Celebrating Independence

May 17, 1814, the Constitution of Norway was signed in Eidsvoll, a town north of Oslo (actually located just east of the extended center line of runway 01R at Oslo Gardermoen, aviation digression) That ended several years of a Danish-Norwegian union, but started the Swedish-Norwegian union, which eventually ended June 5, 1905.

The Constitution itself was based on both the French and American Constitutions, signed a couple of years earlier. It was at the time considered to be one of the most liberal or radically democratic constitutions in the world, and it is today the oldest single-document national constitution in Europe and the second oldest in the world, still in continuous force

May 17 is therefore our Constitution Day, and is celebrated across the country. One of the more recent traditions, is for the high school seniors (“Russ”) to party, wear red overalls and ride red colored cars for 3-4 weeks straight, until May 17 which is the “ultimate party”. After the children’s parade, the Russ ride their cars around town in their own parade. My brother was a russ this year, and it was so much fun watching the parade with him on top of a Chevy Starcraft, sipping a beer and having a good time with his friends. Read more on Wikipedia.

Here are some photos from my day!

My brother as a “Russ”

Arendal City Church and a marching band playing the national anthem at 08.00 am

Children’s parade

My brother generously handing out “russ”-cards (like a business cards, but with funny quotes and “vital” info on the Russ)

My brother’s and his friends’ russ-car, a red Chevy Starcraft named “Rave Force”. Appropriate.

Let’s just say, some spent more money on speakers than beer….

Mommy and our Russ 🙂

The best way to end the day! In my neighborhood we had a parade with a trumpet, two drums and a couple of tubas, we marched to the bridge that connects our island to the mainland, stopped and sung the national anthem. The wind was strong gale from the west, and it was quite exotic, standing there and remembering what tough weather our ancestors have gone through, for us to celebrate our Independence and our Constitution.

To all of you who are currently serving your country, or to those of you who have in the past or will in the future, us civilians are very thankful. We must always remember that independence and peace is never a given, it’s a result of hard work and dedication throughout times.

– Cecilie

Posted on May 18, 2012, in blog. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Such a beautiful post. Independence celebrations are so important. Sometimes we forget the meaning of them. We just enjoy the party. I hope that all the children know the meaning of our Independence day… if you asked them, they would say… “Fireworks.” But then… there are speakers too…. Something makes me think that beer consumption could be involved in that speaker set up. 🙂 Happy Independence Day!
    Always remember. Independence and liberty take involvement.

    • Thank you Karlene for your comment! Independence is such a beautiful thing, but we should never take it for granted. We have to remember why we are celebrating, why we are living the way we are today, because of sacrifices made in the past.

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