Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was born in Wales to Norwegian parents, Harald and Sofie Magdalene Dahl. Dahl’s parents had emigrated to the UK from Norway, and settled in Cardiff. Dahl was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway. He spoke Norwegian at home with his parents and his sisters Astri, Alfhild, and Else. And the children were all christened at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff.
After his father died of illness his mum chose to stay in the UK with the children because of schooling.
Dahl’s mum became the primary influence in his life. She was a beautiful, bright and intelligent woman. She also loved books and literature. In addition to read the classics and the great writers of the time she also told the children stories about Norwegian trolls and all the other mythical Norwegian creatures that lived in the dark pine forests. She was a great teller of tales with a prodigious memory. Nothing in her life was forgotten; Embarrassing, funny and desperate moments were all recounted in every detail and the children would listen enthralled.
Our two Little Scandinavians love all the books by Roald Dahl, not only because they are well written and incredible amusing, it’s also the fact that the stories often tend to have strong links to Norway. Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Dahl spent some of his summer holidays with his mother’s family in Norway. These memories appear in the books from time to time, to our girls thrilling joy! Like the main child character in his 1983 book The Witches is a British boy of Norwegian descent, whose grandmother is still living in Norway.
The official Roald Dahl Day takes place every year on 13 September, on the birthday of the popular storyteller. In 2012 we are also celebrating 30 years of the Big Friendly Giant. The Big Friendly Giant is famous for catching, creating and making dreams come true.
Happy Roald Dahl Day!
More fun activities and information to be found on roalddahlday.info