Norwegian confirmation

The national religion of Norway is Christianity, so baptism and confirmation are somewhat big events for a Norwegian kid. Today I was invited to Maja's (pronounced like Maya) confirmation (Marius' little cousin). This  is a normal celebration when you are around 14 or 15 years old. It was quite a cultural experience for me.

We began at the church. The women were in all the national costume, called a "bunad," and each region has it's own style. Some men were also dressed in a man's bunad, but this is not so common. It started out with the kids walking down the aisle while "Amazing Grace" was played by the organist and a saxophonist (who was really getting into it - had his eyes closed and swung back and forth -- I giggled a little bit). The service was all in Norwegian and there was no communion. I didn't understand very much, but when each "konfirmat" went up to the alter to be blessed, his/her family members had to stand up.

Afterward we went to Kjell and Beate's home (Marius' aunt and uncle), and there they had hired a woman to serve the drinks and food while we all sat at the table. There were place cards and table settings. In between each course there was a speech held by the parents, then the Godmother, then Godfather, Aunts and finally the big brother. There were also several different kinds of cakes even after we had already had dessert, as well as planned entertainment! An uncle played two songs on the guitar and then there was a video put together of baby videos and pictures of Maja. It was like an over the top graduation party.

It was a very interesting (and tasty) day! Thank you to Maja, Kjell, Beate and Kai for being such great hosts!

[Various bunads from the different regions of Norway]

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