Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Norwegianity is Everywhere!

Greetings everyone! Today we have a cool post from our Membership Coordinator, Nichole, about "norwegianity" in the community. Enjoy!

I was at breakfast the other day with friends when I noticed a defacement of the booth that seemed a little familiar. Indeed, I was quite surprised to notice the definitely familiar and Norwegian name: Kjell Barne! Why, I know him…sort of. Some of you may recall the well-received 2001 Norwegian comedy from Petter Næss that centers around Elling, a man with a few quirks and his roommate Kjell Barne and their struggle to live normal lives. This sudden homage to a beloved Norwegian film character brought a smile to my face. What made this even better? Spotting the words “Eg elska Hrafn.” Thanks to the Norwegian national anthem, I was able to spot, recognize and translate these words.

So, what’s the point of this rambling about Norwegian references drawn onto a chair? It was in a Cuban restaurant in South Minneapolis. The idea that amongst all that graffiti, someone had taken a moment to share their Norwegian-ness made me think that there are small ways we can connect with others and share our Norwegian pride on a daily basis. From wearing a Norwegian sweater when it’s chilly to that little flag sticker on your car, sharing your pride in your heritage can be small and connect you to strangers (and potential friends) wherever you go.

And here’s a membership tip: talking about your Norwegianity is a great opening to talk about the benefits of Sons of Norway and to welcome new members to our fantastic organization.

Even better for members? If you haven’t seen Elling, we have it in our Sons of Norway media lending library? Call to reserve your copy today!

Do you have any good examples of random encounters with Norwegianity? Go to Facebook, join our group and add your own photos!


Conor Yunits said...

Eric, can you help me out, how do you pronounce: Lykke til?

We want to wish our new ambassador to Norway good luck!

Andrew Holden said...

@Conor Yunits

Here's some help from Norway:

"Lyh-keh til"

The "eh" is a short, soft "e" as in bed. And the "til" uses a very soft l-sound.

Øyvind said...

Isn't "Eg elska Hrafn" Icelandic for "I love raven"?

nichole said...

Oeyvind, fantastic question! I checked with our resident culture king, Colin, to address your point. He responded with the following: It could be a dialect, it could be Icelandic, or it could be the past tense form of Nynorsk (e.g. I loved raven.).

What got me thinking, though, is that in modern Norwegian (and this was written in a modern context, as the restaurant isn't that old), you generally only capitalize words at the beginning of a sentence or with proper names. So, dear old Colin did a little searching for me and found that there are six men (6!) in Norway with the first name "Hrafn," meaning it could either be the noun, raven, or a proper name.

Still, because of the closeness of the Scandinavian languages, the general meaning of the phrase was conveyed and that still applies to my initial excited observation - that people take the time to assert their nationality wherever they go and that is a great access point for us as SoN members and as culture enthusiasts.