Thursday, November 22, 2007

Give Thanks

I haven't written anything for awhile so I felt I needed to say something on this day of giving thanks. I have many things to be thankful for as I believe we all do. I understand that things are not always the way we would like them to be and many things we would like to have changed in our lives but for me I need to give thanks for even the small things. We all have something that we can give thanks to.

I have not given you guys much information of my personal life but I have much to be thankful for in this arena. I am very thankful for my wife of 25 years. She is the most important thing in my life. I would not be who I am today if it wasn't for her. She is my everything. We almost lost her this January to an aneurysm. It was the scariest time in my life. When faced with death you realize what is truly important in your life.

I also have two wonderful boys that are 17 and almost 19 years old. They are, I guess you could say "the apple of my eye". They have been a challenge at times but I am so grateful for each of them. They have enriched my life more then I could have ever imagined.

I have to also give thanks to the many family members I have from my brother and sister and their family, to my wifes family and to my family in the Faroe Islands. As I said earlier when you are faced with losing someone you are also faced with what is important in your life and family and friends are some of the most important in my life.

As a recovering alcoholic I have to give thanks for the almost 30 years of being clean and sober. Nothing I give thanks to today would be possible if I wasn't sober.

And with respect to this experience of blogging I would like to extend my thanks to everyone that may read my blog and for all the blogs that I read. Expanding my horizon in this fashion has been a great experience.

Lastly I want to give thanks for the whole point of this blog and that is being Faroese American. I believe that being half Faroese and having this connection to the Faroe Islands gives me a different prospective on life. I have such a fondness to the Faroe Islands that I refer to it as home even though I have not been there for over 30 years. Being Faroese I see the world smaller and more connected then most. That we are all in this world together and that we should all be looking after each other. That even though the United States is the biggest and the most powerful country in the world, that we have a responsibility to everyone on this planet. That what we do can and will effect others. That we are a global community and that we as a country need to look at the bigger picture rather then just look at ourselves as the major power. That we need look to our neighbors and respect them. We also as a country can learn much from our neighbors no matter how small they may be.

So on this day of thanks I wish everyone a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Faroese Election Results

Well the election is over and the results are in.

Republican Party came in first and will send Høgni Hoydal to the Danish parliament.
Union Party came in second and will send Endmond Joensen to the Danish parliament.

Faroe-Man has all the numbers on his site. I didn't want to get into all that because it is a bunch of numbers and a lot of it doesn't make sense to me. So if you want the numbers check his blog.

I would like to give a few observations on this elections and don't get me wrong I am no expert on politics and I understand even less about Faroese politics. But I have been doing a lot of asking.

The Republican Party is very much for independence, it was founded in 1948 after independence was not achieved in 1946. So for me, this a statement that a large portion of population still believes and wants independence.

The Unionist Party is the opposite they want to maintain the ties with Denmark. This party has been around since 1906 from what I can figure out from their website. What this says is that not everyone wants independence.

OK I know that it seems that I am pointing out the obvious and maybe I am, but it appears that the country is split. That there is no true consensus on what direction the country wants to go. It may become a little clearer in January when they hold a general election for the Faroese Parliament but from this election it appears split.

From every avenue I have searched there seems to be people on both ends of the street. I even have it in my family. None of them are all in agreement. The arguments on both sides have good points. I even understand some of the points. The idea of independence as an American goes to the core of our country. The desire to be in control of your destiny and control your own affairs is rooted in the United States. So for the Faroese to want the same I can completely understand and I support. On the opposite side of the street is the notion that the Faroe Islands has a population of 48,000. This is a small country. I live in Auburn which is a small town in Washington which has a population larger then the Faroe Islands and I can not imagine this town handling international affairs. Also the town would not be able to make it without support from the State or the Federal Government. This is the argument from the people that want to keep the ties to Denmark. That the Faroe Islands can not survive without the support from Denmark. That with the subsidies along with the benefits of education and military that the Faroe Islands needs Denmark.

So how can these differences be resolved?? I am not sure but I feel that if the supporters of independence wants to convince more people to their platform they will need to cut ALL ties with Denmark. They will have to stop excepting any money from Denmark. That they will have to pay for anyone that seeks education in Denmark or any other EU country. That they seek out agreements with the European Union for defense of the Faroe Islands. If this can be done and the country can stand on its own there is no reason that independence shouldn't be achieved. If they can't then the point that they need Denmark has been made. Until then I think you will have people on both ends.

Like I said I am no expert but I have my opinions that might work. And please if any of my facts are incorrect please correct me.

On another note from this election, it looks like the Faroe Islands could be a factor in determining the Prime Minister of Denmark. Check out his article from Topix.

Also here is a link to Faroese Politics from Wikipedia.

I hope this hasn't bored everyone but I am somewhat of political junkie.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I have added a link to my blog called VerveEarth. It is beta blog referral site. It uses Google map and gives you links to websites and blogs according to the map. It truly makes it very easy to find websites and blogs based on where they are located in the world. If you are like me I am always looking for websites and blogs from around the world and this is a pretty cool site.

