event Calendar

pacific northwest United States (or, wa)

    • July 22, 2021
    • October 24, 2021
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA

    EXHIBIT - DINES CARLSEN: IN HIS OWN MANNER

    Open Now through October 24 at The National Nordic Museum 

    Seattle, WA—The National Nordic Museum will display a rotating selection of the works of Danish-American artist Dines Carlsen. The exhibition opens July 22 and features numerous drawings on view from the National Nordic Museum’s permanent collection.

    In June 2020, the Museum received 943 Dines Carlsen drawings and one oil painting from the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. 
     
    “This significant transfer marked the Museum’s largest acquisition to date but was made at a time that we were closed to the public. We are delighted to share these works with our community,” said Executive Director/CEO Eric Nelson.
     
    The Museum’s collection includes the works of Dines Carlsen (1901–1966), a celebrated still life painter who was a member of the National Academy of Design, as well as portraits of his father Danish painter (Søren) Emil Carlsen (1848–1932), who emigrated to the United States from Denmark.  Outside of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art in Washington D.C., the National Nordic Museum is the main repository of materials related to the Carlsen family. Dines Carlsen’s paintings are held in the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, the National Academy of Design in New York City, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.
     
    “This corpus of drawings strengthens the National Nordic Museum’s holdings of art by Nordic-American artists. We were excited to welcome this sizeable gift into our collection,” said Leslie Anne Anderson, Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs. Anderson began her curatorial career at the IMA and has researched the work of Carlsen extensively. She presented her findings at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study. 
     
    In the dynamic exhibition curated by Museum staff, visitors will enjoy a rotating selection from the collection. Recent discoveries will be shared with visitors allowing them to discover more about Dines Carlsen.

    Additional programming will include a virtual lecture on July 29 by Anderson that will trace the careers of Danish-American artist Emil Carlsen and his son, Dines Carlsen (1901–1966). Information can be found at nordicmuseum.org/exhibitions.
     
    More About The National Nordic Museum
     
    The National Nordic Museum is the only museum in the United States that showcases the impact and influence of Nordic values and innovation in contemporary society and tells the story of 12,000 years of Nordic history and culture, across all five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) as well as three regions (Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland) and the cultural region of Sápmi.
     
    The National Nordic Museum shares Nordic culture, values, and ideas with people of all ages and backgrounds to create connections, generate dialogue, and inspire new perspective.

    National Nordic Museum
    2655 NW Market St
    Seattle, WA  98107

    Tel: (206) 789-5707

    National Nordic Museum - Website

    National Nordic Museum - Facebook

    • September 17, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • September 19, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • Virtual Event

    2021 DANISH AMERICAN CULTURAL RETREAT (VIRTUAL)

    Virtual Event in 2021

    Join us virtually this weekend from September 17th to 19th.

    View the 2021 DACR Schedule online (subject to change)

    2021 Program Overview:

    • Gone Viking II: Beyond Boundaries – Bill Arnott, Author
    • Egtvedpigen Documentary
    • A Ripple in Time: The Management of Underwater Archaeology in Denmark – Sterre Klaver, Maritime Archaeologist with the University of Southern Denmark
    • Tradition and Change: Weddings in Danish America – Diya Nagaraj, Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the Museum of Danish America
    • The Year of Living Danishly: YouTube video and discussion
    • Out of the Shadows: Benedicte Wrensted – Marcia Franklin, Producer, writer and host for Idaho Public Television
    • Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from 1885 to 1920 – Diya Nagaraj, Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the Museum of Danish America
    • The Migration of Nordic Language: How Vikings Spread Norse – Dave Nordin, Vice President of Friends of the Viking Ship
    • The Viking Ship that Sailed Across the Atlantic – Dave Nordin

    Learn about a range of uniquely Danish topics from passionate experts!

    Read more about this year's talks and our presenters on our website.

    Last chance to register! Program packages will be sent by email on Thursday, September 16th. 

    Register Here

    Menucha Retreat and Conference Center
    38711 E Historic Columbia River Hwy
    Corbett, OR  97019

    Telephone (NWDA) - 206-523-3263
    Emailseattle@nwdanish.org  

    NWDA Website

    NWDA Facebook

    • September 21, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • December 16, 2021
    • (PST)
    • 7 sessions
    • Virtual Event

    VIRTUAL DANISH BOOK CLUB AND LITERARY EVENT SERIES

    All who are interested in Danish literature are invited to join several Danish American organizations for a series of online events beginning this fall. Current and classic works of Danish literature will be read and discussed, accompanied by author and special guest interviews; all events will take place in the English language. The virtual events will begin in September and continue each month until May of 2022; Book Club events will take place as Zoom meetings with participation open to all, and Literary Event Series will take place as webinars or pre-recorded discussions.

    Moderator for the Book Club discussions will be University of Wisconsin-Madison Scandinavian Studies Department Faculty Associate Nete Schmidt. The Literary Event Series is a collaboration between American-Scandinavian Foundation, Museum of Danish America, and The National Nordic Museum. Facilitator for the Museum of Danish America Conversation With The Author events will be former Lecturer of Danish at the University of Washington, and columnist at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Désirée Ohrbeck.

    September 21 Literary Event
    This Should Be Written in the Present Tense
     by Helle Helle (2011)

    Simulcast on Facebook and YouTube
    Tuesday, September 21, 2021
    10 am Pacific / 1 pm Eastern

    Event series facilitator Désirée Ohrbeck will be talking to Claus Elholm Andersen, Ph.D., the Paul and Renate Madsen Assistant Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Andersen has written extensively on the Danish contemporary writer Helle Helle and in 2018 edited a special issue about her writings for Spring, a scholarly journal.

    Désirée Ohrbeck is a former Visiting Lecturer of Danish (2010-2016) for the Scandinavian Studies Department at the University of Washington, now serving on its advisory board. She is a columnist for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and a frequent contributor in Danish media.

    Watch this conversation for free on Facebook or YouTube, hosted virtually by the Museum of Danish America. Direct links will be available closer to the event date. 

    Click here if you’d like to be sent a reminder email in advance: https://campaigns.danishmuseum.org/h/i/A4295E2CBF2D0023

    The autumn 2021 tentative schedule looks like this; more information will be available closer to the dates:

    September - This Should be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle
    Dorte is 20 and adrift, pretending to study literature at Copenhagen University. In reality, she is riding the trains and clocking up random encounters in her new home by the railway tracks. She remembers her ex, Per – the first boyfriend she tells us about, and the first she leaves – as she enters a new world of transient relationships, random sexual experiences, and awkward attempts to write.
    Tuesday September 14 5:00PM PDT/8:00PM EDT - Book Club group discussion 
    Tuesday September 21 10:00AM PDT/1:00PM EDT - Discussion TBD

    October - The Employees by Olga Ravn
    Structured as a series of witness statements compiled by a workplace commission, The Employees follows the crew of the Six-Thousand Ship which consists of those who were born, and those who were made, those who will die, and those who will not. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew is perplexed to find itself becoming deeply attached to them, and human and humanoid employees alike start aching for the same things: warmth and intimacy, loved ones who have passed, shopping and child-rearing, our shared, far-away Earth, which now only persists in memory.
    Tuesday October 12 5:00PM PDT/8:00PM EDT - Book Club group discussion 
    Tuesday October 19 10:00AM PDT/1:00PM EDT - Conversation With The Author - Pre-recorded (American Scandinavian Foundation) Interview with Olga Ravn

    November - Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen
    Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark’s #1 crime writer and a New York Times bestselling author. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe and have sold more than 24 million copies around the world.  In Victim 2117, readers finally learn the backstory of Assad, the mysterious middle easterner who is oneofthe 4 detectives which constitute Department Q.
    Tuesday November 16 5:00PM PST/8:00PM EST - Book Club group discussion 
    Tuesday November 23 10:00AM PST/1:00PM EST - Conversation With The Author (Author Interview)

    December - Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
    Denmark, 1870s. Two deeply religious elderly sisters living in an isolated village take in a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian war, Babette. She becomes their housekeeper and is happy to work for no pay. Fourteen years later, Babette wins a large amount of money in a lottery. The event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of the sisters' father, a devout Christian minister who had a great following in the village. Babette decides to throw a great dinner for the remaining followers to honor the occasion. One thing: the dinner will be French, and once the ingredients start to arrive, the unsophisticated villagers suspect that something unholy is about to take place.
    Tuesday December 14 5:00PM PST/8:00PM EST - Book Club group discussion 
    Thursday December 16 10:00AM PST/1:00PM EST - Conversation With The Author (Special guest interview)

    See complete details for the monthly group discussions on the Northwest Danish Association website here - https://northwestdanish.org/nationalbookcluband also on the Museum of Danish America website here - https://www.danishmuseum.org/explore/danish-american-culture/book-club

    The 2022 (January-May) books and guests will soon be determined.  Books will be available for purchase through independent booksellers, and digital versions may also be available through online resellers.  Please contact one of the participating organizations if you have difficulty purchasing one of the selections.  Please watch for further announcements along with the Zoom link from the participating organizations:

    • American-Scandinavian Foundation and Scandinavia House - New York
    • Embassy of Denmark - Washington D.C.
    • Museum of Danish America - Elk Horn, Iowa
    • National Foundation for Danish America - Chicago
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle
    • Northwest Danish Association - Seattle
    • Scan Design Foundation - Seattle
    • University of Washington Scandinavian Studies
    • University of Wisconsin Scandinavian Studies

    CONVERSATION WITH THE AUTHOR FACILITATOR
    Désirée Ohrbeck https://desireeohrbeck.com served as a Danish Lecturer at the Scandinavian Studies Department at University of Washington from 2010-2016 years. She is now a proud board member for University of Washington Scandinavian Studies Advisory Board.

    Désirée is also a columnist writer for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and a frequent contributor in Danish media both on TV and radio. She has written op-eds, commentaries, and essays for Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten. 

    “I am not afraid to reflect on and ask questions centering around life choices, culture and religion, something I intend to utilize in my interviews with Danish authors. I am straight forward, and it is important to me to deal with topics in a way that is focused on bringing everyone in on the conversation in dealing with topics that affects all people. What better place to do this than in a conversation about literature?”

    MEET THE BOOK CLUB MODERATOR
    Nete Schmidt, a native of Aarhus, received her degrees in English and Danish from the University of Copenhagen and taught at Bjerringbro Junior College and the University of Aarhus for many years. She came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998, and following eight years as Visiting Assistant Professor, she became a Faculty Associate in the Scandinavian Studies Unit in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic (GNS). She has been teaching Danish and Scandinavian Literature courses such as The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Criminal utopias, and Sexual Politics in Scandinavia.

    In 2008, she started The Danish Book Club in Madison, and it is still going strong.  She is also a member of several other book clubs and thoroughly enjoys reading and discussing literature.

    She hopes that the National Danish Book Club will provide its participants with a number of interesting, thought-provoking, new, and old books to read and discuss.  And discussion and participation in a very relaxed manner is definitely an important aspect.  Everybody is invited to share thoughts and ideas in a non-judgmental, non-biased, respectful, and very open setting, so every book club will be a different experience depending on the participants and their views. There is, of course, no obligation to participate if one is more inclined to listen and absorb the opinions of others, but rather than lecturing or teaching, there will be open discussion.  As always, with literature, there are no right or wrong thoughts or answers; what matters is interest, engagement, and a willingness to share one’s thoughts.

    • September 21, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • January 18, 2022
    • (PST)
    • 5 sessions
    • Online - Nordic Northwest - Portland, OR

    INTRODUCTION TO NORDIC GENEALOGY SERIES

    September to January, third Tuesday of each month, 1 PM - 3 PM

    Online

    NORDIC NORTHWEST MEMBERS: $45

    GENERAL ADMISSION: $55

    ARTS FOR ALL: $25

    21 September: Overview of Nordic genealogy, old print, and first names.

    19 October: Last names, American records, handwriting, migration history

    16 November: Scandinavian civil and church records

    14 December: Find your family in Scandinavian records!

    18 January: Search Scandinavian land, military, and court records

    More Information and Registration

    This online series present genealogical resources and techniques, starting with facts from your personal experience and your family’s history. Research into documentary evidence moves from America into Scandinavia, practicing with the old languages. In this series you will learn about tracing migration routes, reading old prints and hand writing, name changes in America, and finding American and European records and documents.

    Handouts sent out before these classes and homework recommended between meetings will keep you involved in discovering, recording, evaluating, and organizing stories of your ancestors.

    All participants will have opportunities to ask questions during and after these meetings!

