Thursday, December 27, 2007

Faroese Costume

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We have had a great time visiting with family and friends. One of my goals is to sometime in the future spend Christmas in the Faroe Islands. I have never been there during the winter and would love to experience the Faroe Islands during this time of year. Jenny has some wonderful pictures of what it is like during this time of year. There are times when sun will not come above the mountains.

Anyway what I wanted to share with you today was the Faroese Costume or Traditional Dress. I came across of a photo of my sister and I in the traditional dress which brought all of this up.

OK I know.... "How cute."

The traditional dress is something that the Faroese take great pride in. They will where it during holidays, weddings, graduations and other special occasions.

Now the headgear for the men will be worn alone without the costume.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Couple Picture of Nólsoy

It is Christmas time and things have been busy so I thought I would take the easy way out and post a couple pictures. Now I have to give a lot of credit again Jenny. She took them and posted them on her site but they were such good pictures of Nólsoy that I had to post them myself.

I hope everyone is having a GREAT Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Faroese Christmas - Gleðilig Jól

Well it is Christmas time again. (And as usual we are behind on getting things ready.) But I thought I would share some of the traditions that I grew up with. Now while I was looking for images and additional information I found out that many of the traditions that I thought were exclusively Faroese are celebrated throughout Scandinavia. This may be partially because we all share common roots. As far as for the Faroe Islands they were settled in the 9th century by Vikings mainly from common day Norway. The Faroe Islands were under Norwegian rule up until around 1380 when Norway entered the Kalmar Union with Denmark which evolved into Denmark taking complete rule. So as you can see the Faroe Islands has a lot of influence from other Scandinavian countries. And since the Faroe Islands is still a part of the Danish Kingdom, Denmark has a large influence on Faroese culture. I know for my mom she was 15 or so until they started teaching Faroese in the schools. (She always said that she could read Danish better then Faroese.) Another fact is the Church of the Faroe Islands didn't become independent of Denmark until this year. I guess what I am trying to say is that many of the traditions that I grew up with are shared by many Scandinavian countries.

The beginning of the Christmas season always started in our house with the Advent Calendar. I do not remember a Christmas without one. If you have never had one or know what they are, they are countdown calendar. Starting on the 1st of December we would open a window that would reveal an image or message about Christmas. The calendar would countdown to Christmas Eve. The days quite often would be hidden within an image of Christmas so it was always a game with us kids to see who could find todays window before the other. Today many of the windows are filled with candy. This was always something that as kids we looked forward to. Today we have passed this on to our kids but also to our nieces and nephews. It something that kids of all ages look forward to.

Some of decorations are unique to Scandinavia. One of them is the Julnisse. They are mischievous elves that tradition says needs to be bribed with Rice Pudding so they wouldn't be up to their tricks on Christmas Eve. So one of the things that many do is decorate their house with paper cutouts of the Julnisse. It was one of those things as a kids we loved to do because we could put them anywhere in the house. So they would hang on shelves, plants or any other place we could get them to stay. It wouldn't be Christmas with out those little guys around the house.

Now for the Rice Pudding that was mentioned. This is a traditional Christmas treat. This was always eaten on Christmas Eve or when we had guest over at this time of the year. The trick to this was that there was always an ONE almond put in the pudding and who ever ended up with the almond would get a little prize. Now mind you, you were never suppose to say anything until everyone had finished their helping of pudding.

A BIG part of Christmas like with most cultures these days is the Christmas tree. Now many things are the same, the lights, the garland, the angel on the top but there were a few touches that we always added that made it different and always made our trees stand out from others. We would put baskets on our tree. We had many different kinds but the most popular was the red and white heart baskets. My mother told us that when she was growing up that the baskets would be filled with candy and that when people would come over to visit that as they left the kids would get to take one of the baskets off the tree as a parting gift. Being in America we never had enough baskets to give away so that tradition was never carried over. The other item that would always be put on the tree were the flags. They are a string of flags that would go from the top to the bottom. For most of my life they were Danish flags but then the Faroe Islands started making ones with the Faroese Flag on them. I was even able to get some with the United States flag on them. So today my tree has an array of Danish, Faroese and United States flags on them. These items are a part of Christmas that I couldn't live without. If I have nothing else on my tree, I need to have the baskets and the flags.

