Slow television has become very popular in Norway. We have had programs about ships sailing for days, trains crossing the country, women knitting. Last weekend it was time for The Hymn Book Slow TV event. A new national hymnal is produced and 200 different choirs singing each of the 899 hymns in the new Norwegian hymnal, was shown directly on Norwegian TV for 60 hours. You can listen on this link.
Norway is not a very religious country. It has in fact been a political pressure the last decades to make the country more secular, and religion is more or less gone from the constitution, from the education, from the media. So in the beginning there was quite little media coverage of this event. But the program attracted 2.2 million spectators, and that is a lot in a country with 5 million people. And when foreign press started to show interest, so did the national, eventually.
Most of my friends are secular, if not atheists (I believe, personal beliefs of this kind is not usually talked about). I think many of them realised it is not dangerous to listen to hymns once in a while. Personally I see hymns as part of our culture, and a beautiful one as such. It seems a lot of people discovered the same last weekend, because suddenly bookstores all over the country are sold out for the new hymnal. I made a short video from my visit to the church where most of the hymns were performed. Some more photos on this link.