Putanga – Life on the Road

Stories from my journeys around the world…

Happy National Day, Norway!

Posted by Monica Johansen on May 17, 2010

Today is a very important day for Norwegians around the world. May 17 is our constitution day, and the day where pretty much everyone in Norway – young and old – goes out to spend the day with their fellow citizens.

The children's parade in Oslo

The main events are the children’s parades, which are organized by schools in every city and town around the country. In the capital, Oslo, the parade passes by the royal castle where the king and queen greet the cheering participants, i.e. children, parents and teachers. The children’s parade in Oslo starts in the morning and ends around mid day. In the afternoon there is another parade that many people like to watch, the “russ” parade. The “russ” are all the teenagers who are about to finish the last year of high school, and around May 17 they dress up in red or blue jumpsuits depending on which school they graduate from.  The “russ’ parade is quite fun to watch because some of the teenagers put on funny costumes and there is always a competition on who as the most original outfit.

 Norwegians overseas sometimes organize their own little local parade where they often dress up in the national costume, the “bunad”. However, the “bunad” is designed for the cold Norwegian climate, which means that it is made of wool and other warm fabrics so that people are able to wear it outside without freezing to death. Hence, it is not really suitable for the hot and humid weather in Southeast Asia.

I am not going to celebrate here in Singapore because it is just another busy working day for me, but I hope all my fellow countrymen have a great national day!


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