Thursday, February 4, 2010

If only they knew...

Have you ever been asked, "What is unique about you?" I'm sure you have. How do you answer that question, when that which was unique is no longer unique?

Let's say that you knit. Now a lot of people don't knit, so that would make you unique. Now, let's say you go to a knitting convention where everyone knits. You can no longer claim that knitting makes you unique.

That is my problem. In Minnesota, it is unique to speak Norwegian, know about the Norwegian culture, etc. What makes me unique? I speak Norwegian. Here, obviously, that is not so unique. Not that I have been asked that question, but I would like to find a new answer to the question anyhow. Just one of the many ways I am trying to figure myself out here in Norway.

I have found that nearly every Norwegian who finds out that I am from the US and speak Norwegian, their initial reaction is "why?" It was cute for a while, but I started thinking...do these Norwegians realize that back in Minnesota (and probably other places) there are people who dedicate part of their life to, for instance, work at Skogfjorden (Norwegian language camp), build a Scandinavian Ice Shanty, go to Scandinavian happy hour, teach/learn Norwegian at Mindekirken and host a Scandinavian Film Festival? That there are people who TRY to do things Norwegian and have fun doing it?

If only Norwegians knew how big of a Norwegian community there is in Minnesota, maybe they wouldn't be so shocked that there are, in fact, Americans who choose Norway and Norwegian for a reason.

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