9 September 2013 - National Year of Language 2013

One of the aims of Norway’s Language Year 2013 was to highlight New Norwegian (nynorsk) and to increase linguistic awareness among its users.

NK 1858
NK 1859

It was no accident that it coincided with Ivar Aasen’s bicentenary and Det Norske Teatret’s centenary. Ivar Aasen (1813-96) was the creator of a written language based on rural dialects, which he called “landsmål” (now “nynorsk”). With a stipend from the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters in Trondheim, Aasen spent four years touring Norway and listening to dialects. In 1848, he published a Grammar of the Norwegian Dialects and followed it two years later with a Dictionary containing more than 25,000 words. His work was received with enthusiasm and soon afterwards he received a life-long stipend. He actually wrote very little, but his linguistic work was carried out competently despite his lack of formal education. However he was no activist or agitator and it was largely Arne Garborg who championed the landsmål movement. They won a major victory in 1885, when the Storting passed a resolution to adopt landsmål as an official written language alongside riksmål (Dano-Norwegian).

The success of the landsmål movement also provided inspiration for the establishment of a theatre with a repertoire in landsmål. On the initiative of Hulda Garborg and Edvard Drabløs and with Rasmus Rasmussen as its first manager, Det Norske Teatret (the Norwegian Theatre) opened in Kristiansand on 2 January 1913 with a double billing of Ivar Aasen’s “The Heir” and Hulda Garborg’s “Rational Dairying”. Its first performance in Kristiania (Oslo) took place on 6 October 1913 with “Jeppe of the Hill” by Ludvig Holberg, translated into landsmål by Arne Garborg. From 1913 to 1931 and 1934 to 1945 the Theatre used the auditorium in Bøndernes Hus (headquarters of a rural youth organisation) in Kristiania. In 1945 it moved into the former Casino’s premises in Stortingsgata, where it stayed until 1985. It could then take over its own, new building in Kristian IVs gate. Here performances are given on four theatre stages. The main auditorium seats approximately 750.

NK 1858-1859
Date of issue: 9 September 2013
Values and subjects:
A Domestic: Ivar Aasen
A Domestic: Lasse Kolstad in "Fiddler on the Roof"
Design: Stian Hole
Photos: Carl Christian Wischmann (NK 1858)
© Fotograf Sturlason / Det Norske Teatret (NK 1859)
Method of printing: Offset
Printing house: Joh. Enschedé Security Print