SEEN AND HEARD!!
Every year there is an accordion player among the delegations, and this year it was a student from Maribor who spontaneously undertook to entertain us with his accordion at various times during the exhibition. And at the same time to get some of the women dancing! To tunes that were very well-known but much appreciated.
The Azores produce a type of pineapple which connoisseurs say is smaller but much better than those from the West Indies. Thus the mother of teacher Marlène Damiaois had the idea of getting a student to present one of these pineapples to each stand as they visited the exhibition – and the gesture was much appreciated by everyone.
In Poznan last year the lovely Marlène Damiao had already received best wishes for her birthday which had fallen on December 4th. This year again her birthday fell during Christmas in Europe, but this time she was on her own territory, and the celebration happened just as she was leaving the European buffet: the students went onto the stage to sing her a rousing ‘Happy Birthday to You’, while to great applause France and Luxembourg gave her a small birthday present.
In the kitchen beside the hall where the European buffet was to take place, panic occasionally broke out because the chefs and the students of the different national delegations sometimes found it hard to fit in there because of the small size of the room. But this didn’t prevent everything from being ready when the time came
Everyone commented on the logo of the 19th Christmas in Europe. This really classy stylised Christmas tree figured on the documents and posters, as well as on the banners and flags along the quayside.
Arrival of the delegations in Ponta Delgada was scheduled for December 2nd, and in most cases this went according to plan - except for the delegation from Bled which arrived the following day, December 3rd, at 10.00am, and went straight to the exhibition hall to set up their stand. The other delegations were by then already hard at work. As for the Maribor delegation, also from Slovenia, they arrived without some of their luggage which arrived a day later. Fortunately the delegates had brought items in their hand-luggage which enabled them to decorate their stand!
Old hands at Christmas in Europe will certainly have had a thought for Otto Kimmelmann, head of department at Semmering, who attended Christmas in Europe in Poznan only last year, before his sudden death this summer. He was a great supporter of Christmas in Europe, and he would have been proud of his students once again this year in Ponta Delgada.
The delegates, coming as they did from all over Europe, obviously appreciated the charms of the Azores in winter. The temperature there is rather mild, whereas on the continent there was snow almost everywhere. In Ponta Delgada, there was often drizzle or even rain, and this prompted someone to say that in the Azores you see the four changes of season every day. Malicious gossip no doubt!
Every year the exhibition stands receive a lot of attention from those who have designed them, who are often loaded like pack-horses during the outward journey. But usually their efforts are handsomely repaid when the exhibition opens its doors and they see the visitors crowding in. It is true that certain alcoholic specialities enjoy an instant success!
Television, radio, newspapers
Communication is of prime importance these days, as Filipe Rocha knows only too well. He had alerted the radio and television stations as well as the press to ensure that Christmas in Europe in Ponta Delgada was widely broadcast in Portugal. And he pulled this off nicely - media coverage of the event was excellent.
Ce qui a fait dire à quelqu’un qu’aux Açores, les quatre saisons défilent tous les jours