The semiannual church service for the Swedish community in Vientiane was held on Saturday May 19 at The International School. The Swedish priest in Bangkok, Lennart Hamark, had traveled to Vientiane along with his family and that attracted more than 50 Swedes of all ages to the small classroom of The Swedish School.
Lennart Hamark summarized the Easter story – to the delight of mesmerized children. The children had along with their teacher, Maria, rehearsed a spring song which they sang beautifully and received a loud applause.
Karin Miriam gets her name
One of the leading characters of the day was Karin Miriam who was baptized by Lennart Hamark. Her Swedish mother and Lao father were very happy with the service and invited everyone for large pink layer cakes after the service. The cakes that were decorated with flowers and the name of the baby were made by Scandinavian Bakery in Vientiane who also sponsored the event with cinnamon buns.
Singing at the banks of The Mekong River
It was a beautiful evening for the Swedish Spring Party that followed the service. The event was held at the SIDA residence on the bank of The Mekong River and the more than 50 guests arrived just in time to admire the sunset from the panorama windows of the house.
Apparently, partying is equal to singing for the Swedes and Lennart Hamark and his wife and assistant Lis passionately led the vocal journey from 17th century waltzes to modern Swedish hymns of spring and summer.
The buffet consisted of meat balls, salad, chicken and pie. The informal dinner was with free seating and a generous flow of drinks.
A blackout and another song
The event was suddenly interrupted by a thunderstorm which resulted in a complete blackout of the house. Candles were lit and anxious children were silent for a couple of minutes until the lights came back. A great time to start singing again, the Swedes thought!
The evening ended by 10 pm when the children were too tired to continue their games and the adults had discussed everything from their country of residence to the church service earlier that day. The guests were very grateful to SIDA ambassador AnnLis Åberg and her husband for hosting the evening and to the priest and his wife for conducting the musical events of the night.