All too often, local fans are dismayed when ‘one of their own’ makes it big, only to forget where they came from. Not Emmelie de Forest, who has become a special ambassador for her home town of Mariager in Jutland, Denmark.
Emmelie has been chosen to represent Mariager in its rebranding as a Cittaslow town, part of a movement which began in Italy, and has since spread to other European countries. Cittaslow is closely connected with the slow food phenomenon of recent years, which shuns hectic, transnational corportatism in favour of more localised, authentic ways of life. The driving philosophy of the scheme is to improve quality of life through slowing down the pace of life, aiming to reconfigure the spaces and flows of urban life for the better.
Having grown up in Mariager, Emmelie is the perfect advert for small-town success. Spokesperson for Cittaslow in Mariager, Mette Bay Velling, extols the virtues of the town as a safe and cultured place to grow up. It is certainly a place that nurtured young Emmelie to great places. On Thursday night, a party was held to celebrate her appointment, and she now becomes the face of Cittaslow in Mariager as the town presents itself as a great place to live in. For if such towns can produce the stuff of Eurovision wins, what is there to dislike?