17th May 2018

Last Thursday, May 17th, Cardiff Bay came alive with brass band music and happy children waving flags, as the Norwegian contingent in South Wales took to the streets to celebrate their national day. It was a gloriously sunny day, and the Norwegians wearing traditional costumes and their very finest clothes, paraded in traditional fashion from the Millennium Centre to the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, where they celebrated their country’s independence.

 

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The Norwegian independence day is still celebrated with great enthusiasm all over Norway. It is impossible to overestimate how important this day is to most Norwegians. Norway is quite a young nation, having received its independence from Sweden is 1905, and it is after all not very long ago that Norway was occupied during the Second World War. So people feel it is most definitely worth celebrating that it is a free country in peacetime. You will see no guns and tanks in the streets in Norway during their celebrations, rather the streets are filled with happy children and adults carrying Norwegian flags and shouting hurray, accompanied by brass bands. It is the people's, and especially the children's day.

Norwegian groups all over the world celebrate in the same way, and in the UK there is a large and very popular celebration in Southwark Park in London, every year attended by thousands of Norwegians. In Cardiff, the celebration is led by the Welsh-Norwegian society, a society started to strengthen the Welsh-Norwegian relationship. People come from all over South Wales and the West Country to celebrate.

This year, as is tradition by now, the group congregated outside the Millennium Centre, where they started off the day with some songs, then paraded to the Norwegian church and arts centre. Here the Norwegian flag was raised and the national anthem sung, accompanied by the Salvation Army band. The group moved inside where they this year were entertained by a string quintet from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, playing pieces by Grieg. Later there were speeches and a wreath laying ceremony in memory of the people who have fallen during the World Wars. The event was rounded off with coffee, cakes and waffles in traditional Norwegian style, and at the end there were children’s games on the lawn. Finally – the Welsh Norwegian Society had a Norwegian style buffet meal with a Norwegian twist for members. The Norwegian Church Arts centre is always very supportive of the 17th of May celebrations and do everything they can to support the event, something the WNS is very grateful for.

All in all it was a lovely day. Cardiff Bay showed off its best side, with sparkling seas, a warming sun and a clear blue sky. The parade livened up the streets with colourful national costumes, with sparkling traditional jewellery and red, white and blue flags. Outside the church, the Norwegian flag waved leisurely against the blue skies, framed by green leaves and the pretty white church, much like it might have welcomed the weary Norwegian sailor all those years ago.

Cardiff Council has launched a public consultation on the economic vision for the city

Dear Friends in the Welsh Norwegian Society,

Cardiff Council has launched a public consultation on the economic vision for the city, based on the Green Paper Building More and Better Jobs. The paper considers a range of issues for Cardiff, as well as proposed projects to help improve the city’s economy. It also outlines a proposed spatial strategy for the future development of the city.

We are seeking the views of people in Cardiff to help inform the development of a White Paper to be published this year.

Responses are welcome until the end of March from anyone and do not have to specifically answer the questions included in the paper. These are intended only as a guide to help shape discussion and responses.

Please click here for more details, including the full paper and how to respond:

As we would like to reach as many people as possible, please share this with friends and colleagues. 

 

Sommerakademiet visit

Artists and makers from Sommerakademiet is visiting South Wales at the end of April. If you like to join them on one of the days please get in touch for more info. Full itinerary will be sent to all members of WNS.

Sommerakademiet is run by the artist and textile maker Karin Flatoy Svarstad and is aiming to communicate arts and culture related activities from rural Norway. They are based at the West Coast of Norway, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane og Møre og Romsdal and have had a focus on Shetland, Orknøyene, Færøyene, Hebridene og Island.

This is the first time they are visiting Wales, and they would like to develop stronger bonds with Welsh artists and makers. They will be will be bringing a group of about 30-40 felt makers and artists in wool and textile to South Wales and they have invited members of the Welsh Norwegian Society to join them.

They will be visiting Cardiff on the Saturday with Craft in the Bay, Millennium Centre and the Norwegian Church, at Wonderwool aon the Sunday, at the Ceilidh in Newport on Tuesday 1st May or West Wales on Wednesday. 

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January Social round-up

All this cold and crisp weather is almost making our Norwegian members homesick! Our February meeting will warm you up! Speaking of warm, the January meeting was lovely, informative and hopefully resulted in some woolen creations. January’s coffee and cake meeting had a different activity with a focus on knitting and crochet. WNS member Dr Torunn Kjølberg delivered an interesting talk about Norwegian knitting culture and history, and we had a live demonstration on how wool yarn is spun by Gillian Thomas.

