Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Memories from a different 17th of May Celebration

Today, The 17th of May, is the Norwegian Constitution Day, and it will be celebrated in the traditional Norwegian way, as I have described elsewhere. However, last year the celebration was a bit different for my family and myself.

People from Norway will perhaps have some problems in recognizing this from the photo above. It shows the Band of the Bergen Police (Bergen Politiorkester) with their families ready for a traditional parade. But if they look closely they will see that the background is not Bergen (my home town). It is Brooklyn, New York City. And the Band was the guests of honour.

In the first half of last Century about 100 000 Norwegians settled in Brooklyn and formed their own neighbourhood. That included their own celebration of the Norwegian 17th of May. As with many other things, people have moved on and neighbourhoods have changed. But the celebration is still there and attracts Norwegians from all over the World :-)

Last year the guests of honour played the socks off all the other bands present ...

Of course there was a proper Norwegian-American 17th of May committee

For a guest from Norway it was especially touching to see this old lady putting on her Bunad and insisting in taking part.

And some male veterans seemed to have an equally good time.

The younger generation was present too.

Of course there were Speeches of the Day, but I must admit that I did not catch this gentleman's name. He was a well-known American sportsman of Norwegian extraction. Maybe some of the passers by will enlighten me?

In every way this was the most special 17th of May Celebration I have ever taken part in.

23 comments:

Viola said...

Næimen om jeg hadde sett det, første bildet.. at det ikke skulle være i Bergen, men nå er jo ikke jeg akkurat så kjent i Bergen heller da.. ;)
De feirer nok dagen "over there", like mye som her, tenker jeg.. Ja kanskje ennå sterkere også..

Men Norge er vel det landet som feirer mest intimt av de nordiske landene, med tanke på flagg og tog, nasjonaldagen..

Selv skal jeg ta det heeelt med ro, tenker jeg.. :)

Ha en fin 17. mai! :)

Woody said...

I was not aware that such a large number of Norwegians settled in Brooklyn. It's good to see they have kept their traditions alive. Very festive and colorful.

Dina said...

I'm glad America remembers the different immigrant groups who came to her shores. But Norwegians in Brooklyn I never heard about till now. Nice parade!

Happy Constitution Day to you!

Ida said...

"Et lite stykke Norge,"
i New York...
Nasjonalfølelsen blir nok ekstra sterk ved slike opplevelser...

Gratulerer med dagen,
og god 17. mai!

Anne said...

Ja dette bare å ha vært en en helt spesiell opplevelse Rune :-)
Få ting er vel så typisk norsk som musikkorps vel, og i dag lufter dem seg alle menn :-) jeg blåser i hele greia og drar ut mot havet med fiskestanga, menflagget ermed :-)

Ha det superkekt :-)

John said...

I'll be off soon for a few days in NYC; hope to get some b&w 35mm shots again.

webruci said...

Your country's flags and national clothes make me to feel the pure nordic wind, even with american background:) Stunning pictures.

Happy celebration Rune, happy celebration Norway...! :)

Bare bilder - Pictures only said...

Herlig bildeserie Rune.
Fortsatt fin dag til deg:)

Hans HB said...

Dagen er jo snart over nå men ønsker deg likevel fortsatt flott nasjonaldag! Super bildeserie!

Mest sol her hos oss i dag, - kun noen få regndråper...

imac said...

Nothing like a great celebration Rune my friend.
Long live Norway.

Anna said...

The picture of children in the wagon is priceless. Thanks for sharing this celebration with us. Anna :)

detroit dog said...

This is so interesting to know, and I'm sorry that I didn't know it all the years that I lived in Brooklyn!

Wonderful traditions, and photos. Thank you!

*Honest Abe said...

Nice, bright, set of pictures.

Malyss said...

it's always moving to discover people with same roots in an other country!especially with such celebrations!

I don't know what is the man in last picture talking about, but it must be fun, if we consider the wonderful smile of the lady behind! :)

Lew said...

Great series of shots of the celebration! One of the nice things about living in the USA is that we can share in the celebrations of people from around the world. I am glad you had a chance to celebrate Norway in America.

Lucy Corrander said...

Fascinating.

Lucy

Reader Wil said...

How wonderful to see the17th. may celebrated in other parts in the world. I remember that my husband and I went to the Norske Sjømannskirke in Rotterdam to see a bit of the celebration of the syttende mai.

EG Wow said...

I had no idea so many Norwegians settled in New York City! I'm curious to know why that happened when Norway is such a beautiful country.

becky said...

What fun! Who knew? Only in America, land of freely collected bands of people!

At our house, we mark Syttende Mai with Norwegian foods and handmade paper flags stretched across the room.

Proud to be of Norwegian descent.
Good people!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

What a lovely time of nostalgia and celebration! Your photos really capture the festive feel, and the one with the younger generation is especially brilliant!

truels said...

Thank you for sharing this special experience with us! Do you have relatives over there yourself? Our Danish "Constitution Day" - called "Grundlovsdag" is the fifth of June. But I do not think that it is celebrated in other countries in the way your Norwegian day is done here!

Banjo52 said...

I was pretty sure the speaker in your bottom photo is Boomer Esiason, former quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals football team and now a sportscaster for TV. So I tried Wiki, and I was right. Bravo. In case anyone's interested, here's the site:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Norwegian_Americans

RuneE said...

Banjo 52: Thank you so much for the info. I seem to remember that this was what was said at the introduction.