The Sound of Norwegian Christmas: A Christmas Concert - Photo:From left: Amb. Homme, Concordia String Quartet, PO Gleditsch, Mr, Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay
From left: Amb. Homme, Concordia String Quartet, PO Gleditsch, Mr, Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay

A Christmas Story from Fyresdal in Norway

Two Norwegian Christmas concerts, 400 guests, Santa appearance, goodie bags and lots of Christmas music performed by the talented Concordia String Quartet. "The Sound of Norwegian Christmas: A Christmas Concert" on 12 December 2021, presented by the Norwegian Cultural Center and the Norwegian Embassy, in collaboration with Gardens by the Bay, hit the tone of the festive season in Singapore with a Norwegian high note.

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Thanks to our generous co-sponsors Equinor and DNV for making these concerts possible!

We would also like to extend our thanks to the sponsors of the popular Norwegian goodie bags: The Norwegian Seamen's Mission, Snorre Food, Fisk Online Delivery and Jordan.

Before the concerts, Ambassador Eivind S. Homme held a personal and "down the memory lane" introduction speech, reproduced here upon popular demand!

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls.
Christmas is about being together with your loved ones, sharing your joy and celebration with others.

On of behalf of the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian Cultural Center, I am very happy to welcome you to this concert, to a musical journey to Christmas celebration in Norway.

Before the excellent musicians are about to start, I want to thank our generous sponsors; Equinor and DNV, and our kind host; Gardens by the Bay. And to share a Christmas story with you.

As a young boy, I lived in a municipality called Fyresdal in Norway. That is where the traditional costume I have on, comes from. It is only used on special occasions, like today.

I lived in a valley surrounded by high mountains and much forest, with very few people. In December we always had plenty of snow. It was cold days, and with short daylight.

But we had so much fun playing in the snow, digging caves, throwing snowballs, and doing cross country skiing, downhill skiing and ski jumping. And we were also helping our mother who was busy baking and preparing all sorts of Christmas food.

Finally, the 23rd of December arrived. Our family went into the forest to bring home a Christmas tree. Wow, it was hard to fall asleep that evening, knowing next day was Christmas Eve. I believe you all know that feeling, of strong anticipation.

Waking up early next morning, my sister and I saw the beautiful tree that my parents had decorated and found our Christmas stocking filled with sweets.

That afternoon we all went to church. Listened to the priest telling us about the birth of Jesus Christ, enjoyed all the lights, music and singing. Back at our home, exactly at 5 pm, to the sounds of the church bells, we lit the light on our Christmas tree, wished each other Merry Christmas, “God Jul”, and sat down to enjoy a delicious dinner.

But I could barely eat. Would Santa come? He did, not through the chimney, but suddenly knocking at the door. We ran to open the door. He was huge, had a long beard and carried a big sack. I was scared, but when Santa asked for kind children, I was fast to scream out; yes, me. We all got presents and I felt so happy. I only felt sad for my father, who had run an errand at the post office when Santa came. But when father returned, I sure had so much to tell him.

Then we were going around the Christmas tree holding hands and singing. We were eating cakes and enjoying our gifts. The Christmas season and festivities had started.

Christmas music always brings back these memories, and a deep gratitude for what my parents and grandparents did for us.

You will have your own memories and wishes for Christmas.
I wish you Merry Christmas, God Jul. Enjoy the concert!