Oslo – May 17, 2013
Last Wednesday I took an Air Berlin flight out of Munich to Oslo (with a return yesterday on Norwegian back to Munich). It has been several years since my last visit to the Norwegian capital but the city took strong root in my heart after my first time there in my youth- memories of an earthy & clean beautiful city still strong in my mind along with special moments such as fresh shrimp from the boat down by the water & recollections of the invigorating summer weather (temperatures that can easily go from very warm to a relaxing brisk in one day).
So after some deliberation & communication with an Oslo based friend earlier this Spring, I booked a little getaway to coincide with May 17th, the Norwegian National Day. I am, unabashedly, a fan of things Norwegian- the landscapes (of which I have so many more to see!), the food, the fashion, the language, the architecture & more elements of the country and it’s elements. So it made sense for me to return to Oslo on a day when the nation was being celebrated & citizens & travelers alike were taking part.
Photographing the city coming to life near Youngstorget as I am about to meet my friends to enjoy the festivities of the day…
Of course I had intentions to photograph throughout the day & “document” the festivities through my own lens. But I soon realized I had a curiosity about all the beautiful designs & variations of dress I saw around.
I had seen a Norwegian bunad before but it wasn’t until this day, seeing so many in one place, representing numerous regions of Norway, that I became really curious about their beauty, various colors, symbolism & designs.
So I began to approach people, explaining my curiosity & asking if I could photograph them, writing down the information about their bunad in my little notebook as I went. Of course I also gave them all my business card with the option to email them the photo I took in gratitude for allowing me to “document” their dress!
Once I started with this I had a hard time stopping!! It was fun to interact with people & it also became a geography lesson of sorts as people wore bunads from the region they were from & often were explaining the location or particular geographical qualities of that region.
Stop I had to at some point to move along in the day with my friends as well as to eat!!! I could have easily done this for hours!!! The interaction created an entirely other dimension to celebrating the day for me.
Bunad (left): Sami
Bunad (right): Valdres
The Royal Family
Bunad (left): Østfold- Løken drakt
Bunad (middle): Gudbrandsdal
Bunad (right): Østfold
Bunad (left): Kautokeino
Bunad (right): Norwegian/Sami mix
Bunad (3 with red & green): Setesdal
Bunads: Male with Hat: Gudbrandsdalen
Female (black skirt): Telemark
Females (blue): Troms (blue for coastal area)
Baby: Gudbrandsdalen (skirt pattern of a very special pattern representing one farm called Hole)
Bunads (left & right): Aust-Agder
Bunad (middle): Vest-Agder
Bunad (left): Lenvik (Troms)
Bunad (right): Telemark
Bunad: Sunnmøre (Ølesund)
Scarf (handmade) represents that she is married
Bunads: Sunnmøre (Ålesund)
When the downpours came!
And many were prepared with umbrellas!!!
A special “May 17th present” gifted to me by an Oslo based friend- the magnet puzzle is definitely up on my fridge now, in process of gradual assembly…
One of the delicious cakes (above : The Pavlova, as named after a Russian ballerina, consisting of meringue, cream, strawberries & kiwi) at the May 17th dinner feast I was part of with great food, great dialogue & great company.
More to come from my weekend in one of my favorite cities on Earth…..