Solvang

I was in Solvang a couple of years ago and there was this super friendly Chicana janitor that was cleaning the public restrooms. For some ridiculous reason, Solvang management decided to close the public restrooms early but she was covertly letting us use them (she had the key). She adamantly agreed with us that it wasn’t fair to the visitors to close the restrooms at 5pm.
I begin chatting with her and then asked “So did this area have a lot of Dutch Danish people before or something? Is that why they made this town?” She had been so knowledgeable and positive in our conversation, it seemed she could have been hired by the Solvang Chamber of Commerce or something but when she answered me, I was taken aback. A dark look came over her face and she said “Huh? This was once all Mexican land! My ancestors are the ones from this area, not the Danish! How come they didn’t make a town dedicated to my ancestors? My culture? My people that created all this?” And she swept her arm out over the town and towards the hills in the distance. Whoa, I was shocked but I was also like “Right on, hermana!” My friend who was with me was equally impressed.
I’m always surprised when I encounter subversiveness in the most unlikely of places.

2 thoughts on “Solvang

  1. Nancy says:

    I’m sure that by know you have been informed that Solvang was settled by “Danish” immigrints, now “Dutch”. The Dutch people are from Holland (or The Netherland).There is a BIG difference. There are still many residents of Solvang who’s ancestors came here in the early 1900’s and started businesses and farmed this area and made it what it is today…a wonderfull place to live, and visit. Yes, before the Dane’s, there were others. The Chumash Indian tribe were here and lived all over the Santa Ynez valley for many years previous to the Danes. But it was the Danish people who made Solvang what it is today.

  2. Chimatli says:

    Hi Nancy,
    Thank you for the clarification! I am quite embarrassed that I did not catch this error. It’s as bad as the people who keep calling my Swiss friends Swedish! Thanks for bringing this to my attention and thanks too for stopping by the site. 🙂

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