Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Syttende Mai Memories

Syttende Mai was this week and I've got a great post from Viking Editor Amy Boxrud about one of her favorite Syttende Mai memories!

One of my most memorable Syttende Mai experiences took place about a decade ago, when my husband and I were traveling in Norway. We had planed to take Hurtigruten, the coastal steamer, to visit my husband’s ancestral home just north of the polar circle. At first I was disappointed to learn that we would be “stuck” traveling by ship on the 17th, but it was the best way to stay on schedule for the rest of our trip.

Little did I know this would be a great way to spend the day: not in one location, but in several—with each port community making us feel that they had been waiting for us to show up to begin their celebration. We woke to crisp, clear weather and the sound of a brass band in the port of Måløy. Two hours later, another lively community band entertained us in Torvik. We continued northward, with champagne toasts on the ship’s deck with our captain. We enjoyed a meal of pølse, sild and is on the streets of Ålesund, after marching in the town’s parade. While we were as dressed up as possible, given our limited traveling wardrobe, we were no match for the Norwegians. From the youngest to the oldest, they were decked out in their bunads, as if the whole town had just stepped off a movie set.

I’m grateful for this unique memory and to the many Norwegians who shared this special day with us.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minnesota, where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585. Amy is a Nordic folk music enthusiast, and when she’s not working or parenting, she can often be found making music with friends.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I was hoping you would write a post about Syttende Mai. What a special time for all Norwegians!

I wrote about it on my blog Heart Choices: http://www.heartchoices.com/2010/05/syttende-mai.html.

I also viewed a wonderful video on My Little Norway blog of the parades in Tromso, Norway. I love how the internet connects us all so easily.

Debbie Sumstad Petras