Resurgent economy fueled celebrations

HAUGESUND: Residents of this windy West Coast city turned out by the thousands to celebrate Norway’s national day on Thursday. Towering in the background was a huge new locally-assembled drilling rig that may well have boosted celebrants’ spirits this year as they smiled, sang and shouted hurra. Norwegians all over the country celebrate their freedom […]

Rowing is part of patriotic tradition

HAUGESUND: 17th of May celebrations can include some unique local traditions around Norway. In the West Coast city of Haugesund, not far from the historic Viking settlement at Avaldnes on Karmøy, rowing is a big part of the program. “Competitive rowing on Smedasundet (the sound through Haugesund’s downtown area) is Haugesund’s oldest tradition,” proclaims the […]

‘Gratulerer med dagen!’

This wreath in the colors of Norway’s flag was among the many that would be placed on monuments to notable Norwegians and the graves of fallen heroes on Thursday, as Norway celebrated its most important day of the year on the 17th of May. This wreath was placed early at a fisherman’s monument on the […]

17th of May loomed without NRK’s news

Norwegians were facing their most festive and important day of the year on Thursday without any photos, videos, interviews or documentation by state broadcaster NRK. It’s a huge loss of festive and traditional all-day coverage for the record books, but a proposal to grant NRK dispensation from the strike by 1,700 journalists has received little […]

Cash is king at most confirmations

Norwegian teenagers going through the rite of passage known as konfirmasjon (confirmation) have been caught boasting about all the money they’re given in gifts. Their claims on social media, often accompanied by photos showing them fingering lots of cash, paint an unflattering picture of greed and anything but the maturity confirmation is literally supposed to […]

‘With respect and deep gratitude’

PHOTO FEATURE: The weather could only be described as glorious when Norwegians gathered in Oslo on Liberation Day to remember their military veterans and war heroes on the 73rd anniversary of Norway’s liberation from Nazi German occupation. Merchant marine veterans were given the credit they also deserved, at an outdoor ceremony fittingly held on the […]

Convoy heroes win overdue acclaim

Ships were decorated, canons boomed at noon, flags flew and memorials were planned all over the country when Norway celebrated both Liberation- and Veterans’ Day on Tuesday. Among those finally receiving more official attention were the thousands of Norwegian merchant seafarers who crewed the dangerous convoys that brought critical supplies to Great Britain, but who […]

Oslo joins ban on helium balloons

Oslo’s city government has gone along with several other local governments around Norway in banning the sale of helium balloons during 17th of May festivities. “It’s entirely possible to have fun without gas balloons,” declared Lan Nguyen Berg, the top city politician in charge of environmental issues. Stavanger, Bergen, Haugesund, Tromsø and Fredrikstad are among […]

May Day dissolved into political attacks

Leaden skies and chilly temperatures put a damper on the May 1st Labour Day festivities in Oslo and elsewhere around southern Norway. An unusual personal attack also rained down on the leader of the Labour Party, as the right-wing Progress Party resorted to particularly tough tactics in trying to woo working class voters. “He (Labour […]

Potholes threaten marching bands

Norway’s long and cold winter this year has left streets all over the country full of potholes and asphalt that’s buckled up. The situation is so bad in some places that it’s raising concerns for marching bands tuning up for parades on the 17th of May holiday. “We’re afraid some people will be injured,” Finn […]