Tuesday, August 28, 2018

How To Celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day in the Philippines

"The constitution is not a mere lawyers' document, it's a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age."
Last May 18, 2018, I attended an event at The Manila Peninsula Manila, Rigodon Ballroom located at Makati City, Philippines.
I was invited by the Philippines Norway Business Council, along with my other colleagues to celebrate with them the Norwegian Constitution Day.
It was a night of freedom as Norwegian in the Philippines celebrate theirs.
We started by having some cocktails and appetizer outside the ballroom for some meet and greet with other Norwegian and Filipino friends.
But do you ever wonder what is this special day for them?
Initially, the Norwegian Constitution Day is celebrated at Norway in May 17, 2018, every year and it's an official public holiday.
They called the day as "syttende mai" which means seventeenth May and/or The National Day or The Constitution Day.
The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom to avoid the attempt ceded to Sweden after Denmark - Norway's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.
On this day, all over Norway, there are the children's parades holding and waving their national flag as an element of the celebration.
For the first decades, only boys were allowed to participate in the children's parade and twenty years later, the girls were first allowed to participate.
There are also marching bands walking through the communities with women and men wearing local dresses and waving their flag.
The royal family also spends the day waving to party-goers from the Royal Palace balcony in Oslo, before strolling through the capital.
This is one of the country's largest parades that composed of 100,000 participants.
Everyone is feasting also with beers and food served on their dining table.
Ice cream is their favorite dessert during this day.
In the Philippines, it is a whole day event too wherein some Norwegian took off from their work and started celebrating it to some hotels and event lounges like this.
They also serve their finest cuisine in this hotel such as the Aurora Borealis Salad which consists of spinach, red onion, egg, beet, parma ham and tarragon vinaigrette.
It's actually healthy for those who love beets.
Next is, Lyngdal Salmon Bisque which has creamy fish bisque Norwegian salmon fillet, leeks, lemon, and dill.
What I love about this is that it's my first time trying out Norwegian salmon and I love it.
Then, the main course which is Lofoten Surf and Turf that has grilled beef tenderloin & seared Norwegian cod duo, truffle potato, carrots, green beans and mushroom jus.
I love how tender the meat is and simplified cooking too.
Finally, my favorite the dessert, which is the Gratulerer Med Dagen which has mixed berry pavlova, raspberry sorbet, and a white chocolate Norwegian flag.
It looks lavished and sumptuous which is indeed yes.
After that meal, there's a live band that serenades the people and let them dance on the dance floor provided in the ballroom.
But hey, that's not the end of the day and they gather all the guest in the pub area wherein they pour unlimited drinks for their guest(not literally) and I think that's the highlight of their celebration.
More drinks, more fun which I think is similar to Filipino culture as well.
It is indeed a great experience to be able to know other cultures and learn more about them.
Definitely another event I will look forward next year.
How do you find this celebration?
Have you ever attended such an event?
Let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for reading.

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