The Cultural Skills Program is open to all Sons of Norway members, both through their lodges or as individual participants. The Cultural Skills Program offered by Sons of Norway serves a variety of purposes:
To encourage active participation in both traditional and contemporary Norwegian-North American pursuits;
To enrich the lives of members of all ages;
To provide the basis for special interest clubs within our lodges; and
To provide new reasons for people to join Sons of Norway.
The awards are as follows:
Specialist: One who wishes to go in depth in one area, e.g. Hardanger embroidery or Rosemaling, etc.
Generalist: One who samples several skills and qualify for the basic level in each, for example: stamp collecting, crafts, and Norwegian foods.
Mentor: One who is skilled in activities offered in the Norwegian Cultural Skills Program can do a different challenge: mentor others who need formal or informal instruction. The mentor is an extremely important person in passing on the Norwegian heritage to others.
Master of Cultural Skills: One who has completed at least three levels of three different skills, or nine individual basic activities.
The Cultural Skills in the program are: Norwegian Cooking, Hardanger, the Norwegian Language, Reading Norwegian Authors, Genealogy, Rosemaling, Hand-Knitting, Dancing, Stamp Collecting, Weaving, Chip Carving, Ornamental Wood Carving, and Figure Carving.
Cultural Programs at meetings.
Cultural programs, selected to learn more about Norway are presented each meeting night (with a few exceptions). Following the potluck dinner and before the general meeting 45 min. to an hour are devoted to learn about different aspects of our Norwegian culture. Following are some of the topics from the past year:
Norwegian Genealogy taught by an expert from Kennewick, WA
Norwegian Weaving taught by two local weavers, complete with slides and hands on learning on a loom
Fjord Horses: A local owner brought her horse and told of their fascinating history
Norway during WWII as told by the son of a member of the Resistance from Portland
The Three Billy Goats Gruff performed in Norwegian by a group of language students of one of our members.
Christmas in Norway: A member's memories of her childhood during the holidays
Life as an American living in Norway for an extended time presented by two local young adults
Tall ships: Two members experience crossing the Atlantic on old ships much like our ancestors
Woodcarving: Presented by an accomplished wood carver from our membership
For more information about the cultural skills medal program or lodge cultural programming, please contact our cultural director: Patti-Jo Meshnik.