The second day of the Seven-Lag stevne was started by a presentation of Norwegian history with major emphasis on the period after Second World War by the acting General Consul in Minneapolis, Mr Ole Øveraas. He gave a brief presentation of the major changes in the Norwegian society, and also emphasised some of the key features in the Norwegian welfare system. There was a number of Norwegian visitors during his presentation, and the General Consul was taken a little by surprise when he was asked to give a short summary of his presentation in Norwegian!!
After this presentation Mr Sidney Rand, former US ambassador in Norway (amongst other honorary titles) gave an interesting presentation of American and Norwegian legacy. His relaxed form of presentation combined with his great knowledge of American and Norwegian history made his time very enjoyable. Although the Norwegian and the American constitution is built upon the same ideals "Everyone shall have the same right to equality and opportunities", he pinpointed how Norway have emphasised on the first expression "Equality" while USA have emphasised the last expression "Opportunities" through the years of time.
As you can see in the program which is found on the web site for the Seven-Lag stevne, there were a number of other forums taking place, both today and during the first day of the presentation. These presentations are not covered in this review because I was busy at the exhibition desk of Emigration Web Norway, they are nevertheless an important part of the comprehensive program this year.
There were specific activities especially arranged for children and young people, in order to attract families and a full range of generations to the stevne.
In parallell with all the forums, there was a hectic athmosphere in Surbeck center where the Lag helped visitors to the stevne with genealogy information, both in the form of general training and by giving a helping hand around specific requests. In addition to the geneology information provided by the Lag, also Vesterheim Museum by Carol Culbertson and Emigration Web Norway presented what they can do for those who look for their ancestors.
Mount Rushmore in daylight
In the evening there was an unforgetable tour to Mount Rushmore, "the Shrine of American Democracy". This giant sculpture of the heads of four very important US presidents is amongst the most known landmark in the whole world. It is visited by more than 3 million visitors every year, and the lightening ceremony accompagnied by "Stars Spangled Banner" was a moment I never will forget.
Before the lightening ceremony , Borgund Lodge entertained with folk dance and Skål Music were playing scandinavian folk music.
Skål Music playing traditional scandinavian folk music
Borgund Lodge dancing and Skål Music playing
Mount Rushmore in artificial evening light
A special thank you to Chet Habberstad - president of Numedalslaget and his wife Marlys who took me to this fantastic event.
Text/photo: Tom S. Lynås