Wednesday, May 17, 2006

That Urdu, You Do So Well

Goes over like a ton of lutefisk in Norway:

A proposal to translate Norway's national anthem into a language used by many of the country's immigrants is stirring controversy. Opponents claim those who can't understand the Norwegian lyrics should just hum along instead.

....The editor of a newspaper for minorities in Norway, Utrop, floated the anthem translation proposal in the national newspaper VĂ¥rt Land this week. The idea is that an Urdu version of the anthem would allow many immigrants from Pakistan, for example, to more easily express their love for Norway.

....Norway's most conservative party, the Progress Party, was quick to slam the proposal.
"This is integration in reverse," claimed Per-Willy Amundsen, the Progress Party spokesman on issues dealing with immigration.

The "best gift" immigrants can give to "their new homeland," argued Amundsen, is to learn Norwegian. He has no sympathy for immigrants who have problems singing the national anthem in Norwegian.

"It just takes practice to learn it," he claimed. "Those who are new to the country can hum along while we others sing."

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