Saturday, June 27, 2009

Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival

So far we've had a great time at the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival. Yesterday was the first day of the event and there was a lot going on. The morning started with a welcome ceremony where various dignitaries and sponsors gave messages of congratulations and, of course, welcome. On hand were some folks from the local media, the honorary Finnish counsel and yours truly.

It was a fun experience standing in front of a packed room, welcoming everyone and discussing how the goals of the festival and Sons of Norway were very much in sync. "The Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival is committed to the celebration of all Scandinavian cultures and the preservation of their unique traditions, but at the same time the festival builds a bridge that spans the differences between the cultures. This event connects us by our common experiences and strengthens our shared Nordic pride." Just as the Sons of Norway's mission is to celebrate our relationship with other Nordic countries, so too is it the mission of the Scandinavian Hjemkomst festival.

After that, it was back to booth, where I talked with a lot of different people from all over the U.S. It was very cool to meet folks from as far as California and Florida who had made the trip north just for the festival.

Then, today it was more time at the booth meeting with current and prospective members. Each had their own story about how much they were into their Norwegian heritage and culture. Even District 1 President, Bob Hoover, stopped by for a bit to say hello and to help recruit some new members. Good times had by all.

Oh, and as if that weren't enough, our booth backs up against the IcelandAir booth, which was staffed by some corporate folks and Linda from Borton Overseas. So even during the slow times, it's been nice to have good people like them around to chat with and discuss ideas for the future.

Well, it's late and I have the early shift tomorrow at the booth. I'll write more tomorrow or Monday to wrap up the festival.

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