I've joined a singing class (kvedarskurs) as part of my thesis research. I feel childishly happy to say that I am doing "participatory observation" as part of my research. So far, this means being somewhat confused and singing norwegian dialect while not being certain that I have all the words down right. It's fun. The class consists of 13 to 15 students (not completely certain how many yet), ranging from early twenties (3 counting myself) to maybe 60s? I'm not sure how old the eldest members are. The class is informal, and is as much a social hour (make that 2.5 hours) as a class.
Having less to do with my thesis research, it is yet another example of how to interact with Norwegians. It really does help to know some of the language. After that, join things, feel okay with feeling awkward/confused, and maybe do it alone. I'm not sure if it is that I am less intimidating when I'm on my own, or if it is that I'm forced to be more open to others when I don't have someone who I can talk to easily with me.* I have it pretty easy in this class, because one of the norwegian girls from the Midwestern Texts lecture and one of the Americans that isn't here on exchange are in the class. And the one I assume to be the oldest member of the class is completely adorable and very sweet. When I asked her if she knitted her shawl she tickled me with it, which I might have taken as an invasion of my space, but found charming instead. I've completely forgotten what kind of goat it is. It's not cashmere. Something that starts with an A, I think. Very soft yarn. Apparently there is a farm near Notodden from which the fiber came. As a knitter, I find this very keen. Some how Slow Knitting doesn't carry the same effect as Slow Food, but the meaning of the latter is what I am interested in with my fibers whenever possible. This is, however, secondary to my lust for really fabulous natural fiber. I still want to get some qiviut.**
*many are shy about their english, which is still much better than my norwegian.
**qiviut is fiber from muskox, making the softest and warmest of textiles.