Now that I have explained a little of the traditions that go on in a Faroese American Christmas I better finish this and get myself to bed so that I can get some sleep and finish the decorating of our house. I still need to get a tree and with a new puppy in the house I am not sure how we are going to keep her from eating the tree and all its decorations. If any of you have any suggestion pleases let me know.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

27 Years and We Still

I know this has nothing to with the Faroe Islands but in some way it has everything to do with. We are all in this world together.

It was 27 years ago that John Lennon was shot and this Christmas his song "War is Over" is more appropriate then at any other time.

When will this madness end.

I pray that one day his message will come true.

Images of the Faroe Islands

From a suggestion I thought I would post some images of one the most beautiful places on the earth.

Pictures courtesy of G. Norðoy. Please check out his Flickr site.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Am I doing OK??

Image from G. Norðoy on Flickr of Klaksvik. Please check out his other pictures.

I have written 15 postings since starting this blog. It has been good for me to write things down and let everyone know about the Faroe Islands. I hope that everyone that reads my blog are enjoying it too.

I understand that it takes a while for the word to get around about a blog and I know I have had some readers. But what I don't know is "Am I doing OK?" I feel somewhat strange about this but I would love to hear your comments. Are the topics interesting? Is there something that you are interested in?

Let me me know what you think. Leave a comment.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Grindadráp - Whale Hunt


I understand that this is a controversial topic but this is one of my earliest and best memories as a child. I was five years old and would have been one of these small kids you see in this picture.

I didn't think anything of it at the time. It was just a part of being Faroese. My mother even took a picture of me standing on one of the whales. (I wish I had that picture today) It was also the day I got my first knife. The funny thing about this was that it was a regular fishing knife with a red handle and a black plastic sleeve and my mother was afraid that I would hurt myself. Now she didn't what to upset me or my uncle who gave it to me so she made a swap. She took the fishing knife and saved it for me and gave me a folding knife under the condition that I did not open the knife. I still have the knife today and is one of the best knifes I own. Now I carried this on to both of my boys a gave them a knife when they were 5 years old.

There is a Faroese proverb:
Knívleysur maður er lívleysur - The knifeless man is a lifeless man.
Knifes are an essential part of Faroese life. It is used in every facet of everyday living.

Now I understand that images of whales being rounded up to shore and being killed can be hard to stomach for some people but for most Americans we believe that all the meat just shows up at the supermarket. We never think of the process it takes to get that a steak, chicken or pork chop to that supermarket. Slaughter houses are not pretty and are no more humane then what the Faroese do in a whale hunt. It is probably more humane. A whale is unconscious within seconds of the first cut being made, and dead usually in well under a minute. The image that seems to stick in peoples minds is the bays being full of blood but let me remind you that slaughter houses have the same situation and they just wash it down the drain. We never see the amount of blood that is being washed away. I think for people to get over these images it might do them well to take a look at images of a slaughter house.

Now I looking at these images how can anyone say that this is better for the animals then the Grindadráp.

Now I understand that a lot of people believe that the pilot whales are endangered but this is just not true. The amount of pilot whales in the North Atlantic is almost 800,000. The Faroese have also been keeping records of their catch as far back as 1584 and unbroken records that started in 1709. The average annual catch by the Faroese for the past 300 years has been around 850 pilot whales. This catch is a sustainable amount and in no way endangers these whales. The Faroese government keeps a close watch on all of the catches.

Check out their website for information. Whales and Whaling in the Faroe Islands

Another aspect of the whaling is that the whales are only hunted if the if they come close to the islands. They never go out of the inlets of the islands to hunt the pilot whales. They are also never sold. The whales are divided amongst everyone of the village that catches them.

