Norwegian Consulate Leaving Stings
The coming closure of the Norwegian consulate has caused consternation in Minneapolis, particularly among the sons and daughters of Norway. Today, the Grey Lady has a piece covering response from local residents of Norwegian descent. Quoting customers of Ingebretsen's, the NYT delivers the goods. Short version: there's a whole lot of miffed going around.
“This is a bit of a slap in the face,” Janet Rog, 74, said of Norway’s recent announcement that it would shut its career consulate here next year and send the diplomats home.
“We’re very proud of our roots, and we’ve tried really hard to preserve them,” said Shirley Hansen, another knitter at a table bursting with the bright geometric patterns Norway is known for. “Norway is near and dear to us, but now we feel like maybe they haven’t considered us quite so important.”
Response from the Norwegian government hasn't exactly calmed the waters.
Wegger Christian Strommen, the recently appointed Norwegian ambassador, said no one was abandoning the Midwest. “We’re not going to leave,” Mr. Strommen said in a telephone interview from his Washington office. “We are going to take all these things forward, in a slightly different way.”
Yeah. The highway.
The other three Norwegian consulates in the U.S., in case you were wondering, are in New York, San Francisco, and in that noted hotbed of Scandinavian culture, Houston. It might not be as steeped in Norwegian tradition, but I hear it looks a lot like Block E.