Check it out.

Faroese Links

I have added a few of the links I use on a regular basis. I split it into two areas. One is a list of sites that have General information about the Faroe Islands. These are for the most part in English and will give you some good information about the Faroe Islands. The site Hoppa has a spider-web setup of all the sites in the Faroe Islands.

The other list is a list of News and Media sites. These are both in Faroese and English with most of them being in Faroese. But hopefully it will give you some news on the Faroe Islands. It is very difficult to get news about the Faroe Islands in English. I would recommend that you read Faroe-man's blog "Everything about the Faroe Islands" He does a good job of updating a lot of the news and it is in English.

Hopefully this will give you some more information about the Faroe Islands. As I also said in one of my first postings is to use Google search. Search engines are a great start on any topic and usually it will bring up websites that are in English.

Faroese Elections

Well this Tuesday the Faroe Islands will be holding elections for their two seats in the Danish parliament. From the discussion I have had with others this election will not have an effect directly with the Faroe Islands and its running of their parliament but it could be indicator of how things will go in January. The Faroe Islands will have their election for parliament at that time. There is a big movement towards independence and the thought is if the candidates are in favor either direction it would give indication what direction the country is leaning.

I will update you after the election.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Faroese Language

I want to thank Workman for giving me a topic to post. I have struggle the last few days on what to write about. There hasn't been much news from the Faroe Islands. I think the biggest story this week has been the weather. Jenny's blog has some great pictures of the storm.

So anyway Workman on his latest post on his blog brought up the topic of the Faroese language. I thought I would take a little further.

At 5 years old I spoke only Faroese. I started kindergarten not being able to speak English. Unfortunately my mother, at the time, felt that speaking two languages would hinder my schooling and stopped speaking Faroese to me. So as you can image I have lost most if not all the ability to speak Faroese. I never thought that it was that important growing up but after the passing of my mother I gained a great desire to learn the language. Maybe it has to with wanting to speak to family or maybe it is just a way to be closer to my mother. Either way it has become an obsession of mine to learn the language. I have done a lot of research online and in discussion groups.

The problem with the Faroese language is that there isn't any language like it. It is very similar to Norwegian and Icelandic but there is enough differences that learning one doesn't give you the ability to understand the other. Then there is the fact that there is only about 80,000 people in the world that speak Faroese and 48,000 of them live in the Faroe Islands. There isn't any computer programs or online courses that would help. So to learn the language it has to be quest of research.

I would like to jump start anyone interested in learning the language and give some of the sites that have helped me.

One of the first things for me was to hear Faroese. Since I spoke it at one time and have been around family, to hear it again was important.

Framtak This site has some audio files, with some simple phases to listen to. It is also one of the first English websites I found about the Faroe Islands and has lot of additional information.

Lingva Prismo Has list of ten phrases with audio. It gives some basic phrases and an allows you to hear what it sounds like.

Then there is the Faroese radio and TV. This can be difficult because if you have no prior knowledge of the language it can be hard to follow along with. The children's show are the best to start out with.

Faroese Radio Click the logo at the bottom left. It says Beinleiðis.

Faroese TV Rogni og Drekin is the current childrens show being broadcast.

Now I have also looked for dictionaries and other information that might help me in my pursuit. I will give a list of some of what I have found.

Faroese Tutorial This site gives a brief history of the language and then gives you a lot of phases and how to pronounce them. It is great for beginners.

UniLang Wiki - Faroese Introduction This site gives basic information and some links to additional information.

UniLang Comunity - Language Resource This site has a lot of information. Some online leasons. some phrases and additional information. This is one of the best sites with the most information.

Yahoo Faroese Language Group Groups and forums can be a good resource but quite often there are a lot of the same people wanting to learn a language. Most of the time there is no native speakers that belong to the group but it is a place to share what others have found.

Dictionaries are probably the hardest to find. There are very few written or online and the ones that I have found are not complete. Quite often the words I look for are not there but something is better then nothing.

Here is a list that I have phone online.

Faroese - English Very basic but helpful.

Faroese - English This is a larger list and has search capabilities along with a word list.

Faroese Language - Wiktionary This is one of the best list of words. It allows you to search by categories such as "foods". It also has a allows you to search words through the search engine on the left. Along with words it also gives you a list of phrases that are commonly used under Faroese Phrasebook.

One of the other avenues that I have researched is the use of Skype. If you are not familiar with this program it is VOIP program allowing you to speak with others over the internet like a phone. There is the ability to set up chat rooms within Skype that are called Skypecast. There are many people using this program to learn different languages. I just need to get enough people that want to learn and people that can teach to start one.

The last resource is the University of the Faroe Islands. It provides a summer course that teaches the language. It is held every summer in the month of August. If you are able to spend a little over 3 weeks in the Faroe Islands you can take this course. This is the only course I know of that gives you formal training of the Faroese language. I know that Jenny has taken this course and has help her quite a bit in learning the language.

