Summer 2022: Virtual Nordic Events & Scandinavian Festival

View towards Oslofjorden from Grefsenkollen, taken June 2019

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

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

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

What’s on your calendar this summer?


Family Friluftsliv Adventure with Vesterheim (Register by June 1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


JULY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction to Finnish (Sunday, July 17, 12:45-2:45 p.m. CT)

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

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

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


AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Virtual Summer Book Clubs

Scandinavia House Online Nordic Book Club

  • Tuesday, June 7: Quake by Auður Jónsdóttir, tr. from the Icelandic by Meg Matich
  • Tuesday, July 12: The Land of Short Sentences by Stine Pilgaard, tr. from the Danish by Hunter Simpson

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Illinois

  • Tuesday, June 14: Pole Raising and Speech Making: Modalities of Swedish American Summer Celebration (Ritual, Festival, and Celebration) by Jennifer Eastman Attebery
  • Tuesday, July 12: The Finnish-Soviet Winter War 1939-40: Stalin’s Hollow Victory by David Murphy
  • Tuesday, August 9: Power, Passion, and Faith: Emmy Evald Carlsson, Suffragist and Social Activist by Sharon M. Wyman

Swedish American Museum

  • Saturday, June 25: The Swedish Tailor and Adventurer: A historical novel by Rolf Johansson, tr. from the Swedish by Bonnie G. Pattison

Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

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

May 2022: Virtual Nordic Events & Norway’s National Day 17. mai

Better late than never! We’re half way through the month of May, but many virtual events remain to be experienced. And for Norwegians and fans of Norway, the most important date of all is still ahead of us, Norway’s Constitution Day on May 17, known as Syttende mai in Norway.

Once again, Norway’s national TV station NRK will broadcast live throughout the day starting on Monday, May 16, at 10:50 p.m. PT and a recording will be available to view later. In addition to glimpses of celebrations from all over the country, viewers will enjoy delicious food, special guests, lively entertainment, and of course beautiful traditional costumes. For details on the program, visit Slik blir 17. mai på NRK (in Norwegian).

For LA-area readers, Norway’s national day will be celebrated in traditional style at the Norwegian Church in San Pedro on Tuesday, May 17, starting at 5 o’clock. For more details, visit the event page for Sjømannskirken’s 17.mai feiring.

Another in-person Nordic event is happening soon in the LA-area. I hope you’ve marked your calendars for the 45th Scandinavian Festival which returns to Thousand Oaks on June 4 and June 5 at California Lutheran University. It is the largest Nordic-themed event in Southern California celebrating the cultures and traditions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Sami people of the Arctic regions of Scandinavia. I’ll be returning as a volunteer!

And finally, are you interested in learning or improving your Nordic language skills? This is the time when some institutions are sharing new class schedules.

Vesterheim Folk Art School in Decorah, Iowa, recently opened registration for summer classes, both in-person and virtual. Offerings include a new slate of Norwegian classes starting in June (levels 1 through 4). For a peek at all classes to be offered this summer, visit Vesterheim Folk Art School Class Schedule: July -September 2022. Don’t delay in signing up because online classes fill quickly.

American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis has a series of virtual Swedish and Finnish language classes beginning in May. For a full overview of offerings, visit ASI: Lifelong learning in Swedish and Finnish.

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


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

Vesterheim invites everyone to celebrate Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day with them. In addition to their on-campus festivities, they will be offering an online presentation from Norway. At noon (CT), Norwegian storyteller Anne Elisebeth Skogen will join from Ryfylkemuseet at Sand, Norway, to tell the story My Last 17 Mai in My Hometown, Now as a Red Russ. Last year, Anne Elisebeth joined this event to share her memories of her first Syttende Mai parade (view recording), and this year she will continue the story with her memories of russefeiring, a long-standing tradition for high school graduates in Norway. To watch from home, registration for the Zoom link is required and available here.

Family Friluftsliv Adventure with Vesterheim in June (Register by May 18)

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

Swedish Museum Series: Jamtli (Wednesday, May 18, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT)

ASI’s Swedish Museum Series returns with a virtual tour of one of Sweden’s oldest and largest open air and country museums, Jamtli in Östersund. This museum features some of Sweden’s most spectacular pieces including The Överhogdal tapestries, which are over 1,000 years old. After the program, registrants will receive a recording of the tour.

Nordic Innovation Summit 2022 (Thursday, May 19, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT)

The Nordic Innovation Summit 2022 will be held in a hybrid format with a free live-streaming option from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p. PDT. Protecting the future of democracy is a principal theme in this year’s Nordic Innovation Summit. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the threat of cyberattack and the need for enhanced security and energy independence looms large in the minds of government leaders and corporations. This year’s Summit deals with the most important issues confronting the world today. Visit the website for information on keynote speeches, presentations, and panels.

Demo: Swedish Strawberry Rulltårta with Kristi Bissell (Thursday, May 19, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CST)

Learn to make this festive rulltårta cake filled with roasted strawberries and vanilla pastry cream just in time for your Midsommar celebration! Kristi Bissel of True North Kitchen will share some of her favorite cake baking tips to help students be successful in making a beautiful rolled cake at home. 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, available for re-viewing for one month.

Nordic Language Café (Sunday, May 22, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

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

Nordiska’s Book Club: Anxious People (Thursday, May 26, 6:00 p.m. PT)

Nordiska, a boutique specializing in Nordic-inspired goods and gifts in Poulsbo, WA, hosts its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. They invite you to expand your Nordic reading repertoire and discuss a variety of written works with them the last Thursday of each month. For May’s meeting, they will be reading the dark comedy Anxious People by reputed Swedish author Fredrik Backman, translated by Neil Smith.

Swedish American Museum Book Club: Swedish Again: a memoir of motherhood and identity (Saturday, May 28, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss Swedish Again: a memoir of motherhood and identity by Anna Dahland.

Writing as a Vehicle for Change: Swedish Women Authors (May 31 –  June 21)

With discussions and reading material in English, this program explores Swedish and Finnish-Swedish women writers—from Victoria Benedictsson to Lena Andersson. Learn about their historical and social contexts, reflecting on love, emancipation, social rights, class, and gender. Class will begin with an introduction and meets Tuesdays, May 31 – June 21, 5:30–7:00 p.m. CT.

Virtual Meet the Author: The Border by Erika Fatland (Saturday, June 4, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT)

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

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

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

Virtual Viking Metal-Weaving Bracelet Class (Saturday, June 25, 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 steps in the process. Materials will be sent by mail upon registration.


Looking ahead…

Want to plan your reading? Here’s a look ahead at virtual book events for June.


Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

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

April 2022: Virtual Nordic Events

Virtual events focused on Nordic cooking, books and authors, art, and film continue to be popular despite the return to in-person programming at institutions. Which virtual events or experiences happening this month look interesting to you?

Speaking of in-person events, Los Angeles area readers, the 45th Scandinavian Festival needs volunteers! The festival returns to Thousand Oaks on June 4-5, 2022, at California Lutheran University. It is the largest Nordic-themed event in Southern California celebrating the cultures and traditions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Sámi people of the Arctic regions of Scandinavia. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, please reach out to ScanFestVolunteers@gmail.com. They also offer sponsorship opportunities. Please visit Scandinavian Festival: Sponsors for more information, including a link to a sponsorship brochure.


Book Talk: Haymaker in Heaven by Edvard Hoem (Saturday, April 2, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT, Free)

Celebrate the launch of Haymaker in Heaven by Edvard Hoem, translated from the Norwegian by Tara Chace, with the author and Norway House in Minneapolis, MN. From one of Norway’s leading writers, translated into English for the very first time, comes a transatlantic novel of dreams, sacrifice, and transformation set at the turn of the twentieth century. Enjoy a discussion with the author, joining virtually from Norway, with an opportunity to ask questions.

Virtual Premier of In Conversation: The Photography of Edvard Munch (Saturday, April 2, 1:00 p.m. ET)

In coordination with their ongoing exhibition The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography, Scandinavia House presents a virtual program celebrating the release of the illustrated book The Experimental Self: The Photography of Edvard Munch. In the program, renowned Munch scholar Patricia G. Berman will examine a selection of photographs featured in the exhibition. Next, MaryClaire Pappas will expand on her essay in the catalogue, examining a series of self-portraits (or “Selfies”) taken by Munch, also featured in the exhibition. Following these two presentations, Dr. Berman and Pappas will join ASF President Edward Gallagher as moderator in a discussion about the relevance of Munch’s photos today. The program will air as a Virtual Premiere on Saturday, April 2, via YouTube and will remain available to view throughout the weekend. It will later be available to stream on the Exhibition page.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series—Trolls: A Retrospective; Episode 3: “Trolls out of Chaos” (Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. PT)

The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA, presents a live virtual presentation about trolls by Britte Rasmussen Marsh, a writer and independent researcher based in Portland, Oregon. Beginning in the Modern Era, troll narratives sprung like dandelions from the scorched earth of World Wars I and II–as flowers or as weeds? In Episode 3 of Trolls: A Retrospective, investigate the ever-shifting influences of 20th century Europe: good, evil, neutrality, fantasy and fascism. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link.

Virtual Cinema: Helene (April 8-17)

Scandinavia House in New York, NY, presents virtual screenings of the new film Helene, directed by Antti J. Jokinen, based on true events in the life of Finland’s most acclaimed painter Helene Schjerfbeck.

Fastlavnsboller – Easter Buns with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, April 9)

On Shrove Tuesday and throughout the Lenten season in the Scandinavian countries, people indulge in fastlavnsboller (Norwegian) or semlor (Swedish), buttery cardamom buns filled with a rich almond filling and topped with a flourish of whipped cream. Join Vesterheim and Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen and learn how to make these buttery, almond-filled sweet buns at home! Class consists of two sessions on Saturday, April 9, 1:00-2:00 p.m. and 3:00-4:30 p.m. CT. Enrollment deadline: April 1.

Ejnar Nielsen and the Psychographic Image (Saturday, April 9, 11:00 a.m. PT, Free)

Join National Nordic Museum and Dr. Thor Mednick (Associate Professor of Art History, University of Toledo) as he considers the paintings of Ejnar Nielsen (Danish, 1872-1956). He will argue that in Nielsen’s work, the quality and character of human consciousness is primarily determined by the mind. Dr. Mednick is an historian of nineteenth-century European art specializing in Denmark and Scandinavia.

Book Talk: The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting (Tuesday, April 12, 11:00 a.m. PT, Free)

Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for a virtual book talk with bestselling Norwegian author Lars Mytting on The Sixteen Trees of the Somme, his engrossing new literary novel about a family mystery, revenge and forgiveness, out April 5 from The Overlook Press. Winner of the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Prize, The Sixteen Trees of the Somme, spanning a century and masterfully navigating themes of revenge and forgiveness, love and loneliness, displays the rich talents of Lars Mytting in a story that is utterly compelling and unforgettable.

Scandinavia House Nordic Book Club: To Cook a Bear (Tuesday, April 12, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House’s Nordic Book Club to read and discuss literature in translation from some of the best Nordic literary voices. This month, they will be discussing To Cook a Bear by Swedish author Mikael Niemi, a tale set in the far north of Sweden in 1852.

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center Nordic Book Club: The Copenhagen Trilogy (Tuesday, April 12, 6:00 p.m. CT)

Join Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, Illinois, to discuss The Copenhagen Trilogy, the acclaimed trilogy from Danish author Tove Ditlevsen, a pioneer in the field of genre-bending confessional writing.

National Danish Book Club: The Man in the Lighthouse (Tuesdays, April 12 & April 19, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with this nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author is discussed in two virtual settings: Book Club group discussions and accompanying Literary Events. This month’s selection is The Man in the Lighthouse by Erik Valeur in translation by Mark Mussari. The Literary Event will take place on Tuesday, April 12, while the Book Club group discussion will take place Tuesday, April 19.

Demo: Spring Meringue Cake with Patrice Johnson (Wednesday, April 13, 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT)

Seeking inspiration for a fun, spring-y dessert just in time for Easter and beyond? Join Patrice Johnson to find out more about Scandinavian style meringue cakes. Patrice will calm your fears by sharing all her tricks for working with egg whites, and talk through some of her favorite fillings for these festive but deceptively simple desserts. This is a live virtual class taught over Zoom and 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 Cinema: A Writer Named Tove (April 15-24)

Scandinavia House presents virtual screenings of the animated documentary, A Writer Named Tove (Tove i stykke), based on the life of acclaimed Danish author Tove Ditlevsen. The screening will include a virtual introduction by author and translator Michael Favala.