    Meet your instructor, Mike Thompson

    Genealogist and translator Mike Thompson taught Norwegian for many years at Sons of Norway in Vancouver, WA, and has assisted in Norwegian classes at Portland State University, his alma mater. He also reads Danish and Swedish.

    At fourteen, Mike became interested in family history: his mother’s Norwegians and Swedes and his father’s Finns. In 1972 he began to teach Nordic research techniques to genealogical and cultural organizations from Salem to Bellingham. In 1977 he and his wife (of Norwegian and Danish descent) visited ancestral homes and family in Scandinavia.

    Mike has made a small book documenting his mother’s family’s immigration, and has translated history, songs, and a Norwegian novel from 1880. He has traced some of his roots into the 1500’s, and continues to translate and advise researchers

    • September 23, 2021
    • December 23, 2021
    • 4 sessions
    • Online Concerts

    JESSICA LYNNE WITTY

    Jessica Lynn Witty Facebook

    Tour and Tickets

    My story is not ordinary. I feel pretty ordinary, on the inside. But when I tell people where I come from and how I got here, it usually stirs up a gasp or two. My official story simply states that I grew up in Denmark and now live in the Pacific Northwest, but there is much more to it than that. So I decided to tell it. 

    My childhood was spent divided on three different continents. Strangest of all, I was born in South America. Valdivia, Chile to be exact. My parents were missionaries, but soon after my arrival, they decided to move back to the US. I was 6 months old. Needless to say, I don't remember anything from Chile at all. I ended up with dual citizenship - but not a Chilean one, as you might think, but a Danish/American citizenship. 

    My parents met in New York. My mom, from a small town of Sejlflod in Jylland, Denmark. My Dad from the Pacific Northwest. So when they decided, with 6 months old me in their arms to move back to the US, they settled on Tacoma, WA. Kind of fortuitous that my journey should lead me back here - only about 10 blocks away from my first American home. But that's for a later chapter. 

    My parents divorced when I was three and my mother decided to move us, three girls, to Denmark. First Skanderborg, then what I now consider my hometown, Haslev. This is where I went to school, where I had friends, where I learned about life, and love and longing. This is where I grew up. If you can call yourself a "grown-up" at 17; that's when I moved away from home. 
    I then became what I would call a "Copenhagen nomade" moving almost 25 times in the 13 or so years I lived there, interrupted only by a 2-year stint in Barcelona - also a story for another chapter.

    I finally up-rooted, if I ever had roots, and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2010 when I was 31.

    And that's the short, cliff notes version story. But that's not really how I want to tell it. I want to tell my story by delving into how that story made me, me. What it was like, being a part of two worlds, and what sometimes felt like not being a part of anything at all. Feeling like an outsider for all the wrong reasons, trying so hard to belong, but not feeling like I belonged at all.
    As a child, I would spend the entire year going to school and living my life in Haslev and every other summer I would visit my Dad in Seattle. The alternating summers, he would visit us. I spoke (and still do speak) both languages fluently... mostly without an accent in either language. My dad would call every week long-distance to keep in touch with us girls. And in the '80s that was not cheap! My mom, even though she is 100% Dane, would make traditional Danish cooking right alongside fried chicken and cornbread. I felt the duality every day. 

    Consequently, it somehow made me feel divided. Instead of belonging everywhere, I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. 
    I suppose, with a different outlook on life, this duality could have made me feel abundant, like a citizen of the world, who had many homes. But my upbringing in so many ways nourished lack and dependence. And it made me feel stretched too thin. I was too American to be Danish and too Danish to be American. So I was, effectively, neither.

    Every time I came back to Denmark I would miss the US terribly. But it was never actually true the other way around. This only occurred to me when I finally moved here, that the homesickness I would feel for the US when gone, never set in for Denmark. Yes, I missed my family, but not the culture, not the place itself. 

    In reality, moving to the US clarified a lot of things for me. I have always been more American than Danish, I know that now. I've been loud, brazen, and always had big dreams and big gestures. Not in any way the proper little girl my mother tried to raise me to be. I had a terrible temper, that felt uncontrollable at times and a big voice that was repeatedly told to not shine too brightly, not to make the other kids feel bad. 

    This may seem harsh, but anyone from Denmark would notice this as "Janteloven" or "The Law of Jante" - a culturally-induced oppression that the Danes all know too well. Again, this is a phenomenon I will explain in depth in another chapter. Suffice it to say, it's a classic "crabs in a bucket" syndrome. When one tries to climb out the others will pull it back down.

    So I suppose I was not entirely caught in the middle. I sometimes describe myself as "half-and-half", with a chuckle. But that doesn't really describe me. In reality, I am more like 75/25. In the last ten years, I have learned to embrace my Danish roots, while also fully encompassing how American I really am. Immigrant heritage and all. 

    In truth, it probably doesn't matter what continent we are on. Denmark for me was a time in my life when I tried to hide who I truly was, in order to try and fit in. It was a time of listening to others over my own intuition, my inner voice. It was a time of not being and owning who I truly am and what my life's purpose is. The US for me has been the journey of fully growing into my true self. A journey of growth and self-exploration. Of owning all sides of me, even the ones I don't necessarily like. And most importantly listening to my own truth rather than what others say. It's not about Denmark and it's not about the US. It's about what each country represents to me and who I became during each timeframe I spent there. 

    I can now look at being "half-and-half" and feel grateful that I was blessed with so much diversity. And I can own my big voice and my larger than life attitude and put myself on a stage and feel right at home. But I can also remember where I came from, and what is truly important in life. Love of family, love of friends and most importantly, self-love.
    • October 01, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • January 07, 2022
    • (PST)
    • 4 sessions
    • The Dane - Seattle, WA

    FREDAGSCAFE'

    UPDATE: Fredagscafe in September 2021 has been cancelled due to the increasing COVID-19 outbreaks.

    Fredagscafé is a social event for anyone interested in Denmark or Danish language and culture. All levels, all ages, and all nationalities are welcome.


    NWDA Website

    NWDA Facebook


    • October 07, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • February 03, 2022
    • (PST)
    • 5 sessions
    • First Lutheran Church - Astoria, OR

    LOWER COLUMBIA DANISH SOCIETY MONTHLY MEETINGWe have moved to virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic…
    To maintain the Oregon-state mandated limit on public gatherings and the 6 ft (2 M) of physical distance we need to protect our neighbors, friends, and families from COVID-19 infection.

    The Lower Columbia Danish Society is an independent organization whose mission is to promote

    • Danish heritage and culture

    • Participation in the annual Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

    • Activities that foster a sense of hygge and community

    MEMBERSHIP - Our organization welcomes ALL who are interested in Danish heritage and culture - you do not need to be of Nordic descent to participate. At this time there is no membership fee to join us. See our CONTACT US page for membership information.

    Upcoming Events

    REGULAR MONTHLY MEETINGS - We are based in the picturesque river-city of Astoria, Oregon, USA but we draw members from many surrounding communities in Washington and Oregon. We normally meet the first Thursday of every month at the First Lutheran Church, 725 33rd Street, Astoria, OR 97013 USA from 7 pm until about 9 pm. Our meetings begin with a short business meeting, feature an interesting Danish-themed program, and include tasty snacks for all. See our UPCOMING EVENTS page for future meetings.

    Email: lowercolumbiadanes@gmail.com 

    Website

    • October 09, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • March 12, 2022
    • (PST)
    • 6 sessions
    • Zoom Meetings - Portland, OR

    DSS MT HOOD LODGE #81 REGULAR MEETING

    Meeting Every 2nd Saturday 




    • October 15, 2021
    • January 15, 2022
    • 4 sessions
    • New Issue Released

    CHURCH AND LIFE - NEW ISSUE

    For more information and to Subscribe...

    Subscribe Here

    CHURCH AND LIFE: A BRIEF HISTORY

    by Thorvald Hansen

    Church and Life (originally, Kirke og Folk) was begun by the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1952 as an exclusively Danish publication in line with its original purpose which was to serve the Danish readership of the church. Until the 1930s the official church paper had been Kirkelig Samler, but when this had been replaced by the English language publication, Lutheran Tidings, the Danish readers were served by a page called Kirkelig Samler in the Danish language Dannevirke, a privately owned weekly which was unofficially related to the church. When this publication ceased in1951, Danish news of the church was no longer available and this was missed, particularly by older readers. It was to fill this vacuum that the new Danish publication was begun.

    The first issues were distributed gratis to some 750 individuals who might be interested, but within a short time it became a subscription paper with some 1,000 subscribers. It was a 16 page paper issued twice monthly. When the Lutheran Church in America was born in 1963 and Lutheran Tidings ceased publication, some of the readers of that paper became subscribers to Church and Life. Today it has become an exclusively English language publication of 12 to l6 pages (depending on the material available) and is issued monthly. The subscription price is $20 per year. Gifts and memorials make up the shortfall, and the paper continues to function in the black. For its content the paper depends upon the voluntary contributions of a significant number of writers. The December issue is at least twice the normal size for Christmas .

    In 1983 the name was changed to Church and Life. This is not, nor was it intended to be, a translation of the Danish, but rather an indication that the church body out of which it grew was concerned also with this earthly life.

    Throughout its long history the paper has had six full time editors: Holger Strandskov, Paul Wikman, Michael Mikkelsen, Johannes Knudsen, and Thorvald Hansen. The present editor, Joy Ibsen, is the daughter of a former pastor in the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church.
    Currently the paper serves some 460 subscribers as a tie that binds them, not only to one another, but to the religious and social environment with which they have been familiar. This is not an exclusive group, nor are they guided by nostalgia, but one to which any and all who share similar values are more than welcome.


    Reference: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


    • October 24, 2021
    • November 03, 2021
    • Tempe Embassy Suites - Tempe, Arizona

    2021 REBILD ANNUAL USA CONFERENCE

    The Arizona Rebild Annual Conference, originally scheduled for last spring, has been rescheduled for October 2021.  The new dates have the Pre-tour to the Grand Canyon and Sedona October 24-27, the Conference at the Tempe Embassy Suites October 27-30, and the Post-Tour to Tombstone and Tucson October 31-November 3.

    Everyone interested in Danish American friendship is welcome!

    We look forward to a safe, enjoyable conference and gathering for everyone.  See our Covid strategy and policies here.

    “We were very disappointed that we had to cancel the conference last spring due to COVID-19”, said Rebild U.S. Vice President Bruce Bro, but we are excited to reschedule for October 2021.  Late October and early November is an equally beautiful time of year in Arizona, and we know everyone will enjoy the weather and the entertaining program”.

    The program is essentially the same as was planned for last March.  The Pre-Tour includes a welcome dinner at the Tempe Embassy Suites on October 24, followed by the Ranchos de los Cabelleros  in Wickenburg with a cowboy barbecue and entertainment, an afternoon at the Grand Canyon, and finishing with a night and morning in beautiful Sedona.

    The conference runs October 27-30 with a welcome dinner the first night, followed by a Desert Botanical Gardens tour and Smørrebrødfest, a tour of the Scottsdale Museum of the West on October 29 along with dinner and a Bull Riding show at the Buffalo Chip Saloon, and finally a tour of the Heard Museum and the Gala Dinner on Saturday night October 30.  Rebild leadership and board meetings will be conducted Thursday morning of the conference with the Rebild General Membership meeting on Saturday morning October 31.

    Two additional event options for Friday morning October 29, not offered in March, will be a tour of the Niels Petersen House Museum in Tempe, and a Sonoran Desert Hike led by the Hiking Viking.  Niels Petersen, a Danish Immigrant in the 1800’s was a rancher and a founding father of the town of Tempe.  He built a beautiful Victorian style house near Tempe in the late 1800’s, which is now a museum.  The house offers a glimpse of the life of Niels and Susanna Petersen during that time period.  Another option that same morning will be a 90 minute easy/moderate hike in the Sonoran Desert led by Bruce Bro.

    The Post-Tour will depart Tempe Sunday morning October 31 and travel to Tombstone and “The Gunfight at the OK Corral”.  On Monday November 1 the tour group will explore the incredible Kartchner Caverns followed by an evening banquet and entertainment in Tucson.  Tuesday morning November 2 includes a tour of Tucson’s Sonoran Desert Museum and then back to Tempe for a farewell dinner.  Departures for home will be the next day, Wednesday November 3.

    “We once again welcome all Rebild Members and friends  to Arizona”, added Bro.  “and we also extend a welcome to non-members to join us and learn about Rebild - the Danish American Friendship Society”.

