Norwegian Constitution Day: 17th of May

Norwegian Constitution Day: 17th of May

Source: Gadiel Lazcano/
Source: Gadiel Lazcano/

Today is a special day for all Norwegians. It is Norwegian Constitution Day. The Royal Norwegian Embassy in collaboration with the Thai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce is proud to highlight the unique tradition of celebrating a day that goes back 208 years.

On this very special day, Norwegians everywhere celebrate the uniqueness of Norway's culture, freedom, and constitution of 1814. We celebrate our democracy and the constitutional monarchy. We take pride in our welfare state where income distribution and gender equality have brought social stability and economic prosperity. It is also an opportunity for men and women to show their “Bunad”, Norway’s traditional costumes. There are hundreds of different designs, with colours and styles indicating where the owner’s ancestry lies in Norway. Children’s parades take place across the country, and led by marching bands, they walk through their communities. The largest of the traditional parades attract tens of thousands of people waving flags and shouting “hurrah!”. In Oslo, the royal family, waving tirelessly to the crowds from the royal palace balcony, greets the parade. There are sports, entertainment, film screenings after the parade, and plenty of hot dogs and ice cream.    

The friendly relations between Norway and Thailand go back all the way to 1907. This has allowed countries to maintain a consistent tie. Thanpuying Sirikitiya Jensen, a great-great-granddaughter of H.M. King Chulalongkorn, has kept the history alive by tracing her great-great-grandfather's footsteps and documenting them in exhibitions and books. She symbolises how people-to-people connections continue to flourish among Norwegians and Thais alike.

The Norwegian economy is performing admirably. The export of seafood to Thailand continues to set new records. The Norwegian-Thai engineering company Aibel is thriving. The company recently completed an offshore wind platform, recently set to sail off from Lam Chabang to the North Sea. It is proof of Norwegian expertise in transitioning from traditional oil and gas to renewable energy. And in telecommunications, a merger involving a Norwegian partner company will create a new telco technology company. In addition, countless major Norwegian companies have been operating in Thailand for many years. They continue to exceed expectations, especially in the chemical, furniture, and manufacturing sectors.

Source: Sverre Hjørnevik/

The prospects of a free trade agreement between the (European non-EU) EFTA states and Thailand is now better than ever. An official launch and first round of negotiations will hopefully take place next month. An agreement of this kind will enhance trading conditions and facilitate trade and investment. Thai businesses are moving towards sustainability with efforts to reduce emissions. Norway is willing to support Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green ambitions.

Finally, the friendship between countries is built on the friendship between peoples. To all fellow countrywomen and -men, we wish you a joyful constitution day! May the ties between Norway and Thailand continue to flourish! 

Let’s celebrate this day like a Norwegian “Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah! Gratulerer med Dagen!”

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