Aal around Aalborg: Aalborg Pride, flea market benefit for Nepal earthquake victims, Asian Food Festival, and a list of others
Writing this weekly events series can be really time-consuming. From monitoring the various sites where activities and events are posted, to selecting those I think are most interesting to the international community, to translating Danish text, to writing English text, to updating the Events Calendar…these tasks can easily take 3-4 hours or more per week. I have decided that while the series is important, I really need to pare down my commitment to it in order to provide sufficient time for the tasks and responsibilities I have outside the blog. Thus, I have decided to reduce significantly the level of detail I include in each week’s post. From now on I will highlight two or three events a week and then provide a simple list of other upcoming events with links to more information.
By the way, if you are an event organizer and would like your activity/event featured or just included, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time and place: Nordkraft on Friday, 19 June 10:00 to 21:00
Tomorrow, Friday, 19 June “Aalborg With Nepal” is holding a big flea market-concert event at Nordkraft to benefit the earthquake victims in Nepal. The Asian country is now entering its rainiest period, which will create massive problems for the many people left homeless after the earthquakes. “Aalborg With Nepal” has therefore organized a benefit flea market at which people can either sell their used stuff or let them do it for you. Throughout the day there will be live music (Sigurvin Sigurdsson, Andreas Dons, Vicky & the Band, Mai Skytte Simonsen) and other entertainment. Coffee and cake, sponsored by The Green Cafe and Azzurra in Nordkraft, will also be on sale.
A quake of 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Nepal on April 25 and there have been numerous aftershocks since. The result was a disaster for the country’s already poor population, who now have little to no access to clean water, food, shelter, or other basic necessities. The imminent danger, in the face of the monsoon rains, is infections caused by contaminated food and lack of hygiene. All profits made by the end of the day’s event will go to the Danish Red Cross, which will use the funds for their relief work in Nepal. “Aalborg With Nepal” was formed by a group of Danish and international students at Aalborg University, who wish to preserve Danish ‘focus on Nepal’s plight after the media have moved on.’ So come and show your support by donating to your old, discarded things to the market, or just come to enjoy the day and the event.
You may have seen signs on Facebook or other places in the city but in case you haven’t, this weekend is a historic one for Aalborg: the first Pride parade is happening and it’s going to be big! A large group of volunteers, who have only been working on the concept for 3 months or so, have mobilized people, money, and organizations to execute the first Aalborg Pride parade, which will begin at 14:00 Saturday, 20 June at Kennedy Arkaden, make its way through the center of the city, and end up at Karolinelund for musical performances, dancing, and other entertainment. It is hoped that this will be the start of building a general sense of LGBT community that has been lacking, up to now, in Nordjylland.
I’m fortunate to know one of the people who has been integral to the event. I met Trine Bundgaard, who is the event press officer, while we were both working temporarily for BusinessAalborg (part of the kommune) last autumn. Thanks to her drive and passion, as well as that of many, many others, the Pride event is a reality. Here is a short interview I held with her about the event:
1) How and why did you get involved?
It all started over a cup of coffee shared by two friends 3.5 months ago. I was asking my friend Kathrine for advice about moving abroad. I was complaining that I didn’t feel that there was a gay community in Aalborg. We looked at each other and were like…should we just make a Pride event? She owns her own company – Events By Skovsgaard – and has always wanted to arrange a gay pride parade. We looked at our calendars and the 20th of june was good for both of us.
2) What are the highlights of Saturday’s Pride program?
We are very proud to announce that DQ is performing and dedicating a song to us. He is known for the Danish contribution to the 2007 Eurovision Song contest – Drama Queen. The show’s line up is going to be great, which is a big boon for us. We are also very happy that we got every permit for the parade and that several organizations and politicians will be joining us.
3) Why is this important to Aalborg?
Aalborg/Nordjylland doesn’t have a great reputation among the Danish LGBT community. That needs to change. Every cultural city around the world has a LGBT Pride parade and Aalborg is ready for it. After the discrimination case against a lesbian couple last autumn (read more about this case here) things are beginning to change here. We can feel a lot of support and we sense that Aalborg/Nordjylland wants to show that that was a single person’s conviction and not a more widespread one.
4) How have you funded the events?
We have two main sponsors: Events by Skovsgaard and Det Obelske Familiefond, whose contributions are central for this event. We have also contacted – and been contacted by – firms and organizations as well as relying on private people to either donate or buy our merchandise. We are forever grateful to everyone who has supported us!
5) What are your hopes for the future of Aalborg’s LGBT community?
We hope that this will be the kick off for a general change – a change that will mean more events in the future and maybe a venue where people in the Aalborg LGBT community can hang out. We hope that Aalborg/Nordjylland can become more diverse and we hope to create a free space for expressing who we are – without persecution or discrimination, whether verbal or physical.
This has to be one of my favorite events of the year, partly because we don’t have enough ethnic restaurants in Aalborg, in my opinion – the Asian Food Festival. I have been to each of them since it started in 2013 and I’ll be at Gammel Torv to enjoy it again tomorrow (and Saturday, and maybe Sunday). Good food, fun activities, interesting cultural tidbits – it’s got it all! Come and try sushi, pad thai, and other specialties from Korea, Vietnam, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and Pakistan. For children there will be face painting, Vietnamese traditional hat–painting,origami, calligraphy, and more. There is even a free sushi course for children ages 7 and up! (Find out more here and register. Space is limited.)
The 2013 festival attracted about 3,000 visitors. In 2014 they had more than 14,000. All proceeds go to support poor, single mothers in Asia, their children and street children in getting an education and / or on the path to self-reliance. Organizer: Sharing International is an NGO whose mission is to support disadvantaged single mothers, orphans and street children in Asia. By ensuring education and stabiles job with steady income for single mothers, we ensure the same time that their children get a good childhood with better education and in general a brighter future. We organize this festival to raise money for our projects in Asia. You can read more about the festival and the cause to which the profits go here. The FB page, with more current info, is here.
Friday, 19 June: 12:00 – 20:00
Saturday, 20 June: 12:00 – 20:00
Sunday, 21 June: 12:00 – 20:00
Friday Night Skate – Friday, 19 June from 19:00 at the waterfront. Free to join. See the FB page here.
Groovebox #7 (electronic music) – Saturday, 20 June from 21:00 to 3:00 at 1000Fryd. See the FB page here.
Romanian and Danish folk music – Sunday, 21 June from 14:00 at Nørholm Kirke in Nibe. Free entry. See the FB page here.
A whole list of places you can celebrate Skt Hans with your friends and/or family next Tuesday night, 23 June, e.g. Egholm, Lindholm Høje Museum, Musikkens Hus, Aalborg Zoo, among several others, available here.