'Norway is you. Norway is us' — King Harald V's Garden Party Welcome, 2016
I'm no monarchist, but this one from September 1st 2016 is a bloody lovely speech by Norway's monarch, about inclusion, difference, the national character, Norway!
When I first heard this, I thought of Thabo Mbeki’s stirring ‘I am an African’ delivered at the time the new South African constitution was cast into law.
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King Harald V’s isn’t quite at that level, but it has such a lovely inclusiveness to it, there’s also a relaxation that goes with the garden party setting, and it’s a speech that makes you like King Harald, even just for the fact that he’s an 86 year old European monarch, tossing around a sentiments like this:
Norwegians research and teach. Norwegians are engaged youth and experienced old. Norwegians are unmarried, divorced, families and old couples. Norwegians are girls who love girls, boys who like boys, and girls and boys who are fond of each other.
Norwegians believe in God, Allah, Everything and Nothing.
Norwegians like Grieg and Kygo, Hellbillies and Kari Bremnes.
In other words, Norway is you. Norway is us. When we in our national anthem sing; “Yes, we love this country,” we must remember that we also sing about each other. For it’s we who make up the country. Therefore, our national anthem also is a declaration of love to the Norwegian people.
Keep in mind that this was the 1st of September, 2016, the USA was deep into the Trump-Clinton campaign, and divisiveness, rather than inclusiveness, was at the forefront of our politics.
Thanks to everyone who downloaded the Brendan Nelson and Lehmo episode of the pod, making our fiftieth ep the most listened to for the year. Subscribe to the podcast here, or just look up ‘Speakola’.
If you know another great speech by a Norwegian, or even a Scandinavian, tell me in the comments. I’d like to have better breadth beyond USA, Australia and UK.
You can check out the full transcript from King Harald on Speakola, or paid subscribers can read it below.
Harald V of Norway: 'Norwegians believe in God, Allah, Everything and Nothing', Garden party welcome - 2016
1 September 2016, Royal Palace gardens, Oslo, Norway
After having travelled around most of the country, it is very nice to be able to host representatives from all over Norway in our garden here at the castle! A warm welcome to our place, everyone!
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