Every May the Bay Area’s Norwegian National League and the Norwegian Seamen's Church sponsor events to celebrate Syttende Mai (the Seventeenth of May) which in Norway is cause for the same level of hilarity, color, flag waving, parade, and national pride as the Fourth of July is in the United States.
While Americans celebrate independence in July, for Norwegians the celebration is for the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in May of 1815, ending 400 years of Danish rule. (Complete independence did not quite happen, however, until nearly a hundred years later with the break from Sweden in 1905.)
In Oslo on May 17th, hundreds of thousands of flag wavers throng to watch the Barnetoget, the Children's Parade, that marches down Karl Johanns Gate ("gate" means street) toward the royal palace where the royal family stand out on their beautiful balcony waving back to the crowds.
In San Francisco the Norwegian community honors the event with three programs: Children's Day on the lawn at Fort Mason on the Sunday after Mother's Day, Constitution Day at the Band Shell in Golden Gate Park the following Sunday, and on May 17 itself, an evening program of Norwegian music, dance, and thoughts beautiful and profound, spoken usually by a representative of the Norwegian consulate, in Norwegian.
Barnesdag (Children's Day) begins with a parade of children and other enthusiasts, many dressed in bunads and waving a Norwegian flag. They parade several times around the lawn where everyone has spread out picnic blankets and baskets and themselves. Then there are speeches, little lessons in history, all in Norwegian, hot dogs and sodas and waffles, and a performance by the children's dance group, the Barneleikarring which is a part of Nordahl Grieg Leikarring. (NGL is a member of NCS.)
There are games for the children which usually include things like pounding a nail into a piece of wood, a sack race, carrying an egg in a spoon, fishing for prizes, skiing around a tree, and answering a series of questions (in Norwegian) such as "Who is the King of Norway?" "What are the colors of the Norwegian flag?" "What is the capital of Norway?" and one year, even "What is the color of the Norwegian Seamen's Church?"
Groups stay around picnicking, hobnobbing, and playing music, until the evening winds or the setting afternoon sun encourages them to go home.
The following Sunday is Constitution Day celebrated with another parade at the Band Shell in Golden Gate Park. The Band plays a variety of Norwegian music, often including Edvard Grieg's music from Peer Gynt, which the children all enjoy ("Hey! I recognize that!"). There are speeches and thank you's and recognitions and a perfor-mance of Norwegian dances by Nordahl Grieg Leikarring. A bunad show includes everyone arrayed in Norwegian national dress who's willing to do a turn and a curtsy or a bow on stage. Each bunad is described and affiliated with the section of the country it hails from.
The evening of May 17th itself is celebrated at the Norwegian Seamen's Church on Hyde Street with music, songs, speeches in Norwegian, more dancing, and food - blautkake (layer cake), kransekake (a cake tower of almond macaroon rings, usually offered for celebrations, such as weddings), krumkake (a crispy cone), and the traditional open faced sandwiches.
Norwegians are encouraged to attend these events to offer some nationalistic support for their heritage, and anyone with an inclination to try out linguistic abilities will find ample opportunity here. §
Mikkel Thompson poses with some of the many children involved in the Bay Areas’s Norwegian Barneleikarrings
The Bay Area’s Own Barneleikarringerby Ginny Lee
The Barneleikarring is a children's dance group affiliated with Nordahl Grieg Leikarring. There are several groups in the greater Bay Area. The childrens' ages range from about 3 years to the sixth grade. We do have nearly twice as many girls as boys, but we are well pleased with the young male attendance and enthusiasm. Several times a year they all get together for a joint performance.
At Norway Day last year nearly 40 children performed 10 Norwegian dances on stage. It was the one of the last items on Sunday afternoon, just before the festival closed. Most people had already left and booths were being taken down. But when the children started dancing, suddenly the audience was packed with standing room only. People commented, "It was amazing; they just kept coming out!" and "Where did they get so many dancers?" One little boy hopped off the stage in the middle of a dance for his mother to tie his shoe, then hopped back on to finish the dance.
