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Journals from Oslo Norway

2010-05-21 Norway’s Constitution Day

5/19/10 Norways Constitution Day Norways Constitution Day was two days ago on the 17th of May. Norway has been celebrating this day since 1814 when they adopted a constitution. This day was interesting for me to be a part of because there were people everywhere in Oslo either dressed up in traditional dress called bunad or suits and dresses. The bunads vary in appearance due to the region youre from in Norway, which truly represents a celebration of Norwegian traditions and history. There was a childrens parade in front of the Royal Palace and the children were dressed up walking towards the palace. The King and Queen where waving to the people from in front of the Palace. This day is also important for the high school students who will be graduating soon. I was shocked when I found out in Norway they have a tradition for all seniors called Russ, which is 3 weeks of letting the students loose in Oslo letting them do almost anything they want before their exams. The Russ students still have to study, but some dont--resulting in failure of exams and thus having to redo the year. They get to wear different colored overalls depending on what they are studying and the colors are red, green, black, and blue. Also the students cant wash their overalls until after the 17th of May. It is a tradition in Norway and they have a list of things they can do to get knots in the tassels or patches to put on their overalls, which vary from trying to drink a gallon of milk in 5 minutes, eat a whole 200 gram chocolate bar in 2 minutes with no water, drink a certain amount of beer in a period of time, and things dealing with sex. The society is open to these things and doesnt have a big problem with them. Not something you will see in the U.S. anytime soon. Norway has been great. I have learned a lot about not only their society and how it works, but also a lot from my classmates from doing assignments for class. Time flies and my parents and sister get here on the 28th of May until the 31st. This experience has been amazing and words really cant describe all the things I have been through. If I could pick five words, I would pick eye opening, incredible, humbling, thankful, and maturing. This has been a very positive life changing experience that you will only understand if you go abroad and experience it for yourself. I just have an oral exam next week then I am done. A new chapter in my life will start when I get home to Seattle, Washington because I am done with school. Brian Leith

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