Yah-you betcha! This is a popular extreme Norwegian saying around many parts of Minnesota. Growing up in Minnesota has been an on-going learning culture experience. It seem like there are two different cultures-cities and rural, which I (Sal)discovered after living in rural college town-Morris, MN-�Motown�.
When I lived in the cities, despite the on-going diverse European ethnic culture (Norwegian, German, Scandinavian, etc�) exposure; I saw �white� or Caucasian Americans as one group. It wasn�t really until I came to Morris when I began to see the real diversity amongst �whites� or �Caucasians�. I really never heard an �Ole� (Norwegian) joke until meeting people in-town from Morris Community Church. I then notice more of the Norwegian cultural impact after college when I really lived in-town (e.g. Dave�s Barber Shop on Atlantic Avenue-the barber would share �Ole� stories/jokes with his customers). Lutefisk or lefse was the biggest Norwegian ethnic-food mentioned many around these areas. Till this day, I have yet to try Lutefisk.
Just the other (8/20/03) day at work, I was talking about several sayings: �Listening is a golden...?�, �ufda�, from my co-worker that I�ve never heard of. I told her about the book/play on �How to Talk Minnesotan, which I need to watch/read to understand more of the dialogue as a resident around here.
INNER CITY: Growing-up in the St. Paul Public Schools, I attended many culturally diverse programs and events. I remember in elementary, our first grade teacher�s husband dressed in a �kilt� (eg. mini-skirt) to show the Scottish outwear during a performance of many ethnic-cultures represented in our school. Then in junior high-middle school, we had to do some dance from our ethnic background and performed it in front of the whole school assembly (I remember some of my classmates and I performed the famous Filipino Tininkling (sp?) dance, which I was somewhat familiar). In gym class, dancing was part of the academic genda, which I learned how to dance polka and some other ethnic dances that I can�t remember to this day. Then in high school, we had a cultural fair (eg. Festival of Nations held annualy in St. Paul), which I was able to do a Philippine booth with some of my Filipino-American peers/friends and cook some lumpia (Filipino egg-rolls).
RURAL-TOWN: living was a little of a cultural shock when I came to UMM, which I encountered many people who never been exposed to much of a "culturally diversity environment� that one would find growing-up in the inner-city. For example, one of my floormates told me that she grew-up with a negative stereotype of African-Americans (eg. "bad boys", "gangstas/thugs", "criminals", etc...) because of the "fowl language" (eg. Nigger) she was used to hearing growing up in a rural Minnesota town. Myself, some of my floormates honestly shared with me that they thought I was a "gang-banger" because of the way I dressed (baggy pants) or my haircut (crew-cut style) with an earing in one ear.
I participated in several ethnic focussed student organizations for many reasons: to get in touch with my ethnic background (Asian-American: Filipino), to learn more of �who I am� culturally, to be able to bond with people with familiar-similar background, and to �feel like-home� culturally (e.g. food, language, social atmosphere). Also, our student organizations (e.g. Asian Student Association) served as a purposed to culturally educate the college campus, local-surrounding Morris community. It was an excellent opportunity to �educate� the people that never been/never much been exposed to a different ethnic background. We too, inner city folks, needed to be educated about rural town living too; so I made an effort to do so by planning a floortrip (Gay Hall II-III) to one of the floor resident�s farm. Unfortuanatelly, not every body were able to make it. Most of the people that went were �city folks�, which was my target type of people to come�.
FARMING: We saw various farm animals: horses, pig, cows, etc�; which I had a chance to ride an �unchained� pony (I rode a chained pony that went around this circle at the Como Park Zoo once in St. Paul) for the first time! I learned the two types of cows for the first time: dairy cow (produces milk) and non-dairy cow (just grazes the field). After this experience, I�ve grown to learn more of the rural-farm experience by: watching campus plays, attend many bon-fires, play ditch at a farm field, and going to several local and surrounding museums on the past rural farm life. I�ve grown to highly appreciate farmers and their hard dedicated work (eg. get up 5/6am sunrise and work till 8-9ppm sunset in the farm field with 5 meals in that time span-including �dinner�-not lunch at 12 noon) .
MINNESOTA OUTDOORS life is filled with a lot of adventure that folks from the inner-city needs to experience to get in touch with nature and God! I went �real� hikking recently for the actual first time (down below) this summer of 2003, which was one of many outdoor actitivities that I�ve accomplished so far:
Summer: fishing, water-skiing, swimming, camping
Winter: cross-country/down hill skiing, broomball, snow fort building, building a snowman
As a Christian, I�ve grown to appreciate the outdoors as a time to be surrounded with nature and really take a good look of what God has created. I really started to appreciate his �nature wonders� when I started traveling :
Can you see the water level below the bridge go down?
The picture above was taken during the Spring of 1997 during the "big Red-River flood of 97". I went to help a UMM friend's (Naomi) family move before the Red Laker River flooded over its banks in Crookston, MN
Red River Flood of 1997: KARE-TV News April 22, 1997
"News coverage from KARE-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN on April 22, 1997, a day after the Red River crested at an all-time record high level in Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN."
-Montana�s, (snow-covered mountians, BIG forests, bear, etc�)
�Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord�He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths�-Micah 4:2
-and of course our beautiful Minnesota 10,000 + lakes
�Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water�s edge.�-Mark 4:1
�.which I began to appreciate more after my trip to the non-green, non-lively, non-colorful sandy desertland of Mexico-Arizona. )
Next time you get sick of being surrounded by technological hi-tech devices, go out of your house or familiar environment (eg. concrete, high-rise buildings, robot �busy� people of the inner cities) and talk to God and bask in His presence through what he has created. Plus, my mom told me to always look at �greenery� when she notices me watching too much t.v. or playing nintendo as a little kid. I would then just look at one of the many indoor plants in our townhouse or look at the trees/grass out in our backyard.
Minnesota maybe considered a �white� state not because of the snow, but the many white-settlers from Europe (mainly Scandinavian or German). However, the diversity is growing as one can see based on the stats: Ethnic Harvest, which I received at a conference focussing on reaching the nations from different �diverse ethnic neighbors� that God is bringing �next door�.
Other Places I've Visited w/ surrounding small towns:
My Favorite Minnesota - Scenic Byways - Road Cruise
"Hey, I'm Jon Hawks and one of my favorite things to do is to jump on my Harley and explore Minnesota with my friends. It's a beautiful state with great scenic roads no matter which direction we feel like heading -- North, South, East or West.
It just depends on what we're in the mood for: curvy roads that twist along rivers like the Minnesota, St. Croix, or Mississippi, the beautiful bluff country in SE Minnesota, quaint and historic towns to stop at along the way, or site-seeing along the North Shore.
See more about this topic and other favorite places of Minnesotans at
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