Today, June 6, is Sweden’s “national day.”  Our 4th of July, our 14 juillet. This is the first year I’ve been in Sweden on the national day. When I last lived here — in 1994 — there was no such thing. Only something called “the day of the Swedish flag,” which everyone ignored, and it wasn’t a national holiday either. They started this national day business in my absence, and I strongly object!

I used to be proud of my country and above all I was very proud to belong to a country that didn’t have a “national day.” A country that didn’t hoist its flag and beat itself on the chest and call itself better than other countries and draw distinctions between Swedes and immigrants. Whatever still is great about this country is immesurably cheapened by this nationalistic nonsense. Besides, as Diane points out, national days are the days when the nation celebrates its liberation from foreign oppression (July 4) or from a nasty monarchy (July 14), but Sweden was never occupied by foreigners and we still have a monarchy. There is consequently nothing for the nation to celebrate.

I will never go along with this stupidity. June 6th next year I’m spending in Denmark.

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