Plenty of Room at the Ambassador’s House

The annual Christmas party is something the women of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) always look forward to. However, one problem always pops up. Lack of space.
“We usually have the Christmas lunch in a private home. A house or a big apartment, but no matter how big the place we almost always have to turn down some people wanting to join the party, as we cannot fit more than approximately 25 people into a private home,” Anna Hedve of SWEA Singapore explains.
At this year’s Christmas lunch on December 5th, however, lack of space was not an issue. The Christmas lunch was held in the Swedish ambassador to Singapore, Pär Ahlberger’s, home.
“When the ambassador came to Singapore a couple of months ago, he invited all Swedish associations in Singapore to his house and said that he wanted his house to be a place, where the Swedish community meets. We thought that was a brilliant idea and asked if we could have our Christmas lunch at his house, and that was not a problem,” Anna Hedve says.
No longer having to take limited space into consideration meant that 40 of the 120 women in SWEA Singapore went to the ambassador’s house.
“It is the highest number ever and most likely even more would have come had not a lot already left Singapore to go to Sweden or elsewhere on vacation,” she tells. No one turned up empty handed. Everyone had to a prize for the lucky draw or a dish for the lunch. The table was full of all kinds of traditional Swedish Christmas delicacies. Meatballs, herrings, rice porridge, potato dishes and lots more. “Being Swedish it is a little bit weird celebrating Christmas in a climate like in Singapore, but as soon as you start eating the traditional dishes, the feeling of Christmas just hits you. And it also helped that there was a Christmas tree at the ambassador’s house,” Anna Hedve explains.
A lot of the women did what they could to add to the Christmas spirit as they were dressed in red and white. And quite a few brought home a little gift.
“We had 22 prizes in our lucky draw meaning there was more than a 50 per cent chance of winning, and the girls really liked those odds,” she tells.
Most likely SWEA can have the Christmas lunch 2007 in the ambassador’s house again.
“I got a mail from him. He was pleased that we had our Christmas lunch in his home. And he was certainly pleased that we did not eat all the food. Apparently he and his family are having a good time with the left-overs,” Anna Hedve laughs.

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