17th of May National Day

To the eyes of a Greek the Norwegian National Day of the 17th of May can seem as having a bit less of a militarist atmosphere than what is common in the Balkan region, since the gaiety and theatrical attitude (at least on this day…) of the Norwegian people, the wagons with troops of citizens in the costumes of their guilds, teams, buekorpses or schools, give the whole venue the aura of a carnival…

But the 17th of May is mainly the day of the Norwegian flag, of the pride of being Norwegian.
It is the celebration of the Constitution Day (17th of May 1814), signed in the wake of the transfer of power over Norway from the Danish to the Swedes following the Napoleon’s wars; but also an opportunity to remember the Independence from the Swedish king (1905).
Both events took place without any military revolution, but were gained through diplomatic avenues; and to what concerns the Independence through the cleverness of a citizen of Bergen: Christian Michelsen, the first Prime Minister of Norway.
GNM’s Norwegian hometown is Bergen, and we decided to attend the celebrations downtown…

For the Greek of the GNM, however, the 17th of May 2010 in Bergen was not his first experience of the Norwegian National Day’s festivities. He had already accompanied the particular parade around the swimming pool at the Norwegian Embassy’s premises in Khartoum, back in 2008!

A parade led by a drumming, proud, and happy Ambassador …

Concluding the morning ceremony, which started around the flag, and which was the most militaristic moment of the whole event; quite little to Greek standards again…

As for the Norwegian of the GNM, the story goes inevitably further back. And there were times when she had a much more active role, when she managed with three more girlfriends to organize the first purely female buekorps < cfr. http://buekorpsene.com/english/whatisbuekorps.php > of Bergen (1994), thus breaking the last male bastion of the city!

It looks militaristic, You say!?! Well, this is a long discussion to start with bergenserne ;-)
Gratulerer med dagen i alle fall!!

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