The local school parade
My son (with flag) and his buddies in party moodWell it's our sixth consecutive, and final, Norwegian National Day. At this stage we're a family well-equipped with flags and rosettes, and manage to cobble together enough half-decent clothes for the kids to look smart. Around half of Norwegian women wear the national costume, the Bunad, which comes in many intricate designs and usually consists of a full-length wool skirt, wool waistcoat and a white blouse. Men wear a trousered or knickerbockered version, with fancy socks and shoes, and sometimes a hat. These outfits take the 'what will I wear?' conundrum out of formal occasions as for which they are used, including weddings and baptisms. A friend of mine expressed relief over this but I think I'd miss the excitement of playing dress up on the few occasions it is merited. Bunads can cost thousands of Euros so you can understand people wanting to get their money's worth.
We've been here long enough that when we go down to celebrate May 17 with the local barnehage and school we know people and have started to feel like members of the community. It has taken time but it is a nice feeling. In some way, it's an achievement, as making in-roads in Norway when none of the family is Norwegian can be a challenge. Hey, that surprise third baby just keeps paying dividends ;)
I already know a lady on the Kuala Lumpur May 17th committee so I'm certain we'll be celebrating Norway's national day next year too. I doubt the wool bunads will be in evidence with temperatures in the thirties and 70-80 % humidity, but you never know. We'll be there with our flags and rosettes; assuming I'm able to find them once we get to the other side of the world.