated in the transatlantic slave trade until the early 19th century. Listen to the two artists discuss colonialism and how commemorative representations can impact the public discourse surrounding Danish colonial history. The event will take place as a Zoom webinar.

Online Nordic Book Club: A Drop of Midnight (Tuesday, January 12, 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 A Drop of Midnight by world-renowned hip-hop artist Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité, who joined Scandinavia House last fall for the online panel “Equity, Inclusion, and Immigration in the Nordic Countries,” available to stream here. Visit the event page for more information and to register.

The 22nd Scandinavian Film Festival LA (SFFLA) with Baltic Film Expo @ SFFLA: Weekend Two (January 14 – 17)

For three weekends this month, SFFLA and Scandinavia House in New York, NY, will bring you “top film from the top of Europe.” Weekend One offers Oscar submissions from Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, and Estonia. Weekend Two you can watch Oscar submissions from Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, and Finland. Weekend Three offers an animated feature submission from Norway/Latvia plus possibly additional programming. Support the festival with a Festival Pass or you can purchase single tickets.

Q&A with Norway’s Official Academy Awards Entry Hope (Premieres Thursday, January 14, 8:00 p.m. ET)

Join American Scandinavian Foundation + Scandinavia House for a virtual Q&A with Norway’s official Academy Awards entry Hope (Håp)’s director Maria Sødahl and lead actors Stellan Skarsgård and Andrea Bræin Hovig, moderated by Scandinavian Film Festival LA director Jim Koenig. Hope, along with Norwegian Oscar short The Kicksled Choir (Sparkekoret), is virtually screening as part of the second weekend of the Nordic & Baltic Oscar Contenders series, available across the U.S. January 14-17, organized by ASF + Scandinavia House and Scandinavian Film Festival LA.

Q&A with Best Live Action Short Film Academy Award Contender The Kicksled Choir (Premieres Thursday, January 14, 9:00 p.m. ET)

Join American Scandinavian Foundation + Scandinavia House for a Q&A with the Best Live Action Short Film Academy Award contender The Kicksled Choir (Sparkekoret, Norway, 2020) director Torfinn Iversen, producer Julia Andersen, and lead actor Benoni Brox Krane, moderated by the Scandinavian Film Festival LA director Jim Koenig. The short film is virtually screening with the Norwegian feature Hope as part of the second weekend of the Nordic & Baltic Oscar Contenders series, available across the U.S. January 14-17, organized by ASF + Scandinavia House and Scandinavian Film Festival LA.

Virtual Lecture: Head to Head—Edvard Munch, August Strindberg, and Photographic Self-Representation (Thursday, January 14, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for a lecture that will focus on the relationship between Edvard Munch and August Strindberg, and each artist’s engagement with photographic self-portraiture. This talk is presented by Linda Rugg, PhD, of UC Berkeley.

Q&A with Sweden’s Official Academy Awards Entry Charter (Premieres Friday, January 15, 8:00 p.m. ET)

In coordination with the Nordic & Baltic Oscar Contenders 2020 film series, held as virtual cinema this year by Scandinavia House with Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. & BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA, see an interview with director Amanda Kernell & lead actor Ane Dahl Torp on Charter, Sweden’s submission for the Best International Feature Film Academy Award.

Q&A with Marja & Ingir Ane Bål Nango about Njuokcamat/The Tongues (Premieres Friday, January 15, 9:00 p.m. ET)

In coordination with the Nordic & Baltic Oscar Contenders 2020 film series, held as virtual cinema this year by Scandinavia House with Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. & BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA, see an interview with directors Marja Bål Nango and Ingir Ane Bål Nango on Njuokcamat/The Tongues, submitted for the Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action). They’ll discuss the making of the film about an attack on a Sami woman and revenge in the tundra.

Virtual Nordic Handcraft Workshop: Faroese Knitted House Slippers (Saturdays, January 16 & 23, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Tackle a unique knitting project from the Faroe Islands while learning new skills in this multi-session virtual class. Skóleistar are the woolen soft shoe liners from the Faroe Islands, traditionally worn inside wooden clogs or rain shoes, but also doubling as a cozy house slipper. In this class offered by American Swedish Institute, explore some of the knitting traditions of the Faroe Islands and choose among two charted designs to make our own pair of skóleistar. For skill, materials, and registration information, visit the ASI’s event page.

