A symbol looking for a meaning

It’s fine to love your country. There’s just little need to turn it into a cult. History has shown us many times that patriotism and nationalism taken to the extreme can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Today, June 6, is Sweden’s national day. It’s been a national holiday all way back since … 2005. Why? Don’t ask a Swede, hardly anybody knows what we’re celebrating. Or rather, very few celebrate at all. Nobody knows why, how or what?

The simple truth is that we’re having a national day because Norway has one, and of course France and the USA. The French and the Americans celebrate the freedom and independence of the people, their respective revolutions. Norway – well, they’re celebrating that they became free of the Swedes.

We’re also celebrating a national day to shut-up the voices on the far right demanding we have one. Now we do. The most honorable thing we could do as citizens is therefore to head to each municipality’s welcoming ceremony for new citizens, refugees and immigrants that have found a new home in Sweden.

I just checked Wikipedia to see what we’re celebrating. And sure, it’s the crowning of king Gustav Vasa 1523. That’s a long time ago. Apparently they also signed some kind of government declaration in 1809, depriving the monarch of his power. It’s funny that we first celebrate the crowning of a king and the impotence of another.

So, today I didn’t go to work. I didn’t go to the welcoming ceremony because no one in the family wanted to join me. So, I went for a walk. I got bitten by a tick. Not much of a celebration and no meaning whatsoever.

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