Town fails to drum up organizers for 17th of May celebrations

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A small community in northern Norway may become the only township in the country without an official celebration of Constitution Day on the 17th of May. Township officials have simply failed to find local residents willing to form and serve on an organizing committee for the annual event.

The community in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark is known as both Unjárga and Nesseby in the heavily Sami region. Local officials have advertised twice for persons to serve on a traditional 17.mai komité (17th of May Committee) but no one has come forward, despite an offer of NOK 10,000 in funding.

“No one has applied within the deadline set by the second advertisement,” read an announcement on the township’s website. “If anyone is interested in taking responsibility for the arrangement, take contact as soon as possible with the cultural department.”

“We hope we’ll manage something,” the township’s cultural consultant Jørgen Betten told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “It’s difficult to imagine the 17th of May with no celebrations.”

It wasn’t a matter of lack of interest, he suggested, but rather a lack of willingness to take on responsibility for organizing events. “We are a small community and many residents are involved in many other arrangements (tied to the 17th of May),” he told NRK. “There’s lots to do for few people.” The local population also celebrates the Sami National Day on February 6th.

newsinenglish.no staff