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A Gathering of Norwegians in Colorado

This week I have had a chance to get in touch with my Norwegian roots. I served as a delegate from my Fjelldalen Lodge #162 to the District Six Sons of Norway biennial convention in Loveland, Colorado. In a nod to our state’s mining heritage, we used the theme, Mining Our Heritage.

What a great opportunity to meet with fellow Americans of Norwegian descent and to engage in the fraternal aspect of our organization! Folks came from Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and all over Colorado. We enjoyed these activities even as we conducted the business of the convention:

  1. A heritage night where many delegates donned their traditional native costumes, or bunads, and modeled them for the group,
  2. A folk art competition where members submitted their Norwegian craft work, including hardanger embroidery, wood carving, and rosmaling for competitive evaluation, and
  3. Daily snacks of cookies made from traditional Norwegian recipes.

I do not have a bunad, so I wore my Norwegian sweater (the hotel was really cold although it was nearly 100 degrees outside) for the heritage night. I contributed some cookies for the snack table. Perhaps I should have entered some of my hardanger embroidery for the competition, but I did not take the time to prepare anything. Those who did earned ribbons for their efforts.

When I returned home, I had a letter from the Sons of Norway waiting for me. It informed me that I have earned the Level I Cultural Skills pin for proficiency in Hardanger embroidery. Earlier this spring, I had submitted to the national organization photos of three Hardanger embroidery pieces I stitched over the winter—a sugar and cream doily, a hexagon-shaped doily, and a bookmark. The pins tells me that I have mastered the basic Hardanger stitches. Maybe I should take the time to prepare and embroidered piece for competition at the next biennial convention.

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