Last Sunday, December 2nd, the Swedish community in Bangkok celebrated the first Sunday of Advent at the Swedish Ambassador’s residence in Ekamai, one of the main roads off Sukhumvit in Bangkok.
Those visitors who needed a lift were picked up from the nearest sky train station by a tuktuk decorated with Swedish flags and colors, which was very easy on the eyes.
More than 250 Swedes and other Scandinavians had made it to the residence to participate in Advent worship. Glass doors were open out to the garden and thereby enabled more people to listen to the priest’s words and sing the old beloved hymns together. Those who did not fit inside benched themselves in the shade under the trees.
After the service, the traditional Christmas market was opened in the garden with several booths including the Swedish and Finnish Church’s. The Swedish Church sold, as in previous years, traditional Swedish Christmas bread flavored with wort, mulled wine and saffron bread. This year some new products were added: fudge and toffee, flowers and Christmas goats made of recycled paper by women in the slums. The Finnish Church sold Christmas Coffee and Fyns Bakery offered wonderful marzipan.
Several of the other vendors had craft products for sale. Many were made by local craft groups under fair trade conditions.
Children, both old and young, could join the making of their own Christmas crackers and Christmas tree decorations.
A Christmas market requires, of course, a Santa Claus. This year he came, as he usually does, wearing a red coat and hood. Santa caught up kids, both young and older, over a long dance through the garden. Finally Santa sat down in his big armchair and told a story he once made up together with his own children a long, long time ago.
After Santa’s visit, it was time for a lottery draw. The price list was extensive thanks to all the generous sponsors that made fantastic prize table possible.