The Habbestad Ensemble: Echoes of Norway (Sunday, January 17, 2:00-3:30 p.m. CT)

Norway House’s Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota is proud to present a family of musicians from Oslo, representing three generations of talent. The Habbestad Ensemble has been making music together since 1996. In 1997, they toured the United States for the first time, and they have performed extensively throughout Scandinavia and Europe. This online event will feature a 45-minute streamed concert by the Habbestad family from their home in Norway and a happy hour post-concert talkback in which guests will be able to chat and ask questions of the ensemble.

Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Kroppkakor and Beyond (Wednesday, January 20, 6:30-8:00 p.m.)

Dumplings are common across many cultures, but few are as imposing as the Swedish versions: whether klimp, kroppkakor or palt, Swedish potato dumplings are not for the faint of heart. Patrice Johnson will lighten up the foreboding kroppkakor to suit modern tastes, preparing students to tackle this hearty winter meal on their own. This class offered by American Swedish Institute is designed as a demonstration so students can see several recipes and prepare them later.

Kaffe and Cocktails with Impact Coffee (Thursday, January 21, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT)

Kaffe (coffee) has long been used as an ingredient in spirits and cocktails, and it has a special place in the hearts of Norwegians and Norwegian-Americans. Participants in this class will learn how to make three coffee cocktails at home: a Hot Maple Whiskey Coffee, a Chocolate Espresso Martini, and a Norwegian Snow, a variation on the White Russian. Class participants will learn a bit of the history behind these classic coffee cocktails, as well as how to make your own coffee liqueur with cold brew you make at home using Impact Coffee (roasted in Decorah, IA). Cost of class includes a kit shipped to your home. No special equipment is necessary. Registration deadline is January 11.

Virtual Lecture: Caring & Curing—Edvard Munch in the Clinic, 1908-09 (Thursday, January 21, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for a lecture exploring Edvard Munch who recorded his stay at a private nerve clinic in Copenhagen (1908–09) in numerous photographs, representing himself laid out for a bath, but also dressed and “at work.” He photographed, sketched, and painted the clinic’s doctor, as well as the nurses, care-workers, and patients who populated his world during his months-long rest cure. This talk explores the world of the clinic through Munch’s work, revealing not only one artist’s experience, but also a new kind of medical institution for caring and curing.

The 22nd Scandinavian Film Festival LA (SFFLA) with Baltic Film Expo @ SFFLA: Weekend Three (January 21 – 24)

Concluding the festival on Weekend Three are two special feature film screenings as well as a pass for multiple short films. Feature films include My Favorite War (Norway/Latvia, 2020; dir. Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen), submitted to compete for the Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film, and Life After Death (Finland, 2020; dir. Klaus Härö). Short films include:

  • Dummy / Atkūrimas (Lithuania, 2020; dir. Laurynas Bareiša)
  • Ivo (Norway, 2019; dir. Christina Lande)
  • My Dear Corpses / Mu kallid laibad (Estonia, 2020; dir. German Golub)
  • The Kicksled Choir / Sparkekoret (Norway 2020; dir. Torfinn Iversen)
  • Njuokčamat / The Tongues (Norway 2019; dir. Marja Bål Nango & Ingir Ane Bål Nango)
  • The Weight of All the Beauty /Süda Sõrve Sääres (Estonia, 2019; dir. Eeva Mägi)

Weekend Three film talks available to watch include:

  • My Favorite War – Live virtual film talk will take place on Saturday, January 23, at 2:00 p.m. ET via Zoom webinar. To learn more and register, please click here.
  • Life After Death – A film talk with the director will premiere on Friday, January 22, at 8:00 p.m. ET; click here to watch on YouTube.

February Family Norwegian Language Adventure: Eventyr! (Deadline to join: Friday, January 22)

Join Vesterheim in February for some family fun and learn some Norwegian language along the way! The February adventure will focus on eventyr, or fairy tales. 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 January 22.

Virtual Book Talk: Meet the Author w/ Ingrid Wall and Joachim Wall (Saturday, January 23, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for the next talk in their new series Meet the Author. On January 23, Swedish authors Ingrid Wall and Joachim Wall will discuss their book A Silenced Voice: The Life of Journalist Kim Wall (2019), a moving memoir of an inexplicable crime, a family’s loss, and a legacy preserved. The talk is moderated by Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma.

