International Features

Articles from different nationalities

Danish Birthday Bash

The Danish-Spanish Club (Dansk Spansk Samvirke) in Almuñécár celebrated the club’s 23rd birthday on February the 27th. It took place after our March issue deadline, but I feel it is definitely worth a mention anyway.

Olympic Insider

Unless you watch no TV whatsoever, you can’t miss the coverage of the Winter Olympics taking place in Vancouver as I write this.

About The Club

In an interview in Diario Sur, Rafael Lamelas, Chairman of the Costa Tropical Hotel Association, said that Nordic visitors make a great contribution towards keeping the tourist market in the area alive during the winter months.

Winter Olympics 2010

Since I am a mix of Danish and Canadian, it is an obvious choice to write about the upcoming Winter Olympics that happen to be hosted by my hometown of Vancouver.

Nordic Viewpoint January

It is freezing cold in Helsinki today when I write this (on the day of the deadline, as usual). And, believe it or not, it is snowing, so it looks as if we are going to have a white Christmas, which is something unusual for us here in southern Finland. The temperature is 15 degrees below, and like all the other ‘tourists ‘ coming from the Southern hemisphere, we hurry through the streets with scarves covering our nose and mouth, hunting for Christmas gifts. It’s funny how you lose touch after a longer period in the tropical climate of Almuñécar. Our Swedish friends reported that it has been snowing in Stockholm too. Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope that it will last over the Christmas holidays.
On December 13th we saw the traditional Santa Lucia crowning ceremony in the stately neoclassical cathedral of Helsinki, and the procession starting from the steep and seemingly endless stairs leading down from the cathedral and continuing through the streets of Helsinki. We saw Santa Lucia leading the way dressed in a white gown and with a wreath of candles in her hair, followed by gnomes, star boys and Lucia maids, singing the Santa Lucia song and Christmas carols. Thousands of people had gathered in the Church Square to watch the event.
A lot of foreign languages were spoken and I heard many speaking Spanish, my ears being especially sensitive to this beautiful language. Santa Lucia is celebrated in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Estonia. Even at the time when the Scandinavian countries were catholic, the night of Lucia was celebrated as many other saints’ days, and the tradition continued after the protestant reformation in the 1530’s.
Christmas Eve will be celebrated with family and friends in the Nordic way, with early morning church, rice porridge and a filling Christmas dinner with ham, lute fish and all the trimmings.
As to the New Year’s resolutions, I think that for us senior expats, living in Spain, a good promise would be to start to realise that our so-called ‘golden years’ become even more gilt edged the more we are able to look at the past with forbearance; the stronger we live here and now and the better we are able to look at the future with a serene mind. The question is can we seniors find the right gear, after we have left the busy years behind us?
Many of us become active in all kinds of associations, where most part of the members are so called ‘grey panthers’ and in this activity it is important to show tolerance, empathy and helpfulness. To find the right gear in the administration of an association for foreign expats is not always easy after a long career in administration or business, for example. It is important to ease down on the bureaucracy and try to handle the administration as straightforward as possible, not indulging in fights over petty details, like children fighting over a toy. Let’s also become more tolerant towards the people we meet, be it our Spanish friends, our expat compatriots or immigrants from different cultures than ours.

Me and ‘Satchmo’

I do not pretend to be a Jazz ‘connoisseur’ in the very meaning of the word. I know next to nothing about the technicalities of this fascinating kind of music and I had a blank in singing at school.

Almuñécar Women’s Group

Since I belong to the Almuñécar Women’s Group, I thought it might be beneficial to share information about this delightful and active group with my fellow Danish women in our area.

Back again

Nice to be back here again. We have been enjoying a month of temperatures above 30 degrees, which is quite enjoyable when you’re on the beach, but uncomfortable for gardening or playing golf.