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
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!