June 18, 2015

 

strawberryOne of the things I love most about summertime is picking strawberries.  The hours toiling away to gather those deliciously sweet and succulent berries is still something I look forward to each year, and nothing takes me back to my childhood quite like thinking about the hours I spent doing so with Mormor.

 

 

rødgrødOf course, that feeling may be greatly attributed to the purpose of those hours spent in the hot sun, which I knew would result in loads and loads of rødgrød med fløde!  Although sweet berry pudding with cream is a great motivator (even today), I mostly appreciated those treasured times with Mormor because I learned so much from her.

 

 

small_sisters-gathering-raspberries-and-roses-summer

Painting by Danish painter Ole Henrik Olrik

As we bonded each summer she shared with me so many stories of her childhood growing up in Denmark, giving me a glimpse into my Danish heritage.  I didn’t know then, but she was instilling in me an appreciation for my Danish culture; preserving it for yet another generation.

Through the time spent with our elders we learn about the history, people, culture, language and traditions of our ancestry, and this is why I continue to love spending time with Mormor today.  Each time I visit her at The Danish Home of Chicago, listening to stories and attending their many events, it illuminates aspects of my heritage that I would never have known about.

 

Like The Danish Home, there are many organizations continuously working to preserving Danish culture here in the US.  One of them is the Northwest Danish Association in Seattle, WA.  Established in 1923 as a non-profit to provide a retirement home for elderly Danes in the Pacific Northwest, the NW Danish Association has since expanded to include more activities and programs for all ages.

 NW Danish Assoc.

It features the Seattle Danish Center, a cultural meeting place for Danes and various Danish groups in Seattle, where social programs and luncheons (such as Onsdagskubben) are held for people to connect with Danish traditions and language. The Association enriches community life while serving those in need of our programs across all ages, including children, students, and the elderly.

 

DaneCamp photo courtesy of The NW Danish Assoc.

DaneCamp photo courtesy of The NW Danish Assoc.

The Association works with students by providing language help and support, as well as scholarship programs. Every year the Association also develops educational camps for children. They have created a space that advocates for cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding, notions that have become central in today’s globalizing world. The mission has become broader in that it is not only to preserve, but also share Danish culture, traditions, and values with others.  What a mission!

 

To our venner at The NW Danish Association we say, “Fortsæt det gode arbejde!” (Keep up the good work!)

 

Did You Know:

The Annual Danish Home of Chicago Summer Festival is June 28th.  Learn more about it here!

 

Don’t miss out on your chance to enter our June giveaway and win a vintage bike!