Danish Cultural Conference,
Oregon and SW Washington Scandinavian Community: Past and Future, Mike O’Bryant, Executive Director, and Aase Beaulieu, Development Director, Scandinavian Heritage Foundation (SHF), Portland, Oregon
Mike said that Scandinavian
immigration to the
In 1920, there were
50 Scandinavian clubs in
said the SHF has an ambitious goal to build a new Scandinavian Cultural and
Community Center. The site is located
just east of Washington Square Mall, on a nice wooded area of two acres, in
The growth of SHF has been amazing: 75 members in 1997 and now up to 850. SHF programs now include PSU Scandinavian language and literature classes (e.g., Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish), Friday Night lectures (~40-100 attend), Ruth Love Program (outreach to elementary schools), Nordic Business Council lunches, Oregon Lucia Court, ScanFair (largest event of the year, ~5000 attend), Founders Club Reunions, Mid-Summer Festival (~2000 attend), Portland International Film Festival, ScanFest Gala and Auction (biggest fundraiser, ~200-300 attend), Annual Members Meeting and Dinner (to honor all SHF members), Cook-and-Eat classes (~10-30 attend), and other special events and the quarterly SHF newsletter.
A new capital campaign to build the Center was launch in March 2007. The endowment goal is $1,000,000. The Center will have space for classrooms, meeting and office rooms, kitchen, and café and terrace overlooking a pretty marshland. The Center will be 24,000 sq-feet in size, with 16,000 sq-feet upstairs, and 8,000 sq-feet lower-level. For more information: www.scanheritage.org.
Mærsk and Global
Shipping, James Dunn, Key Client Manager, Mærsk, Inc.,
is among the largest global shipping companies with 550 vessels and 1,900,000
containers – operating in 130 countries with its trademark “door-to-door” service. The idea for a shipping company began in Svendborg
in 1904. Company was formally
Mærsk has 110,000 employees today. In 2008, Mærsk was ranked 131st place in the Fortune-500 list. AP Moller once said, “No loss should hit us which can be avoided with constant care. This must be a watchword through the entire organization.” In 2006, Mærsk has 11,000 containers (TEUs).
Retail business is
very important to
More specifics tell
that the “Container Revolution” helped all shipping companies. The average annual growth has been 8.7% since
1980. The Mærsk S-class vessel is 1205
feet long – as the
Mærsk-USA is based
out of Madison NJ with 15,000 employees, 100 offices, and 50 vessels. Ships are flown with the
Pirate attacks are
an old problem with a new face starting in 2007. The Mærsk-Alabama was attacked and taken by Somoli pirates. The Mærsk-Phoenix
was attached on June 22. The
What Makes Danish
Cooking Unique?, Stig Hansen, “Viking Chef”, Author
(and former Portland DBIA #167 President),
is fond of saying, “Danes Live to Eat.”
Food has a connection to history, in our case, from the Viking Era to
the present. Danish food has
traditionally been high in carbohydrates and fat in order to survive the cold
harsh winters. In the early 1800s, the
working class ate rye bread and the nobility ate white bread. During a strike of Danish bakers, Austrian
bakers came to
Meat was a luxury in
the past. Now,
The smørrebrød (i.e., open-face sandwich) is
very popular and unique. The Ida
Davidson Restaurant in
The Danish kolde bord, or “cold table,” offers a buffet of pickled herring, meats, cheeses, then warm fish and a warm meat (e.g., liver pâté, frikadeller), then havarti cheese and sliced radish atop white bread – all accompanied by beer or ice-cold akavit (snaps) with shot-glasses.
There are ~450 inns
Danish cooking is
basic and simple – not fancy. Ironically,
it is getting harder to find Danish cooking in
Stig’s book, Cooking Danish: A Taste of Denmark, was made by compiling family recipes – namely for his adult children. The photographers for his book spent eight days working with Stig and his cooking demonstrations. Go to: http://www.cookingdanish.com.
Danish Porcelain, Sonja
Kromann, Librarian, NOAA National Marine Mammal Lab,
Christmas plates are
the most iconic items of porcelain. A
brief history of porcelain can be traced back to
The porcelain process consists of (1) manufacturer’s artist concept, (2) throwing and molding of the clay, (3) first firing, (4) painting (under-glaze), (5) second firing and glaze, (6) over-glaze decorations, (7) final firing. The white clay is fired at high temperatures, 400 degF, and then 1100 degF.
