May 27, 2014
More than 150 of Perth’s Norwegian residents gathered in the CBD on May 17 to celebrate 200 years since the Norwegian constitution was signed.
The leader of the Perth chapter of the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad, Alexander Vallace, has lived and studied in Perth since early 2013 and says that Norwegians value the opportunity to celebrate when being on the other side of the world.
“I think May 17 would be the one day to feel the most homesick, especially as it is celebrated in such a big manner back home,” Mr Vallace said.
“I’m really happy with the way everything has turned out, not to mention the great weather.
“I find it impressive how so many people have made such an effort to make this day successful and even showed up in their national costumes.”
The Norwegian national costume, best known as the ‘bunad’, is most commonly given to a person going through the process of civil or religious confirmation as a symbol of reaching adulthood.
The dress looks different depending on where in Norway you live or where your parents are born.
Hanna Velure showed up in Stirling Gardens dressed in a black and red version of the national costume from Hardanger which is in the southwestern part of Norway.
Ms Velure said she enjoyed wearing the dress on the constitutional day, but found it a bit too hot for the Australian climate.
“My costume is mostly made of wool so obviously not made for Australian weather” she said.
“I don’t get to wear it that often though, so I thought that if I would ever get the chance it would have to be today.
An important part of the constitutional day is the Norwegian food that gets served. Being on the other side of the world makes that a challenge.
When asked about the food, Mr Vallace laughed and said: “Just take a look at the long queues. It’s obvious that it’s a big hit, especially the waffles.”
After the national anthem was sung and speeches held, the celebration was moved to a nearby bar and continued into the early hours of the morning.