I happened to be in Decorah, Iowa last week on Syttende Mai, Norway’s Constitution Day. Decorah goes all out with a Nordic Fest in July, so I knew the Syttende Mai celebration would be low-key. It was, and it was delightful.
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the local Sons of Norway – Valdres Lodge Norwegian Constitution Day Dinner on May 15th, which was a treat even without reference to the holiday. First, I met a lot of lovely people.
Second, I love any gathering that includes traditional foods.
And third, the meal and meeting took place at the beautiful Washington Prairie Lutheran Church outside of town. This was the congregation (then known as the Little Iowa congregation) that called Ulrik Vilhelm Koren to serve as pastor in 1853. Ulrik’s wife Elisabeth accompanied him, and The Diary of Elisabeth Koren, 1853-1855 is a must-read for anyone interested in the immigrant experience.