This year at Norway Day, a slightly more modest number performed in the middle of the day on Sunday. This coming September the Barneleikarring is scheduled to perform on both Saturday and Sunday for the annual Turlock Scandinavian festival. They have performed in Santa Cruz for the Lucia festival and have been invited to join parades and perform for schools.
After one performance someone commented to a fourth grade girl: "How nice that all of you remember to smile when you are performing." She answered: "Oh, we don't have to remember to smile. We just do it without thinking about it!"
Mikkel Thompson and Gerd Syrstad teach a class at the Norwegian Seamen's Church after the service on the first Sunday of nearly every month. A gathered group also practices at Nordahl Grieg Lodge in San Jose on the afternoon of the 4th Sunday. Before special performances we sometimes meet in someone's back yard or at Bjornson Lodge in Oakland, which is more centrally located. Ginny Lee has a group of elementary school children that practice separately in Fairfield and join the combined groups for some performances.
We hope that the Barneleikarring will continue to grow both in number of dancers and in their levels of ability. The older and more experienced dancers already perform some of the more exacting adult dances. We are always expanding our program and our horizons with the ever growing expertise of the children.
If you have or know children interested in dancing, contact one of the following:
Mikkel Thompson (408) 998-2076 (San Jose)
Gerd Syrstad (650) 363-2743 (Redwood City)
Sharee Frost (510) 657-9001 (Fremont)
Ginny Lee (707) 428-4366 (Fairfield) §
FinnFest99 in Seattle
This July Seattle hosts a FinnFest99 which promises to be very exciting. The theme is Roots and Wings, and stresses both the roots of the Finnish people and how they have taken flight. There are several branches of the roots which are especially followed in the program.
Setting Roots in America looks at how Finns have adjusted to the new world. Learn to trace your Finnish roots, dance the Finnish Tango, hear Finnish-American musical talent, and enjoy the finest of the tradition from the old country.
Virtual Finland stresses how the information age and the internet have become an important resource in Finland. Learn to serf the web Finnish-style.
Visual Finland explores Finnish TV, filmm and the visual art.s.
Verbal Finland features lectures, workshops and displays which illustrate Finland’s three official languages: Finnish, Swedish and Saami. A special feature is an exploration of the Finnish-American language “Fingliska.”
The Kalevala Turns 150 celebrates the 150th year of the Finnish National Epic, Kalevala. Elias Lonnrot wove together songs and charms from innumerable Finnish and Karelian singers to create on of the most important 19th century literary works. For more information on FinnFest99, see the Calendar Section.
Kantele Workshop in Seattle
A workshop in playing kantele, the Finnish national instrument, follows FinnFest99, (7/25 -7/ 28). The workshop teachers will be some of the best of Finland’s kantele players. For information, see the Calendar Section. If you have an interest in the kantele, take a peek at their webpage at http://home.earthlink.net/~mcushing/ for a wealth of kantele information and links to other web resources. §
Cotton Grass and Fairy Tales
One of the many pretty and interesting plants of the mountain regions of Scandinavia is Cotton Grass. This member of the sedge family grows in bogs and wet places and has about 20 species worldwide. Several grow in North America, and some even grow in California. There are several species in Scandinavia, and once you know what you're looking for it's fairly easy to spot. Since it's a circumpolar plant type, many of the same species are found in Scandinavia and North America. But more about these details later.
My interest in this plant was actually spurred by a friend and a dimly remembered fairy tale. When a friend pointed out of the car window at some white fluffy things by the side of the road, and said, "That's the plant the princess gathered to bring her brothers back to human form," (they'd been turned into ducks or geese,) my curiosity was aroused. When I got back to the States, I looked up the fairy tale, and then when living in Norway I managed to roam around some bogs to see these plants up close. See page 7 for a quick retelling of this story.
