Norwegian Constitution party in Belgrade downtown

The Norwegian Association in Serbia and the Norwegian embassy in Belgrade have again celebrated the Norwegian Constitution Day “big style”.

With cheerful music, waving flags and a parade with some even wearing traditional costumes called “bunad”, Norwegians i Belgrade and friends celebrated their most important day – the Constitution Day on Saturday (May 19).

Like every year, The Norwegian Association in Serbia and the Norwegian embassy in Belgrade tried to bring to Belgrade a glimpse of the atmosphere from the streets of Norway celebrating this important day. 

It started off with a promenade in in the city centre. Waving Norwegian flags, few hundreds of people happily marched while passers-by contributed to the cheerfulness by taking photos and waving back. Not even the heavy showers could stop it.

As it is the case in Norway, children have a special role in the celebration and the biggest part of the event was dedicated to them. They were also marching in the parade waving Norwegian flags. A group of children from Obrenovac, a town which has special links to Norway and even a street named after Norwegians, were the loudest. They were leading the parade by singing Norwegian children’s songs they practiced especially for this occasion.

The celebration then continued at Kalemegdan with the sounds of both Serbian and Norwegian national anthems. Janne Knutrud, Deputy Head of the Mission, officially opened the celebration with an inspiring speech touching upon the background of the Constitution Day and history of Serbia-Norway friendly relations. 

A rich music programme followed featuring young Serbian musicians and dancers.

Traditionally, May 17 is associated with hot dog and ice-cream where everyone, especially children follow the rule “eat what you like”. Serbian kids liked the rule and followed it strictly so they could sing louder later during the celebration. 

May 17 has been celebrated since 1814 when the Norwegian Constitution was signed at Eidsvoll opening doors to Norway’s independence from 400-year-long Danish autocracy and laying a strong foundation for the country’s democratic development. The Constitution is the world’s second oldest in the world still in effect. That alone says a lot about the men at Eidsvoll’s capability to look ahead of their own time. Ever since, the 17th of May has been celebrated with colourful processions of children with their banners, flags, bands and numerous other events taking place all around the country, from cities to the smallest village or hamlet.

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