In my mind, everything will be waiting for me in Viborg. Once I get there, everything will fall into place and my Nordic soul will be at home and at peace. This is, of course, a fantasy. The town of my grandmother’s youth has long gone, along with the war generation, except for one or two.
What do I hope to achieve by visiting Viborg? Even if I found descendants, do I really expect to become part of their life in the space of a day or even a week? And they would have their lives and routines.
I cannot make up for lost time. I cannot reconstruct the first 50 years of my life.
My ideal Christmas, which is when I hope to first visit Scandinavia, is just a fairy tale because I have no children of my own to create the perfect Christmas.
I might be able to join my Christian brothers and sisters and gain a sense of belonging.
During my childhood, I reckon that my parents had at least 3 opportunities to take me and my brother to Denmark to stay with relatives, maybe even 5 or 6 times.
As I approach 50, I should be able to reflect upon happy Nordic memories, of childhood moments, of at least one Christmas, one summer, one Birthday spent with family and friends in Denmark. Instead, I have nothing. No warm feeling of sitting on my great-uncle’s knee. No memories of laughing and dancing around the Christmas tree. No memories of walking through the woods in summer. No memories of making friends with the local kids. No memories of happy family moments. I’m not too worried about the memories I never had of Denmark as an adult. Still, I have happy English childhood memories.
Is it possible for me to make some Nordic memories? I doubt that I will find any distant relatives still living in Vìborg. I hope to possibly make some connections. Who knows?
As I break the silence of 50 years, I am beginning to feel free. I am setting my Nordic soul free and it feels good.
On the journey to Nordic Freedom, I will learn to read, write and speak Danish. I will seek out others who are part Danish. I will visit Denmark and make connections there. I will establish a new Nordic identity for myself and in the next 50 years of my life, it will be the turn of my Nordic soul to lead the way.
Towards Nordic Freedom at last!
My half-Danish/half-English mother raised me throughout my childhood. I lived with her and my English father until my early 20s. I continue to see them regularly. But there is another side to her I know nothing about – her Danish side.
My mother never spoke to me in Danish when I was growing up – not a single word. She never spoke Danish in front of me to her Danish mother, even when her mother tried to hold a conversation with her in Danish? Why was my mother so ashamed?
I do not think my half-Danish mother knows her own Danish self. She has been out of touch with her Nordic soul for at least 50 years.
We live as though we do not have a Nordic soul. What does it matter that we eat a few Nordic foods at Christmas, when we do not even speak Danish? My mother mentions to my father how she has forgotten a lot of Danish, as though she was speaking about another time and another place. We hold this secret and will not share it with each other, let alone the rest of the world. We remain silent until the bitter end. Will my brother ever break the silence? Will my mother take her secret to the grave?
Will I ever know my mother?
How could I have been so naive all these years? My Nordic soul was imprisoned in my Subconscious mind and remained a mystery to me throughout my whole life – until now, nearly 50 years after I was born.
My Nordic identity was never encouraged or nurtured by my half-Danish mother, nor by my fully Danish grandmother, despite the opportunity they had every day of my childhood.
I had known since I was a small boy that my grandmother who lived around the corner was Danish, but it never truly occurred to me that I could be part Danish.
I never really knew my Danish grandmother until after my (English) grandfather passed away when I was about 16. I guess this was only normal since, as a small boy, I didn’t have the patience or ability to engage in adult conversation and the adults didn’t want to just play all the time. As a teenager I had more ‘important’ things to do than to sit around with old people.
My identity was being shaped in my mid-teens and, as my grandmother told me about her life growing up in Denmark, I began to understand that I was part of an important family. However, I didn’t feel the strong sense that I should identify myself as part Danish when I had lived in England all my life, had never visited Denmark and could not speak a single word of Danish.
Now I realise that the reason for failing at school and the struggle to find permanent employment was because I was lost. I couldn’t live properly with only three-quarters of a soul. My soul had been severed in two – from birth. It was not my fault that I couldn’t concentrate at school. It was not my fault that I struggled at forming relationships. It was not my fault that I failed most of my school exams. It was not my fault.
I needed my Nordic soul to develop properly. I needed him to help me understand my identity. I needed him to help me form my identity. I needed him to help me develop my self-esteem and self-confidence.
I believe that God made sure that my Nordic soul survived in my Subconscious until it was time to move him into my Consciousness. Timing is everything.