Thursday, June 19, 2014

Culture Day 2014: Norway

Every summer when Karin and her 
family comes out to visit we do a family 
culture day, where we teach all the kids
about different culture from around the world.  
We have covered Japan, Cambodia, India,
(Click on the links to see all the fun pictures from those culture days)

This year we decided to do:


Our ancestors are from Norway so it is a really special
country and culture for our family.  And now that Disney 
has set one of their most famous movies, Frozen, in this
beautiful country, we thought it would be fun to teach the 
kids a little this fascinating country.

We began the evening with a 
Smorgasbord dinner.  These types of dinners 
are very common in Norway.  A smorgasbord is a buffet 
that offers a large variety of hot and cold meats, 
salads, cheeses, relishes, smoked and pickled fish and hors d'oeuvres.
We decided to leave out the smoked and pickled fish ... I think it was 
a smart decision.  The kids absolutely loved the buffet
there were so many different fun things to try!

My creative mom set the 
table to look just like the Norwegian flag!
She also used Norwegian candelabras that she 
brought back from one of her Scandinavian trips.

The rest of the evening was divided up 
into different stations my sister Jenny and my 
mom had set up throughout our parents' house.

Our first stop was out on the patio to 
learn about a traditional form of Norwegian 
painting called Rosemaling. 
 Rosemåling is Norwegian for decorative painting
 and is a style of painting on wood that uses 
stylized flower ornamentation, scrollwork, lining and
 geometric elements, often in flowing patterns.  Jenny gave a short
presentation on this beautiful art form, then we all had the chance
to color some Rosemaling ourselves.  The kids loved it!

 I am going to include some of the slides from 
Jenny's presentation about how
Disney really incorporated Norwegian culture 
into their latest blockbuster, it really is so fascinating 
the research their team does on the different places in which their movies are set.

Here are just a couple examples of the rosemaling 
they have in the movie.  But if you look for it you can find 
it throughout the whole film, it's really cool

Next we learned about Viking ships
Andrew spent all day putting together this 
awesome model ship.  Then all the kids had 
the opportunity to make their own ships
out of cardboard boxes.  Unfortunately I didn't 
get and pics of that.

Then we moved on to a station 
where Karin showed us this gorgeous painting 
she had started back in college from a picture from our family 
trip to Norway.  We talked a little bit about day to day life in 
Norway, and some traditional customs.

Another random Frozen tidbit:

The horses in the film are fjord ponies. 
This type of horse is famous for it's 
unusual mane and is found in the mountainous 
regions in Norway.

Our next station was back to the kitchen 
to learn about the beautiful native costumes 
of Norway!  This was really fun to learn about!
Then we all took turns dressing up and having a
good time in our iphone photo booth.

In frozen, Kristof is a Sami, the indigenous 
people of the Scandinavian area.  As you can
see Disney did a good job of dressing him in their 
traditional outfit.

Evie is modeling the Santa Lucia dress and 

Jenny made this dress herself in high school
she even did all the intricate needle point!

Then we headed down to the craft room
to learn about trolls!

Trolls play a huge part in Norse mythology 
and scandinavian folklore.  Jenny read us 
a few stories involving mischievous trolls
then all the kids made their own trolls out of clay,
rocks and moss.  They all turned out so adorable!

We brought these trolls back from our 
family trip to Norway

Our final stop of the night was to have
some of the delicious rice pudding with 
homemade raspberry sauce my dad 
had spent all evening making for us!

It is a Norwegian Christmas tradition to hide an
almond in one of the servings of pudding 
and whoever gets the almond is blessed with
good luck for the whole new year.
Ben was the lucky one got the almond
and good luck for the rest of the year!

Thomas doing my hair while 
we ate our dessert

Then we ended the night with
a showing of frozen for all the littles.
Hopefully that movies means more to them now!

One last cool fact about 
the movie, even though Jenny
shared a lot more with us,
the church where Elsa's coronation
takes place, is modeled after a real church in Norway. 

A big, big thank you to 
my sister Jenny and my mom
for putting this whole evening together!
It was so much fun and we all learned SO much
about the amazing country of Norway!

1 comment:

  1. great pictures! So glad you documented it, as I was too busy to take many pictures. The Viking ship ended up being done on the next day; it has 6 boxes, each with a shield painted on each side, for the kids to sit in and going adventuring on the high seas. Karin painted a tall dragon's head on the front made up of two boxes, so it is quite high, and a curling dragon's tail on the last box. Vikings sailed to America, Greenland, Iceland. Scotland, England, France (Normandy means land of the North men), and on rivers into Russia, and down to the Black Sea where they could enter the Mediterranean Sea for adventures in sailing with the Vikings could take you a lot of interesting places!!!