Thursday, 6 March 2014

One stubborn lady chasing her dream

On 7 Mars 1858, a little girl was born in the village of Eidsvoll in Norway. She grew up with 3 brothers and a sister, and she was often spotted skiing and even ski jumping, which was outrageous, because that was a boy's thing to do (like so many things in the society back then). She must have loved it though, and didn't park her skis'. In stead she created a big commotion turning up at a ski-race with a friend - them being the only two girls there. Scandalous! 

The girl was Cecilie Thoresen and she was to become the first Norwegian female university student. In 1879 she graduated from a girl's school, and wanted to take an exam which would grant her access to university. But at that time, only boys were allowed.. Her father then sent a letter to the Ministry asking that she'd be permitted to take the exam. It was met with a prompt refusal.

Many people would have given up by then, but Cecilie appealed to the Ministry and University. Her requests were turned down. Again. And again. Finally she found an ally in a member of the Parliament, Hagbard Berner. He supported her cause and proposed a private Act of amendment, which passed in 1882, and Cecilie was allowed to study. She passed the exam in 1882 with excellent results, and enrolled at the University as the first woman ever. And in 1884 a law was issued that gave women in general access to university studies.

As for me, I get inspired by people like Cecilie who dares to challenge the "normal". People who fight for what they believe in, because they trust it to lead to something better, for themselves and others. People who choose the narrow path of life, even though they meet obstacles and are being fought every step of the way. People who have the courage to knock on some closed doors and open them for others (and if they will not open, they will kick them in). People who do not take no for an answer.

And I think that if it hadn't been for women like her, I might not have been able to do what I wanted with my life. Too often we take things for granted, but we forget that someone else may have fought for those things - on our behalf. So, I get inspired by her "do not take no for an answer" story, and also because I share her cause: education. I do wish for every child to be able to make their path in life, regardless of their gender and status, to go to school and to freely choose their study. And If I have a bad day, and think that it is hopeless, I can just close my eyes, and picture Cecilie ski-jumping with the boys, or writing letters to the parliament. That is inspiring to me.

So: make your choices, chase your dream and live your life - as you want it to be. Nothing is impossible.

Cecilie Thoresen (Pic from wikipedia)

*******************************

I am participating in a fun festival of words this week:-) This post is written for The Write Tribe Festival Of Wordswhich goes on from 2-8.March 

Today, Day 5, we were asked to write an inspiring story: You can read more about the festival, and enjoy some of the other entries on the website. I am sure there will be a lot of inspirational good-reads today: Day 5, 6. March: An Inspiring Story. 


48 comments:

  1. This is truly inspirational!!! I had never heard of Cecilie Thoresen before this, thanks for sharing!! It's true, we often take many of our privileges for granted without realizing how many before us had to fight tooth and nail for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words:-) Happy to see you here:-)

      Delete
  2. That's an interesting and inspiring story. So many times we give up only too easily. But a strong conviction and perseverance can work wonders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Tulika:-) Thank you so much. Best to you

      Delete
  3. Amen... totally agree. I can't imagine how tough it must have been back then in that day and age to chase your dreams when an entire society is against you.
    Truly an inspirational story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Roshan:-) So happy you found it inspirational:-)

      Delete
  4. Cecilie Thoresen is one of my favorite feminists. I didn't even imagine someone would write about her for today's "Festival of Words". Your post came as a pleasant surprise for me. I loved every word in your write up!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow! Thank you so much! Your words make me so happy, and so amazing that you knew about her:-)

      Delete
  5. I think about this too. It doesn't always take a revolution to bring about changes. The will and strength of one person can also accomplish this. Such people make us want to do something to make lives a bit better for at least a few. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so true, so great there are people like that:-) All the best

      Delete
  6. now this is truly inspirational!!
    Strength and conviction in ourselves does take us far!
    Thank you for sharing this! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you for your kind words:-) Happy you enjoyed!

