Friday, October 29, 2010
We celebrated International day at Voksenopplæring yesterday. We had an open house, with maps, food and dance from our native lands. Luckily for all, I did not dance.. However I did make some mean chocolate chip cookies, and supplied a map and some photos from Washington State. Evidently I am the first student from the USA to attend school here in Elverum. Over 32 different countries were represented, and many local elementary students stopped in and enjoyed the food (I especially enjoyed the Thai food....). I felt a bit sheepish representing the USA, as most of the immigrants learning Norwegian are from countries that are poorly understood or even recognized outside of their region (Burma, Turkmenistan..) Norwegians all know about the US (both the good and the bad, mostly they know the US from movies and films). The middle school had the day off from school so they could work and raise money for refugees. Most businesses in Elverum hired them- so they raised quit a bit of money. As homogenous as Norway is, I am impressed by the attempts I see to help newcomers integrate and feel welcome.