 Dr Torun Kjolberg speaking about Norwegian history and tradition of Knitting, showing a Marius patterend jumper

Dr Torun Kjolberg speaking about Norwegian history and tradition of Knitting, showing a Marius patterend jumper

 Gillian Thomas brought her spinning wheel and happily demonstrated how to spin wool for knitting 

Gillian Thomas brought her spinning wheel and happily demonstrated how to spin wool for knitting 

Concert with Engegård Quartet

On March 6th in St. David's Hall, Cardiff there will be a lunchtime concert at 1pm with the outstanding, multinational Engegård Quartet! They will be performing Haydn - String Quartet op.76 no.2 and Grieg - String Quartet in G-minor op.27. Members of WNS are invited to meet up before the concert for socialising and an informal lunch. Get in touch for more information or check out the quartet's homepage.

 Engegård Quartet, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Mars 6 at 13:00 - 14:00

Engegård Quartet, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Mars 6 at 13:00 - 14:00

God Jul, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

2017 WNS Christmas celebrations

Sunday December 17th the Welsh Norwegian Society hosted a Christmas party, known as Juletrefest in Norwegian, at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff. People from all generations; children, adults and seniors joined the Society and filled the Norwegian Church with lively and festive celebrations. Astrid Sandvand Dahlen from the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in London sang Norwegian Christmas songs such as Glade JulDeilig er Jorden and Nordnorsk Julesalme, and her beautiful voice really set the tone for Christmas!

Members of the Society joined in to decorate the Christmas tree and make traditional Norwegian cakes for the party so that we could serve pepperkaker (gingerbread), kransekakestenger, kakemenn, kokkostopper and krumkaker with whipped cream and fresh berries. There is nothing like home baked Christmas cakes!

The raffle tickets had an overwhelming amount of prices, consisting of a variety of Norwegian food and sweets such as marsipangris (marzipan), kransekake, gløgg (mulled wine), brunost (brown cheese), surkål (sauerkraut) and rødkål (red cabbage), as well as CDs with Norwegian Christmas songs. Father Christmas also took the time to meet all the children and he brought presents to every child as he told us the story of when he got stuck in the chimney. Very popular! (Thanks Paul!)

And as Norwegian traditions goes, we danced and sang around the Christmas tree with young and old joining in, showing that the old notes of ‘Nå går vi rundt om en einebærbusk’ are still well remembered, and the children of whom some have never experienced this old Norwegian tradition, really joined in with great enthusiasm. 

We would like to thank all those who came for contributing to such a successful event, let us do it again next Christmas!

The next meeting in the Norwegian Church will be on Sunday January 28th. We will be having the traditional social gathering with coffee and homemade cakes and this month’s activity for the young and old will be knitting and crochet. So bring some wool, your knitting needles or, if you do not have anything we will be using our hands to finger knit, and Wenche will give us an insight in the Norwegian long traditions of knitting through the dark winter months to keep us snuggled up by the fire in the cold winters.

February’s meeting will be hosted in Swansea at Cinema & Co. and further information will follow, so stay tuned into twitter @WelshNorwegian or look at www.welshnorwegian.org for more information.

If you haven’t already joined a member to the Welsh Norwegian Society we hope you will join us and take part in our community. To join or renew you have to pay a small membership fee. This contribution allows us to organise the social gatherings and run our website.

 

 

 

Cardiff Bay controversial Dolffin Quay development plans withdrawn

The Welsh Norwegian Society, having objected to the plan to build on a large scale in Cardiff Bay (which would overshadow the Norwegian Church) is very relieved that the plan has been dropped.

 Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay

Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Cardiff Bay

The Norwegian Seamen’s Church has been “a little piece of Norway” in the dock area of Cardiff for 150 years, and when it ceased to function as a seamen’s church, it first was adopted by Lutheran congregations around Cardiff but was eventually closed in the 1970s.  A Trust was formed so that the very characteristic church building might be saved, and in due course the Church was demolished and rebuilt on its present site, being reopened as the Norwegian Church Arts Centre by Princess Märtha Louise of Norway in April 1992.  Many people involved with the Trust helped to start the Welsh Norwegian Society which has met at the Norwegian Church since 1995 and has ever since been a means of promoting and  disseminating Norwegian culture and bringing together those with an interest in Norway, including many of Norwegian nationality and descent.  The Church and the Society alike have benefited from the Cardiff Hordaland twinning link.

2017 Autumn Newsletter

Dear members of Welsh Norwegian Society and new prospective members.


The WNS committee would like to thank you for your ongoing support and interest in our Welsh Norwegian Society.