      Delete
  7. You triggered memories, I was told about her when I first visited Oslo in 2005 to work with a client. Thank you for sharing this and it yes you are right when you have the aspirations and will to do something, nothing can ever stop you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, that is amazing. Hope you enjoyed Oslo?:-) Thanks for stopping by:-)

      Delete
  8. Thank you for sharing this story, Eli.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome Jeena:-) Hugs your way

      Delete
  9. Eli this is truly inspirational! Her story reminds us how previliged we are...many fought for the rights and the freedoms that we enjoy and take for granted today. Education is a tool that can cure many a ills in our society, thank you for the work that u do. Not only this story but you ate an inspiration too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Aditi - your positive feedback makes me so happy:-) Hugs

      Delete
  10. Such an inspiring story! Cecilie's grit and determination are admirable. Truly, we stand on the shoulders of giants when we take inspiration from them. Thank you for sharing her story, Eli! :-) ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Vidya - your kind words make me very happy:-) So glad you enjoyed it. All the best to you

      Delete
  11. I loved this story. I have not heard of her before. In fact I did not know that such rules existed in the education system in Europe before. 'Do not take No for an answer', truly inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy you liked it:-) Thank you so much for your very kind words:-) Best

      Delete
  12. very inspiring and great series Eli! I have been a bit our of the blogging world and missed a lot of your posts. I have some catching up to do!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to see you here again Amelia, and thanks for your sweet words:-) Hugs to you

      Delete
  13. Cecilie is so inspiring, Eli!! She had a dream, and she didn't give up despite being turned down so many times. Believing that she will succeed, she made her dream a reality! How awesome is that! Thank you for sharing her story :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Shilpa, so happy you enjoyed the story and found it inspirational:-) All the best

      Delete
  14. So interesting! I respect the women of Norway and how strong (and beautiful!) they are, and now I've learned a little more about the history of my adopted country. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dear Cindi, you are too sweet:-) Thank you and big hugs your way:-)

      Delete
  15. N I thot its only in India that women struggled... thank you for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no... thanks for stopping by Mina:-)

      Delete
  16. That is truly inspiring story Eli. It has set me thinking .. There are so many things that we is available to us in a platter today. Back then, someone may have fought for them against all odds because of which we have them today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, so happy you found it inspiring:-) And so true what you say:-) Hugs

      Delete
  17. Such a bright story eli and yes even I would want to be her. I particularly loved how you said, when things get tough you close your eyes and picture her..

    Richa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear Richa, so happy you enjoyed it:-) Hugs your way

      Delete
  18. Cecilie is the torch-bearer for women's education. Hats to the young lady who chose to tread the untrodden path and oppose the wrong rules. Education is a must for both genders. Thanks for sharing this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Kalpana:-) Hugs

      Delete
  19. That is inspiring! Here in the United States I think a lot of us take education for granted. Maybe it would be appreciated more if more people read stories like this. Brilliant! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear Kathy, yes, I think you are right:-) All the best

      Delete
  20. Cecilie was truly a trailblazer and her determination must have been very inspiring to other women in her era who wanted to study, but didn't have the courage or voice to act upon it, due to male dominationated pressure. I'm glad you posted this article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle for sharing your thoughts and for your kind words:-)

      Delete
  21. Love her grit and determination. It must have been difficult to dare to dream but she did by fighting for her rights. Inspiring post, let us all chase our dreams and live full, satiated lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Sulekkha, I couldn't agree more:-) Thanks for your kind words:-)

      Delete
  22. Wow, what a life she has lead...brilliantly inspirational, Eli. And thanks for bringing this story to us :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much:-) I so appreciate your kind comment:-)

      Delete
  23. Incredibly inspirational... hats off to her and what she accomplished. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Bhavya! You kind words makes me very happy:-)

      Delete
  24. Truly an inspiration to follow. True success happen when we dare to challenge the status quo and challenge selfish laws. Thanks for sharing:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, very true:-) Thanks for following and for your kind words:-)

      Delete

Dear reader, I love comments! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave one:-)