Nordic Museum (Nordiske Museum)

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Courtesy the Nordic Museum.

Last year the Nordic Museum was located in an old brick school building crammed with all sorts of mementos and artifacts from all over Scandinavia. I remember walking through the rooms each telling the story of the Nordic people through old sea trunks and family heirlooms donated to the museum by generations of Nordic people living in the Seattle area. Just imagining how each artifact displayed told a story of the one who brought it to their new life in America. Back then it was called the Nordic Heritage Museum. Today it is simply called the Nordic Museum.

Photo by Dan Morris. Courtesy the Nordic Museum.

May 5th, 2018 the Museum opened it’s doors to the public with Nordic leaders from across a few of the Nordic countries officially opening the museum. I would have loved to have been there for the grand opening to meet Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, but I had to graduate from Northwest University on the day. Instead made a visit during the week after the grand opening to view this brand new museum.

Photo by Dan Morris. Courtesy the Nordic Museum.

The museum integrates Nordic sensibilities into every aspect of its physical design. It involves around four core themes based on the key values that connect the Nordic countries with the Pacific Northwest. (Nordic Museum)

Today The Nordic Museum has a new location in the heart of Ballard’s market street close by to the Ballard Locks. Here the building is designed in the Nordic/ Scandinavian design resembling the clean airy look most Scandinavian design is known for, simple and natural look. Inside, the main corridor is done to look like a glacial fjord with the second-floor exhibits connected by sky bridges to symbolize crossing from old to new Nordic life, a theme the museum draws together as the main concept. The large welcome map carved into the walls of the fjord of the Nordic countries towers over the hall as visitors walk down the corridor to the first gallery.

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The first gallery is the Nordic Orientation Gallery where the visitor is introduced to the Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Aland Islands, and The people of Sami. The striking thing about this gallery is how little did I know of other countries considered Nordic. I had always thought the first six countries on the list as real Nordic countries, but never thought of Faroe, Aland Islands as separate Nordic countries (both are associated with Denmark) and the people of Sami (Sweden where they reside). There are interactive displays telling about each of the countries and the uniqueness of the people from those countries on what it means to be Nordic. I could identify with a few of the people describing the mindset of those who are Nordic. Like the meaning of hygge, and sisu.

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On the second floor is where the main galleries are located. In the Sense of Place Gallery, the room is set as if in a forest with pillows shaped as rocks to sit on and watch beautiful visuals of the natural world of the Nordic countries. This representation gives a sense of how passionate the Nordic people are about the natural world in which they live in and how nature plays a huge part in their daily lives.

Courtesy the Nordic Museum.

Nordic Journeys expands the Museum’s classic immigration story to include a broader understanding of Nordic life and culture as it has evolved over the last twelve thousand years. (Nordic Museum)

From there it moves on into the Nordic Region Gallery which tells the history of the Nordic countries from the very beginning to present day. Important events that shaped the region, the notable contribution each country made in the world (think Nobel-Peace Prize) and the struggles of the Nordic people the carve out an existence in a sometimes harsh environment. This harsh existence would eventually lead to families and individuals to leave their country of birth to immigrate to the United States. The Nordic American Gallery give the visitor an overview of how these immigrants shaped the United States, how they contribute to the building of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest region.

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Ballard where this museum is located in where the majority of Nordic people settled in the Seattle area. When I was a kid my parents always referred to the area as “little Scandinavia.” My family is Danish-British, but my Danish Great-Grandfather did not settle in Ballard area, instead made his way to Southern Oregon-Northern California. Later my Grandpa would join the Navy during World War Two in Seattle and my parents would move to Seattle area after getting married. Just seeing the old steamship trunks stacked up together, the mention of Ellis Island, and World War One, brought back the old stories Grandpa would tell me about my Great Grandfather who immigrated from Denmark to the United States back in 1910.

Courtesy the Nordic Museum.

I have always been proud of my Nordic heritage, and so the last gallery to explore of the Nordic Perspective tied together the reasons why my nature is openness, social justice, innovation, and a connection with nature is very strong in how I live my life.

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To make it even more Nordic, I had lunch at Larsen’s Bakery where I treated myself to turkey Havarti croissant with a raspberry Danish. I could live off Danishes if it meant never getting fat and the croissant was well worth the flaky pastry all over the table! I remember when I was little my parents would stop by to pick up Christmas Kringle and other Danish Christmas treats to celebrate. Guess the Danish in me still needs a fix.

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Overall the museum has an art gallery quality feel. I did not see much for little kids to do yet and some of the museums was wrapping up construction and the cafe (Freya) was yet to be open for business. This could be due to going during the opening week and so displays are still being added to. If you enjoy history or the Nordic culture, this would be a great museum to check out in Seattle.

