Påske: A time for new beginnings

A message from your editor

Dear readers and friends,

As I write these words to you, we find ourselves in the middle of the Lenten season. For those who are religious, it can be a time when we give up things as we reflect over our lives and what we can do to better ourselves and the world around us. And for all of us, it is a time when we wait for springtime to arrive, with its sunlight and warmth after the cold and darkness of winter.

This year, our Lenten season somehow carries a deeper meaning. We find the world in turmoil with the war in Ukraine and the misery and suffering is has brought. It is a time of uncertainly for many, as we do not know the outcome of the conflict and how it will affect the lives of all of us. We are waiting for light and redemption in a time that feels dark and foreboding.

So, putting together an Easter issue for you has been a special challenge for our team. First, there is always the choice of a cover, which sets the tone for the content that follows. Fortunately, we have wonderful partners in our community, and artist Lois Tønnessen Andersen and a client have shared an image of one of her paintings called “Transcendence.”

I found this painting to be so beautiful and inspiring. It pictures the sun rising over the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, a ray of hope emerging as a new day dawns. This bright and beautiful day will come for us if we only believe that goodness will prevail. I believe there is a spirituality within us all beyond our physical existence or experience. It is the essence of being human, that which lifts us up from the animal world. Art is a beautiful manifestation of this power within us.

I also thought about the New England town where Lois lives in Concord, Mass., home to many 19th-century philosophers and writers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau. Emerson and Thoreau embraced transcendentalism, in which human beings strive to perfect themselves through optimism, simplicity, individualism, and soul. Civil disobedience and social justice also played a role in this evolution and elevation of the human condition. Transcendentalists remained close to nature and sought their utmost to preserve it. While this Romantic movement fell out of fashion with time, the ideas seem relevant to us in our world today, especially during this Lenten season. It is a time for new beginnings.

A Norwegian Easter

Of course, our Påske issue has special features associated with Norwegian Easter. There is the curious custom of consuming crime fiction—påskekrim—and we pay heed to that with our annual book picks. Our resident film critic, John Smistad, has a good Nordic noir film to recommend, and Travel Editor Cynthia Elyce Rubin presents perhaps the creepiest story of Norwegian-American noir with the story of Belle Gunness, a real-life whodunnit.

I would also like to encourage you to get out and ski—even if you have never tried it before. I believe that for most, it’s never too late. But even if you’re not able to, this is a wonderful time of year to get outside and bask in the glories of nature, especially as the sun comes out.

And, most fittingly, we are including a special Barneblad feature about the beautiful Ukrainian Easter eggs, the pysanky, as our thoughts are with those who are suffering and in need there.

There is so much to enjoy in this Påske edition, as always, a colorful variety of articles. We have so many talented contributors and a dedicated team to make it happen with each and every issue.

Changing places

This Easter is also a time of change and new beginnings here at The Norwegian American, as some of our staff are moving on to new opportunities. With this issue, we are saying goodbye to our Taste of Norway editor, Christy Olsen Field, as we welcome her colleague Kristi Bissell as the new food editor. Our design editor, Mattea Bertling, is also leaving us for a new full-time position that will allow her to grow her career

We will miss our beloved colleagues, and friends but we are very fortunate to welcome new talent and enthusiasm to our team. We are very lucky to have Ragnhild Hjeltnes helping us as a Norwegian language expert and editorial assistant.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my appreciation and gratitude to the entire team and the many freelance contributors, who work so hard to bring our newspaper to you.

At that, I turn the issue over to our wonderful writers, as you begin to explore the joy of Easter with The Norwegian American.

God påske from us all!


This article originally appeared in the April 1, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

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