Early parade for the youngest

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PHOTO FEATURE: As school children marched all over Norway in Constitution Day parades on Friday, the youngest Norwegians got into the act as well, a day early. In line with tradition, pre-schoolers at what the Norwegians call barnehager (kindergartens, or day care centers) had their own parades the day before the 17th of May. Our photographer caught one in Ellingsrud, on Oslo’s northeast side.

17th of May, barnehagerThe parade in the Ellingsrud and Karihaugen areas reflected the ethnic diversity of the neighbourhood, both among the children and the proud parents who joined in.

17th of May, barnehageNew research indicates that immigrants in Norway have embraced the 17th of May holiday and participate in its celebration. Norway had no military elite when its constitution was created in 1814, and the parades that eventually became a tradition featured children instead.

17th of May, barnehage

In addition to flag-waving, singing and shouting “hurra,” the celebrations also include brass bands and eating lots of sausages and ice cream as Norwegians celebrate their sovereignty after centuries of foreign domination. Next year’s 17th of May celebrations will be an historic occasion, as the country marks the bicentennial of its constitution.

PHOTOS: newsinenglish.no

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