Not everyone is celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day

Today in Norway many children will be expected to celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day, the official national holiday, without their parents. Some of the children celebrating today would have been needlessly removed from their families within the last few weeks and will now be expected to march happily through the local community, with a school band leading the way. The majority of children will be waving a small Norwegian flag with enthusiastic onlookers lining the way.

The following tribute (translated) was written by an anonymous Norwegian poet for today’s Norwegian Constitution Day and is taken from my recently released book called “Stolen Childhood”:

My beautiful Norway.

Beautiful Norway, every year you let us celebrate you in the glorious spring. You clothe yourself in your finest garment: the buds are in bloom and the warming sun gives us hope of summer and school holidays. All your introverted residents pop out of their homes and greet even those who are unfamiliar with warm hugs and happy celebrations.

They dress their children in the most imposing splendour, give them money for ice cream and film them waving flags as the parade goes by – the children’s parade – the epitome of your excellence.

The children are free with their rights to hope and joy, sheltered from the injustice and deprivation that exists beyond your borders. The parade is your symbol of pride; it’s what you want everyone to see and admire.

The colours you have chosen for your flag are red, blue and white. Red for the sun’s heat and hearts filled with love. Blue is for the sea, the broad horizon and our dreams. White is for snow and glaciers, our famous national landscapes.

Snow and ice: the truth about Norway. The truth about the real Norwegian atmosphere under the cover of a short, beautiful spring.
On this day, the light shines out. The focus is on streets filled with life. No one notices the silent ones; those who do not rejoice; those who remain inside with their curtains closed.

They have nothing to cheer for today. They have lost all the beauty in their lives. They see this day as a mockery, as the proverbial salt in the wound. For this is not a day that fits with the truth. They have lost all faith in freedom. Their hope and joy are held in captivity.

Their children are not marching in the parade. They are not where they can see them. Their children are no longer theirs. The children have been removed; trapped and isolated from rest of the family.

In a cupboard somewhere hangs a costume that has never been used or was used a long time ago. The door to the cupboard is closed. The beautiful folk costume reminds the parents of pain. Today the blue in your flag stands for tears in helpless eyes. Maybe they asked for help and you responded by taking away their happiness, their children.

Outside stands the flagpole, which was once used a very long time ago when a child woke up in this house to celebrate its freedom and buy ice cream. There was also a feast here on this day. Maybe they did not have all the things everyone else had, but they had each other. There was a family gathering with a barbecue, and they enjoyed themselves on this Children’s Day.

These are the children they love so dearly, who they never get to live with. Hearts are bursting. Blood flows from the deepest of wounds that will never stop bleeding. They have been cut up into infinite pieces and live stigmatised, and you have twisted and distorted every piece. They still hold the battered pieces together and stand up to fight, because they love. Today the red in your flag symbolises this blood.

[Photo: / CC0 Creative Commons]