Kulturnatten 2009

Every year, in what is a fantastic idea, Copenhagen hosts Kulturnatten, literally ‘The Culture Night’, or better translated Night of Culture. (Follow the link for more details.) All around Copenhagen, artists, community groups, and museums put on dozens of cultural presentations: concerts, meditative worship services, tours of the Royal Exchange, jewelry making, Greenlandic crafts, plays, art shows, a science fair, film shorts, dance, and explorations of life in the Danish WW2 resistance. In other words, a massive celebration of all things Denmark. All of this costs about the price of two beers or three Cokes, transportation included. While something like Seattle’s Bumbershoot, Folklife Festival, or SeaFair might compare, a critical difference is that Kulturnatten involves most of the city’s cultural institutions, is wildly diverse, and largely grassroots.

Cate singing in The Junior Gospel Choir

Cate singing in The Junior Gospel Choir

Rachelle and the girls recently joined a gospel choir, which participated in Kulturnatten. I do find it a little surreal that in this wildly secular country, there’s 100 people who not only are excited to sing gospel music, but who are also willing to pay quarterly fees to do so. On the other hand, Danes do like to join things (clubs of all sorts abound here), and Danes love to sing. Christmas, for example, features both numerous Saint Lucia festivals of white-robed singing girls, and also families holding hands, circling the Christmas tree, and singing their hearts out.

Last night at their Kulturnatten performance, the sanctuary of of the neo-classically columned Gospelkirken was filled, steaming warm and literally to the rafters with about 200 people not once, but three times over, to hear the music. The girls had fun, and the choir was rocking. We’ve uploaded some video to YouTube for you to check out.

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