While my fellow Norwegians are out there waving their flags, eating pølse and lompe (hot dog with a potato lefse) and ice cream. Shouting Hurrah, Hurrah! or singing "Ja vi er så glad i dette landet" (Yes, we love this Country). I am sitting quietly in London writing about the little event at the Norwegian Embassy yesterday. Yes, it is our constitution day today, and I guess I should be wearing a Bunad (our national custom), but to make my jeans valid I am doing a post about two good old traditional men from Vågå in the middle of rural Norway to compensate.
Two brothers, living and working on a farm, never to want to venture anywhere else. Well, Mathias once worked in Oslo for two months and Harald actually spent a night at a Hotel in Lillehammer... the worst night in his life, he would say.
I think anyone who grew up in the Countryside of Norway can relate to the brothers, they are the ultimate characters of a time past.
Actually, when I come to think of it, in 9th grade at my school, I remember a boy who had been to Sweden once, never ventured to Oslo (1 hour away) and had to take days off to work at the farm. So we might still find them out there. But not without a TV I would think? they did hire one in the 60's but found it took up too much time. They read the newspaper, listened to the radio and were avid bird watchers.
Elin Høyland's book launch yesterday at the Embassy had to unfortunately happen with the brothers only in memory. Harald died of an asthma attack while shoveling snow in -20 degrees and Mathias died a few years later in 2007, at an old peoples home.
But with this book, they will always be remembered.
Towels for top and bottom
"The Brothers" is printed by the English publishing company Dewi Lewis Publishing, with words by Gerry Badger. The book has already been written about in the Guardian... Wonder, where I will see it next.