When children get sick, who takes care of them?

In Norway most parents and grandparents work. Most of the small children from 1 year and up to 5/6 goes to kindergarten. When they are sick, the mother or the father had the right to stay home with them up to 10 days a year free from work.

But what if the children are ill for a longer period of time? What if the jobs are so demanding that it makes the work suffer to stay home? Many people find this a difficult and stressful situation, since there are so few grown ups who are not working, there are no one to ask for help.

A friend of mine worked in a hospital as a doctor. She told about Norwegian children staying alone in the hospital, while the parent's only came for visits. But then she saw immigrant children from countries like Pakistan – they never stayed in the hospital alone, there was always some ant or grandmother who had nothing else to do – than be where they were needed.

Quite often I think that my country is in need of more of that kind of people – who can step in where they are needed.

No access to the Dashboard

I and some of the other users of worldpress have had some problems with using the admin tools the last week. My problems started two days ago. First I just waited. Then I checked the forum and found that it was an individual problem and that I was asked to send an e-mail. I did. Today the mails have been coming and going between me and the worldpress team. And now it is fixed. I am still not sure if it was something that I did wrong, or a system bug or something in between, but what I do know is that the help I was given, and the friendly way of helping as a free-blog user was overwhelming. Thank you Podz!

Storytelling in Norway

Like most western countries Norwegian oral storytelling started disappearing during the late 18th century and was more or less gone 150 years later, reaching into the 20th. Luckily we had collectors, the most famous ones Asbjørnsen and Moe, who made a great collection of tales which has been read for most Norwegian children since then. (And today all over the world people know some of the stories, like The Three Billy Goats Gruff) We also had other collectors, like Rikard Berge, who wrote down and published the stories he collected more accurate, but then not as good as literature for reading. There were people who remembered a grandmother who told stories, and the personal story tradition will never die. But as an oral tradition folklorists in Norway, like Hodne thought the tradition of telling old tales and mythology was dead and gone for good.

But then the storytelling revival started in the 1980ties. It spread to Norway from both the USA and England. From the USA to a summer camp for all the Nordic countries, called Nordisk fortellerseminar, which is still held annually in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In 2007 the seminar will be on Island, to the joy of everyone, guests and hosts alike. This tradition might have started out mostly inspired from the USA.

In Oslo there was one woman, Marit Jerstad who made contact with the European movement, mainly the Company of storytellers, TUUP and Jan Blake in England, and Abbi Patrix in France. From the USA Laura Simms who is also a teller of traditional stories. As the head of a drama school in Oslo, she started to give lectures in storytelling, and in 1995 the first group of students had half a year with training in storytelling as an art form. From then many students have graduated from this school in Oslo, and the same course as evening school all around Norway.

After some years Norway had a large group of artists, teachers and others trained as storytellers. Some of the first people who finished this course have been professional tellers for 10 years by now. And the folklorists no longer call the oral tradition dead and gone. What we have lost thought, together with many countries, is the natural life of the stories for 100-200 years. They have not, as in Africa, Asia and Latin America gone trough the naturall changes into our time, and it takes time and effort to be true to the tradition, and find the developement of the old stories into our times. But that work has started by individual tellers, and it is very well done. It also helps to see wonderful storytellers from a tradition where the stories have lived their lives until today.

Some few Norwegian storyteller links, (most in Norwegian):
*Ratatosk – e-mail list for Scandinavian storytellers

*Norsk fortellerforum – The Norwegian storyteller association



*Heidi Dahlsveen

*The Sweedish teller Ulf Ärnström about Norwegian and Nordic storytelling (in English)




At last! It is no longer winter, no longer spring with cold wind, it is summer, and the children could have a bath outside playing with the garden hose. The spring flowers: Tussilago farfara, Hepatica nobilis and Anemone nemorosa are long gone, and yesterday my son had picked summer flowers for my table.

In a couple of weeks school will end for the summer, and many people will go travelling inside or outside Norway for their holidays. Most people have 3 weeks leave from work, while the school vacation is 8th weeks. My youngest child has been waiting and longing to go to school since her older sibling started school a couple of years ago. After 6 months she stopped asking "am I starting today?" every morning, but this week she finally had a day at the school visiting together with some of her friends from kindergarten.

Bits and pieces from Norway

Among the things I look for when I am searching for new blogs, are blogs from other countries than my own, that give me more insight on what is going on in that specific country or aria of the world. I might not be a very experiences blog reader. I might not have looked very hard. Because I have not found many. (If you know some, please tell!)

But there are some! Two countries with a lot of blogs are Iraq and Iran. Looking at photos at www.flickr.com I am especially touched by the Japanese photos, like the photos of tamaki and yoshiko314. From the USA i like to read comics like Candorville and Doonesbury.

What does all of these web sites have in common? Comics from the USA, photos from Japan, writings from Iraq and Iran? They show me some parts of the country, seen trough eyes that never could be mine – as a stranger. I have wondered how it came to be that the written world is from to Arab countries, the comic strips for the USA and the photos from Japan. I don’t know. But that is how it is for me.

I once lived in a country in Latin-America. One person asked me what I thought of his country. Not about how nice it was, and how beautiful the scenery were, but about the political problems and the poverty problems. I answered that I could not have any opinion, it was not my country, and I how would I judge or try to give a solution on their behalf. Of course, it was not true that I did not have any opinions nor thoughts at all, but it as true that I thought myself a stranger and whatever I said it would come from an outside view. And I have a belief in not trying to solve other people nor other countries problems. I know that what I see from Norway is not what one sees from Manhattan, from Cape Town or from Istanbul. But I love to borrow the eyes of people other trough art and literature. So thank you all people out there contributing to that opportunity.

It’s about a week since I started this blog. I normally write in Norwegian for Norwegians (or just myself). But while I have been searching for blogs from countries that I am curios about, countries that I want to know more of, and countries that I love trough friendship or my own knowledge I have started to wonder, what about my country? My beloved Norway?

First I thought that there was nothing to write about. I read the blogs from Iran and Iraq because they are in the news, and I want to know the story from the people who are living in those countries. The politics of the USA influences us all, and I get just at bit more insight and a feeling of what is going on inside the country by reading the strips.
Japan is exotic for me. And just watching the rice fields fill me with wonders.

What about Norway? We are not in war. It often feels like our politics are like two children in the sand box playing. We have litterateur, music and art that surely give me pleasure, but it is a very, very small part of what is happening in the world. It is not exotic in any way – because it is where I live, and no one finds her own surroundings exotic 😉

But I think I will make a try. Try some small bits and pieces of Norway seen trough my eyes now and then. My eyes, because as in every country not two people will think the same. Norway, because it is my country, I am no stranger, and I have every right to give my answer to the question «what do you think». Bits and pieces, because that is all that every one of us can manage to contribute.

I hope you will enjoy 🙂