Dolls of Norway

The display is attention getting. No question about that. It is colorful, infinitely interesting and an excellent example of Norwegian history.

Dave and Anne Strootman, Maple Grove, Minn., can be found at a booth in Hstfest’s Stockholm Hall, surrounded by dolls clad in Norwegian clothing. The clothing on each doll was carefully sewn by Anne Strootman. The miniature clothing is representative of various regions of Norway.

“I make all of the bunads and traditional dresses that are on the dolls. I feel like it is a real important way to display your heritage, kind of teach the next generation where grandma and grandpa and great-grandparents came from,” said Anne Strootman. “Whether it’s from a city like Oslo or another region of Norway, there’s a costume that would represent where your family came from.”

Visitors to the booth enjoyed scanning the dolls to find one from the region where their early-day relatives lived. Sometimes Dave Strootman would be called upon to help, using a map to locate a particular region that may not be known by name. He looked the part too. On Wednesday Dave Strootman was wearing a colorful shirt of a pattern that is well known in Norway.

“This is the traditional workshirt of Norway. It dates back several centuries,” said Dave Strootman. “My wife sews them. The fabric is imported from a little town just west of Oslo.”

The Strootmans say they enjoy their time at Hstfest, sometimes wandering to a nearby display where lefse is sold. Lefse is a traditional Norwegian treat made from potatoes.

“We were just talking about getting the hopped up lefse with all the butter and sugar and cinnamon,” laughed Dave Strootman.

In addition to the wide variety of dolls and traditional Norwegian shirts, the Strootmans have many other Scandinavian items on display at their booth. It is all part of what makes Hostfest so interesting and entertaining for those who attend.

There’s another aspect to Hstfest too, one which has not escaped the attention of Anne Strootman.

“I love meeting all the people that come and the volunteers,” said Anne Strootman. “It just amazes me that the city of Minot can put on such a huge event. This is just fabulous.”