Syttende mai

May 18, 2014 at 14:35

Yesterday was the National Day of Norway, known to Norwegians as 17. mai or Syttende mai. This day is for Norwegians one of the best days of the year. It is the one day of the year when Norwegians will be most proud of their country. We will dress up in our best clothes, many of us in our traditional bunads, and we will celebrate Norway from morning until night. The day is usually started with a Champagne breakfast with friends, family or both, while watching NRK’s Syttende mai coverage on TV. The most amazing landscapes and nature are broadcasted, which just contributes to our love for our own country on this day. Then people usually take a trip to the local celebrations, where children, russ and others parade in the streets with flags and music. In Oslo the royal family waves to the parade as the people walk past the royal castle shouting ‘hipp hipp hurra’. After this Norwegians often gather for a barbecue or share a meal in other ways with family and friends. It is also known as the one day of the year Norwegian children can eat all the ice cream they want.

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17. mai in Mumbai

This year however, the celebrations were a bit different than Marius and I are used to. It’s actually my first Syttende mai away from home, but it worked out way better than I thought. Eli organized a lovely 17. mai celebration at the Waterstones Country Club here in Mumbai, and gathered 20 Norwegians for a great lunch with typical Syttende mai food like Norwegian sausages, potato salad, eggerøre, spekemat and ice cream. Even Idun ketchup & sennep, lompe and Twist was served. That’s amazing!

17. mai at Waterstones

17. mai at Waterstones

Gilde sausages

Gilde sausages

Waterstones Country Club

Waterstones Country Club

Enjoying the food

Enjoying the food

After the gathering, we were invited over to a lovely Norwegian expat home here in Powai, to continue the celebrations with with dinner and wine, and some really tasty Gulab Jamun for dessert! Then we went home to continue the Syttende mai celebrations with our friends back in Norway over Skype. It was great talking to them, and we really wish we were back home with them this weekend. But luckily we’ll see them in a really short time, and until then we have Skype!

- Andrea