Tag Archives: norway

Askeladden som stjal solvendene til trollet

Askelladen who stole the Troll’s Silver ducks

Informant: Askeladden is a folk hero who is the main character of a few different stories in Norwegian culture. This is the most famous story according to my Informant’s time growing up in Norway. The tale goes that there is a Troll with many riches and askeladden is ordered by his king to steal The troll’s silver ducks amongst various other riches. He also tricks the troll’s daughter to give him her knife which he uses to cut of her head. He feeds it to the troll who thinks he is eating askeladden and tricks him.

Context: My informant had the least to say about this story. He said he mostly just knew that askeladden is a hero in many stories this being one of them. He had a hard time remembering all of this story because he said it had been so long since he tried to remember them. I believe there is a chance that since he was growing up there was not a lof of significance at least with this story to himself and that is why he remembers the other stories better.

Analysis: It is hard to give a full analysis of this text using only information from my informant because of the amount of content relating to this story. Again this story is similar to tales we learn as kids in America with the hero tricking the main enemy and defeating him in order to gain riches or because of orders from the king etc… I guess that Askeladden is a hero type that does no wrong and that all Norwegian kids should strive to be more like him.

Ostenfor sol og vestenfor mane

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

Informant: This is a tale that is commonly known amongst the people of Norway. My informant told me it is like a common tale that would be told in the United States. Kind of like Snow White mixed with Cinderella. The story goes that there is a poor family with many kids. There is a white bear comes to the house of the family and offers riches in return for the most beautiful and youngest daughter of the family. The youngest goes with the bear to the castle. The bear turns back into a human but is called to his stepmother’s castle that is East of the Sun and West of the moon but has to marry her ugly princess daughter. The rest of the story is the youngest beautiful daughter must embark on a quest to save the bear prince and find true love.

Context: My informant remembered this story being a popular one in his town where he grew up. It was just a common story to know, everyone knew it just like Cinderella in the United States. It was hard for my informant to exactly pin where he first learned the story, but said it gets referenced in schooling somewhat often especially at a young age. My informant guesses it was his mother or an early grade school teacher who first taught him the story.

Analysis: The moral of the story from what I understand is that from the poor family’s perspective, they helped the bear but in return for riches. The story is also about the young girl’s journey to save the bear prince because he is in “danger” and she finds him and it is true love after all. These Norwegian stories morals and values are a bit hard to define especially because my informant has to remember them from a long time ago, in his head which is in Norwegian, then translate it to English so I could write them here. There was almost certainly parts of the story lost because it had been so long and due to translation.

Norwegian Viking Festival at Avaldsnes

Context: My informant remembers a viking festival that is celebrated in his hometown of Tonsberg in Norway. The name of the Festival is where it takes place in the viking village known as Avaldsnes, yearly. They would all gather around the town square as a viking holiday sometimes putting on viking costumes and eat really good food with all his friends and family around.

Context: Tonsberg was a viking trade center and had one of the biggest fortresses in Norway. Tongsbergw as established as a center of power. The place continues for hundreds of years to be rules by kings and cheftains and things like that.

Analysis: The Norwegian Viking holidays, of which there are plenty, usually consist of celebrating a battle or conquest and having a day to remember the triumphant vikings. InAvaldsnes it is more about the history of the city and how it has stood for so long that the people celebrate.

Norwegian Independence Day

Informant: Every single 17th of May, which is Norway’s independence day, Everyone dresses up in traditional outfits from way back in the day and walk in a mass downtown. Usually the large group consists of mostly kids walking down the big street dressed in tradition old Norwegian style of clothing. My informant remembers walking down the street with the people waving and cheering for them including his family on the side of the road.

Context: Similar to The many different independence days celebrated around the world, Norway doesn’t differ much. It is a day to remember their independence where everyone celebrates, and is usual, the kids get celebrated the most.

Analysis: This Norwegian Festival is similar to something like the Fourth of July here in America. We celebrate us becoming our own country and have always celebrated since. Norway celebrates every single may 17th the day they got their independence day.

Olsok Day

Informant: July 29th when Olaf the holy (olav den hellige) died in a grand battle in 1030. After he died, that is commonly referred to at least in Norway as the end of the Viking age. He had red cheeks while he was buried, this is a symbol that he was still alive as he was being buried. This is where Christianity took over.

Context: My informant learned of this information from his Parents when he was younger. When he used to live in Norway he would “celebrate” this day on July 29th. His parents instilled values and taught him using old stories of the viking age, personally to my informant he liked to celebrate this Holiday because it reminds him of his parents and their teachings, as well as his own history in Norway.

Analysis: This holiday in Norway is certainly an interesting on with some serious dichotomy. On one hand the people love their viking roots and celebrating a holiday where the viking age ended and Norway was “colonized” into Christianity might be a slippery slope. On the second hand there are certainly more religious people who treat it as a proper holiday. For some it is a day of remembrance and hold more weight than for others.