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Stavanger, here we come!

In October I was offered The job of my dreams: Being manager of The Student Society of Stavanger, Folken, the second best rock venue in Norway. Most of my previous experience is useful and I haven't had such expectations to an engagement since back in my voluntary and idealistic years.

Stavanger is situated in the Rogaland county, an area which I've been curious about for some years now. As I lived in the Arctic I met people from all over Norway, but few from the south and southwestern parts of Norway.

Five years ago I studied in Telemark and have later visited the county regularly. The Telemark tongue was intriguing, both the old mountain forms and the highly moderated ones along the coast caught my attention. But the languages of the Agder and Rogaland counties held other historical, linguistic developments and oddities that I couldn't grasp.

Later I've been living in a rather small town on the south coast for two and a half years, among people who have an odd relationship to God, slowly gaining knowledge about the Agder dialects. (In a program for linguists on the radio someone recently stated that the coastal tongues of southern Norway are clearly influenced by Scottish dialects.)

Another amusing and a bit peculiar aspect of moving to Rogaland points to a moment of embarassement and insight: As I was studying in Bø I became fascinated by Norwegian nineteenth century painting, and some of the motives seemed rather strange to me. Once I protested rather bluntly about the lecturer's displayed pictures: I loudly stated that neither landscape nor colours could be of Norwegian origin!

Some two years later I went to see Rogaland with my own eyes. Not only were the paintings true to the colours of the landscape, I also saw a rocky formation—a waterfall coming from the top of a hill—which I rather heftily had denied being possible. Although I only caught a glimpse of the waterfall—from a certain angle and as a passenger in a moving car—I was taken aback: A moment of insight should never to be wasted...

But seriously: In the autumn of 2002 I went for a ride to Setesdal in Agder. Crossing the mountains from the east I could see the colours changing. I now wonder if there is some kind of a geological (as well as a political border) between Telemark and Agder. And the flora should differ as well, as it feeds off the ground; I very much look forward to explore the landscapes of Rogaland...

This picture is taken in Eid in Nordfjord

Photo © Eirik Holmøyvik!


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