Norwegians celebrate National Day in Stockholm
TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 18 May 2008, 11:59
Published: 18 May 2008 11:59 GMT+02:00
The centre of the Swedish capital was awash with Norwegian flags and people clad in folk dresses and woollen 'lusekoft' jumpers. The crowd of Norwegians and Swedes numbered 8,000 as the procession made its way from Östermalm to Skansen on Djurgården.
"It has been a grand May 17th with thousands of happy Norwegians and Swedes," said Björn Magnus Berge of the Norwegian embassy in Stockholm.
Many of the throng of people assembled at Bollnästorget in Skansen were kitted out in national folk dresses and traditional costumes from Sweden's western neighbour. It was mostly women and children that dressed up for the day.
With Norwegian flags as far as the eye could see the proud Norwegians held hands and sang, "Yes, we love this country" in their native tongue.
Sport was the theme of many of the speeches. The role of football as a force for brotherhood was a recurring message.
"Norway has become a multicultural country. And we would like to see that the traditional national day celebrations includes all groups. It is the same with football," said Berge to news agency TT.
Norway's national day has been celebrated in Stockholm since 1939, 30 years after the break up of the union between the two countries.