A Hopefully Happy New Year

Onl MarianneThe Christmas festivities started in unusually warm and sunny weather. We Nordics have had cosy celebrations with glögg parties, meeting friends and enjoying mulled wine and ginger cookies.

The traditional Lucia dinner at Hotel Victoria Playa marked the end of the autumn season of our club Los Nordicos. The food was great with some traditional Scandinavian dishes.

The highlight of the evening was the Lucia procession with four, beautiful, blond children aged something between 1, 5 and 7 years, singing the Lucia hymn and Christmas carols. Tears glistened in many eyes.

These children reminded us of grandchildren and relatives back in our native towns and villages. The Lucia celebration is an important and beloved tradition, especially in Sweden, but also in Norway and Denmark and among the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland.

Soon we will celebrate a New Year. It is difficult to predict what 2016 will bring in its wake.

Looking back at 2015, it can be said that it was something of an Annus Horribilis.To put it more bluntly, some say that the world went absolutely bonkers in 2015. It is not difficult to agree with this.

It was a year filled with hatred and envy (the traditional as well as the new variety), violence, fundamentalism, populism, extremism, terrorism, refugee crises, weak government leaders, global financial crises, lackadaisical morals, lax education and failing international relations.

The year ended with one positive thing: The new climate change agreement was a historic win for humanity. For the first time in history, nearly every country in the world has agreed to take action against the defining issue of the 21s century, climate change.

The Paris agreement, adopted on 11 December, marks the beginning of a new era in the global response to this threat. It was about time.

For me personally, I welcome the new negative attitude towards bull fighting in Spain, and other measures undertaken against cruelty to animals. There is a lot to be done in this respect, but change is under way.

Thanks and admiration goes to all those persons and institutions that take care of maltreated and abandoned animals. Their unselfish work deserves a lot of encouragement and support.

Here in Spain the national elections steal attention from the Christmas preparations. I have spent much time in front of the television (with Christmas cakes in the oven) following the different debates between the candidates. The face-to-face debate between PSOE’s Sanchez and PP-leader President Rajoy, was the worst political debate I have ever seen.

This was due to Sanchez’s tactics, with personal insults, constantly interrupting his opponent, shaking his head, smiling ironically etc. Rajoy was obviously not prepared for such violent and cheap attacks from his opponent, and therefore showed weakness in the second part of the debate in that he let himself be provoked. The worst performer in this fight was the moderator, who could not keep the ‘hotheads’ in hand.

In my country, the moderator has an important role in such debates, seeing to it that the candidates ‘stick to the script.’ This moderator only tried to calm Sanchez with some vague, sweeping hand gestures. This face-to-face encounter was detrimental for both parties, but especially for PSOE.

So now it remains to be seen what the negotiations between the parties will be following the elections results. of the election will be. Let’s hope it will be a good one for Spain.

Happy and Prosperous New Year to all our readers!

Marianne Lindahl

Born in Helsinki, Finland, many decades ago and a resident in Almuñécar since 2001. I have a M.Sc in Economics and Business Administration and an Authorized Translator´s exam. Prior to this I studied art in Helsinki and Paris. After a career in business I started painting again, (oil, impressionist with a touch of naivism)and have participated in many exhibitions in Spain and Finland. I am active in Asociacion Hispano-Nordica in Almuñécar, a meeting point for people from Sweden, Norway and Finland. I am married, with 3 children and 9 grandchildren. Hobbies: Cats, golf, trecking, jazz. 

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