World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Norwegian diaspora

Article Id: WHEBN0030941449
Reproduction Date:

Title: Norwegian diaspora  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Norwegian New Zealander, Norwegian Australian, Norwegian diaspora, Norwegian Minnesotan, Norwegian Canadian
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Norwegian diaspora

Norway Lutheran Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota
Norwegian Constitution Day dinner in the United States with lutefisk, rutabaga, meatballs, cranberries, and lefse

The Norwegian diaspora consists of Norwegian emigrants and their descendants, especially those that maintain some of the customs of their Norwegian culture. Emigrants became Kola Norwegians, Norwegian Americans, Norwegian Canadians, Norwegian Australians, Norwegian New Zealanders, Norwegian Brazilians, Norwegian Argentines, Franco-Norwegian and Norwegian South Africans.


Norsemen left the area that is now the modern state of Norway in the Viking expansion, including the settlement of Iceland and the conquest of Normandy.[1]

In the 1500s and 1600s there was a small scattering out of Norwegian people and culture as Norwegian tradesmen moved along the routes of the timber trade.[2]

The 19th century wave of Norwegian emigration began in 1825. The Midwestern United States, especially the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota, was the destination of most people who left Norway.[3] The first modern Norwegian settlement in the United States was Norwegian Ridge, in what is now Spring Grove, Minnesota.[4]

As of 2006 there are over 5,000,000 Norwegian Americans.[5] In Canada in a 2006 survey, 432,515 people reported a Norwegian heritage.[6] 55,475 Americans spoke Norwegian at home as of 2000, and the American Community Survey in 2005 showed that 39,524 people use the language at home.[7][8]

Early emigrant communities in the US were an enthusiastic market for books written in Norwegian at least from the 1890s to 1930s. One popular writer for the Decorah-Posten, a major Norwegian-language newspaper in the US, was Torbjørg Lie, who imagined her readers "not so much adopting a new country as living in a diaspora." Meanwhile, newspapers in Norway were also eager to publish letters that recent emigrants had written home, telling of their experiences in foreign countries.[9]

According to scholar Daniel Judah Elazar, "It was the Norwegian diaspora in the United States which initiated the separation of Norway from Sweden, which led to Norwegian independence in 1905."[10] The Norwegian-American community overwhelmingly favored independence of Norway from Sweden, and collecting money for Norwegian rifle clubs in case the conflict should become violent. In 1884, the Minneapolis chapter of Den Norsk-Amerikanske Venstrefoening sent 4,000 kroners to Norway's Liberal Party (the party that favored independence.)[11] Norwegian-Americans campaigned enthusiastically for the US to recognize Norway's independence from Sweden, with petitions and letters arriving in Washington, DC from most major cities. One petition from Chicago's Norwegian community bore 20,000 signatures. President Theodore Roosevelt did not change his stance, however, and remained neutral until after Sweden accepted the change.[12]

Ties to the homeland

The Norwegian Emigrant Museum in Hamar, Norway is dedicated to "collecting, preserving and disseminating knowledge about Norwegian emigration, and to the preservation of cultural ties between Norway and those of Norwegian ancestry throughout the world," according to the museum's website, which states that a million Norwegians emigrated to other countries around the world between 1825 and 2000.[14]

The [15]

The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, is the oldest and most comprehensive museum in the United States devoted to a single immigrant ethnic group. It was founded in 1877 in association with nearby Luther College and re-dedicated in 1975 in a ceremony involving Norway's late King Olav. King Harald V of Norway will be present in October 2012 for the celebration of Luther College's sequicentennial.[16]

Self-identified Norwegians, whether in Norway or elsewhere, celebrate "Syttende Mai" on May 17 as Norwegian Constitution Day. They may hold a children's parade, wear traditional clothing, or display ribbons of red, white, and blue. Norwegians in Sweden maintain their own Norwegian band "Det Norske Korps" for these celebrations.[17]

Members of the Norwegian emigrant community in the United States "took a special pride" in Norway hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.[18]


  1. ^  
  2. ^ Louis Sicking and Harry de Bles and Erlend des Bouvrie, ed. (2004). Dutch light in the "Norwegian night": maritime relations and migration. p. 46.  
  3. ^  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "Census 2006 ACS Ancestry estimates"
  6. ^ "Canada: Ethnic origins, 2006 counts, for Canada, provinces and territories - 20% sample data".  
  7. ^ American Community Survey
  8. ^ United States - Origins and Language - American FactFinder
  9. ^ Gulliksen, Øyvind Tveitereid (2004). Twofold identities: Norwegian-American contributions to Midwestern literature. Peter Lang. pp. 21–22.  
  10. ^ Elazar, Daniel Judah (1996). Kinship and Consent: The Jewish Political Tradition and Its Contemporary Uses. Transaction Publishers. pp. 172–173.  
  11. ^ Lovoli, Odd Sverre (1999). The promise of America: a history of the Norwegian-American people.  
  12. ^ Leiren, Terje I. "American Press Opinion and Norwegian Independence, 1905".  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ "The Norwegian Emigrant Museum". Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  15. ^ "About us: Who we are".  
  16. ^ "Norway's royal couple to visit Luther". LaCrosse Tribune. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  17. ^ "Det Norske Korps". Det Norske Korps. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  18. ^  

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.