IHEYO present at celebration 50 years of Norwegian Humanist Association

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 6 March 2006

 IHEYO member organisation, the Norwegian Humanist Association, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a jubilee event at Oslo City Hall on 1 April 2006. Among the guests were King Harald of Norway, Norwegian minister of education Øystein Djupedal and Oslo’s Mayor Erling Lae. The large hall was filled with Humanist veterans, current national and local leaders, foreign guests and others. There were speeches, greetings and high-quality music by well known singers, string and brass orchestras and choirs. IHEYO was represented by Gea Meijers, executive director and Lars-Petter Helgestad, interim president.

Norwegian Humanist Association president Mr. Roar Johnsen and
Secretary General Mrs. Kristin Mile welcome some of the guests.

The youth of the Norwegian Humanist Association were the flag bearers, and they did their job with precision and dedication. During this weekend, they had an informative training on how to increase and coordinate humanist youth activities in Norway. The Norwegian Humanist Association has set the goal to have a national youth wing, in complete function and established by 2009. The current active young people are working hard to bring together all the humanist youth for such national structure. Already in some counties of Norway, like the Oslo county (which is the biggest city of Norway) there are on regularly basis, youth activities.

The wonderful celebration ended in a climax with the singing by the audience and all the humanist choirs in Norway of the ‘gedanke sind frei’-song in Norwegian. This is one of the older freethinker songs. In English, it goes:

-from the Bundshuh Rebellion March 17, 1525

Die Gendanken sind frei –
my thoughts freely flower
Die Gedanken sind frei –
my thoughts give me power
No scholar can map them,
no hunter can trap them
No man can deny –
Die Gedanken sind frei!

I think as I please,
and this gives me pleasure
My conscience decrees –
this Right I must treasure!
My thoughts will not cater
to Duke nor Dictator
No man can deny –
Die Gedanken sind frei!

And if tyrants take me
and throw me in prison
My thoughts will burst free,
like blossoms in season!
Foundations will crumble,
the prison will tumble,
And free men will cry:
Die Gedanken sind frei!

Translation from German by Arthur Kevess
copyright 1950 People’s Songs Inc.
recorded by the Limelighters “Live – In Person

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