Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweden Day at the Expo

Sunday, May 23, was probably a slow, cozy Sunday for most of you. But not for me, oh no. Yesterday, it was "Sweden Day" at the World Expo and this was celebrated by high-level visits from the Swedish King as well as our Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson. I had to work, which wasn't all bad, since I could enjoy some of the cultural performance that had been especially prepared for entertaining the visitors. One of the highlights was Sofia Jannok, a Swedish artist with roots in the Sami culture (a minority group of northern Sweden). She sang 2 songs in sami language, and it sounded amazing. So authentic. So exotic. I almost feel ashamed that I have not discovered her until now. 

After her (+ another indie pop band called Those Dancing Days) performance we headed back to the Swedish Pavilion for lunch, and later the King arrived too, greeted by a huge media entourage and children with flowers. 

The day went on with press conferences and interviews, and at night time there was a fashionable dance performance at the huge, Red Hall. More about that next time, now I better get ready for more Expo work. 

Anticipating the King's arrival at the Expo Centre
Ta-da, he made it!
The King's holding his speech
Amazing Sami-artist Sofia Jannok. I'm now officially a fan (and she was so down-to earth and nice in person too!) 
Anticipating the King's arrival at the Swedish Pavilion
Again, he showed up! Accompanied by Sweden's deputy prime minister Maud Olofsson he received flowers from cute little kids
Milo, one of the flower kids, interviewed by Expo TV about giving flowers to the king.


Tarja said...

Ooh, you had the king visiting the swedish pavillion. That's so exciting =) I haven't been to swedish pavillion yet only the playground outside the pavillion. It was nice! Well my daughter played at the playground not me... =D

flyingfish said...

WOW! Jonna, what an amazing experience. I mean, I am sorry you did not get your day off, as I know you have been working hard, but seriously1 This had to be worth it!

Thanks for introducing us to Sofia Jannok. I think the kind of cultural preservation her work represents would be moving even if it were just taking place in Sweden, but to see it disseminated as far afield as China is truly exciting! Thanks again for sharing it with us. :)

Brad Farless said...

Hey, that's pretty cool. It looks like your work is paying off in its own way. It's not often you get to be in physical attendance for the speech of a king after all.

By the way, you mentioned the boy's name is Milo. Is there Milo chocolate drink there in Shanghai as well?

Ramesh said...

When I saw the photos in the press, I was looking out for you - receiving the King, curtsying to him, maybe even being his translator ......

Jonna Wibelius said...

Tarja -yeah the king and our DPM. All good but man, all the fuss that comes with high-level visits. Gaaah.

flyingfish -Yeah I am not really a monarchy fan (neither am I a non-fan, I guess I'm quite indifferent to it), however, it was cool to see our king. I guess that's an opportunity that won't come soon again! And yeah, listen to Sofia Jannok, she's great! There's a big story on her coming up in OK! Magazine (in Chi).

Brad -Compared to what I did last year at this time (holiday in Hainan, appeared on a local TV show) I sps one can say it's cool. I like my new life, but cannot help but miss my old one, just a little bit... (especially having wknds off!)

Ramesh -I'm not even close to good enough to be his translator! I was there in the background, however, handling a lot of other stuff! :)

Brad Farless said...

Wow. Was it really a year ago already that you were doing that stuff? I swear it seems like I was just reading about that here on your blog a few months ago.

W said...

I am completely ignorant of Sami Culture. Thanks to your blog, I can now enjoy the music of Sofia Jannock.