Now I understand that many may think why do the Faroese need to do this. That they can get their meat from other sources. Well the pilot whale is a staple of meat for the Faroe Islands. The islands are not suited for most grazing animals. Now sheep are plenty but as far as cattle it can not be done. So most all of the beef on the islands are imported. The Faroe Islands' main source of food for over a thousand years has come from the sea and the pilot whale is just a part of it.

Now there have been many that have tried to stop the Grindadráp but this is ingrained into the Faroese culture as fishing. It is a part of their tradition and their lives. It is time that everyone in the village participates. It is a part of their identity. It is something that will not change.

The last thing I would like to share is what many people will ask and that is how does it taste? Well a whale is a mammal. It would be similar to many different mammals. It is not like beef or deer but it has a gaming taste and is dark in color. Now I have never liked the taste of the blubber but this is main part of the whale that is also eaten. There is not much of the whale that is wasted.

The first and last image I would like to give credit to Jan Egil Kristiansen. Check out some of his photos. He has a lot of GREAT photos of the Faroe Islands.

I would also like for you to also do some of your own reading on this topic. The more you know the more you understand.

Whales and Whaling in the Faroe Islands
Kate Sandersen General Secretary of NAMMCO
High North Alliance

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Give Thanks

I haven't written anything for awhile so I felt I needed to say something on this day of giving thanks. I have many things to be thankful for as I believe we all do. I understand that things are not always the way we would like them to be and many things we would like to have changed in our lives but for me I need to give thanks for even the small things. We all have something that we can give thanks to.

I have not given you guys much information of my personal life but I have much to be thankful for in this arena. I am very thankful for my wife of 25 years. She is the most important thing in my life. I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for her. She is my everything. We almost lost her this January to an aneurysm. It was the scariest time in my life. When faced with death you realize what is truly important in your life.

I also have two wonderful boys that are 17 and almost 19 years old. They are, I guess you could say "the apple of my eye". They have been a challenge at times but I am so grateful for each of them. They have enriched my life more then I could have ever imagined.

I have to also give thanks to the many family members I have from my brother and sister and their family, to my wifes family and to my family in the Faroe Islands. As I said earlier when you are faced with losing someone you are also faced with what is important in your life and family and friends are some of the most important in my life.

As a recovering alcoholic I have to give thanks for the almost 30 years of being clean and sober. Nothing I give thanks to today would be possible if I wasn't sober.

And with respect to this experience of blogging I would like to extend my thanks to everyone that may read my blog and for all the blogs that I read. Expanding my horizon in this fashion has been a great experience.

Lastly I want to give thanks for the whole point of this blog and that is being Faroese American. I believe that being half Faroese and having this connection to the Faroe Islands gives me a different prospective on life. I have such a fondness to the Faroe Islands that I refer to it as home even though I have not been there for over 30 years. Being Faroese I see the world smaller and more connected then most. That we are all in this world together and that we should all be looking after each other. That even though the United States is the biggest and the most powerful country in the world, that we have a responsibility to everyone on this planet. That what we do can and will effect others. That we are a global community and that we as a country need to look at the bigger picture rather then just look at ourselves as the major power. That we need look to our neighbors and respect them. We also as a country can learn much from our neighbors no matter how small they may be.

So on this day of thanks I wish everyone a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Faroese Election Results

Well the election is over and the results are in.

Republican Party came in first and will send Høgni Hoydal to the Danish parliament.
Union Party came in second and will send Endmond Joensen to the Danish parliament.

Faroe-Man has all the numbers on his site. I didn't want to get into all that because it is a bunch of numbers and a lot of it doesn't make sense to me. So if you want the numbers check his blog.

I would like to give a few observations on this elections and don't get me wrong I am no expert on politics and I understand even less about Faroese politics. But I have been doing a lot of asking.

The Republican Party is very much for independence, it was founded in 1948 after independence was not achieved in 1946. So for me, this a statement that a large portion of population still believes and wants independence.