    Registration Form

    Hotel Information: Hotel IS included for Pre and Post tours.  Your Hotel room during the conference is NOT included in your registration (Oct 27-31).  To reserve your room, call the hotel at the number on the registration form, or here directly with the hotel online.

    Rebild Arizona 2021 Schedule
    Updated July 26, 2021

    Pre-Tour
    Sunday October 24
    Pre-Tour Welcome Dinner at Tempe Embassy Suites
    Overnight at Tempe Embassy Suites

    Monday October 25
    Pre-Tour Ranchos de los Caballeros
    Overnight at Caballeros

    Tuesday October 26
    Grand Canyon/Sedona
    Overnight at Matterhorn Inn, Sedona

    Annual Conference Schedule - 
    Wednesday October 27
    Conference Arrival at Tempe Embassy Suites
    Reception and Welcome Dinner

    Thursday October 28
    AM - Chapter Presidents/Rebild Board Meetings
    Afternoon - Desert Botanical Gardens
    Evening - Smørrebrødfest

    Friday October 29 - No Business Meetings
    AM - Petersen House Museum tour
    AM - Morning Hike with the Hiking Viking (90 minutes easy/moderate)
    Afternoon - Museum of the West
    Evening - Buffalo Chip Saloon (Dinner and Bull Riding Show)

    Saturday October 30
    AM - General Membership Meeting
    Afternoon - Heard Museum
    Evening - Gala Dinner

    Sunday October 31
    Conference Departures

    Post-Tour
    Sunday October 31
    Morning Departures to Tombstone
    Gunfight at the OK Corall
    Overnight in Tombstone

    Monday November 1
    AM - Kartchner Caverns
    Evening - Tucson Dinner and Mads Tolling concert at Embassy Suites
    Overnight at Tucson Embassy Suites

    Tuesday November 2
    AM - Sonoran Desert Museum
    Return to Tempe & Farewell Dinner
    Overnight at Tempe Embassy Suites

    Wednesday November 3 
    Post Tour Departures

    More Information and questions - 

    Email - Bruce Bro

    Registration Form
    • October 24, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA

    EXHIBIT CLOSING - DINES CARLSEN: IN HIS OWN MANNER

    July 22 - October 24, 2021 

    Seattle, WA—The National Nordic Museum will display a rotating selection of the works of Danish-American artist Dines Carlsen. The exhibition opens July 22 and features numerous drawings on view from the National Nordic Museum’s permanent collection.

    In June 2020, the Museum received 943 Dines Carlsen drawings and one oil painting from the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. 
     
    “This significant transfer marked the Museum’s largest acquisition to date but was made at a time that we were closed to the public. We are delighted to share these works with our community,” said Executive Director/CEO Eric Nelson.
     
    The Museum’s collection includes the works of Dines Carlsen (1901–1966), a celebrated still life painter who was a member of the National Academy of Design, as well as portraits of his father Danish painter (Søren) Emil Carlsen (1848–1932), who emigrated to the United States from Denmark.  Outside of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art in Washington D.C., the National Nordic Museum is the main repository of materials related to the Carlsen family. Dines Carlsen’s paintings are held in the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, the National Academy of Design in New York City, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.
     
    “This corpus of drawings strengthens the National Nordic Museum’s holdings of art by Nordic-American artists. We were excited to welcome this sizeable gift into our collection,” said Leslie Anne Anderson, Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs. Anderson began her curatorial career at the IMA and has researched the work of Carlsen extensively. She presented her findings at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study. 
     
    In the dynamic exhibition curated by Museum staff, visitors will enjoy a rotating selection from the collection. Recent discoveries will be shared with visitors allowing them to discover more about Dines Carlsen.

    Additional programming will include a virtual lecture on July 29 by Anderson that will trace the careers of Danish-American artist Emil Carlsen and his son, Dines Carlsen (1901–1966). Information can be found at nordicmuseum.org/exhibitions.
     
    More About The National Nordic Museum
     
    The National Nordic Museum is the only museum in the United States that showcases the impact and influence of Nordic values and innovation in contemporary society and tells the story of 12,000 years of Nordic history and culture, across all five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) as well as three regions (Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland) and the cultural region of Sápmi.
     
    The National Nordic Museum shares Nordic culture, values, and ideas with people of all ages and backgrounds to create connections, generate dialogue, and inspire new perspective.

    National Nordic Museum
    2655 NW Market St
    Seattle, WA  98107

    Tel: (206) 789-5707

    National Nordic Museum - Website

    National Nordic Museum - Facebook

    • October 28, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • January 31, 2022
    • (PST)
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA

    EXHIBIT - PAPER DIALOGUES: THE DRAGON AND OUR STORIES

    October 28, 2021 through January 31, 2022

    Leslie Anne Anderson of the National Nordic Museum - In 2010, Sino-Norwegian diplomatic relations were strained when the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the members of which were selected by parliament, awarded the annual Peace Prize to Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobao. Bilateral relations normalized six years later; however, it was under these conditions that an important cross-cultural conversation began through art.

    Danish papercutting artist Karen Bit Vejle traveled with support of the Norwegian government to China. She had been invited to exhibit her work there. Vejle, who is knowledgeable in Nordic art history, draws inspiration from Norway’s medieval wood carvings and the 19th-century papercuts of Danish Golden Age author Hans Christian Andersen. She not only understands the visual culture of her home region, but also that of others that have fostered the art of papercutting for centuries. China witnessed the birth of the art form over 1,500 years ago. Interestingly, it was a craft that thrived amongst women artists in rural areas who used it as a form of expression.

    When Vejle visited this cradle of papercutting, she sought out a colleague with whom to collaborate on a project exploring how the two cultures approach the same artistic medium. In April 2013, she met Professor Xiaoguang Qiao at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and they selected a common motif in Nordic and Chinese art – the dragon – to depict alongside each other. The dragon figures prominently in Chinese culture throughout time and is an auspicious symbol (called “long”), while the Norse dragon is most often associated with the Viking Period and the Middle Ages as an apotropaic (evil-repelling) symbol.

    Though the artists spoke different languages and relied on translators for verbal communication, Vejle shared that she and Qiao are “likeminded” in their artistic philosophies, but their styles and methods of display differ. For example, Vejle’s mounting of sizeable papercuts between glass plates and reliance on lighting the papercuts to cast shadows, giving the two-dimensional works a three-dimensional, or sculptural, presence, was new to Qiao. The artists’ works informed each other, as previous cultural encounters had on artists of earlier eras. One of Vejle’s papercuts produced during this collaboration alludes to earlier exchanges. One piece in the exhibition features a knitting pattern popularized by Norwegian women in World War II. The pattern became a cryptic symbol of camaraderie among compatriots, yet its origins are Asian.

    Their cross-cultural approach lent itself to an exhibition that travels the world. Hosted by the ArtHouse Jersey in the Channel Islands, the exhibition Paper Dialogues expanded to include two new local artists, Layla May Arthur and Emma Reid, in 2016. It is this iteration of the exhibition that will travel to the National Nordic Museum in Fall 2021, encouraging American practitioners in the art of psaligraphy to join in the conversation.

    Leslie Anne Anderson
    Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs

    National Nordic Museum Website

    Karen Bit Vejle Website

    • October 28, 2021
    • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (PDT)
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA

    VIRTUAL ARTIST TALK: BIT VEJLE

    In conjunction with the exhibit Paper Dialogues we are honored to welcome artist Bit Vejle back to the Museum. Join us for a virtual talk with Bit Vejle about her form of expression: psaligraphy, the art of drawing or painting with scissors.

    Cost: Free for members, $5 for general

    More Information and Registration

    About the Paper Dialogues exhibition:

    With the support of the Norwegian government, Danish papercutting artist Bit Vejle traveled to China in 2013 to exhibit her work. As an artist, Vejle draws inspiration from Norway’s medieval wood carvings and the nineteenth century papercuts of Danish Golden Age author Hans Christian Andersen. While in China, the cradle of papercutting art, she met Professor Xiaoguang Qiao at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts. Together they selected a common motif in Nordic and Chinese art—the dragon—and each created their own papercut interpretation of the mythic beast.

    National Nordic Museum
    2655 NW Market St
    Seattle, WA  98107

    Tel: (206) 789-5707

    National Nordic Museum - Website

    National Nordic Museum - Facebook

    • November 13, 2021
    • November 12, 2022
    • 5 sessions
    • Via Zoom

    REBILD CHAPTER LEADERSHIP VIRTUAL MEETING

    Quarterly International Chapter Leadership meeting on Zoom.

    Meeting begins at 10:00AM Central (Chicago) time

    The purpose is to discuss most recent Rebild Board of Directors meeting, and to discuss current issues pertaining to Rebild.

    Zoom link will be sent to Chapter President's and officers prior to meeting.

    Rebild is the Danish American Friendship organization formed in 1912.  Each year, the friendship of Denmark and the United States is celebrated on July 4th at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg.  Anyone interested in the friendly relationship between the two countries is invited to join us!
    July 4 Rebild Festival

    Also, each year the annual U.S. conference is held in a different city in the United States.  Anyone interested in Danish American friendship is invited to join us.
    October 2021 in Phoenix,  Arizona

    April 2022 in Chicago, Illinois

    For more information, please contact the National U.S. Secretary, Linda Steffensen at usrebildoffice@gmail.com

    Or, the National Secretary in Denmark, Lars Bisgaard at lars@rebildfesten.dk

    Rebild Website

    • November 20, 2021
    • (PST)
    • November 21, 2021
    • (PST)
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA

    JULEFEST 2021

    November 20-21

    A Nordic Christmas Celebration

    National Nordic Museum Julefest



    • November 26, 2021
    • November 26, 2022
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - TOM PAULSEN

    Tom Bech Paulsen (November 26, 1922 - May 24 2017) was born, Thorkild Bech Poulsen, in Lemvig, Denmark, on the family estate. Tom lived through the Depression and came of age just before WW II started. As per long standing family tradition he joined the Danish Royal Guards when he was of age. He was the 10th generation of Poulsen's to do so.

    During his stint as a Royal Guard, World War II broke out. Germany quickly invaded and occupied Denmark. The Royal Guards as a whole were interned into a prisoner of war camp. The King, Christian X of Denmark, was eventually able to negotiate the Guards release upon a promise that the Guards would cease and desist their fight against Germany occupation. Upon his release, Tom returned to Lemvig and promptly joined the Danish Resistance. He became a cell leader and did his upmost to fight the occupation. 

    These escapades were as mundane as drawing up plans of the local German beach defensive, to the Resistance calling in a bomber airstrike on a local Gestapo headquarters. However, the two actions he was most proud of during his time as a Danish Resistance fighter was being a part of a group of people that risked their lives to help Danish Jews flee to Sweden. And second, finding a wounded American pilot in hiding and help him escape to Sweden.

    After the end of World War II, the American pilot he helped rescue sent him a letter telling Tom he arrived safely back in the USA and how thankful he was for his help. Thus began a correspondence that eventually led to the pilot sponsoring Tom's bid to become an American residence. It was not an easy path, he had a 5 year waiting period before entry was allowed. While waiting, he lived and worked in Canada for a Swedish construction company that was building barracks for American Airforce bases in Alaska. 

    Eventually Tom made it to Seattle, Washington where he decided to settle. He worked hard to become an American citizen. Back then, to become a citizen, you needed to stand before an immigration judge. When asked why he wanted to be an American citizen. Tom responded, "Your Honor, I have always been an American citizen, I was just born in the wrong country".

    Tom worked hard to build Tom Paulsen Construction into a premier custom home construction company. He has won many awards through his career including Architect Institute of America Home of the Year award. However, he always credited his success to his employees. His philosophy was to build his homes like fine Danish furniture. To that extent he hired and mentored the best Danish, German, and American Carpenters he could find and treat them as family. 

    Tom loved to dance and play soccer on the Danish soccer team (until his 60's). He met the love of his life Nadine Blomquist, at a Swedish club dance. Tom and Nadine enjoyed traveling throughout the world for 58 years. Tom's other hobbies were scuba diving, hunting, and learning to fly. Most importantly, Tom was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. All who knew Tom can attest to his love of life, determination, and caring soul.  He died May 24, 2017. - Seattle Times
    • December 01, 2021
    • December 01, 2024
    • 4 sessions

    THIS DATE IN DANISH AMERICAN HISTORY - THE DANISH SISTERHOOD OF AMERICA

    The Danish Sisterhood of America was founded on December 1, 1883 by Christine Hemmingsen, a Danish immigrant from Orup, Denmark. Inspired by the success of the Danish Brotherhood of America, Mrs. Hemmingsen established Christine Lodge #1 in Negaunee, Michigan. The Danish Sisterhood of today continues to grow with numerous lodges located throughout the United States and Canada.

