The Dala Heritage Society annually hosts a number of Swedish events, which is part of its mission of preserving Scandinavian culture. New and continuing board members of the Dala Heritage Society recently met for their annual board organizational meeting, keeping in mind this mission.
The group, founded in 1977 in Mora, Minnesota and serving communities in east central Minnesota, has for 40 years been working toward the preservation of Scandinavian culture, tradition and heritage. Functions also include working with the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis and other groups with similar purposes.

The name of the organization is drawn from the Swedish words dal, which means valley. A related term, recognizable by many visitors to Sweden, is the Dala horse. A Dala horse (Dalahäst) is a carved wooden horse, painted in folk designs that serve as a cultural symbol for all of Sweden, even though they originated in Dalarna, a province about four hours north of Stockholm, and home of many immigrants who came to Minnesota in the 1860s. The word Dalarna itself means the valleys. It is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable (DOLL-are-nuh); the people who lived in this area were referred to as Dalfolk during the periods of immigration.
Communities in Sweden contributed to the population of east central Minnesota especially during the immigration years of 1860 to 1920, and so it is not surprising that sister city relationships have developed between communities in the two countries: Isle and Älvdalen; Dalbo Township and Venjan; Cambridge and Rättvik; Braham and Orsa; and Mora and Mora.
The Dala Heritage Society appreciates the opportunities to help keep those links strong. Services provided by the cultural organization are language camp scholarships for the Concordia Language Scandinavian villages; it also hosts Swedish visitors and musical touring groups. In December it offers the Santa Lucia program, and members help to make the month of January warmer by serving a pea soup and pancakes luncheon.
For more information about the organization or upcoming events, contact 320-679-3869.