Celebration planned for Norwegian Constitution Day

Norwegian Constitution Day celebration featuring children's parade May 15, 2010 11am to 2pm. Farmington Hills, Michigan

Online PR News – 12-April-2010 – – Norwegian-Americans in the Detroit area will join other people of Norwegian descent and their friends around the world in mid-May as they celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day, one of Norway's most significant holidays.

Detroit-area celebrants will stage their festivities from 11 am to 2pm on May 15, 2010, at the Swedish Club at 22398 Ruth Street in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Members of the Norwegian Nordkap Lodge, their families and guests, and other friends of Norway are welcome.

The family-oriented festivities will be sponsored by Nordkap Lodge 5-378 of the Sons of Norway and will include a parade, music, singing, special foods, games, demonstrations of Norwegian Hardanger-style embroidery and wood carving, and wearing of the national costume, the Norwegian bunad. Inside the clubhouse, the Lodge will display imported Norwegian products and foods, which are available for purchase.

The parade will follow the singing of the Norwegian, Canadian, and American national anthems. Participants will be led by the music of the Scandinavian-American Spelmanslag led by Karin Arneson on nyckelharpa with Roger Hewlett on the accordion, Steve Niemi on guitar, Ron Koivunen on mandolin and fiddle.

A speech by the Honorary Consul of Norway in the State of Michigan, Dennis Flessland of Huntington Woods, Michigan, will highlight the activities.

The Constitution Day celebration, called Sytennde Mai in Norway, commemorates the day in 1814 when the new Norwegian Constitution was signed. The constitution established Norway as a sovereign state and a constitutional monarchy ruled by the principles of liberty and democracy. It was the most liberal constitution in Europe at that time, clearly inspired by the ideals of the revolutionary American and French constitutions.

The Napoleonic wars had broken up the established power structure in Europe. Denmark, which had dominated Norway for more than 400 years, was forced in 1814 to cede Norway to Sweden, like a piece of Danish property. Outraged Norwegian leaders quickly called a constituent assembly. The assembly took one month to produce the constitution, enabling Norway to enter the new union with Sweden as an equal partner.

When the union was dissolved in 1905, the constitution became the foundation of the country which today has one of the highest standards of living in the world.