Vesterheim Bokprat: Beartown by Fredrik Backman (Wednesday, April 20, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, Free)

Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, facilitates a monthly bokprat, discussing Scandinavian authors and Scandinavian life. Join in April to discuss Beartown by Fredrik Backman. Enrollment deadline: April 13, 2022.

The Nordic Heart Bokklubb Book Club: Giants in the Earth by O. E. Rölvaag (Saturday, April 23, 10:30 a.m. CT, Free)

In this meeting, participants of The Nordic Heart Book Club will be discussing the first half of Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie by O. E. Rölvaag. O. E. Rölvaag (born 1876 in Helgeland, Norway; died 1931 in Minnesota) was a Norwegian-American novelist and educator noted for his realistic portrayals of Norwegian settlers on the Dakota prairies and of the clash between transplanted and native cultures in the United States. The second half of the book will be discussed Saturday, May 21.

Nordic Literature in Translation: Damascus, Atlantis (Saturday, April 23, 1:00 p.m. PT)

Join Scandinavia House for a Nordic Literature in Translation event with author Marie Silkeberg and translator Kelsi Vanada on Silkeberg’s 2021 book Damascus, Atlantis, which was recently longlisted for the 2022 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. With moderator David Rothenberg, the publisher of Terra Nova Press, they’ll discuss Silkeberg’s poetry collection and Vanada’s translation of her works, for which Vanada won ASF’s Nadia Christensen Translation Prize in 2018.

The 46th Annual Kalevala Event: Finnish Kantele: Remembering Wilho (Sunday, April 24, 3:00 p.m. PT, Free)

The National Nordic Museum together with the Finnish Choral Society invites you to the 46th Annual Kalevala Day Festival—Finnish Kantele: Remembering Wilho. 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. This 45-minute YouTube program will feature the Finnish Choral Society of Seattle, the Evergreen Livakat Kantele players, and Arja Kastinen, kantele player and first Finnish folk musician to earn Doctor of Music at Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland.

Nordic Language Café (Sunday, April 24, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

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

Nordiska’s Book Club: The Mercies (Thursday, April 28, 6:00 p.m. PT)

Nordiska, a boutique specializing in Nordic-inspired goods and gifts in Poulsbo, WA, hosts its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. In April, join them to discuss The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, a book set in Vardø, Norway, far above the Arctic Circle, which depicts the lives of two women during the witch trials in the 1600s. The book is based on true events.

Swedish American Museum Book Club: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (Saturday, April 30, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Join Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman, translated from the Swedish by Henning Koch. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

Walpurgis Feast with Patrice Johnson (Saturday, April 30, 5:00-6:30 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and Patrice Johnson to celebrate the end of winter and beginning of spring on Walpurgis Eve, known in Sweden as Valborgsmässoafton. Learn about the traditions of this special night and prepare a traditional menu of Tunnbrödsrulle (hotdogs served in flatbreads with mashed potatoes, shrimp salad, and other fun condiments). Round out the menu with a cocktail, a mocktail, and a light spring dessert. Enrollment deadline: April 22, 2022.

Family Friluftsliv Adventure with Vesterheim (Register by May 18)

Looking for a fun way to explore Norwegian culture with your family on your own schedule? June’s Family Friluftsliv Adventure is for you! Through hands-on activities and short videos, you and your family will explore the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv, spend time outdoors together, and learn and practice Norwegian words and phrases. A kit will be delivered right to your home containing supplies for these activities along with a helpful reference sheet for all the new words and expressions you will be learning and a yummy treat. Enrollment deadline: May 18, 2022.


Looking ahead…

Want to plan your reading? Here’s a look ahead at virtual book events for May.

Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

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

March 2022: Virtual Nordic Events & New Online Language Classes

In addition to a variety of virtual Nordic events, this month welcomes the start of new online language classes at certain institutions as well.

Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language and Culture Program has opened registration for the spring semester and offers online classes featuring language and literature starting at the end of March and continuing through the beginning of June.

The Scandinavian School & Cultural Center in San Francisco also offers online Norwegian language classes as well as Danish, Swedish, and Finnish classes starting at the beginning of March. In addition to classes, they offer a virtual monthly Language Café to practice your Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, or Swedish.

For Los Angeles area readers, the 45th Scandinavian Festival returns to Thousand Oaks on June 4-5, 2022, at California Lutheran University. It is the largest Nordic-themed event in Southern California celebrating the cultures and traditions of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Sami people of the Arctic regions of Scandinavia. If you are interested in volunteering at the 2022 Scandinavian Festival, please contact Karen Ashim at ScanFestVolunteers@gmail.com.

What looks intriguing to you this month?


Nordic Lights Film Festival (February 25 – March 5)

The Nordic Lights Film Festival is devoted to celebrating Nordic cinema—this year, once again, virtually. All films are available to watch during the run of the festival. You may choose your own viewing schedule but once you start a film, you will have 72 hours to finish it. Some of the feature films have been geo-blocked by their production companies and will only be viewable in the state of Washington.

Celebrate Laskiainen with Scandinavia House (March 1 – 6)

Join Finnish singer Ida Metsberg as she shows you how to make your very own laskiaispulla, while sharing her own childhood memories of Laskiainen/Shrovetide! This event will take place as a virtual event premiering on March 1 via YouTube and Facebook. It will remain available to stream through Sunday, March 6. Laskiainen (Shrovetide) is often described as a “mid-winter sliding festival”. Associated with Shrove Tuesday, it is a celebration of the beginning of Lent that takes place before Easter, but includes both pagan and ecclesiastic traditions.

Nordic Literature in Translation: The Land of Short Sentences (Saturday, March 5, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House for a Nordic Literature in Translation event with this year’s American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prizewinner Hunter Simpson and the author of the work in translation, Stine Pilgaard, moderated by Shimanto Reza. Now in its 43rd year, ASF’s Annual Translation Competition awards prizes for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a 20th- or 21st-century Nordic author. In today’s event, Pilgaard and Simpson will discuss the writing and translation of the book.

Scandinavia House Nordic Book Club: Adorable (Tuesday, March 8, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

This month, Scandinavia House’s Nordic Book Club will be discussing Adorable by Ida Marie Hede, out in translation by Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg, which was recently discussed by the author in the virtual panel “The Familiar & The Absurd: Literature from Copenhagen,” now streaming here.

Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center Nordic Book Club: Hotel Silence (Tuesday, March 8, 6:00 p.m. CT)

Join Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, Illinois, to discuss Hotel Silence by Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir, translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon.

National Danish Book Club: Mirror, Shoulder, Signal  (Tuesday, March 8, 5:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with a new nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author will be selected and discussed in two virtual settings: Book Club group discussions and accompanying Literary Events. This month’s selection is Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Spejl, skulder, blink) by Dorthe Nors, translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra. The Literary Event, an interview with Dorthe Nors, will take place on Tuesday, March 8, while the Book Club group discussion will take place Tuesday, March 15.

Panel: Jon Fosse’s SEPTOLOGY (Wednesday, March 9, 4:00 p.m. PT)

Community Bookstore (Brooklyn, New York), Brazos Bookstore (Houston, Texas), and Third Place Books (Seattle, Washington) invite you to an evening celebrating the release of A NEW NAME: SEPTOLOGY VI-VII by Jon Fosse, one of Norway’s most celebrated authors and playwrights. This event, co-sponsored by the Norwegian Consulate General in New York, will take place on Zoom Webinar. Click here for more information and to register.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series—1000 Year History of Iceland in One Hour: From Viking Settlement to Recent Times (Friday, March 11, 7:30 p.m. PT)

A fascinating thousand-year history of Iceland, land of fire, ice, Vikings, Icelandic horses, puffins and much more, is ably described by Dr. Elisabeth Ward. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link. The monthly series of Nordic Spirit Classics is a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia hosted by The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Introduction to Finnish (Sunday, March 13, 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.

Introduction to Swedish (Sunday, March 13, 1:00-3:00 p.m. CT)

Are you curious about learning Swedish, but not ready yet to commit to a multi-date class? In this two-hour introductory workshop, students will get a feel for the Swedish language, pick up a bit of grammar and learn how to pronounce some words as part of basic conversation.

Vesterheim Bokprat: Wendy Swallow’s Searching For Nora: After The Doll’s House (Wednesday, March 16, 7:00-8:30 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. Following February’s discussion of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, join in March to explore Wendy Swallow’s Searching for Nora: After the Doll’s House. Author Wendy Swallow will join the event, and following the small group discussions in breakout rooms, there will be a Q&A with the author. Enrollment deadline: March 9, 2022.

Workshop: Scandinavian Fish Pie with Patrice Johnson (Friday, March 18, 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT)

If you’ve never tried a savory Scandinavian fish pie, this winter is the perfect time to do so! Grab some family members or friends to prep and cook this one dish meal – cod or haddock in a creamy filling topped with mashed potatoes. While our main dishes cook, we’ll prep a salad and simple dessert. This class is designed as a cook along experience, perfect for cooks who want a few extra tips and tricks while tackling classic Scandinavian comfort food at home. This program is sold out, but you can ask to be added to a waitlist.

Hearty Nordic Meal with North Wild Kitchen (Saturday, March 19, 10:00 a.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and celebrated food writer and author Nevada Berg from North Wild Kitchen in making a hearty meal highlighting the traditional flavors of Norway. In this class, you’ll be making the Reindeer Stew (beef or other game meat can be substituted for the reindeer) with Samisk Bread “reinsdyrgryte med Samisk brød”, and the Light and Fluffy Cheesecake “ostekake” from her cookbook. The class is currently full, but you can be added to the waitlist.

The Nordic Heart Bokklubb Book Club: Unto a Good Land by Vilhelm Moberg (Saturday, March 19, 10:30 a.m. CT, Free)

In this meeting, participants of The Nordic Heart Bokklubb Book Club will be discussing the second half of book 2 in The Emigrant Novels series by Vilhelm Moberg, Unto a Good Land, as well as reviewing the whole book. Considered one of Sweden’s greatest 20th century writers, Vilhelm Moberg created Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson to portray the joys and tragedies of daily life for early Swedish pioneers in America. His consistently faithful depiction of these humble people’s lives is a major strength of The Emigrant Novels.

Virtual Book Talk: Swedish-American Borderlands (Saturday, March 19, 10:00 a.m. PT, Free)

Swedish–American Borderlands studies connections and contacts between Sweden and the United States from the seventeenth century to today, exploring how movements of people have informed the circulation of knowledge and ideas between the two countries to produce new understandings of what we perceive as Swedish, American, and Swedish American.  The volume investigates multiple transcultural exchanges between Sweden and the United States. Rather than concentrating on one-way processes or specific national contexts, Swedish–American Borderlands adopts the concept of borderlands to examine contacts, crossings, and convergences between the nations, featuring specific case studies of topics like jazz, architecture, design, genealogy, and more. In this virtual book talk, editors Dag Blanck and Adam Hjorthén present the volume’s contribution to the history of Swedish-American relations.

Nordic Language Café (Sunday, March 20, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT)

Join The Scandinavian School & Cultural Center virtually on March 20 to practice your Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish, the choice is yours! This is a perfect opportunity for you to practice your speaking skills and meet other people who share your passion for all things Nordic. All levels are welcome. Participants will be divided up into different breakout rooms in their chosen Nordic language according to their conversational skills, ranging from beginner to advanced. You don’t have to be a student at SSCC to join, but they are of course hoping to see both current and former language adult learners on the screen. Are you a native speaker up for a chat? They would love for you to join them.

Extreme North: Virtual Programming with Bernd Brunner and Eric Jaronski (Thursday, March 24, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Scandinavia House and Deutsches Haus at NYU present a virtual program with acclaimed author Bernd Brunner and renowned Germanist, writer, and mastermind of @neinquarterly, Eric Jaronski. In today’s program, hear a reading by Brunner from his latest book, Extreme North (W. W. Norton, February 2022), translated by Jefferson Chase – an entertaining and informative voyage through cultural fantasies of the North, from sea monsters and a mountain-sized magnet to racist mythmaking – followed by a conversation with Jarosinski.

Swedish American Museum Book Club: Pakkis by Khalid Hussain (Saturday, March 26, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

Join Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss Pakkis by Khalid Hussain, translated from the Norwegian by Claudia Berguson and Ingeborg Kongslien. Khalid Hussain is a Norwegian-Pakistani writer and film producer. Hussain was born in 1969 in Pakistan and moved to Norway without his parents in 1975. He came to attention after writing the book Pakkis in 1986 when he was 16 years old. Drawing upon his own life experiences, Hussain voiced in Pakkis the unique challenges of many young immigrants in Norway.

