As we Norwegians mourn the deaths of the horrendous crimes committed by Anders Behring Breivik, Norway's spirit has not been broken. In fact, it is as strong as ever. Below, is a small story, from a country with a big heart. I wanted to share this story with my American and international friends:
The Norwegian daily, Dagbladet reported the following:
A Facebook group was established as a "moral support group" for the mother of the perpetrator.
The text from the article said something along these lines: "No one should be angry at you, you are a victim too." "And, we understand that every mother loves their child," one group member wrote. That group gathered over 38,000 members. That's a lot of members for a very small nation.
Here's the link (in English).
When I read the article, I began crying: I am sure you will too. I was so proud of being Norwegian. While the entire nation is mourning the two horrific incidents, the aftermath of the attacks also revealed how good and wonderful Norway is.
Our political discourse is also something to be proud of. While the entire nation is united against hatred and the meaningless slaughter of our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers; no one has called for vengeance.
In fact, the great Norwegian poet, Henrik Wergeland, wrote a text to a patriotic song that all Norwegians are familiar with. His words feel particularly appropriate: "Vi ere en nasjon vi med, vi små en alen lange, et fedreland vi frydes ved, og vi, vi ere mange. Vårt hjerte vet, vårt øye ser hvor godt og vakkert Norge er, vår tunge kan en sang blant flere av Norges æres-sange."
In English: "We are one nation, an inch small, a fatherland we rejoice over and we are many. Our heart knows, our eye see how good and beautiful Norway is."