Evi Mariani of Jakarta Post on Tuesday covered the Lucia procession held by Swedish Ambassador Ewa Polano for the Swedish community in Indonesia, describing the exotic event as “Bringing a Piece of Winter to Jakarta”.
“One rainy December night in a house in South Jakarta about a dozen white-robed angels in sneakers and rubber sandals sang “Se, på vår tröskel står, vitklädd med ljus i hår, Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia”, Evi Mariani started out the feature.
Ambassador Polano told about how she could find most of the spices and ingredients she needed for the important glogg and other Swedish food she served that night – she just needed to translate some of the recipes into Indonesian or English and asked the chef from the Gran Melia Hotel Jakarta to prepare them. Apart from glogg, the Ambassador served koettbullar (meatballs) and Janssons frestelse (potato with anchovies).
“The Swedish community here belongs to the Nordic club in Jakarta, Danuta Jonsson, a member of both the Polish and Nordic communities in Jakarta,” said. Danuta, or Dana, said the Nordic community comprised Swedes, Danish, Finnish, Norwegians and Icelanders.
Every year, the Swedish ambassador hosts a Saint Lucia day at her house, Dana said.
“This is the largest event nearing Christmas for the Swedish community,” she said.
As for Christmas, the community has another party.
“We take turns in hosting the festivities. This year we have had the Christmas party already. It was the Danish who hosted it this year,” Dana said.
How does it feel to celebrate one of the most important festivities far away from home? the Jakarta Post asked the Ambassador
“I’m so glad to be in Indonesia. People here are nice and polite, but I miss the tradition and it is important to stick to it,” Polano said.