Thursday, July 28, 2011

Norwegian Connection

By now, most people have heard of the tragedy that occurred in and near Oslo, Norway (Norge in Norwegian). What happened there is absolutely horrific and I immediately felt for the people there. I wouldn't typically write about a major tragedy, as news outlets do that already, but in this case I have been to the city that was affected.

I visited Oslo for a few days, including during Syttennde Mai, the Norwegian Independence Day, on a study abroad trip. As a Minnesotan, I've certainly been exposed to Norwegian foods such as lefse and Norwegian heritage jokes like Ole and Lena. I'm not Norwegian myself though and was just one of 2 students who didn't have Norwegian heritage out of the 15 student on the trip. While I visited Norway for two weeks, I grew to appreciate the culture and enjoyed the beauty of both the countryside and the towns.

School children walking in the Syttennde Mai parade in Olso.
Our trip to Oslo was cut short by the Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajokull, but I enjoyed the time that I did get to spend in the city. The goal for Oslo was to be there for Syttennde Mai, a great experience that reminded me of the 4th of July and what it means to have a sense of national pride. On Syttennde Mai we even found hot dogs wrapped in the aforementioned lefse at a street vendor.

A year after my visit to Norway, my heart goes out to the Norwegians as they go through this national tragedy.

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