To answer questions like 'Who were the Vikings? Were they all bad? Where did they go in the world? What makes them so unique?' the Sons of Norway are hosting a presentation about the Vikings.

Leif Erikson Sons of Norway of Vining is presenting a free program about the Vikings at their Sept. 13 cultural program at the Vining Community Center at 6:30 p.m. The speaker will be Minneapolis-based Viking Dennis Rusinko who has presented about Vikings throughout the state and beyond, including Viking encampments for adults and kids.

Rusinko will arrive dressed in his rather authentic Viking clothing. He has spent years studying the ‘rulers of the world’ during the Middle Ages from 798 A.D. until about the 1100s. People hear much of the Vikings' pillaging but seldom of the contributions of the Viking culture, like words still used today that originated from their language, according to a Sons of Norway news release.

Vikings lived in the North of Europe in the areas called Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The group will learn that each ‘tribe,’ due to their geography, traveled in various directions to parts of Europe. Many people in the area are actually descendants of the Vikings, whether it is thought one is English, Russian, Turkish and all places in between, but in reality the Vikings went there and settled, according to the release.

Rusinko is also a house designer who spends much of his time as president of District One Sons of Norway, a non-profit organization for women, men and kids which encourages anyone interested in Nordic culture of the past or present to attend monthly cultural programs, workshops and celebrations.

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Originally for Norwegian men, Leif Erikson was founded in 1904 in Vining. The group includes 122 women and men. Children of all ages are encouraged to participate in programs, events of the organization and descendants of many nationalities. The Nordic countries’ flags are part of Leif Erikson’s decor to widen the countries and cultures of interest including Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.

The organization’s name honors the Viking explorer, Leif Erikson, who was born in Iceland of Norwegian parents. He is known to have found the ‘New World’ in 1103 A.D. landing in what is now Newfoundland, Canada. The United States celebrates the annual Leif Erikson Day on Oct. 9.

There is no charge to attend this program and all attending will be encouraged to ask questions. Refreshments will be served following the presentation.

For more information about this program, Leif Erikson Sons of Norway or membership, please call Barbara Olson of Vining at 218-282-0332. Henry Peterson of Underwood is the president of Leif Erikson.

If you go

What: Vikings presentation

When: Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Vining Community Center, 211 Soule Street, Vining

How: The presentation is free and people are encouraged to attend with questions