How can a Scandinavian midsommar be held in the depths of winter, yet the temperature and weather conditions be the same? The answer is when it is held Down Under’ in Australia! The ethnic clubs of Scandinavia are active and popular with those Scandi expats living or working in Australia.
The Danish club of Qld, for example started 140 years ago ( with some Norwegian members) to support those who had immigrated from Denmark, the Norwegian club some 50 years ago, and the Swedish and Finnish club are represented too. Each clubs hold various activities throughout the year as a way of preserving the traditions and culture of their homeland. Whilst the language barrier in Australia, is not so much a problem for Scandinavian immigrants arriving today, the clubs still play a role in social connections, activities and pastoral care of their members.
The Danish club also has an active group of folk dancers and historical reenactment ‘Viking’ group. The Norwegian club has traditional craft and baking days as well as the annual Constitution day March on Syttende Mai, and the Swedish club holds a increasingly popular Midsommar celebration, complete with dancing around the Maypole, which, of course, has been decorated, as is the tradition, with flowers and all clubs are represented in thecombined Scandinavian choir. The Folk bank, Kupaleja, comprises Swedish, Norwegian Danish and Australia members and they provide the traditional instruments and music.
I try to join in with the activities as much as I can, being an active member of the Danish and Norwegian clubs and midsommar particularly is a lot of fun.
The individual club links are found here:
Do you have an ethnic club in your area?
What traditions do they follow?
Something to ponder about.