Norwegian constitution celebrated in Barents Russia

Norwegian constitution day celebrated in Murmansk. Photo: Alexey Filin

May 17th parades in both Murmansk and Arkhangelsk were attended by both locals and Norwegians. See BarentsObserver’s photogallery.


Norwegians are unlike many other countries when they celebrate their national day. Instead of military parades, Norway’s constitution day is more like a folk festival where children make the majority in the parades. Many wear the national cloth bunad and wave small flags.

Both Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in Russia arranged parades in the city centers, in Murmansk from the Norwegian Consult General and in Arkhangelsk along the gorgeous Northern Dvina River.

The Murmansk parade had its own band in the front playing an assortment of Norwegian marches.

The Arkhangelsk program of celebration of the National Day of Norway was quite intensive this year. Actually the holiday started on May 16 in the Museum of Artistic Exploration of the Arctic with youth gathering called “Barents Sound Check”. The informal happening presented three local rock groups: “Tri Ri”, “Jagoda Galo” and “Hello Gonzo!” and special guests from Norway – young trip-hop band “Soundrowned”. This was not a simple concert but a spectacular mix of creative communication between young musicians, sort of master class and final jam session where the rockers could play together.

The 17th of May was opened by a Norwegian-Russian performance for children Dunongen and Tempusegget  (Little Seagull and the Egg of Time) staged  by Solveig Leinan-Hermo, the leader of Stellaris Dance theatre, Hammerfest. This performance was specially presented for the handicapped children and children from orphanages.

The grand parade along the river bank continued in the historical building of Gostiniy Dvor museum where the participants could listen to the concert of Anne-Lise Berntsen and Pomor Ensemble. Specially for this event the young artists form the College of Culture and Arts prepared fantastic exhibition of the works reflecting the images of Norway. There were many cultural presentations from the university students and the pupils studying Norwegian language in the Novodvinsk gymnasium.

The local “Stars” of Russian ethnic music  - brilliant ladies from Ensemble “Suzjomie” together with Anne-Lise Berntsen,- presented a mix of Russian and Norwegian songs that sounded unusual but very cheerfully. 

All party was crowned by another concert of “Soundrowned” and their newly found Russian music partners.