May 17! (The Norwegian independence day)
Sausages and ice cream, occasional proper frostbite, sometimes sleet and even snow, but always, (almost) always – rain. Children’s cheers, kids with flags and instruments that never sound as they should when used. Adults in bunad (Norwegian traditional clothing) or suits, cameras and mobile phones. Everything must be immortalized, displayed, remembered…
Joy, fellowship and peace.
All Norwegians have a relationship with 17. May. Despite the fact that also on this day someone passes away, lose their lives in accidents or otherwise experience May 17 as anything but a cheerful holiday, we all, at one time or another, have good memories from this day.
My father was frugal. With four children and a wife at home, it goes without saying. He did not want to spend a lot of money on hot dogs in bread. (Remember this was in the 70’s, hot dogs were party food)
Instead, he showed up every May 17. with a large thermos of ready-cooked dinner sausages and a 24 pack of sausage bread, brought ketchup and mustard.
(Later years he spoiled us with fried onions as well.)
We were we beyond embarrassed and just a hunger of biblical propositions made us agree to bunker by the car, hoping no one saw us.
It is strange then that forty and a few years later this appears as one of the good memories I have from 17. May.
Happy Birthday, Norway.
(Or who do you want to be at the age of 96?) Restarting your life (or reinventing it), sounds like an American “pull yourself together”
Everything written in these pages is based on personal experience. Overall, this is the way I remember what happened. And everything, of course, is based on