17 May 2007

Happy constitution day!

Congratulations, Norway!

It's the day of national patriotism, the day of unlimited supplies of hotdogs, lemonade, ice cream and cakes, the day of flag waving, the day of celebrating democracy, monarchy, and national identity.

Constitution Day became a children's celebration by the initiating efforts of Henrik Wergeland many decades before we even gained independence as a nation. It's one of the things I'm really proud of as a Norwegian; that we manage to keep Patriotism free of political nationalism.

The first person to greet me with "happy Constitution Day" today, was a woman dressed in a beautiful beige and brown costume, a white shawl over her shoulders and a beige silk cloth covering her hair as her culture and muslim religious faith requires. As we exchanged glances for a few seconds while I returned the greeting, I think I saw in her eyes a sincere thought about this being a day worth celebrating. I really hope I understood her right, because she reinforced the very thought in me.

Here are a few shots from the local celebrations.

The Cake and Hotdog supply depot

Frozen lemonade

Pillow fight; The moment of defeat

Airing the flags

1 comment:

Boris said...

Lovely weather you had on that day, didn't you?

I think I recognize Vera in a traditional Norwegian dress, right? Unfortunately local Independence Day is mostly noticeable by huge number of barbequing families and just as huge lines of people waiting to get to all kinds of interesting places, such as museums, because traditionally they are all free of charge.

There are some other things that really make this day special, but they are of less palpable nature.