About Cotton Grass
Cotton Grass is a member of the sedge family (Cyperaceae), genus Eriophorum. This comes from Greek words which together mean wool-bearing. The seeds are an important food source for various waterfowl. The plant is circumpolar, and in North America, various species are found as far south as Tulare county in California, parts of Colorado and the Dakotas, Wisconsin, and in the east, south as far as the Virginias. They are a plant of the mountains, usually found in bogs and other wet environments. Many varieties are on the threatened species lists in many areas of the US, so don't pick it unless you're sure of both local restrictions and the exact species you've found. I found seed companies which sell several varieties. (Try an Internet search with Eriophorum as the key word. Besides seed companies, this will reward you with many beautiful pictures and a lot of information - much of it in Swedish - although some of these pages had English translations, too.) Eriophorum species are also wide-spread in the higher elevations of the British Isles and all across northern Eurasia, and since I found a species called E. japonicum, I assume a variety grows there, too. I found indications during my web-search that in Europe, it grows as far south as the Alps. If you decide you want to order seeds and try growing some in your backyard, be forewarned, most species need several inches of either standing or running water and acid conditions.
The property of Cotton Grass which is so eyecatching is its flower. When it first flowers, it's not that remarkable, Most varieties look like grasses with slightly fuzzy heads and lots of pollen - many look a bit like a slightly frowzy pussy-willow growing on a grass plant instead of a bush. As the flower ages, these fibers elongate, growing more and more prominent. The fuzzy parts of the "flower" are not what I'll unscientifically call "seed fuzz," like on a dandelion or a milkweed, but are actually a drastically modified version of petals and sepals. They really look like incredibly fine hairs. A few species, especially E. Scheuchzeri (Scheuchzer's Cotton Grass in English), have very full heads - up to an inch and a half in diameter - packed full of fiber, and looking very much like a small cottontail rabbit's tail. Other species are not as full, and some are not at all dramatic. Color varies from species to species, and ranges from a startling white to pale yellow brown and reddish rust. Most species are white. How do you spot it while driving along or hiking? Look for clumps of cottony fuzz in places you suspect are boggy.
Table II on page 6 list species found in Scandinavia (and N. America), along with their common names in several languages. Table I (page 5) gives several other species found in the US, and where available, something about their ranges. Note that there's a variety (E. criniger) local to Oregon and California which is found in bogs in the coastal range as far south as Mendocino county, CA, and through most of the Sierras. I'm not pretending to give all the species here, or all the information on those I'm listing. Much of the information I found was conflicting.
Cotton grass has had a variety of uses over the years. Probably the
most important use was as stuffing for pillows and mattresses in poor or
rural areas in both Europe and North America. It's not strong enough to
make good thread, but it has been used for this. There's an oral tradition
of its use in Viking times in both Scandinavia and in Britain. At one time,
it was not unusual (although perhaps not common) to blend it with linen
or wool to soften the thread, and therefore the final fabric. It's absorbent,
and was important in staunching wounds. Native Americans used it for this,
and in Britain (and probably other places) it was used in this way at least
up through WWI. It's the clan badge of the Scottish clan Henderson (sometimes
known as MacKendrick). In the colonial US it was used for all of this,
plus for making cand-lewicks and Native Americans of the Hudson Bay region
used them as wicks for their oil lamps! People in the Bering Straight area
collect and eat the lower 4 or 5 inches of the stems in the early spring;
they are pinkish white and a bit sweet. Children hunt for mouse caches
of the thick underground stems in the fall. These are known as "mouse nuts."