    The Danish culture is rich – its history long and distinguished, going back thousands of years. Membership in the Danish Sisterhood of America is a wonderful opportunity to connect with your Danish heritage, learn more about Danish customs and traditions, and strengthen your connection to Denmark. A cordial invitation is extended to you to join the largest national Danish organization dedicated to preserving and sharing these deeply rooted traditions. 

    Danish Sisterhood History

    Danish Sisterhood Website

    • December 05, 2021
    • December 05, 2023
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY: ARNOLD NIELSEN BODTKER

    Arnold Nielsen Bodtker (December 5, 1904 - March 28, 2000) is recognized as the founder of the Danish American Heritage Society.  DAHS was founded in 1977.  He 
    was born in Junction City, Oregon to Danish immigrants. He served as the Oregon State Executive Director of the Agricultural Conservation and Stabilization Service (1954-1973). Upon retirement he returned to Junction City, where he founded and seved as the first president of the Danish American Heritage Society. He also served as editor of The Bridge, the journal of the DAHS, for 10 years. 

    Photo: Arnold and Edith Bodtker (Courtesy Danish American Heritage Society)

    The following excerpts are from "History of the Danish American Heritage Society - The First 25 Years" compiled and edited by James D. Iversen. -

    For the first 21 years, from 1977 to 1998, Arnold Bodtker, his son Egon Bodtker, and nephew Gerald Rasmussen were members of the Board of Directors of the Danish American Heritage Society. Arnold’s wife Edith Bodtker and Karen McCumsey (later Nielsen) were also founding members of the Board of Directors and remained so until their deaths in the mid-1990s. Arnold N. Bodtker founded and served as the first president of the Danish American Heritage Society and was also the first editor of The Bridge. Arnold served as president until 1989, and as editor of The Bridge for most of the first 10 years (Donald Watkins edited 5 issues from 1982 to 1984). Egon Bodtker became editor with the first issue in 1988, and continued for 11 years, through 1998. Eva Nielsen was a member of the board through most of the first decade. Gerald Rasmussen replaced Arnold as president in 1989, and served as president until October, 1998. More people served on the board as it enlarged through the second ten years, including George and Elsie Norman, Ove & Edith Kilgren, Victor Nielsen, Inga Kroman, Roelie Goddik, Allan Nyegaard and Kirsten Jensen.

    Arnold Bodtker, 1904-2000, In Memoriam, Reprinted from The Bridge, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2000, pp. 13-15

    Arnold N. Bodtker died in Junction City, Oregon on March 28, 2000. He was 95 years old.

    His parents were Hans Nielsen Bodtker and Susanne Jacobsen Bodtker, from Denmark and the Faeroe Islands, respectively. They were among the very first Danish immigrants to settle in the newly founded Danish colony in Junction City, where Arnold was born on December 5, 1904.

    After graduating from high school in Junction City in 1923, he alternated between farming and studying at several colleges and universities. His first college classes commenced in 1923-24 at Oregon Agricultural College (as Oregon State University was

    then known). He was back on the family farm in 1924-25, and then studied at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa in 1925-26. For the next five years he farmed in Junction City, worked on farms in the middle west, and studied, when time and money allowed, at The University of Oregon, Oregon Agricultural College, The University of Minnesota, Nebraska State Teacher's College, and Drake University in Des Moines, from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Biology in 1930.

    It was at Grand View College that he met Edith Gravesen from Askov, Minnesota. They married in Junction City, Oregon, in 1932. They taught together for one school year at Nysted Folk High School, joined a cooperative farm in the middle west for one growing season, and then farmed with Arnold's father in Junction City, until a modest stipend became available for Arnold to do graduate work at Oregon Agricultural College (Oregon State University), where he earned a Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics & Soils in 1937. They lived in Corvallis while Arnold studied and worked for the Oregon State Extension Service.

    In 1937 Arnold embarked on his lifelong career with The United States Department of Agriculture, eventually serving from 1954-1973 as Oregon State Executive Director of the Agricultural Conservation and Stabilization Service. His experiences assisting in implementing the New Deal agricultural programs in the state were a formative part of his life and acquainted him with large numbers of Oregon's farm leaders and characters. The position of executive director was a political appointment, subject to new appointment when the U.S. presidency changed political parties. But at the insistence of Oregon's farm leaders Arnold retained his position while Democratic and Republican presidents came and went.

    While living in Portland, Arnold was active in urban affairs, serving on several committees dealing with metropolitan government, transportation, and downtown issues. He was a longtime member of the Portland City Club. He was also a member of the Oregon State Grange, Portland Foreign Relations Committee, and other agricultural and environmental organizations.

    Upon his retirement from the Department of Agriculture in 1973, Arnold and Edith moved from Portland back to his home town of Junction City, where he engaged in a wide variety of activities. He delivered meals for Meals on Wheels, was on the board of the Junction City Scandinavian Festival, and was active in the Junction City Danish Brotherhood Lodge Vestens Stjerne (Star of the West), of which he was a lifelong member.

    During this time Arnold founded, and served as first president of, the Danish American Heritage Society. For ten years he also served as editor of the Society's historical journal, The Bridge. While serving as President of DAHS, Arnold encouraged the Board of Directors to appoint a Midwestern committee to examine the establishment of a Danish Immigrant Museum, which ultimately led to the creation of the current museum in Elk Horn, Iowa. He supported research and writing of Danish American history with perceptive advice, generous contributions, unflagging enthusiasm, and a mental alertness which challenged all of his younger colleagues in the enterprise.

    DAHS Website

    Arnold also took seriously his gradually developing role as family patriarch. He kept track of family and all the descendants, even to maintaining contact with relatives out to the fifth generation who live in the land of his mother's birth, the Faeroe Islands. He carried on a correspondence with some young members of the family in the U.S. who were just learning how to write. He read books he would never otherwise have read just because they were written by one of us. And all his life he visited family members regularly. His correspondence was nothing short of phenomenal, and even extended into the technological age, when at the age of 80 he learned how to operate a computer. Last fall he began to switch to email, a transition which at times frustrated him mightily. A few more weeks and he would have come close to mastering the system.

    Arnold's contributions did not go unnoticed, as indicated by the following list of some of his awards, recognitions and appointments:

    Appointment to the State Board of Forestry in 1974.
    Grand View College Distinguished Alumni Award in 1990.

    William Niskanen trophy from the Oregon/Southwest Washington Associates of the Scandinavian American Foundation.

    Arnold loved literature and books. He could recite from memory poetry memorized in high school. He was an indefatigable collector of interesting books which no one else had heard about. He gave books liberally to friends and family, each book chosen carefully to fit the interests and characters of the recipients, or occasionally, chosen because Arnold thought the recipient ought to read about that particular topic.

    Arnold was a man of ideas, fully engaged in life. When he received the 1990 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Grand View College, he wrote in his acceptance speech: "..it does make a difference as to what we know and believe, and how we live with what we know and believe." He possessed an enduring interest in ideas and activities which might serve to better human beings and the society in which we live.

    After Edith's death in 1993, Arnold was engaged in gardening, reading, keeping in touch with friends and family via his voluminous correspondence, and writing his "Remembrances." We can hardly wait to read his own accounting of what was a very long, interesting, and fruitful life.

    A memorial service was held on April 15, 2000, at 2pm at Festival Hall in Junction City, Oregon.

    • December 24, 2021
    • December 25, 2022
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark and United States

    GLÆDELIG JUL!

    Christmas in Denmark embodies the spirit of joy and enthusiasm to the maximum. As December approaches, every house and street is lit up with colourful lights, so much so that it neutralizes the effect of a dull winter. Most Danes believe that Christmas is about carols and songs, the aroma of spruce, oranges and freshly baked cookies. One of the city's oldest traditions is being adorned with thousands of candles to create an atmosphere of warmth, togetherness, relaxation and love. Usually, every store and street is elaborately decorated with green, red or white paper hearts, since this is the Danish symbol during Christmas. Again, even houses and dinner tables are ornamented with lights and hearts. Christmas cookies and æbleskiver are made for both the children and adults. Read on to learn more about the customs and traditions of Christmas in Denmark. 

    Some people in Denmark give and receive extra Advent presents on the four Sundays of Advent.

    Different types of Advent candles and calendars are popular in Denmark. A Kalenderlys (calendar-candle) is an Advent candle and most people have one of these types of candles. A Pakkekalender (gift calendar) is also a fun way to countdown to Christmas Eve. There are 24 small gifts for the children in the calendar, one for each day until Christmas Eve.

    Julekalender (christmas calendar) is a television series with 24 episodes. One episode is shown each day in December with the last one being aired on Christmas Eve. The first Julekalender was shown on TV in Denmark in 1962. The two main Danish TV channels DR and TV2 both show different versions of Julekalender each year. The theme of the stories in the Julekalender normally follow a similar storyline, with someone trying to ruin Christmas and the main characters saving Christmas!

    Christmas Parties are held from 1st November to 24th December where everyone has a good time! Making cakes and biscuits is popular in the time before Christmas. Gingerbread cookies and vanilla ones are often favorites.

    In Denmark most people go to a Church Service on Christmas Eve about 4.00pm to hear the Christmas sermon or talk. It's also an old, traditional custom to give animals a treat on Christmas Eve, so some people go for a walk in the park or woods and they might take some food to give the animals and birds. You might also go for a walk to give you an appetite for the Christmas meal!

    When they get home the main Christmas meal is eaten between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. It's served on a beautifully decorated table. Popular Christmas foods include roast duck, goose or pork. They are served with boiled and sweet potatoes, red cabbage, beetroot and cranberry jam/sauce.

    Most families have a 'ris á la mande' (a special kind of rice pudding, made of milk, rice, vanilla, almonds and whipped cream) for dessert. All but one of the almonds are chopped into pieces. The person who finds the whole almond gets a present called a Mandelgave (almond present). Traditionally the little present was a marzipan pig! Now a marzipan pig is still sometimes given, but it's also often something like sweets or a little toy.

    After the meal the lights on the Christmas Tree are lit, people might dance around the tree and sing carols. Then it's time for people to open their presents. The Christmas tree normally has a gold or silver star on the top and often has silver 'fairy hair' on it to make it glitter.

    On Christmas day people meet with their family and have a big lunch together with danish open-faced sandwiches on rye-bread.

    In Denmark, children believe that their presents are brought by the 'Julemanden' (which means 'Christmas Man' or 'Yule Man'). He looks very similar to Santa Claus and also travels with a sleigh and reindeer. He lives in Greenland, likes rice pudding and is helped by 'nisser' which are like elves.

    St. Lucia's Day (or St. Lucy's Day) is also celebrated on December 13th, although it's more famous for being celebrated in Denmark's neighbor, Sweden.

    In Danish Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Glædelig Jul'.

    • January 31, 2022
    • (PST)
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA

    EXHIBIT CLOSING - PAPER DIALOGUES: THE DRAGON AND OUR STORIES

    October 28, 2021 through January 31, 2022

    Leslie Anne Anderson of the National Nordic Museum - In 2010, Sino-Norwegian diplomatic relations were strained when the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the members of which were selected by parliament, awarded the annual Peace Prize to Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobao. Bilateral relations normalized six years later; however, it was under these conditions that an important cross-cultural conversation began through art.

    Danish papercutting artist Karen Bit Vejle traveled with support of the Norwegian government to China. She had been invited to exhibit her work there. Vejle, who is knowledgeable in Nordic art history, draws inspiration from Norway’s medieval wood carvings and the 19th-century papercuts of Danish Golden Age author Hans Christian Andersen. She not only understands the visual culture of her home region, but also that of others that have fostered the art of papercutting for centuries. China witnessed the birth of the art form over 1,500 years ago. Interestingly, it was a craft that thrived amongst women artists in rural areas who used it as a form of expression.

    When Vejle visited this cradle of papercutting, she sought out a colleague with whom to collaborate on a project exploring how the two cultures approach the same artistic medium. In April 2013, she met Professor Xiaoguang Qiao at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and they selected a common motif in Nordic and Chinese art – the dragon – to depict alongside each other. The dragon figures prominently in Chinese culture throughout time and is an auspicious symbol (called “long”), while the Norse dragon is most often associated with the Viking Period and the Middle Ages as an apotropaic (evil-repelling) symbol.

