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Bygdelagenes Fellesraad

"Happy to provide you with the most current bygdelag information available, on the web."

Welcome to Fellesraad's home pages.

What is the Fellesraad?

"Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad" (NABF), is the national council for the twenty-nine (currently active) affiliated Norwegian-American Bygdelag.

Founded on November 17, 1916, the Fellesraad has been continuously active in the bygdelag movement for over one hundred years.

From a translation of entries found in the 1929 year book come the following statements of purpose:

  1. To stand as a connecting link between bygdelag.
  2. To create a forum for the member groups where questions of mutual interest and meaning could be drafted by lag representatives.
  3. To be an advisory organization, to support and guide development of the lag movement  and to influence its cultural activities.
  4. To manage cooperative projects for the good of all bygdelag.

How do you say that?

These "sounds like" helps will get you close. If you can put a little roll on the r's you'll be even closer.

  • Lag - "log"
    • An organization with a common interest, area, or purpose.
  • Fellesraad - "fell-es-road"
    • A council for a group of orginizations.
  • Bygd - "big-dh"
    • A region or district (tied together by common traditions)
  • Bygdelag - "big-da-log"
    • An organization from a common area.
  • Fylke - "fill-ka"
    • An area in Norway that is translated as a county but in the USA is closer to a state.
  • Kommune - "ko-mu-na"
    • An area best translated as a municipality but in the USA is closer to a county.
    • Plural form is kommuner.
  • Stevne - "stev-na"
    • A meeting (May also be plural (meetings) depending on where you are from).
  • Stevner - "stev-ner"
    • Meetings (May also be singular).

What is a Bygdelag?

Bygdelag are organizations comprised of descendants of emigrants from Norway to North America. Every "Lag" seeks to preserve and strengthen bonds with its home district or community-of-origin in Norway.

Because groups usually hold meetings (stevner) once each summer, Lag publications continue to be essential communication tools in most groups. Except for wartime, these reunions have been occurring since several hundred people from Valdres met in a Minneapolis park in June 1899. Close to 1100 participants celebrated Valdres Samband's 100th year at the Norwegian-American Bygdelag Centennial, which also honored every subsequent "Lag" at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, July 29-31, 1999.

Stevne programs may feature a variety of Norwegian cultural and educational activities. Displays of Norwegian arts and crafts, consumption of ethnic foods, choral and instrumental music, books and readings, fiddlers and folk dancing, genealogy classes, noted speakers, video tapes, and Norwegian language in signs, songs or speech may be used.

Fun and fellowship-as well as help in tracing your ancestry and re-establishing contact with relatives are possible.

Get started with help finding your roots.