May 24, 2004

Norwegian Speakers, Unite

This weekend, my daughter actually garnered an advantage from speaking Norwegian. We attended the third birthday party of one of her little friends. It was held at a place called "Art Farm" in New York City. By the way, we scored the holy of holies: a parking spot right in front of the door to the place on the street in NYC.

The party was cute. There was a guy with a guitar and then art projects and then, in the basement, a little petting zoo. I'm not sure how much I approved of the petting zoo in the basement thing -- how much natural light do any of these animals see? Be that as it may, the two people in charge downstairs were Swedes. And when they heard my wife and daughter speaking Norwegian, they were delighted to have fellow Scandos there. So, they kept letting my daughter hold all the cool animals first because they'd speak to her first, in Swedish, and she'd answer them in Norwegian. First time I've ever noticed her gain an advantage from Norwegian language skills.

I asked one the Swedes later if they had birthday parties like this in Sweden and he said no with a sort of funny, almost judgmental, tone in his voice. So, I remarked that these kinds of parties are common in NYC because people have very small apartments and don't have the space to have 16 children over to run around and play. He looked kind of surprised at that, as if a reasonable explanation other than American excess hadn't occurred to him. I just smiled and left it at that.

Posted by Random Penseur at May 24, 2004 07:45 AM
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