    Though the artists spoke different languages and relied on translators for verbal communication, Vejle shared that she and Qiao are “likeminded” in their artistic philosophies, but their styles and methods of display differ. For example, Vejle’s mounting of sizeable papercuts between glass plates and reliance on lighting the papercuts to cast shadows, giving the two-dimensional works a three-dimensional, or sculptural, presence, was new to Qiao. The artists’ works informed each other, as previous cultural encounters had on artists of earlier eras. One of Vejle’s papercuts produced during this collaboration alludes to earlier exchanges. One piece in the exhibition features a knitting pattern popularized by Norwegian women in World War II. The pattern became a cryptic symbol of camaraderie among compatriots, yet its origins are Asian.

    Their cross-cultural approach lent itself to an exhibition that travels the world. Hosted by the ArtHouse Jersey in the Channel Islands, the exhibition Paper Dialogues expanded to include two new local artists, Layla May Arthur and Emma Reid, in 2016. It is this iteration of the exhibition that will travel to the National Nordic Museum in Fall 2021, encouraging American practitioners in the art of psaligraphy to join in the conversation.

    Leslie Anne Anderson
    Director of Collections, Exhibitions, and Programs

    National Nordic Museum Website

    Karen Bit Vejle Website

    • February 05, 2022
    • February 05, 2023
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY - 
    HRH THE CROWN PRINCESS

    Mary Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat

    Born:  Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary was born on 5 February 1972 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

    Marriage:  
    On 14 May 2004, on the occasion of her marriage to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, she became Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth of Denmark. The marriage ceremony took place in Copenhagen Cathedral, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace.

    Family Photo: Franne Voigt 

    Children:  HRH Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John, born on 15 October 2005, HRH Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, born on 21 April 2007, HRH Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander, born on 8 January 2011 and HRH Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda, born on 8 January 2011.

    Family:  The Crown Princess is the youngest daughter of John Dalgleish Donaldson, who was born in Scotland on 5 September 1941. He is a Professor of Applied Mathematics. Her mother was Mrs. Henrietta Clark Donaldson, born 12 May 1942.  
    The couple were married in Edinburgh, Scotland on 31 August 1963 and emigrated to Australia in November that year. They became Australian citizens in 1975. Crown Princess Mary’s mother worked as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of The University of Tasmania. Henrietta Clark Donaldson died 20 November 1997.  On 5 September 2001, Professor John Donaldson married Susan Elizabeth Donaldson (née Horwood), an author from Britain. The Crown Princess has two sisters and a brother: Jane Alison Stephens, born 26 December 1965, Patricia Anne Bailey, born 16 March 1968, and John Stuart Donaldson, born 9 July 1970.

    Crown Princess Mary's biography on The Royal House website - 

    HRH The Crown Princess

    • February 10, 2022
    • February 10, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - BENEDICTE MARIE WRENSTED

    Benedicte Marie Wrensted (February 10, 1859 – January 19, 1949) was a notable Danish-American photographer best known for the many photographs she took of the Shoshone native people in Idaho. She is remembered for her documentation of the Northern Shoshone, Lemhi, and Bannock tribes in Idaho between 1895-1912.

    Born in Hjørring, Jutland, Benedicte learned photography (one the the few professions considered suitable for women at the time) from her aunt, Charlotte Borgen. She then opened her own studio in Horsens, which she ran until she emigrated to the United States in 1894. 

    After arriving in America, Benedicte moved to Pocatello, Idaho where her brother Peter had settled. Here she acquired a studio in 1895 where she took photographs of the local inhabitants and recorded the growth of the town. Her documentary photographs of the Shoshone and Bannock Native Americans are still considered to be of great anthropological importance. Many of her Native American images are preserved at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives.

    Wrensted's parents were Captain Carl V. Wrensted, later an innkeeper, and Johanne Borgen.  She grew up and attended school in Frederikshavn in the far north of Jutland. One of the few professions considered suitable for women at the time was photography. Wrensted learnt the craft in the 1880s from her aunt, Charlotte Borgen, who was a photographer in Frederikshavn.  She then opened a studio of her own in Horsens.

    She was known for her expressive handling of natural light and the painterly quality of her photographs. Wrensted photographed The Edmos, a prominent Native American family from the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, quite often.

    Wrensted became a U.S. citizen in 1912, at age 53, and the same year she ended her career as a photographer. She sold her studio in Pocatello and moved to Los Angeles where she died on January 19, 1949 shortly before her 90th birthday.

    Many of her Native American images are preserved at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Archives. In the fall of 1984, Smithsonian anthropologist, Joanna Cohan Scherer was looking for photographs in the Smithsonian Institute's "Handbook of North American Indian" and came across the clutter of the Bannock County Historical Society in Pocatello, Idaho. She came across some Bannock County images that had the imprint "B. Wrensted, Pocatello." After rediscovering these photographs and finding a collection of glass plate negatives in the National Archives labeled "Portraits of Indians from Southeastern Idaho Reservations, 1897".she was determined to find out more about Wrensted. She consulted tribal elders from the nearby Fort Hall Indian Reservation, wrote letters to people, checked business directories and looked through tons of museums and libraries in an effort to uncover the background of Wrensted and her photographs. The Idaho Museum of Natural History has a goal of demonstrating ways in which photographs can be placed within a historical context. Only 1% of Wrensted's images at the National Archives and Records Administration were identified at the onset of a digital library collection project. Once they were shown to the descendants at the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, information regarding families of origin were discovered and with the help of written records, 84% of Wrensted subjects have now been identified.

    Scherer encourages the reader to "go beyond consideration of Wrensted's portraits as art," by advocating for the identification of the individual people portrayed in the photos as a means of avoiding stereotyping and the characterization of generic Indians as more "noble savages". "What sets Wrensted's work apart," says Schere, "is her skill in portraying the humanity—the individuality—of the people who posed for her. She captured their presence with a dignity and beauty that transcend time and place." According to Scherer's estimates, today 170 of Wrensted's Shoshone Bannock images are known to exist in various collections, with a substantial number at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Wrensted's photographs of her Indian subjects were not left with the people of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, but were, as Scherer tells us, "uprooted from their place of origin and put into impersonal hands—namely, the National Archives in Washington, D.C."

    Idaho State University - Benedicte Wrensted Collection:

    View Collection Online

    • March 09, 2022
    • March 09, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - REIMERT RAVENHOLT

    From the Seattle Times - 

    Reimert Thorolf Ravenholt was born in West Denmark, Wisconsin, March 9, 1925, the sixth of ten children of Ansgar and Kristine Petersen Ravenholt. 

    Reimert was raised on the family's small dairy farm which had been homesteaded by his Danish immigrant grandparents. Reimert remained deeply proud of his Danish heritage throughout his life and greatly enjoyed maintaining Danish traditions within his family and among his friends especially during the holidays. 

    After graduating from the Luck, Wisconsin, High School in 1943, Reimert went to Minneapolis where he entered an accelerated pre-med and medicine program at the University of Minnesota from which he was graduated with an M.D. degree in 1951. After a residency at the VA Hospital in San Francisco, Reimert was recruited by Dr. Alex Langmuir into the second class of the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control. This began his life-long involvement in epidemiology. 

    Reimert came to Seattle in the early 1950s to work as Director, Epidemiology and Communicable Disease Control Division, for the Seattle-King County Health Department. From this position, he organized and oversaw the first mass immunization of Seattle school children with the Salk vaccine against polio; traced an outbreak of staphylococcal infections among new mothers in Seattle to the lack of appropriate handwashing and other sanitary protocols in the newborn nurseries of local hospitals; undertook what was likely the first epidemiological survey by telephone; and provided the water-borne disease surveillance that supported the creation of a sewer system around Lake Washington. 

    In 1956, Reimert earned a Masters in Public Health degree from the University of California/Berkeley from which he was graduated first in his class. In 1962, Reimert was named an Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Washington. During this period, he began his life-long crusade against the negative health impacts of tobacco use which he termed "tobaccosis." Among other actions, he undertook some of the earliest epidemiological research among mothers of newborns that demonstrated the adverse impact of the mother's smoking history on the birth weight of her child. In collaboration with the editor of the student newspaper, he helped stop the free sampling of cigarettes to students on the UW campus and the sale of cigarettes on campus to minors. He also successfully lobbied for the removal of cigarette vending machines from the UW Hospital. 

    From 1966-1979, Reimert served as the first Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Population (now Population and Reproductive Health). When he took charge of USAID's nascent population program in 1966, the program had no staff, budget, or mandate. Few developing country governments outside of Asia wanted anything to do with subjects as controversial as population growth and family planning, and there was great debate about whether family planning programs worked. Many doubted that couples would use family planning services and, if couples did use them, that the services would have any impact. But Reimert believed that people would use family planning and that it would have a global demographic impact. He was right. 

    During his 14-year tenure, USAID's global population/family planning assistance program became the world's foremost population program, providing more than half of all international population/family planning program assistance ($1.3 billion) during those years. Many of the approaches that were pioneered under Reimert's leadership, such as routine survey data collection (He originated the World Fertility Survey, the precursor of the Demographic and Health Survey, which stands today as the gold standard of household survey data collection in the developing world.), working through non-governmental organizations, social marketing, and community-based services continue today as standards of strong voluntary family planning programs. He was a pioneer in international family planning, a champion of every woman's right to control her own fertility. 

    Throughout his career, Reimert applied his creative intellect and his persistent effort to some of the largest public health issues of his time. The success he achieved was due in great part to his relentless focus on the bottom line. Concern for political expediency or political acceptability was not a factor in his action plan. 

    After retirement in 1987, Reimert returned to Seattle to be near all his children. In Seattle he was an active participant in the Danish Club and a member of the Northwest Danish Association and National Nordic Museum. 

    More from the Seattle Times

    Reimert loved sharing and discussing ideas. No tradesman or friend left his house without a copy of at least one of his articles and a strong memory of his intellectual passion. He was an open-hearted, generous man who did not bear grudges or carry resentments through his life. "Understanding brings forgiveness," he often said. Hospitality was at his core. Everyone was welcomed and well fed. To say that an event at the Ravenholts' home had been "hyggelig" was, in his opinion, the highest praise. Reimert was devoted to his wife and family and was a large presence in their lives. His last "job" - being bedstefar to his grandchildren and oldefar to his great-granchildren - was perhaps his favorite. 

    Ravenholt, 95, died October 1, 2020, at his home in Seattle, Washington.

    Published on October 25, 2020


    • March 28, 2022
    • March 28, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - DINES CARLSEN

    Dines Carlsen (March 28, 1901 – October 1, 1966) was an American Expressionist painter.  He was a student at, and later a member of, the National Academy of Design. He also exhibited frequently at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He was known particularly for his still life paintings, and in his memory his wife established the Emil and Dines Carlsen Award to recognize the Academy's best still life painter annually.

    Carlsen was born in New York City on March 28, 1901 (1902), the son of the well-known Danish-American artist Emil Carlsen. Carlsen was homeschooled by his parents. His mother taught him academic subjects and his father instructed him in art. Consequently, his paintings bear a marked resemblance to his father's work. 

    He began exhibiting with the prestigious National Academy of Design in 1915 and he won the Julius Hallgarten Prize twice, in 1919 and 1923.  He became an Associate of the National Academy in 1922 and a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1942. 

    Dines Carlsen divided his time between his family's New York home and studio and their home in Falls Village, Connecticut until his father's death in 1933. Thereafter, he lived in Falls River and wintered in Summerville, South Carolina

    Carlsen taught students privately in his home. He exhibited his work with the artist's cooperative Grand Central Art Galleries and had solo exhibitions in 1946, 1950 and 1954. 

    In 1951, he married Florence Gulick Shaw in West OrangeNew Jersey.

    Carlsen died on October 1, 1966 at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City, and was survived by his wife, Florence.  Following his death in 1966, Grand Central mounted a dual exhibition of his and his father's work. -Wikipedia

    -----

    In 1916, American artist William Merritt Chase saw the work of fifteen-year-old Dines Carlsen exhibited at the National Academy of Design, and he predicted “a future of great brilliancy” for the teenaged artist. Dines’s father, Danish-born artist (Søren) Emil Carlsen, had risen to prominence as a skilled painter of still lifes, seascapes, landscapes, and portraits. Because the Carlsens shared a studio and the spotlight, reviews focused on their familial bond. Upon the death of his father in 1932, Dines relocated permanently to northwestern Connecticut, where he developed a style distinct from his famous father. -National Nordic Museum-Seattle, WA

    Images - National Nordic Museum, Seattle, WA

    Exhibit - "In His Own Manner" - National Nordic Museum in Seattle, WA July 22 to October 24, 2021 - 

    Dines Carlsen: In His Own Manner

    • April 01, 2022
    • April 01, 2024
    • 3 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadline for Submission: April 15

    The Danish American Heritage Society is pleased to offer grants to qualified researchers for study in area of common interest. Bodtker Grants provide stipends of up to $5,000 for students or graduates interested in exploring  topics related to Danish history and heritage in North America. 

