We Celebrate Our Scandinavian Heritage
Diana is seen here dressed in a Swedish costume that Dave's distant relative (Gertrud Jonsson in Tandsbyn, Sweden) made by hand, including weaving of the material and all the needlework.
Our Swedish Connections:
Our Norwegian Connections:
Our Heritage comes from Scandinavia and we have a natural affinity to the people and culture of that part of the world. Diana was born as a "Larson" and Dave's mother was an "Erickson", which indicates the Swedish roots we both have. In addition, Diana also has some Finnish blood in her from her mother's side.
Scandinavia is where we have some wonderful friends, especially in Norway and Sweden. It has been awhile since we have traveled there (the last time was in 1997), but some of those friends have made return visits to us, which we have enjoyed very much.
In Norway, we have circumnavigated around the country from Lillehammer, Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Hellesylt, Ålesund, Vatne, Trondheim, Hell, and points in between. The countryside is truly spectacular with lofty mountains dropping down into deep winding fjords.
In Sweden, we have been to Malmö, Göteborg, Karlstad, Arvika, Köla, Mora, Östersund, Hackås, and Stockholm. Here, the countryside is more pastoral, but filled with lakes, rivers, streams, hills, mountains and forests.
Here at home, Scandinavia is really not that far away as there are many Scandinavian cultural centers and events available to us right here where we live. In fact, it can be quite startling to the unaware (or to some Norwegian visitors) how close the "old country" can really be. Like the evening we decided to go to a local Grange Hall just a few miles from our home to participate in some Scandinavian dancing (after taking a series of dance lessons). When we walked through the door, it was like opening the door into Norway or Sweden. Many people were in costume, many were speaking a language that we only know a few words to, and the lively fiddle music with people whirling and spinning around the floor was a sight never to be forgot. And we had a good time! The lessons we took from the Skandia Folkdance Society really paid off.
On the first Sunday of each month, we also go to the Swedish Club in Seattle for a pancake breakfast. We fill up on Swedish pancakes loaded with Lingonberry sauce or strawberries while being entertained by musicians playing Swedish and Norwegian folk music.
And then there is the periodic trip to Poulsbo, Washington, which is a ferry ride across the water from where we live. This place is known as "Little Norway", and it's a great place to go to purchase Scandinavian souvenirs, or to munch on Scandinavian bakery treats. It was established in 1882 by Norwegian emigrants, some of who came from Paulsbo, Norway, and the city still celebrates its heritage with many festivals including the annual Viking Fest, Skandia Midsommarfest, and Yule Fest.
Also, there is the annual "Syttende Mai" parade in Ballard, the old Scandinavian section of Seattle where the "Norwegian" fishing fleet is based. This is the largest parade held in Seattle and it is a spectacle to see with costumed people, floats, and bands.
We appreciate our Scandinavian heritage and we look forward to visiting that area of the world in the future. Not only is the scenery and landscape so very beautiful, but so are the people. And, their hospitality is outstanding.