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Greta Thunberg’s mother is a former Eurovision contestant and Twitter is ecstatic

‘Makes me like Greta more’

Katie O'Malley
Thursday 25 April 2019 11:02 BST
Sweden's Malena Ernman sings 'La Voix' at 2009 Eurovision Song Contest

Fans of climate change activist Greta Thunberg have taken to social media to express their elation at learning the teenager is the daughter of a former Eurovision star.

On Wednesday, Guido Fawkes – a website founded by right-wing political blogger Paul Staines – published an article about Thunberg’s relation to former Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman.

Ernman represented Sweden in 2009 at the international song competition in Moscow, Russia with her single La Voix.

In the article, the unnamed writer makes note of the family connection between Ernman and Thunberg, suggesting the latter’s growing success is a sign of the teenager’s “privilege”.

“Who could have guessed that yet another climate activist comes from an incredibly privileged background…” reads a segment from the article.

Despite the article’s seemingly negative tone, fans of the star have been keen to share their joy after discovering the pair's familial connection.

“I didn’t think it was possible to have any more adoration for @GretaThunberg than I already do,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Then I discover her mum was on @Eurovision & my mind is blown. And it’s not that it has any bearing on her brilliance, it’s just a fact that warms my heart [sic].”

Malena Ernman of Sweden, performs during the final of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 16, 2009 in Moscow, Russia (Getty Images)

“I genuinely don't understand how, even the minds of these guys, Greta Thunberg's mum being a Eurovision winner is somehow an automatic disqualification,” added another.

Another tweeted: “Makes me like Greta more!! This is one of my favourite ever performances on #Eurovision #GretaThunberg.”

“I feel some Greta Thunberg critics have vastly underestimated the power of Eurovision. They've made her roughly a gazillion times cooler,” posted one fan.

“I'm absolutely DEAD that Greta Thunberg's mum is Malena Ernman - the performer of literally my favourite ever Eurovision song - the ETERNALLY slept on 2009 popera classic La Voix (which I also do a perfect at-pitch rendition of in case you were all wondering) [sic],” one user wrote.

Like her daughter, Ernman is also a climate activist and regularly posts about threats to the environment on social media.

In an interview with Swedish talk show TV4 Nyhetsmorgon last week, Ernman opened up about receiving death threats as a result of Thunberg’s increasing popularity.

“[The hardest part is] to receive as much criticism and hatred and threats as we get, to keep both children healthy and also get some sleep in between,” Ernman said, in relation to her daughters, Greta and Beata.

She added: “I am first and foremost a mom, and I can see that my daughter is happy... I react like a mother. I get worried, happy and proud.”

The appreciation for Thunberg and her mother’s musical talents comes a day after the activist explained how the “gift” of living with Asperger syndrome helps her “see things from outside the box” when it comes to climate change.

In an interview with presenter Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, the Swedish student said the disorder helps her see things in “black and white”.

“It makes me different, and being different is a gift, I would say,” she told Robinson.

“It also makes me see things from outside the box. I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things.”

According to Autism NI, Asperger syndrome falls within the autism disorder spectrum.

Those who have been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome may not have the same learning disabilities that some people who have autism sometimes experience, such as difficulties or delays with speech.

However, some people with Asperger syndrome may still have some learning difficulties and can find it hard to comprehend or process language at times, the National Autistic Society (NAS) outlines.

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