The 2017 autumn newsletter is here, with information about the Annual General Meeting and 2017/18 WNS membership (which is renewed this month).

2017 Annual General Meeting, new committee and social meetings.

WNS Membership and membership fee for 2017/18.

2017 Annual General Meeting


On September 23rd 2017 the Annual General Meeting was held in the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff. Several points were discussed, the main ones being the election of a new committee and planning the Christmas program. As a consequence of last year’s changes to make the social gatherings more family friendly, a lot of new members have joined WNS. This has also attracted a greater interest in participating in the Society and as a result we elected a new committee for 2017/18, with a healthy mix of new and long-standing members.

However, before we introduce the new committee we would like to thank the former committee members whom with admirable dedication and passion has over many, many years served the Society. They initiated and organised several successful events and traditions like the Norwegian Constitutional Celebration on May 17th, allowing members and non-members to celebrate this special day with a parade and Norwegian folk music, followed by the traditional coffee and waffles at the Norwegian church in Cardiff Bay. They organised the lovely St Hans Midsummer Garden party and ‘juletrefest’ in in the Norwegian Church with traditional Christmas songs and dance around the Christmas tree. We would like to thank the former chair Averil Goldsworthy, treasurer Tony Olavesen, members secretary David Nicholls, and committee members Mary Allen and Karen Allen for all their hard work and commitment to the Welsh Norwegian Society.

The newly elected WNS Committee 2017/18.

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From the left: Adila Lundin, Anne Kirsti Kirby, Tyra Oseng-Rees, Wenche Davies, Alan Hall, Johan Butenschøn Skre and Ebba Lovering.

As a results of the election Alan Hall was re-elected in his position as secretary. Tyra Oseng-Rees was elected as the new chair of the Socitey, Adila Lundin as treasurer and Johan Butenschøn Skre as the new membership secretary. Wenche Davies, Anne Kirsti Kirby and Ebba Lovering are continuing in the committee as Committee Members. We are very pleased that the new committee is a mix of long-standing and new members, all of whom are eager to continue developing WNS's work for its members.

In the weeks to come we will find our footing as a group and start planning meetings and events leading up to Christmas. 


Following that is the November meeting on the 26th, same time and place. This meeting will focus on preparing for Christmas and we will be making traditional Norwegian Christmas decorations. Also, starting from October meeting, we will change the payment for cakes and coffee to make it more fair. Instead of everyone paying we pay £1 per slice of cake and £1 for coffee. So please bring some cash,

Our Christmas celebration will follow on Sunday 17th December and we have decided that we will be continuing the family friendly tradition with a daytime celebration and we have sent an invitation to Julenissen (Father Christmas) and asked if he has got time in his busy schedule to visit us. We will keep you posted with further information and how to book a space.

We hope that you will join us at the social gatherings and if you have any ideas or wishes for the future please do not hesitate to email us with your ideas and thoughts.

 

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Nordland - Foto: Johan Butenschøn Skre

2017/18 Membership

We want to make sure you get the most out of your membership and the WNS community. The annual £10 membership fee allows us to organise social events, run our webpage and newsletters and hopefully come up with other events or offerings that you will enjoy. The membership fee is payable by BACS transfer, cash or cheque, and should be paid by October 30th.
Cash can be given to Adila or Johan at Sunday's meeting.

Cheques are made payable to The Welsh Norwegian Society and can be posted to:
Adila Lundin
7 Pen-y-Wain Road
Cardiff
CF24 4GB

Bank transfers are paid to:
The Welsh Norwegian Society
Sort code: 30-91-18
Account number: 02856244

PayPal is being set up, but not yet ready.

Annual General Meeting 2017

The Welsh Norwegian Society held its Annual General Meeting at it's spiritual home, the Norwegian Church and Arts Centre.

As well as ensuring the constitution was brought up to date key positions within the Society were voted upon and a new committee elected.

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Dr Tyra Oseng-Rees was elected to the position of Chair person of the Society. Dr Oseng-Rees wishes to build upon the previous work of the committee and grow the numbers of the Society as well as ensuring the Society continues to develop its digital presence in the multimedia world.

Alan Hall continues in his long established role as Secretary providing continuity to the committee and ensuring the long held traditions of the Society will be maintained.

Adila Lundin has been elected as the new Treasurer. Johan Butenschoen Skre has been elected as Membership Secretary. Wenche Davies, Anne Kirsti Kirby and Ebba Lovering were elected as committee members.

The Society will now commence its Autumn programme and planning for Christmas celebrations will soon begin. If you wish to become a member or would like to contribute in any way then please contact us at contact@welshnorwegian.org