    The Arnold N. Bodtker fund was created by the DAHS in 1998 to honor Arnold Bodtker, who founded the Danish American Heritage Society in 1977. After Arnold Bodtker’s death at age 95 in 2000, the Bodtker fund was endowed by a generous contribution from the Bodtker family. The DAHS subsequently created the Edith and Arnold N. Bodtker Grants for Research and Internship (henceforth referred to as the “Bodtker Grants”) to allow Bodtker funds to be used to support historical research in areas of interest.

    A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.

    Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
    Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000

    See the DAHS Website for more information -

    DAHS Website

    • April 02, 2022
    • April 02, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN BIRTHDAY
     
    Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
    , Danish author and poet, wrote many poems, plays, stories and travel essays, but is best known for his fairy tales of which there are over one hundred and fifty, published in numerous collections during his life and many still in print today.

    His first collection of Fairy Tales, Told for Children was published in 1835. He broke new ground for Danish literature with his style and use of idiom, irony and humor, memorable characters and un-didactic moral teaching inspired by the primitive folk tales he had learned as a child. Though they do not all end happily his Fairy Tales resound with an authenticity that only unabashed sincerity can produce from a man who could still see through a child’s eyes;

    “Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.” —from “The Little Match Girl”

    Andersen’s fairy tales of fantasy with moral lessons are popular with children and adults all over the world, and they also contain autobiographical details of the man himself. Born on 2 April, 1805 in Odense, on the Danish island of Funen, Denmark, he was the only son of washerwoman Anna Maria Andersdatter (d.1833) and shoemaker Hans Andersen (d.1816). They were very poor, but Hans took his son to the local playhouse and nurtured his creative side by making him his own toys. Young Hans grew to be tall and lanky, awkward and effeminate, but he loved to sing and dance, and he had a vivid imagination that would soon find its voice.  - The Literature Network

    HC Andersen Website
    by The University of Southern Denmark, Odense
    (In Danish and English)

    This Hans Christian Andersen Museum Asks You to Step Into a Fairy Tale

    Opening soon in the storyteller’s hometown of Odense, Denmark, the museum allows visitors to experience his multilayered stories

    Livia Gershon

    Kreditering Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning (2).jpg“It’s not a historical museum,” Henrik Lübker says. “It’s more an existential museum.” (Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning)

    smithsonianmag.com 
    March 2, 2021

    Most museums dedicated to a specific historical figure aim to teach visitors about that person. But, the new H.C. Andersen's House, scheduled to open this summer in Denmark, is an exception to the rule.

    The museum’s creative director, Henrik Lübker, says the museum in Odense is designed not to showcase Andersen’s life and his classic stories like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” but to echo the sensibility of a fairy tale writer who rarely offered his audience simple lessons.

    “It’s not a historical museum,” he says. “It’s more an existential museum.”

    Renderings of the museum, which includes 60,000 square feet of building space plus 75,000 square feet of gardens, all designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kumareveal that it is full of curves. Labyrinthine hedges almost merge with sinuous wooden pavilions, blurring the line between nature and architecture. A long ramp leads underground only to reveal an unexpected garden.

    “It’s kind of like a universe where nothing is quite as it seems,” Lübker says. “Everything you thought you knew can be experienced anew.”

    Kreditering Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning (1).jpgRenderings of the museum, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, reveal that it is full of curves. (Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning)

    Andersen’s own story has a fairy-tale arc. He was born in 1805 to a mother who worked as a washerwoman in Odense. Yet he dreamed of being a famous writer. He persistently pursued theater directors and potential benefactors, eventually winning help from a wealthy family to continue his education and learn to function in sophisticated circles.

    “For a long time he was notorious for being a preposterous young man who came from a dirt poor family,” says Jack Zipes, literature professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota and author of Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller.

    Despite setbacks—his first poetry and novels were, in Zipes’ words, “not very good, and in fact terrible”—Andersen persisted in seeking recognition for his work. When he eventually wrote “The Ugly Duckling” in 1843, Zipes says, it was clear to everyone in Denmark’s small literary circles that it was a work of autobiography. It’s easy to imagine the experiences that might have led Andersen to describe the tribulations of the little swan, who, according to another duck, was “too big and strange, and therefore he needs a good whacking.”

    Hans Christian AndersenPortrait of Hans Christian Andersen in 1862 (Photo12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

    Andersen’s own emergence as something close to a respected swan of an author came after he began publishing fairy tales in 1835. Unlike the Brothers Grimm—contemporaries whom Andersen admired—he did not collect folk tales but instead adapted existing stories or wrote his own from scratch. According to Maria Tatar, professor emeritus at Harvard University and author of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, Andersen most likely learned some of the basic plots he used, as well as storytelling techniques, while spending time in spinning rooms and other workplaces his mother shared with women when he was a child. Although his first story collection, published in 1835, was titled Fairy Tales Told for Children, he always noted that he was writing for a multigenerational audience, including many jokes and ideas that would have gone over kids’ heads.

    While some of his stories have apparent moral lessons, many are more ambiguous, or subversive, particularly in terms of relations between the social classes. In “The Tinderbox,” published in 1835, a spiteful common soldier ultimately takes revenge against a king and queen who imprisoned him by having huge dogs rip them and their entire court to shreds before marrying the princess and becoming king himself.

    “It has nothing to do with being of moral stature,” Lübker says. “It’s all about power. If you have the dogs, people will say ‘of course you can be king, you have the power.’”

    Tatar says it’s possible to see the stories through many different lenses. When she taught Andersen’s work to students, she used to focus on the disciplinary aspects of his stories, in which characters often face terrible punishments for their misdeeds. “After class, there was always a group of three or four—they tended to be young women—who came up to me, and they said ‘but his fairy tales are so beautiful,’” she says.

    That led her to begin focusing her attention in a different way. For example, in “The Little Match Girl” from 1845, an impoverished, abused girl freezes to death on the street on New Year’s Eve. But, as she lights one match after another, she sees luminous visions of warm rooms, abundant food and her loving grandmother.

    “She is something of an artist in terms of giving us an inner world,” Tatar says. “I started to see that [Andersen] really gives us these moving pictures, and it’s not just their beauty that gets us hooked, I think, but also an ethic of empathy—we’re moved by these images. We start to care about them. And it makes us curious about the inner lives of his characters.”

    Kreditering Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning (1).pngVisitors can look up at a glass ceiling through a pool of water and see people up in the garden.(Kengo Kuma and Associates, Cornelius Vöge, MASU planning)

    Lübker says the exhibits in the museum are designed to elicit that kind of engagement with the stories. In an area devoted to “The Little Mermaid,” visitors can look up at a glass ceiling through a pool of water and see people up in the garden, and the sky above them.

    “You can’t talk to them, because they’re separated from you,” Lübker says. “You can lie down on pillows on the floor and you can hear the mermaid’s sisters tell about the first time they were up there. We hope we can create this sense of longing for something else in the visitor.”

    Another part of the museum sets out to recreate the ominous ambiance of “The Shadow,” a fairy tale Andersen wrote in 1847 in which a good man’s evil shadow eventually replaces and destroys him. Visitors see what at first appears to be their shadows behaving just as they normally do, until they suddenly begin acting on their own. “I think it would ruin the experience if I went too much into detail,” says Lübker.

    “They’re very deep stories, and there are many layers to them,” Lübker adds. “Instead of just giving one interpretation, we want to create them in a sense where people can really feel something that is deeper and richer than what their memory of the story is.”

    Kreditering Odense Bys Museer (3).jpgThe project has a footprint of more than 95,000 square feet. (Odense Bys Museer)

    The museum’s architect, Kengo Kuma, known for designing Tokyo’s new National Stadium, built for the 2020 Summer Olympics (now scheduled to be held in 2021), shies away from the view of a building as an autonomous object, Lübker explains. “Architecture for him is kind of like music,” Lübker says. “It’s like a sequence: How you move through space, what you experience. It’s about that meeting between you and the architecture.”

    Plans for the museum go back to around 2010, when Odense decided to close off a main thoroughfare that previously divided the city center. The project’s large footprint currently contains the existing, much smaller, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Tinderbox Cultural Centre for Children, the building where Andersen was born and Lotzes Have, park themed after Andersen. The city chose Kuma’s firm, which is working together with Danish collaborators Cornelius+Vöge Architects, the MASU Planning Landscape Architects and Eduard Troelsgård Engineers, through a competitive process. In a separate competition, Event Communication of Britain was chosen to design the museum’s exhibitions.

    Hans Christian Andersen birthplaceAndersen's birthplace is situated within the museum. (Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

    The museum is situated with Andersen’s birthplace as its cornerstone so that visitors’ journeys will end in the room where he is said to have been born. It will also work to connect visitors to other Odense attractions related to Andersen, including his childhood home where he lived until moving to Copenhagen at age 14 to pursue his career in the arts. “Inspired by Boston’s Freedom Trail, we have physical footprints that allow you to walk in the footsteps of Andersen around the city from location to location,” says Lübker.

    Due to continuing pandemic-related travel restrictions, Lübker says, when the museum opens this summer, its first visitors may be mostly from within Denmark. But it expects to eventually draw guests from around the world thanks to Andersen’s global popularity.

    Hans Christian Andersen childhood homeThe storyteller's childhood home, where he lived until moving to Copenhagen at age 14 to pursue his career in the arts, is also in Odense. (Dea/B. Annebicque/Getty Images)

    Tatar notes that Andersen’s fairy tales have been translated into numerous languages and are very popular in China and across Asia, among other places. Artists have also reworked them into uncountable films, picture books and other forms over the decades. The Disney movie Frozen, for example, uses “The Snow Queen as the source material for a radically transformed story about sisterly love—which, in turn, has been claimed by LGBTQ and disabled communities as a celebration of openly embracing one’s unique qualities. “The core is still there, but it becomes something entirely new that is relevant to what we think about today,” Tatar says.

    At the time of Andersen’s death in 1875, the 70-year-old was an internationally recognized writer of iconic stories. But he couldn’t have known how fondly he would be remembered almost 150 years later.

    “He never lost the feeling that he was not appreciated enough,” Zipes says. “He would jump for joy to go back to Odense and see this marvelous museum that’s been created in his honor.”

    • April 15, 2022
    • September 15, 2022
    • 2 sessions

    BODTKER GRANTS - DEADLINE

    Deadlines for Submission: April 15 and September 15

    The Danish American Heritage Society is pleased to offer grants to qualified researchers for study in area of common interest. Bodtker Grants provide stipends of up to $5,000 for students or graduates interested in exploring  topics related to Danish history and heritage in North America. 

    The Arnold N. Bodtker fund was created by the DAHS in 1998 to honor Arnold Bodtker, who founded the Danish American Heritage Society in 1977. After Arnold Bodtker’s death at age 95 in 2000, the Bodtker fund was endowed by a generous contribution from the Bodtker family. The DAHS subsequently created the Edith and Arnold N. Bodtker Grants for Research and Internship (henceforth referred to as the “Bodtker Grants”) to allow Bodtker funds to be used to support historical research in areas of interest.

    A Bodtker Grant is primarily intended for research and internship at Danish American Archive and Library in Blair, Nebraska; the Danish American Archive at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa; or the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. At the Board's discretion, proposals involving other Danish cultural and archival institutions may be considered.

    Deadlines: April 15 (Notification: May) or September 15(Notification: October)
    Stipend Amount: Up to $5,000

    See the DAHS Website for more information -

    DAHS Website

    • April 16, 2022
    • April 16, 2023
    • 2 sessions
    • Fredensborg Palace, Denmark

    A ROYAL BIRTHDAY
    HM QUEEN MARGRETHE II


    From The Royal Danish House website - Once again this year, Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday on 16 April will be marked differently than usual. Like last year, The Queen will spend the day at Fredensborg Palace, where the birthday will be celebrated privately.

    When Her Majesty The Queen turned 80 years old almost a year ago, the day turned out to be different than planned. In light of the situation with COVID-19 in the Danish society, the round birthday was celebrated at Fredensborg Palace with digital congratulations from inside Denmark and abroad, joint singing and Her Majesty’s address to the Danish people in the evening. One year later, the situation with COVID-19 continues to mean that The Queen’s birthday must be celebrated differently than the traditional way. Her Majesty and the royal family will therefore not come out on the balcony during the changing of the guard at Amalienborg at 12:00 noon this year. Instead, The Queen will celebrate the day privately at Fredensborg Palace.  

