Today is Sweden’s National Day. Brian spent the day out fishing with his colleagues (whether they caught anything I don’t know, because he was fast asleep on the couch when I came home – that’s what fresh air does to you!) and I went to the movies with my friend Linnea (watching the Hunger games). Simply a good day off!
As in many European countries, xenophobia is growing here, even gaining political ground these days. Throughout the years the racists have been using the Swedish flag as their symbol, almost taking it over so profoundly that Swedes in general have felt awkward about their national flag. I couldn’t watch any of the country wide celebrations today but I have a strong feeling we’re slowly taking it back and it makes me happy. I was also happy to see many tributes, nice words and reflections about our beautiful country on Facebook and Twitter today. As one of our most famous comedians wrote; “My family is Swedish-Norwegian-Finnish-American-Colombian-christian-jewish-muslim-hetero-homo – and we’re all Swedes! Happy National Day, everyone!” which 22 715 people have liked on Facebook so far. Another comedian tweeted “Thank you Sweden, I love you! A lot can get better, but more importantly, a lot could get much worse. I promise to fight for it not to.” But my favourite tribute was written by a friend on Facebook; “Shake that booty, Sweden, because you have such a goodlooking butt!”
Someone else pointed out that maybe it’s the Swedes of foreign origin who celebrate the most today. Because they’ve experienced the contrasts. We were advised to put a Swedish flag on the car for the trip. So that we’re not assumed to come from countries with other foreign policy agendas, such as – uhm – war. “And also, everyone you meet has a relative in Sweden.”
We don’t do everything right, but the way the world is these days I like the fact that we open up to people in need. I’m proud of that.