Sweden hails Norway in rare broadcast

Relations between Norway and Sweden are officially excellent, but privately many Swedes and Norwegians have badgered and belittled each other for years. Most of the incessant ridicule is based on rivalry and even envy, but now Sweden’s national broadcaster SVT has sent some rare, genuine compliments and congratulations that have caught Norwegians by surprise. The occasion was Norway’s national day on […]

Police resorted to creative anti-terror methods

Police in Oslo and other Norwegian cities literally cordoned off major streets that were being used for the country’s 17th of May parades on Wednesday, to prevent any terrorists from driving trucks into crowds of people. They used both barricades and buses to block key intersections. Side-streets to Oslo’s Karl Johans Gate, for example, were […]

Celebrations warm the Svalbard chill

PHOTO FEATURE: While Norway’s royal family waved as usual to the 17th of May parade in Oslo, hardy residents of Norway’s main settlement on Svalbard braved the Artic chill and an uncertain economic future with a unique parade of their own. It included almost the entire town, neighbouring Russians from Barentsburg and visitors from around the world, in quite […]

Norway celebrates from north to south

LONGYEARBYEN: Flags were raised and events officially kicked off at 8am all over the country on Wednesday as Norwegians launched into their Constitution Day celebrations on the 17th of May. The holiday is known for its unabashed displays of patriotism, highlighted by children, flags, tradition and memorials to fallen heroes. Here in Norway’s most northern community on Svalbard, flags […]

Sounds from the 17th on Svalbard

VIDEO FEATURE: This was one of many busy brass bands in Norway on the 17th of May. Svalbard’s Longyearbyen Storband, all dressed in hardhats and working clothes from the state-owned coal company Store Norske, were out early for a wreath-laying at the town’s monument to miners, then marched in the parade and played at another tribute to […]

Islamist not the only one under arrest

UPDATED: Police in Oslo confirmed on Wednesday that the radical Norwegian Islamist Arfan Bhatti wasn’t the only one to be arrested on the eve of the 17th of May celebrations, which were carrying on amidst heightened terror concerns. Newspaper VG reported that “more than one other person” was in custody, while Bhatti would undergo questioning […]

Royals ready to celebrate being 80

Kings, queens, princes, princesses and at least two presidents from all over Europe were arriving in Oslo this week, to take part in Norway’s official celebration of King Harald’s and Queen Sonja’s 80th birthdays this year. The partying is due to begin at the Royal Palace Tuesday evening, and run through Wednesday. King Harald turned […]

Parties used May 1 to kick off campaign

Norway’s leftist political parties were out in full force on the May 1st Labour Day holiday, using the beautiful weather and  crowds to mobilize support in advance of the Parliamentary election in September. Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre gave the main speech in Oslo and then led the parade through the city’s streets, walking side-by-side […]

Vinmonopolet’s Easter sales soared

Norway’s state wine and liquor monopoly Vinmonopolet registered brisk business when it opened for the first time during the long Easter holidays this year. New figures show that it sold 1,077 liters a minute on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Vinomonopolet has always been closed on that day, wedged into the five-day Easter […]

‘The Gathering’ set new attendance record

Nearly 7,000 young computer enthusiasts packed the iconic Vikingskipet hall in Hamar during the Easter holidays to attend the 25th anniversary of “The Gathering.” It remains Norway’s largest gathering of high-tech-oriented teenagers who prefer a dark hall and constant online events to skiing in the nearby mountains. This year’s Gathering set a new record in attendance and […]