Among the missions of the Lower Columbia Danish Society is to promote activities that foster a sense of “hygge.” The Danish and Norwegian word has no direct English translation, but refers to a sense of comfort in togetherness, health and simple pleasures. Think of a blanket by the fireplace, a casual dinner with friends, or even a greeting between family members over a video call.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the group has held meetings via Zoom but were set to begin holding them in person again in April at Astoria's Peace First Lutheran Church. Smørrebrød and other traditional recipe contests, folk costume shows, presentations and crafts are just a few of the Danes’ favorite activities.
The Lower Columbia Danish Society was founded in 1975 to celebrate and share Danish culture with the Columbia-Pacific community. Many immigrant families, including Scandinavians, came to the region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bringing new dishes, festivals and traditions to the region.
There is no membership fee and all are welcome to take part in the society’s activities, which can be found at lowercolumbiadanes.org.