Keeping Norwegian Culture Trendy among Young Generation

Photo : Ola Erik | The Halling (hallingdansen) is a folk dance (bygdedans) traditionally performed in rural Norway and traditionally performed by young men at weddings and parties..

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Runhild
Heggem is 21 years old
, from a small
village called Osmarka, in Møre og Romsdal.
and
studies folk music at Høgskulen i Telemark. As one of the few folk
music and dance devouts of her generation, Runhild tells The Nordic
Page her career path and the future of this cultural heritage in
Norway.

2)
How did your interest for folk music begin?

I
have played fiddle since I was seven years old, but didn’t start
folk music before we had a culture heritage project at school. This
project ended with a cd-recording in the spring of 2003, and after
this project I knew this was what I wanted.

I participated in my
first competition (called “kappleik”) in the fall of 2004, and
that gave me the taste of more, and in the spring I started in the
local folk music group here in Nordmøre.

Since 2004, I have
participated in all competitions, festivals, concerts and other
assignments that I had opportunity to. This is really the kind of
life I want to live!

3)
Did your family have any influence in your interest?

My parents were
already in the folk music environment before me and my brother were
born, but in my childhood there was little influence. Yet, after I
started playing the fiddle, I have always been met with positive and
motivational words. So I would say that they have given the necessary
support through my childhood, so that I could achieve the goals I
have achieved today.

Photo: Noregs Ungdomslag | Young folk musician Runhild Heggem holds traditional Norwegian folk music instrument, fidell.

4)
How is your interest for folk music and – dance met among your
friends? Have you experienced any challenges or is it a benefit in
your meeting with others?

In
secondary school I don’t quite remember if there was any negativity
against it. And in upper secondary school I chose to study folk music
at Vinstra videregående skole, so then I was already in the right
environment. Even if we were a few people in that folk music study,
there was a difference between music friends and regular friends.

Today
it varies a lot how people you meet react. Some can be very
interested in folk music and – dance, and others can be the totally
opposite and make fun of you playing an old fashion instrument like
the fiddle. When I am introducing myself to new people, I always
consider if I am going to introduce myself as a folk musician and –
dancer. Unfortunately. You never know how people react. But anyway,
today I just stand out as a proud female, who plays both the normal
fiddle, also the hardangerfiddle and dances many different styles,
with “halling” as a specialty.

5)
Do you think there is are enough youngsters in your environment and
in Norway in general who care for folk music and – dance? How can
the attention aroundin this field be increased?

I always think about
how small the local groups are today, if you compare it to the
greatest times in the second half of the 18 sectury and beginning of
the 19th century. My dream is to build this up again, like it was
here in Nordmøre.

There are a lot of
places which have huge folk music groups and dance groups, with
people in all ages. You just got to know about them.

This
particular issue is quite relevant today. Information about the folk
music and folk dance has to reach out to new people who are
interested, so that the traditions which have continued for
generations can go on. How we are going to make this happen, is
through media coverage, about what is happening in this area – all
from small concerts to huge festivals. With more attention to the
recruitment, which most of the times is the problem.

Source:
TNP Magazine

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