; Reconnecting with Roots
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Reconnecting with Roots


Each spring Thousand Oaks in Ventura County, about a half hour inland from Malibu, Calif. welcomes a large crowd to a festival with true Nordic roots - Scandinavian Feslival, sponsored by the Scandinavian American Cultural and Hislorical Foundation with support from California Lutheran University. And it doesn't get more Scandinavian than this; the Festival began as a celebration of the college and the history of the Conejo Valley, which was settled by predominantly Norwegians in the 1890s, and is the brainchild of the late Swedish-American Professor Armour Nelson and the late Norwegian-American John Nordberg.[Clausen] has two former employees of the private university to thank for the annual celebration. The late Amour Nelson, a Swedish-American archivist and English professor, and John Nordberg, a Norwegian American who served as Director of Development, conceived of the idea while playing golf 35 years ago. Nelson wanted to show off his collection of rare Scandinavian books, while Nordberg wanted to showcase the picturesque CLU campus. Both wanted to celebrate the school's Scandinavian roots. The university's founding in 1959 had been the dream of Scandinavian immigrants, and members of the Norwegian-American Pederson family had provided most of the land.[Lana Lundin] married a Swede and lived in his homeland for 23 years. She originally left it to her husband to teach their children about his Swedish heritage while she passed on American traditions. But when her son's first-grade teacher got upset because he didn't know literary characters like the late author Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking and Emil, Lundin decided she needed to get involved in passing along her children's Swedish culture and traditions as well.

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