My source - a web page maintained by the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
- mentioned nothing about humans eating "mouse nuts." I'm going to assume
that hunting them is a children's game. Someone in Alaska is currently
selling the infusion of the flower (made by plucking it, setting it in
a bowl of water in the sun for a day, and bottling the water) as a flower
essence intended to modify moods/improve one's health. (I never tried smelling
it - it looks so fuzzy that it didn't occur to me to try.) But the most
surprising use I found was modern, and experimental. Someone in Finland
has found that the peat which the plant itself forms over the years can
be cleaned, carded and spun. Cotton Grass forms much of the peat in peat
bogs in the north, and the fiber from it is one of the waste products of
the peat industry. There is now a small experimental factory making clothes
out of the peat fiber formed by Cotton Grass. Well, perhaps this isn't
so strange - a Finnish friend told me that the fresh plant stalks and leaves
have occasionally been made into thread that way. The process of getting
the fibers out of the stalks and leaves of the fresh plant resembles the
method used to make linen from the flax plant. Thread made from the fresh
plant fibers, rather than the cottony flower, is also not really suitable
for serious use. But those making cloth from peat fiber say that the process
of turning from a plant into peat somehow strengthens the fibers into a
quite usable and strong substance. It's said to be hypo-allergenic, absorbent,
and much warmer and lighter weight than wool. I can't wait to see someone
all decked out in "peat-cloth." §
Table I - Some American Cotton Grass Species - Starred
species also appear in Table II.
|English Name||Latin name||North American Range|
|Criniger's Cotton Grass||Eriophorum crinigerum||Sierra Nevada range down to Tulare county, California; coastal range
in Oregon and California down to
|Few-Nerve Cotton Grass||E. tenellum|
|Tawny Cotton Grass||E. virginicum||Ontario east to Nova Scotia, south to Georgia, east to (is rusty color) Tennessee, north to Wisconsin & Minnesota.|
|Common Cotton Grass||*E. polystachion||south to central Oregon, Idaho, NE Utah, and northern New Mexico.|
|Tall Cotton Grass||*E. angustifolium||south to central Oregon, Idaho, NE Utah, and northern New Mexico.|
|Scheuchzer's C. Grass||*E. scheuchzeri||Alaska, northen Canada|
Table II - Some Cotton Grass Species
There are often several latin names for one species, several subspecies for each species, and various disagreements/inconsistencies in the classifications. I've not attempted to include them here.
All are also found on the North American continent, and most somewhere in the lower 48 states.
(C.G. == Cotton Grass)
|Common C.G. or Tall
(aka E. polystachyum)
|Sami (Lapp) = Ullo-suoidne
Icelandic = Klófífa, or Marghneppa
German = Schmalblättriges Wollgras
|German = Breitblättriges Wollgras|
|Fin Kæruld||German = Schlankes Wollgras|
Cottonsedge, Tussock C.G.
(& many other names)
|Tue-Kæruld||German = Scheiden-Wollgras|
|Icelandic = Hrafnafífa or Einhneppa|
|Russet-bristle C.G. or
Hare's Tail or
E. russeolum ssp.
russeolum & rufescens or
E. callitrix /opácum /
|reddish color / white|
The Twelve Wild Ducks
Here's a (very) quick retelling of this folk tale. Parts of it are a bit gory, as such stories often are. Hans Christian Andersen has written a somewhat sanitized version called "The Wild Swans." There's also a version collected by the brothers Grimm in the early 19th century. It's called "The Six Swans." The version I'll retell was collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen. He and Jørgen Moe first published a collection of folk stories in the late nineteenth century. These were illustrated by Erik Werenskiold and Theodor Kittelsen. Kittelsen illustrated this particular story. Since I could find no hint of a copyright on published copies of his drawings, I've included one here. This story is called "The Twelve Wild Ducks."
There was once a queen who had 12 sons. One day she saw some blood, a brilliant red against the snow, and wished aloud for a daughter with snow white skin and blood red lips. A troll-woman heard and offered a trade - the queen would come to bear such a daughter if she would give up her sons to the troll.
So it was, and when the infant girl was baptized, the queen's sons were turned into wild ducks and flew away. The princess, who had the rather unwieldy name of Snow-White-and-Rose-Red, grew up to be beautiful. When she eventually heard the story of her missing brothers, she was very upset and left in search of them. She finally found a little cabin deep in the forest. Inside were beds, chairs, and etc. for twelve people. She realized that this must be where her brothers lived. She cooked a meal for all of them, ate something and hid underneath the youngest prince's bed.
