Serbs in Norway to join 17 May celebrations

photo frmo serbian language class in oslo.jpg

As Norway readies for big celebrations marking the 203rd anniversary of the country’s Constitution on May 17, local Serbs look forward joining a tog in Serbian traditional costumes.

Dobrila Radulovic, president of the Alliance of Serbian Associations in Norway, is hoping to have a memorable Norwegian Constitution Day with her husband and children, as each year. According to her, many Serbs are spending this big day in the so called tog, as their children are part of different musical and other performances. “Tog” or "opptog” (which means train in Norwegian) refers to people walking in a predefined route just like a train moving along its track.

Some of the local Serbs are even going to wear the Serbian traditional costumes on the occasion. “Some decide to honour the Norwegian Constitution Day by wearing their (Serbian) national costumes so we believe that there will be some ‘sajkaca’ ‘jelek’ and ‘zubun’ in some of the cities with more Serbs,” says Radulovic.

Radulovic believes that wearing a Serbian national costume is a sign of great respect to the Constitution Day and the state of Norway, as Norwegians are wearing their costumes bunad on the most solemn occasions. Norwegians also find it interesting and often take photos of Radulovic’s children in these costumes, she noted.

The inspiration for wearing their own national costumes comes after a performance of the traditional dance section of the Serbian Association Ras held in Oslo on May 13 or Språk og kulturfestivalen due on May 20.

Serbian children in Norway get to learn about the Norwegian Constitution Day from early age in school but also at a Serbian language classes held in Oslo by Jelena Diklic where they had a chance to learn about it in a more informal way.

The Norwegian Constitution, which was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17, 1814, has a special place in the Norwegian history not only for promoting Norway’s independence, but also for laying a strong foundation for the country’s democratic development.