Norwegian National Day celebrated in Shetland
It takes one single night sharing a slice of life around a few tables to realise how many folk speak Norwegian on this side of the North Sea.
Whilst the old harbour gradually welcomed yachts from the morning of 17 May, Shetland hoisted Norway's flag with pride in anticipation to a fabulous day of festivities. A cloudless sky boreal style filled everybody's eyes. Norway Constitution Day (the equivalent to the 4th July in the US or 14 July in France) would resonate in Shetland blue from dawn till dusk and well into a simmer night.
Lerwick Town Hall
Famous for its stained glass windows depicting its nordic heritage, the 19th century edifice remains the favourite place for the Shetland-Norway Friendship Society to celebrate such event.
Our host for the night, Derick Herning, opened the dinner-dance with a memorable speech before all rose to sing the Norwegian national anthem. Shetlanders and Norwegians in unison. As a second hors d'oeuvre, Shetland's 2010 Young Musician of the Year Chapman Cheng notably treated the assembly with his performance of Grieg's Violin and Piano Sonata in G Major,accompanied by Deirdre Hayward. This was very special. Edvard Grieg
Dance followed a Shetland-Norwegian feast... Languages (including shreds of German and French!), Shetlan and Norwegian dialects with their respective variations flew around tables - accordions and smiles filled the rest of the night. My newfound friends from Nybakk were anchored in my (and Anita's) thoughts. And yes, made new friends too :)
Talk of a dose of nordic culture in the middle of the North Atlantic... I love such taste of geopoetics in action!
Tusen takk, Derick :)