Norway yesterday marked 201 years of independence and, the celebrations were centred on children and youths.
Zimbabwe and Norway enjoy cordial relations.
The event was attended by senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society organisations and the business community.
Speaking at the celebrations in Harare yesterday, Norwegian Ambassador Bard Hopland said children’s parades are held in every village, town and city in that country.
“There are children’s parades on this day. We celebrate the most powerful capacity any nation can wish for; its youths and their trust in the future,” he said.
Ambassador Hopland said Norwegian children were kind and peace loving people and wished the same for Zimbabwean children.
“Harsh rhetoric and hate language is far too often the order of the day in the med and in political campaigns.
“Let us listen to the words of the children and be kind and peace loving people,” said Ambassador Hopland.
Last year, Norway celebrated 200 years of the founding of its Constitution, which saw children writing down what they thought should be in the country’s Constitution.
Their contributions were sent to the royal castle for the king’s consideration. There were three outstanding articles from the children’s Constitution: “We shall speak only kind words; bigger children shall help smaller children; and all human beings shall help protect the earth.”
“This children’s constitution became known through the media and I was struck by the simplicity, relevance and wisdom embodied in the proposed articles,” said Ambassador Hopland.
Principal Director in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ambassador Mary Mubi commended relations between Zimbabwe and Norway, especially in the area of youths. She said Norwegians value their culture and peace, which was not different from Zimbabwe.
“Norway is a peaceful country and Zimbabweans should emulate that as youths constitute the majority of this country,” said Ambassador Mubi.
Leader of the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association and former ambassador to China, Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa said Norway’s national day was a memorable day to celebrate the innocent and timeless joy of youthfulness and the pristine freshness of unspoiled nature.
Referring to the three national anthems sung, including the Norwegian children’s anthem he said, “The melodious voices rendering the national anthems, entwined in a diplomacy that does away with the separation of long distances. And, the delicacy of a variety of famed Norwegian salmon washed down with aquavit that excited the palates,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
He also commended the Nowergians for the jealousy, yet inclusive management of their bountiful petroleum resources.
“Sitting on an $800 billion sovereign wealth fund, they have exorcised that ghost christened ‘the curse of the natural resources,’” he said.
Cde Mutsvangwa said a free and resurging Africa should learn from the Oslo economic book.