Nordiska’s Book Club: The Real Valkyrie (Thursday, March 31, 6:00 p.m. PT)

To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) and National Women’s History Month in March, Nordiska has decided to highlight women’s lesser-known roles in Nordic history. Women’s histories have historically been marginalized, but due to the work of researchers and writers like Nancy Marie Brown, incredible stories are finally being spotlighted. Join in reading and discussing Brown’s latest publication, The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women. Receive a 15% discount on the book club pick by using the code “bookclub22” when purchasing the book through Nordiska’s online store.


Looking ahead…

Want to plan your reading? Here’s a look ahead at virtual book events for April.

Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

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

February 2022: Virtual Nordic Events & Sámi National Day

While Nordic organizations around the country are transitioning to more and more in-person events, there are still many virtual ones to enjoy!

February is 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.  (If you’re interested in more information on the history and culture of the Sámi, visit Life in Norway’s “The Sami People”.)

Marking the day has become increasingly popular with celebrations and programs not just taking place domestically in those countries but also abroad. In the virtual community this month, there are many online events – celebrations, a movie screening, book events, craft workshops, presentations, and more. Look for events marked with ❤️💙💛💚. Happening now in Tromsø, Norway, is Sámi Week (January 31-February 6). Highlights usually include an Arctic Market, the Norwegian Championship in Lasso Throwing, and the Norwegian Championship in Reindeer Racing, but unfortunately they are canceled this year due to national restrictions. View pictures from previous years here.

And finally I share an in-person event for readers in the Los Angeles and New York City areas. Today the Norwegian Oscar submission for Best International Feature, The Worst Person in the World, opens in limited release in theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Los Angeles Times critic Justin Chang calls it “a funny, melancholy dazzler from Norwegian writer-director Joachim Trier… [a] charming, wistful, ineffably tender movie… It’s time well spent.” Will you see it, or have you already?

Which events look intriguing to you this month?


Book Talk: River Kings with Dr. Cat Jarman (Friday, February 4, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for a virtual literary talk with bioarchaeologist Dr. Cat Jarman to celebrate the release of her new book River Kings: A New History of the Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads out on February 1, 2022, from Pegasus Books. Learn about an epic story from the Viking Age that traces the historical path of an ancient piece of jewelry—found in a Viking grave in England—to its likely origin thousands of miles east in India. Update: The virtual talk is available now for streaming.

Sámi álbmotbeaivi – Samenes nasjonaldag (Sunday, February 6)❤️💙💛💚

Norway’s national TV station NRK celebrates Sámi National Day with celebrations from all of Sápmi. This recorded program is in Norwegian and Sámi, but you’ll still enjoy the unique joik music, traditional Sámi dress and jewelry, and impressive landscapes. View the program now.

Exploring Arctic Highways – Celebrating Sámi National Day (Sunday, February 6, 3:00 p.m. PT) ❤️💙💛💚

Join a Facebook Live virtual celebration of Sámi National Day. During the celebration, enjoy some of the Sami National Day celebrations taking place outside of City Hall in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, learn more about Sámi National Day, and enjoy a performance by Sámi artist Sara Ajnnak. The celebration will also include an introduction to the new exhibition Arctic Highways, which is currently on its way over the Atlantic to make its world debut at House of Sweden, Washington, DC, next month before continuing to tour North America and Europe.

Nordic Book Club: The Book of Reykjavik (Tuesday, February 8, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

This month, Scandinavia House’s Nordic Book Club will be discussing The Book of Reykjavik: A City in Short Fiction, an anthology edited by Becca Parkinson & Vera Juliusdottir, which was recently discussed by authors and translators in a virtual panel.

Nordic Book Club: The Nordic Theory of Everything (Tuesday, February 8, 6:00-7:00 p.m. CT)

Join Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center in Rock Island, Illinois, to discuss The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Finnish author Anu Partanen.

Movie Screening: Älven min vän (Thursday, February 10, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT, Free)❤️💙💛💚

Älven min Vän (The River, My Friend) is a portrait of the lives of four Sámi women and their relationship to the Lule River in Sweden. The film shows the consequences of the forced resettlement of Sámi people who were displaced from their land because of the construction of river dams and were alienated from their indigenous culture and way of life (such as reindeer husbandry, clothing, language, food and music). At the same time, the film shows the deep relationship between the women and the river. Register for this free event and receive a link to the movie. Then join the Zoom event to meet the director Hannah Ambühl.

Nordic Spirits Second Friday: Are You What You Wear? (Friday, February 11, 7:30 p.m. PT, Free) ❤️💙💛💚

The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, California, invites you to a virtual presentation presented by Prof. Thomas DuBois of University of Wisconsin-Madison to learn about Sámi traditional dress. There are clear norms about how Sámi dress in different regions of Sápmi – the areas of Norway, Finland, and Sweden where Sámi people traditionally reside. But the actual components of the dress vary and they are often made at home by family members rather than purchased from a professional seamstress. This presentation will explore the ways the Sámi use dress to express their identity and the many variations and expressive choices that come into play. Particiaption is free. Registration is required.

Fika på svenska! Swedish Language Table (Saturday, February 12, 10:00-11:00 a.m. CT, Free)

Vill du ha mer svenska i ditt liv? Häng med på Fika på svenska! Vi träffas virtuellt på den andra lördagen varje månad och diskutera ämnen kring det svenska språket, svensk kultur, historia och mer. Kom och prata svenska med oss! Fika på svenska is a conversation table held entirely in Swedish every second Saturday each month. New topics each month explore Swedish language, culture, history and connection to Minnesota.

Norwegian Family Language Adventure: Explorers (Register by February 15)

Join Vesterheim in March for some family fun and learn some Norwegian language along the way! Through hands-on activities, fun crafts, light-hearted games, and short videos, you and your family will learn and practice your new Norwegian skills. A kit will be delivered right to your home containing supplies for these language activities, a helpful reference sheet for all the new words and expressions you will be learning, a fun craft, and a yummy snack. The adventure starts on March 1 and will focus on Oppdagelsesreisende, the Norwegian word for explorers! Register by February 15.

Duodji Reader: Virtual Book Talk (Tuesday, February 15, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT, Free)
❤️💙💛💚

American Scandinavian Foundation invites you to a virtual panel on Duodji Reader: A Selection of Twelve Essays on Duodji by Sámi Duojárat and Writers from the Past 60 Years, produced by Sámi Allaskuvla / Sámi University of Applied Sciences and Norwegian Crafts. Edited by Gunvor Guttorm and Harald Gaski, Duodji Reader explores the Sámi duodji, the artistic crafts form of the Indigenous people of the European Arctic, through essays written by 11 prominent Sámi scholars, duojárat, and writers from North, South, and Lule Sámi areas. Duodji demonstrates a holistic circle of creation, how nature and humans collaborate in recognising, visualising, and shaping items that serve the need for both practical use and aesthetic form.

National Danish Book Club: The Liar (Tuesday, February 15, 5:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with a new nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author will be selected and discussed in two virtual settings: Book Club group discussions and accompanying Literary Events. This month’s selection is The Liar (Løgneren) by Martin A. Hansen. The Book Club group discussion will take place Tuesday, February 15, 5:00 p.m. PT. The accompanying Literary Event is unscheduled at this time.

Vesterheim Bokprat: Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (Wednesday, February 16, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, Free)

Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, facilitates a monthly bokprat at Vesterheim, discussing Scandinavian authors and Scandinavian life. Henrik Ibsen remains the second most often played playwright in the world behind William Shakespeare. Join Vesterheim this month for a conversation about the play A Doll’s House, significant at the time for the way it addressed the fate of a married woman living in a male-dominated culture.

ASI Workshop: Swedish Meatballs with Patrice Johnson (Friday, February 18, 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT)

Cook up a Friday dinner at home with this fun virtual class! Grab some family members or friends to prep and cook a menu of Swedish meatballs, plus potatoes, lingonberries, quick pickles and a super simple dessert in two hours. Patrice will offer both a meat based and vegetarian version of the main course, and she’ll talk about the differences between Sweden’s preferred meatballs and those from other Scandinavian countries – you may be inspired to seek out even more versions after class! This class is designed as a cook-along experience, perfect for cooks who want a few extra tips and tricks while tackling a classic Swedish meal. This class is sold out but you can be added to the waitlist.

The Nordic Heart Bokklubb Book Club: Unto a Good Land by Vilhelm Moberg (Saturday, February 19, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Join The Nordic Heart‘s book club to discuss the first half of book 2 in The Emigrant Novels series by Vilhelm Moberg, Unto a Good Land. Book 2 opens in the summer of 1850 as the emigrants disembark in New York City. Their journey to a new home in Minnesota Territory takes them by riverboat, steam wagon, Great Lakes steamship, and oxcart to Chicago County.  Considered one of Sweden’s greatest 20th century writers, Vilhelm Moberg created Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson to portray the joys and tragedies of daily life for early Swedish pioneers in America. His consistently faithful depiction of these humble people’s lives is a major strength of The Emigrant Novels.

Knife Skills in the Nordic Kitchen with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, February 19, 1:00-3:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT)

In these online classes hosted by Vesterheim, instructor Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen will share tips and tricks for slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing quickly and safely and discuss how to care for your knives. Best of all, at the end of the class, you’ll have a delicious Nordic soup and salad prepped and ready for dinner. These classes are sold out but you can be added to the waitlist.

The History of Norwegian Sweaters (Saturday, February 19, 7:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Learn about the history of different types and styles of Norwegian sweaters, including Setesdal, Fana, Marius, and Olympic from textile expert and Vesterheim Chief Curator Laurann Gilbertson. Laurann will also discuss the symbolism behind some of the patterns and colors on sweaters made today. This is an open meeting of the Washington D.C. Sons of Norway Lodge. Visitors wishing to attend should contact Bill Deroche at programs@norwayDC.org for a Zoom link .

In Trunks, Hands, and Hearts: What Norwegian Immigrants Brought to the United States (Tuesday, February 22, 2:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim Chief Curator Laurann Gilbertson to explore the immigrant experience through stories associated with artifacts in Vesterheim’s collection. Between 1825 and 1980, nearly one million Norwegians left for new lives in America. She’ll discuss the reasons for leaving, what they brought, and where they settled. This is an open meeting of the Denver Iowa Public Library. Visitors wishing to attend may contact Kelly Platte at kplatte@denver.lib.ia.us for a Zoom link.

Lapskaus Soup: From our Kitchen to Yours (Wednesday, February 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m. PT)

This online demonstration hosted by Nordic Northwest in Portland, OR, will warm your heart. It’s the perfect time for the wintery and hearty Norwegian meat and potatoes soup “Lapskaus”. Learn how to make this traditional recipe, along with options to suit your particular taste buds. This demonstration features Broder Söder’s chef along with Nordic Northwest’s Cook & Eat committee. Whether you have made this recipe for years or are brand new to it — you won’t want to miss the opportunity. You will appreciate an “ancient classic” that is still relevant and practical today.

Nordiska’s Book Club: Black Fox (Thursday, February 24, 6:00 p.m. PT) ❤️💙💛💚

For the month of February, Nordiska will be celebrating Sámi National Day (February 6) by reading Barbara Sjoholm’s book Black Fox: A Life of Emilie Demant Hatt, Artist and Ethnographer. Though she was not Sámi herself, Emilie Demant Hatt became closely acquainted with a variety of Sámi cultures during her travels in Sápmi, the Sámi’s traditional territory, in the early 1900s. Emilie Demant Hatt lived an extraordinary life which has been retold by Barbara Sjoholm in this first English-language biography.

Nordic Lights Film Festival (February 25 – March 5)

The Nordic Lights Film Festival is devoted to celebrating Nordic cinema—this year, once again, virtually. All films are available to watch during the run of the festival. You may choose your own viewing schedule but once you start a film, you will have 72 hours to finish it. Full schedule and individual tickets will be available in early February. Some of the feature films have been geo-blocked by their production companies and will only be viewable in Washington State.

ASI Workshop: Bake Your Own Semlor with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Friday, February 25, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. CT)

This online class meets in two sessions, first from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and then 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT. Once the provenance of a single holy day, Fat Tuesday, Swedes now enjoy semlor from Christmas until Easter. These sweet, yeasted buns are perfumed with cardamom, stuffed with marzipan, filled with whipped cream, and dusted with powdered sugar, a real treat. Join Erin for a baking day from your own kitchen. Start by mixing and kneading the dough, then step away from your devices while the yeast does its work. After lunch, return to shape, bake, fill, and decorate semlor. Finish with a fika in true Swedish style.

