Friday 24 March 2017

Norway diaries : The Bunad, traditional Norwegian costume

This week has been pretty full-on but we've managed to find a few slots to discover a bit more about the town of Stavanger and the traditions of Norway. On Wednesday, our hosts took us to a small museum in a library to discover local costumes.

The museum was actually closed but, after a quick chat with the librarian, she kindly opened it up just for us ! 

The costumes change depending on the region and apparently they cost a fortune to buy - coming from a Norwegian, this is surely not an exaggeration because everything is expensive here !

Obviously, Norwegians don't wear this every day, but we did see people wandering about in traditional dress on Sunday, our first day here, when there was a service at the nearby cathedral to welcome in the new bishop, in the presence of the King of Norway.

One of the Norwegian teachers explained that it really represents Norwegian identity and her mother, who never wears it in Norway, frequently wears it now that they live in Dubai !

One of the recent controversies is Muslim people wearing the Bunad with a hijab. Traditionalists think this is a corruption of the national costume while others like the fact that it opens it up to a wider and more modern public.

There is a shop in Stavanger high street selling bunader.

Although we haven't actually seen any customers in there, it shows that it is still a part of modern Norwegian culture.

Most of the Norwegian teachers said that they own one and wear it on special occasions.

I won't be bringing one back in my suitcase though !!


  1. How wonderful that despite the prices, they own traditional costumes to preserve their national identity.

    1. One of our group asked the prices ... €2000 !! ... but many people buy cheaper copies from Thailand now apparently !

  2. Its nice that the tradition is still there, shame you wont be bringing one back, i'm sure it would look lovely :)


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