    However, it will still be possible to send The Queen a birthday greeting via the Royal Danish House’s digital platforms. On the morning of 16 April, a congratulations list will be set up on the Royal Danish House’s website, where it will be possible to send personal felicitations to The Queen. Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, it will not be possible to show up physically at Det Gule Palæ at Amalienborg to handwrite a greeting for Her Majesty. The birthday will be marked throughout the day on the Royal Danish House’s social media and website. 

    ---------------------------

    Margrethe Alexandrine Þorhildur Ingrid, Her Majesty The Queen, became Queen of Denmark in 1972. Margrethe II was born on 16 April 1940 at Amalienborg Palace as the daughter of King Frederik IX (d. 1972) and Queen Ingrid, born Princess of Sweden (d. 2000)

    Foto: Per Morten Abrahamsen

    The Queen’s motto is "God’s help, the love of The People, Denmark’s strength".

    The Royal Family comprises Her Majesty The Queen’s relatives, including HRH Princess Benedikte and Her Majesty Queen Anne-Marie.

    Christening and confirmation:  HM The Queen was christened on 14 May 1940 in Holmens Kirke (the Naval Church) and confirmed on 1 April 1955 at Fredensborg Palace.

    The Act of Succession:  The Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 gave women the right of succession to the Danish throne but only secondarily. On the occasion of her accession to the throne on 14 January 1972, HM Queen Margrethe II became the first Danish Sovereign under the new Act of Succession.  In 2009, The Act of Succession was amended so that the eldest child (regardless of gender) succeeds to the throne.

    A seat on the State Council:  On 16 April 1958, the Heir Apparent, Princess Margrethe, was given a seat on the State Council, and she subsequently chaired the meetings of the State Council in the absence of King Frederik IX.

    Wedding:  On 10 June 1967, the Heir Apparent married Henri Marie Jean André, Count of Laborde de Monpezat, who in connection with the marriage became Prince Henrik of Denmark. The wedding ceremony took place in Holmens Kirke, and the wedding festivities were held at Fredensborg Palace. Prince Henrik passed away on 13 February 2018.

    Children:  HRH Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian, born 26 May 1968, and HRH Prince Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian, born 7 June 1969.

    2020 Birthday Address to the Public:
    English Translation
    April 16, 2020

    More Information:

    Royal House Website

    • April 17, 2022
    • April 20, 2025
    • 4 sessions

    GOD PÅSKE (EASTER SUNDAY)

    Easter, also called Påske (Danish) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

    Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week", which contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western ChristianityEastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the 40th day, the Feast of the Ascension.

    Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the Sun; rather, its date is offset from the date of Passover and is therefore calculated based on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March. Even if calculated on the basis of the more accurate Gregorian calendar, the date of that full moon sometimes differs from that of the astronomical first full moon after the March equinox.

    Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast is called by the words for passover in those languages; and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover.  Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greetingclipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide.  Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.

    Here's What You Need to Know About Danish Easter Traditions

    Aliki Seferou

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs

    Danish traditions, Easter Eggs | © andreas160578 / Pixabay

    Easter is celebrated in different ways in countries all over the globe and so, Denmark has its own traditions. If you’re visiting the country this time of the year and want to be prepared or just want to get an idea of what Danes love to do when celebrating Easter, this guide has everything you need. Gækkebreve, a lot of food, snaps and chocolate eggs are some of the things that are never absent from the Danish Easter.

    Celebrating springtime

    During Easter, Danes celebrate mostly the arrival of springtime and with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday being national holidays, they find Easter as a good opportunity for a short escape to their summer houses. It’s not very common for Danes to attend church during Easter and there aren’t any special religious events taking place during the holy week. So, don’t expect to see grandiose celebrations like the ones during Semana Santa in Seville or processions like Epitaphio that takes place in Greece on Good Friday.

    Danish countryside in spring | © Per Ganrot / Flickr

    Gækkebreve

    The weeks before Easter every child in Denmark that wants to get an extra Easter chocolate egg writes and sends gækkebrev. The senders of gækkebrevemust write a ‘teaser poem’ on a paper and then sign it with a number of dots equal to their names’ letters. Children are called to use their imagination and cut the paper into different shapes, include a snowdrop (vintergække), which is the first flower of the year, and make sure that their poem rhymes. If the recipient of the letter guesses who sent him the gækkebrev then the sender must give him an Easter chocolate egg and if not, then the other way around. Since usually the senders are children and the recipients are adults, it’s an unwritten rule and almost part of the tradition that the receivers never manage to guess the person behind the ‘fool’s letter’.

    Danish Easter tradition,Gækkebreve | © Nillerdk / Wikimedia Commons

    Eggs, eggs and eggs

    Eggs are part of Easter traditions in many countries and Denmark is no exception. Many houses are decorated with fake yellow or green eggs while chocolate eggs and boiled chicken’s eggs dyed in different colours never miss from the Easter lunch table. Many Danes hide chocolate eggs in their gardens for children to find on Easter Sunday, keeping a tradition that dates back to the early 2oth century alive.

    Tivoli Easter Eggs Decoration | © David Jones / Flickr

    Easter lunch

    Celebrating without a big table filled with delicacies, beer and snaps it’s not a proper celebration for Danes regardless the time of the year. For the Sunday Easter lunch, locals prepare lamb, boiled eggs, herring and other kinds of fish such as salmon. The special Easter beer, which is brewed only this time of the year, is, according to beer specialists, heavier and tastier than common beers so it’s a must to have it on the festive table. Finally, even though Easter lunch starts from early afternoon, all guests have to drink at least one traditional Danish snap. The high-levelled alcohol spirits must be drunk in one gulp after everyone has raised their glasses, yelling, “Skål” and Easter wishes.

    Danish Easter lunch | © Andreas Hagerman / Flickr


    • April 27, 2022
    • April 30, 2022
    • Chicago, IL

    SAVE THE DATES - 2022 REBILD USA SPRING CONFERENCE

    Rebild USA will return to the annual spring conference schedule in 2022.  The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Schaumburg, IL (Chicago area).

    Here is the tentative schedule:

    Wednesday April 27 - Arrivals and Welcome Reception

    Thursday April 28 - Meetings of Chapter Presidents and National Board

    Friday April 29 - Combined Chapter Presidents and National Board meeting

    Saturday April 30 - General Membership meeting and Gala Dinner event

    Sunday May 1 - Departures

    For more information Contact:
    Rebild USA National Secretary Linda Steffensen - rebildusa@gmail.com
    Rebild USA National Vice President Bruce Bro - bruceabro@icloud.com

    • May 04, 2022
    • May 04, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    LIGHT A CANDLE IN YOUR WINDOW FOR DENMARK LIBERATION DAY

    4 May 1945 was the day when the Danes got the message on the radio about the liberation of Denmark from Germany during Second World War, after the German occupation since 9 April 1940. This meant that the Danes no longer had to use heavy black curtains to keep the light from getting out of their houses. People flocked into the streets, waving the Danish flag “Dannebro” and burned their black curtains. Many lighted candles on their windows.

    June 1944 Invasion Issue of Danish Resistance publication "De Frie Danske" titled 'The Free Danes Welcome our Allied Friends' with a four colored front page photo of one US and one British rifleman each in front of their national flags...

    De Frie Danske

    Therefore, if you see candles on the windows in the evening of 4 May, it is because Danes celebrate and commemorate this day.
    The message about the Danish liberation went out on 4 May, but the official liberation day is 5 May. It is celebrated with flags in flagpoles and on top of the busses.

    May 5

    • May 05, 2022
    • May 05, 2023
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark


    LIBERATION DAY

    On May 5, Denmark celebrates
     Liberation Day. It is the anniversary of the end of the occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany. Liberation Day is not a public holiday, but special events are held on the occasion.

    Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany on April 9, 1940. The country capitulated withing six hours. As Denmark did not put up much resistance, its occupation was unusually lenient. For example, most institutions functioned relatively normally until 1943. Both the king and government remained in the country.

    However, German authorities eventually did dissolve the government after the August 1943 crisis. Mass arrests began. By the end of the war, Danish resistance movement developed. When German authorities ordered to arrest and deport Danish Jews, members of the resistance evacuated almost all Jews to Sweden.

    The German forces withdrew from Denmark on May 5, 1945 following their surrender to the Allies. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Liberation Day. On the day, public ceremonies are held in memory of the fallen members of the Danish resistance movement. Left-wing organizations sometimes hold demonstrations to remember the communist resistance fighters.

    May 4

    More Information

    May 1945 Video

    This movie reel shows scenes from Copenhagen in the days following the liberation of Denmark in May 1945. Accord to the National Museum of Denmark, this film was recorded between May 5 1945 and May 12 1945. Among other scenes, the following is shown (according to the National Museum of Denmark): Unrest at Dagmarhus guarded by German soldiers (May 5), resistance fighters behind cover during combat at the harbor, british troops’ arrival through Vesterbrogade (May 8), and Field Marshall Montgomery at Langelinie (May 12).

    This film is a part of the archive of The National Museum of Denmark, in which the recordings are titled “Film: Privatoptagelser fra befrielsesdagene 1945 i København“. The archive has noted the following informations (and more): Description: “Optagelser fra dagene 5. - 12. maj i København. Bl.a. opløb d. 5/5 ved Dagmarhus, som stadig bevogtes af tyske soldater. Modstandsfolk i dækning under træfninger i havnen. Britiske landtroppers ankomst ad Vesterbrogade 8/5 fotograferet fra en af de britiske biler. Feltmarksal Montogomery ved Langelinie 12/5. 16 mm. Stum. 14:05.” License: “No known rights” Photographer/creator: “Ukendt” Time of recording: “5. maj 1945 – 12. maj 1945” City: “København”
    • June 05, 2022
    • June 05, 2023
    • 2 sessions
    • Denmark

    GRUNDLOVSDAG (CONSTITUTION DAY)

    The throne of Denmark was established in the tenth century and is the oldest in Europe and third oldest in the world. Through to the seventeenth century, the majority of decisions in Danish rule came through the monarchy and each monarch was obliged to sign the Haandfæstning wherein he promised to rule fairly.

    In 1660, Denmark became a constitutional monarchy, effectively removed the monarchy from absolute power and putting decision making into the hands of the leaders of government. From this time, aside from the royal power of the king, three types of powers existed in Denmark: legislative, executive and judicial.

    Including the signing of the first constitution, five constitutions have been written and signed: 1849, 1866, 1915, 1920 and 1953. None of these had amendments but each was superseded by the one following. On 5 June 1915, women received the right to vote.

    Many places hold festivals on Constitution Day and there are often political rallies. Students, graduates, bands and organisations march in parades behind the bright red and white of the Danish flag. The flag also dominates many buildings across the country.

    More Information (In Danish)

    • June 23, 2022
    • June 23, 2023
    • 2 sessions

    SANKT HANS AFTEN (MIDSUMMER'S EVE)

    A Nordic tradition, celebrated on the night before the Midsummer's Day, Midsummer's Eve or Sankt Hans Aften is a relic of pagan customs, where the shortest day, the winter solstice, and the longest day, the summer solstice, were celebrated. Originally it was believed that midsummer night was filled with magical forces of nature—both bad and good. All herbs and sources were particularly sacred, and it was a tradition to seek sacred springs or picking healing herbs on this night.

    Image: Midsummer Eve Bonfire on Skagen Beach (Danish: Sankt Hansblus på Skagen strand) a 1906 painting by P.S. Krøyer 
    More Info on this famous Krøyer work

    The tradition of burning bonfires came later. Originally they were not associated with Midsummer's Eve celebration, although later some farmers who believed in witches started burning bonfires on this night. A shape that looks like a witch was put in the fire. The purpose of the fire was to scare the witches and evil spirits away, rather than burning them.

    Today the Midsummer's Eve is still celebrated with bonfires, dancing, singing and a traditional speech from someone well known in the community. The celebrations are held all around the country, both in cities and small towns.

    Some of the most vibrant celebrations take place in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, and Skagen. The capital has bonfires at several places, including Tivoli Gardens, Frederiksberg Gardens, Islands Brygge, and more. Likewise, Aarhus offers quite a few locations to celebrate, such as Aarhus University campus, Godsbanen, or Langenæs Church. In Odense, the festivities take place at Engen in the Fruens Bøge forest. At last, the remote Skagen promises an exceptional celebration. Thousands come to the northern tip of Denmark to enjoy traditional songs at the bonfire that lasts here longer than anywhere else in the country.

