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Islamabad

May 19, 2016
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Norwegian Constitution Day celebrated

Islamabad

May 19, 2016

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Islamabad

To celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day, the ambassador of Norway, Tore Nedrebo hosted a garden party at his residence – ‘a very informal event and not a formal reception,’ as explained by the host in his address to the guests. The function was attended by diplomats; Pakistanis from different walks of life and Norwegian nationals living in Pakistan.

A celebratory atmosphere had been created with a red carpet; colourful lights; Norwegian flags and lots of flowers, not to say anything about the music which played in the background. Despite the heat wave we are experiencing, the venue was cool because of the lush green garden and the fans that were placed all around. There was no ‘chief guest’ and no cake cutting ceremony – a tradition the embassy has followed all along.

The national anthem of Norway was sung by half a dozen Norwegian members of the embassy, while the lead vocalist of the band, ‘Red Blood Cats’ who performed later, sang the national anthem of Pakistan.

Welcoming his guests Ambassador Nedrebo said he was happy to see so many of them had accepted his invitation to celebrate the Norwegian constitution, explaining that in 1814 Norwegians adopted one of the first and most liberal constitutions in Europe. “This constitution is the foundation of our national sovereignty and democracy,” he said. “Indeed for Norway as we know it.”

He went on to say that they celebrate the day not by military parades in the capital but by children’s processions all over the country. “It is a day of joy, not for chest beating and muscle flexing. It is in this spirit I invite you to a joyful and relaxed evening with us here tonight,” he said and concluded by thanking the Marriott Hotel; the musicians and Aurangzeb for his help with the technical and musical facilities. A special thank you went out to embassy staff Sabah and Silje for organising the event, for which a well deserved round of applause followed.

Red Blood Cats — Agha Ibrahim Akram; Hashim Kabir Cheema; Zain Ali; Varqa and Parham Faraid — played for a while, with a few younger guests gathered around the stage to applaud and encourage them ,with cell phones — either recording or capturing images — very much in evidence! The band has made a name for itself and is popular with music fans of the younger generation. They were followed by the two member group, ‘Saakin,’ with Usman Shakeel on percussion and Ali Hamdani on guitar, with both of them vocalizing the Sufi numbers they are well known for. It was a good gesture by the embassy to feature Pakistani musicians — the two different genres of music they played providing music to the liking of all age groups, making it as the host wished, a true celebration.

As guests left they took photos and ‘selfies’ of themselves in or next to a 1922 antique, hand crafted German ‘Amilcar’ which was standing near the entrance of the residence, on loan I think, from the proud owners.

 

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