MIDSUMMER PARTY at the Kobe Regatta and Athletic Club, June 9th, 2007

関西日本スウェーデン協会の夏至祭 (場所:神戸レガッタ&アスレチッククラブ),20070609日に開催されました

Sunny midsummer party

In Sweden we always say that “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”  Surely this comes from my beloved home country being so extremely unreliable with the weather and the only way to not get down about it is to prepare for it. The weather is always especially unpredictable during midsummer. Whenever I celebrated midsummer in the village of Leksand I had in my luggage a big wool sweater as well as a bikini.

During the preparations for this year’s JSSK midsummer party, a question came up about what to do if it started raining. I sensed a lot of worry among the board members. I then tried to explain that in Sweden, it is not unusual that we move two to three times during one dinner. We take the weather as it comes, because you have no power over the weather.

In Sweden, if the weather permits, the party is usually started outside in the garden, under dark and gloomy looking clouds. But still, everyone is hoping that it won’t start raining. Before we’ve had our second schnapps the drops are coming down and soon the skies have no mercy on the guests. So we go inside, eat some meatballs, herring and sing a few schnapps songs in the kitchen.

Half an hour passes and before we know it, the sun is back out again. Right in time for dessert. We all move outside, bringing towels to dry the seats. With coffee served and cakes on our plates we enjoy the party until the rain decides to start pouring down again.

This, my friends, is Swedish midsummer, in Sweden.

However, in Japan, even during the rainy season, we managed to stay completely dry and even putting on a tan during the wonderful midsummer party on June 9. Although unfortunately there was no midsummer pole this year – but for sure we will have one next year – all guests made great use of the time to speak to one another about Sweden and shared experiences of travel to the Nordic country.

And of course there were the culinary delicacies like herring, potatoes, bread, and meatballs, all taken down with an excellent selection of schnapps. Governor Ido and all guests seemed to be in a great mood and the atmosphere was just as it should be: happy, friendly and casual.

I hope that next year you will all join us. And hopefully the sun will be right there with us.

Vanessa Åsell