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Scandinavian Centre is Winnipeg’s home of Nordic culture

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Have you ever visited the Scandinavian Cultural Centre at 746 Erin St.?

The Norwegian Club offers an excellent lunch for $7 every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Included is a bowl of soup, three or four different types of open-face sandwiches, dessert and coffee or tea. Sunday brunches run between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. every week.

A TGIF dinner and speaker series continues on the fourth Friday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in 2014.

The Scandinavian Cultural Centre has been around for quite some time. Its current location was established in 1982 and it is the home to all five Nordic countries: the Danish Canadian Club, Finnish Canadian Club, Icelandic Frón, Norwegian Canadian Club, and the Swedish Cultural Association.

Each country has its own room in which it displays articles unique to that country.

According to the club’s website, scandinaviancentre.ca, "a number of associated groups, including the Scandinavian Stamp Collectors; the Scandinavian Folk Group, which organizes our annual Folklorama Pavilion; the Scandinavian Choir, the Scandia Fun Folk Dancers and the Scandia Young Folk Dancers" also make their homes at the centre.

Throughout the year many activities are held at the centre, including lunches and brunches, language classes, heritage days, and Christmas celebrations for children and adults alike. It is a very popular place to hold birthday parties and socials as the centre rents out its premises.

For the last three years, the centre has offered a two-hour school program called "Everyone wants to be a Viking", geared "for Grade 3 and 5 students studying Vikings as part of the Manitoba Social Studies curriculum."

The program focuses on the daily life, traditions, customs and cultural aspects of the Vikings in North America and Northern Europe.

Children have to opportunity to see how Vikings lived through looking at replicas of Viking furniture and utensils. They also get to sample some traditional food and learn about the herbs that Vikings used for healing.

They also learning to "write in the Runic alphabet on their own Rune stone and make a unique necklace to take home." The program is quite popular and the children enjoy learning about the Viking age.

Arny Hjaltadottir is a community correspondent for the West End.

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