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The Nordic heritage of Minnesota Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Culture, Geography, History, Swedish Language

I guess this post will be a good continuation of my previous post that was about the Viking heritage of York in England. I am sitting in a kitchen in Hibbing, Minnesota right now and the weather is very hot about 29 C/84,2 F. The air stands still. Not so vikingish but let’s be honest it is always like that. We wait for the summer every year in Scandinavia and when it comes we whine a lot about it, we lower the blinds, plug in the fans and check the weather prognosis every hour and hoping it will soon cool off. It is exactly the same in Minnesota. No wonder it is number one in Nordic heritage.

Hibbing downtown


Nordic heritage number two is obviously people’s last name. Oh I haven’t even told you why I am in Minnesota. My friend Emily is getting married. Emily and I met in Iceland when we were studying there. I was there as a Nordic student and she was there through the University of Minnesota where Professor Lena Normann organizes a summer course each year in Icelandic language for students.

Emily has Swedish, Polish and Luxembourgish roots. Her last name is Ekstrand. Sounds very Swedish to me. Emily and her husband Ben asked me to be a minister at the wedding so we have to go to Duluth in order to get the license. We are all very excited (I am sh*tting my pants basically) Excuse my French. I feel at the same time very honored. This is such a life experience you guys!

I have also met people called Heggedahl, Nystrom, Narveson etc. I have seen signs like: Borgholm, Chisholm, Kalmar, Karlstad, Lindstrom, Malmo, Malung, Mora, New Sweden, Ronneby, Scandia, Stockholm, Svea, Tegner, Upsala just to mention a few. You feel all of a sudden at home. And the people are so extremely nice.

Bride to be

An estimated 1,603,124 people have Nordic heritage in Minnesota which makes the American state the most Scandinavian state of all fifty states. California comes second with an estimated 1,224,541 people who claim to have Nordic ancestors. Washington: 739,043 Wisconsin: 728,248 Illinois: 575,991 Michigan: 403,888 Florida: 355,458 Oregon: 339,031, Iowa: 338, 161, Utah: 333,405(source: Wikipedia)

The latest Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan was born in Duluth but grew up in Hibbing not so far from where I am staying. I had the chance the other day to see the house where he was raised so I thought I would share the picture with you all because I am sure that there are a bunch of Bob Dylan fans out there.

Bob Dylan’s childhood home

From Minnesota with Love xoxo <3

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