We barely just got home from Oslo before the World Cup in South Africa started. Ok, football and the Eurovision Song Contest are two entirely different things, but the similarities are enough to make me cheer with the same red and white flag I used in Oslo.
A big part of the Eurovision Song Contest is hoping and sometimes praying that your country will do well. I hear many say that they don’t want their own country to win if it isn’t with a song they genuinely feel is the best of them all. Maybe this is true for some, but I suspect most from just kidding themselves. Whether we want to admit it or not many of us are nationalistic and there is nothing wrong with that. We live in an open world where refugees and plain simple immigrants make all of our countries multicultural. Today it is quite easy to settle down in which ever country we want to and for some the more foreigners who lives around them the more eager to hold on to their national symbols they become. I myself am proud to be Danish and I see nothing wrong with waving the red and white Danish flag whenever possible.
For many of us a bit part of our identity is connected to our nationality. In today’s multicultural societies it is only natural if we feel the need to distinguish ourselves based on which country we are from. It is not often we have the chance to wave our flag so why not do it when we compete against other countries? Yes, I know many will now have an urge to correct me by saying that it is broadcasters participating in the Eurovision Song Contest and not countries, but fact is that only one broadcaster from each country can participate and fact is also that the participating artists are being presented as representing the country which you also see mentioned on the TV screen. The points are also being given to countries so yes, for me it is a completion between countries and I will be waving my flag in support of whoever represents my country.
The Eurovision Song Contest, but also the World Cup is a major completion where countries are up against each other. In football the country only wins the honour of being able to call themselves World Champions. In the Eurovision Song Contest the country also wins the honour of hosting the next contest. No matter if I genuinely believe Denmark had the best song or not I would be proud to be able to welcome friends from all around to visit my country next year.
I can’t describe how I felt at the beginning of the voting in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final. Most of us Danish fans were sitting together and I think we all felt extremely proud when first Ireland and then Romania gave us 12 points. Aside from cheering like crazy because the camera was on us we did manage to look at each other and no words were needed. All of us had this feeling of “I was there when it happened”. Yes, it turned out to be a bit too soon, but at that time we were not able to think realistically about how many countries were still left to announce their votes. We were in a bobble of happiness where there wasn’t space for such thoughts and there certainly wasn’t space for thoughts about whether or not Denmark had the best song. We were Danish, the Danish song received 12 points and that was all there was to think about. Nothing else mattered.
The flag you saw me waving there on TV will be waved again in the coming weeks starting from tomorrow where Denmark plays its first match against the Netherlands. You can be damn sure that I will be proud of the result should we win with the Netherlands having most of the play. It doesn’t matter in the long run. The result counts and I am cheering for my own country just as I will be cheering for Denmark to win in Germany next year – without knowing the song. Yes, I am able to appreciate another country winning with a good song, but I will not hide in shame should my country win with a song I considered less good. Kom så, Danmark!