Vesterheim’s Primstav Murals (Friday, February 25, 8:00 p.m. CT, Free)

The murals in Vesterheim’s Gathering Room were created in 1999 by Norwegian rosemaler Sigmund Aarseth and Iowa rosemaler Sallie DeReus. The murals are an example of interior painting, relatively common in Scandinavia, in which every surface is decorated. The murals are inspired by the primstav, a calendar stick widely used in Norway during the Middle Ages. The initial purpose of the primstav was to help keep track of Saint’s days and the church year when Christianity was adopted in the eleventh century. Over time, however, the primstav acquired worldly calendar associations that had to do with seasonal agricultural and domestic activities. Vesterheim’s Martha Griesheimer will give this online presentation in an open meeting of the Boulder Sons of Norway group. Everyone is welcome! Visitors wishing to attend may contact Erik Sirnes for a Zoom link: eriksirnes@hotmail.com.

Book Club: Antiphony (February 26, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, Free) ❤️💙💛💚

The Swedish American Museum in Chicago, Illinois, hosts a book club that reads a wide range of books from the Nordic countries. The February read is Antiphony by Laila Stien translated from the Norwegian by John Weinstock, a novel about a woman who goes to Northern Norway and becomes acquainted with three generations of Sámi women.

Fastelavn Buns – Scandinavian Baking Workshop (Saturday, February 26, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PT)

It is that time of year again to celebrate the Danish tradition of Fastelavn! Native Dane and baker extraordinaire Leda Jessen is ready to bake the traditional yummy Fastelavn buns together with you. You will be sent a list of the ingredients needed prior to the event, and together with Leda you will bake the day away.

Sámi-Inspired Bracelets with Norma Refsal (Saturday, February 26, and Sunday, February 27) ❤️💙💛💚

In this online class of three sessions over two days offered by Vesterheim, you will learn to make a Sámi-inspired, iconic, three-strand braided bracelet using traditional materials of reindeer leather, pewter thread, and a reindeer antler button. The pewter is nickel-free and contains 4% silver. Each session will be accompanied by a short video that will help you see the hand-work techniques up close. In between each session, you will have time to complete the steps that instructor Norma Refsal has discussed and demonstrated before moving on to the next part of the bracelet construction. The three class sessions are Saturday, February 26 (12:30-2:30 p.m. and 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT) and Sunday, February 27 (1:00-2:30 p.m. CT). This class is sold out but you can be added to the waitlist.

Nordic Book Club: Psalm at Journey’s End (Sunday, February 27, 4:00 p.m. PT)

Join Scandinavian School in San Francisco for a discussion about the book Psalm at Journey’s End by Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen.

Koselig Nordic Dinner with Patrice Johnson (Sunday, February 27, 4:00 p.m. CT)

The acclaimed Nordic cooking instructor and self-proclaimed “Nordic Food Geek” Patrice Johnson has prepared an inspiring winter Nordic-style meal that will have your family and friends salivating as you reveal this creative menu! Join this intimate cooking class to prepare an appetizer of brandade (Nordic style), a seasonal soup (apple, pumpkin, squash, or gjetost with cider), plus rye crisps, a special surprise dessert, and a cocktail/mocktail to pair with the delicious food! As you are cooking, Patrice always shares her extensive knowledge of Nordic cuisine, revealing both the history of these dishes and her own personal family traditions along the way. The cooking class is sold out but you can join the waiting list.


Looking ahead…

Want to plan your reading for next month? Here’s a look ahead at virtual book events in March.

And finally, Vesterheim Folk Art School registration for April through June 2022 opens on Thursday, February 10, at noon (CT) with new online and in-person classes in rosemaling, woodworking, metalworking, jewelry, cooking, fiber arts, weaving, and heritage and language, plus special youth and family programming. They can’t wait for you to see what’s in store, so they’re sharing the class schedule now so you can start making your February 10 registration plans.


Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

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

Virtual Nordic Events for January 2022: Scandinavian Film Festival LA #SFFLA & Nordic Spirit Symposium plus more!

Fireworks from midnight January 1, 2022, in Oslo. Photo credit to my mother.

Happy New Year! 

I was thinking that December 2021 might be my last Virtual Nordic Events post, but with a virtual Scandinavian Film Festival LA around the corner followed by a virtual Nordic Spirit Symposium at the end of the month, I saw the need for at least one more such post.

Mark your calendars for the next three weekends of January to catch “top films from the top of Europe” in the comfort of your own home at the 23rd Scandinavian Film Festival LA with BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA in cooperation with Scandinavia House in New York, NY. All the information is available on the SFFLA website. You can purchase a festival pass (select “2022 Nordic and Baltic Oscar Contenders” for $65) to catch all the screenings or buy individual tickets. Be aware that for some films, the screening options are limited due to restrictions.

Happening at the end of the month, the Nordic Spirit Symposium will offer presentations on a variety of topics including the history of trolls; stories of Finnish immigrant women; the Poetic Edda, stories of Norse gods and heroes; King Harald Fairhair and the control of Norway’s maritime traffic during and before the Viking Age; and animal allies and enemies of Sámi. Participation is free, but registration is required.

Which events look intriguing to you?


Friluftsliv or Lost in the Mountains: Nature Literature from Norway with Torbjørn Ekelund and Are Kalvø (Streaming Now)

Norway is known for its dramatic and beautiful nature, with fjords, mountains and endless hiking trails. Norwegians love to spend time outside, so called friluftsliv. In this event from December 2021, get to know two fantastic authors with different approaches to nature. The event begins with a literary talk with Torbjørn Ekelund, author of In Praise of Paths and A Year in the Woods, and is followed by a stand-up routine by Are Kalvø. Take refuge from the cold weather and curl up on the couch with this inspiring recorded event.

Scandinavian Film Festival LA: Weekend One (Thursday-Sunday, January 6-9)

In cooperation with Scandinavia House in New York, NY, the Scandinavian Film Festival LA will be virtual one more year. Watch individual screenings or purchase a festival pass to catch all the films (select “2022 Nordic and Baltic Oscar Contenders” for $65). The schedule for the first weekend includes Oscar submissions from Latvia (The Pit), Lithuania (Isaac), and Sweden (Tigers).

Vesterheim Bokprat: Lars Mytting’s The Bell in the Lake (Sunday, January 9, 1:00-2:15 p.m. CT)

In the first bokprat discussion of the new year, Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, will be joined by best-selling Norwegian author Lars Mytting for a discussion of The Bell in the Lake. With its broad-canvas narrative about the intersection of religion, superstition, and duty, this novel offers a unique perspective about Scandinavian life.

National Danish Book Club & Literary Event Series: We, the Drowned (Tuesdays, January 11, 10:00 a.m. PT & January 18, 5:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with a new nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author will be selected and discussed in two virtual settings: Book Club group discussions and accompanying Literary Events. This month’s selection is We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen. The Literary Event will take place Tuesday, January 11, 10:00 a.m. PT and the Book Club group discussion will take place Tuesday, January 18, 5:00 p.m. PT.

Virtual Book Talk – Present Tense Machine (Tuesday, January 11, 12:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY,  for a virtual book talk on Present Tense Machine with award-winning Norwegian author Gunnhild Øyehaug. “With author Jennifer Offill as moderator, Øyehaug will discuss the exquisite, wistful, and slyly profound new novel, out January 11 in translation by Karl Dickson from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.” This event will take place as a Zoom webinar.

Scandinavia House’s Online Nordic Book Club: Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen (Tuesday, January 11, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Scandinavia House’s online Nordic Book Club. Each month they select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On January 11, they’ll be discussing Dog Park by acclaimed Finnish-Estonian author Sofi Oksanen, who recently joined Scandinavia House for a virtual panel now streaming here.

Scandinavian Film Festival LA: Weekend Two (Thursday-Sunday, January 13-16)

This is the second weekend of the film festival and screening options are a little different due to restrictions placed on some of the movies. The schedule includes Oscar submissions from Iceland (Lamb) and Estonia (On The Water), both of which are available all four days of the weekend by single admission ticket or Festival Pass. Denmark’s Flee and Norway’s The Worst Person in the World are only available to Festival Pass holders in NY, NJ, and CA beginning Saturday, January 15, and remain available to view for 24 hours after start of viewing.

ASI Workshop: Needle Felted Polar Bear (Friday, January 14, 1:00-4:00 p.m. CT)

Join American Swedish Institute and create a cute felted polar bear ready for winter fun in this virtual, afternoon class. Students will follow step-by-step instructions to transform hand dyed wool from the instructor’s own sheep into a felted polar bear that will fit in the palm of your hand. Needle felting is fun, easy and therapeutic, and as your wooly friend comes to life you’ll enjoy conversation with other students and learn more about wool and the sheep who produced your kit materials! Your kit even contains enough wool to make a second polar bear, perfect for continuing with this craft beyond class. Ages 13 and up are welcome to register alongside an adult.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series — Trolls: A Retrospective Episode 1 (Friday, January 14, 7:30 p.m. PT, Free)

In anticipation of the 23rd annual Nordic Spirit Symposium happening later in the month, the first episode of a trolls retrospective will be given ahead of time. In this first episode, Troll Genesis: From the Hammer to the Cross, Britte Rasmussen Marsh, writer, researcher, and educator in Portland, Oregon, will take audience members back in time to the origin of the universe, human, and troll, according to Norse mythology. How did trolls come to populate the forests of Nordic lands? What were the first recorded interactions between trolls and humans? As medieval times graduated into renaissance, how were these encounters interpreted by the folks who lived them? Participation is free, but registration is required.

Innovators & Inventors Lecture Series: An Innovator Abroad with Rick Steves (Sunday, January 16, 7:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Vesterheim welcomes Rick Steves, a popular public television host and a best-selling guidebook author, to join them in conversation. He is the founder and owner of Rick Steves’ Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Rick is also an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. He will talk about travel for the purpose of challenging cultural assumptions, travel to Norway, and his background as a Norwegian American. Register here for the free Zoom link.

The Scandinavian School and Cultural Center’s Language Café! (Sunday, January 16, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

This is a perfect opportunity for you to practice your speaking skills and meet other people who share your passion for all things Nordic. The topic, as well as the event, is free. All levels are welcome. Participants will be divided up into different breakout rooms in their chosen Nordic language according to their conversational skills, ranging from beginner to advanced. You don’t have to be a student at SSCC to join us, but we are of course hoping to see both current and former language adult learners on the screen. Are you a native speaker up for a chat? They would love for you to join.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Club): We, the Drowned (Rescheduled, Wednesday, January 19, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, Free)

Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, facilitates a monthly bokprat (book club) discussing Scandinavian authors and Scandinavian life. Seafaring has long been a part of Scandinavian culture and history. In We, the Drowned, Danish author Carsten Jensen crafts an enlightening tale of family and sailors. Examining the hardships and adventure that come with the work out on the sea, the town of Marstal, and its inhabitants – the waiting mothers and wives, the adventure-seeking young men, and the old who are bound to the sea but trapped on land. Enrollment deadline is January 12.

Scandinavian Film Festival LA: Weekend Three (Thursday-Sunday, January 20-23)

This is the final weekend of the film festival and screening options are a little varied due to restrictions placed on some of the movies. The schedule includes feature documentaries from Sweden (The Most Beautiful Boy in the World), Lithuania (The Jump), and Norway/Denmark (The President), all of which are available all four days of the weekend by single admission ticket or Festival Pass. Finland’s Oscar submission, Compartment No 6, is only available on Saturday and Sunday to Festival Pass holders (select “2022 Nordic and Baltic Oscar Contenders” for $65).

 Virtual Book Talk: Meet the Author – The White Bathing Hut with Thorvald Steen (Saturday, January 22, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT)

Join National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, on January 22 as moderator Dr. Elizabeth DeNoma  discusses The White Bathing Hut, a unique story of a family coming to grips with carrying a serious hereditary illness and a history of denial, concealment, and shame. Thorvald Steen’s literary career began in 1983, and he has since produced a diverse body of work spanning a variety of genres. Translated into 30 languages so far, Steen has received praise and prizes for the quality of his authorship.