Porcelain was manufactured under the patronage of the Danish Royal Family. Trademark – three wavy lines. The dinner plates by Danica
have blue flutes as a trademark. Bing
and Grøndahl (1853) started the Christmas plate
series in 1895. Dinner plates are made
by Seagull, Hevon, and Julrose
(book and art dealers). Dahl-Jensen
(1925) worked for Bing and Grøndahl, as a small
artist-family run business, making figurines with denser colors, as did 17
other companies. Aluminia
(1863) makes Christmas plates. Other
companies include Lyngby Porcelain and Rosenthal. Royal
Most porcelain products include dinnerware, vases, figurines and animals, Christmas plates, holiday plates, commemorative plates, pipes, ash trays, and specialty items. Royal Copenhagen Musselmalet Blue-lace is very delicate and intricate. Floria Danica is the top of the line – with $800 to $8000 pieces. The commemorate plate themes include: Mothers Day, Liberation in World War II, Danish history (Dannebrog 1219-1969, or 750 year anniversary of the Danish flag), Childs Day, Aviation History, etc.
Even the Christmas
plates are distinctive. Bing and Grøndahl (1895) uses a Heavenly
Star and no border. Royal
Danish Art of the 19th
Century, Uno Langmann, Gallery Owner & Art
The early 1800s saw
Danish artists, such
as Eckersberg, traveled to
In the late 1800s,
an artist community colony was established at Skagen
(far northern Jutland), which included Peter Kroyer
and Michael Ancher, and did much to bring the new art
form of “impressionism” and “plein aire” to
Many of the wealthy
industrialists of the day were strong supporters of the young Danish
artists. One famous example is Jacobsen
Carlsberg (from the Carlsberg beer company), as seen in the Glypotek
When Uno discovered contemporary art through the purchase of an abstract painting in 1962 by Canadian Jack Shadbolt, and later meeting him, Uno realized that art expresses the true soul and feelings of the artist. Uno has stayed with 19th Century art, as this is the era he prefers, but he emphasized it is important for everyone to collect the type of art that they enjoy.
From Senior Residence
Højskole is located near
From the Farm to the Laboratory – A 1962 Immigrant’s Story, Sven Erik Pedersen, DBIA #167 member, Portland, Oregon
Erik was born in
1944 in Skive, in northern
His first job was that of a farm-hand at 11 years old during the six-week summer break. Formal education ended at the 7th Grade (14 years old). Erik continued to work as a farm-hand for 4 ½ years. Hobbies included reading and listening to the radio. TV was not commonplace yet.
Two uncles in
A bookkeeper became
his mentor who encouraged him to go back to school. Erik enrolled in
Erik’s interest in
education and higher learning prompted him to enroll in
In 1975, the first
professional job came with the oil company, ARCO, as a researcher, in
In 1987, a company
merger and takeover changed the work environment. After being laid off in 1993, Erik went to
In 2001, Union-Carbide was taken over by Dow-Chemical. The workplace worsened. In 2002, Cathy died. By 2006, Erik decided to retire. He had lived the American dream.
Erik moved out to
Erik stressed that
DAHS – October
Conference, Egon Bodtker,
DAHS Board member,
Historical Society was started in 1977. The
DAHS publishes two academic journals per year.
Their third international conference will be October 1st – 3rd
Danish Cartoons – Reflections on Political Caricature, Marianne Stecher-Hansen, Ph.D., Professor of Danish Studies, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
The publications of the 12 controversial cartoons, “Mohammed’s Angst”, occurred on September 31, 2005 in the Jyllands-Posten (JP). Some say that the decision to publish this piece was not prudent. The background history leading to that decision is in order.
The JP invited other
Danish newspaper cartoonists to submit 40 political cartoons, as caricatures. The 12 top cartoons would be published. A caricature is defined as an amusing,
satirical, charged, and loaded news illustration. No major controversy erupted when the July
21, 2008 issue of the New Yorker had their cover piece with the Obamas dressed as terrorists. Why the differences in the
In March 2006, the Danish Public Prosecutor decided not to prosecute the Cultural Editor of the JP, Flemming Rose, as the JP was not in violation of Danish criminal code section 140 and 266 (freedom of speech). These codes protect religious feelings (140) and religious groups (266) from scorn and mockery. The Prosecutor warned that there was not sufficient evidence to violate the code but warned of the limits of free expression. Mr. Rose specialized in Soviet studies and saw a clear link between totalitarian regimes and Islamic fascism. Danish Muslims reject modern secular society and democracy and want their own special rights. The following is what the JP Editor decided to publish.
