Nobel Peace Prize Concert

Martti AhtisaariEvery year on December 11, the Nobel Peace Prize committee hosts a concert to celebrate the winner.  This year the winner was Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland, and apparently a skilled peace negotiator (he’s brokered peace agreements on three continents).

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the concert.  It may not have been the best seat possible, but it seems to have been one of the best seats you could get by buying the ticket online.  I found much of the concert to be quite good, although there were a few acts I was not a big fan of.

From Swedish pop artist Robyn, to Jason Mraz, to Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä (playing a Stradivarius, no less), it was a concert with almost every type of music.  I felt Mraz, Vähälä, and Il Devo were the highlights of the evening, but a coworker who also went was a big fan of Robyn’s performance.  Sean Kuti’s African rythms and Dierks Bentley’s American country music were not that great, but then again, those aren’t my types of music.

If you have the opportunity to attend the concert in the future, I would definitely recommend it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always the greatest music (this year Diana Ross was the headliner, and I just wasn’t impressed by her performance at all), but at the same time, how often do you get to go to a concert attended by a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, not to mention Norwegian royalty?

Oh, by the way, people often ask why Alfred Nobel, a Swede, decreed that the Peace Prize should be chosen by a committee appointed by the Norwegian government and presented in Oslo, rather than in Stockholm like the other prizes.  It’s not a question anyone can answer with certainty, but it kind of makes sense.  When Nobel died, Norway was in a union with Sweden, and the Norwegian parliament was only responsible for internal matters.  It’s widely believed that Nobel felt that a committee chosen by the Norwegian government would be much less succeptible to outside pressures as opposed to a committee chosen by Sweden.  Oh, and Norwegians like to believe that Nobel thought they were less warlike than the Swedes, however true that may or may not be!

The edge of Oslo

Last week it was suggested that I travel to Frognerseteren, a location on the Northwestern edge of Oslo.  It is the last stop of Line 1 on the T-bane.  Where I live, there was a tiny bit of snow.  Up at Frognerseteren, well, take a look at the picture below.Frognerseteren Area

Frognerseteren Area Small.jpgFrognerseteren is a very popular area, especially during weekends when people go skiing and sleding.  There is even a ski lift!  Cross country skiing is also very popular in the area from what I saw while I was up there.  I need to go back as I only headed north of the station, but apparently there are some nicer views of the city a bit south of the station.

A word of advice, though, go early, and get on at a station in the middle of the station.  –I got on at Stortinget and there weren’t many seats left.  Lots of people with skis, though!  It’s about a 40 minute journey, but worth it.  Here’s one of the views I did find looking towards the city.Frognerseteren

He said what now?

It’s been six months, and I finally decided it’s time to sign up for Norwegian classes.  So, starting January 6, I’ll be attending two classes a week for six weeks.  We’ll see how things go from there, but the school I’m going through, the Folkeuniversitetet, offers seven classes.  Norway requires 300 hours of classes (a combination of language and cultural classes, apparently) for people who will be applying for permanent residency or citizenship.  –I’m not planning on doing either of these, certainly not any time soon, but learning the language will be good no matter what.

I’ll try to post more information about the classes as I take them.  And maybe even start posting something in Norwegian on occasion.