Some older Scandinavians fret that the younger generation is losing their respect and interest in their parents' and grandparents' culture.
This is not a concern when individuals like Haley Wentz come of age.
A junior at Minot High School-Magic City Campus, Wentz has gone the extra mile to research her own heritage and bring it to life in a one-woman play about her great-great-grandmother.
Submitted Photo - - Haley Wentz researched, wrote and performs a one-woman show based on the life and times of her great-great-grandmother, Johanna Brekke. She presents her show at 4:30 p.m. each day of Høstfest in Stockholm Hall.
"She was one of the most remarkable women I've ever heard of," Wentz said. "She came here from Norway in her mid-20's, and I'm doing a monologue about her life from her birth until her death at age 87."
Wentz was given time for a short presentation in Flickertail last year during Hstfest. That venue is not being used this year, she said, so she will be presenting the play every afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in Stockholm Hall.
As part of her character, Wentz will be wearing her own bunad, especially made for her in Norway for her confirmation two years ago.
"I started writing this last August," she said. "I wanted to start small and build it up. I've added some other things to last year's monologue."
Her grandfather, Dwayne Brekke, wrote a book about his grandmother, Johanna, and Wentz drew much of her research from this source.
Johanna Brekke was born in 1868, married in 1891 at age 23, and died in 1955.
"She had a very tough life," Wentz said. "She lost an eye, but still survived. She's an inspiration for today."
Wentz is also an inspiration. One of Rinat Mouzafarov's star pupils, she is also performing a solo Norwegian dance during his Institute of Ballet performances in the same hall, as well as being one of the dancers for his famed "Skandi Ski" presentation, an honor she has been working toward for several years.
The student is still searching for her true goal in life, although she is considering teaching English as a second language for a career.
"I love to travel and teach kids," she said. "I also love writing, and have been writing for our yearbook, and of course ballet will always be an important part of my life."