Siri Dammarell Brekkaa, 36, belongs to the youngest generation of immigrants from Norway. She was born on the west coast of Norway, the fishing town Haugesund. Her grandfather moved from Norway in the 60s. Later, Siri’s father also came across the sea, and when Siri was 10 months old, she and her mother came over.
– We came here for a year to make money in the fishing industry. Thirty-five years later we are still here.
The family works with crab fishing in Alaska. Now they own a 126-foot crab vessel and a 32-foot Salmon gillnetter. While her husband is in Alaska, Siri is at home looking after their two daughters, Synnove, 3, and Olena, 1. Her job is to take care of paperwork and finances.
– We have a family business where everyone participates. Being at sea is mainly a man’s job.
Siri’s house is filled with four-legged creatures. All of them, except the dogs, are stuffed. A large moose meets you in the entrance area. Different deer decorate the living room. And in the basement hang two bears.
– It is mostly my husband who hunts, but I used to join him at times, she says and points to one of the bears’ heads. – I shot that when I was eight months pregnant. The weapon was bow and arrow.
After Siri became a mother, there has definitely been less hunting. Olena is still being nursed. Siri wants to feed her and asks if it’s okay. Public breastfeeding is not as accepted in the United States as in Norway, even here in liberal Seattle.
When it comes to politics, Siri is not quite in line with relatives in the old country. She is not enthusiastic about social democratic models. Like many business owners in the United States, she votes Republican.
– It seems that ‘everyone’ in Norway is so against Trump, but I trust him more than any other politician. No one is perfect, but as it is now, the left is blaming the president for absolutely everything. Trump is a businessman; he spent his own money on the campaign and is not bought and paid for by anyone, Siri says.
She says that as business owners, they have to pay taxes that she finds unfair.
– Why should we pay for unemployed people to receive benefits? I am convinced that if you want a job, then you get a job. I would rather keep the money we earned and spend it on my own family. I do not trust the state to distribute our money properly. Norway is a socialist country, and it works there, but the United States is a democratic country.