Welcome to the Danish Social Club of Victoria

Dear Members and Friends of the Danish Social Club of Victoria:

We are now into our 9th month of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Many of us, due to our senior years, have been in a very select bubble consisting of family and a few friends.  Thank goodness for our electronic devices as we are able to connect virtually and speak, and even see each other, if we choose! Hopefully you all were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with your bubble!

Rosemary and I are thankful for our good health and that of our family.  Our granddaughter, Lily, is now in cancer remission for ten months. Maybe some of you saw her on the news recently?  She and her mother, Meredith, sponsored a bottle drive to raise money for both the Cops for Cancer and the Island Kids Cancer Association.  They raised $21,000 which they split in two between both groups.  It was one of the biggest bottles drives ever in the Capital Region and reported on both CTV and CHEK television!

Now that summer is over, we are now coming into flu/cold season; we are now wondering where and when we will be able to get the flu vaccine. Thinking of the flu vaccine turns our thoughts to a future vaccine against Covid-19 (not even approved and it’s causing much controversy!). Such a vaccine sounds like a great way to get our lives back to normal but that doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon. It is likely that we will have to reconcile ourselves to adjusting to a new “normal”. 

We missed not being able to have our annual garden BBQ; we especially missed our planned October 16th Kro Aften (think of those great sandwiches!).  There will also be no Julen (Christmas) with a Store Kolder Julebord prepared by Annemari and her fantastic crew. Because of these cancellations, the Board has tried to come up with a way to connect with you and enjoy good Danish food.  Annemari will explain some ideas that are being examined to do this and the Board will work hard to organize some sort of Covid-19 compliant events for next year.

We are mindful that our club is basically made up of seniors. It would be great if members would share their experiences of growing up in Canada, being of Danish Heritage. Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren need to hear about these experiences to learn more about Danish history and culture. Maybe you have ideas how we can encourage our younger family members to attend events when gatherings are once again allowed? Write down your thoughts and forward them to the club.  We need to be relevant in the years to come.

Remembrance Day, November 11, is coming up in a few weeks and the usual support, likely won’t be there.  Let us not forget why we have this day.

During the last few months we have lost some of our members and also have been unable to help some members celebrate special events such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries.  An example of such a celebration is the 50th anniversary of Bent and Shirley Andersen which was  on October 17th.  There are many milestones that our members were not able to share with us.  To these members, please know that we are always thinking of you.

Please remain positive, safe, calm and healthy.  I and all the Directors wish you (in case there is no other publication of the Nyheder before December 25th) a special Glaedelig Jul og Godt Nytaar.  Enjoy Hygge with your chosen bubble; don’t forget that there are several ways we can keep in contact, one of them being the old-fashioned phone or the new electronic way (skype, zoom etc.).

Venlig Hilsen, Hans

Join the Danish Social Club!

We would love to meet you. Get to know us by reading our Nyheder (link on the far right), keep up to date on the club's plans, read a little history and join us in celebrating the Danish culture!

What's New at the Danish Social Club

Fastelavn 2020

In Denmark, there is a tradition called Fastelavn. Fastelavn is celebrated seven weeks before Easter Day. Therefore, Fastelavn this year fell on Sunday February 23. But what is Fastelavn?

Fastelavn is a carnival of sort, where kids dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. It is celebrated in daycare institutions, schools etc. While Fastelavn is mostly for children, as few adults dress up, you can experience that the students at the university also will celebrate Fastelavn by having Fastelavn Parties. 

Some say that Fastelavn is the Danish equivalent of Halloween, but while there are similarities, like kids dressing up in costumes, there are also many differences between the Danish Fastelavn and Halloween. 

Fastelavn is an old tradition and has deep cultural roots. It is based on the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating the days before Lent. At Fastelavn, kids “knock the cat out of the barrel” with a bat. Or in Danish, “Slå katten af tønden”. In the old times, a black cat was literally put in a barrel as a symbol of evil and beaten to death. This was done to ward off evil.

Nowadays, however, the barrel is filled with candy. When the kids knock the barrel, they compete to become “Cat Queen”  and “Cat King”. “Cat Queen” is the one who knocks the bottom off the barrel so that the candy comes flushing out, while the person who becomes “Cat King” is the one who knocks the last remaining board off the barrel. 

Another tradition related to Fastelavn is eating Fastelavnsboller. These are sweet buns that are typically filled with cream or jam. You can buy them almost everywhere in bakeries and grocery stores as Føtex. 

If you have children, be aware if the child’s school or day-care institution celebrates fastelavn, so that you can dress up your child. You can make your child’s costume yourself or buy one in a toy store, as these usuallly have a vide sortiment of costumes. 

If you are interested in learning more about Fastelavn, its origin and its traditions, you can read more here

Many thanks go out this year to Jens Lorentzen for a spectacular Barrel beautifully printed with cats, well put together and created a bit of extra help from the bigger boys and girls. It was filled with a delicious candy donation from Bent and Shirley Andersen. The traditional Fastelavn Ris produced by the talented hands of Birgit, Karen and Jette. A potpourri of Chefs, Annemari, Gloria, and Ernst provided a fabulous feast of Chili and the hot dogs were carefully cooked by Chef Finn. 

Royals Hockey Night

The club had 30 plus members attend a Victoria Royals hockey game on Friday February 21 where we raised the Danish flag Dannebrog (thanks to Ben and Shirley Andersen for arranging.) Before the game we met with Phillip Schultz, the captain who hails from Denmark. He scored a goal for us. The next day Phillip’s parents, his sister and brother and his girlfriend attended our Fastelavn event.