Time for pillaging! (FYI: Ballard is a community in North Seattle with a very high Scandinavian population. Washington, USA):
I could not resist this!!

Information:

Nordic Museum

Larsen’s Bakery

 

Please Mind The Gap Between Posts|An Update

“Please mind the gap between the platform and the train.” London Underground

After a very long time silent, I am finally ready to break the silence. Little did I know back in January, this would be a long break and in the silence, I would be taking a much-needed breather to get through the tough months ahead. First of all, I want to say thank you all for hanging in there during this time, secondly, grab a cup of tea and lets get started!

Blogging has changed so much since I first started. Yet it is I who have changed along the way. I began writing A Biotechie’s Life back in 2012 as a twenty-something figuring out how to be an adult and starting out in biotechnology. So much of my life has changed since then. I’ve grown up all over again these past months on this long break and writing this post I can say the future looks bright. As I write this, I’m pondering the future of this blog, and it is very clear to me my time on this site is far from finished.

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I started this blog in my early twenties and now I’m in my thirties. Back then in 2012, it was about moving on from a relationship gone very wrong. Back then the blog was an outlet for healing, now seven years later, this blog has turned into posts about places been, transitions gone through, and the constant journey life keeps taking me on. Mostly an online diary for you my readers, family, and friends who read about this girl’s life. One other thing to make clear, this blog is and will remain a hobby of mine.

Why did I take a break from blogging?
I’ve given a reason back in January as to taking this break because I was feeling very burned out over the course of the previous year (2017). But unbeknown to myself, I needed to start making myself and my health a priority. The stress of finishing college and stress, in general, was the culprit for all the health issues arising over the past two years. Now I am 99.9% sure this is the reason why I started to burn out fast.

Another reason for the blogging break is the constant facade of being a perfect blogger. I have noticed this past year most bloggers I follow have been addressing this issue and why it is starting to take a toll on them. Blogger Molly from Styling Miss Molly put eloquently in one of her posts.

Social media has an amazing way of bringing so many blessings and wonderful opportunities into our lives, but there is a side to it that not many people address- the pressure, the comparison game, the stress and anxiety, the keep going mentality, the constant desire to be perfect and always feeling a need to be plugged-in.

Really needed to be more present in my life as it was happening, and not compare myself to others. My life is far from perfect, and I like it that way! Since I last posted, I feel rejuvenated, motivated, and ready for what comes next in life. Taking a step back allowed me to rediscover who I am, find what where I truly am passionate about. For once I have did not have to worry about blogging and could be 100% living in the moment.

In the past few months, I have…..

Graduated from Northwest University with my bachelor’s degree in biology after three years of study. I won’t lie, the last three years have been a struggle to push through to see this dream of mine realized. With life and completing goals, some unexpected roadblocks happen, but each one makes you stronger than before. Through some of the disappointments of not getting the internship, not receiving the grade you wanted even after working so hard for it and facing opposition from others, I received my degree. A degree I am very proud of!

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Found myself in beautiful places around Washington. This past summer I had the opportunity to go hiking in some of the most beautiful natural places in the Pacific Northwest. Through the experience, I realized how long it has been since I felt connected with nature and how my soul just longed to be in the middle of nowhere. Standing atop a peak looking out into the horizon reminds one there are always new beginnings with every sunset and sunrise. The phrase “the mountains are calling, I must go” has more meaning on top of a mountain.

I went back to my agricultural roots. Been a long time since I have walked down rows of plants growing the food we eat. I left just as most who grow up with a farming background to seek our fortunes in career fields promising stability of a paycheck. I no longer rely on grocery stores and farmer’s markets for all my produce, but grow more of it at home. Still, I found myself going back to the land or as Wendel Berry said “reconnecting with the land.” In a reflection of being in the moment talking with farmers, growers, producers, and agricultural scientists, I have been disconnected to the land for so long, and now it is time I reconnect back again. This does not mean only buy organic produce, it means supporting all who grow and produce the food we consume. It means Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and those who commit to sustainable agricultural methods.

Gave the blog a refresh. You may have noticed something different about the blog and some of the content as well. I have done a revamp of the blog including a whole new theme! After reviewing all of the posts from 2012-to the present, the blog needed an overhaul and updated to meet legal requirements. There are older posts now archived that are no longer relevant today, while some (mostly hiking or travel) have been updated.

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Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

What is coming next?

Moving on to a new position in a biotech company or organization. This has been a long-awaited moment, and I am excited to see what comes next for me in this new chapter of my career.

Most of all, what is coming next is a new chapter in life, and the best is yet to come!

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*For the next two months I will be recounting all the places been over the summer. stay tuned!*