The Norwegian school in Benalmádena. / SUR

Children take centre stage at local Norwegian National Day celebrations

The Norwegian community on the Costa del Sol will be celebrating their Constitution Day on 17 May, which is also known as children's day

ALEKK M. SAANDERS BENALMÁDENA.

Norwegians celebrate their Constitution Day on 17 May, also known as children's day. This year, besides the traditional children's parade in Benalmádena, an art competition is being dedicated to a historical Norwegian personality who lived in Andalucía.

In Norway, on Constitution Day, practically every elementary school district organises its own parade, led by marching bands. One of their goals is to emphasise the role of children in Norwegian society. The largest of the traditional parades is held in the Norwegian capital where tens of thousands of people gather together and walk, waving flags, shouting "hurrah!"

The children's parade on 17 May has also become a tradition on the Costa del Sol. In Benalmádena, students from the Norwegian school (Den Norske Skolen), along with a guest Spanish marching band take to the streets. The parade starts in the centre of Arroyo de la Miel at the Inmaculada church at 10.45am. Everyone sings the Norwegian national anthem, along with other traditional songs. At 11.15am, outside the Casa de Cultura, speeches will be given by mayor Víctor Navas, and head teacher Trude Jahren.

This year over 100 Norwegian students and teachers will participate in the National Day celebrations in Benalmádena.

Some of them will show off their "bunad", Norway's traditional costume. At 12.30pm events move to the school for games and other activities.

Traditionally, a class from a local Spanish school in Benalmádena Pueblo has been invited to join the activities. This time the new school outdoor canteen will offer typical waffles, hot dogs and ice cream.

Painting in nature

Hot dogs, though in Andalusian style, and ice cream, are also being prepared in the Los Caracoles (The Snails) rural complex, in the area of Frigiliana, Torrox and Nerja. The population of Norwegians and other Scandinavians is rapidly increasing on the east side of the Costa del Sol.

On 17 May, the complex will welcome all Norwegians who would like to spend the day in natural surroundings, with Andalusian food, including toast with smoked salmon.

The organisers are sure that the peaceful surroundings, exotic fruit trees and an abundance of different flowers, as well as the unique snail-shaped buildings will attract both children and grown-up Norwegians. Additionally, the Norway "day" will last in Los Caracoles for a couple of weeks thanks to an art contest for children.

Norwegian Day preparations at Los Caracoles. / SUR

From 17 May to 31 May, a creative corner of the rural complex will be a space for painting and drawing. The topic of the art competition is "My image of the Princess of Norway". The activity aims to raise awareness of Christine, Princess of Norway, the daughter of Håkon IV, King of Norway, who in the 13th century came to Spain to live. It is believed she enjoyed Andalucía and she died young here in 1262.

Until the end of the month all pictures with their imaginative portraits will be on display and later evaluated by a panel of judges.