Monica Mæland feiret årets Holi-festival i Bergen

Holi er en hindufestival som feires av nord-indere bosatt i resten av verden, og i store deler av Nord-India. Statsråd Monica Mæland deltok i årets Holifestival i Bergen.

Festivalen feirer kjærlighetens seier over det svarte og mørke. Holi-festivalen markerer starten på våren. Holi-festivalen kalles også «fargefestivalen».

Her kan du lese hele talen på engelsk:

Dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen.

What a pleasure it is to celebrate Holi with you here in Bergen. Today Åsane is a hotspot for Indian culture and traditions!

I understand that Holi is about humour and happiness and that it is a festival that marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is an opportunity to celebrate peace, renew friendships, and look forward to new beginnings with optimism and joy. It is also a time to reflect on the traditional notions of good and evil, and the ultimate triumph of light over darkness. Holi is celebrated by Hindus and non-Hindus alike across Norway, South Asia, and around the world.

Even Bergen, which tends to be a humid and rainy place, shows signs of spring and a brighter season these days.

To mark this happy occasion, we are gathered here today to sing, dance, eat delicacies, and paint each other with brightly coloured powders and dyes.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this colourful event with you!

As Minister for Trade and Industry, I would like to take this moment to highlight the close partnership between India and Norway today. India is an important partner for Norway in Asia and we work to strengthen the ties.

Trade has tripled between our two nations during the last 10 years.  

Norwegian investments in India have increased eightfold.

India is expecting the economy to grow more than 7 per cent this year. 

Highly impressive!

Three years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Make in India' campaign to make it easier to do business in India.

This is a highly welcome development.

We are confident that India will continue to push towards becoming a major manufacturing and investment hub in South Asia.

The Norwegian Government is eager to learn how this will affect the opportunities for Norwegian businesses, and how we can support and expand our partnership. 

This interest goes both ways.

In the autumn 2014, I had the privilege to take part in the first ever, State Visit from India – the visit of  President Pranab Mukherjee, together with a large business delegation, to Norway.

Norway has specialist expertise and technology within energy and maritime that the world, and India, need.  India has a young and highly educated and competent population – like yourselves! And market with huge potential for growth.

Norway is a small and open economy – we have to compete in foreign markets with our specialized skills and products.

Norway’s technological base has the potential to function as a lubricant for India’s continued economic growth.

Already a number of Norwegian businesses are present in India.

There are many opportunities for cooperation between Norway and India:

Manufacturing, trade, services

ICT and health care

Oil, gas and renewable energy and seafood.

India is also successful in Norway.

Several Indian ICT companies have established operations in Norway over the last ten years. 

They are important service providers to large Norwegian corporations across a range of sectors. 

This is a reminder of the close ties between Norway and India.

My highest priority in our partnership with India is to tighten the relations and to further increase trade and investment.

I am confident that the result will be of mutual benefit for both countries. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me take the opportunity to honour the many cultures, traditions, and beliefs that make Norway such a wonderful place to live. Indians have made enormous contributions to Norway and have helped make it the strong and diverse country it is today.

I would like to congratulate the Indian Organization in Bergen for putting such a huge effort in arranging an event like this. Please keep the good work going. I wish you all an inspiring Holi festival!