Before coming into work last Thursday my colleagues were blissfully unaware the day would see them singing ABBA in Swedish and dancing like little frogs – but it was all for a good cause and I’m pretty sure they had fun along the way...
Throughout May children’s charity NSPCC asked people to relive their childhoods to help raise money for the charity’s work as part of its Bring Back Play project. The aim was to get people across the country to have a bit of fun while helping the charity provide vital services like play therapy for vulnerable children.
For me, this was a great opportunity to get everyone in the Banbury Guardian office familiarised with some Swedish entertainment traditions while supporting a good cause.
Naturally, this had to involve ABBA; everyone’s favourite Swedish export. And since everyone loves Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid, I thought it would be fun for us all to sing Waterloo together.
But to make it a bit more interesting, my fellow journalists had to sing the Eurovision winning song from 1974 in its original Swedish version.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, then came ‘Små grodorna’ or ‘The little frogs’ – a Swedish dance and song traditionally performed at midsummer with participants dancing around the maypole pretending to be frogs.
The dance’s relevance to Sweden is unknown as the melody is actually French and the original text is supposedly English. But it’s now seen as so typically Swedish that the Swedish Embassy in Paris even used it at one point as a test to determine whether Swedes should be allowed to renew their citizenship...
To ensure the day was not only fun but also educational everyone was tested on their Swedish general knowledge in a ‘walking quiz’ – commonly held in a park or garden where participants have to walk around to find the questions. The day certainly provided a lot of laughter both for me and the rest of the team, but hopefully, and most importantly, the £60 raised so far will put a smile on a child’s face. To help raise more, go to www.justgiving.com/hanna-ljunggren