Cartoon #1: “The Line-up” shows several prominent politicians – all wearing a turban – and the victim is looking for a suspicious character, Mohammed. Cartoon #2 is the least controversial. Cartoon #3: “Crescent Moon” shows the face of a Muslim in the crescent moon, with a star as one eye. Cartoon #4: “Bomb-in-the-Turban” is the most famous, created by Kurt Westgaard (who has received many death threats). He says that the cartoon’s meaning was that not all Muslims are terrorists and criticized Muslims who do terrorists acts in the name of Islam. Cartoon #5: “Horned Mohammed” which also shows a halo superimposed near the horns. This one was even more controversial than the Bomb-in-the-Turban (and similar intent). Cartoon #6: “Islamic Crescent and Head-Scarf” shows the oppression of Muslim women. Cartoon #7: “Sheppard and Donkey.” Cartoon #8: “Nervous Cartoonist” draws his Mohammed cartoon with the shades down and looking nervously over his shoulder, depicting self-censorship and fear. Cartoon #9: “Arab Nights” is a type-cast of “cartoons by Infidels in Jylland” published separately. Cartoon #10: “Blackboard” shows a new (ethnic) Dane (and school boy in the form of Mohammed and as a second-generation emigrant) who is writing on the blackboard, in Farsi and Arabic letters, a message that is critical of JP journalists (poorly received by the Danish Muslims). Cartoon #11: “Mohammed and Two Veiled Women” shows Mohammed with a raised sword and eyes blindfolded and two women staring wide-eyed out of their burkas (who can’t speak out), highlights the hypocrisy of a blinded world-view of Islam. Cartoon #12: “Mohammed in Heaven” shows Mohammed telling the now-killed suicide bombers “that heavenly virgins await you but stop the suicide bombings, because we’ve run out of virgins.”
A Wikipedia search
on “Danish cartoons” reveals much has been written. The Danish Muslim reaction has been muted and
non-violent. Danes have since moved on
from the issue and don’t see it as controversial anymore, unless you’re a
member of the Danish People’s Party.
Kurt Westgaard is seen as the vanguard of Free
Danish Energy and Climate Policy and the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, December 2009, Christian Stenberg, First Secretary, Royal Danish Embassy, Washington DC
(views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Danish Embassy)
The Danish Embassy
has 15 diplomats. Sectors – politics,
economic, and cultural. Goal is to
promote Danish interests in the
The Embassy also
plays host to visiting government officials from
The evidence for
climate change seems human-driven with dramatic increases in world
temperatures, which raised +1.4 degF during
1930-2005. Greenland is 3x the size of
The Kyoto Protocol
(1850-2000) came from:
The negotiations will be bogged down by historical vs. future emissions and developed vs. developing countries. The key topics will be mitigation work, short-and-long term targets of 2020 and 2050, financing (for developing countries), and adaptation strategies.
How would you enforce such an international treaty? It is hard to – maybe fines?
Solutions include a
gasoline tax, build appliances with higher efficiency standards, and grow the
economy with clean-energy (i.e., “green”) jobs.
This was the plan that
Role of Scan| Design by Inger & Jens Bruun Foundation, Mark Schleck, President & Director of the Board, Seattle, Washington
The Scan|Design Foundation (SDF), started in 2002, plays a role
with the American public. The Bruuns moved from
The SDF mission: pain research (33%) and promote Danish-American relations (67%). The SDF is a non-profit that conducts or funds charitable works and pays no income tax. It gives away at least 5% of its assets as grants. The focus of the Danish-American relations includes: art, education, civic and cultural issues. The Board of Directors includes a Chairman (Bob Thompson), Rob Harris, Tage Kristensen, and Mark Schleck. They have two full-time staff.
Examples of grants
include: UW Department of Scandinavian Studies (largest in the
The Pain-Research grants include: International Association for the Study of Pain, UW School of Medicine, and UW Human Interface Technical Lab. Early or promising research has seen some funds. For more info: www.scandesignfoundation.org.
The Northwest Danish
Foundation: A Turn-Around Story, Edith Christensen, Ph.D., NWDF President,
The NWDF started in 1923. The Meridian Office Building (MOB) was bought and leased out to other businesses. As the new President, Edith broke with many traditions to order to save the NWDF. Business-as-usual would not work. She made tough decisions on finances and operations, how to reduce expenses and enhance revenue. The NWDF challenged their property tax bill and got a refund. The Goal is to live within our means. All paid staff were eliminated and now rely entirely on volunteers. Administrative procedures were modernized. The website was re-designed.
The future includes not selling the MOB (some have said “sell the MOB”). This is their biggest most stable asset. Three businesses that had leases with the MOB went bankrupt, so now office space is being leased in smaller areas with an 80% occupancy rate.
The NWDF Bylaws were changed. The Board of Directors of 24 members is reduced to 18. The Board meets monthly instead of quarterly (except summer). The Board members collectively serve as the Executive Director.
There have been over 300 NWDF scholarship recipients over the years. The NWDF needs to tap into that pool and entice younger people to join. Need to increase public relation efforts to attract younger members. Maybe a Menucha-style event but with camping with families could be a winning event. However, there will always be competing interests from soccer and other social clubs.
Note-taker: Kyle Dittmer, Master of Ceremonies, DCC-2009, NWDF member