The 17th of May


About two weeks ago, I took a short-escape to Norway, visiting my parents-in-law. My husband didn’t come along. I thought that it was going to be a bit awkward without him, but eventually no. It went even better as I could practicing my dano-norwegian with his parents without having to be constantly corrected by my husband :P.

The main goal in this trip was to participate in the 17th of May. It’s the constitution day for Norway, and the big day for many norwegians. For long time, Norway used to be the province of Denmark, then being handed to the Swedes when the Danes lost the war after stood side with a wrong guy, Napoleon. Sick of being ping-pong, there was a period of romanticism, in late 1800s, where many Norwegians gathered and demanded to the Danish kingdom a sovereign nation. They did it (though they still invited one of Danish royal families to become their king). During 1925, a novel guy named Ivar Aasen helped the country forming a new language, NyNorsk, which is based on Norwegian dialects (in addition to Bokmål, which is originally developed from Danish language).

Unlike two other Scandinavian neighbors which had been big kingdoms for centuries thus don’t take so much bother with their constitution days, Norway take this day seriously and emotionally. People dressed up in their national clothing, Bunad, and walked in long long long parade. On TV, I could watch the royal family stood by their balcony, waving hands and smile over and over for around 3 hours or more (what a royal job!).

One of traditions in this day is called russetog, which held in later afternoon (around 5 PM). Russetog is the event for high schoolers celebrating their graduation, where they line in long pimp-up cars, dress up in crazy outfit, and throw cards consist of wise and seductive words to their youngsters or underclassmates. Later, these youngsters will show off how many cards they were able collected from russetog. So popular russetog, that it is a good business for many people to specialize in so-called “russetog service” fuiiihh…

Here are some pictures from the 17th of May:



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