The Unionist Party is the opposite they want to maintain the ties with Denmark. This party has been around since 1906 from what I can figure out from their website. What this says is that not everyone wants independence.

OK I know that it seems that I am pointing out the obvious and maybe I am, but it appears that the country is split. That there is no true consensus on what direction the country wants to go. It may become a little clearer in January when they hold a general election for the Faroese Parliament but from this election it appears split.

From every avenue I have searched there seems to be people on both ends of the street. I even have it in my family. None of them are all in agreement. The arguments on both sides have good points. I even understand some of the points. The idea of independence as an American goes to the core of our country. The desire to be in control of your destiny and control your own affairs is rooted in the United States. So for the Faroese to want the same I can completely understand and I support. On the opposite side of the street is the notion that the Faroe Islands has a population of 48,000. This is a small country. I live in Auburn which is a small town in Washington which has a population larger then the Faroe Islands and I can not imagine this town handling international affairs. Also the town would not be able to make it without support from the State or the Federal Government. This is the argument from the people that want to keep the ties to Denmark. That the Faroe Islands can not survive without the support from Denmark. That with the subsidies along with the benefits of education and military that the Faroe Islands needs Denmark.

So how can these differences be resolved?? I am not sure but I feel that if the supporters of independence wants to convince more people to their platform they will need to cut ALL ties with Denmark. They will have to stop excepting any money from Denmark. That they will have to pay for anyone that seeks education in Denmark or any other EU country. That they seek out agreements with the European Union for defense of the Faroe Islands. If this can be done and the country can stand on its own there is no reason that independence shouldn't be achieved. If they can't then the point that they need Denmark has been made. Until then I think you will have people on both ends.

Like I said I am no expert but I have my opinions that might work. And please if any of my facts are incorrect please correct me.

On another note from this election, it looks like the Faroe Islands could be a factor in determining the Prime Minister of Denmark. Check out his article from Topix.

Also here is a link to Faroese Politics from Wikipedia.

I hope this hasn't bored everyone but I am somewhat of political junkie.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I have added a link to my blog called VerveEarth. It is beta blog referral site. It uses Google map and gives you links to websites and blogs according to the map. It truly makes it very easy to find websites and blogs based on where they are located in the world. If you are like me I am always looking for websites and blogs from around the world and this is a pretty cool site.

Check it out.

Faroese Links

I have added a few of the links I use on a regular basis. I split it into two areas. One is a list of sites that have General information about the Faroe Islands. These are for the most part in English and will give you some good information about the Faroe Islands. The site Hoppa has a spider-web setup of all the sites in the Faroe Islands.

The other list is a list of News and Media sites. These are both in Faroese and English with most of them being in Faroese. But hopefully it will give you some news on the Faroe Islands. It is very difficult to get news about the Faroe Islands in English. I would recommend that you read Faroe-man's blog "Everything about the Faroe Islands" He does a good job of updating a lot of the news and it is in English.

Hopefully this will give you some more information about the Faroe Islands. As I also said in one of my first postings is to use Google search. Search engines are a great start on any topic and usually it will bring up websites that are in English.

Faroese Elections

Well this Tuesday the Faroe Islands will be holding elections for their two seats in the Danish parliament. From the discussion I have had with others this election will not have an effect directly with the Faroe Islands and its running of their parliament but it could be indicator of how things will go in January. The Faroe Islands will have their election for parliament at that time. There is a big movement towards independence and the thought is if the candidates are in favor either direction it would give indication what direction the country is leaning.

I will update you after the election.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Faroese Language

I want to thank Workman for giving me a topic to post. I have struggle the last few days on what to write about. There hasn't been much news from the Faroe Islands. I think the biggest story this week has been the weather. Jenny's blog has some great pictures of the storm.

So anyway Workman on his latest post on his blog brought up the topic of the Faroese language. I thought I would take a little further.

