The Danish Heritage Seminar was held at the Hotel Fort Garry in Winnipeg from May 27th to June 1st, 2019. This year’s theme was Wanderlust, the desire to explore the world.
The headmaster, Pastor Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen of the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, discussed wanderlust and romanticism during the 19th century. Many of the Danish lyric poets, sculptors, writers and composers had wanderlust and would stay for long periods in other parts of Europe, particularly Rome. The participants were introduced to the works of H.C. Andersen, B.S. Ingemann, Holger Drachmann, Bertel Thorvaldsen and a number of other well-known 19th century Danish artists. Pastor Susanne emphasized how the Danish national anthem and other national songs were composed or became popular during the 19th century. This body of work laid the foundation for much of present-day Danish culture and tradition.
Professional musician and singer, Charlotte Andersson, from Copenhagen was an extreme delight for this year’s participants. Charlotte awed everyone with her beautiful voice and many musical performances during the entire week. She described Christian Winther’s “Hjortens Flugt”, a poem which dealt with wanderlust and romanticism.
Otto Christensen gave a captivating PowerPoint presentation about Jens Munk. Aase Christensen spoke on Scandinavian Folklore and the role Trolls played both then and now. She talked of the Thomas Dam trolls which have become collectors’ items and of the Thomas Dambo trolls which can be found all over the world. Rolf Christensen spoke about political Populism and Populists. There were excursions to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Manitoba Legislature. Pastor Susanne spoke about Pastor Rasmus Jensen, who had accompanied the Jens Munk expedition. She also performed a Lutheran Church Service just as it would have been held during the reign of King Christian IV.
On the last evening the 28 participants held a Goodbye Party, where they showed off their talents in creating their own entertainment and fun. A very successful fundraising lottery was held during the evening with many very desirable winnings.
- Rolf Buschardt Christensen