Choir and Prejudice

I’ve just come back from doing a performance with the choir. It went well and all that, but that was not what I was going to write about.

In between rehersing and the actuall performance (or whatever you’d call it) there is always coffee. (For those who are not familiar with Sweden and Swedish customs I will tell you that for most people here, coffee drinking is a highly important activity. And whatever you do and wherever you go you can almost be certain that there is going to be coffee. And cinnamon buns.) So as always we were drinking coffee (or juice in my case) and usually at that time I feel I don’t have much to contribute to the general conversation. Mostly this conversation will center around whatever local news there happens to be or what was shown on television last night. Having no television I can’t say I’m very up to date when it comes to that. Today the conversation centered around television as well, but this time it was more interesting. Over the last few weeks they have been showing Downton Abbey, and apparently the last episode was shown yesterday! So to my utter delight that’s what we were all talking about! I wasn’t aware that any of them had been watching it, but as it turns out basically everyone had! And what’s more, they all loved it! Though of course I don’t see how it would really be possible to see it without loving it…

None of them seemed to be aware that there is to be a second season of this fantastic series, I was quite happy to be the bearer of those news. Though I dare say it will be another year complete until it is shown here in Sweden.
It is now about a year and a half since me and my mom joined this choir. It is the local chruch choir that has probably been in existance for hundreds of years. I know that at least one tradition, a certain song that is supposed to be sung at a certain day that has been done exactly the same way for 100 years. And there are probably more like it.

Before I joined the choir I used to pride myself that I’m not very prejudiced (Ha! I managed to get the two words into one sentence!) about people. But when I joined there I realized that I am, or at least I was.

I am the youngest member in the choir, my mom is the second youngest. All the others are quite a bit older. We had this idea that they were all very nice, if slightly boring, older people who have lived their whole lives in this area and not done so very exciting things. It didn’t take long before our prejudiced views were crushed. We found that they were not boring (nor were they quite as old as we had first imagined) and as for living their whole lives in this are and not doing anything exciting, well it didn’t take long before we realized that wasn’t true either! Two of the ladies have both lived in Africa for many years, one i Congo working with children and the other as a doctor in Tanzania. One lady has lived in Brazil for several years, and another one of the ladies travels to China every year. Then of course there is my sewing teacher who is one of the absolute best in Scandinavia at what she does and has people travel far and wide for her things. And then today one of the ladies took home the price when she mentioned that her dream is to hitchhike to Timbuktu! I would guess she is around 67 or something (I know it is not polite to refer to a lady’s age, but in the context I think it just makes it even more cool!) and has not travelled so much. She said she has always dreamed of going to Timbuktu, and she would like to hitchhike there! And here I was thinking my family did unusual things!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I am not prejudiced at all any longer (much as I would like that to be the case) but I have certainly been shown, just like Lizzie Bennet was, that not every one is what they at first appear to be! 😀

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2 Responses to Choir and Prejudice

  1. Dorte says:

    Very nicely put, it is great that when we get to know people we are often surprised in a good way, but I am glad that you get to drink you juice on your own, we have the same tradition in Denmark, the drinking coffee one and I have often heard the sentence ” we must teach Dorte to drink coffee” which I find extremely annoying. We can talk about every subject even if we drink water, juice whatever.
    And Downton Abbey, it is absolutely great, just googled it trying to find when the second season is ready, but didnot find anyting.
    Love Dorte Kreiberg, Denmark

  2. Aurora says:

    I can imagine Denmark is very similar to Sweden when it comes to coffee drinking. It might be Scandinavia in general.
    I well recognize the annoying remarks people will sometimes make when you say you don’t drink coffee. One aquaintance I have seems to think it is terribly funny to always say “oh we’ll make a coffee drinker of you yet”. 😛 I prefer tea or juice.
    I don’t know exactly when the second season will be ready, but it is supposed to return in the autumn this year. An 8 part series, and then a Christmas special! 😀 There is some information on here

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