The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Monday, May 25, 2009

17 Mai...Happy Constitution Day Norway! Stavanger barnetog

I wanted a picture of the "Norwegian boy's hair" and caught him in a funny look.

I think Norwegian boys use more hair products then the girls! Luckily, Joe's hair is too curly for this and Tim's is too thick (so it stays short). We call it "the bedhead look". :o)

Some of the U.S. gang we know from ISS and the NATO base.

The boys before they left at 0745 to catch the bus to school on a SUNDAY. Alex was required to wear his school uniform and the boys were to wear their concert attire for the parade.

The 17th of May is THE BIG DAY in Norway. The natives are dressed to the nines in their national dress (bunad) and everyone lines the streets for the parades. Each kommune has their own parades. Usually there is a children's parade in the morning, followed by the club parades in the afternoon. In Stavanger, there is another parade sandwiched in there for the Russ (the graduating seniors). Russ....that's a whole other post entirely! No matter what day the holiday falls on, all of these events take place. It is a dressy event. There are no trainers allowed. You are in your very best clothing...even if you are only on the sidelines of the parades.
This year, May 17th landed on a Sunday. All of the boys in my house (Tim, Joe and Alex) were required to march in the parade with the International School of Stavanger. May 17 is a required 1/2 day of school for students. So the boys got up early and were all dressed up and took the bus to school on Sunday morning. They were then bussed to downtown Stavanger to march in the parade. Joe handed out roses, Alex waved the Norwegian flags with his other Barcelona classmates, and Tim marched in the largest band that ISS has ever had in a parade...over 200 students! The entire school marched (although it is somewhat optional for high schoolers). ISS had over 600 kids marching...some were singing...some playing handbells...some carrying the flags of the 30+ countries that are represented at ISS. This is our third 17 Mai celebration and I love it every year! This year, ISS was early in the Stavanger parade, so we not only saw the barnetog in Stavanger, but also caught the tail end of the one in Sola. We spent the afternoon over at our friend and neighbor's house (as we have for the last 3 celebrations) and then attended the folketog in the afternoon in Sola. Every year I look forward to going over to Randi and Tørres's house to eat lamb and vegetable stew. They have the same group of friends and family that stop by and now I look forward to seeing how things have been with them over the last year. In a way, it is almost like extended family. I actually found myself wanting to call my folks and tell them "Happy May 17!" but then I realized they probably didn't know or care... :o) It is hard to realize that we have only one of these special days left before we move on to our next assignment.

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