Area Norwegians Celebrate May 17th

Twenty-two folks from Belmond, Clarion, Goodell, Kanawha and Klemme celebrated Norway’s constitution day on May 17, 2024 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Belmond.   There five speakers, four tables of displays, an eight-foot-high display of the flags of the United States and the Kingdom of Norway and a dessert table worthy of a Viking chieftain.
   Clad in her Norwegian bunad Sandy Nelson told the guests about the century old, over-sized, altar painting prominently displayed on the north side of the meeting room.   She said it and the even more impressive altar painting at the Saint Olaf Lutheran Church, west of Belmond, were created over a hundred years ago.  The two are survivors of more than one hundred such altar paintings created by a Minnesota artist.    Today they are museum pieces.  Some can still found in churches in the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota.  There are even some in Europe and Asia.
   Attendees Paul Rokke and Luanne Krabbe each gave share and tell presentations.
   Rodger Tveiten, organizer, told about the bi-centennial of Norwegian mass emigration, which started on July 4, 1825 as a sloop with 52 passengers sailed from Stavanger to New York, arriving on October 10, 1825.  He also explained why Norway’s national day is called Syttende Mai and celebrated on May 17th.
   Keynote speaker Gary Berkland gave a 40-minute travelogue of his June 2024 sojourn to Norway above the Arctic Circle and his experiences with indigenous Sami people in and around Alta, Norway.
   During the two hour meeting, group members had two coffee breaks.  The Viking dessert table featured freshly baked Kinslie’s Kringla.  Also featured were Norwegian almond squares, krumkaka, other Norsk treats and Lutheran coffee.
   Attendees received hand-outs about Syttende Mai and were given Norwegian-American magazines to examine and take home.   A project discussed was the funding a twelve month subscription to the Norwegian-American monthly for the Belmond-Talbot library.
   Attendees were asked if they would like to have similar Norway Day gathering next year.   The reply was in the affirmative.  Attendees were invited to take home any left-overs from the dessert table.  They did.  They took everything but the plates and the silverware.
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