You have to give kudos to a country who responds to such a terrible tragedy with the power of flowers instead of screaming for guns and revenge. It says a lot about the people of Norway.
It is estimated that approximately 200,000 people (nearly 1/2 of the cities population) attended a memorial on Monday evening in the plaza outside of City Hall. Each and every person who attended brought with them a single rose. A grassroots movement, which started on the popular social media site Facebook, is responsible for the sea of roses that was seen at the memorial. Several times that evening the people of Oslo were asked to raise their roses, giving the impression of a massive rose garden in the plaza.
After the memorial, instead of taking the roses home or throwing them away they started placing them in and around the plaza. Roses were stuck on fences, artwork, walls, fountains, lamp posts, traffic lights, basically anywhere they could. The end result being a city filled with colour, a very stark contrast to the results of the bomb that went off last Friday.
The Power of Flowers is very strong and they have become the spokesperson for Norwegians. A simple way to express their sorrow and sympathies for the tragic loss of so many innocent lives.
The “Flower Power” movement is attributed to an 18-year-old survivor of the massacre on the island of Utøya. She said “when one man can show so much evil, think how much love and caring we can show together.” Her words are quickly becoming a part of history in Norway as they have helped set the tone for the reaction to the tragedies. These words have been spread via social media & even Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has quoted them in one of his many addresses to the Norwegian people during the past few days.
Florists have been quickly running out of roses, even with several trips to the suppliers a day. When the roses are sold out people are choosing other types of flowers and even potted flowering plants. Profits are the last thing on Oslo’s florists minds though, one was quoted as saying “It is such a strange situation. We are selling these flowers for such a tragic reason. I wanted to give them away”. Another says “In one day, we sold nearly 2,000 roses (costing 39 krone, around five euros/ seven US dollars each) and 1,000 candles and had to order 700 extra bouquets of roses for Tuesday. What is hard is that we are selling these roses because of a tragic event. It would much easier if it were for a happy occasion”.