At 5 years old I spoke only Faroese. I started kindergarten not being able to speak English. Unfortunately my mother, at the time, felt that speaking two languages would hinder my schooling and stopped speaking Faroese to me. So as you can image I have lost most if not all the ability to speak Faroese. I never thought that it was that important growing up but after the passing of my mother I gained a great desire to learn the language. Maybe it has to with wanting to speak to family or maybe it is just a way to be closer to my mother. Either way it has become an obsession of mine to learn the language. I have done a lot of research online and in discussion groups.

The problem with the Faroese language is that there isn't any language like it. It is very similar to Norwegian and Icelandic but there is enough differences that learning one doesn't give you the ability to understand the other. Then there is the fact that there is only about 80,000 people in the world that speak Faroese and 48,000 of them live in the Faroe Islands. There isn't any computer programs or online courses that would help. So to learn the language it has to be quest of research.

I would like to jump start anyone interested in learning the language and give some of the sites that have helped me.

One of the first things for me was to hear Faroese. Since I spoke it at one time and have been around family, to hear it again was important.

Framtak This site has some audio files, with some simple phases to listen to. It is also one of the first English websites I found about the Faroe Islands and has lot of additional information.

Lingva Prismo Has list of ten phrases with audio. It gives some basic phrases and an allows you to hear what it sounds like.

Then there is the Faroese radio and TV. This can be difficult because if you have no prior knowledge of the language it can be hard to follow along with. The children's show are the best to start out with.

Faroese Radio Click the logo at the bottom left. It says Beinleiðis.

Faroese TV Rogni og Drekin is the current childrens show being broadcast.

Now I have also looked for dictionaries and other information that might help me in my pursuit. I will give a list of some of what I have found.

Faroese Tutorial This site gives a brief history of the language and then gives you a lot of phases and how to pronounce them. It is great for beginners.

UniLang Wiki - Faroese Introduction This site gives basic information and some links to additional information.

UniLang Comunity - Language Resource This site has a lot of information. Some online leasons. some phrases and additional information. This is one of the best sites with the most information.

Yahoo Faroese Language Group Groups and forums can be a good resource but quite often there are a lot of the same people wanting to learn a language. Most of the time there is no native speakers that belong to the group but it is a place to share what others have found.

Dictionaries are probably the hardest to find. There are very few written or online and the ones that I have found are not complete. Quite often the words I look for are not there but something is better then nothing.

Here is a list that I have phone online.

Faroese - English Very basic but helpful.

Faroese - English This is a larger list and has search capabilities along with a word list.

Faroese Language - Wiktionary This is one of the best list of words. It allows you to search by categories such as "foods". It also has a allows you to search words through the search engine on the left. Along with words it also gives you a list of phrases that are commonly used under Faroese Phrasebook.

One of the other avenues that I have researched is the use of Skype. If you are not familiar with this program it is VOIP program allowing you to speak with others over the internet like a phone. There is the ability to set up chat rooms within Skype that are called Skypecast. There are many people using this program to learn different languages. I just need to get enough people that want to learn and people that can teach to start one.

The last resource is the University of the Faroe Islands. It provides a summer course that teaches the language. It is held every summer in the month of August. If you are able to spend a little over 3 weeks in the Faroe Islands you can take this course. This is the only course I know of that gives you formal training of the Faroese language. I know that Jenny has taken this course and has help her quite a bit in learning the language.

University of the Faroe Islands

Hopefully this gives you a start on learning the language. I know this is a difficult task but I believe that it can be done. It is one that I am willing to go through.

If any others have found other resources I would love to hear of them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yet Another School Shooting

There is yet another school shooting but this time it is not in the United States. It is in Finland. This seems to be a very unlikely place. I never would have thought that this sort of thing would happen in ANY Scandinavian country but I guess no country these days is free from this sort of violence. It is saddens me to see such violence coming from children. I know this has been asked many times before but I just don't understand what could bring a child to commit such an act of violence. My prayers go out to all the families effected by this shooting.

CNN Report

BBC Report

Sky News

And as I have said after each one of these incidents I pray that this is the last one but I suspect that this will not be the case.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Best Islands in the World

Torshavn with Nolsoy in the background.

