Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Fyris Chamber Choir, Fair Trade and isiZulu

With this blogpost I am touching on a number of issues at the same time. I am sure that the heading indicates that.

First of all. Saturday 28 April our Fair Trade Shop Globalen will serve coffee, tea and biscuits to its customers. In Swedish this is called
Lördag means Saturday. Fika is a concept which is not easily translated into English. It describes the whole activity when two or more persons drink coffee and tea together. It is usually one of the first words you learn when you visit Sweden. We arrange Lördagsfika once a month and it has become an important activity in our calendar. More customers come to the shop which means that we sell more fair trade products. This is of course our main objective. But equally important is to create a good atmosphere in the shop and in our organisation. We are very happy to have two competent halftime employees in our shop but a lot of work is also done by volunteers. I see a number of volunteers in the shop these Saturdays. And we also experience that it is a good opportunity to recruit new volunteers.

Well, Saturday 28 April the choir in which my wife and I sing, Fyris Chamber Choir, will sing outside our shop. At 1 pm. The program will be traditional. This is the beginning of a long weekend where Sweden celebrates springtime. 30 April is a very special day in Sweden and especially in Uppsala. Engineering and Science students arrange a dramatic River Rafting activity in the middle of the medieval city in the morning. In the afternoon all students gather outside the University Library and following the Vice Chancellor’s example all don their white student caps simultaneously exactly at 3 pm. Directly after one of the oldest choirs, OD, sings traditional spring songs at the same place. After many ball dinners in different venues all gather outside the castle at 9 pm when the oldest student choir, Allmänna Sången, sings the same traditional spring songs. This short concert is every year broadcasted in radio.

From 2018 I hope that we have founded a new tradition. Fyris Chamber Choir sings spring songs outside Fair Trade Shop Globalen. Future will show.

So, what about isiZulu? I was reading a book, looking for some other information, when I coincidently found an old translation of one of our spring songs, in isiZulu. Well, to be honest, it is not a translation – it is a new text. If I understand it correctly it is a text about rain. The coming of rain in South Africa is easy to compare with the coming of spring in Sweden. Therefore I am convinced that Hedvig Posse, who wrote the text, if not translating literally captured the essence of the song with her new text. Hedvig Posse was a Swedish missionary in South Africa from 1887 until her retirement.

To sing this text outside the Fair Trade shop will be one small example of the fact that contacts between countries are important. In the end of the nineteenth century (and for many years) Sweden sent missionaries to South Africa. Today South Africa send Fair Trade products to Sweden. Time changes but the strong links remain.

Vill Du lyssna på några takter ur sången, från en av våra repetitioner, så kommer den här:

If one of my isiZulu speaking readers could read through the text and tell me what you think about the text I would be thankful. And also about our pronunciation in the short video clip.

No comments: