ANINERGY

365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy


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Syttende mai

Day 136Today is Syttende mai (17th of May), Norway’s National day.

I grew up in Norway and the 17th of May, next to Christmas, was the far most exciting day during the whole year. The constitution of Norway was signed on this day in 1814 and the huge celebration the Norwegians partake every year is like nothing else, as it brings the whole nation out into the streets and touches the hearts of every young child (it is also called the children’s day) and to those of the elderly. As a child, I would look forward to this day for months. Not only in Norway but in every Norwegian community around the world is this day celebrated with great parades with music corps, speeches, loads of fun games for the children, traditional food, and of course the national anthem being sung with joy, pride and devotion.

I moved abroad 30 years ago this year, and I have only been back a few times to celebrate Syttende mai since then. Last year though, a dream came true when I was back to celebrate the 200-year anniversary weekend, together with close to 50 of our friends that my husband and I had invited, from mostly Sweden. We were super lucky with the weather and had the best time on a gorgeous sunny and warm day.

IMG_9590Today, one year after the celebration I have received so many thank you messages from my friends that all remember the day and weekend we had with such joy and gratitude. How sweet and kind of them to share and let me know! I am forever grateful that my dream to share my cultural tradition with good friends was such a success.


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Living our cultural heritage

Day 67My body and mind is a bit fried as I sit down to write today. I have been skiing for the first time the Engadina Ski Marathon, 42km ‘classic style,’ (not skating).

The marathon today reminded me of how much cross-country skiing is part of my cultural heritage, and something I can feel the cells of my body have missed. It was thrilling to be back on skis and amongst so many others who love the sport.

I grew up in Norway where cross-country skiing is a national sport. During my childhood our family cross-country skied quite often, but only leisurely. I was not passionate about skiing as a child and racing was for sure not my thing. However, the older I got the more I came to enjoy the tranquility of the sport particularly because I was mostly skiing in the mountains above the tree line.

It was while cross-country skiing in the Norwegian mountains I came to learn about peace of mind. Skiing in this wide-open, untouched landscape, above the treetops, with no or few people in sight, with the diagonal movement of cross-country skiing, harmonized my brain and touched my soul.

It is thirty years ago since I left Norway. I have missed my old love of being out in the wild and cross-country skiing.

I am grateful that my husband and friends encouraged me to participate in this ski Marathon. It was a thrilling experience to be skiing amongst 25,000 participants (some doing the half marathon and others doing the full distance). It felt like I had come back to my element.

Somewhere along our life journey we may give up part of our cultural heritage and who we used to be. If we meet a partner who does not share the same heritage or if we move abroad, many of us let go of cultural heritage and values we love.

If we reclaim the old ‘parts’ of us, these can bring loads of joy and energy to our lives.