Wednesday, June 26, 2019

My birthday party · Emil's graduation · Midsummer


On the 16th it was my birthday and we had a small party.
Last year I spent my birthday in Korea with Jasmin and some friends from the hostel I was staying at.
I have some good stories from that day that I want to blog about but let's save that for later. What's important now is just that
my birthday this year was spent at home and that I was excited about it.

It was a chill day. My mom and Dichael, her fiancé, attempted to wake me up by coming into my room and singing birthday songs, just like our family did when we were kids.

Emilie was the first guest to arrive before my cousins, our cousin's baby boy, and Dichael's family came over in the early afternoon.

For my birthday this year I had very few wishes. One of them was an SD card for my phone, that I got from Emilie. She didn't have any gift wrapping paper but it was nicely decorated with shiny green ribbon.

Other than the SD card, I had wished for a new battery for my computer and some new earphones because the old ones broke - and of course money for my trip. I guess it gets boring just giving money to the birthday child every time (since I never wish for anything), so this time my cousins spiced up their present. I literally got pocket money.

Speaking of puns, a few of my friends had asked what I wanted for my birthday and I'd told them jokes. The result was several of my friends sending me jokes and lame puns through Instagram, which I then reposted in my story for all of us to share and laugh at. I think I'll try to make that a tradition from now on.

For the party, my mom had made my favorite cake, rutebilslagkage, and Dichael's grandmother brought buns.

Like many other Danish families, we always sing for the birthday child. This time I wanted to make it interesting so I asked for them to sing 'Den med instrumenterne,' which is a song where the person being celebrated chooses 3 instruments that the guests will have to imitate while singing.
Kids usually choose things like the guitar, drums, or a banjo but Emilie and I are up to no good so she suggested the first instrument being a kazoo. I asked for the second one to be the mythological electrical triangle and, lastly, my sister's boyfriend, Emil, suggested the last instrument to be a didgeridoo. It sounds like it was a challenge but the outcome was great.
The days leading up to my birthday had been gray and rainy but on the 16th, the weather took a sudden turn for the better. We have a saying in Denmark that if the weather is good on your birthday, you have been good this past year so I was obviously happy with this.

Since then, we weather has mostly been pretty great. Just look at this pretty sky over the city square the day after my birthday.

Two days later, my sister's boyfriend graduated! We went to his school early in the morning to wait with his family outside while he finished his last final.
There are a lot of traditions involved in graduating here and one of them is that a family member put the student hat on the student once they have received their final grade.
People also always bring roses. The colour of the cap depends on what you studied (mine was red/bordeaux, Emil's here is gray and red/bordeaux) and since some get hats with blue on, blue roses are highly popular around this time of the year.
Also, per usual, the student's family brings champagne and kransekage.
Since Emil's school is a fusion between the normal gymnasium and vocational training, he still has an apprenticeship exam later in the year, which is the most important final for him. Thus, instead of throwing him a big party like normal students do after the final exam, his family will do it later after the apprenticeship exam.

Still, it was a day to celebrate. Emil's family had already planned to go to the city center to have lunch buffet and asked us to join.

In the weekend I went to Copenhagen to work for Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) at the Korea-Denmark 60 Years: Korea Culture Festival 2019!
I was there almost all day, every day so I'll dedicate another blog post to that next week.

When the event ended on Sunday, I took the train back home just in time for the other thing I'd looked forward to - the bonfire at the beach!

You see, June 23rd was Sankthansaften (Midsummer's Eve) and since I'd been unable to celebrate the past MANY years, I was excited to go. Dichael's parents are in the midst of moving into a new house and my mom and Dichael have been helping out. All of them were too tired to go to the beach with me so I went alone. There are several great bonfires around but I heard that the one on the beach is supposedly the biggest.
I read that Sankthansaften is celebrated in a few countries outside Northern Europe but that the tradition is more common here because we have the ideal summer nights for it. I took the above picture after 9pm and it was still super bright outside.

When I got to the beach, there were 3 bonfires within sight and none of them seemed to be THE bonfire but I went to the biggest of them anyways.
I really like this picture because it looks like the woman is smiling at me. I don't know if she was. Maybe? We didn't talk either but I like to think that her smile bid me welcome to silently celebrate this old tradition with the rest of the strangers.
 Someone drew a face in the sand.
I think this one is my favorite of all the bonfire shots I got.
As time passed, the bonfire calmed down but the sky flared up. I left around 10pm after taking this picture.
 And I took this one around 10.40pm. Something I really enjoy about my city is that we have these beautiful sunsets almost every night.

The day after was a bit of a lazy day but I also spent some time buying the last things I needed before going on vacation. I'll share that story with you next week~

For dinner that day, my mom, Dichael, and I went to the local hotdog stand, Nillers Pølsevogn.
This place is famous in our city and every local knows where it is and has probably had a hotdog or two and a cocio from there.
 Sadly, after 34 years, the owner's health is no longer that great so they'll be closing down as of Sunday this week. I have a couple of good memories with this stand so I thought it fitting to have one last hotdog to show love and support for everything the owners (an old couple) have done throughout the years.
Here's to hoping that whatever new stand is going to pop up here will be continuing the legacy of what Niller and his wife built up.

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