Norway King Asks for Acceptance and Inclusion in His New Year Speech

King Harald started his traditional new year speech by mentioning the wish tree (Ønsketreet) in Slottsparken. The palace named a tree in the park behind the palace as Ønsketreet in this summer. People who visited the park were invited to hang their hopes and wishes for Norway and the world.

– Throughout the summer, the branches of the old tree were loaded with the hopes of children and adults, young and old, Norwegians and foreign tourists. For me it was nice to see that many of the wishes of the people matched well with my own hopes and wishes for our country and the future, said he.

On one of the wish leafs, a child wrote:

“I wish everyone gets a little kinder to themselves.”

The king described this as a wise desire. 

– Many feel that they are mentally and physically exhausted. But my impression is that many of the burden on ourselves are made by ourselves. We struggle with ourselves by thinking that we are inadequate, says he.

In this frame he wished everyone will be able to see and embrace all the capacity in Norway. Everyone can feel significant and recognize themselves useful – regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or disability, noted he.

Another wish on the tree was written by a girl and a boy together.

“I wish that we make Norway safe for women to live in.”

– Our community should be safe for everyone. Specifically, we must work to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected best, said King Harald V of Norway.

The king concluded his speech with the following wishes:

“I want a Norway which is rich in its diversity, with the ability to love their neighbor, where everyone can get who they are. A country with real freedom! “

In the new year I hope Norway, Europe and the world can be characterized by the idea that we people are primarily fellowmen; that we can collectively decide to work for a healthier world; and  that we fight evil with goodness.


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