Syttende mai weekend festival in Stoughton, WI
Syttende mai weekend festival - Stoughton!
Stoughton, WI is cited in the Wikipedia’s “Norwegian Constitution Day” as the 2nd largest Syttende Mai celebration in the WORLD and LARGEST in the US! It is NOT too late to make the short trip to Stoughton to enjoy the SUNDAY celebration, including the big Syttende mai parade starting at 1:30 pm. Full information about this Syttende mai weekend festival is available using this link, “2012 Syttende Mai” webpage.
I was interested in the reports from NORWAY about Syttende mai last Thursday since it was the first CONSTITUTION DAY since the horrendous mass murders of Friday, the 22nd of July 2011. I usually watch Norwegian National Broadcasting (NRK)’s “Dagsrevy” (day’s review) which is available online the morning after… so, I watched the Syttende mai report yesterday morning. The program is broadcast in Norwegian. Very good resource for persons learning Norwegian and persons who want to maintain fluency, like me.
“Dagsrevy” for Syttende mai 2012 gave a wide-ranging report on the celebrations of Syttende mai throughout Norway.
The traditional huge children’s parade in Oslo walking in front of the Royal Palace with the Royal Family greeting from the balcony.
Traditional parades in the towns and villages throughout Norway.
Always, the NORWEGIAN flag is very prominent in the parade. Persons who have the bunad (traditional regional dress/uniform/”costume” proudly wear their bunad. (Marilyn and I have the Hardanger bunad which were tailored for each of us by the seamstress and tailor near Norheimsund on the Hardanger fjord for the local people. We are happy to wear them whenever we have an excuse. We wore them to our Sons of Norway Lodge last Wed. evening for the program with JOAN PETERSON about her book, “Eat Smart in Norway.” It was Syttende mai eve!)
One report was about a 22 year-old survivor of the mass murder at Utoye where the youth camp was attacked. She was the speaker to her local small town’s Syttende mai program. She testified about her experience on Friday, the 22nd of July 2011. She expressed her gratitude for the support of the people of her own community as well as the whole nation. She underscored her belief that the tragedy of the 22nd of July had UNITED Norwegians more than since the German occupation from April 9, 1940 until liberation on May 8, 1945. Norwegians never forget that liberation came just 1 week before Syttende mai 1945. She articulated her belief in and commitment to a democratic diverse society in NORWAY! I was inspired to hear her speech.
She reflected the quality of attitudes which have infused the Norwegian people at-large since Friday, the 22nd of July 2011. Do YOU remember the challenging statement of a young Norwegian citizen? I discussed in in my WE THE PEOPLE blog post on Sunday, July 31, 2011. If you want to review, use this link, “If one man can show so much hate, just think how much love we all together can create.”
And I have followed as the Norwegian people have continued to express that strong commitment to create a healthy culture with love.
And then on April came the very meaningful and inspiring report in “Views and News from Norway,” an English news source online, “Norwegians pull together again.”
This article is in English and has a video at the end showing the live gathering at the Oslo City Court. I urge you to see the video! I felt chills up and down my spine as I watched and listened… what a FANTASTIC inspiration!
The Norwegian people have dealt with this outrageous attack on their democratic and diverse society with very significant unity and commitment to their real values.
If you do not know the text of Pete Seeger’s song, “My Rainbow Race,” I urge you to consider it:
"A sky full of stars, Blue ocean as far as you see An earth where flowers grow. Can you wish for more? Every sister, every brother Small children of the rainbow And a fertile soil. ... "But tell all the children Tell your father, tell your mother This is our last chance To share one hope, one world."
I believe that WE THE PEOPLE of the USA ought to join in singing this song as testimony of OUR real values too. What do YOU think?
Here we go…
John Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Waukesha and an advocate for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.