Oslo in spring: a great time for weddings
Oslo Travel Blog› entry 6 of 6 › view all entries
My fourth visit to Norway was also my shortest - only 45 hours in total! I must be mad! Well, yeah, I am. But my spring visit to Oslo wasn't a holiday, no, I was here because my mate Jan Henrik was finally marrying his lovely Annelie.
Jan Henrik is Norwegian, Annelie is Danish and they met at a festival in England seven years ago. So it was clear that this was to be a very international wedding. Funny thing is, I first met Jan Henrik at the very same festival seven years ago.
I had travelled to Oslo with some mutual friends from Holland, and as it turned out the three of us were the only ones who didn't understand a word of the language. As international as the wedding was, with Danes and Norwegians and even an Irish bloke, it turns out Danish and Norwegian is so similar that these people could understand eachother well enough, and the Irish bloke had been living in Denmark for years, so he was fine too.
Anyway, this wasn't much of a problem during the wedding ceremony in the church. These ceremonies are interesting to witness in any language, and besides it was a very swift one, clocking in at less than 40 minutes.
The wedding reception itself was a slightly different. Turns out Norwegians love a good speech. Or 10... For four and a half hours we sat at the dinner table listening to parents, siblings and friends telling anecdotes about the lives of the happy couple. So four and a half hours of talking and I didn't understand a word of it :-)
Well, that is not entirely true. I could pick up some of the words, especially with Jan Henrik's speech which was very funny and emotional (my Norwegian friend Jon was kind enough to translate some of the jokes for me).
However, as the night progressed and coffee was being served in another room I retreated together with one of my Dutch friends and two Norwegians who couldn't resist the temptation of coffee and whisky either.
And of course this was exactly the point in time where Jan Henrik addressed a couple of words in English, to thanks his friends from Holland and Ireland for travelling all the way to Oslo. Woops!
The rest of the party was more of a standard wedding, with a band playing, old aunties dancing, and wedding cake being cut at midnight. The wedding cake being a chocolate mousse cake, made by the number 1 pâtissier in Norway. There are few better ways to satisfy your audience, I can tell you that!
I find Dutch weddings rather boring in general, and I must say that it was refreshing to see how it is done in other countries.
The next morning I had a 10 o'clock flight back home, because it was my little niece's birthday (who was thoroughly impressed that her Uncle Bart travelled to her birthday by airplane!). Sadly I had to miss the Norwegian Constitution Day, on May 17th, which apparently is like Queensday in the Netherlands, only with people walking around in traditional clothing.
Despite the lightning short visit I was glad I went. It was interesting to experience a wedding in Nowegian. Not that I have some kind of wedding fetish, but it is interesting that I have now been to weddings in Poland, Scotland and Norway, and it is nice to compare the differences with weddings in Holland (did I say yet that Dutch weddings are boring?)