7-Lag Stevne
July 20-23, 2017
Luther College

Decorah, Iowa

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Opening Session, Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

The Luren Singers  video

In March 17, 1868 four Northeast Iowa residents homesick for their native Norway began singing together. The resulting Luren Singers have been reaching out from the Decorah area across the world for nearly 150 years, making them the oldest Norwegian American male chorus in North America. The repertoire of the Luren Singers includes a number of ethnic Norwegian and contemporary tunes.



 The Decorah Dancers    video

A Decorah, Iowa tradition since 1966, the Nordic Dancers have been sharing the community's Scandinavian heritage at Syttende Mai, Nordic Fest, and travels throughout the United States and Norway. Every five years a new group of dancers are chosen from 3rd grade. They dance together for 10 years.  The dancers learn over thirty dances during their time together and perform with their own live orchestra at most of their performances.





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Evening Session, Friday evening at 7 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Per Lykke, Rjukan Norway

In his keynote address on Friday evening, Per will talk about the history of emigration from Norway to the United States with a special focus on Telemark. Some places in Telemark had the highest percentage of emigrants in the entire country. His talk will also focus on the bonds between “Norwegians” in America and in Norway, yesterday and today. Sustaining and celebrating our common legacy requires that people on both sides of the ocean exchange and cooperate in sharing our heritage.

Per Lykke, a lawyer and politician, was born in Oslo, the son of a diplomat and grandson of a war hero. Per lived in Paris and London during his childhood and attended high school and college in Oslo. He moved to Telemark in 1987 after graduating from law school. Completing the bar exams in 1989, he began his own independent law firm in 1990 in Rjukan. Per has held several political positions in the country and has served as chairman of the board and board member for several companies, as well as being a board member of the National Park Organization for all the parks in Norway. He has been a member of the Telemark congress since 2011 representing Høyre, the conservative party. Per is the COB and part-time manager director of Hardangervidda National Park Center in Skinnarbu (Norway's largest national park) and promoter and organizer of the new interactive nature and reindeer exhibit. He co-wrote the script to a documentary movie for one of the biggest war heroes in Norway, Jens Anton Poulsson. In 1995, Per bought a mountain farm in Tinn in Telemark. He enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, hunting and hunting dogs. Per is married and has a stepson.

Tinndølan, Folk Dance Group from Tinn, Telemark  video

Tinndølan is the youth organization of Tinn Spelemannslag, which is the mother organization of folk music and folk dance in Tinn, Telemark. Throughout the country of Norway there are several of these local organizations, and we have a national organization called “FolkOrg.” Every year "FolkOrg" selects one local organization as the "local organization of the year.” In 2016 Tinn Spelemannslag received this award. The selection was based on recruitment of children as well as maintenance and development of the folk music and folk dance culture in the local area.




Torgeir Straand, Hardangar fiddler from Bø, Telemark  video

This award-winning Hardangar fiddler entertained at the stevne in 2009, and its great to have him back! 



Tone Tveito, folk singer   video

Tone is a talented folk singer who last performed at the stevne in 2009.  Great to have her back!






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Banquet Program, Saturday evening at 7 p.m.

Bunad Parade

Bunads are the traditional dress of Norway, and each region has its own unique style. If you own a bunad, join the parade and show it off!

Speaker: David Engen, 2015 contestant on Alt for Norge    video

I grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota where I was keenly aware of my heritage, meaning I was more aware of my relationship to Norwegian ancestors than I was of my American citizenship. This was because my grandparents were first generation Norwegian-Americans, the descendants of immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th century. They made certain we sustained this heritage through story, tradition, and history. And they instilled a keen awareness of what my ancestors had experienced in order for life in the United States to be possible. One was a 12 year old boy who came by himself to live with an uncle who treated him like a slave. One family boarded a ship that nearly sank in a storm but was able to return to Ireland for 5 weeks for ship repairs. Another was a champion ski jumper and tailor. All of them were farmers, husmand, smallholders who tilled land that was more or less workable. All came here because they were willing to risk the unknown in order to make a better life for themselves and their children. None of them were fully prepared for what they experienced. My father and grandparents never visited Norway though my siblings and I encouraged them to do just that on many occasions. But in 2015, I was able to take them with me in my heart and memory when I participated in the popular Norwegian reality show called ‘Alt for Norge.’ Each year 12 Americans with Norwegian ancestry who have never been to Norway are selected from hundreds of would-be participants. Our experience brought home in a very powerful way what it means to be Norwegian – past and present. The experience pointed out the many ways my heritage has sustained me as I grew into adulthood. But it also pointed out the hundreds of reasons there are to celebrate being the descendant of Norwegian immigrants. I hope you enjoy hearing about my experiences in the country which has shaped my life in such a powerfully positive fashion.

More Music by Torgeir and Tone

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Host for 2017: Telelaget

7-Lag Stevne
The stevne is sponsored by Norwegian Stevner, Inc. 
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