A Day Filled With Stories: Scandinavian Festival
Saturday I was delighted to take part in a long-established tradition in this area, the annual Nordik Council Scandinavian Festival. This coalition of Nordik organizations has been sponsoring this event for twenty-three years, but it was my first opportunity to participate. I expected an eager and interested crowd, which was the case. I planned to do some holiday shopping, and succeeded on that count quite nicely. I chatted about my book and sold many copies, which was delightful!
Throughout the day I enjoyed the continuous stream of instrumental and vocal music along with folk dance demonstrations. The aroma of authentic foods being served in a nearby room offered temptations, too.
The unexpected bonus beyond these entertaining experiences was how many people spontaneously offered personal or family stories about the effects of the German occupation and other war-years anecdotes.
One young visitor reported seeing a poem while visiting the Resistance Museum in Oslo. It struck her as quite beautiful and she offered to send it to me. I’m delighted to provide it here, with tusen takk to Megan for her willingness to share:
The First Song
By Per Sivle
The first song I ever heard
when in my cradle lying
was mother’s heartfelt lullaby
which ended all my crying.
It gently lulled me into sleep
her words could soothe me only.
They pointed out a way so grand
far from our cottage lonely.
Oft when I rest my weary eyes
I see that road so clearly
A smiling angel standing there
and none can smile so dearly.
When I am worn by pain and strife,
and dark seem my tomorrows,
I hear faint sounds from Mother’s grave
the song that heals my sorrows.
This was just one of many anecdotes and experiences that visitors shared. All were as engaging as the people who told them, and many were so unique and intriguing that they may well find their way into the sequel I’m attempting. Each had that distinctive blend of strength, humor, and national pride that I have come to expect from the people of that period in Norway’s history.
This may have been my first time at the Scandinavian Festival, but it certainly won’t be the last!