Workplace attire in Norway is very informal unless you work in finance or as an undertaker. On the rare occasion I’ve collected my husband from his office, I’ve seen women wearing clothes I wouldn’t even be seen in running from a burning building. But tomorrow is Norway’s much-celebrated national holiday, when men shake the dust from their ties, and women uncover their national costumes, called Bunads. Some men wear costumes too consisting of peddle-pushers and knee socks which look kind of cute on the under-10s, but slightly ridiculous on anyone older. Still, it is nice to see folk making an effort.
All over the country, schools will march, wave flags and celebrate, children will eat hot dogs and everyone will delight in being Norwegian. My daughters’ schools, being international, celebrated a day earlier in a nod to our hosts whilst not being presumptuous enough to think that it’s our day. I’m sure the staff appreciate having the day off too. Of course my five-year old was quite put-out that she doesn’t get to wear a Bunad and most of her friends, having at least one Norwegian parent, do. Sometimes it can be tough being Irish-Danish.
The weather forecast is for rain and temperatures of 7° C and below which is real shame for all the parents who have to dress themselves and their kids up to be at their school parades early in the morning. The royal family will be busy too, waving from the terrace of the royal palace in Oslo. We braved the crowds three years ago, but now with two pairs of hands to manage a stroller and two flighty girls, it’s not worth the anxiety over losing one of them. So Happy Birthday Norway. We’ll probably not be dressing up for this one, or even raising a flag (we’re the only house in the area without a flag pole which makes this an easy decision) but we’ll sip a beer or two to your continued good health and wealth.
For once I remembered to get the drinks in early.
A Danish-Irish national day celebrant wondering why she can't wear a Bunad like her pals.