Wednesday, 4 December 2013

17th of May...with flags and pølse

 I've seen this in Oslo, huge amounts of people parading along Karl Johans street and in front the Royal palace.

I've seen this in Bergen, the parades go all around the city, school kids drumming marches, all kind of clubs and companies ptass by on their floats and in their old cars and what not, that was far more impressive than Oslo too.

But this year, I spent the 17th of May in a far more special place...on the tiny island of Tarva. The parade probably contained 50 people, for an island where the population is ~15 (no K, no hundreds, just 15 people), this was an impressive number!

First let me tell you a bit about Tarva, it's actually an archipelago in Sør Trøndelag fylke, Bjugn kommune. There are two main islands: Husøya (or the house island) where all the houses and cabins are, this also houses a school (only in use for parties and gatherings these days), a little church (not in use at all these days) with it's small graveyard and a pub that is open only on weekends. And Været (nobody knows why it's called that) which is a touch bigger than Husøya and is a sanctuary (mostly birds). These two islands are surrounded by loads of tiny islets. There's one road running through Husøya that is ~3Km long. In general very beautiful and peaceful.

The parade started at the school behind a car that towed a little cart at the back with a loud player of some sort and space for people who get tired to sit :) followed by a military clad couple, the girl from the local farm and her boyfriend with big flags followed by the rest of the 50 people or so with the usual small flags. Patriotic songs sounded from the speakers and a lot of waving flags followed that car to the church shouting "Hipp Hipp Hurra!" every now and then. There we got ice cream and a break and people visited the graveyard (while eating their icecream!). The parade then walked back to the school, where sausages, cakes, coffee and soft drinks were served. A round of introduction went through the room, then the games began. People split in 5 teams and had a few tasks to do, like guessing distances and finding local flowers and so on. Have to mention here that my team won :)

All was good until the football match started, for me personally, this was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen but apparently it's been a "tradition" on Tarva to dress up silly (not to mention weird) and play football in those silly outfits, the teams could be any number of people, it's for the fun. But you look at all those people dressed up in the weirdest things ever and running around the field and you don't know if it's funny or just plain embarrassing.

But generally it was fun, and an experience to remember. Our choice to spend the 17th of May on Tarva was also highly appreciated by the locals, and generally who can resist some mommy cooking every now and then? :)