Norwegian-American Humor (May 2011)

Ever heard of Norwegian humor?

Garrison Keillor says that Norwegian-Americans are the only ethnic group that encourages you to make fun of them. Well, maybe so, but if you like Ole & Lena, you'll love Tim Christenson's stories about his Uncle Torvald and Aunt Ingeborg.

Drawing on an array of academic and folkloric sources, this hilarious "lecture" uses a variety of jokes to illustrate how Norwegians have traditionally made clever use of humor for everything from fighting the Nazis to getting out of speeding tickets. Join us for this side-splitting session.

About Tim Christenson

Timothy “Tim” Christenson was born in Burbank, California, the son of Larry and Nordis (Evenson) Christenson. His mother was born in Denver, CO, and her Norwegian ancestry is from Bagn in Valdres and Tromso. His father was born in Northfield, Minnesota, with roots in Story City, Iowa, and in Norway (Sognefjord and Danhaug).

Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, where he met his future wife, Glenda. He has a Master of Arts in International Relations from Fletcher School, Medford, Massachusetts, and an M.A. in history from Harvard University.

In 1982, he was awarded a U.S. State Department Fulbright Scholarship, studying at Mainz University in Germany. He went on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps after college in 1976, retiring in 2006 with the rank of colonel. Tim’s current full time job is with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, teaching a master’s degree program at the U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, DC. After his post graduate degrees, Tim took a position with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in the nations’ capital. Later he served for seven years at the Pentagon in the Policy Office for Arms Control.

During his leisure time he likes to teach sailing with the Pentagon Sailing Club. He sings in the choir of his home church, Prince of Peace Lutheran in Springfield, Virginia, where he also plays cello in its orchestra.

In early 2009 he joined Washington Lodge after searching online. Now he is enjoying being part of our Reading Circle in reading/discussing Norwegian books.

Tim is married to Glenda Mueller, and they have 4 daughters and 2 sons: Erika Nordis, Grete Ann, Margit Kirsten, Karin Ingrid, Markus Adrian, and John Timothy. They have lived in Springfield, VA., for the past 28 years.