America in Miniature – in Norway

Julehus KvinesdalSven Erling Lyding (63) from Kvinesdal in Vest-Agder County is one of many Norwegians who are inspired by the American Christmas traditions. He has decorated his house with thousands of lights, and tells that the composition is not by accident: The lights are in the same color to maintain a simple and clean style.

– There are probably many people that beat me in the number of lights, but I like it this way, Mr. Lyding tells Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. In 2008, his house won the region’s finest Christmas House award.

– I do this every year. I’m retired, so I have to do something, he laughs. According to Mr. Lyding, it is not an easy task to construct a decoration that contains over 6000 lights (!). Much of the work consists of providing a safe power supply. Since early Christmas 1998, Mr. Lyding has decorated his house for the holiday season.

In Norway, Kvinesdal is known as the ‘American Village’. Almost half of the residents have U.S. citizenship due to the large emigration to the United States from 1850 to the 1950’s. The people that moved back ‘home’ kept their passports. To prove their American affiliation even further, it has long been planned a Kvinesdal sign ‘a la’ the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Moreover, the dialect in the district is dominated by American words, and proper names like Stanley, Steve, Cindy and Alice are common Christian names.

This reminds us about Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


Text modified and translated by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Source and photo: Dagbladet

Categories: Quirky

2 replies

  1. Argh. Don’t let them do it! I hate those hideous displays with millions (ok, 100’s of thousands) of lights. There’s nothing warm or charming or cheery about them. This is nice, all in white. My favorites are always the houses with a single string of lights, or one little bush decorated, or just wreaths on the windows and maybe window candles.

  2. Welcome to the Griswold family! 🙂

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