Monday, May 18, 2009

Syttende Mai

This weekend, our family (thanks to a school assignment of Nicole's) attended the annual Syttende Mai celebration.  

'What is this celebration that you speak of?  However do you pronounce those words?  If you aren't Norwegian can you still attend such an awesome event?'

No need to worry, I will explain everything!  First off, you pronounce Syttende Mai as follows:
Sooten-day-my.   It's as simple as that.  You have just learned how to say, the 17th of May in Norwegian.  Good job!

Syttende Mai is a celebration in Norway similar to the United State's Independence Day.  Erik's family happens to be Norwegian.  In fact our family name is Mjelde- but when his great-great grandfather came to America, he decided it would be easier to drop the 'j'.  I agree.

Every year the local Norwegians gather together to celebrate this day of independence.  There is singing, authentic food (we tried some crunchy hotdogs that have a white center, wrapped in some type of tortilla and Solo- a fizzy orange drink- sounds delish doesn't it?), a spontaneous parade that everyone gets to participate in (we all waved flags and marched around the International Peace Gardens) (Ian kept asking me if we were in a circus.  I said yes.  He said that he was going to walk on the high wire and kiss a monkey!), fishing booths and scooter races for the kids, and last but not least, many displays of Norwegian pride which make for some great photo ops.  

What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

OK, who am I kidding.  It really felt like we were barging in on some family reunion.  We didn't know how to speak the language, did not know the words to the songs, we were not dressed in authentic costume, nor did we bring our own Norway flag to wave in the parade!  Oh well. We'll be better prepared for next year's celebration.  

The Mjelde and the Bean families enjoying Syttende Mai!


  1. How fun (and funny). Love the pictures! You're all growing up so much! :)

  2. That sounds like tons of fun. I didn't even know there were these celebrations in the valley. Can anyone go to that? This post is awesome!

  3. I've never heard of that. Sounds like you had a fun time. Did Ian ever find that monkey to kiss?