A small band began to play and lead a procession from the clearing down the main street to the harbor, followed first by people in national costumes from both the east coast and west coast. Eventually the beautiful costumes of colorful glass beads and sealskin began to mix in with people wearing more modern clothing while holding and waving flags, cheering as they followed the music downhill, and those who had been along the sides of the road watching the initial procession joined in at the end.
Once the group reached Colonial Harbor it fanned out around the podium where the political leaders gave speeches in Danish and Greenlandic and a choir sang festive songs. Despite understanding very little Danish and no Greenlandic, the atmosphere was comfortable and welcoming and I didn’t for one moment feel out of place being a foreigner in the festivities.
After the choir finished singing and the canons were fired, scaring the wits out of everyone waiting in the crowd (and the few kayakers who had decided they would get a better view from the water looked as though they were about to leap into the ocean themselves), the crowd started winding back up the road towards town.
A good sized group split off at the church for religious proceedings while the majority walked back up to City Hall. The municipality had set up tables and chairs with people manning tables with coffee, tea, bread, cheese, and butter for everyone. People walked all about eating breakfast and shaking strangers’ hands with a sturdy ‘Congratulations’, from the heart.