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HARALD V OF NORWAY 2021Our team wishes all of you a very Happy New Year! We start 2022 news on our portal with the message that was send by Norway's King Harald V on December 31, 2021, where he also noted the importance of indigenous knowldge and interaction with nature.  "Large societies and indigenous peoples around the world benefit from listening to each other and working together to safeguard what must be a common goal: To manage the earth's resources in a way that allows the generations after us to live good lives" - says the King of Norway

Read the whole message below:

 "What does it take for us humans to live well together?

This question has infinitely many answers. But I think one thing is more important than many others: the ability to empathize with other people's lives.

I think it is crucial that we take the time and effort to really listen to other people's experiences - with a desire to understand. If we allow ourselves to be touched, it affects the way we think and act. Both in our close relationships and in large communities.

We are facing a new year - with both hope and unrest. Unfortunately, the end of this year did not turn out as many of us had hoped and hoped. Disappointment and insecurity characterize many people's everyday lives. Occasions we had been looking forward to must again be pushed on. This also applies to us in the Royal Family.

In 2022, many of us may need to return to the quality moments with people who mean something to us. To the good conversations. Maybe we need to rediscover the openness and hospitality in ourselves. Strengthen old friendships and forge new ones. Bring out the finest cups and invite each other in!

When we are cut off from social life for a long time, it does something to us. It's not just going out and embracing the world and people again. Like most things, this also needs some practice. I hope that in the new year we can meet each other. And I hope we can give each other new courage.

This summer, we marked that it was ten years since the terrorist attacks in the government quarter and on Utøya. New stories have been told, several pages have come to light. We need that to get a fuller picture. And to move on together - hopefully a little wiser.

Taking in all of this requires the ability to empathize with all of us.
So does the pandemic. Because we have been affected so differently, each in our own way - both within our country and elsewhere in the world.

This evening I would like to extend a warm thank you to our health service: Thank you for the vital work you do for us all day in and day out in this long, heavy race. We are all deeply impressed by their efforts!

We can hope that we as a world community learn something along the way: About how dependent we are on each other. And that what is happening on the other side of the earth is of great importance to us here in Norway as well. I hope that this realization will make us more in solidarity with our fellow human beings. And I hope that our shared experience will strengthen the cooperation between us on challenges that affect us all.

Tonight I send a special greeting to all Norwegians who work elsewhere in the world, both on land and at sea. You who are reminded every day that we are all woven together across nationalities. And who daily experience the value of international cooperation. There are probably many of you who work outside - but also far too many here at home - who miss some of their loved ones tonight.

By listening to each other with respect and with a sincere desire to understand, together we can create an even better society.

In October, I was in Kautokeino during a ceremony where a historical treasure of great value to the Sami people was returned to the Sami, where it belongs. It was a reminder of the importance of culture, language and history for a people's identity. It also reminded me of something that always strikes me in conversations with indigenous peoples - whether it is in Norway, Canada, Australia or the Amazon: Indigenous peoples have for thousands of years been dependent on the interaction with nature and all living things to survive. They possess valuable knowledge that is important to all of us. Large societies and indigenous peoples around the world benefit from listening to each other and working together to safeguard what must be a common goal: To manage the earth's resources in a way that allows the generations after us to live good lives.

Both as individuals, nation and world community, we need protection that can withstand a shock - both from within and without. What we have inside us, no one can take from us. It's the only thing that's just ours forever. That is why it is so important to be aware of what we spend our time and attention on, what we take in from nutrition at all levels.

Every day we are all faced with choices that do something to us. It's like the old myth of the Cherokee Indians: A grandfather told his grandchildren about the battle that is constantly being fought within him. It's a fight between two wolves. Between good and evil forces. The grandchildren asked: Which of the wolves wins? And the grandfather replied: The one I choose to feed.

Some of what gives us inner strength can be found in our cultural heritage, no matter where we come from. The legacy we carry with us from literature, songs and stories conveys ancient wisdom that can be good to have when it comes to: Stories about people who have been in the same situation as ourselves. Stories about the eternal dilemmas we have always faced. I also believe that everything that reminds us of what we humans have in common, helps to strengthen us. Like we all need to be seen by someone with a loving look. And that we all depend on the kindness and goodwill of others.

One of the most valuable pillars for both individuals and society is volunteering. 2022 is the Year of Volunteering. This good force in Norwegian society has suffered during the pandemic. The most disadvantaged have therefore unfortunately been particularly hard hit: drug addicts, the mentally ill, the elderly, children and young people.

At the same time, we have seen inspiring examples of people who have made a big difference: The father who started a tour group with neighboring children who needed a break from home. The Afghan youth who started shopping for the elderly in the local community. The well-adult lady who night after night listened carefully to lonely young people on the helpline.

In 2022, we can all help to give volunteering a real boost. I would encourage everyone to find something that is right for you - small or large. The possibilities are endless. Everyone needs something or someone, and everyone has something to contribute. This is how we create strong communities - which is our best protection in the face of difficult times. It is a gift we give to ourselves - and to each other.

Tonight I want to say to all of you - whether you feel sadness and longing, of restlessness and exhaustion, or joy and anticipation:

I hope we can enter the new year with time and energy for what strengthens us:

By listening to each other with interest and empathy.

By finding back to friendships and good conversations.

By believing that each and every one of us can mean something to other people.

Happy New Year!


Photo by Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

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