The US and the Latvian national hockey teams were playing an early round game in the World Championship in hockey that is currently held in Helsinki and Stockholm (May 3 -19 2013). The championships are split between the two cities the same way it was last year with the finals being played in the bigger arena in Stockholm, Sweden on May 19.
The game started out pretty uninspired and I can’t say that it was a very well played game from either side. One should keep in mind that these are the national teams and it was the second game in the tournament at least for the US, the guys are probably not used to each other at this point since the opportunities to train and play together have likely been very limited. Despite all that the US did what they needed to and were expected to do and won the game. This, despite the fact that it took a whole period and some to get any goals going, and the first goal was a Latvian goal. The US quickly came back, evened out and got ahead. After that there was never really any question which way the game was going. The Latvian fans lived up to their reputation of being among the loudest ones around, banging their drums and sounding their horns even long after all hope of being able to pull off an upset should have evaporated. I think this was a positive – at least in the face of victory.
Mayday or May 1 is traditionally a day when Labor organizations all over Europe have their day to walk in processions with signs spelling out their different demands or things they would like to affect changes in (demonstrations). In Helsinki Finland today there were many such events taking place with gatherings in some off the different town squares all over this beautiful city. The day was a perfect one, though maybe a tad windy, but the sun was shining down on everyone and the skies were nothing but blue – quite enjoyable.
Maybe this guy above right was here to cheer on the guy below.
Helsinki Finland is about 5200 miles east of New Orleans Louisiana, where Jazzfest is right now underway (April 26 – May 5 http://www.nojazzfest.com/). There are not really any similarities when compared to what goes on in this part of the world at the end of April. Traditionally in the Nordic countries there is a celebration of the arrival of spring. In Sweden for example there are bonfires and especially in the University town of Uppsala there are extensive student celebrations happening on the very last day of April. In Helsinki the celebrating is also extensive and especially so “student celebrations” – young and old. The more yellow stains your white capped student hat has – the higher the status of the person wearing it is.
Even the CHP (California Highway Patrol) had a unit at the ready in Helsinki on 4/30/2013. It would seem like budget cuts are not one of the CHP’s concerns.
The news in Europe today has been somewhat dominated by the enthroning of the first king in the Netherlands since 1890 after his mother Queen Beatrix abdicated today. The ceremony is being broadcast on many television stations throughout Europe. In Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam the ceremony is now underway to enthrone the new king and celebrations were ongoing in Amsterdam and other parts of the country. Many people were wearing orange colored pieces of clothing since this is the color of the house of Oranje, the current ruling dynasty’s color. One can certainly discuss the merits of having the monarchy system in these times, it clearly seems out of the times to me, thoough this particular and many other Royal families still have a wide support among their “subjects”. The ceremony was not a crowning of the new king, but just an enthroning because the Netherlands does not crown their kings. The new king wants to be known as “a man of the people” and has said that people do not need to address him in any certain manner (your royal highness) but can call him by his name if they want to.