Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Nordic Festival

Last weekend, our family went for an adventure in the country. The car was packed, an itinerary was agreed on, accommodation booked and off we went to Warburton. Only just over an hour from Melbs, Warburton is a little town in the east, nestled in amongst the hills. The sky was clear and still. The country side was gloriously changing from green to orange with deciduous trees. The leaves on numerous grape vines were going this way also. It was gloriously relaxing and felt like a holiday.

So why Warburton you ask... For an inaugural Scandinavian Festival! Who would have thought? Certainly not me. I didn't really have any idea that this sort of thing occurred. But a few months ago I was going to the Nord Living shop on Glenferrie Road to purchase a gift for a baby shower, and sure enough the proprietor asked if I was going to the festival. With the details scribbled down and plans being hatched, I discovered more. Not only was there to be a smorgasbord dinner prepared by a Danish chef, but viking re-enactments, a film festival, vodka tasting, two art exhibitions, an opportunity to discover one's Nordic roots, lectures on social policy in Scandinavia and a market. Oh, I am quivering with excitement just recalling it all!

So we explored the town and found great cake and some nifty second-hand shops. We ate Swedish meatballs and Danish open sandwiches. We purchased Finnish glass wear. We spoke with women dressed in Norwegian traditional costume. We made friends with fellow scandies, and discovered where in Melbs to by lenkisauna (sausage to eat when having a sauna). What a weekend.

As for crafting up there, a number of stalls at the markets had beautiful crafted things. I did feel too cheeky to take pictures of their creations though... So imaging an army of comical vikings, made from felt and faces obscured by wispy woollen beards around 15 centimeters tall. Or hand-knitted hats featuring Nordic designs. Lovely!

For some Scandinavian links I picked up over the weekend, try the following:

Fine by Nature - Finnish textiles shop in Warburton
100 Hats - hats and creations with Scandinavian designs
Nordic Festival information - where we went, the program, etc...
The Mud Factory - Swedish bicycles and Scandi-inspired ceramics
Nord Living - Scandi shop in Melbourne

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