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 May 16 2021

Syttende Mai and Hansa Øl from Norway

The "Syttende Mai" is the National Day of Norway; its constitution was signed at Eidsvoll on 17 May 1814. It declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark–Norway's devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.

A noteworthy aspect of the Norwegian Constitution Day is its very non-military nature. The Norwegians like to call it The Children's Day, and even the smallest villages have parades of children shouting "Hurra!", waving flags and singing songs together with marching brass bands. There is a general rule that applies on this particular day: children can have as much ice-cream and sausages as they want. An estimated 20 million hot dogs are sold during the 17 May week, and Norwegians eat between five and 10 times as much ice cream on that day than on any other day of the year.


Geir Haakon Svendsen is one of the Battle Watch Captains in the Joint Operations Centre of JSEC since August 2019. He has the rank of Rittmester, which is the Cavalry equivalent of an Army Captain.


He grew up in Bergen, the second largest city in Norway, known as the city of the seven mountains. It was playwright Ludvig Holberg who gave the city its nickname, after being inspired by the seven hills of Rome. Bergen also is known for being one of Europe's rainiest places, with an average 231 rainy days per year. Still, there might be another reason why he and his family feel like home in the misty hills of Ulm.

Did you know, Bergen in Norway was part of the Hanseatic League?

Bergen used to be one of the Hansa's main trading stations, called "Kontor", along with London, Brügge (Bruges) and Novogorod, in the period between 1278 and 1754. According to the heritage, there is quite a chance of some ancient German blood running through Svendsen's veins. Along with some "Øl" of the local brewery, called "Hansa".


Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command Public Affairs Office

Bergen is the second largest city of Norway, it is surrounded by seven mountains. The "Kontor" houses in the historic "Bryggen" quarter are a most scenic view.
Rittmester Geir Haakon Svendsen,Battle Watch Captains in the Joint  Operations Centre of JSEC, is looking very much forward to eating some hot dogs and ice-cream with his family and friends.
The Hansa Brewery in Bergen produces a broad variety of beverages and is named after the Hanseatic League.

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