On the 12th of December, the 5 Nordic Chambers came together to celebrate the end of yet another eventful year. This year's celebrations came in the form of the Nordic Christmas Gala, which took place in the Maiogi (舞扇) room in Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, and offered plenty of opportunities for the guests to reminisce over Nordic flavours and traditions found in the Nordic-inspired dinner courses, spirits and various entertainment on display throughout the evening.
As the guests slowly made their arrival, people greeted new and old friends over a glass of champagne or wine while waiting for the doors to open. When they could subsequently make their way into the banquet hall and find their respective seats, they were officially welcomed by a charming Lucia performance, followed by a welcoming speech by committee representatives and a toast over a glass of whichever preferred drink people had at hand.
Throughout the dinner, the room was buzzing with chit-chatter and high spirit as people talked and celebrated with colleagues, friends and other acquaintances. Intermingled with both a Danish and a Swedish snaps song, followed by speeches by the five Nordic ambassadors, all in celebration of the year that had been and the years to come. After the main courses each had been served, it was time for the main show of the evening to begin. This year we were delighted to welcome Kikunokai (菊の会) to the stage for a performance of the traditional Japanese performance art called Nihon Buyō (日本舞踊). Closing off the performance was a more interactive segment where the guests were invited to the stage to participate in the dancing.
When it was time for dessert risalamande was served, with each table having one serving with an intact almond in its midst. The lucky people who found an intact almond in their serving received the almond gift which was decoratively placed in the middle of each table.
As people were getting their fill of dessert, a burst of jolly laughter filled up the room as Santa Claus entered and made his way to the stage to begin this year's lottery. One by one he drew out the names of the lucky winners from among the participants. Each of the excitedly receiving an early Christmas present. As the winners had all gotten their prices, the dining part of the evening was slowly brought to an end and the dance floor was officially opened up. For the rest of the evening, people danced the night away on the dance floor or gathered around the bars for another drink and plenty of talking with new and old friends.
DCCJ would like to thank the participants, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, the other Nordic chambers, and our several sponsors for bringing to fruition yet another successful event such as this one. We look forward to many more joint events across the Nordic countries in the months and years to come.