Coffee Drinking, Lectures, Communal Singing: Grundtvigian Danish Americans Celebrate Heritage at the Danebod Folk Meeting: 1980s-2022.

Catherine Hiebert Kerst (American Folklife Center, emerita)

Each year, over one hundred older Danish Americans travel to Tyler, Minnesota to participate in the five-day Folk Meeting, held in the Danebod Folk School, built by their Grundtvigian immigrant forbears in the 1880s. Since 1947, when a microcosm of the folk school experience was created as a revitalization, they have gathered for the Folk Meeting--to sing, listen to lectures, join in fellowship, and reminisce “in the spirit of the old folk school.” This paper examines and contrasts mid-1980s field research at the Folk Meeting with its more recent virtual expression held during the pandemic.

Part of 06-14 Nordic American Folklore: Revitalizations and Implications, Friday, October 14, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm