Jagged mountains, rocky island clusters, deep fjords — Norway’s landscape can be summed up in one word: dramatic. Far north you’ll find the midnight sun, where the sun shines for 76 days straight in summer. All across the country lie deep, calm fjords: narrow bodies of water that stretch far inland, formed when glaciers melted during the Ice Age. Exploring Norway’s notable landscape is a fun way for the whole family to learn about what makes the country so unique.
Download the November 2016 Family Matters (pdf)
Celebrate heritage and history with the Norwegian language.
Originally a language of runes thought to bestow magical powers on anyone who could write with them, the Norwegian language is spoken by nearly 5 million people today. Learning a new language at an early age is not only great for developing young minds, it passes an important piece of culture through the generations. Norway has three offi cial written languages: Bokmål, Nynorsk and Sámi. It’s never too early to teach the young people in your life a new language.
Download the August 2016 Family Matters (pdf)
Folk Tales, Myths and Legends
Pass Norwegian adventure stories down to younger generations.
Norse folk tales, mythology and legends represent the independence and spirit of Norway. Stories were passed on orally and kept alive by pure memory until the mid-1800s, when two Norwegians, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, began compiling the legends being told all over Norway. The folk tales combined the everyday life of ordinary people with worlds of fantasy, heroes, villains, supernatural beings, kings, trolls and gnomes.
Download the May 2016 Family Matters (pdf)
Celebrating the Sámi
Scandinavia’s indigenous people are a vivid part of the area’s history and culture.
For thousands of years, the Sámi (SAH-mee) have inhabited northern Scandinavia, in a region called Sápmi, which stretches across the high plains of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. The Sámi have their own fl ag, language and Parliament. February 6 marks Sámi National Day, and celebrations abound!
In Tromsø, for example, the festivities span all of Sámi Week, where visitors can watch reindeer racing and lasso-throwing, sample food, attend art exhibits and take language classes. Recognize this day by teaching the young people in your life about the Sámi.
Download the February 2016 Family Matters (pdf)