Today, the 6th of June, is the Swedish national day celebrations. Which is awkward. We didn´t use to have one, at least not so that anyone noticed. We used to be off at Whit Monday, and they changed that to 6th of June a few years ago, to the bewilderment and anger of some (most), who thought it was just a political scam to take from us a guaranteed 3-day weekend every year.
Our immigrants have led the way, I understand many of them are happy to be here, having fled oppression or poverty or both, and seize the opportunity to celebrate and express gratitude for that. But we are still not very good at it. It feels like a government scheme, like a dictate to make us grateful for what we don´t have, or never missed. We always hear how good the Norweigians are at celebrating the 17th of May, and what do they celebrate? Their freedom from the oppressive Swedish government!
Most Swedes can´t even sing the national anthem. We try it sometimes when we are abroad, and always get lost in the second verse. "I want to live and die in the North" - well, many Swedes dream of spending their old age in Spain or Thailand, to be honest. And to be "un-Swedish" is the highest praise. It´s means you are not taciturn and boring, but gregarious and fun.
Personally, I spent the day sleeping, in bed and on the sofa, with a break to go see mum-in-law at the hospital. Those who did celebrate will have had a great day, though, the weather is smashing, as it has been since Ascension day, practically. The bird-cherry has come and gone already. I hope summer continues like this!
When I read through the above, I realized something was missing, and I had to look up the reason why the 6th of June is our national day. According to Wikipedia it´s the day when Gustav Vasa was elected
king in 1523 and Sweden became independent from the Danes. So we were under oppression after all, then. Too long ago, I´m afraid. Our years as a dominant European power in the 17th Century inflated our national ego, and I´m afraid that is long since forgotten. We have ruled the Danes more recently than they ruled us!