Sunday, May 18, 2014

Red, white and blue: same same but different

May 17th - syttende mai! Or as the Americans pronounce it: [Soot-n-duh My]. On Norway's Constitution Day, Ballard is always the place to be.

To be honest, I didn't quite know what to expect as I headed for the festivities but I was surely not disappointed by the enthusiasm. In no time, I was completely surrounded by lusekofte cardigans, folk costumes, viking helmets, braids, and flags flags FLAGS. Simply put, there was nothing else to do but join the merry crowd. The highlight of the day was a seemingly endless parade featuring marching bands, drill teams, cheerleaders, cross country skiers and various community groups, not to mention a surprisingly large population of children on unicycles (seriously, they just kept coming!).

The Seattle police started the parade with some pretty impressive motorcycle riding in formation.

Apparently, the trumpeters needed some extra hydration in the sunny weather. Nice touch with the spray bottle, lady!

For those of you who have seen Trolljegeren, need I say more than Norge har troll...?

The first batch of I don't know how many unicycle kids; impressive, yet somewhat odd.

BATLA...? Uff da! Fun detail: the little tractor that pulled the wagons was a Björn Deere.

Sweden was also represented, here and there.

In the midst of all the cheers and hipp, hipp hurra!, I surprised myself by feeling a little jealous of the Norwegian community and their strong sense of togetherness, regardless of their whereabouts. I want to belong somewhere too, but right now I'm not really sure of where home is. Ah, well. Perhaps it's just an effect of the good ol' homesickness that always comes creeping up as I get ready for another trip to Sweden. (Five days and counting...!)

PS. For those with a berserk hangover, Leif Erikson Lodge seems to provide a reasonable cure: bingo + spaghetti. How very... Norwegian.

(Oh, Americans.)

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