event Calendar

pacific northwest United States (or, wa)

    • April 22, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • April 22, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 3 sessions
    • The Planet Earth

    EARTH DAY

    Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and Earth Day 2021 will occur on Thursday, April 22—the holiday's 51st anniversary. The holiday is now a global celebration that’s sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green living. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the protests of the 1960s, Earth Day began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

    Earth Day - Official Site

    Earth Day History 

    By the early 1960s, Americans were becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment. Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller Silent Springraised the specter of the dangerous effects of pesticides on the American countryside. Later in the decade, a 1969 fire on Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Rivershed light on the problem of chemical waste disposal. Until that time, protecting the planet’s natural resources was not part of the national political agenda, and the number of activists devoted to large-scale issues such as industrial pollution was minimal. Factories pumped pollutants into the air, lakes and rivers with few legal consequences. Big, gas-guzzling cars were considered a sign of prosperity. Only a small portion of the American population was familiar with–let alone practiced–recycling. - History

    • April 24, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • October 09, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • 13 sessions
    • Zoom Meetings - Portland, OR

    DSS MT HOOD LODGE #81 REGULAR MEETING

    Lodge 81 in Portland, Oregon meets via zoom every two weeks on Saturday at 10am.  

    We invite you to join us!

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Password: DSS2020

    • April 28, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • August 27, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 5 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.
    • May 01, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • May 31, 2021
    • (CDT)

    MAY IS DANISH AMERICAN BIKE TO WORK MONTH

    Danish American organizations are rallying together during the month of May for National Bike to Work month! Join this challenge with us and post pictures of your bike ride to work or school on social media with the hashtag #BiketoWorkUSADK from May 1st to May 31st, 2021. You can also post your pictures in the Facebook group!

    Send your pictures to line@nwdanish.org if would like your picture included in a virtual photo album after the bike to work month is complete. Please send your photos by June 1st.

    We have a variety of categories for biking to work, school, or even biking at home. We will choose a winner for each category at the end of the month. The categories are:

    **Longest ride (distance)

    **Shortest ride - must be outdoors!

    **Steepest elevation climb

    **All dressed up!

    **Most scenic ride to work

    **Longest ride on a stationary bike (distance)

    Riders will be chosen based on self-reported information and the honor system. If you would like to be considered for a category, at the end of the month you can send an e-mail to line@nwdanish.org with your ride details. Details you can include are the distance you rode to work (one way), your route’s elevation climb (this can be found on Google Maps), pictures of your bike outfit to work, and/or any scenic pictures from your route.

    Let’s bike to work like the Danes do!

    ~Mary DeLorme and Fidelma McGinn, Scan Design Foundation

    ~Edith Christensen and Line Larsen, Northwest Danish Association

    Participating groups: Scan Design Foundation, Northwest Danish Association, National Foundation for Danish America, Museum of Danish America, Nordic Northwest, University of Wisconsin

    To be added to the list of participating groups, please send an e-mail to line@nwdanish.org

    Join the Facebook Group!


    • May 02, 2021
    • 11:00 AM (CDT)
    • Online - Zoom Meeting

    REBILD NATIONAL PARK SOCIETY - BOARD MEETING

    Online zoom meeting of Full Rebild Board - Denmark and U.S.A.

    11:00am Central (Chicago)

    Rebild Website

    Rebild Facebook

    • May 06, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • September 02, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • 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, we unfortunately need to move to virtual meetings for the time being.

    A number of our normally-scheduled activities will not take place, but we will be converting as many of them into pandemic-safe events as we can.

    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

    • May 13, 2021
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (CDT)
    • Virtual Event - Nordic Northwest - Portland, OR

    RICK STEVES - TRAVEL TO THE NORDIC COUNTRIES

    May 13, 2021, 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM
    Online Live Stream

    NORDIC NORTHWEST MEMBERS: $10 PER HOUSEHOLD

    GENERAL ADMISSION: $15 PER HOUSEHOLD

    ARTS FOR ALL​: $5 PER HOUSEHOLD

    Register

    Join us for lively evening with Rick Steves, widely considered America’s most respected authority on travel to Europe. Steves will highlight travel to the Nordic countries with special sites to visit, travel tips and how to have a fun, affordable and culturally broadening experience. We will also learn from Steves how to discover the Nordic countries through the backdoor.  This event will include an extensive Q & A period where you can ask Steves your burning questions.

    From his first international trip visiting family in Norway during the summer of 1969 when he was 14, Steves has expressed a deep admiration for travel to the Nordic region and for Scandinavian-style social democracy.  The evening is sure to be enlightening and entertaining; Steves had been called goofy, super dork, and revolutionary. If you are not already, the evening will turn you into a Rick Steves cult follower. Prepare for your first or next trip to the Nordic region in a way you never thought possible, by learning from the expert himself.

    Speaker Bio

    Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.

    Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Each year, the company contributes to a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax. He also works closely with several advocacy groups and has been instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in states across the US.

    Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. To recharge, he plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

    Sponsored By:


    • May 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • 4 sessions
    • Online - New Issue Available

    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


    • June 05, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Virtual Event

    DANISH AMERICAN HERITAGE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

    The May In-Person Conference has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 5 as a Virtual Conference.  Here is the Conference Schedule (Central Standard Time) -

    9:30 AM 
    Opening Ceremonies

    9:45 AM 
    Communal Song in Denmark
    Keynote Q&A

    11:00 AM
    Transnational Identities Q&A
    Art in Denmark Q&A

    Noon
    Approaches to Kierkegaard Q&A
    Denmark Becoming Modern Q&A

    1:00 PM
    Moments in Danish History Q&A
    Reading Denmark Q&A

    2:30 PM
    Plenary Roundtable: Seeking Relevance in a Changing World
    Museum of Danish America Q&A

    2021 Danish American Heritage Society Conference
    Traditions and Transitions: Ways of Being Danish


    DAHS Website

    • June 12, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • Fogelbo & Nordia House, Portland, OR

    MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL

    In the Northern lands of the midnight sun, it's tradition to celebrate the sun and the fire element during the summer solstice. We at Nordic Northwest honor this tradition by celebrating with Midsummer Festival

    Join your friends and family in SE Portland to ring in the 92nd year of this historic, regional tradition that occurs each June. We are an inclusive community, welcoming of all. Midsummer continues to be a fun, family friendly and important day with centuries-old traditions and everyone is invited!

