If you are Norwegian you have undoubtedly made plans for this Friday. The date is May 17, which marks the Norwegian Constitution Day and is celebrated not only in Norway but also by Norwegian expatriates. In Southeast Asia there will be celebrations in many forms.
After Frederik VI in 1814 had given up Norway to the King of Sweden, the Norwegian congressional assembly gathered to claim Norwegian independence and here the first Norwegian constitution was signed on May 17. On the same day Prince Chistian Frederik was named as the Norwegian King. Ever since then Norway has celebrated Constitution Day on May 17.
By historical coincidence, the Second World War ended in Norway nine days before that year’s Constitution Day, on May 8, 1945, when the occupying German forces surrendered. Even if The Liberation Day is an official flag day in Norway, the day is not an official holiday and is not broadly celebrated. Instead a new and broader meaning has been added to the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17.
In the Philippines the 17 May committee has joined forces with the Norwegian Embassy and Philippines Norway Business Council and two different celebrations take place. The first is a traditional family gathering and took place already this Sunday from 2pm till 5pm with music, songs and games.
The second event will be held on the actual day, May 17, and is a party for the more mature audience. The event is at the Peninsula Manila from 7pm till 11 pm. The celebrations of the evening are through cooperation between the Norwegian Embassy and Philippines Norway Business Council.
The Norwegian Seamen’s Church is also hosting a number of events all over the Philippines: Thursday in Toledo, Friday in Cebu and Saturday in Los Angeles.
In China there will also be a number of celebrations in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Ningbo for all ages with music and games. In Beijing the party will be at St. Regis with Violet Road as entertainment.
One of the biggest hubs for Norwegians in Southeast Asia, Singapore, is also getting ready for the celebrations.
The Ambassador is inviting both children and adults to the Ambassadors residence on May 17 where there will be food and drinks and a speech.
Later on the same day in Fort Canning Park there will be singing, entertainment and some 700 are expected to attend the celebrations.
This article lists but a few of the many events and parties in celebration of May 17. Go to your embassy’s webpage and check out the possibilities for being part of the Norwegian Constitution Day.