Welcome to the Watching the Swedes Advent Calendar. Every day, I will open a window containing a Swedish word that has something to do with Christmas and its approaching weeks.
Today’s word is ‘Musikhjälpen‘ which translates as Music Aid.
For the last 12 years, the radio/tv program ‘Musikhjälpen’ has become a traditional part of the lead up to Christmas. In this program, 3 presenters are locked into a glass ‘cage’ on a city square somewhere in Sweden. They are sleep deprived and only allowed to eat liquids. From the cage, they broadcast radio and tv round the clock for 6 days until they are released – which is happening today.
The program is a fund raising event and people up and down the country request songs and make donations, or carry out a range of fund raising activities. At most, the event has raised a staggering 74,410,363 SEK in 2017.
Every year the theme is different; this year the theme is ‘sex is not a weapon’.
Throughout the years, many of Sweden’s music and media celebrities have taken on the challenge of incarceration, such as singers Sara Dawn Finer, Daniel Adams-Ray and Linnea Henriksson, and rappers Petter and Timbuktu. This year, popular singer Miriam Bryant is locked in together with radio host Farah Abadi and comedian Daniel Hallberg.
The program is based on an original format called Serious Request from Holland and is an amazing display of charity just a couple of weeks before Christmas.