    Burning the witches in Denmark

    The height of Danish summer is celebrated on the evening of June 23 under the name Sankt Hans (Saint Hans), who is known in English as John the Baptist. The festival of Sankt Hans and the celebration of the summer solstice have pagan roots and date back to the days before Christianity came to Denmark. 

    Sankt Hans is generally celebrated with a dinner at home with family and friends followed by a stroll to a community bonfire, often by the beach or on the shore of one of Denmark's many lakes.

    Tradition calls for an effigy of a witch to be placed on top of the bonfire, and as it burns the community sings the song "Midsommervisen", written by the Danish poet Holger Drachmann in 1885. The effigy of the witch symbolises all the misery that Denmark as a nation wants to avoid, and the song celebrates the hope that peace will prevail.


    Midsommervisen “Vi elsker vort land”  
    (Youtube)

    De tre første vers, som normalt synges ved bålfester
    Text: Holger Drachmann, 1885
    Melodi P. E. Lange-Müller, 1885 

    Vi elsker vor land,
    når den signede jul
    tænder stjernen i træet med glans i hvert øje.
    Når om våren hver fugl,
    over mark, under strand,
    lader stemmen til hilsende triller sig bøje:
    Vi synger din lov over vej, over gade,
    vi kranser dit navn, når vor høst er i lade,
    men den skønneste krans,
    bli'r dog din Sankte Hans!
    Den er bunden af sommerens hjerter,
    så varme så glade. 

    Vi elsker vort land,
    men ved midsommer mest,
    når hver sky over marken velsignelsen sender,
    når af blomster er flest,
    og når kvæget i spand
    giver rigeligst gave til flittige hænder;
    når ikke vi pløjer og harver og tromler,
    når koen sin middag i kløveren gumler,
    da går ungdom til dans
    på dit bud Sankte Hans
    ret som føllet og lammet, der frit
    over engen sig tumler. 

    Vi elsker vort land,
    og med sværdet i hånd
    skal hver udenvælts fjende beredte os kende,
    men mod ufredens ånd
    under mark over strand,
    vil vi bålet på fædrenes gravhøje tænde
    hver by har sin heks,
    og hver sogn sine trolde.
    Dem vil vi fra livet med glædesblus holde
    vi vil fred her til lands
    Sankte Hans, Sankte Hans!
    Den kan vindes, hvor hjerterne
    aldrig bli'r tvivlende kolde
    .

    English Translation...

    Vi Elsker Vort Land/"We Love Our Country"

    We love our country
    when the blessed Christmas
    light up the star in the tree with a twinkle in each eye
    When in spring each bird
    over the field, down by the beach
    lets its voice give into greeting trills:
    We sing your law across the road, across the street,
    we wreath your name, when our harvest is in the barn,
    but the most beautiful wreath
    becomes yours, Saint Hans
    It is bound by the the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy
    but the most beautiful wreath
    becomes yours, Saint Hans
    It is bound by the hearts of the summer so warm, so happy

    We love our country
    but mostly around midsummer
    when every cloud sends the blessing across the field
    When most flowers are here
    and when the cattle drag the plough
    gives plenty of gifts to laborious hands;
    when we don't plough and harrow and roll,
    when the cow munch its dinner of clover:
    At that time youth will start to dance
    at your command Saint Hans!
    Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow
    At that time youth will start to dance
    at your command Saint Hans!
    Straight as the foal and the lamb which freely romp across the meadow

    We love our country
    and with the sword in our hands
    every foreign enemy shall prepared know us
    But against the spirit of strife
    over the field, down by the beach
    we will light the bonfire on the forefathers' burial mounds:
    Every town has its witch, and every parish its trolls,
    we will keep those from our lives with fires of happiness
    We want peace in this country,
    saint Hans, saint Hans!
    It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold
    We want peace in this country,
    saint Hans, saint Hans!
    It can be won where the hearts never become doubting cold

    We love our country
    and we greet that king
    who has tried and chosen the right princess:
    In his fairy tale castle
    every woman, every man can
    find an example of love for life!
    Let the times grow old, let the colors fade,
    we will however draw a memory in our hearts:
    From the North so rich in legends
    a glory goes across the world
    It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows,
    From the North so rich in legends
    a glory goes across the world
    It is the reflection of the wonderland's enchanted meadows!

    • July 02, 2022
    • (RDT)
    • July 05, 2022
    • (RDT)
    • Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK

    Celebration of Danish American Friendship Since 1912

    The Annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    Live Stream Recording from 2021

    Tenative Schedule for 2022
    July 2 -
    Danish American Club Aalborg - Garden Party Picnic Aalborg Defense & Garrison Museum 10.00-12.00
                       Afternoon Gathering - Western House next to Top Karins Hus in Rebild - 13.30-16.00

    July 3 - Gala Dinner at Hotel Comwell Hvide Hus Aalborg followed by fireworks - 19.00-24.00

    July 4 - Tent Luncheon - 12.00-14.00 
                     Celebration in the Rebild Hills 15.00-17.00

    July 5 - General Membership Meeting 10.00-11.30
                      Luncheon at Rebild Hotel Comwell
                      National Board Meeting 13.00-15.00

     The New Rebild Website

    Rebild National Park Society

    We are a Danish-American Friendship organization,
    playing an important part in these areas:

    • Unique 4th of July Festival in Denmark with Royalty and dignitaries from both countries

    • Preservation of Danish culture and heritage in USA

    • Assistance to Danish newcomers with acclimatization and business networking

    • Help and insight into Danish thinking for Americans doing business with Denmark

    • Friend-shipping and socializing

    • Study abroad scholarships to Denmark

    • Professional full color news magazine two times a year plus Rebild E-News.

    • Annual Conference (each year in a different state in the US)

    Ties of Friendship
    It all began more than one hundred years ago in America. A gathering of Danish-Americans came up with a vision ofa special place in Denmark where they could gather once a year to meet with relatives and friends. And symbolically, as a statement confirming that those who had left would not forget where they had come from. Emigration began gradually in the economically difficult years following the Napoleon Wars, when the country was going bankrupt and having lost Norway. it is estimated that as many as 300,000 Danes emigrated in the years up to the First World War. Exact numbers are not possible because, after 1864, Danes from Southern Iylland were registered as German emigrants.

    Their incentive to leave was the dream of finding freedom and a better life. They especially sought out the northern states in the USA, as did other emigrants from the Scandinavian countries, because the climate and land reminded them of what they had left behind. It had an especial attraction for farmers. The western part of the country offered free land, with the provision they would fence the property, cultivate the land, and by the end ofthe first year, have erected a house with a door and window. Normally only the door and windows that were made of wood, the rest of the house was made of sod! It was hard work but worth the effort. For most, it was a good decision.

    But the emigrants never forgot their homeland and early in the twentieth century they purchased land in the old country. In the beginning they flocked to outdoor meetings near Himmelbjeret, as recorded by Ieppe Aakjaer on “Ienle” and Johan Skjoldborg on "Dynaes." These large outdoor gatherings are a popular tradition we have perpetuated through the years. Most of the emigrants had Iyske roots and it was instinctive for them to seek to meet here. The man with the most initiative was Max Henius from Aalborg, and the land eventually selected was the beautiful hilly heather covered ground in the outskirts of Forest of Rold — Rebild Bakker.

    There were more than 10,000 participants at the first Rebild Festival in 1912, and it was estimated that more than 1,000 came from America. Viewed through today's eyes it was impressive. It was expensive and difficult to travel so far — across America by land and the Atlantic Ocean by boat. The King Christian the 10th participated with Queen Alexandrine and accepted the deed for 140 tender land (equal to approximately 1,363 acres) with the requirement: “... that every year on July 4th, America's Independence Day, a "Rebild Festival" would be held in the Hills." Throughout the intervening years the Royal Family have been active in the Festival. We are happy and thankful for that.

    We have been told that the 4th of July celebration in Denmark is the largest outside the USA. We are proud of that. It’s a wonderful tradition that has continued over the past 100 years. It is a testament to the unbreakable friendship that exists between our two nations who share a common appreciation for freedom and democracy. We stand together!

    • August 24, 2022
    • August 24, 2024
    • 3 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY: EDITH M. GRAVESEN BODTKER

    Edith M. (Gravesen) Bodtker  (August 24, 1903 - January 12, 1993) along with her husband Arnold, are recognized as founders of the Danish American Heritage Society.  DAHS was founded in 1977.  Edith was born August 24, 1903, in Tyler Minnesota.  When she was 10 years old, the family moved to Askov, another Danish-American community in Minnesota.  She received her B.A. with Honors from the University of Minnesota, majoring in English and German.  From 1929 to 1932, she taught at Grand View College in Des Moines.  She and her husband, Arnold, then joined C.P. Hoiberg in teaching at the Nysted Folk High School in Howard County, Nebraska. Arnold and Edith later lived in Corvallis, McMinnville, and Portland, Oregon while her husband worked for the United States Department of Agriculture. In 1977 she joined her husband in founding the Danish American Heritage Society, an organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the heritage of the Danish-American community.  

    Photo: Edith and Arnold Bodtker (Courtesy Danish American Heritage Society)

    She died January 12, 1993, at the age of 89.  At her request there was no funeral service.  She donated her body to the Oregon Health Sciences University through the Oregon Donor Program and her eyes to the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation Fighting Blindness.

    In addition to her husband, Arnold, survivors include a son, Egon of Salem, OR, a sister Dagmar Gravesen of Portland, OR, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

    Thanks to Egon Bodtker and John Mark Nielsen for the Edith Bodtker Obituary

    DAHS Website

    The following excerpts are from "History of the Danish American Heritage Society - The First 25 Years" compiled and edited by James D. Iversen. -

    For the first 21 years, from 1977 to 1998, Arnold Bodtker, his son Egon Bodtker, and nephew Gerald Rasmussen were members of the Board of Directors of the Danish American Heritage Society.  Arnold’s wife Edith Bodtker and Karen McCumsey (later Nielsen) were also founding members of the Board of Directors and remained so until their deaths in the mid-1990s. Arnold N. Bodtker founded and served as the first president of the Danish American Heritage Society and was also the first editor of The Bridge. Arnold served as president until 1989, and as editor of The Bridge for most of the first 10 years (Donald Watkins edited 5 issues from 1982 to 1984). Egon Bodtker became editor with the first issue in 1988, and continued for 11 years, through 1998. Eva Nielsen was a member of the board through most of the first decade. Gerald Rasmussen replaced Arnold as president in 1989, and served as president until October, 1998. More people served on the board as it enlarged through the second ten years, including George and Elsie Norman, Ove & Edith Kilgren, Victor Nielsen, Inga Kroman, Roelie Goddik, Allan Nyegaard and Kirsten Jensen.


    Arnold Bodtker, 1904-2000, In Memoriam, Reprinted from The Bridge, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2000, pp. 13-15

    Arnold N. Bodtker died in Junction City, Oregon on March 28, 2000. He was 95 years old.

    His parents were Hans Nielsen Bodtker and Susanne Jacobsen Bodtker, from Denmark and the Faeroe Islands, respectively. They were among the very first Danish immigrants to settle in the newly founded Danish colony in Junction City, where Arnold was born on December 5, 1904.

    After graduating from high school in Junction City in 1923, he alternated between farming and studying at several colleges and universities. His first college classes commenced in 1923-24 at Oregon Agricultural College (as Oregon State University was

    then known). He was back on the family farm in 1924-25, and then studied at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa in 1925-26. For the next five years he farmed in Junction City, worked on farms in the middle west, and studied, when time and money allowed, at The University of Oregon, Oregon Agricultural College, The University of Minnesota, Nebraska State Teacher's College, and Drake University in Des Moines, from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Biology in 1930.

    It was at Grand View College that he met Edith Gravesen from Askov, Minnesota. They married in Junction City, Oregon, in 1932. They taught together for one school year at Nysted Folk High School, joined a cooperative farm in the middle west for one growing season, and then farmed with Arnold's father in Junction City, until a modest stipend became available for Arnold to do graduate work at Oregon Agricultural College (Oregon State University), where he earned a Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics & Soils in 1937. They lived in Corvallis while Arnold studied and worked for the Oregon State Extension Service.

    After Edith's death in 1993, Arnold was engaged in gardening, reading, keeping in touch with friends and family via his voluminous correspondence, and writing his "Remembrances." We can hardly wait to read his own accounting of what was a very long, interesting, and fruitful life.

    A memorial service was held on April 15, 2000, at 2pm at Festival Hall in Junction City, Oregon.


National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

Contact Us

Log in
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software