Festive opening of the season at the childhood home: Knut Hamsun's childhood home in Hamsund, Hamarøy opened it's doors to the public with a festive opening and disclosure of a memorial plaque on June 18th.
The sun was as always shining over Knut Hamsun's childhood home and Hamarøy, as Arne Andre Solvang bid us welcome to the season 2011 on behalf of Nordlandsmuseet, who is in charge of the childhood home. Oddvar Nordnes from Hamarøy museumslag, who owns the buildings, unveiled the memorial plaque, which will remind us of the years between 1862 and 1872 where Knut Hamsun spent his childhood here in Hamarøy. Without the years here in Hamsund and the experiences he got here - for better and for worse - we would never have had the amazing descriptions of nature, which we so love and recognise in his novels "...it was here my perception of nature was awakened" as Knut Hamsun writes. Therefore the childhood home is one of the most important keys to the understanding of Hamsun's universe.
The memorial plaque was put up as the full stop after a long and accurate restoration process. Not just the main house but also the stable, barn and finally the forge were beautifully and delicately restored. Even the garden is brought back to what I remember from my grandparents with old currants. Many congratulations to the museum Nordlandsmuseet and to all the dedicated people of Hamarøy with the beautiful result!

Then we were all treated to freshly baked waffles and coffee cooked over the open fire in the forge. Many thanks to cool Eigil and his staff for the unchallenged best waffles of the year so far and for the coffee: it just tasted heavenly. Why must we everywhere else in our modern times have to live with some brown fluid in a plastic cup out of a chromed machine instead of REAL coffee like here :-)

The show was put on by manly Nils-Arne Johansen - on the barrel organ. We danced to the music of a newly restored organ, which after a thorough examination and repair at the Nordnorsk musiksamling in Tromsø museum now again is back in the museum Nordlandsmuseet at Hamarøy bygdetun as good as new.
As you may understand, it were warm, solemn and amusing hours at the childhood home. Do visit it if you drive by!

Finally heartfelt thanks to Bodil Børset from the Hamsun-centre for her warm and personal word, hugs and flowers for me. I was so touched, as it probably could be seen. It was just so lovely to be back.

© Kirsten Hedvig Rasmussen www.hamsun.at