Song Of Norway Is Music To Tenerife Ears

It was like a flag collectors convention in Los Cristianos as the Norwegian community celebrated their national day, 17 May, with some musical help from their Canarian friends. Stopping for a moment of reflection just in front of the old beach, the Norway flags fluttered in the breeze with those of Spain, Tenerife, the Canary Islands, and Arona municipality.

This year was the 202nd celebration of their release from Danish rule, although it took until 1905 to get full independence . The gathering point of the parade was the Scandinavian church   at El Coronel in Paseo Maritima, it serves as a spiritual and cultural home for visitors from Sweden as well as Norway. I met some long term friends from Norway and their Vice Consul Toril Merett Wulff. The Pastor of the Norwegian church Age Losneslokken was also eagerly awaiting the celebration.

Back home in Norway the parties would have started early morning with children and King Harold leading the procession in Oslo. Smaller regional celebrations would be popping up all day with children very prominent in the fun. There were plenty of proud flag waving youngsters with beaming smiles in Los Cristianos and the Arona Municipal Band led the parade with some well practiced Norwegian tunes. It was a fairly short circuit around the block by the old beach, up to the church plaza, and back down to the church but they got a warm welcome from holiday makers, cafes, and restaurants, everyone loves a party in Tenerife.

I love the mix of cultures in Tenerife, the Canarian church also hosts Polish services and German organ recitals. Even as the parade returned to their Scandinavian church for a meal, at the cultural centre just up the road they were gearing up for a Russian comedy night. There was a lot more celebrating to do though for the representatives of the 800 Norwegians in the province of Santa Cruz (Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma, El Hierro) and another gathering was taking place in Gran Canaria.