Summer is here and under normal circumstances I would be going to Norway to reconnect with Norwegian culture and family (and spending time at the location of the photo above), but that is not the case this summer due to Norway’s stringent restrictions for visitors. So I will travel vicariously and virtually through books, movies/TV, and virtual events and continue to be grateful for technology to keep in touch.
This summer Scandinavia House in New York, NY, and the streaming service Topic are collaborating to bring you a taste of classic Nordic Noir with the Summer of Suspense series. Viewers are being introduced to three Danish series: Follow the Money in June, The Bridge in June/July, and The Killing in August. Viewers get a sneak peek at the first two episodes of each season before they hit Topic. Ticket sales support Scandinavia House. All guests registered for the screenings receive a promo code for 50% off their first 3 months to Topic.
Musikk Snakk (Wednesdays, July 7, 14, 21, and 28, 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT)
Join Ethan Bjelland of Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language and Culture Program for an exploration of Norwegian language pop, black metal, hip hop/rap, and rock. You will make and share your own playlists (even if you’re new to the streaming world), and you’ll discuss favorite musicians and hopes for the future of Norwegian music. You’ll also learn a few “need-to-know” songs for Norwegian social situations. Karaoke (on Zoom-mute) will happen! Instruction will be in English.
Nordic Spirit Classics: Second Friday Series (Friday, July 9, 7:30 p.m. PT)
The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA, hosts a monthly series of Nordic Spirit Classics, a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia. This month they present “Western on Arrival: Swedish Immigrants and the Myth of the West” by Prof. Jennifer Eastman Attebery, Folklore and English, Idaho State University. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link.
Aquavit Brunch Cocktails with Hannah Garry (Sunday, July 11, 11:00 a.m. CT)
Learn to make three brunch cocktails featuring a classic Scandinavian spirit, aquavit! You’ll make an Aquavit Bloody Mary, a “Norwegian Snow” (a riff on the White Russian using aquavit), and an “Oslo Sunrise” (a fruity tropical aquavit drink). You’ll use the principles of New Nordic Cuisine to craft these drinks, focusing on local ingredients and high-quality products sourced from small producers, and learn some basic home cocktail crafting techniques to take your drink-making to the next level. Your friends and family are sure to be impressed the next time you host brunch!
Summer 2021 Virtual Folk School Series: Nordic Knitting with Laura Ricketts (Sunday, July 11, 10:00-10:30 a.m. PST)
This class is a part of National Nordic Museum’s summer-long Virtual Folk School Series. You do not need materials or supplies for these classes. In this session, explore the questions “What is knitting?” and “What is Nordic knitting?” with teacher and author Laura Ricketts as she turns to friends, colleagues, and the archives of the National Nordic Museum for answers.
Virtual Book Talk — Magma by Icelandic Author Thóra Hjörleifsdóttir (Tuesday, July 13, 6:00 p.m. ET)
Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for a virtual book talk with Icelandic author Thóra Hjörleifsdóttir and translator Meg Matich on the release of the new novel Magma. “With astounding clarity and restraint, Magma sheds light on the commonplace undercurrents of violence that so often go undetected in romantic relationships.” With moderator Larissa Kyzer, the author and translator will discuss the novel, out today from Black Cat.
FamilieKlubb: Try Rosemaling! (Register by July 16)
Looking for a fun way to explore Norwegian culture with your family on your own schedule? FamilieKlubb is for you! Learn some Norwegian words and phrases and a new Scandinavian handcraft each month, and do it when it works for your family’s schedule! 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. You’ll learn how to try different brushstrokes, resulting in beautiful decorative painting. The best thing about this class is that you can watch the video and open your kit materials to explore rosemaling whenever it is most convenient to you and your family members. Your registration provides you with a kit that includes everything you need to explore this handcraft as a family at home.
Virtual Nordic Talks: Preventing the Collapse of Colonies: Saving Bees and the Global Food Supply (Saturday, July 17, 2:00-3:00 p.m. PT)
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 third talk, the panel will move beyond discussions of food consumption to address the first step in the cultivation of plant-based foods. Panelists from Washington State University and the Nordic countries will discuss efforts to combat declining populations of the world’s most important pollinator—bees. The talk is free, but you must RSVP to receive the link.
New Nordic Summer Apps with Patrice Johnson (Saturday, July 17, 5:00 p.m. CT)
New Nordic Cuisine is all about time and place! In this cook-along with food historian and cookbook author Patrice Johnson, you will cook together and prepare an assortment of fun and unique New Nordic appetizers using seasonal ingredients. The menu will include cabbage wraps, mini Västerbottensostpajs (Swedish cheese tarts), seafood and carrot salad, condiments (pickled mustard seeds, lingonberry hot sauce, quick pickles), seasonal fruit dessert, and a cocktail/mocktail.
FamilieTid: Concert with Fiddler Casey Driessen! (Sunday, July 18, 2:00 p.m. CT)
Gather the family and join Vesterheim for a fun-filled hour of fiddling with Grammy-nominated Casey Driessen! Sharing music and stories from his travels in Spain, Ireland, Scotland, India, Japan, and Finland, this will be an event that will inspire musicians of every age! All are welcome. Families are encouraged to participate together.