When the wild ducks came home, they regained human form as they entered the cabin. It seems that they were ducks during the day and humans at night. They figured out that she must be in the cabin, and the oldest wanted to find and kill her since she was the cause of all their misery. The youngest pointed out that it was not her fault, but their mother's. They found her, and it came out that they could be released from the spell if she collected myrdun, cleaned it, carded, spun, and wove it into clothing for them all. During this time she was not to laugh, cry, or talk. They showed her to a large bog where lots of myrdun grew. They lived peacefully together for a long time while she worked at this project. (Myrdun or myrull is cotton grass. English translations of this story usually translate the word as "thistle-down," which it's definitely NOT.)
One day a king saw her gathering cotton grass. He fell in love, and ordered his men to bring her with them. She couldn't speak, but made it clear that she needed her sacks of cotton grass. So everything was brought along to the palace, far from the bogs. The king's stepmother hated her for her beauty, and told the king she must be a witch because of her unnatural silence. But the two were married, and she continued to work on her brothers' clothing. After a time she gave birth to a son, and the old queen threw the newborn child into a snakepit and smeared blood on SW&RR's lips as she slept. The queen then claimed that SW&RR had eaten her own baby. (Remember - she's still under her vow of silence.) The king was very sad, but spared her.
A second son was born, the same thing happened, and the king again spared her. The third child was a girl, and the old queen again went about her dastardly business. This time the king ordered SW&RR to be burned alive. But SW&RR made signs for them to set up 12 poles around her pyre, and hung her brothers' new clothes on them. The twelve wild ducks came flying in, put on the clothes, and turned back into princes. Everything was explained, and the three children were found playing happily among snakes, toads, and frogs. The wicked old queen was given a suitably gory punishment and execution.
But SW&RR hadn't had time to finish the youngest prince's shirt, so he was left with a wing in place of one of his arms.
Note: In the Norwegian version of Sleeping Beauty, Sleeping Beauty is
also called Snow-White-and-Rose-Red, as is the story itself. §
Scandinavian Summer Beverages -
Sima and Saft (or Mehu)
It wouldn't be too much of an exaggeration to say that Scandinavians LOVE summer. At times it seems they're actually sun worshippers in disguise. The warmth and long days full of sunshine (or at least the hope of sunshine) draw everyone out of doors for every possible moment of the day. And along with the summer warmth comes the need for refreshing beverages. Of course, beer is a favorite, but beer is closely rivaled by fruit drinks.
People begin celebrating summer a bit early - on May Day, (Vappu in Finnish) which is a minor but popular holiday throughout Scandinavia. It's roughly analogous to our Labor Day. There are parades and political speeches and family picnics, weather permitting. The Finns have a special drink which they make just for this day. It's called sima, and is a (very mildly) fermented lemon concoction. I'm told that it's a bit bubbly, not intoxicating, and quite refreshing. While its main association is with May Day, once in a while it's served for other summer occasions.
But the berry-loving Scandinavians have also perfected the art of saving the sun-drenched berry flavors for refreshing drinks at any time of year. Berries are picked, mashed and cooked, the juices extracted and sweetened, and then made into a highly concentrated liquid called saft in the nordic languages and mehu in Finnish. (These words are used for both the concentrated and the diluted juice.) It's similar in some ways to our frozen concentrated juices, but is much sweeter (like a syrup) and much more concentrated. The intense flavor is what really distinguishes it from a syrup. (It's also less viscous than syrup, so perhaps there's not quite as much sugar in it.) The flavor is so intense that while it's delicious over ice cream, I'm not sure I'd want to eat a teaspoon full of the undiluted stuff. The high sugar content acts as a preservative, so the stuff is simply bottled and sealed rather than frozen. It is the perfect fruit-flavor preservation method from a time before electricity.
