Ya Gotta Love the U.S. of A.

May 18, 2011 § 1 Comment

Sisters Synnove Aanensen and Solfrid Brekka from Karmoy, Norway

Only in the U.S.A.:

  • Can another nation’s national holiday become an occasion for one of the biggest celebrations around. It happened yesterday in Ballard, WA when around 3,000 participants marched in the 17th of May parade celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day. It was said to have more participants than Seafair’s Torchlight Parade.
  • Is a police presence so welcomed. Cheers and claps erupted when the motorcycle drill team of the Seattle police executed elaborate square dances on wheels.
  • Can the afternoon entertainment before the parade include Norwegian Christian artists. Songs of praise rang out on Bergen Place in Ballard. When public libraries and schools are careful to not use a single religious-sounding word, this community celebration had a toe-tapping, along-singing praise session.
  • Can the national costumes of another nation be the featured dress. Everywhere were bright and beautiful, blond and resplendent women and children in  hand-embroidered “bunads” and gold and silver traditional jewelry and men in their wool jackets, knee socks and red vests. And every pattern of Norwegian sweater possible.
  • Can you get a Norsk hot dog wrapped in lefse.
  • Do immigrants meet. Favorite moment: meeting a young Iranian bride and her seven-month old baby, and her head-scarfed mother visiting from Iran and introducing them to my eleven-month old granddaughter. When they asked, “What is this gathering for?” I explained the occasion. One immigrant to the other, one generation to the other meeting to celebrate another nation’s biggest holiday.

Only in the U.S.A.

Copyright 2011

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