Happy National Day – 17th of May, Birthday of Norway

Everywhere in this country people don their best folk costumes and march to the tune of Souza&c, it is the day for the children, for overconsumption of sausages and icecream, for messy toddlers in their sunday best running around screaming at the top of their lungs, “Hurra Hurra Hurra for syttende Mai!”. In front of the King’s Palace a great mass of people waving flags, a tricolor of red and blue and white, a huge blue cross upon a white cross upon a red background. This is the 100th Constitution Day celebration in a free, independent scandinavian Country. In 1905 “we” separated from the Union with Sweden, 91 problematic and confusing years since the country was given away by the War comittee after the Napoleon wars, which the country was forced into by the British, on account of them bombarding the Danish-Norwegian merchant fleet and causing the arrogant Danish king to side with Napoleon Bonaparte… In 1814 we got our constitution which explicitly said all official documents and legislation be written in _Norwegian_, a language, at the time, nonexistent. Far away in an unforseeable past, beyond the days of the Black Plague which only left a quarter of the population alive.. people spoke and wrote another language, the language of the sagas and the vikings.. now we don folk costumes designed with a German folk inspiration, for a few centuries we have pretended the “best” of our culture has been unqiue, different from the other Northern European cultures, very different from the Swedish and the Danish… ha!

But we need invention, we need grand fantasies, we need to build up an identity.. apparently. Im having a great allergic reaction to the gloriously bright green Birch trees present everywhere, painting every surface green with pollen.

Happy National Day, indeed.