Friday, June 11, 2010

Sweden Takes another step toward Eurabia

June 6th is known as Sweden’s Independence Day (or Swedish Flag Day) when Swedish traditions and culture are celebrated.  Swedish Independence Day was declared as a commemoration of the coronation of Gustav Vasa in 1523. During recent years this tradition  has taken a bizarre turn—in some places in Sweden today, Swedish Independence Day is celebrated mainly with Kurdish and Arabic folk music.

Swedish Independence Day is a minor, pleasant holiday for the average Swede; since 2005 it has been recognized as a national holiday, which makes it more appreciated (as a day off!). During the celebrations, the king of Sweden traditionally gives a speech and Swedes nostalgically recall their past. Traditional Swedish celebrations are held in many communities; people often dress up in their national costume and join in Swedish folk dancing and music. The day has no religious content—it’s merely a way to uphold traditions celebrating Swedish culture and history.

Yet during the last couple of years, this tradition seems to have taken a new twist. In 2007, the Malmö community hosted a Swedish Independence theme day at the Islamic Center in Malmö. Boys and girls dressed in Swedish national clothes were celebrating Swedish culture in a Mosque.
This year, the municipality in Sandviken has decided to take the tradition one step further and completely eliminate the Swedish theme, instead celebrating Swedish tradition by playing Kurdish and Arabic folk music. This is most probably a way to celebrate the “new multicultural” Sweden.

This is the program from the event:

14.30 National Anthem, Ida Sanderson
14.35 Sandviken’s men choir
14.50 Arabic and Kurdish folk music.
15.05 This year’s multicultural prize is handed out by Mona Davik from the growth council. 
15.50 Kuridish folk music

Obviously, all people in Sweden have a right to and should celebrate their cultural background, including the native Swedes. For this reason, a traditional Swedish holiday should not be wholly transformed into a festival of foreign culture.  Something is wrong when native Swedes feel that they must largely set aside their own culture in order to make their national day palatable to immigrants. As it is highly unlikely that immigrants will use their holidays as an occasion for Swedish folk dancing, it seems that Swedes should preserve their native traditions on their national day. There is no reason why immigrants should not join in the festivities of their adopted land—or at least observe respectfully. When Swedish Independence Day tradition is largely supplanted by celebrations in mosques accompanied by Arabic and Kurdish folk music one must wonder what the next step Sweden will take toward  Eurabia.

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