The Familiar & The Absurd: Literature from Copenhagen (Saturday, January 22, 11:00 a.m. PT, Free)

Join Scandinavian House in New York, NY, for a virtual Danish literary panel with Copenhagen-based authors Ida Marie Hede, Ursula Scavenius, and Steven Zultanski moderated by editor and writer Tom Conaghan. The authors will discuss their newly translated books each exploring themes of the body and intimacy from unique sci-fi perspectives. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on their Virtual Programming page and on their YouTube channel.

Grassroots Resettlement: Refugee Support and Community Creation in Scandinavia (Tuesday, January 25, 10:00 a.m. PT, Free)

The American Scandinavian Foundation invites you to a discussion on refugee support and community creation in Scandinavia. In this panel highlighting the work of local people supporting incoming refugees in Norway and Sweden, you’ll hear from a Norwegian asylum center director, a Swedish community organizer, and two resettled refugees to Norway who have made it their life’s work to advocate for their communities and build bridges between refugees and native-born Scandinavians. This conversation will be recorded and available later to stream on their Virtual Programming page and on their YouTube channel.

Demo: Danish Rye with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Thursday, January  27, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Hearty, healthy Danish rye bread is a Scandinavian standard, and a must-have for open-faced sandwiches. Erin will introduce an easy take on rugbrød, no sourdough starter required. She’ll cover the basics of baking with rye as she works through the steps to create a sweet, whole grain-based rye loaf, and also discuss the possibilities for tackling a sourdough starter-based loaf. Even if you might think you’re not the biggest fan of rye bread, you have to give this recipe a spin! 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.

Nordiska Book Club: An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed (Thursday, January 27, 6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Nordiska in Poulsbo, WA, has launched its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. For their January book club, they will be reading and discussing An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. Visit Nordiska’s event page for more information and to register.

From Northern Lights and Winter Nights: A Symposium of Nordic Stories and Culture (Friday, January 28 & Saturday, January 29)

Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation’s 23rd annual Nordic Spirit Symposium will be a virtual program of live presentations from Scandinavia and the United States on diverse topics including the history of trolls; stories of Finnish immigrant women; the Poetic Edda, stories of Norse gods and heroes; King Harald Fairhair and the control of Norway’s maritime traffic during and before the Viking Age; and animal allies and enemies of Sámi. The program starts Friday evening and continues on Saturday with two sessions. Participation is free, but registration is required.

FamilieTid: Cook-Along with Patrice Johnson (Saturday, January 29, 11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Vesterheim’s online FamilieTid this month is a cook-along inspired by the classic heroine Pippi Longstocking! Grab your copy of the book (or click here to order one from Vesterheim’s Museum Store) and then join for a fun afternoon cooking adventure with Nordic Cuisine heroine Patrice Johnson. Patrice is excited to lead this fun intergenerational cooking adventure where you will recall special moments in the book that inspire your cooking of pancakes and meatballs.


LOOKING AHEAD TO FEBRUARY – Register Now!

ASI Workshop: Sámi-Inspired Bracelets with Liz Bucheit (Saturday, February 5, 1:00-4:00 p.m. CT)

The indigenous Sámi people of Scandinavia incorporate elements of their northern landscape such as reindeer leather, braided pewter wire, and sculpted antler to embellish their clothing and handmade items. In this virtual, afternoon class, students will use these materials to make a soft bracelet inspired by the tenntråd (pewter thread) embroidery techniques often found on Sámi handcraft. Students will learn to triple braid coiled pewter wire, then sew the finished braid to a softened reindeer leather strip and finish the bracelet with an antler button. Discover this unique tradition with veteran instructor Liz Bucheit and create a beautiful bracelet in just one day. Open to ages 16 and up. Registration for this kit-based class closes on January 23.

Knife Skills in the Nordic Kitchen with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, February 19, 1:00-3:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 p.m. CT)

In this online class hosted by Vesterheim, instructor Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen will share tips and tricks for slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing quickly and safely and discuss how to care for your knives. Best of all, at the end of the class, you’ll have a delicious Nordic soup and salad prepped and ready for dinner! Enrollment deadline is February 11.

Sámi-Inspired Bracelets with Norma Refsal (Saturday, February 26, and Sunday, February 27)

In this online class of three sessions over two days offered by Vesterheim, you will learn to make a Sámi-inspired, iconic, three-strand braided bracelet using traditional materials of reindeer leather, pewter thread, and a reindeer antler button. The pewter is nickel-free and contains 4% silver. Each session will be accompanied by a short video that will help you see the hand-work techniques up close. In between each session, you will have time to complete the steps that instructor Norma Refsal has discussed and demonstrated before moving on to the next part of the bracelet construction. The three class sessions are Saturday, February 26 (12:30-2:30 p.m. and 6:00-7:30 p.m. CT) and Sunday, February 27 (1:00-2:30 p.m. CT). Enrollment deadline is February 11.

ASI Workshop: Swedish Meatballs with Patrice Johnson (Friday, February 18, 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT)

Cook up a Friday dinner at home with this fun virtual class! Grab some family members or friends to prep and cook a menu of Swedish meatballs, plus potatoes, lingonberries, quick pickles and a super simple dessert in two hours. Patrice will offer both a meat based and vegetarian version of the main course, and she’ll talk about the differences between Sweden’s preferred meatballs and those from other Scandinavian countries – you may be inspired to seek out even more versions after class! This class is designed as a cook-along experience, perfect for cooks who want a few extra tips and tricks while tackling a classic Swedish meal.

ASI Workshop: Bake Your Own Semlor with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Friday, February 25, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. CT)

This class meets online from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT. Once the provenance of a single holy day, Fat Tuesday, Swedes now enjoy semlor from Christmas until Easter. These sweet, yeasted buns are perfumed with cardamom, stuffed with marzipan, filled with whipped cream, and dusted with powdered sugar, a real treat. Join Erin for a baking day from your own kitchen. Start by mixing and kneading the dough, then step away from your devices while the yeast does its work. After lunch, return to shape, bake, fill, and decorate semlor. Finish with a fika in true Swedish style.

Koselig Nordic Dinner with Patrice Johnson (Sunday, February 27, 4:00 p.m. CT)

The acclaimed Nordic cooking instructor and self-proclaimed “Nordic Food Geek” Patrice Johnson has prepared an inspiring winter Nordic-style meal that will have your family and friends salivating as you reveal this creative menu! Join this intimate cooking class to prepare an appetizer of brandade (Nordic style), a seasonal soup (apple, pumpkin, squash, or gjetost with cider), plus rye crisps, a special surprise dessert, and a cocktail/mocktail to pair with the delicious food! As you are cooking, Patrice always shares her extensive knowledge of Nordic cuisine, revealing both the history of these dishes and her own personal family traditions along the way. The cooking class is sold out. Register by February 18 to join the waiting list.


Which events or experiences look interesting to you?

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

Virtual Nordic Events for December 2021: Christmas & Scandinavian Film Festival LA #SFFLA

A new round of virtual events is here, many of them Christmas themed. Looking ahead, the Scandinavian Film Festival LA will be virtual once again! Mark your calendars for the weekends of January 6-9 and January 13-16 and look forward to “top films from the top of Europe” at the 23rd Scandinavian Film Festival LA with BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA. All the information will be available soon on the website and at their Facebook page.

Mindekirken’s Norwegian Language & Culture Program is currently accepting registrations for the next semester of Norwegian classes (January – March 2022). They offer language and literature classes, most online. They also offer an online Norwegian club for youth ages 6 to 10, Den norkse klubben. It is a Norwegian language and culture group that explores the theme sanger og fortellinger (songs and stories) with an informal structure. Activities may include games, songs, art projects, and dramatic play.

And for LA-area readers, the Norwegian Church in San Pedro is hosting in-person Christmas events. See the latest newsletter for details on a Christmas sing-along, Christmas concert, Christmas services, and more. Visit their Facebook page for updates on Christmas events.

Now without further ado, here are the upcoming virtual events. Which look intriguing to you?


The Norwegian American Julekalender 2021 (Ongoing until December 24)

Each day in December, The Norwegian American brings you a special yuletide highlight to make your days merry and bright. Not a subscriber? This is the perfect time to become one! Visit Subscribe to learn more about print and online subscriptions, as well as how to purchase a gift subscription.

Vesterheim’s Virtual Norwegian Christmas Celebration (Ongoing until January 2, Free)

For those who can’t make it to Vesterheim for their in-person Norwegian Christmas Celebration, join in the warm and koselig spirit virtually! Vesterheim is offering 15 different interactive family activities that explore iconic Norwegian Christmas traditions. Download the free GooseChase app (available for both iOS or Android) and search for “Koselig Norwegian Christmas” or enter code number J5GK43 to get started.

Demo: Sweet Treats for the Holiday Pantry with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Friday, December 10, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

Stash away some sweet treats just in time for holiday entertaining and snacking! Erin will draw on up-to-date Scandinavian favorites to demo a handful of goodies to tuck away in your fridge or pantry for the season. She’ll turn to the flavors of saffron, cinnamon, almonds and more to inspire this collection that will keep through the rest of December – if you don’t eat it first!

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: A Delightful Sankta Lucia Holiday Celebration (Friday, December 10, 7:30 p.m. PT, Free)

Once, long ago, an apparition appeared out of the mists of a lake — a ship with a woman dressed in white and bathed in light on the prow — to distribute food to a starving village. This is the core of the legend of Sankta Lucia that will be told by Dr. Ernst F. Tonsing as an introduction to a beautiful celebration of the saint in song in Gränna, a small community in Sweden. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link. The monthly series of Nordic Spirit Classics is a virtual program of selected presentations from 21 years of Nordic Spirit Symposia hosted by The Scandinavian American Cultural & Historical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Norway House: The 12 Days of Christmas – an Online Silent Auction (December 11-22)

Norway House’s Christmas auction is back on this year! Check back to learn about the fun Norwegian gifts that will be on their list this Christmas season – and bid online using the GiveSmart bidding platform.

Fika på svenska! Swedish Language Table (Saturday, December 11, 10:00-11:30 a.m. CT, Free)

Vill du ha mer svenska i ditt liv? Häng med på det nya programmet – Fika på svenska! Vi träffas virtuellt på den andra lördagen varje månad och diskutera ämnen kring det svenska språket, svensk kultur, historia och mer. Kom och prata svenska med oss! Fika på svenska is a conversation table held entirely in Swedish. New topics each month explore Swedish language, culture, history and connection to Minnesota.

ASI’s Virtual Lucia Sing Along (Saturday, December 11, 2:00–2:30 p.m. CT)

Start your Lucia festivities early with this virtual sing-a-long for the family hosted by American Swedish Institute. ASI’s Lucia Choir Director, Ingrid Aune, will lead everyone in your family through classic Lucia songs.

ASI’s Virtual Lucia Celebration Concert (Sunday, December 12, 2:00–3:00 p.m. CT)

Enjoy ASI’s daytime Lucia Celebration Concert live via Zoom. Celebrate light during the long winter in this special concert featuring the youthful voices of the ASI Lucia Choir! The choir is joined by Lilla Lag, a youth fiddle and cello group. If you can’t tune in live, ASI will record this concert and email it to participants the following week. Participants can enjoy the recording until December 19, 2021.

The Scandinavian School and Cultural Center’s Language Café! (Sunday, December 12, 5:00-6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

This is a perfect opportunity for you to practice your speaking skills and meet other people who share your passion for all things Nordic. The topic, as well as the event, is free. All levels are welcome. Participants will be divided up into different breakout rooms in their chosen Nordic language according to their conversational skills, ranging from beginner to advanced. You don’t have to be a student at SSCC to join us, but we are of course hoping to see both current and former language adult learners on the screen. Are you a native speaker up for a chat? They would love for you to join.

National Danish Book Club & Literary Event Series: Babette’s Feast (Tuesday, December 14, 5:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with a new nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author will be selected and discussed in two virtual settings: Book Club discussions and accompanying Literary Events. Join the online Book Club in December to discuss Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). The accompanying Literary Event will take place December 16.

Demo: Making Glögg at Home with Emily Vikre (Wednesday, December 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m. CT)

Amp up your glögg game in this fun evening workshop with Emily Vikre, co-owner of Vikre Distillery in Duluth, MN. Emily will share her go-to recipes for glögg, Scandinavia’s favorite holiday mulled wine. With a few different approaches, her recipes will have you prepared to celebrate the darkest days of the year with warmth and cheer.

