Dannebrog comes together for a Danish Christmas
DANNEBROG, Neb. —
For the past couple of weeks, towns all across central Nebraska have been getting ready for Christmas.
This weekend, Dannebrog - the Danish capital of Nebraska - decided to celebrate theirs Danish style.
"We have a rich Danish history here," Lori Larsen, a Dannebrog Booster member, said.
Back in 1871, settlers from Denmark came to the city now known as Dannebrog and met people from the Pawnee tribe there.
"They chose this land and this area and that's how Dannebrog got its name. Dannebrog actually means the Danish flag," Larsen said.
The holidays are a time when they look back on the past and remember.
"Danish Christmas is a tradition here in Dannebrog," Gale Pemberton, a Dannebrog Booster said.
They held a tree festival, a business window decorating competition, and of course celebrated with food.
Marna's Restaurant made an all–Danish menu with a bakery full of Danish sweets.
"It's just easy to do because everybody steps up and says, 'oh yeah, I've got my grandmother's recipe' or 'I've got my grandmother's tree ornament' or something along that line," Pemberton said.
They even had Danish bingo where players were encouraged to say "Hygge," a Danish word that expresses excitement or love, instead of bingo.
For Harriett Nielsen, she moved to Dannebrog back in the1950s, and married a Danish man. She said she was very excited when her husband suggested they live in his Danish hometown.
"I love being Dane," she said. "Danish people are so loveable. They're kind. They're thoughtful and Dannebrog is just my town. I've had a restaurant here for 23 years– a Danish restaurant," Nielsen said.
Nielsen, the 90-year-old grandmother, said she learned how to cook traditional meals from her mom and mother-in-law. She said their roots are a part of their identity.
"I think any nationality should promote their nationality. Whatever you are you just want people to know," Nielsen said.
It's a small town filled with a lot of tradition and love.
"It's the personal touch. That’s what makes the difference for all of us. That's why I live in Dannebrog," Pemberton said.
"I want to live here for the rest of my life," Nielsen said.