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Eel parties are Gold Ambassadors of the Year

Eight eel huts in Kristianstad have been selected as the Gold Ambassadors of the Year by Kristianstad municipality. "This means a lot to us," says eel fisherman Hånsa Olofsson
Max Svensson, Mats Svensson, Bo Hellström, Magnus Carlsson, Hånsa Olofsson and Sven-Erik Tenghagen from different eel huts accepted the awards. They then sang the "Eel fishers waltz".
Max Svensson, Mats Svensson, Bo Hellström, Magnus Carlsson, Hånsa Olofsson and Sven-Erik Tenghagen from different eel huts accepted the awards. They then sang the "Eel fishers waltz".
Foto: Lasse Ottosson
The Golden Jubilee Gala was cancelled this year. It was, therefore, a smaller ceremony where the eel fishermen were handed their awards at Tvillingaboden.
The Golden Jubilee Gala was cancelled this year. It was, therefore, a smaller ceremony where the eel fishermen were handed their awards at Tvillingaboden.
Foto: Lasse Ottosson

With the explanatory statement: “only the word evokes tastes, smells and feelings in everyone who has ever been involved", Municipal Councillor, Pierre Månsson (L), began the awards ceremony.

– The municipality wants to nominate these huts as Gold Ambassadors of the Year 2020. Through their eel parties, they carry on an invaluable cultural heritage and show world-class hosting, the explanatory statement continued.

The eel is critically endangered. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that researchers managed to find the eels hangouts in the Sargasso Sea. Stock Image.
The eel is critically endangered. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that researchers managed to find the eels hangouts in the Sargasso Sea. Stock Image.

– This means a lot to us. It’s like a degree certificate of what all of us eel fishermen have done along the coast, says Mats Svensson, who runs Frisebodaboden with his brother Max Svensson.

quote
We have ensured that eel fishing remains, that the eel heritage exists and we now have an interest in the eel
The oldest eel huts date back to the 18th century. And Ålagille (an eel party) is an ancient tradition, a party where you eat different eel dishes. Ålagille is held in the autumn. Here, with Hånsa Olofsson in Tvillingaboden. Stock Image.
The oldest eel huts date back to the 18th century. And Ålagille (an eel party) is an ancient tradition, a party where you eat different eel dishes. Ålagille is held in the autumn. Here, with Hånsa Olofsson in Tvillingaboden. Stock Image.
Foto: Tommy Svensson
Municipal Councillors Peter Johansson (M) and Pierre Månsson (L) hand out the award. The eel huts can keep hold of the trophy for the year.
Municipal Councillors Peter Johansson (M) and Pierre Månsson (L) hand out the award. The eel huts can keep hold of the trophy for the year.
Foto: Lasse Ottosson

What have you done?

– We have ensured that eel fishing remains, that the eel heritage exists and we now have an interest in the eel. No one else has done it other than us eel fishermen ourselves.

quote
”This might mean that even more politicians in the Parliament will pay attention to what we’re doing,

Hans-Inge "Hånsa" Olofsson is also delighted with the award.

– This might mean that even more politicians in the Riksdag (Parliament) will pay attention to what we’re doing, that they allow for generational change so that the eel heritage can live on.

The eel huts that have been selected as Gold Ambassadors in Kristianstad municipality are Revhaksboden, Nilsaboden, Gropaboden, Oswalds bod, Lotteriboden, Tvillingaboden, Frisebodaboden and Holmaboden.

Several people from the municipality wanted to take the opportunity to take a selfie with the legendary eel fisherman Hånsa Olofsson.
Several people from the municipality wanted to take the opportunity to take a selfie with the legendary eel fisherman Hånsa Olofsson.
Foto: Lasse Ottosson
Smoked eel.
Smoked eel.
Foto: LEIF R JANSSON / TT