Norwegian mayor praises Pinoy culture, Christmas tradition

By Macel Ingles, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Dec 26 2012 09:05 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2012 05:05 PM

Drammen City Mayor Tore Opdal Hansen is a regular at the annual Filippinsk Kulturaften, the biggest Filipino cultural event in this city/Courtesy of Drammen Kommune website
DRAMMEN, Norway - A Norwegian mayor from Drammen expressed his admiration for Philippine culture after watching this year's annual Filipino cultural show dubbed Filippinsk Kulturaften in Drammen city, southwest of the country's capital, Oslo.

Drammen City Mayor Tore Opdal Hansen also said that what particularly impressed him is the Filipinos' way of celebrating the yuletide season.

“I will have to say that I am, among others, very impressed with how you (Filipinos) celebrate Christmas that extends for a very long time,” Tore said in Norwegian as he opened the show in his city.

He also said that he has since developed a tighter relationship to the Philippines now that he knows more Filipinos in Drammen and when he sees news of natural disasters in the Philippines, he feels that he can no longer distance himself from their situation.

The mayor also heaped praises on the Drammen Filipino Dance Group (DFDG), the organizer of the Filippinsk Kulturaften, calling its annual show, "high quality" entertainment.

Drammen Filipino Dance Group performs the Sinulog festival at the Filippinsk Kulturaften show at the Union Scene, Drammen/Macel Ingles

This year's Filippinsk Kulturaften had Philippine festivals as its theme and featured famous Philippine festivals such as the Tuna Festival in General Santos, Flower Festival in Baguio, and Sinulog Festival in Cebu.

Echoes of drums and cries of "Si Senyor" reverberated in the Union Scene as DFDG dancers swayed to the beats catapulting the audience to the frenzy of the Sinulog festival.

Prominent guests of the evening including the mayor and other Norwegians also danced to the tinikling, in brave attempts to avoid getting their feet caught between the bamboos being pounded rhythmically against each other in beats.

Other performers to the event include other Pinoy talents such as Fil-Norwegian rap duo N-Jin and Denial and Filipina singer Novegrace Agoot.

The Filippinsk Kulturaften is on its fifth year of staging in Drammen, and is considered the biggest Filipino cultural event in this city.

Drammen, a multicultural city is home to 140 different nationalities. With 22% of its population with immigrant background, It is the second most diverse city in Norway, second only to Oslo.