This weekend there has been a lot of competition going on on Swedish television. Two nights ago the Swedish version of Eurovision Song Contest had its last election here in Malmoe. Eight groups/artists had gathered, mostly young ones, but also more mature ones. One of the winners was also the youngest, Ulrik Munther, who performed “Tell the world I’m here”. The young artist has a talent and a creativity that suits his laidback style. Another winner was the rock artist Ralf Gyllenhammar with his big moustache and who sat by his piano playing a heavy song called “Bed on Fire”. Rapper and performer Behrang Miri, originally from Iran but living in Malmoe and Stockholm, performed an eclectic and catchy number “Jalla Dansa Sawa” with his co-artists and street-dancers. It’s them you see above to the left. The song was about love and tolerance and sung in Swedish, French and Arabic. The catchy song and the message is very much appreciated in this city and many who have taken it to heart. Behrang Miri and his co-workers will get a second chance this coming Saturday to get to the big event, the international Eurovision Song Contest which also will be held here in Malmoe in May.
Another song competition on TV is called “Så ska det låta”, (roughly “That’s the sound of it”), based on the Irish TV-show The Lyrics Board. The first season on Swedish TV4 began in January 1997. The program is a competition between two teams. Each team is led by a pianist who in each program is accompanied by musical guests, two or three per team. The show is led by an actor with a playful attitude who also act as judge in the games. The teams are given clues to songs and are supposed to guess what song it is. Between 1997 and 2005 the show was led by the actor Peter Harryson and with Anders Lundgren and Robert Wells by the pianos. Eventually the show grew very popular. However, in 2006 TV4 wanted to update the show and gave the leading role instead to Peter Settman. After a period of decreasing number of viewers the pianoplaying team leders now was given to two young talents, Angelica Alm, (the blond woman in the middle) and Marika Wallstedt. Yesterday Angelica was accompanied by Lina Hedlund and Nanne Grönvall in the picture above. “Så ska det låta” has a long tradition on TV4 and is now on season 18. Yesterday Angelica’s team won the game. We’ll see how it’ll be next week.
Yesterday three Swedes recieved Oscars for their film making. Malik Bendjelloul for his documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” about the American musician Sixto Rodriguez who led a rough and tough life and who without knowing it became immensely popular in South Africa. Also Paul NJ Ottosson recieved an award for the best sound-track to “Zero dark thirty”. Per Hallberg got a prize for the movie “Skyfall”. But these movie awards were not the only things that strengthened the Swedish sense of national pride.
During the World Championship in skeeing both men and women made good results. Sweden came in second twice and got silver medals. First Ida Ingmarsdotter and Charlotte Kalla won their prizes and later Emil Jönsson and Marcus Hellner. To see Sweden do well of course triggered a feeling of national pride also in me. Something else would be a lie. To find this balance of national pride, personal pride and dignity, as well as an acceptance for different influences is no easy matter. But it is necessary.
Anders Moberg, February the 25th 2013