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Norwegians want UUFDA Bill amended

By Staff | Dec 23, 2010

As they say in Trondheim, the lutefisk is out of the barrel.

An anonymous source close to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has disclosed that the upcoming Legislature will be taking up an UUFDA* bill and this without holding hearings in Bergen, Olga, Fort Ransom, or any other North Dakota community known to boast of a large number of bona fide Norwegians.

Nevertheless, the Norwegian community has thrown the krokspjot (spear) across the bow of the ship of state. This bill will not be passed without amendment because it does not include many things that Norwegians demand in any legislation called UUFDA. The Sons of Norway lodges across the state have been alerted and suggestions are pouring in.

First, Norwegians insist that lefse, lutefisk, and torsk be included in school lunch programs three times a week. They expect that the Anti-Lutefisk Society, headquartered in Wishek, will put great pressure on legislators to exempt students in McIntosh and Logan counties but, Norwegians argue, it is time for the Legislature to stand up and do the right thing. If not, they will organize Rommegrot Parties all across the state and throw lutefisk in city water supplies.

Second, Norwegians want students to remember their heritage by learning the Norwegian national anthem as soon as the words can be found. They were lost in 1028 when Canute the Great conquered Norway and used them to wallpaper his chamber. They weren’t missed until 1814 when someone suggested that the national anthem be sung upon the adoption of the new Norwegian constitution. They had to hum through the ceremony. (It is obvious that Norwegians don’t sing a lot. And when they do, they wish they hadn’t.)

Third, they also want textbooks used in North Dakota schools to delete Christopher Columbus as discoverer of America and insert the fact that Leif Erikson discovered the New World 500 years before the Santa Maria left port.That means replacing Columbus Day with Leif Erikson Day and making it an official holiday with pay.

Fourth, some want the UND School of Aerospace Sciences to recognize Norway’s contribution to aviation that started in 1912 with great adversity because of the 10,000 fjords. Of the six pilots licensed that year, the first five crashed trying to take off between fjords at Trondheim. The sixth one learned that they had to go to Denmark to get airborne.

The Swenson brothers were actually ahead of the Wright Brothers in developing heavier-than-air flying machines but they ended up with a glider when Oscar forgot to put the engine in. By the time they figured out the problem, the Wright brothers were off the ground.

The Norwegians-from-Denmark Club in Tagus proposed an amendment calling for money to build a Norwegian Hall of Fame in Minot that would include all of those enshrined by the Hostfest, except those not having at least one-half Scandinavian blood before transfusions. (Inductee Karl Rove would have required two quarts to qualify. Even then, he would still be a pint low.)

The Danes and Swedes won’t be testifying on the UUFDA bill as long as “don’t ask, don’t tell” is in effect.

*Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act

Omdahl is a UND professor emeritus in political science and a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota.

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