In keeping with tradition, Storting President Olemic Thommessen delivered a speech at Eidsvoll Square, outside the Storting (Norway’s parliament). His speech included remarks on the importance of Norway as a nation being open and inclusive.
“The debate today must be about how we live together, despite differences, in a way that builds community around the fundamental values that we associate with the Norwegian flag and the Constitution,” the Storting President said.
He also pointed out how important it is to be proud of the values we celebrate every 17 May.
“It’s not about compromising on the things we are proud of in our own society. It is about inviting others in, and being open to the idea that what we call our own can be even better,” Thommessen told those in attendance at Eidsvoll Square.
As the ceremony ended, the Storting President laid flowers at the statue of Christian Frederik which Queen Margrethe of Denmark had unveiled in 2014 during the celebration of the Constitution’s bicentenary.
The University of Oslo’s female choir sang “God Signe vårt dyre Fedreland”, and performed “Vi ere en nasjon” with Year 3 children from Tåsen elementary school.
The Nordic countries’ ambassadors were also present during the ceremony, which was carried live by state broadcaster NRK during its 17th of May programming.
Beginning at 10 a.m., the President of the Storting greeted marchers in the children’s parade from the balcony under the three large windows of the Storting building’s façade on Karl Johans gate. As part of the façade this is a relatively recent addition; until 1991 a provisional structure was hung up each year.
See photos from the celebration.