May 17 marks Norwegian Constitution Day

May 17 marks Norwegian Constitution Day

Source: Asgeir Helgestad/
Source: Asgeir Helgestad/

On the occasion of Norwegian Constitution Day, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in collaboration with Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce are proud to highlight the unique tradition of celebrating a day that goes back 207 years.

On this very special day, Norwegians all over the world celebrate culture, country and the constitution of 1814. We celebrate our democratic institutions and our King as constitutional Head of State. We celebrate our modern welfare state where income distribution and gender equality has brought social stability and economic prosperity. 

In normal circumstances, we will see children, women and men in their national “Bunad” costumes carry Norwegian flags and march accompanied by school brass bands from all over the country through our cities and towns. In Oslo, the capital city, children from Oslo’s schools march past the royal palace where the royal family is assembled on the balcony to greet them. Although we this year will have to hold back our celebrations because of the global pandemic, we recognise that there are many things to be grateful for:

The friendly relations between Norway and Thailand go back a long way since 1907. Today, Norwegians are proud of the fact that an image of the memorable visit to Norway more than 100 years ago appears on the back of the new 100 baht banknotes, with a portrait of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua on the front.

Source: National Archives of Thailand

Since the very first royal visit in 1907, our economic relationship has developed considerably. Initially, our economic relations focused on agricultural products and processes. Today, they cover a broad range of areas, including fisheries, telecommunications, chemicals, energy, consumer products and the environment.

The Norwegian economy is doing relatively well. It has managed to bounce back, and economic growth is promising. Major Norwegian companies which have been operating in Thailand for many years continue to deliver beyond expectations namely Starboard, Jotun, Norwegian Seafood Council, Yara, Aibel, Ekornes, Jordan, Norway Connect, and many more. 

Furthermore, we appreciate the high quality of the goods that we import from Thailand. Trade between our countries is steady, and Norway, together with our EFTA partners (Non-EU European states) are prepared to take up free trade negotiations whenever Thailand is ready. 

Ocean affairs continue to be high on both our countries’ agendas, and we are pleased to join efforts in managing and preserving oceans in a sustainable way. Thailand has become an important gateway for us to scale up initiatives on combating plastic pollution in the whole ASEAN region.

And finally, friendship between countries is built on friendship between peoples. The people-to-people connections continue to flourish among the many Norwegians who have made Thailand their home, and among the many Thais who live in Norway. To all of you, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to virtually celebrate on the 17th of May. May the ties between Norway and Thailand continue to prosper to the benefit of our people’s wellbeing and happiness.

Let’s celebrate this day with a Norwegian “Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah! Gratulerer Med Dagen”

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