Nordiska Book Club: A Very Scandinavian Christmas (Thursday, December 30, 6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Nordiska in Poulsbo, WA, has launched its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. For their December book club, they will be reading and discussing A Very Scandinavian Christmas: The Greatest Nordic Holiday Stories of All Time. The fourth installment of the Very Christmas series by New Vessel Press, this collection of Nordic stories features some old familiar names in Scandinavian literature like Hans Christian Anderson as well as more contemporary authors like Karl Ove Knausgård. Visit Nordiska’s event page for more information and to register.

Virtual Book Talk – Present Tense Machine (Tuesday, January 11, 12:00 p.m. ET, Free)

In January, join Scandinavia House in New York, NY,  for a virtual book talk on Present Tense Machine with award-winning Norwegian author Gunnhild Øyehaug. “With author Jennifer Offill as moderator, Øyehaug will discuss the exquisite, wistful, and slyly profound new novel, out January 11 in translation by Karl Dickson from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.”

Demo: Danish Rye with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Thursday, January  27, 1:00 p.m. CT)

Hearty, healthy Danish rye bread is a Scandinavian standard, and a must-have for open-faced sandwiches. Erin will introduce an easy take on rugbrød, no sourdough starter required. She’ll cover the basics of baking with rye as she works through the steps to create a sweet, whole grain-based rye loaf, and also discuss the possibilities for tackling a sourdough starter-based loaf. Even if you might think you’re not the biggest fan of rye bread, you have to give this recipe a spin! 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.


Which December 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 Nordic Events for November 2021 + an LA Norwegian Christmas Market

A new round of virtual events is here. Many institutions are transitioning back to in-person events, but they have found that virtual events have their place, too. Read on to learn of the many opportunities to cook, read, watch, make, learn, and discuss virtually with others from around the country.

On November 10, registration opens for Vesterheim Folk Art School’s winter quarter (January-March 2022). Find online classes in the fields of Fiber Arts, Weaving, Woodworking, Youth & Family, Rosemaling & Painting, Nordic Cooking, Knifemaking & Metalwork, Heritage & Language, and Jewelry. View classes here and start making your plans. Spots fill quickly!

For my local LA readers, the annual Julebasar, or Christmas Market, hosted by the Norwegian Church in San Pedro returns Friday, November 12, through Sunday, November 21. What used to be just a weekend affaire before the pandemic is now (once again) a week-long opportunity to stock up on Norwegian Christmas food essentials, treats, and fresh baked goods, as well as Christmas decorations and gifts. Apparently, this year will see the return of the café and raffle as well!


Virtual Events

17th of May Pin Design Competition
(Until November 15)

Help the Seattle 17th of May Committee design the commemorative 17th of May pin for 2022. Enter your design in the shape of a shield showcasing a Norwegian flag and celebrating Norway’s culture and heritage in the Pacific Northwest. The winning design will be the festival’s official pin. You can win five pins and a family membership to the National Nordic Museum in Seattle. Find pins from previous years, all of the contest rules, and how to submit your design by clicking here. Submit your design by Monday, November 15, 2021.

Scandinavian Fest: Virtual Holiday Market
(November 12-14)

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

2021 Nordic Knitting Conference — A Celebration of Nordic Fabric Arts (November 12-14)

Perfect your skills and learn new techniques at the much-awaited biennial Nordic Knitting Conference. The 2021 conference features classes on knitting, felting, and weaving taught by renowned instructors from the Nordic countries and North America. Spanning two weekends, the keynote lecture and the majority of classes offered November 5-7 will be on-site at the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, and classes offered November 12-14 will be virtual live-streaming events. The keynote lecture will also be available online beginning November 12.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: The Viking Impact on England and Europe (Friday, November 12, 7:30 p.m. PT, Free)

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. In November, Nordic Spirit Classics presents “The Viking Impact on England and Europe” by Dr. Richard Hall, former Director of the Jorvik Viking Centre and of the York, England, excavations. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link.

Fika på svenska! Swedish Language Table
(Saturday, November 13, 10:00-11:30 a.m. CT, Free)

Vill du ha mer svenska i ditt liv? Häng med på det nya programmet – Fika på svenska! Vi träffas virtuellt på den andra lördagen varje månad och diskutera ämnen kring det svenska språket, svensk kultur, historia och mer. Kom och prata svenska med oss! Fika på svenska is a conversation table held entirely in Swedish. New topics each month explore Swedish language, culture, history and connection to Minnesota.

Young Children & Teachers’ Experiences During COVID: Perspectives from the U.S. and Scandinavia (Saturday, November 13, 10:00 a.m. ET)

In this program, teachers from Scandinavia and the United States will discuss their experiences teaching in very different contexts during the pandemic, ranging from a forest school to a NYC public school to a small private school. What were the challenges? What have we learned from all of this? What do we want to hold on to from this period?

Introduction to Finnish
(Sunday, November 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.

Introduction to Swedish
(Sunday, November 14, 3:00-5:00 p.m. CT)

Are you curious about learning Swedish, but not ready yet to commit to a multi-date class? This two-hour introductory workshop is the perfect way to get a feel for the language — pick up a bit of grammar and learn how to pronounce some words as part of basic conversation.

Vesterheim’s FamilieTid: Scandinavian Storytelling!
(Sunday, November 14, 1:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Gather the family together and join author, actress, and oral storyteller Rose Arrowsmith for an hour of Scandinavian stories! Rose’s imaginative style will bring traditional tales to life and delight participants of every age.

The Scandinavian School and Cultural Center’s Language Café!
(Sunday, November 14, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PT, Free)

This is a perfect opportunity for you to practice your speaking skills and meet other people who share your passion for all things Nordic. The topic, as well as the event, is free. All levels are welcome. Participants will be divided up into different breakout rooms in their chosen Nordic language according to their conversational skills, ranging from beginner to advanced. You don’t have to be a student at SSCC to join us, but we are of course hoping to see both current and former language adult learners on the screen. Are you a native speaker up for a chat? We would love for you to

Virtual Book Talk – The Book of Reykjavik
(Tuesday, November 16, 2:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY,  for a virtual book talk on the new fiction anthology The Book of Reykjavik: A City in Short Fiction out November 11 from Comma Press. Authors Kristín Eiríksdóttir and Björn Halldórsson and translator Larissa Kyzer will discuss the novel and its translation, as well as the themes explored in the book, with moderator Halla Þórlaug Óskarsdóttir.

National Danish Book Club: Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen
(Tuesday, November 16, 5:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with a new nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author will be selected and discussed in two virtual settings: a Book Club discussion and an accompanying Literary Event. Join the online Book Club in November to discuss Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Victim 2117. The accompanying Literary Event will take place November 23. Register here.

Writing as a Vehicle for Change: Swedish Women Authors
(First Class: Tuesday, November 16, 5:30-7:00 p.m. CT)

Texts in translation by Swedish women writers, from Fredrika Bremer to Lena Andersson, will be discussed in their historical and social contexts, reflecting on emancipation, social rights, class and gender over four weeks. Discussion will take place in English. Materials will be provided by the instructor.

Virtual Travel Seminar: Skiing Norway
(Wednesday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. CT)

During a time when international travel is limited for all but necessary travel, this travel seminar will bring a little piece of Norway to you. Magne Hatlevik, a Møre og Romsdal native, will provide you with a taste of the sights and culture surrounding Norwegian downhill ski culture. In this two-hour seminar, he will share tips about what you need to bring and explore destinations such as Lillehammer, Holmenkollen and a few side excursions to Iceland and Denmark as well.

Vesterheim “TVprat” (TV Club): Occupied
(Wednesday, November 17, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, Free)

With a twist on Vesterheim’s monthly bokprat (book club) 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 acclaimed Norwegian TV series Okkupert (Occupied). Set in a future where Europe is in an energy crisis after Norway has opted out of oil and gas production because of their environmental impact, Russia and the rest of the European community respond to Norway’s dramatic decision. Enrollment Deadline: November 10.

Repatriation & Restitution in the Nordic Countries
(Thursday, November 18, 12:00 p.m. ET)

Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for this conversation in which panelists Martin Appelt (Senior Researcher and Curator, National Museum of Denmark), Eero Ehanti (Head of the Conservation Department, National Museum of Finland), Eeva-Kristiina Harlin (Archeologist & Osteoarchaeologist), and Daniel Thorleifsen (Director, Greenland National Museum and Archives) will discuss topics including the restitution of Greenlandic and Sámi collections from the National Museum of Denmark and National Museum of Finland, respectively, as well as the longer-term impacts of restitution and repatriation of museum collections.

Nordiska Book Club: The Northern Lights
(Thursday, November 18, 6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Nordiska in Poulsbo, WA, has launched its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. For their November book club, they will be reading The Northern Lights by Lucy Jago about Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland who dedicated his career to understanding the aurora borealis as a natural phenomenon. Visit Nordiska’s event page for more information and to register.

Demo: Savory Standards for the Holiday Pantry
(Friday, November 19, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

It’s time to fill up that holiday pantry with some make ahead recipes using favorite holiday flavors! Erin Swenson-Klatt will draw on up-to-date Scandinavian standards to demo a handful of goodies to tuck away in your fridge or pantry as we start the holiday season. Throughout the class she’ll offer lots of inspiration for how to use these recipes for snacks, apps and as part of the dinner table. 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.

Skål to Aquavit
(Friday, November 19, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT)

Aquavit is a traditional Scandinavian spirit with centuries of tradition and celebration. Each of the Scandinavian countries has their own preferred style(s) of aquavit, and people also often make their own homemade versions. In this class we will learn about aquavit and a handful of Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish aquavit traditions (including drinking songs!). Participants will choose herbs and spices to start their own aquavit steeping and will learn two aquavit cocktail recipes. Enrollment Deadline: November 12.

National Danish Literary Event: Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen
(Tuesday, November 23, 10:00 a.m. PT, Free)

The Literary Event for Victim 2117 is on November 23 and will be an interview with Jussi Adler-Olsen. Moderator Desiree Ohrbeck will select some questions from readers to ask the author. Submit your questions here by November 8. To receive a reminder for the literary event, register here.

Workshop: Needle Felted Reindeer
(Friday, November 26, 1:00-4:00 p.m. CT)

Join the American Swedish Institute to create a felted reindeer ready to take off for the North Pole. Students will follow step-by-step instructions to transform hand dyed wool from the instructor’s own sheep into a felted reindeer complete with antlers and bell! This class builds on basic needle felting skills and is appropriate for students who have previous needle felting experience. Ages 13 and up are welcome to register alongside an adult. This is a live virtual class taught over Zoom. Kits ($25 value) are included in the class fee. Each kit includes everything you need for needle felting a reindeer. Registration for this kit-based class closes November 15.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Club): We, the Drowned
(Registration Deadline: December 1)

Join Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, on Wednesday, December 15, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, for a discussion of We, the Drowned by Danish author Carsten Jensen, translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund with Emma Ryder. An enlightening tale of family and sailors, it examines the hardships and adventure that come with the work out on the sea, the town of Marstal, and its inhabitants – the waiting mothers and wives, the adventure-seeking young men, and the old who are bound to the sea but trapped on land. Enrollment Deadline: December 1.

The Scandinavian School’s Nordic Book Club: The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu Partanen (Sunday, December 5, 4:00-5:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Jjoin The Scandinavian School in San Francisco for a discussion about The Nordic Theory of Everything by Finnish author Anu Partanen.

Scandinavia House’s Online Nordic Book Club: The Pastor by Hanne Ørstavik (Tuesday, December 7, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Scandinavia House’s online Nordic Book Club. Each month they select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On December 7, they’ll be discussing The Pastor by award-winning Norwegian novelist Hanne Ørstavik, who recently joined Scandinavia House for a virtual panel now streaming here.


Which November 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 Nordic Events for October 2021

Virtual events are still going strong despite reopening across the country. This month continues to see plenty of opportunities to cook, read, watch, make, learn, and discuss virtually with others from around the country. What interests you?


17th of May Pin Design Competition (October 1 – November 15)

With a new year comes a new 17th of May commemorative pin design. This year help the Seattle 17th of May Committee design the commemorative pin for 2022. Enter your design in the shape of a shield showcasing a Norwegian flag and celebrating Norway’s culture and heritage in the Pacific Northwest. The winning design will be the festival’s official pin. You can win five pins and a family membership to the National Nordic Museum in Seattle. Find pins from previous years, contest rules, and how to submit your design by clicking here. Submit your design by Monday, November 15, 2021.

FamilieTid: Learn Folk Dances with The Nordic Dancers of Decorah (Saturdays, October 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Gather the family together on Saturdays in October to learn traditional folk dances as performed by the Nordic Dancers from Decorah, Iowa. Each Saturday, a new video will be released. You’ll learn about the history of each dance, the dance steps, and then be able to dance along with the Nordic Dancers from your home. Click here to subscribe to Vesterheim’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of the dances.

