TEN ALPHAS’ first Out and About episode transports us into the world of the vikings! Meet Dirk, part Sydney accountant… part Viking!
In Australia, the historic reenactment or “living history” community is quite vast and varied, covering all periods and activities, with a total of around a hundred societies across the country.
Dirk’s passion lies with the Vikings, an interest spurred by his germanic background. After researching their society, culture and philosophy, he put his research into practice through various types of historic reenactment.
This passion takes up much of Dirk’s time. He spends many weekends with his group The Huscarls, hanging out in Medieval camps, and attending Medieval events such as Winterfest, Ironfest and St. Ives Medieval Faire. He also spends down time expanding his knowledge of the period and delving into new techniques and practices he can explore with his group.
His wife shares his love of the hobby. In his words, “she owns a larger Medieval wardrobe than me!”. They even had a Medieval heathen wedding, in traditional garb and following traditional rituals.
For Dirk, part of his interest in the Vikings is exploring their social practices and philosophies, and applying them to his day to day life. For example, family and community were very important, encouraging strong bonds between individuals. Personal reputation, based on acts within those communities, was also taken very seriously. All these qualities Dirk values highly.
Dirk is a great example of how a hobby can add richness and complexity to a person’s life. The Sydney-based community he is part of comprises friendly and diverse individuals from all walks of life, united by a common passion.
The general public can glimpse this world through events such as Winterfest or Ironfest, where, apart from lots of people dressed up in all sorts of period outfits, attendees can watch staged combats, on foot and on horseback, birds of prey shows, demonstrations of weaponry, crafts and cooking, and musical performances. You can buy historic costumes, try on armour, try your hand at archery, or get to know the societies.
Dirk certainly exposed the TEN ALPHAS crew to another world for a day, which is what Out and About set out to do. Dirk is the most interesting accountant we’ve met. If you happen to recognise him on the streets of Sydney be sure to say hello!