Celebration of Norwegian National Day across SEA

Norwegians across SEA celebrated the National Day of May 17 in commemorating the day of independence with flag parades, activities, games and speeches. The event is considered to be one of the biggest social gatherings of Norwegians.
      The National Day is the most important day of the year when Norwegians celebrate their independence as a free nation. Hence, it becomes a tradition that Norwegians gather together on this day regardless of which country they are in and enjoy the day with many cheerful activities and flag parades.
      This year, the Norwegians in Bangkok celebrated their National Holiday on May 17 with great enthusiasm and joy. The Norwegians and Thais gathered in the morning at the Scandinavian Church, where more than 110 family members watched the Norwegian flag raised and sang the national anthem. Hilde Sirnes gave a speech to share her memories of the May 17 celebration in Norway. Traditional Norwegian breakfast was served at the Scandinavian Church garden.
      Later on, the Ambassador Ragne Birte Lund welcomed everybody at the Ambassador residence and started the traditional parade led by the Royal Thai Army orchestra. All participants including children and Thais were joyfully waving the Norwegian flags. The Melody International Kindergarten also joined in the celebration with great enthusiasm. Ivar Martiniussen, a university student in Bangkok, gave a speech representing the youth and their views and feelings about the day.
      There were about 200-250 people participating in the event with many activities, games and excellent Norwegian food for both adults and children.
      The evening ended with dinner at Hotel Windsor Suite, where Thais and Norwegians in Bangkok had a traditional Norwegian salmon dish. Some Norwegians also dressed up magnificently in their national costumes. The evening speech was held by Linn and everyone danced and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
      In Jakarta, a marathon reception took place at the Ambassador residence. According to the Norwegian traditions, the Ambassador gave a speech and followed by joint singing of the national anthem “Ja vi elsker dette landet”. Typical food was prepared and there were several activities for the children such as cake decoration competition and special kid tables, where children can make drawings.
      Later in the evening, singer Eldrid Johansen from Norway sang accompanied by Ibu Dewiana, famous Indonesian Jazz pianist.
      In Vietnam, the reception was organized at the Hanoi Opera House and
followed by a Concert performed by a trio from Norway led by Dag Arnesen, one of the most talented piano players and jazz composers in the country and a string quartet SMAT from Hanoi Conservatory of Music. People participating in the event included representatives from Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations in Hanoi as well as representatives from different ministries such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance. Representatives from other institutions where the embassy has relationships with as well as the media also joined the celebration.
      In Singapore, all Norwegians gathered at the Ambassador residence in the morning, where they headed for the Fort Canning Park later in the day. At the park, the Norwegians carried out the usual traditional procession of national flag parade led by the band. Anette Røssum Bastesen organized the event and the students from Norskskolen School also performed in the procession.
      The day was vivid with food, drinks, games and various activities for both adults and children, in which more than 170 people attended.
      In the evening, the Norwegians turned up at the Norwegian Seaman’s Mission, where priest Carl-Ove held a speech and together sang the national anthem. The evening was filled with more hotdogs, beers and games as children jumped into the pool to compete in the traditional game of holding potato on the spoon.

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