Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ingebretsen's: Supporting Heritage and Sons of Norway

Sons of Norway is pleased to announce that Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts has joined the 2014 International Convention family of sponsors!

Founded in 1921, Ingebretsen’s is the Twin Cities’ oldest retail business dedicated completely to Scandinavian foods and products. It’s been family-owned and operated for more than 90 years and it's a local institution. For generations it has remained a neighborhood market and meeting place - a source of familiar faces and reliable goods. It is also a stop for visiting dignitaries and celebrities, and a popular destination for a steady stream of regular folks and tourists who are just passing through town.

At Ingebretsen's, the neighboring countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland live quite harmoniously under one roof. In the meat market, Swedish sausage lies amiably next to its Norwegian and Danish counterparts. Lefse mingles with lingonberries. Sardines are next to herring. Next door, in the gift shop, Finnish crystal sparkles on a shelf with Danish porcelain and Icelandic ceramics. Sterling jewelry from Norway rests near linens from Sweden. Visitors of all nationalities will enjoy many rich and varied examples of Scandinavian culture.

What’s even better is that Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts has a great online shop for anyone who lives outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul community! With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can order everything you might need for the Christmas, Syttende Mai, birthday gifts, or “just because” gifts for your favorite Norwegian!

I hope you will take a moment to visit their website and support a great local company that has supported the Norwegian American community for nearly a century.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cruising the Northern Lights with Borton Overseas

Have you ever wanted to see the Aurora Borealis up close? How about witnessing the sleek beauty of whales or the areal ballet of migrating sea birds? If any of these excursions sound intriguing, then you’ll definitely want to know about the new Aurora Borealis Cruise Including Spitsbergen & Bear Island from International Convention sponsor, Borton Overseas!

On this 7-day cruise, you will explore the natural beauty, the history, and the flora and fauna of the Arctic region, which has been the destination for explorers, researchers, and visitors from around the world. The wildlife viewing is breathtaking: a walrus sunning on a beach or a lone seal on an ice floe; a polar bear bounding across the tundra or taking an afternoon swim. In September you will have the opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) at sea and while on land. You’ll leave with a feeling of admiration for those who make this region home, and for those who explored before you!

Over the course of the week-long trip you will visit Oslo, Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Bear Island, the Barents Sea, and Tromsø.

To learn more about this amazing journey, visit Borton Overseas’ website by clicking here. If this trip isn’t to your liking, don’t forget that Borton offers nearly 175 ready-made itineraries and endless possibilities for custom journeys! And don’t forget, members who book their travel through Borton Overseas are eligible for a 5% discount!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mix Diskerud Playing in World Cup

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup is captivating sports enthusiasts around the world, keep an eye out for Mikkel "Mix" Diskerud. You may remember seeing him in the April 2013 issue of Viking. Diskerud is midfielder for the U.S. World Cup team. The 23-year-old grew up in Oslo and has been playing soccer since the age of 5. With an American mother and Norwegian father, he's eligible to play in both the U.S. and Norway. He's one of the sports rising stars and plays for Rosenborg Ballclub in Trondheim.

Follow Diskerud on Twitter, and check out this video to get to know him better.

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Music Festival Round-Up

Looking to listen to some live music this summer in Norway? From jazz to rock, here are a few upcoming music festivals to check out.

Kongsberg Jazz Festival 
July 2–5, 2014
Performances by: Stevie Wonder, Jarle Bernhoft, Jamie Cullum

Molde International Jazz Festival 
July 14–19, 2014
Performances by: Ylvis, Jarle Berhoft, Waldemar 4

Bukta Tromsø Open Air Festival 
July 14–19, 2014
Performances by: Patti Smith, Mari Boine

Øya Festival 
August 5–9, 2014
Performances by: Outkast, Janelle Monáe, Todd Terje

Oslo Jazz Festival 
August 11–16, 2014
Performances by: Tord Gustavsen, Lill Lindfors

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Peaceful Countries

The Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks nations according to their level of peace based on 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators, such as level of safety and the extent of conflict. Europe is the most peaceful region, with small stable democracies, including Nordic countries, ranked very high. Norway ranks #11 out of 162 countries. Here's a look at the world's most peaceful countries according to the 2013 Global Peace Index.

#1 Iceland
#2 Denmark
#3 New Zealand
#4 Austria
#5 Switzerland
#6 Japan
#7 Finland
#8 Canada
#9 Sweden
#10 Belgium
#11 Norway
#12 Ireland
#13 Slovenia
#14 Czech Republic
#15 Germany

Learn more about the study and search for specific statistics by country at Vision of Humanity.

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Royal News!

According to a new poll by Norstat on behalf of NRK, 82 percent of Norwegians say they support the royal family and do not want another form of state. This is an all-time high, as polls have historically shown that 60-70 percent of the population supports the monarchy. Norway’s recent bicentennial may be a reason people are more engaged in the monarchy than usual.
Princess Ingrid Alexandra
Photo: Sølve Sundsbø, the Royal Court

Have you ever wanted to visit the Royal Palace? As summer kicks off, guided tours are available to the public in both Norwegian and English. Tours at the Royal Palace in Oslo run from June 21-August 17, 2014. Tours at Oscarshall run now through September 14, 2014. Check here for visitor information.

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sons of Norway Welcomes New International Convention Sponsor

Sons of Norway is pleased to announce that Borton Overseas has joined our 2014 International Convention family of sponsors as our Official Travel Sponsor. This is very exciting news, and further strengthens the relationship that has long existed between Sons of Norway and Borton Overseas.

For many years now, Borton has offered all members a 5% discount on packages booked through them. In recent years, Borton has also been the title sponsor of Sons of Norway’s Norwegian Experience recruitment contest, which awards an all-expenses paid trip of a lifetime to Norway to one member and their guest.

For these reasons and many more, Borton Overseas is a valued Sons of Norway partner and we encourage you to take a moment and visit their website to learn about all the great travel opportunities they offer. Not only do they have a number of great travel packages, their staff of Scandinavian experts can help you create a custom travel experience to help you and your family connect with your roots.

Just imagine spending a family vacation on an arctic king crab safari, or a biking trip through Norway, or spending a relaxing vacation at Borton’s own Trollstigen Resort in Andalsnes. All these opprotunities and more await you when you visit our International Convention Sponsor at