Leif Eriksson International Festival 2021 (October 5 – 17, Free)

This year’s festival will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual events. Leif Eriksson Day on October 9 will be celebrated with a short virtual appearance by the beloved Norwegian singer and actor Hanne Krogh, who will be coming to Minneapolis for the festival in 2022. Krogh is one of Norway’s most celebrated stars. Other highly anticipated virtual events are a tour of Norwegian Emigrant Museum in Hamar, Norway, and a concert with mother-son duo Elizabeth and Trygve Misvær with Sámi songs, stories, and joik, a unique form of musical expression for the Sámi people. View the program here.

Nordic Book Club: Wild Swims (Tuesday, October 5, 5:00-6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Scandinavia House’s online Nordic Book Club. Each month they select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On October 5, they’ll be discussing the new story collection Wild Swims by Danish author Dorthe Nors (Karate Chop; Mirror, Shoulder, Signal), out in translation by Misha Hoekstra from Graywolf Press.

Nordic Spirit Classics’ Second Friday Series: Leif Erikson (Friday, October 8, 7:30 p.m. PT, Free)

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. In October, join to learn about Leif Erikson. Leif’s story of how he discovered America for Europeans is one that includes encountering polar bears, being stranded on an island, being tutored by King Olaf, and enjoying feasts of salmon and wine in his longhouse in the New World. He then sailed home to Greenland and into legend. Dr. Ernst F. Tonsing, Professor Emeritus of California Lutheran University, will recount the amazing legend of Leifr Eiriksson in anticipation of the national commemoration of the Scandinavian hero the next day. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link.

Vesterheim Benefit Auction (October 9 – 17)

The auction includes a variety of beautifully handcrafted folk art, Norwegian sweaters, a Viking River Cruise, and a Colorado Getaway, along with many additional unique items. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Vesterheim’s Folk Art School, which has provided classes since 1967 in fiber arts, woodworking, painting, cooking, jewelry, blacksmithing, knifemaking, and more. Vesterheim’s annual Benefit Auction items are ready for viewing! Check out the pieces at www.biddingforgood.com/VEST-AUCTION, register your account, and get ready to start bidding from anywhere in the world.

Fika på svenska! Swedish Language Table (Saturday, October 9, 10:00-11:30 a.m. CT, Free)

Vill du ha mer svenska i ditt liv? Häng med på det nya programmet – Fika på svenska! Vi träffas virtuellt på den andra lördagen varje månad och diskutera ämnen kring det svenska språket, svensk kultur, historia och mer. Kom och prata svenska med oss! Fika på svenska is an online conversation table held entirely in Swedish. New topics each month explore Swedish language, culture, history and connection to Minnesota.

Book Talk: Dog Park (Sunday, October 10, 3:00 p.m. ET, Free)

On October 10, join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, and Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., for a virtual book talk with acclaimed Finnish-Estonian author Sofi Oksanen on her new novel Dog Park. With moderator Bethanne Patrick, she’ll discuss the writing of the novel, an international bestseller, out in translation by Owen Frederick Witesman from Knopf on September 21.

Visit Binkhaven! (Sunday, October 10, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Binkhaven is a real-life Norwegian fantasy nestled in Door County, Wisconsin. Join Vesterheim for a conversation with owner Elliot Taillon about the story behind Binkhaven as well as a guided tour of this one-of-a-kind historic cottage that is filled to the brim with one of the biggest collections of American rosemaling in the country. Not only is the main building designed in a Nordic theme, two of the cottages on the property were imported from Telemark, Norway!

Scandinavian Fall Baking Favorites: Swedish Apple Cake and Homemade Apple Donuts with Kristi Bissell (Sunday, October 10, 3:00-4:30 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim and Kristi Bissel of True North Kitchen for an afternoon of delicious fall-themed baking! Begin with Swedish Apple Cake, baked with a hint of cardamom and topped with caramelized apples, and then Kristi will share a recipe for one of her family’s favorite autumn treats . . . Easy Baked Apple Donuts! This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along and encourages exchange between the instructor and students in order to build community around food traditions. Participants will be provided with a shopping list and recipes prior to class.

Kindertransport Virtual Exhibition Tour (Tuesday, October 12, 5:00-6:00 p.m. CT)

Explore American Swedish Institute’s special exhibition Kindertransport – Rescuing Children on the Brink of War during a live, virtual tour via Zoom. Each week will feature an ASI staff member and a special guest. Participants can look forward to a distinct, highly interactive tour led by experts each month. Throughout this series, each speaker will provide a unique perspective on the exhibit’s content. October 12: Special guest Rabbi Alexander Davis, Senior Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, MN, will use themes from Judaism to bring a faith-based approach to this story.

National Danish Book Club: The Employees (Tuesday, October 12, 8:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Explore a selection of Danish literature in English translation with this new nationwide book club. Each month a celebrated Danish author will be selected and discussed in a virtual setting via Zoom. Book Club Discussions will be moderated by Faculty Associate Nete Schmidt from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Former Danish lecturer, Désirée Ohrbeck, will facilitate accompanying Literary Events. Current and classic works of Danish literature will be read and discussed, accompanied by author and special guest interviews. Join the online book club on October 12 to discuss Olga Ravn’s The Employees (De ansatte) translated by Martin Aitken.

Smørbrød with Patrice Johnson (Wednesday, October 13, 5:30-7:00 p.m. CT)

Join celebrated Nordic cookbook author and food historian Patrice Johnson (AKA the Nordic Food Geek) to explore the rich tradition of Nordic-style open-face sandwiches. From Sweden (smörgåsar) to Norway (smørbrød) to Denmark (smørrebrød) these sandwiches bring together some of the Nordic region’s best flavors, colors, and ingredients. You will prepare several classic sandwiches and even some with modern twists and you will learn the crucial elements that make a perfect smørbrød. This Vesterheim cooking class is designed as a small-group cook-along and encourages exchange between the instructor and students in order to build community around food traditions.

Taikon – The Untold Story of a Roma Freedom Fighter (Thursday, October 14, 6:00 p.m. CT, Free)

Join American Swedish Institute for a special talk by Lawen Mohtadi, the 2021 Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College, on the Swedish civil rights activist and author, Katarina Taikon (1932-1995). She debuted in 1963 with the groundbreaking book Gypsy Woman, which also became the starting point for the struggle against institutional racism against the Roma minority in Sweden. Her most famous work is Katitzi, a 13-volume autobiographical children’s book series, that is widely read by generations of children and is today a part of the Swedish literary canon.

Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival: Kindertransports to Sweden (October 18-22)

The 2021 Virtual Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival includes the film Kindertransports to Sweden, which is the subject of the American Swedish Institute’s current featured exhibition. The film sheds light on the rescue effort that brought Jewish children from Nazi Germany to Sweden between 1938 and 1939, in particular highlighting four survivors.

The Pastor — Virtual Book Talk with Hanne Ørstavik and Rebecca Dinerstein Knight (Tuesday, October 19, 1:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Join Scandinavia House in New York to celebrate the release of the new novel The Pastor in a virtual book talk with award-winning Norwegian novelist Hanne Ørstavik (Love). With moderator Rebecca Dinerstein Knight, Ørstavik will discuss her new release, out that day in translation by Martin Aitken from Archipelago Books.

Demo: Mouthwatering Mushrooms with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Thursday, October 21, 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT)

Swedes love mushrooms – a quintessential fall ingredient in many dishes. Join Swedish American Institute for this demo where Erin will talk a little about the tradition of mushroom foraging in Sweden and demonstrate a couple of recipes that highlight these forest treasures. Even if you find them in the grocery store instead of the woods, you’ll know just what to do with those wonderful svampar (mushrooms). 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.

Voices of Sapmi: Yoiking (October 24, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT)

What is yoik? What does it feel like to yoik? What can it reveal to us about ourselves and our world? In this one-hour Zoom class, Sapmi musician, composer, and actor Ingor Ántte Áilu Gaup (Ailloš) will introduce participants to yoiking, the traditional singing of the Sapmi people. The Sami are the indigenous people of Sapmi, which extends across Northern Scandinavia and Northwestern Russia. More than simply a “style of singing,” yoiking is an ancient practice that reflects a way of being and relating to the world that is rare in modern times.

Kindertransport Virtual Exhibition Tour (Tuesday, October 26, 5:00-6:00 p.m. CT)

Explore American Swedish Institute’s special exhibition Kindertransport – Rescuing Children on the Brink of War during a live, virtual tour via Zoom. Each week will feature an ASI staff member and a special guest. Participants can look forward to a distinct, highly interactive tour led by experts each month. Throughout this series, each speaker will provide a unique perspective on the exhibit’s content. October 26: Special guest Byron Nordstrom, Professor Emeritus in History and Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College, will provide a tour rooted in historical examination. He will also explore the Kindertransport experience from a Swedish perspective.

Vesterheim Bokprat (Book Club): Viking Economics (Wednesday, October 27, 7:00-8:15 p.m. CT, Free)

Dr. Maren Johnson, Luther College’s Associate Professor of Nordic Studies and Torgerson Center for Nordic Studies Director, facilitates a monthly bokprat (book club) discussing Scandinavian authors and Scandinavian life. Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, Too by George Lakey gives the non-economist the tools they need to examine, compare, and contrast the economic systems used in developed countries today. Lakey primarily compares the “Viking” or Nordic model with the United States. He gives all the history and statistics one needs to understand and form opinions while never boring the reader. Lakey brings in his personal experience and conversations with his Norwegian in-laws that stimulate the broader discussion.

Murder and Mayhem with Jo Nesbø (Thursday, October 28, 4:00 p.m. PT, Free)

A master of mystery and suspense, Jo Nesbø has shocked readers worldwide with his chilling Harry Hole novels — The Redeemer and The Snowman, and other fast-paced thrillers like The Kingdom. Now he’s back with a sinister collection: The Jealousy Man and Other Stories, filled with twisted minds, unscrupulous lovers, and heartrending fate. Avenue Magazine praises: “Our current love affair with Nordic noir continues unabated, and the Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø is a virtuoso of the genre.” Nesbø’s atmospheric books with twists that keep readers’ guessing have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide.
This event is part of the Fall for the Book Festival, which runs from October 14-31.

Nordiska Book Club: The Bell in the Lake (Thursday, October 28, 6:00 p.m. PT, Free)

Nordiska in Poulsbo, WA, has launched its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. Expand your Nordic reading repertoire and discuss a variety of written works the last Thursday of each month. In October, they will be discussing the Norwegian novel The Bell in the Lake (Søsterklokkene) by Lars Mytting in translation by Deborah Dawkin. Visit Nordiska’s event page for more information and to register.

4th Annual Sámi Film Fest (Saturday, October 30, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST)

This year, National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA, is partnering with Scandinavia House in New York and the Pacific Sámi Searvi in Seattle for this must-see hybrid event, which explores Sámi values, visions, and stories through film. There will be an opportunity to participate both in-person and virtually from anywhere in the world. The program will include a variety of contemporary Sámi documentaries and short films, as well as panel discussions with the filmmakers.

Online Nordic Book Club: The Memory Theater (Tuesday, November 2, 6:00 p.m. ET, Free)

Read and discuss Scandinavian literature in translation as part of Scandinavia House’s online Nordic Book Club. Each month they select a novel from some of the best Nordic literary voices. On November 2, they’ll be discussing The Memory Theater by Swedish author Karin Tidbeck (Amatka; Jagannath). The author discussed the novel this past February in a virtual panel now available here.


Which October 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.

August 2021: Virtual Nordic Events & #WITMonth

Virtual events are still going strong despite reopening across the country. This month continues to see plenty of virtual opportunities to cook, read, watch, make, and learn all things Nordic which might help fill the void until you’re able to travel there.

Vesterheim Folk Art School in Decorah, Iowa, has seen great success with its online programming, and they are dedicated to continuing the growth of programs in an online format. Registration for online classes through 2021 is now open and you can find full information and sign up here.

Of particular interest to me this month is the Norwegian Film Festival presented by The Clark Art Institute and Images Cinema in Williamstown, MA, in conjunction with the current exhibition Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway at The Clark. It is a four-week series of recent Norwegian films. All films are free to view virtually.

