Thanks to the efforts of NordCham Philippines, people from Nordic countries living and working here in the Philippines can celebrate Christmas in true Nordic fashion every year. The kids, especially, can experience the traditional celebration as if they were back home in Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Finland. Think Glögg (Nordic mulled wine), Pepparkakor (Nordic gingerbread cookies), Yule porridge, and other holiday treats.
This year’s Christmas celebration hosted by the Nordic Embassies was held at Enderun Colleges in McKinley Hill. With over a hundred guests, the event started off with the traditional Lucia Parade. Lovely little girls wearing white gowns and crown of candles led the procession of candle-bearing men and women singing songs about St. Lucia. The group also performed a touching rendition of Silent Night in three languages—Swedish, Danish, and Filipino!
Then the guests, mostly families with small children, were ushered to the main hall for a sumptuous buffet (separate for kids and adults), lively entertainment, children’s activities and of course, raffle prizes. Free-flowing craft beer and cocktails were provided by Engkanto Brewery, Martin Miller, and Wine Depot.
The children were kept busy by game boards and other educational activities provided by the featured booths of Faber-Castell and Mr. Loic Toullec; face-painting; and outdoor games in the Spartan obstacle course provided by Spartan Race Philippines. The toddlers had a lot of fun in the inflatable castle provided by Active Fun. The members of the Nordic community are quite close-knit, thanks to the regular activities of their embassies and NordCham.
The choir Virlanie Voices of the Virlanie Foundation and Manila Strings performers provided the entertainment and put everyone in the holiday mood with their Christmas carols.
The highlight for the little ones is of course the appearance of Santa Claus. Their particular Santa was quite energetic as he joined the children in trying out the obstacle course. The children received slippers from from Santa, hat from Spartan Race Philippines and a bag of goodies from Carepak.
For the adults, the highlight was the raffle giveaways. NordCham raffled off 12 overnight stays in various hotels and a round-trip ticket to Europe courtesy of Turkish Airlines. Besides that, they were thankful for the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
NordCham’s event partners were Spartan Race Philippines, Active Fun, Azumi Boutique Hotel, Carepak Moving and Storage, Conrad Manila, Engkanto Brewery, Faber-Castell, Fairmont Makati, John Robert Powers, Loic Toullec, Picasso Boutique Hotel, Wayfair Tours, Wine Depot and When In Manila.
Besides the yearly Christmas luncheon, the Nordic community can look forward to numerous events this year: the annual Nordic Ambassadors’ Luncheon, Awards Night, and luncheons with key government officials and private sector leaders, speed networking, and traditional Nordic events including midsummer celebration, crayfish party among many more. With such a line-up, it is no wonder the Nordic community is a close-knit one.