Experience Koselig at Vesterheim this winter

Fight the darkness of winter with Nordic cheer and fellowship

Koselig at Vesterheim

Photo courtesy of Vesterheim
At “Koselig,” Vesterheim will host a series of free community events, including a Koselig Cake Break.

Decorah, Iowa

When days are short and nights grow long, it’s time to celebrate community the Norwegian way—with warm drinks, wool socks, close friends, and an untranslatable word—koselig! Explore how Norwegians survive winter at a new immersive exhibit, “Koselig,” at Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, through April 22, 2018. To really get a feel for koselig, Vesterheim will host a series of free community events, including Koselig Cake Break, Nordic Noir Film Nights, and Board Game Nights.

What is koselig? Vesterheim’s Exhibition Manager Zach Row-Heyveld says, “Cozy is the closest translation, but it’s really much more than that. It’s a very deep feeling of warmth and contentment, a sense of intimacy and comfort. It’s a candlelit dinner party with your close friends and family. A wool sweater, a cup of hot cocoa, and a comfy couch with the latest Nordic crime drama on TV. A fresh batch of warm waffles from scratch with homemade jam after a jaunt through the woods on your cross-country skis.”

Koselig cake break

Photo courtesy of Vesterheim
A visitor enjoys a Koselig Cake Break at Vesterheim.

Visit this exhibit to experience koselig in a series of “living room” environments and learn about this uniquely Scandinavian way of life and how it permeates every part of Norwegian culture.

Some researchers suggest that empathy is the key to high levels of happiness in the Scandinavian countries. Every Wednesday, from 3:30 to 4 p.m., now through April 22, Vesterheim invites the community to the museum to enjoy treats and learn more about empathy during Koselig Cake Break.

Vesterheim and Luther College’s Nordic Studies Program invite you to settle in for some unsettling crime films from Scandinavia during Nordic Noir Film Nights at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 13, and April 10 in the museum’s Main Building. Each film will feature an introduction and discussion led by members of the Nordic Studies program. See vesterheim.org for a full list of films and more details.

Join Vesterheim, Games XP of Decorah, and future close friends for Koselig Board Game Nights from 7 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 23, Feb. 27, and March 27 in the museum’s Main Building. When Norwegians want to get koselig, they play board games with close friends and family. Bring your favorite game to share, and come ready to learn to play new ones with new friends.

With world-class exhibitions and 12 historic buildings in scenic Decorah, Iowa, Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, showcases the best in historic and contemporary Norwegian folk and fine arts, and explores the American immigrant experience. For more information, visit vesterheim.org

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 29, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.