Saft is used all year round to make fruit juice drinks. A couple of tablespoons or so in the bottom of a glass which is then filled with water is all that's needed. It can also be mixed with sparkling water to give it a little more kick. I prefer it this way - the drink made with plain water seems a bit too sweet. When mixed with sparkling water, one has to be wary since it can foam up like a root beer float. It's also used to make fruit wines and alcoholic punches, as a glaze for hams and other meats, in various fruit preserves, in gelés, berry pies and torts, to flavor milkshakes, and as an ingredient of glögg. It's also a common home remedy for colds - nothing beats hot red or black currant juice when you have a cold or the flu - unless maybe you prefer hot blueberry juice. Blueberry juice is also soothing for an upset stomach. No Scandinavian household is complete unless it has a bottle (or box) or two of saft stashed away somewhere. Nowadays, most people buy saft at the grocery store, from mail-order houses, or even online by email. There's even a Rogaland, Norway company with a webpage! Their stuff is quite good; I had some while living in Norway.
Included here is a recipe for sima and general instructions for making saft, along with a couple of other recipes. §
Instructions for making saft/mehu
Berries should be completely ripe and juicy. One kg (2.2 lbs) of berries
yields about 1 liter (1.06 quart) of saft.
Wash and rinse the berries, don't bother to pit or seed them. Boil berries and water for 8 - 10 minutes. While boiling, crush the berries against the sides of the pan to release the juice. Use one of the following two methods to strain them:
I Strain through a mesh or cheesecloth strainer, allowing about 1/2 hour to drain. This will give a clear juice. The leftover berries can be boiled again with a bit more water, then strained a second time to give more juice.
II Extract juice by wrapping berries in cheesecloth and wringing it. This goes quickly and gives a lot of juice, which will be a bit cloudy.
Methods I and II yield what's called sur-saft. (sur == sour) Boil this with sugar (see below). Allow it to cool just a little, and skim off any scum that forms. Sodium benzoate may be added as a preservative, if desired. Pour the hot saft into hot sterilized bottles. Fill completely, so that no air space is left. Stopper with a cork or by some other method.
For one kg (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) berries, use 300-500 grams (1&1/2 to 2&1/2 cups) sugar, 1/2 gram sodium benzoate if desired, and the following amount of water:
(the English measures below are very approximate - please err on
the low side & adjust.)
blueberries - 4 - 5 dl (~ 2 cups) water
raspberries, strawberries, cherries, & red currants ?
3 - 4 dl ( ~1&1/2 cups) water
diced rhubarb - 3 dl (~1&1/3 cups) water
black currants - 5 dl (~2 cups) water
a berry mixture - 3 - 4 dl (~ 1&1/2 cups) water
1 kg = 2.2 lbs; 1 lb = 453.6 grams;
1 liter = 10 dl = 1.06 US quart;
1 quart = 4 cups
1 tsp = 5 ml; 1 Tbs = 15 ml; 1 dl = 100 ml;
1 cup = ~2.5 dl
100 grams = 120 ml = .504 cup = ~ 1/2 cup
12 g = 1 Tbs; 0.8 gr = 1 ml; 125 ml = 100 gr
Good berry combinations: strawberries with rhubarb, cherries, or red currants; blueberries with huckleberries, raspberries, or red currants; sweet or sour cherries with gooseberries, rhubarb, or red currants; and elderberries with red or black currants, or tart apples.
Punch 2 dl (~ 4/5 cup) black currant or raspberry saft/mehu, 1 liter (~1 qt) water, juice of 3 oranges and juice of 1 or 2 lemons. Mix juices, add ice, and serve.
Glögg 1&1/2 dl black currant or lingon saft/mehu, 1/2 dl water, 1 piece cinnamon, some cardamom seeds, 4 or 5 cloves, 2 Tbs raisins, 1 Tbs peeled almonds or other nuts. Mix juice and water, add spices and nuts, heat, taste, and serve while hot.