University of the Faroe Islands

Hopefully this gives you a start on learning the language. I know this is a difficult task but I believe that it can be done. It is one that I am willing to go through.

If any others have found other resources I would love to hear of them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Yet Another School Shooting

There is yet another school shooting but this time it is not in the United States. It is in Finland. This seems to be a very unlikely place. I never would have thought that this sort of thing would happen in ANY Scandinavian country but I guess no country these days is free from this sort of violence. It is saddens me to see such violence coming from children. I know this has been asked many times before but I just don't understand what could bring a child to commit such an act of violence. My prayers go out to all the families effected by this shooting.

CNN Report

BBC Report

Sky News

And as I have said after each one of these incidents I pray that this is the last one but I suspect that this will not be the case.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Best Islands in the World

Torshavn with Nolsoy in the background.

I don't know if you have noticed all the articles that have been boasting that there island is ranked higher then another island. I just read another one about Shetland Islands on the BBC. Everyone is building up their own island. The one thing that all of them only mention in passing is that the Faroe Islands is at the top. The National Geographic article that everyone is using to build there island up has the Faroe Islands above them all.

National Geographic Traveler

Check it out we are the best and we should be proud of it.


Boy do I miss the Faroe Islands.

Faroese Wool

The Faroe Islands is know as the Sheep Islands so it is no wonder that Faroese wool is some of the best in the world. It has been a part of the Faroe Islands since the first vikings settle there. Today it has moved from the traditional Scandinavian style sweater to a modern fashion statement.

Here is an article about the Faroese wool and how it has jumped into the high fashion of today.

In the remote Faroe Islands, wool becomes a fashion statement

If you have never worn Faroese wool you are missing out on the BEST. It is not only beautiful but it is some of warmest that I have ever known.

Here are some links to some of the designers and manufactures mentioned in the article.



Gudrun & Gudrun's

I hope you get to experience some of their products.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

TÝR a Faroese Metal Band

If any of you are into Metal and happen to be in Denmark or Germany in Jam you should check out this band. TÝR has a unique sound that is a mix of heavy metal and Faroese folk. Some call it Viking Metal. They have a few concert dates in January.

Jan. 24 - Odense, DEN - Badstuen
Jan. 25 - Lübeck, GER - Treibsand
Jan. 26 - Osnabrück, GER - N8 (Winternoise Festival)

If you are interested in hearing some of their songs, here is their MySpace page, which has a few of their songs. I am not much into metal but I do like "Hail to the Hammer"

TÝR MySpace

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Battle over a Rock

It is amazing the battle over a little rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean will bring. The rock is called Rockall.


Currently 4 countries are fighting for the rights to this rock. Why?? Well it isn't because anyone can live there. It is only 27 meters in diameter. (88 feet) No it is about OIL. All of them want the rights to the possible oil that surrounds the rock in the Atlantic. Denmark is claiming its rights to it through it's territory of the Faroe Islands. It will be interesting to see what the conclusion of this will be. I know the search for oil in the North Atlantic is a priority for the Faroe Islands. It will bring a new source of income to the islands which now get most of it from the fishing industry.

I will try and keep you updated on any conclusion to this.

Here is the link to one of the stories out there on this topic.

MSN Article


Ok this is my second post. I thought I would give you a link to the island and village where my family comes from. The island is Nolsoy. It is just east of the capital Torshavn. If you search images of the capital you will see many that show the island in the background. The one mountain Høgoyggj distinctive when you see it.

My family has lived there for probably a 1000 years. There are many stories and legends about the family so it is hard to tell which is true and which is not. Here is one of them that is also on the page of Nolsoy.

Korndalur and Prinsessutoftir

Originally, Nólsoy had to farms: One farm near the spot where the village church is now, and one farm in Korndalur - Corn Valley. Korndalur was inhabitated from around 1300 until around 1750, when the last inhabitants moved to the village.

In Korndalur there are still remainders of houses from past ages. One of these is called the Princess’s Ruin; according to legend a Scottish princess whose father didn't approve of her boyfriend, fled with the boyfriend and settled on Nólsoy. Several years later the Scottish king heard where his daughter could be found, and came here to kill her. But when he saw the good life of the young family, and met his grandchild, he changed his mind and was reunited with his daughter.

What I do know is that Nugga (the family home) was the first home to move to the current location of the village. Here is an image of the church that I was baptized in and Nugga. (it is the home furthest to the right) This is from the 50 kroner bill. Also the man on the front of the bill is Nólsoyar Páll who is known as a national hero in the Faroe Islands for breaking the Danish trade monopoly on the islands in the 19th century. He is a ancestor of mine too.

Anyway here is the link to the Nolsoy's tourist website. This one is in English but it is also available in Faroese and Danish.

Hope you enjoy reading about this little island.