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

The Dala Horse and Swedish Identity

How does folk art embody a culture's history and identity? Scandinavia's Dala Horse offers some insight into how a mode of survival becomes a beloved symbol of a country's ideals and values. Since the Stone-Age, horses have been high valued possessions in Scandinavia and were the difference between life or death throughout the region's roadless plains. Take a ride with BCD through the history of the Dala Horse & meet the artisans keeping this beloved custom alive!

The Dala Horse and Swedish Identity

Jantes Law: A Countryside Beast Headed for Extinction?

All cultures have a social code, even if the code hasnt been given a formal name. 'Jante's Law' is Scandinavia's term for a set of cultural mores that values the community ahead of the individual. Its original meaning, adopted from a 1933 novel, related to no-one being anonymous in a small community. Over time, Jante's Law evolved into a derogatory reference to individualism and an attitude that it is safer to blend in with the crowd than stand out from it. Find out what six local Scandinavians think this term really means and their views on its relevance today.

Jantes Law: A Countryside Beast Headed for Extinction?

Torunn Rød Farsund, Rosemaling Tradition of Os, Norway

Admire folk art? Appreciate tradition-bearers? Discover Rosemaling, a distinctive and beautiful folk-art style that dates back to the 16th century in Norway in the 16th century. In informative Q & A, meet 6th-generation rosemaler Torunn Rød Farsund of Os in Western Norway who honors her family's heritage & also uses her own sense of style to carry on this decorative art of floral designs.

Torunn Rød Farsund, Rosemaling Tradition of Os, Norway

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

The Art of Oslo City Hall Brings to Life Norway’s History & Culture

Enjoy a fascinating tour of Oslo City Hall's spectacular public art collection through Q & A with curator Sigrun Myrmellem, which reminds us that cultural heritage isn't solely synonymous with the ancient; modern 21st century sites also convey historical and social meaning. Sigrun 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. She reveals how a personal moment of her own with public art gave her insights about our human condition, and explains some of the responsibilities that come with curating public art.

The Art of Oslo City Hall Brings to Life Norway’s History & Culture