Vesterheim’s Family Heritage Cooking Series: Hardanger Lefse with the Miller Family (Sunday, January 24, 2:00-3:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim as they celebrate Scandinavian heritage, share family stories, and make memories in the kitchen together. In this live, family-led cooking demonstration, you’ll learn about traditional Nordic holiday recipes, passed down from one generation to the next. Upon registration, you will receive a list of ingredients and equipment needed, a recipe, and the Zoom link for the event. This event is free.

Virtual Panel —Tove Ditlevsen’s The Copenhagen Trilogy (Tuesday, January 26, 7:00 p.m. ET)

American-Scandinavian Foundation invites you to a virtual panel discussion on Tove Ditlevsen’s The Copenhagen Trilogy, in celebration of its publication in English translation by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman. In this event, translator Michael Favala Goldman and authors Morten Høi Jensen (A Difficult Death), Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room), and Ben Lerner (The Topeka School) will discuss this courageous and honest trilogy from literary icon Tove Ditlevsen, a pioneer in the field of genre-bending confessional writing, explores themes of family, sex, motherhood, abortion, addiction, and being an artist. The panel will take place as a Zoom webinar. More information and to register, click here.

Travel Seminar — Møre og Romsdal: Land of Contrasts (Wednesday, January 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m. CT)

Join Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language & Culture Program to learn about Norway’s county of Møre og Romsdal in the northernmost part of Western Norway.

Sølje-Inspired Earrings (Thursday, January 28, 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT)

Learn to create your own silver- and gold-washed earrings in this short class designed to introduce you to the beauty of Scandinavian silverwork. Ever wonder why sølje pins have those shiny dangles with silver disc drops? These discs are called “spoons” or “shells” in Norwegian. Silver has long been a protective element against evil and abduction by the hulder folk in Scandinavia. Legend has it that should you run into the devil while wearing your sparkling sølje, he would see his own reflection and run away! A complete kit of supplies for two pairs of earrings is included in the cost of enrollment. Enrollment deadline is January 14.

Marcus Samuelsson Cook-Along & Virtual Book Talk: “The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food” (Thursday, January 28, 6:00 p.m. CT)

Join the American Swedish Institute as they, in partnership with Cooks of Crocus Hill, welcome back acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson with an evening celebrating his newest book, The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food. In the first of the two programs at 6 p.m. CT, Marcus will join the team at Cooks of Crocus Hill in a cook-along live from his kitchen. Then at 7 p.m. CT, Marcus will join former Star Tribune Taste Editor Lee Dean for a virtual conversation on his new book The Rise. For registration details, visit ASI’s event page.

Virtual Crafts & Cocktails (Thursday, January 28, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PST)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, for their monthly Virtual Crafts & Cocktails event to craft your own winter wonderland. This month, make intricate snowflakes, taught by local artist Jaffrey Bagge.

Scandinavian Fest: All Hearts Day Market (Friday & Saturday, January 29 & 30)

The Scandinavian Fest brings Nordic shops and businesses together from around the globe, in one online location during the absence of in-person festivals. Need a little Nordic cheer and love this month, then join the next Scan Fest, All Hearts Day Market. The event theme is Valentine’s Day, but products won’t just be themed-based. Event will include 30+ Nordic vendors, giveaways, new products and more. To participate, mark that you are “interested” or “going” to the event.

Cooking from the Heart of Norway: A Conversation with Nevada Berg of North Wild Kitchen (Saturday, January 30, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT)

Join celebrated New Nordic chef and author, Nevada Berg of North Wild Kitchen, to learn about her journey into Norwegian food culture and what it means to make Nordic food today. Norwegian cuisine has been defined by centuries of trade, migration, and the adoption of culinary dishes from other regions and cultures. For a long time, Norwegian cuisine has combined these overlaps and influences with its own strong traditional food culture. Today, there is growing interest in applying traditional techniques and using local ingredients to combine both the past and the present into new, innovative, and inspired meals. This exclusive Vesterheim conversation with Nevada will surely inspire! This event is free.


Which January events or experiences sound interesting to you?

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

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