Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Half Forgotten Norwegian Weirdness

So that other post about Norwegian weirdness was pretty much just me being annoyed by my in-laws.  My apologies for casting broad cultural aspersions based solely on personal bias.  But this one really is weird, and I had pretty much forgotten all about it.

Where do I begin?
  • I shall shamelessly steal Tales of a Texpatriot's bullet point format.
  • She calls it 'random'.
  • I call it 'liberating'.
  • Very useful for those days (and subjects) when you can't be bothered with any of that narrative arc bullshit.
  • Onward
  • The quality of the above photos is bad because they were taken with my cell phone camera one gray, blustery day in June.
  • My cell phone camera sucks.
  • Also, it is absurdly difficult to get pictures off a cell phone and onto a computer.
  • Thank you, Jørgen for your help in this matter.
  • The kid with his finger up his nose--NOT. MY. KID.
  • Children dressed as mini brides and grooms and pulled in a horse drawn carriage.
  • Adorable.  But, why?
  • It has something to do with SanktHans Aften--Midsummer's Eve.
  • Also called Jonsokk.
  • Also Olsokk.
  • Three names.  One night.  Why?
  • So I asked one of the barnehage teachers, "Why is my son dressed as a mini groom and riding in a horse drawn carriage?"
  • She was pretty sure the tradition comes from Voss (mountain community east of Bergen, much skiing, really lovely, entirely sullied by the prevalance of smalahove)
  • Smalahove must be seen to be believed.
  • Dis
  • Gusting
  • Then I said to the barnehage teacher, "Where is not the same thing as why.  Why?"
  • She couldn't say.
  • So I asked Mister, "Why did the barnehage tantes dress our son and his classmates as mini brides and grooms and parade them around in a horse drawn carriage?"
  • Mister had no idea.
  • Though he had a vague memory of his older sister being dressed thusly on one occasion.
  • Or maybe it was just a picture he saw once, and thought of Hildegunn.
  • Googling is no help.
  • Because, honestly, what do you google?
  • All of the mini brides and grooms were 6 years old and leaving the barnehage to begin grade school in August.
  • So maybe it's a graduation, mile-stone marker kind of event?
  • But no. 
  • Mister says some villages have mini brides and grooms lead the parade on 17. Mai (Constitution Day).
  • No word yet on why.
  • Those are all real flowers.
  • Real roses.  Real daisies.  Real ferny greenery.
  • Someone put some serious time and effort into gathering these get-ups and making those head pieces.
  • Plus--where'd the farking horse come from?
  • No one told me these mini nuptials were going to happen.
  • Hence the lack of camera, and the mini-pixeled cell phone pictures.
  • Perhaps it was rushed.
  • Perhaps one of the girls was pregnant.
  • Perhaps they married them all off to hide the identity of the one.
  • Speaking of the girls, they were gorgeous.
  • I wish someone had given me a tiara of fresh roses and a gauzy veil to wear while being driven around the football field in a horse drawn carriage.
  • They didn't even ask.
  • I wonder why..
  • If anyone out there has any illuminating information about this adorable, yet inexplicable tradtion, by all means....
  • Share


myyearonline said...

i LIKE the norwegian weirdness series, more episodes please!

jillybaby said...

You think that's weird, do you know what they do here in Bonnie Scotland on Midsummer's Eve? They go up the nearest munro (big hill) late evening, set up camp then dance around naked as the sun sets. No joke, seriously they do. But only the crazy pagans, not the normal people you understand.

And as for the boiled sheep's head...WTF!!!

American in Norway said...

I need to go back track to read your Norwegian weirdness. I have never seen nor heard of the mini brid & groom thing.... Maybe it is only in the West? Gotta go catch up on what you have been doing!

Trace said...

So, Norway is almost as weird as Utah - except the nuptials are fake in Norway. Here in Utah the legal marrying age is 14. Yes, I said FOURTEEN. Girls can get married here before they even have boobs.

But in SOUTHERN Utah...
who is counting when it comes to age or the number of wives for that matter?

Perhaps Norway has it right to play pretend rather than the real thing so young. Kind of like drinking. You do it when you are younger, and it is not as enticing when you are older... wait a minute... I just remembered who I am typing this to.

Queen LaTeacha said...

Okay, I was there. And it really was so damn cute. It actually took a minute for me to realize that they looked like little tiny newly-marrieds. But they lined them up in couples, and the cute little tykes held hands as they were ushered out to the waiting horse-drawn carriage.

But yes, it also was really really weird and unexplainable. And you know what was even more weird? It has been raining like crazy all morning. The rain stopped just as the kids climbed into the big wagon, and it even cleared up a bit while they were driven around the school. And then almost as soon as they got them back, it started pouring down rain. Weird on top of weird!

Victoria said...

I'm still trying to get past that sheep head thing.

cymster said...

E says it is called 'barnebryllup', and that it happens in the summer. He doesn't know why, or where the tradition originated from. Not all barnehager does this, though.