24 July 2011

Norway, Place My People Came From

Thursday night I watched The Shipping News and that night a line stood out for me

What place on earth could be
better than...
the place your people
came from?

I was born and raised here in BC Canada. My mother and her mother were born here, her mother before her was from England but any family ties there have long since passed. My Grandpa however was born and raised in Norway, on a small farm on Dalsfjord.

My mom and grandpa just spent 3 weeks in Norway spending time 
with family and seeing the country. We still have ties there, 
growing up my taunta Ingaborg came and stayed with us and 
through the years I have had the pleasure of meeting different relatives from this country around the world.

We grew up hearing stories that continue to live on in this 
country which I can't help but imagine as a slower place to 
live. Like the story of Bjorn Fjell (his real name btw 
translates in English to Bear Mountain) Bjorn and his wife lived on the mountain near my family's farm and one very stormy day he and his dog went to the prayer house (this was before the church was built) and 
not wanting to leave his dog in the storm brought him in to sit by the door. Someone else in the prayer house told Bjorn "You can't bring him (the dog) in here! To which Bjorn responded "That's OK he doesn't mind" The year was about 1850. Bjorn and his 
wife never had children so they had no one to pass the farm onto. The foundation of 
the house is still there but the land stands vacant.

One of my favorites though is that of my great 
great grandmother. She married a man 20 years her 
senior and when he passed on she married a man 20 
years her junior. He apparently doted on her and 
was very much in love with her. My mom was telling me that her aunt said now that is the way to do it!

So here is this country that I have never set foot on, whose beauty I only know of through pictures 
and stories. But here is also a country that MY 
people are from. I can't explain the connection I 
feel to Norway because I'm not entirely sure it 
makes sense.

Friday morning when I went to work my heart broke. I saw on twitter that there was a bombing in Oslo, Norway. The government building was bombed. This is the same building my mom and 
grandpa had been in just a few weeks before... we had just watched the video of the 
inside. My cousin Anna works just around the corner from here.

 the whole ground shaked at our cafe, my colleague nd i got so scared (central station/buss terminal, the place where the next bomb wud obviously hit), we couldnt close the cafe cos sum1 had accidently taken the keys wif her home, in the end they evacuated the whole station. on my way home i walked past several smashed windows :o

I couldn't understand what was happening. A terrorist attack? Why would anyone attack Norway? This peaceful country who take care of their own, where police officers 
don't even carry guns.

Reports of 1 fatality, then of 4... People were still trapped that number looked like it was going to rise.

Then I really felt sick. Another attack, but this time on a youth camp. Kids being 
shot at point blank range. A police officer? This made no sense.... Police in Norway don't carry guns.

By the end of my work day I heard that 7 had died at the bombing and 9 - 10 at the 
camp. My heart broke for this country where my people come from.

I had read that a group called The Helpers of the Global Jihad had taken 
responsibility but later learned that it was a Norwegian that committed this act of 

In the end it was politically motivated Anders Behring Breivik who was responsible 
for the deaths of 93+ souls. The atrocities of this will forever change Noway, the 
same as the Twin Towers changed the States.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was working from home Friday and was unhurt. 
Thankfully a lot of people weren't there because it's summer vacation and because it was Friday and they left early for the weekend.

"It is impossible to comprehend, it is like a nightmare. Words cannot express how I feel," Stoltenberg told a press conference Saturday.

I will just leave this with these words. Norway, place where my people come from, you are forever in my heart. 

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