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Norway’s ambassador treasures wonderful intersection of culture with Phl

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Text and photos by Marinel Peroy

The celebration of the 75 years of bilateral relations between Norway and Philippines is just beginning, and it is apparent that the best is yet to come.

Just recently, Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Christian Halaas Lyster organized an intimate event with the media dubbed as “North of the Ordinary – A Norway-Philippines Lifestyle Event” at his Makati residence to showcase not just about the rich Norwegian culture but also the wonderful intersection of their with the Philippines.

Guests were given a tour beyond gastronomic experience with Ambassador Lyster shared Norwegian designs, this gathering seamlessly wove together the values rooted in both Norway and the Philippines: home, simplicity, and kos, a concept that encapsulates the cozy warmth of life’s simple pleasures with representatives from the media.

Kos: Where Warmth Meets Simplicity In Norwegian culture

Kos is a cherished concept, much like a warm cup of coffee on a chilly morning or the comfort of staying cozy during a rainy day. This theme was beautifully embodied in the event, where every detail, from the venue’s interior design to the warm smiles of the attendees exuded kos.

The interior design of the residence all the way from Norway was a testament to minimalism — from chairs, and tables, to walls — emphasizing clean lines, natural materials, and an atmosphere that beckoned guests to relax and enjoy the moment. One of the highlights of the evening was the opportunity to meet and engage with Ambassador Lyster.

In the intimate setting of the ambassador’s residence, attendees had a unique chance to delve into the historical and contemporary aspects of the relationship between these two nations.

“Everything you see here [in my residence] is Norwegian. The tables, the chairs, the sofas, the carpets, the paintings, the lamps, the curtains, even the wallpaper… originally it’s from Norway. Why is this important? Because there’s so much more coming out in Norway than renewable energy, shipping, and seafood. We also have an innovative cuisine, a vibrant environment for arts and culture, and cutting-edge design,” said Ambassador Lyster.

Moreover, it has been shared that Norwegian premium paint brand Jotun will be expanding in the Philippines located in three respective cities of Cebu, Ortigas, and Makati, as shared by General Manager Rohan Shetty.

Indeed, Kos is being represented in the shared values, experiences, and the beauty of life’s simpler pleasures of structural designs to the people.

Culinary Brilliance

The culinary aspect of the event was a true fusion of cultures. Chef Dominic Vergara, who has Michelin-starred experience and owns Kain-Neo Filipino Bistro in Oslo, took guests on a gastronomic journey. His creations, inspired by Filipino and Norwegian flavors for Salmon Kinilaw, Trout Ginataan, and Palabok Negra dishes, left taste buds tingling with delight.

Sharing a feast on the #SeafoodfromNorway, other Norwegian foods were served ranging from Norweigan salmon station and tiger prawns, baked cod with boiled potatoes and carrots in white sauce, traditional gingerbread and butter cookies, cinnamon buns, to traditional ribbe with fried apples.

And, I am not exaggerating on this one but – the Medisterkaker Meat Balls food was my personal favorite! It’s definitely a must-try. From mingling with esteemed guests with wine to savoring these finest delicacies, the event was nothing short of extraordinary.

Bridging Cultures with Harmony

HILLARI, a Norwegian-Filipino artist, is taking the music world by storm. At just 18 years old, she embarked on a dedicated musical journey in late 2021, and her extraordinary talent quickly gained industry recognition. In 2022, she graced 16 concerts in Norway and Canada, all before officially releasing her music, a testament to her remarkable stage presence.

HILLARI, Norwegian-Filipino artist provides enchanting entertainment during the event.

Her magnetic artistry has attracted major record labels worldwide, eager to collaborate with this young sensation who seamlessly combines her Norwegian and Filipino heritage into a harmonious fusion of sounds and stories. Her journey is an inspiring testament to the global reach of music talent and the power of bridging cultural boundaries through music. Through serenading the guests with Loyal and Fall Into Place songs, her dual heritage was not only reflected in her music but also in celebrating the connection she established with the audience.

Listen to HILLARI’s soulful tunes by following her on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music accounts.

Diplomacy and Design

As the event concluded, guests left with a profound sense of the rich cultural tapestry that has developed over 75 years of diplomatic ties.

My posterity photo with His Excellency Ambassador Christian Halaas Lyster, a very good friend of THEPHILBIZNEWS

The “North of the Ordinary” successfully showcased the warmth of the bilateral relations, the fusion of culinary traditions, and the promise of a shared future with Norway and Philippine relations.

Indeed, these bonds between nations go beyond mere diplomacy; they encompass music, food, art, and the lasting impression of unity—showcasing Norway’s extraordinary culture in the country.

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