The Norwegian community in Dhaka on 17 May. 
Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka.The Norwegian community in Dhaka on 17 May. Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka

Celebrations of the Norwegian Constitution

Last updated: 20.05.2014 // Every year on 17 May, Norwegians gather all over the world to celebrate the Norwegian National Day. This year’s festivities were more special than usual, as they marked the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution.

Bicentenary of the Constitution

Signed on 17 May 1814, the Norwegian Constitution is the oldest in Europe and the second oldest in the world, that is still in use. The signing of the Constitution marks Norway’s first steps towards democracy and freedom, and is why the National Day is so important to Norwegians. The bicentenary of the Constitution is celebrated throughout the year with various events all over Norway and wherever Norway is represented.

To learn more about the Constitution, click here.

An evening to remember

To mark the 200th anniversary of the Constitution, the Ambassador hosted a reception and concert in her residence on 15 May. The small, Norwegian community in Dhaka was present, as well as a large group of Bangladeshis who have studied at different universities in Norway. This way, friends of Norway had the opportunity to get acquainted, reminisce of their times in Norway and of course celebrate the Constitution.

The cultural programme of the evening surprised the crowd, as they saw both Norwegians dancing traditional, Bengali dances, and Bangladeshis dancing beautifully to Norwegian Folk tunes. The band Chirkutt performed several of their most popular hits, which really got the dance floor started. Thanks to these amazing artists, this reception sure was one to remember.

A poster exhibition named “1814 – The Incredible Year” was displayed at the residence, so the guests could learn more about the events that took place 200 years ago.

Sudeshna Swayamprabha. 
Photo: MR Rama.
Sudeshna Swayamprabha. Photo: MR Rama 


Parading the streets of Dhaka

Every year on 17 May, celebrations of the National Day take place all over Norway and wherever Norwegians are living abroad. The festivities are very traditional - people gather in the streets and in their local communities to celebrate with parades, games and good food, much like Bangladeshis celebrate Pohela Boishakh.

These traditions are important to the Norwegian community in Dhaka as well. With imported salmon, brown cheese and typical cakes, the 17 May celebrations resembled the ones in Norway. Still, the highlight of the day was not so traditional. Instead of a marching band, a loud speaker attached to a rickshaw was used when the Norwegians paraded the streets of Dhaka. Since rickshaws are not an everyday sight in Norway, a clip of the parade was shown later that day on Norwegian national TV.


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