It’s certainly interesting being a Swedish American and writing about the National Day of Sweden while in Berlin, Germany.
Maybe not so much as a kid growing up in the US, but as an adult, I’ve always felt skeptical about celebrating either of my home countries national day. It’s just so absurdly self-congratulatory, unreflective and fake.
Being proud about being born in Sweden or any other country is just silly and fuels more of the tribalism, nationalism and intolerance that’s sweeping across our planet these days.
Being proud means, at least to me, that you’ve achieved something significant or strived to reach a personal goal and succeeded. Like being a good role model for your children and seeing them grow up to become good people.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel genuinely fortunate to have lived most of my life in Sweden and it’s certainly a beautiful country with many wonderful traditions.
But I’m not proud about being a Swedish citizen. Because, inevitably, patriotism leads to people becoming seduced by the hype of their own superiority and often end up electing bigots and dictators. Look at Hungary, Polen, Turkey, the US and soon maybe even Sweden if the forthcoming election polls are an indication of how well the fascist party SD will actually do.