Syt­tende Mai is Nor­we­gian Inde­pen­dence Day … May 17th. After 400 years of Dan­ish rule, Nor­way peace­fully declared its inde­pen­dence by call­ing a con­sti­tu­tional con­ven­tion, and on the 17th of May, 1814, the Con­stituent Assem­bly at Eidsvold rat­i­fied a Nor­we­gian con­sti­tu­tion that pro­vided for a sep­a­rate Nor­we­gian gov­ern­ment and national assem­bly. (Nor­way really only entered a looser union with Swe­den which lasted until 1905, but that has noth­ing to do with this).

042803momAll grow­ing up I remem­ber being wrapped up in clothes I’d never seen before … I had no idea where they came from … and my fam­ily, along with thou­sands of Nor­we­gians from all the bor­oughs would con­verge in Bay Ridge, Brook­lyn to march down 3rd Ave in cel­e­bra­tion of our pre-independence. There are women adorned just like my mother in the pic­ture push­ing baby car­riages with lit­tle infants dressed accord­ingly, red white and blue stream­ers (our Norsk col­ors, don’t get them con­fused) hang­ing from the han­dles … both my grand­fa­thers car­ry­ing lit­tle flags and dressed to the nines, the inky gloss of their well-buffed shoes swal­low­ing light and blind­ing the rest of us.

This year I cel­e­brate my Nor­we­gian her­itage by play­ing a rock show at a coffeeshop/bar in Ver­mont. Come see it– I might be dressed.

If you’re in NYC, the 52nd Annual Nor­we­gian Con­sti­tu­tion Day Parade takes place on Third Avenue in the heart of Bay Ridge in Brook­lyn. Two vis­it­ing march­ing bands from Nor­way will participate.The Parade theme this year is ”Norwegian/Americans honor the Fam­ily”. The guest speaker will be Finn Kris­t­ian Marthin­sen of the Nor­we­gian Par­lia­ment. Enter­tain­ment and the crown­ing of Miss Nor­way at con­clu­sion of parade in Leif Eric­son Park. The Parade starts at Marine and Third Avenues, and con­cludes with a pro­gram at the Grand­stand, 6th Avenue amd 67th Street, Brook­lyn, NY. The parade starts at 1:30 pm, pro­gram at Grand­stand at approx­i­mately 3:30 pm. (212) 531 4877.

The fucked up thing about the parade is that its on the 18th … WTF?