Online Nordic Book Club: Long Live the Post Horn! by Vigdis Hjorth (Tuesday, July 20, 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 July 20, they’ll be discussing the new book Long Live the Post Horn! by Vigdis Hjorth, out now in translation by Charlotte Barslund from Verso Fiction.
Virtual Book Talk — Bolla by Finnish Author Pajtim Statovci (Tuesday, July 20, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for a pre-recorded book talk with Finnish-Kosovan author Pajtim Statovci (National Book Award finalist, Crossing) on his new novel Bolla. With moderator Bethanne Patrick, he’ll discuss the writing of the novel, available on July 6 in translation by David Hackston from Pantheon.
Travel Seminar: Saints of Norway (Wednesday, July 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m. CT)
Join Magne Hatlevik of Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language and Culture Program for a tour that traces the historical sites connected to two of Norway’s three Saints. The tour will start in Bergen and you will embark on a boat cruise where you explore the cloister ruins of St. Sunniva on the island of Selja and the Selje Monastery. You will also stop in Ålesund, Molde, Kristiansund and end up in Trondheim for St. Olav’s Festival. Here you will visit the historical battleground of Stiklestad where Norway’s Christian Viking King St. Olav met his fate.
Virtual Nordic Handcraft Workshop: Knitting Nordic Without a Pattern – The Wandering Shawl (Wednesdays, July 21 & 28, 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT)
The triangular shawl is one of the most quintessential and cozy Nordic knits. Folks have created their own patterns for generations, so that’s just what we’ll do in this class! Using yarn that you have on hand, or discussing suitable options to purchase, you’ll knit a shawl like no other. This class is perfect for beginning-intermediate knitters who can already knit, purl and cast on and off, but would like to learn how to play with design. The instructor will discuss several ornamental stitch patterns throughout the class as well. This is a great way to use up that special yarn in your stash, by creating a completely unique project to you! This class meets Wednesdays July 21 & 28 from 5-7 p.m. and is a live virtual class taught over Zoom.
Virtual Nordic Table Demo: Baking Tekakor with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Thursday, July 22, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)
When you think of Scandinavian flatbreads, you might think of crisp Swedish knäckebröd or thin and soft Norwegian lefse, but in fact flatbreads vary greatly in their size, shape, thickness and content. Watch Erin go through all the steps of baking one of her favorite Swedish flatbreads – the small and soft tekakor. These easy “tea cakes” usually make use of a little rye or whole wheat flour, and are a great choice for breakfasts, fikas and even traveling sandwiches. Learn about these lovely breads so you can make them before your next picnic! This is a live virtual class taught over Zoom. This class is designed as a demonstration, so students can watch the entire process and ask questions before tackling the dishes at home at a later date.
Virtual Crafts & Cocktails: Watercolor Northern Lights (Thursday, July 22, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT)
Recharge from your day with an evening of creativity and fun! Join National Nordic Museum for their virtual Crafts & Cocktails event to learn a cocktail recipe and make a craft using supplies you have around the house. This month’s craft project is Watercolor Northern Lights with their teaching artist, Willow Heath.
Virtual Nordic Table Workshop: Berry Jam at Home with Heidi Skoog (Saturday, July 24, 2:00-5:00 p.m. CT)
Capture summer’s bounty in a beautiful mixed berry jam with preserving expert Heidi Skoog, owner of St. Paul-based Serious Jams. Pick up fresh berries from a farmers market or U-Pick and then go to work making a simple berry jam in your own kitchen and jarring it up to save for keeping or gifting. This is the perfect class if you’ve ever wanted to start preserving at home and are looking for someone to (virtually) check in over your shoulder.
Summer 2021 Virtual Folk School Series: Woodcarving Basics with Brendan McGarry (Sunday, July 25, 10:00-10:30 a.m. PT)
This class is a part of National Nordic Museum’s summer-long Virtual Folk School Series. You do not need materials or supplies for these classes. In this class, join Brendan McGarry to learn the basics of carving a wooden spoon from green wood, using traditional hand tools. There are many ways to carve a wooden spoon, but Brendan will demonstrate the process of creating a spoon starting with a log of wood and ending up with a finished spoon. While he carves, he’ll discuss the design, safety, and a bit of history behind this style of spoon carving.
Virtual Lecture: Discovering Artists Emil and Dines Carlsen (Thursday, July 29, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT)
In this virtual lecture, National Nordic Museum’s Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs Leslie Anne Anderson will trace the careers of Danish-American artist Emil Carlsen and his son, Dines Carlsen (1901–1966). This behind-the-scenes talk is held in conjunction with the exhibition Dines Carlsen: In His Own Manner, which will display selections from the Museum’s newly acquired collection of nearly 1,000 drawings by Dines Carlsen.
Virtual Viking Metal-Weaving Bracelet Class (Saturday, July 31, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. PT)
Dating back to the Viking era, this metal-weaving project is a great introduction to jewelry making. Using copper and silver wire, learn the steps for metal knitting—a simple looping technique—over a round, wooden dowel. Once the knitting is made, a drawplate is used to pull the knitting through, which compresses and lengthens the wire into a beautiful hollow chain. Then, by attaching end caps and a clasp, you’ll transform the chain into a lovely bracelet. All bracelet materials are provided, including complete instruction from start to finish, through discussion and demonstration of all the steps in the process. Materials will be sent to you by mail upon registration; class is virtual.
Which July 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.