I don't know if you have noticed all the articles that have been boasting that there island is ranked higher then another island. I just read another one about Shetland Islands on the BBC. Everyone is building up their own island. The one thing that all of them only mention in passing is that the Faroe Islands is at the top. The National Geographic article that everyone is using to build there island up has the Faroe Islands above them all.

National Geographic Traveler

Check it out we are the best and we should be proud of it.


Boy do I miss the Faroe Islands.

Faroese Wool

The Faroe Islands is know as the Sheep Islands so it is no wonder that Faroese wool is some of the best in the world. It has been a part of the Faroe Islands since the first vikings settle there. Today it has moved from the traditional Scandinavian style sweater to a modern fashion statement.

Here is an article about the Faroese wool and how it has jumped into the high fashion of today.

In the remote Faroe Islands, wool becomes a fashion statement

If you have never worn Faroese wool you are missing out on the BEST. It is not only beautiful but it is some of warmest that I have ever known.

Here are some links to some of the designers and manufactures mentioned in the article.



Gudrun & Gudrun's

I hope you get to experience some of their products.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

TÝR a Faroese Metal Band

If any of you are into Metal and happen to be in Denmark or Germany in Jam you should check out this band. TÝR has a unique sound that is a mix of heavy metal and Faroese folk. Some call it Viking Metal. They have a few concert dates in January.

Jan. 24 - Odense, DEN - Badstuen
Jan. 25 - Lübeck, GER - Treibsand
Jan. 26 - Osnabrück, GER - N8 (Winternoise Festival)

If you are interested in hearing some of their songs, here is their MySpace page, which has a few of their songs. I am not much into metal but I do like "Hail to the Hammer"

TÝR MySpace

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Battle over a Rock

It is amazing the battle over a little rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean will bring. The rock is called Rockall.


Currently 4 countries are fighting for the rights to this rock. Why?? Well it isn't because anyone can live there. It is only 27 meters in diameter. (88 feet) No it is about OIL. All of them want the rights to the possible oil that surrounds the rock in the Atlantic. Denmark is claiming its rights to it through it's territory of the Faroe Islands. It will be interesting to see what the conclusion of this will be. I know the search for oil in the North Atlantic is a priority for the Faroe Islands. It will bring a new source of income to the islands which now get most of it from the fishing industry.

I will try and keep you updated on any conclusion to this.

Here is the link to one of the stories out there on this topic.

MSN Article


Ok this is my second post. I thought I would give you a link to the island and village where my family comes from. The island is Nolsoy. It is just east of the capital Torshavn. If you search images of the capital you will see many that show the island in the background. The one mountain Høgoyggj distinctive when you see it.

My family has lived there for probably a 1000 years. There are many stories and legends about the family so it is hard to tell which is true and which is not. Here is one of them that is also on the page of Nolsoy.

Korndalur and Prinsessutoftir

Originally, Nólsoy had to farms: One farm near the spot where the village church is now, and one farm in Korndalur - Corn Valley. Korndalur was inhabitated from around 1300 until around 1750, when the last inhabitants moved to the village.

In Korndalur there are still remainders of houses from past ages. One of these is called the Princess’s Ruin; according to legend a Scottish princess whose father didn't approve of her boyfriend, fled with the boyfriend and settled on Nólsoy. Several years later the Scottish king heard where his daughter could be found, and came here to kill her. But when he saw the good life of the young family, and met his grandchild, he changed his mind and was reunited with his daughter.

What I do know is that Nugga (the family home) was the first home to move to the current location of the village. Here is an image of the church that I was baptized in and Nugga. (it is the home furthest to the right) This is from the 50 kroner bill. Also the man on the front of the bill is Nólsoyar Páll who is known as a national hero in the Faroe Islands for breaking the Danish trade monopoly on the islands in the 19th century. He is a ancestor of mine too.

