Norwegian Language Blog

Archive for June, 2009

Sami music Posted by on Jun 30, 2009

Traditional Sami music revolves around singing rather than instruments.  In fact, you probably will not find any purely instrumental pieces in true Sami music.  It is the voice that is the most important.  Although the joik (yoik) originally referred to several types of traditional Sami singing, today it refers to all types Sami singing.  The sound of…

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Sami Posted by on Jun 27, 2009

This is a picture of a Sami couple in traditional costume in Oslo on Syttende Mai in 2006. Upon first glance, this word looks like it could be Japanese, but it is not.  The Sami people are the indigenous people that inhabit parts of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.  They are among the largest…

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Midnattsol Posted by on Jun 24, 2009

Norway-land of the midnight sun.  Midnattsol is one of those words that is really two words smushed together that is pretty easy to figure out if you know what sol means from another romance language and if you can figure that midnatt means midnight…  I have only experienced the midnattsol in one place-Norway.  Anywhere north…

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Sankthansaften Posted by on Jun 22, 2009

This is the stavkirke (stave church) in Røldal where people would make pilgramages to the crucifix for it’s healing powers. Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, other northern European countries and even some eastern and southern countries celebrate midsummer, also known in Norway (and Denmark) as Sankthansaften or Jonsok.  Sankt Hans is another way of saying St. Johannes or St. John…

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Bergen-the meadow among the mountains Posted by on Jun 18, 2009

Situated in probably my favorite part of Norway, Bergen got it’s name from the old Norse words “berg” or ”bjørg” (both meaning hill or mountain) and ”vin” (a word which now is the word for wine, but in old Norse meant meadow or pasture).  Bergen is situated among what are known as ”de syv fjell,” which means…

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Rosemaling-an old, but vibrant artform Posted by on Jun 16, 2009

Rosemaling is the term for Norwegian decorative painting (it literally means rose painting (because most of the designs look floral in nature), an artform that originated in the mid-18th century in the lowlands of Norway.  Rosemaling developed when the artistic styles of the upper class, Baroque, Regency, and Rococo were introduced to the lower, rural classes.  This form of…

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To the grill! Posted by on Jun 12, 2009

I guess I’m not sure, but I think everyone likes a good BBQ, right?  Whether you live in South America, the East Indies, or northern Europe, you can’t resist that smoky taste, can you?  Even when it’s below zero here in Minnesota in the wintertime, my honey braves the cold to grill tasty steaks.  Now…

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