I just finished a double batch of Verdens Beste Kake, Norway’s newest traditional cake that is frequently made for celebrations. It’s November and it seems as though I find myself baking more during these two coming months than the rest of the year. It’s cold outside and the smells in the home bring comfort and warmth. As I am baking, my mind begins to travel back in time to my own family, here and in Norway. Bringing out the old Norsk cookbooks and family recipes, a story erupting with each one. Today, as I make this most delicious cake, my Pappa comes to my thoughts.
Traditionally, the second Sunday of November is Father’s Day in Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Sweden. It’s traditional to do a little extra for fathers on this day, maybe to serve breakfast in bed, take him out to dinner, sending a special card or just taking the day to celebrate a father. But, how would you address the card in Norway? Til Far or til Pappa? Typically named Farsdag, there is some question if it should be called Farsdag or Pappasdag?
From the University of Oslo’s dialect-research department, there is some historical ways that names have been used. In their research from 1951-1984 they found out that the common way to call your parents were “mor” and “far”, but from 1998-2012 it was more common to call their parents “mamma” and “papa.”
Language research also found out that there are differences in how boys and girls call their parents. More women than men use “mamma” and “pappa”. Young girls use “mamma” more than boys who use “mor”, and young boys use “far” more frequently than “pappa”.
Much like that in USA, we use mom and dad, mother and father, mommy and daddy, in many similar ways, some more outdated from child to adult, and different spans of time.
Father’s day was first celebrated here in the USA in 1909. In Norway they began to celebrate Farsdag after WWII.
So, today, if we began this tradition, what would we call this day?... Papa’s Day, Father’s day, Dad’s Day?
Well, this second Sunday in November I celebrated my “Pappa” by remembering and reminiscing all of the wonderful ‘Norsk’ he weaved into my life.
KJÆRE PAPPA, DU VAR VERDENS BESTE!