Anyway here is the link to the Nolsoy's tourist website. This one is in English but it is also available in Faroese and Danish.

Hope you enjoy reading about this little island.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Like I said I am not sure what I am going to do with this blog. I have never done such a thing. But I guess one of the first things I need to do is introduce myself.

My name is Allen but many of my family call me Ogie so that is where I got the nickname on this blog.

I was born in England to two loving parents. My dad was an American born in Pennsylvania. He served in the US Air Force for 24 years. He first enlisted during WW2 when it was called the Army Air Corps. But most of this blog will be about my mother’s side. She was born and raised on a small island in the Faroe Islands called Nolsoy. (Now a side note: at times I will turn my font to allow Faroese characters but most of the time I will stick with English just because I am lazy and it is easier to stay with what I know. See Nolsoy in Faroese is spelt Nólsoy) She was one of eight children. My Omma (grandmother) was one of 23 and my Abbi (grandfather) I believe was one of 8-10. (Not quite sure on him.) So as you can image I have a lot of family in Faroe Islands.

I will in the future give you links to the Faroe Islands if you are interested to find out more. But for right now one of the best ways to find out is to google Faroe Islands and you will find out a lot about the Faroe Islands.

So now you are probably asking how a man from Pennsylvania and a woman from the Faroe Islands ever met each other. Well my mom left Nolsoy at 18 to move to Denmark where a couple of her older sisters had already moved to. (Note: Faroe Islands is an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark) She always told us kids (I have a brother and sister) that she left Nolsoy so she didn’t end up marrying a cousin. Anyway she ended up with a job at a hotel in Copenhagen. Now my dad ended up stationed in Copenhagen where he was training some of the Saudi Arabian air force on some missile stuff. And he just happened to be staying that the same hotel my mom was working. I guess it was one of those love at first site things because it wasn’t long until he asked her to marry him. They had a great marriage and were married for 34 years up until my dad’s death in 1990.

Now where I come in is their first place my dad was stationed after their marriage was Burtonwood, England. I guess it was between Liverpool and Manchester. She was still a Faroese/Danish citizen so for what ever reason at least at that time after I was born I was considered an immigrant. Up until I was 18 I could have chosen to have Faroese/Danish citizenship, English citizenship or US citizenship. And as you can tell I chose US. My mom at the time decided to have me baptized on Nolsoy. The image of the church above is the church I was baptized in. A tradition in the Faroe Islands is to have multiple godparents. I had 4 godfathers and 3 godmothers. I am not sure if that is still the tradition today. I guess I will have to ask one of my cousin’s, his granddaughter is being baptized in November. Anyway that was the first time I visited the Faroe Islands.

If you are not aware of being brought up an Air Force brat you move a lot. By the time my dad retired I had been in 13 different countries by the age of 13. Throughout my childhood my mother would bring us back to the Faroe Islands to visit. One of the longest times was when I was 4-5 years old. (I turn 5 while we were there.) At that time I learnt to speak Faroese. I even started school here not being able to speak English. Unfortunately my mother felt it would hurt my schooling so she never kept it up and today I can only speak a little bit. It is one of my goals to do before I die is to be able to speak Faroese again but it is difficult to do long distance. So like I said I have been their several times but the last time was over 30 years when I was 17 years old. I spent 6 months there by myself. It was one of the best times in my life. I always said I would go back but for what ever reason I have not made it back YET. So another goal is to at least make it back to the Faroe Islands and Denmark one more time.

I have been fortunate that many Aunts, Uncles and cousins have been able to visit us. So we have been able to stay connected. One of my favorite cousins just visited this last September. But since my mother past away in 1995 it has been difficult to keep in touch with everyone. Since I don’t speak Faroese and some of my family don’t speak English it is hard to communicate with them. The internet has been a great help in being able to keep in touch. I have many IM programs and use Skype to stay connected.

Anyway I think this is a lot for my first posting I will try and keep in touch. If there are any other Faroese Americans out there I welcome you your input. I know there are a few of us out there.

Thanks for reading