Norway Celebrates National Day and Diversity Most in Scandinavia

Photo : Ernst Vikne. Children’s parade in Norwegian National Day 17 May

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New report by the research foundation KIFO shows that  70 percent Norwegians participate in the public part of the National Day celebrations, while 15 percent Swedes and 6 percent Danes do the same. It’s pretty strong correlation between the Scandinavian countries but there are some differences, according to VG Nett.

70 percent participate in public celebrations of 17 May

Hardly any country in the world has such a strong relationship with the National Day as Norwegians , says Olaf Aagedal , a researcher at KIFO . 9 out of 10 Norwegians say they celebrate the day and 70 per cent of the population participate in the public celebration of the 17th May , he said. Only 10 percent of the Norwegian respondents to the survey believe that they exaggerate national celebration in the country.

15 percent Swedes say they participate in public celebration of the Swedish National Day 6 June ( Swedish flag day) and it is celebrated by an increasing number. And in Denmark, only 6 percent say they celebrate the Danish Constitution Day on 5 June.

– Constitution still represents the foundation of our celebration . When it comes to emergencies or more debates about immigrants’ place in 17 May – committees , the Constitution’s inclusive feature has been used as an argument for everyone to participate in the celebration , Aagedal said.

While the National Day is not as widely celebrated in Denmark and Sweden as in Norway, they perform more actively on Midsummer celebrations.In both countries, the support for Midsummer has increased markedly from 1998 to 2013 , especially in Sweden. In Norway, celebration for Midsummer is decreasing and significantly less than in the other two Scandinavian countries.

Attitude towards immigrants

In Norway there are more who believe that immigrants are good for the economy . Few believe they are taking work from those born in this country. While Danes are more skeptical than their neighbors , according to this study.

– It is natural to associate these differences in attitudes to inequality in the labor market and unemployment in the Scandinavian countries , the researchers Pål Ketil Botvar and Olaf Aagedal by KIFO .

It also goes with the National Day celebration. Support for the Norwegian National Day celebration is as high among immigrants in Norway as among ethnic Norwegians.  Half of immigrants completed a practical task in the celebration. The researchers believe this is related to the school’s central position in the celebrations.

More details  on national symbols

KIFO’s report National Symbols in Scandinavia reveal more details on people’s attitudes towards national symbols.

  • Norwegians think more often than others that churches have a place in the National Day celebrations.
  • Swedes have the most liberal use of the flag in different contexts.
  • Danes are most skeptical that immigrants use flag.
  • In all three countries people are becoming more touched when they sing the national anthem.
  • Every third Danes think the world would be better if people in other countries were like them. One in five Norwegians and Swedes feel the same .
  • 8 of 10 in all three countries recognize one or more of the constitutional clauses.
  • The report also examined whether the support for national symbols in Norway varies with gender , age and education:
  • Women are somewhat more likely than men touched by singing the national anthem.
  • People with higher education are more than others concerned that immigrants should attend the May 17th.
  • The elderly are somewhat more likely than younger touched by singing the national anthem.
  • Young people participate more often than older people in 17 May celebrations.
  • The elderly are more skeptical than the young about using flag for commercial purposes.
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