  • August 4–10: Astrup: Catching the Flame (2019), biopic directed by Pål Øie
  • August 11–17: Hope (2019), drama written and directed by Maria Sødahl
  • August 18–24: What Will People Say (2017), drama directed by Iram Haq
  • August 25–31: The Men’s Room (2017), an award-winning music documentary directed by Petter Sommer and Jo Vemund Svendsen

August is also Women in Translation Month, an annual initiative to raise awareness of and promote women writers from around the world who write in languages other than English. Why not pick a female author from a Nordic country, or elsewhere, and experience their culture and history through their eyes? See My 10 Favorite Books for Women in Translation Month or Norwegian Women in Translation for #WITmonth for ideas, or consider reading a book by Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf who was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1909) and then attend one of the two “Knowing Selma Lagerlöf” virtual events hosted by the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN, to learn more about her life and work (August 18 & 25, scroll down for details).

What events pique your interest?


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

Grab your sword, shield, and Viking helmet because it’s time to run like a Viking August 1 through 31! Since Run Like a Viking is virtual, you can complete it anywhere in the world. Choose among a 5K, 10K, or half-marathon challenge and then walk, run, bike, skate, kayak or snowboard your distance. Grab your family and stroll a 5K. Or challenge your friends to a 10K bike ride. Or strap on those sneakers, fire up the treadmill, and polish off a half-marathon. However you move counts toward your mileage. Participants will receive an exclusive T-shirt and other goodies. All proceeds benefit the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA.

Demo: Swedish Saft with Erin Swenson-Klatt (Thursday, August 5, 1:00-2:00 p.m.)

Saft, or berry and fruit juice, is a favorite drink in Sweden, and it turns out it’s an easy and fun project for kids and adults alike to make at home – no trip to IKEA needed! Erin will demonstrate a couple recipes that make use of local berries and fruit, and even share tips on how to stash your saft away for a taste of summer later in the year. This is a live virtual class taught over Zoom designed as a demonstration, so students can watch the entire process and ask questions before tackling the recipe at home at a later date.

The Summer of Suspense: The Killing (Thursday, August 5 – Sunday, August 8)

In collaboration with streaming service Topic, Scandinavia House is offering a sneak peek of the first two episodes of Season 1 of the Danish Nordic Noir series, The Killing (Forbrydelsen). Follow the unprecedented Detective Sarah Lund as she takes on a series of complex murder cases, each with political implications, and watch as obsession consumes her. Season 1 kicks off with Detective Lund putting her retirement plans on hold when a young girl is found brutally murdered in a car linked to prominent politician Troels Hartmann. As she tracks the intricate web of suspects, Sarah becomes increasingly consumed by the case. Screenings of The Killing will continue with Season 2 (episodes 1 & 2) from August 12-15 and Season 3 (episodes 1 & 2) from August 19-22.

Film Screening: Riders of Justice (Friday, August 6 – Sunday, August 8)

Riders of Justice by Danish director Anders Thomas Jensen (released 2021) follows recently deployed Markus (played by Mads Mikkelsen) who is forced to return home to care for his teenage daughter after his wife is killed in a tragic train accident. But when a survivor of the wrecked train surfaces claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission to find those responsible. “A darkly humorous revenge thriller with satisfying depth and a dash of savory quirk, Riders of Justice makes another compelling case for Mads Mikkelsen as an all-purpose leading man.” Screening takes place on the Elevent site; purchase your ticket via Elevent.

Summer 2021 Virtual Folk School Series – The Decorative Folk Paintings of Sweden: Dalmåleri and Bonadsmåleri (Sunday, August 8, 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. Of the many folk arts that flourished in Sweden during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, painted wall hangings are probably the most original to Sweden. These charming and sometimes comical paintings depict stories told in painted scenes on the walls and ceilings of Swedish peasant homes. Join Pieper Bloomquist for an overview of these two painting styles, what inspired the artists to create them, and how they are used to create the images of Sweden that we cherish today.

Painting as a Harvest: Nikolai Astrup’s Bountiful Landscapes (Tuesday, August 10, 6:00–7:00 p.m. ET)

In this illustrated conversation, arborist/writer William Bryant Logan and painter/horticulturist Rebecca Allan discuss the intertwined labors of Nikolai Astrup’s life—farming and painting—as a model for re-establishing an intimate connection between people and the land. Reflecting upon how the artist and his wife Engel cultivated fruits, vegetables, flowering plants, and trees as a source of sustenance for their family, they explore how the farm-garden reverberated in Astrup’s singular images of planting, tending, and harvesting the gifts of the earth in early twentieth-century western Norway during the Industrial Revolution. Focusing on a selection of paintings from the exhibition and notes from Astrup’s motif books, Logan and Allan highlight the relevance of Astrup’s life to our time, reminding us of the enduring value of observing the climatic and chromatic qualities of each place and season. Event is free.

Nordic Spirit Classics: Second Friday Series (Friday, August 13, 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, from Scandinavians in the Old West, learn about the life and work fo Birger Sandzén, 1894 immigrant to Bethania College and the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas, and “van Gogh of the West”. Participation is free, but you must register to receive the link.

Sisters of the Brush: Nordic Women Painters in the Impressionist Era (Sunday, August 14, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT)

How can one explain the astonishing number and skill of Nordic women painters in the final decades of the nineteenth century? Enjoying an enviable degree of camaraderie with their male colleagues at a time when Victorian mores restricted opportunities of sister artists elsewhere, Scandinavian female painters lived in Paris, joined anti-establishment artist collectives, and pursued successful careers. Was there something different, more egalitarian about Scandinavia that enabled this singular situation? Join National Nordic Museum for a talk with Dr. Michelle Facos in conjunction with the exhibit Among Forests and Lakes: Landscape Masterpieces from the Finnish National Gallery.

Introduction to Finnish (Sunday, August 15, 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 virtual introductory workshop offered by the American Swedish Institute 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.

Introduction to Swedish (Sunday, August 15, 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 virtual introductory workshop offered by the American Swedish Institute 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.

FamilieKlubb: Try Weaving! with Laura Demuth and Evelyn Galstad (Register by August 17)

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! Weaving is a traditional handcraft explored by many cultures throughout history as an innovative technique for producing textiles for the home, clothing, or even to tell a story. Several distinctive styles developed throughout Norway, and you will learn a bit about some of them during this experience. The best thing about this class is that you can watch the video and open your kit materials to explore weaving whenever it is most convenient to you and your family members. Your registration provides you with a kit that includes everything you need to do family handcraft at home.

Knowing Selma Lagerlöf (Wednesday, August 18, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

Delve into the life and accomplishments of Nobel prize winner Selma Lagerlöf with Ingela Eilert Haaland of the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN. Learn how folk traditions helped form her writing style, discover her role in film production, and see how she received inspiration from worldwide travels far and wide. Discover what lasting contributions Lagerlöf’s writing have made upon literature to this day, and celebrate the writer whose statue graces the gardens of the American Swedish Institute.

Book Talk with Arthur Herman (Thursday, August 19, 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT)

Join Norway House for a book talk with Arthur Herman via Zoom as he discusses his newly published work, The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World (publication date August 3, 2021). In this book, New York Times best-selling historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist Arthur Herman delivers a sweeping epic of how the Vikings and their descendants have shaped history and America.

FamilieTid: Family Cook-Along with Nevada Berg! (Saturday, August 21, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT)

Gather the family in the kitchen and get ready to cook along with celebrated food writer and author Nevada Berg from North Wild Kitchen. Learn how to make one of her family’s favorite Norwegian recipes and experience the joy of cooking together with loved ones.

Demo: Folk Painting Figures and Clothing (Saturday, August 21, 1:00–3:00 p.m. CT)

Painting people is a challenging part of dalmålning and bonadsmålning (Swedish folk painting), yet without people it’s difficult to tell a good story! In this demonstration-style class, Pieper will give you tips to make this a much less challenging task than it seems. Learn how to make and use templates for your paintings and how to get the faces “just right.” The demo will cover inspiration for clothing and decision-making for posture. You will take away tricks to try at home and skills on how to study and practice.

Homemade Rye and Oat Crispbread (Knäckebröd) with Kristi Bissell (Saturday, August 21, 1:00-2:30 p.m. CT)

While crispbread might seem like just a cracker, Scandinavians see it as another form of bread and serve it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack in between meals. Want to learn to make your own crispbread at home? Join Kristi Bissell of True North Kitchen for a hands-on opportunity to bake a batch of rye and oat crispbread in your own kitchen (and learn some delicious and inventive ways of putting that crispbread to good use!). Participants will be provided with a shopping list and recipes prior to class. This class is designed as a cook-along class. Enrollment deadline: Saturday, August 7.

Nordic Talks: Finding Solutions to Food Waste (Saturday, August 21, 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 fourth and final talk, panelists from Washington state and the Nordic countries will discuss ways in which the issue of food waste can be tackled and inspire the audience to act independently to limit food waste. The talk is free, but you must RSVP to receive the link.

Summer 2021 Virtual Folk School Series: Weaving – The Coverlets of Norway (Sunday, August 22, 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. Warm covers at night are essential during a Nordic winter, but the coverlets families used to place on their bedsteads were often highly decorative as well. Join Katherine Larson, author of The Woven Coverlets of Norway, as she describes many of the bed covers once commonly found in Norwegian homes. You’ll become acquainted with a variety of coverlet types, learn some weaving basics, and see a demonstration of several coverlet techniques.

Summer Book Club: The Complete and Original Norwegian Folk Tales of Asbjørnsen and Moe (Wednesday, August 25, 7:00–9:00 p.m. ET)

This month wraps up The Clark Art Institute‘s summer book club series featuring novels by Norwegian authors. Participants have discussed how these authors’ treatment of identity and sense of place resonate with the life and work of Nikolai Astrup, whose paintings and prints are presented in Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway. The summer book club series concludes this month with The Complete and Original Norwegian Folk Tales of Asbjørnsen and Moe, compiled by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe and first published in 1841. Nikolai Astrup read and deeply admired these stories as a child. A new translation of the tales by Tiina Nunnally introduces readers to giant trolls, talking animals, and other remarkable beings that inspired Astrup in his creation of magical landscapes.

Demo: Swedish Summer Seafood (Wednesday, August 25, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CT)

From fermented herring to crayfish parties, seafood is a great entry point to some of Sweden’s strangest and most fun culinary traditions. Join Patrice Johnson for an evening of tips and stories as she cooks through a seafood-centric menu. From apps to main courses, she’ll share examples of fresh, smoked and preserved fish and shellfish dishes with light and easy takes that could be put together into a celebratory menu or could stand alone as a simpler weeknight supper.

Unraveling the Knot Basket: Investigating the Scandinavian Knutkorg (Wednesday, August 25, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT)

Join Vesterheim’s Jane Laurence and Fred Livesay as they team up to examine a unique basket construction called Knutkorg (knot baskets), which were often decorated and used as special Sendingskorg (visiting baskets). Using artifacts from the Vesterheim collection; the Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish digital craft archives; specimens from private collections; and examples of their own work, they’ll examine the roots of this unique craft in Scandinavia and the Baltic states in the mid-1800s. Additionally, they’ll share their research that delineates a continuity of this craft and an amazing connection to several communities in northern Minnesota in the early 1900s.

Knowing Selma Lagerlöf (Wednesday, August 25, 7:00-8:30 p.m. CT)

Delve into the life and accomplishments of Nobel prize winner Selma Lagerlöf with Ingela Eilert Haaland of the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, MN. Learn how folk traditions helped form her writing style, discover her role in film production, and see how she received inspiration from worldwide travels far and wide. Discover what lasting contributions Lagerlöf’s writing have made upon literature to this day, and celebrate the writer whose statue graces the gardens of the American Swedish Institute.

Introduction to Tapestry Weaving (Thursdays, August 26 – September 30, 5:00-7:00 p.m. CT)

Curious about how tapestries are made and ready to try your hand at pictorial weaving? This most ancient form of textile creation is rich with history and invitation for creative expression. Master weaver Laura Berlage will take you on a multi-week journey into the magical world of tapestry, where you will learn to transform warp and weft into a peaceful sunset landscape, measuring approximately 10 x 10 inches. Enrollment deadline: August 12, 2021.

Book Talk: The Real Valkyrie by Nancy Marie Brown (Tuesday, August 31, 2:00 p.m. ET)

Join Scandinavia House in New York, NY, for a virtual book talk with Nancy Marie Brown on her new book The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women, out today from St. Martin’s Press. With moderator Anna Dís Ólafsdóttir, she’ll discuss the compelling new novel bringing the world of valkyries and shield-maids to vivid life.


Which August 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.