Sunday, May 20, 2012

Syttende mai. Hurra for Norge!!! Happy Birthday Norway

Ja vi elsker dette landet,
Som de stiger frem .... In fact Norway has had three national anthems. The first, written in 1772, by Joahn Nordahl Brun with talk of "blood on the teeth..." Bit scary! But then they are Vikings... Then in 1819, Henrik Hans Bjerregaard wrote Sons of Norway, and finalyy in 1864, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsson wrote the words in the video which remain the anthem today.....

Not only was the anthem heard, but also "Mellom bakker og berg et med havet" was sung by the Scandinavian singers in the Thyme interactive Restaurant at the Sofitel Luxury hotel in Brisbane today. Why? Because it was a "fest" for Norway's birthday... 198 years old today, (since separation from Denmark) or if you prefer, 107 years since independence from Sweden.... So Gratulerer med dagen Norge. Hurra Hurra Hurra!

The celebration started officialy last thursday, when on syttende mai ( 17th May ) the Norwegian students from QUT university here organized the street march through Brisbane.  This really confuses the people of Brisbane who can't really recognize the flag. I love seeing their facesas all the Norwegians walk along singing at the top of their voices. And street marches are illegal in this state of Queensland, so I like the fact that one can legally stop the traffic in this way.

Thyme interactive Restaurant
And the celebrations really got up and going with the "Constitition Day" buffet at the Thyme restaurant at the Sofitel Luxury Hotel. The roll up each year just gets bigger and bigger!! Over 80 diners this year combined to eat, feast, sing and celebrate. Me included.

Chili Crab
King Prawns!!!
And the seafood on offer would make a Viking proud..... Chilli crab, Prawns the size of a large man's fist (scandinavians take note!) Whole baked snapper, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon, Scottish peppered mackerel, as well as several roasts, pappadums, curry, salads, veges and I won't begin to discuss the desserts. I will let the pictures tell the story...
Desserts to die for....

Now I am several kilos heavier, and that is something I don't want to ponder about for too long.... What I will ponder about is that England stuck its nose into Scandinavian affairs making Norway war spoils in return for Sweden backing England against Napoleon. In fact, forcing Norway to accept Swedish control or else they would blockade all imports to Norway in 1814. What bastardry was this? Forcing people to starve so that they could win economic and political advantage in the region? Abhorrent. And dare I say, typical of England self important ego.

So this is how Norway had to wait almost another 100 years until they gained full independence as a country.  Not a good day for Napoleon, Denmark or Norway. I guess a good day for Sweden!!

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