    Enjoy delicious Nordic cuisine, try traditional beverages and scrumptious sweets. Spend the day with us and make your own colorful flower crown and other crafts. Play "Viking Chess", Nordic Jenga and other fun games. Take a break in the beer garden before we all come together and dance around the Maypole and sign Nordic folk songs. With two stages of entertainment which includes live music and traditional dancing, you are sure to have a memorable day.

    Make sure to take home some souvenirs from one of the many Nordic makers and artists who will have their booths open all day for you to browse and shop. 

    2021 Festival scheduled for June 12

    This year at Fogelbo and Nordia House
    Portland, OR
    Telephone - (503) 977-0275
    Nordic Northwest Website

    Nordic Northwest Facebook


    • June 25, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • Little Bighorn Battlefield - Southeastern Montana

    THE BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BIGHORN

    Included in the casualties at The Battle of Little Bighorn were six Danes - three were killed, and three survived.

    "As I recall Private Christian Madsen (this is NOT the Christian Madsen who was a lawman in Oklahoma in the late 1800's early 1900's), Charles Siemon (blacksmith) and William Teeman (Corporal) died (at Little Bighorn). Christian C. Boisen, Frederik Holmsted and Jan Møller survived, Jan M being wounded. 6 Danes, quite a percentage" - Stig Thornsohn

    A&E Television Networks, LLC - The Battle of the Little Bighorn, fought on June 25, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory, pitted federal troops led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839-76) against a band of Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. Tensions between the two groups had been rising since the discovery of gold on Native American lands. When a number of tribes missed a federal deadline to move to reservations, the U.S. Army, including Custer and his 7th Cavalry, was dispatched to confront them. Custer was unaware of the number of Indians fighting under the command of Sitting Bull (c.1831-90) at Little Bighorn, and his forces were outnumbered and quickly overwhelmed in what became known as Custer’s Last Stand.

    More Information

    • June 27, 2021
    • (PDT)
    • July 02, 2022
    • (PDT)
    • 2 sessions
    • Menucha Retreat & Conference Center - Corbett, OR

    2021 VIRTUAL HIMMELBJERGET DANISH CAMP

    Virtual Himmelbjerget Danish Camp offers a unique opportunity for kids 10 to 18 to learn about the history, people, culture, language and traditions of Denmark.

    For the health and safety of our campers and counselors, Himmelbjerget 2021 will be virtual. The 2021 camp dates are June 27th to July 3rd! Camp this year is free of charge. Register online to join in on the fun activities.

    Registration Deadline - May 31

    Register Here











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

    NWDA Website

    NWDA Facebook

    • July 03, 2021
    • 12:00 PM (CDT)
    • July 05, 2021
    • 1:00 PM (CDT)
    • Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    REBILD FESTIVAL IN DENMARK

    Celebration of Danish American Friendship - The annual Rebild Festival at the Rebild National Park near Aalborg, Denmark

    Official Detailed 2021 Schedule to be Announced

    The 2021 Rebild Celebration will be a combination of live and on-line events.

    July 3 - Rebild Park events and Gala in Aalborg

    July 4 - Tent Luncheon and Festival in the Rebild Hills

    July 5 - General Membership Meeting

    Rebild US

    Rebild - Denmark

    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!

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

    EXHIBIT - DINES CARLSEN: IN HIS OWN MANNER

    Dines Carlsen: In His Own Manner

    July 22, 2021–October 24, 2021
    In this dynamic exhibition, visitors will enjoy a rotating selection from the collection of the National Nordic Museum, which received a gift of more than 900 works by the Danish-American artist Dines Carlsen in 2020.

    National Nordic Museum
    2655 NW Market St
    Seattle, WA  98107

    Tel: (206) 789-5707

    National Nordic Museum - Website

    National Nordic Museum - Facebook

    • September 15, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • September 15, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • 3 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. 


    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

    Grant Application

    DAHS Website


    • October 22, 2021
    • (CDT)
    • January 31, 2022
    • (CST)
    • National Nordic Museum - Seattle, WA

    EXHIBIT - PAPER DIALOGUES: THE DRAGON AND OUR STORIES

    October 22, 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

    • November 26, 2021
    • (CST)
    • November 26, 2022
    • (CST)
    • 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
    • (CST)
    • December 01, 2024
    • (CST)
    • 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

    • February 05, 2022
    • (CST)
    • February 05, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 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
    • (CST)
    • February 10, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 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
    • (CST)
    • March 09, 2023
    • (CST)
    • 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
    • (CDT)
    • March 28, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 2 sessions

    A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - DINES CARLSEN

    Dines Carlsen (March 28, 1901 (1902) – 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
    • (CDT)
    • April 01, 2024
    • (CDT)
    • 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. 


    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

    Grant Application

    DAHS Website


    • April 02, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 02, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 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 16, 2022
    • (CDT)
    • April 16, 2023
    • (CDT)
    • 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
    • (CDT)
    • April 20, 2025
    • (CDT)
    • 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



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