Why dugnad is important?

17 May is approaching, new season has begun in Norway. Dugnad is the common term you’ll hear this time of the year and on the 11 May 2017 team Bergen was invited to participate at a Dugnad in the school band we work with. What is dugnad? surely you wondering. Well: Dugnad is one of those concept type words which can be defined in few sentences. This is a cultural resonance that represent a way of life or an expectation in Norway.


Dugnad is commonly described as community work where people get together and get involved in anything such as cleaning, painting, tidy things up and fixing in general. It can be in the neighbourhood you live in, the property you share, at schools or the volunteer activities you participate in. It is a common activity in school bands where parents get together in the afternoons to help the band to prepare for instance to the National day celebration on 17 May.  Mostly what parents do are tasks like; sorting out the uniforms, checking the band’s official Fane (band baner), sort out music, clean up the instrument storage room, prepare for the annual closing and also to make goodie bags with lots of candy for the National day parade.

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It was an exciting experience we got to be part of. Everyone worked as a team from the young musicians, the board members and all the way to parents. The spirit was high; everyone had a task to do and a spot to fill, people laughed and spoke to each other across the tables where they were working and people helped each other out when needed.

Social health involves your ability to form satisfying interpersonal relationships with others. It also relates to your ability to adapt comfortably to different social situations and act appropriately in a variety of settings. Spouses, co-workers and acquaintances can all have healthy relationships with one another. Each of these relationships should include strong communication skills, empathy for others and a sense of accountability. By attending Dugnad you are rewarded by a wider network, a sense of belonging and positive energy from people around you. There is no doubt that this is exactly what we witnessed during dugnad at Varden skoles musikkorps.

Written by: Thulani Dupa & Masibulele Langa

Photos by : PULSE team BGO

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