Norwegian Ten Commandments

Amazing to me is the fact that North Dakotan's know their heritage - which is mostly Scandinavian - specifically Norwegian.  They know if they are full Norwegian or Norwegian/German.  Also amazing is that their grandparents came across on the boat to homestead on free and almost free land without knowing a word of English. They suffered unbelievable hardships in their first years here and they stayed.

About all I know about my grandparents is that they went from Oklahoma to West Texas in a wagon.

Last Sunday, at a community church service, under a tent on main street, an area Lutheran pastor read the Norwegian Ten commandments.  Unless you are from North Dakota, you might not understand, so I'll include a few explanatory notes.

1.  Der's only one God, ya know.
     (Yes, you really hear der's and ya know's.)

2.  Don't make that stuffed walleye on yur mantle an idol
     (I've not been offered one bite of walleye.) 

3.  Cussin' ain't nice.
      (Come to think of it - I haven't heard any.)

4.  Go to church even when yur up nort.
      (Any further nort than this is almost Canada.)

5.  Honor yur folks.
     (The old family homestead is also highly honored and kept in the family)

6.  Don't kill.  Catch and release.
     (Maybe that's why I haven't had any walleye.)

7.  There's only one Lena for every Ole.  No cheatin'.
      (There's a little house on Main Street called "Lena & Ole's".)

8.  If it ain't your lutefisk, don't take it.
     (In fact, don't take it if they GIVE it to you! It's fish preserved in lye, which turns to gelatin and is served annually at local events.)

9.  Don't be braggin' 'bout how much snow ya shoveled.
     (Then what would we talk about?)

10. Keep your mind off yur neighbor's hot-dish.
      (As in "I hope I don't miss Glenda's Krumkake")

Speaking of Lutefisk - here's last year's Norsk Hostfest poster.

North Dakota, 
I'm startin' to feel like one of ya, you know!

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