On Sunday, Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended a Christmas party at “Our Neighbourhood” in snowy Asker. The Crown Princess, who was recently diagnosed with chronic pulmonary fibrosis, participated in the reception event at Dikemark asylum.
The “Our Neighbourhood” series has been organised by Oslo World and taken place throughout Norway this holiday season. The event on the Third Sunday of Advent was the twelfth in the series which began in Åse Kleveland.
According to the Norwegian Royal Court, “The festivals create common experiences around music, culture and food, and are a great way to get a little better known. In this way, Oslo World wishes to strengthen the link between asylum seekers and those living in the neighbourhood.”
The Crown Princess visits Christmas themed events in Asker. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court
Her Royal Highness received a tour of the festival area which included horse riding, Christmas creams and eplegolocks being served, and a Christmas performance by Solberg School’s pupils. The artists Kaja Gunnufsen, Majāz – Tempting Red, Sarah Ramin Osmundsen and Griot Brothers also provided entertainment.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit was also able to visit a Ngoni workshop where she saw children make an African string instrument.
“Our Neighbourhood” was initiated in 2014 and expanded in 2016. It aims to provide a meeting place for asylum seekers and others who come to Norway to meet and interact with their new Norwegian neighbours.
The Royal Court also explained, “Since 2009, Oslo World has invited residents from Norwegian asylum reception to its annual music festival. The measure has resulted in participation, volunteering and dialogue between asylum seekers, concert audiences and artists from around the world. For many of the residents who come without family and friends, the invitation to the festival has been of great importance.”
This was Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s final official engagement of 2018.