~ 40 blossoms 3 lemons
2 liters water 2 kg sugar
50 grams (~ 4 &1/2 Tbs) citronsyra (citric acid, a
natural preservative and flavor enhancer)
2 ml sodium benzoate
Rinse blossoms, shake off excess water, lay in a tub or pot. Clean lemons, divide into sections, then slice thinly. Put lemons and citric acid into pot with flowers. Boil water and sugar together, pour into pot, and stir. Cover and set in a cool place for 5 days. Strain, add sodium benzoate, stir a little. Bottle and refrigerate the saft/mehu. It doesn't keep long in the fridge, but may be frozen in plastic containers or bags.
Sima - Finnish drink for Vappu- makes 5 quarts
2 large lemons 5 qts boiling water
1/2 cup sugar 1/2 ? 1 tsp yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar 5 tsp sugar
a dozen raisins
the yellow skins from the lemons with a peeler or knife. Cut away the white
membranes and discard them. Slice lemons very thin. Combine lemon slices,
lemon skins and sugars in a 6 qt container. Add boiling water, stir, allow
to cool to tepid, then stir in yeast. Allow to ferment, uncovered, at room
temperature for ~ 12 hours. Bottle in 5 sterilized one?quart bottles. To
bottle, first but 1 tsp sugar and several raisins in each bottle, strain
the sima, pour into bottles, and seal loosely - it needs room to ferment
a bit. Let stand a couple of days until bubbles form and raisins rise to
top (the raisins are the test for doneness.) Chill until ready to serve.
This does not keep well. One can also add hops for flavor, and use honey
instead of sugar. §
Names of berries and fruits found
|red currant||röd vinbär||rips||ribs||panainen viinimarja|
|black currant||svart vinbär||solbær||solbær||musta viinimarja|
|huckleberry (bog whortleberry)||odon||blokkebær|
Note: The Nor. and Dan. names for red and black currant were
switched in the hard copy of the newsletter. They are correct here.
New Swedish Bill Honors Nyckelharpa
Like many countries, Sweden redesigns its paper money every now and
again, and this time around they have chosen to show that quintessentially
Swedish instrument, the nyckelharpa, on the 50 kronor bill. Michael Wang,
a former southern California resident now living in Stockholm, has been
kind enough to send us a couple of examples. The bill is predominantly
a golden yellow color, with an etching of Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale,"
on one side and a nyckelharpa on the other. The background of the nyckelharpa
shows an abstract design which could be interpreted as either written music
or nyckelharpa keys. Jenny Lind (1820 - 1887) was a world famous Swedish
opera singer. §
A Correction, New Web Pages and Addresses
A Correction - The Hardanger Fiddle Association of America’s annual meeting is July 16-19, not June 16 - 19 as announced here last time. A misprint in a web announcement was the culprit.
New web address for Hardanger Fiddle Association of America (HFAA): http://www.hfaa.org/
A new web site for music events in Sweden (and some in Norway): http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-75911/riksspelmanindex-sid0.htm
A new web site for ethnic folkdance group info in the US: http://www.folkdancing.org
Bay Area Monthly Area Dances
Second Saturday Dances in Mill Valley will resume in September, probably at Park School at 117 East Blythedale. Contact Frank and Jane Tripi at (510) 654-3636.
Third Saturday Nordic Footnotes Dances in Palo Alto will be house
parties - July 17th in Menlo Park (call Jim and Linda at (650) 323-2256)
and August 21 in San Jose (call Henry and Jeanne at (408) 929-5602). Both
evenings will include a potluck beginning at 5pm. For general infor-mation,
call the above numbers, or call Sarah at (650) 968-3126. §
Folkedans Stevne at Camp Norge, Alta, CA,
November 5 - 7, 1999 Dances of the Røros, Norway area Margot
Sollie and Tom Sears, teaching, musician to be announced. As information
becomes available it will be posted on the Camp Norge webpage at http://home.att.net/~Nick-Jensen/CampNorge.html.
This newsletter will also publish more info as available.
Possible Special Event in July
On Saturday, July 17th, a group of Swedish dancers is scheduled
to arrive in the Bay Area from Småland in southern Sweden.
They can only stay about a day, but there’s a possibility that they’ll
arrive early enough for us to party with them in Mill Valley at
Park School. The next day, Sunday, there’ll be a performance in
Healdsburg. Watch for flyers or call Joe Armstrong at (707) 433 - 9786
for information. (This event has been confirmed.) §
Scandinavian Dance Workshops and Party in
Shingle Springs, CA Katirilli Dancers of Los Angeles with
Pirkko Hekkanen teaching Finnish Dances Saturday & Sunday, August
28th & 29th See our Calendar section, or contact Marida Martin Phone:
(530) 672-2863 Email: Marida@ns.net or email@example.com
Hardanger Fiddle Association of America’s Annual Meeting and Workshops July 16-18, 1999 Folklore Village, near Dodgeville, WI
Hardingfele Player Vidar Lande, Setesdal, teaching tunes of Telemark, Setesdal, & other areas. Dancer Inge Midtveit, Western Telemark teaching Telespringar & other Norwegian folk dances. Meals provided to all one- and two-day registrants. Norwegian Banquet Saturday night. Program includes: Hardingfele & Flat Fiddle Classes, Hardingfele Construction & Dance Workshop, HFAA Annual Meeting (Saturday only), Saturday Banquet and Concert followed by Dance Party
more info can be found on the HFAA Web Site: http://www.hfaa.org/ or
by sending a SASE to HFAA Registration 913 Main Street, Cold Spring, MN
56320 Phone: +1-320-685-3437, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
American Scandinavian Music Sites:
The Northern California Spelmanslag:
The American Nyckelharpa Association:
Bruce Sagan’s Scandinavian Web Site:
The Hardangar Fiddle Association of America
The Skandia Folkdance Society (Seattle):
About the Calendar
A (somewhat) more detailed and up-to-date calendar can be found on the NCS Webpage at http://members.aol.com/jglittle/ncs.html.
Web and Newsletter calendar submissions should be sent to Jim Little
at 321 McKendry, Menlo Park, CA, 94025, email: email@example.com, phone:
(650) 323-2256 or Sarah Kirton at 330 Sierra Vista Ave. #1, Mt. View, CA,
94043, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (650) 968-3126. Suggestions
for what to include in a calendar submission
are on our web page. The web page calendar is updated when new material
is received. §
Notes on the Music and Dance Events in Scandinavia Calendar Page
by Sarah Kirton
IF you plan to travel in Scandinavia this summer (or next), please read
1) Most of these web pages have now been updated for summer 1999.
2) the term “music” anywhere below includes both instrumental and vocal.
3) Courses at festivals described as “international” include music and dance from the world over, although there’s usually (but not always) a stress on nordic stuff. The non-nordic courses are often taught in English. Courses at festivals that are not international are usually nordic (and often local) in content, and are most often taught in a scandinavian language. Getting a bit of translation help from fellow students with a demo-type course (dance or instrumental instruction) is usually not difficult, but isn't practical for a lecture type course.
4) Web pages for these events usually include info on housing and transportation, or else links to sites which do. Many web pages have versions in English.
5) I hate to say it, but I’ve had bad luck writing for information. I get it, but often only after I return home from my trip abroad! I haven’t tried emailing or faxing. Phone conversations work well, but festival offices are often manned at “odd” times because most who work there are volunteers. Registering for courses by phone is usually possible. Some web pages give mobile phone numbers which usually are actually for a volunteer's private phone. Please don't use these unless you're in the country you're calling. Mobile (cell) phone owners have to pay a fee for every minute of calls received from outside the country. Most of Scandinavia is 9 hours ahead of Pacific time, 6 hours ahead of Eastern time.