Nordic Countries

Happily Succumbing to Hygge in Skagen

The phenomenon known as hygge is considered the spiritual foundation of Denmark. How hygge is defined is personal and hard to pin down. Join BCD in a quest to understand the meaning of hygge through a visit to Skagen, a former artist’s colony at the northernmost tip of Denmark. Skagen is home to the Rabjerg Mile, an expanse of sand dunes 12 stories high, and a 1.5-mile headland called the Grenan that is the dividing line between the Baltic and North Seas. Meet some locals who share their concepts of hygge!

Happily Succumbing to Hygge in Skagen

Thingvellir Archaeologist Margret Hallmundsdottir on Iceland's Heritage

Can some of the world's toughest people also be the best story-tellers? In a revealing Q&A, meet Icelandic archaeologist Margret Hallmundsdottir, who gives us a window into Iceland as a country, and into our shared human condition--that we are all shaped by our cultural landscapes. Margret offers insight into the character of Icelanders, and history lessons on Iceland's epic sagas that depict historical events from the Viking Age; Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO heritage site where the country's forms of government and religion evolved; a day in the life of an archaeologist.

Thingvellir Archaeologist Margret Hallmundsdottir on Iceland's Heritage

Icelandic Artist Iréne Jensen's Journey

Ever wonder what a work of art means to its creator? Here's a chance to hear the meaning behind eight powerful pieces by painter & print-maker Iréne Jensen who has called Iceland's capital of Reykajvic home for over 20 years. Her art work is very much inspired by the light and contrasts of Iceland's landscape--and her own observations about the journey of life. Read on to view some of her stunning & thought-provoking pieces and hear from the artist herself on the personal adventures, philosophical musings & social commentary they represent.

Icelandic Artist Iréne Jensen's Journey

Iceland’s Culture of Folk Tales

Follow along the 400-mile round trip journey from Reykjavik to Vik and learn why Iceland's folklore is inspired by its gorgeous landscape. Enjoy a virtual visit to the Skogar Folk Museum which chronicles storytelling as a way of life among Icelanders. Experience the mystery and unpredictability of Iceland's weather and landscape, which are recurring themes in the country's folklore. Head for Hekla Volcano & see why ancient legends called it the Gateway to Hell. End your tour with a stop at Thingvellir National Park, home of Iceland's Parliament & site of huge historic significance and natural beauty.

Iceland’s Culture of Folk Tales

Johan Knutsson, Swedish folk art exhibition at Stockholm’s Nordic Museum

Meet Johan Knutsson, the curator of the Swedish folk art exhibition at the Nordic Museum. The display highlights the importance of the rural craftsmen in Swedish folklore and shows viewers the inspiration that these art works have on today's society. 'Kurbits' are a whimsical stylized flower motif distinctive to Swedish folk art and a prized skill today! Discover the importance of the human shape within the art and find out why the exhibition pieces are so heavily influenced by religious motifs.

Johan Knutsson, Swedish folk art exhibition at Stockholm’s Nordic Museum

Jantes Law: A Countryside Beast Headed for Extinction?

What is Jantes Law? Is the concept of Jante Loven still relevant today in Scandinavian culture and beyond? We chatted to six locals from different countries in the Nordic region to find out how much Jantes Law really matters.

Jantes Law: A Countryside Beast Headed for Extinction?

Decorative Folk Art Painting: Discovering the Norwegian Rosemaling Tradition with Torunn Rød Farsund

Norwegian Rosemaling is a distinctive and beautiful folk-art style that dates back to the 16th century in Norway. Meet Torunn Rød Farsund of Os in Western Norway who honors her family's heritage and also uses her own sense of style to carry on this decorative art of floral designs. Learn more about Norwegian culture with BCD.

Decorative Folk Art Painting: Discovering the Norwegian Rosemaling Tradition with Torunn Rød Farsund

Åsmund Lien on Oselvar boat-building tradition of Os, Norway

This intriguing Q & A with manager of the Oselvar Workshop in Os Norway reveals secrets behind the Vikings revolutionary boat building techniques. Åsmund Lien describes how he and a team of artisanal boat-builders are carrying on a 2,000-year tradition working with the fabled Norwegian wood.

Åsmund Lien on Oselvar boat-building tradition of Os, Norway

Things To Do in Oslo: Encounter History of Norway By Norwegian Artists at Oslo City Hall

The Oslo City Hall Murals are part of a spectacular public art collection which highlights themes that influenced Oslo City Hall & its art collection, including independence from Sweden, WWII, women's rights, and describes the artists who bring Norse mythology to life in sculptures.

Things To Do in  Oslo: Encounter History of Norway By Norwegian Artists at Oslo City Hall

Things To Do in Bergen? Experience Norwegian Culture & Hordaland "Bunad" or Folk Costume

Planning a trip to Norway & researching things to do in Bergen? If you are curious about Norwegian culture, be sure to visit the open air Horda Museum 13 kilometers outside the city center and well worth the short trip. The Museum has 30 buildings, rich archaeological finds, a collection of 26 boats--and the opportunity to learn first-hand about "bunad," or Norwegian traditional dress. of Hordaland.

Things To Do in Bergen? Experience Norwegian Culture & Hordaland "Bunad" or Folk Costume