On Saturday evening, Princess Astrid, Mrs Ferner attended the annual Dissimilis’ Christmas Concert at Bærum Culture House just outside the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The Princess is the protector of Dissimilis and always attends their Christmas show.
Bærum’s Deputy Mayor, Siw Wikan and Secretary-General, Benjamin Zahl Bergem welcomed the Princess when she arrived at the Culture House in Sandvika. Adrian Brode Hefel presented the Princess with a large bouquet of flowers before the concert began.
As Dissimilis writes: “The performance invites reflection and thoughts about the many things that can easily disappear in the busy time leading up to Christmas. The content is new every year and is stitched together for thoughts and input from the students at the competence centre, according to what they associate with Christmas. This gives an evening of something too big and small, too old and young. Not just traditional Christmas songs, but a light mix of songs, dance and music that together create a narrative where the stories, songs and messages that belong to Christmas grow.”
As a protector of Dissimilis, Princess Astrid has followed the organisation for many years. In 2015, Princess Astrid had to cancel her visit to Dissimili’s Christmas show, which she later described as very sad. The reason for this rare break in a long-standing tradition was because the Princess, unfortunately, had a cold.
Dissimilis is a cultural organisation for people with mental disabilities. Dissimilis has worked actively for more than 30 years for people with disabilities to have a place in the cultural landscape and in society as equal. In Norway, they have around 700 members distributed in 85 groups. In addition, the organisation has groups in other countries such as Sweden, Spain, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Russia.
Princess Astrid of Norway is King Olav V and Crown Princess Märtha’s second daughter and King Harald V’s sister. During the first years of King Olav’s reign, Princess Astrid assisted her father with representational duties and was the country’s ‘first lady.’ The Princess still takes on some official representation tasks for the Royal Family.