A simple principle for a special day
Lots of rain are pouring down over Warsaw.
Normally I wouldn’t have cared too much but we have the National Day upcoming June 6th. It would be nice to have a dry garden by then.
Additionally my wife and I will be celebrating our youngest daughter’s graduation early next week. Hence, we have become obsessed with Swedish weather forecast as well. And they are moving in all possible directions, for the moment in the wrong ones. Chilly and rainy – but you never know.
Unfortunately leaving for Sweden means that I will the miss the Equality Parade in Warsaw tomorrow though definitely being replaced by a colleague from the Embassy. LGBT-rights is otherwise an issue very close to my heart. But next year for sure.
The days behind me since my last blog have included some very memorable moments. We have had close friends arriving from Stockholm, spending some great days together with us and then leaving Warsaw with a totally different perspective, clearly enjoying the colours and culture of this lovely city. Just an afternoon Sunday Chopin concert in the Łazienki park is a beautiful memory to bring back to Sweden. And additionally we were able to jointly enjoy the victory of Swedish Loreen in the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku. Fantastic artist in many ways, also in her way to reach out to ordinary people and devoting her attention also to their situation and their rights, outside the glamour of artists and music.
My programme has been a mixture of external and internal activities.
Internally we have had quite a lot to do with preparing for Euro2012 (even if the Swedish team is playing in Ukraine). Information must i.a. be available on our website - which it is. And the consular preparedness must be finetuned – which it also is. Above all, I am quite convinced that this will be a great opportunity for even more Europeans to get familiar with the modern, dynamic Poland that is the reality of today.
Last week I attended a Scandinavistic conference in Ciążeń – on the way to Poznań. Teachers and students in Nordic languages from Warsaw and Poznań meet every second year and it really was a privilege to participate. I am always impressed by the high level of language skills among the students. I am myself trying to learn the other way around and have got acquainted with the challenges included in that process…
I started that specific day May 24th with making an introductory speech to a conference about health care – the challenges in Poland as well as experiences, products and services available from Sweden, among them the concept of Lean Healthcare fostering all stakeholders involved to act in symbiosis and thus being able use available resources with a high degree of efficiency. This was a joint undertaking by the Swedish Trade Council, Swecare and our Embassy. Clear interest noticeable from many actors present so I certainly look forward to the follow up.
At the same time very much of interest for Polish-Swedish relations is taking place in Stockholm these days. The new Minister of Environment Marcin Korolec visited his colleague Lena Ek two days ago, and Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak just some days earlier.
But I would not want to end this blog without noting the significance of this special day, June 1st – being Children’s Day (Dzień dziecka) and celebrated as such in many countries including Poland. My colleagues at the Embassy have given attention to this on our Facebook profile. http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-c%C3%B3%C5%BC-%C5%BCe-ze-Szwecji-Ambasada-Szwecji-w-Polsce/119085241483513
There is also information available through our Embassy website: http://www.swedenabroad.com/pl-PL/Embassies/Warsaw/O-Szwecji/Informacja-o-Szwecji-dla-dzieci/
I read the other day that the number of opponents of corporal punishment in Poland has risen from 42% to 51% over the last four years. Still a lot of advocacy work to do but an encouraging trend for sure. A good way of using this day would be to convince even more adults to adhere to one simple principle: Never ever violence against children.