"Ja Vi Elsker Dette Landet..." Happy Syttende Mai!!!
Happy Norwegian Independence day on May 17th this very day! At the turn of the 20th century the Norwegians were MORE than happy to be unshackled from an overpowering country such as Sweden. Before Sweden’s domination, Norway had been under the authority of Denmark. I think it was 1906 or 1908 when Norway finally became a sovereign nation with their own rules, constitution and king. No wonder the early Norwegian pioneers who settled in the Midwest were very Republican (think Lincoln’s party) and so anti-slavery. Many of the Norwegian soldiers from Minnesota died fighting the South in the Civil War. Many of my relatives back in Telemark, Norway also put up a huge fight against the Nazi occupiers during WWII.
Maybe there is a streak in my Norwegian blood (I’m Swedish and Danish also) that revels in independence, my own as well as other countries’ independence. That is why I continue to celebrate Kazakhstan’s new independence as of 16 years ago. Noone likes to be under an oppressive government but unfortunately they still exist all over the world. (I’m thinking of the countries of Myanmar and China with their recent tragedies) I’ve taught in a few of those countries where fear and suspicion dominates and lack of truth seems to prevail. Apparently Myanmar’s government cares nothing for the suffering of those who survived their cyclone disaster. Fortunately China cares enough about its world image for the sake of the Olympics this summer and are trying to get aid to those survivors in the Chengdu area and beyond where the earthquake continues to send shockwaves.
Perennials and annual flowers always remind me of our brevity of life on this planet. I took photos of the above irises several days ago and now they are withered away to just stalks. However, the petunias like any good annual, will last throughout the summer yet they need to be planted anew every spring. Countries come and go too, some become hybrids of another form of government, others become extinct. Some countries seem to be perennial-like that bounce back every year, while other nations are like annuals that wither away under drought like conditions. These last thoughts concerning countries and flowers are for future blog ponderings.