When you hear or talk about Sweden, among the wide range of adjectives imperatively used in attributing this northern country, would be the contemporary traits that have come to define Sweden – multiculturalism and egalitarian. Last weekend, in quite a spectacular way these traits were epitomised in Gothenburg with a carnival and a parade.
These gorgeous events flaunted the diversity, ethos, culture, heritage and struggle of peoples from not just within Sweden, and not just the majority genders, but it encompassed many nations and all genders! As John Oliver would say, the world it appeared, had become a better place in the last week.
The Hammarkullen carnival, is an annual event going on since 1974, just at the edge of Gothenburg in Hammarkullen. Mostly, the diverse fraternity of immigrants who have settled in Sweden use this as an opportunity to showcase their culture with dance, music and food. In an un-routinely manner, the carnival was crowded – a loveable mayhem, noisy, colourful and it almost felt like India in the most earnest and adorable fashion. These unions were primarily from Latin America, and was a spectable to witness their native dance – Samba, with their glittering attire and the unmissable sombrero. The carnival is one of its kind, and brags to be the largest at least in Scandinavia.
The West Pride parade, which I had already hinted about in my previous posts finally happened again last weekend. The entire week was commemorated as LGBT Pride Week, with the local transport buses and trams carrying the rainbow flag, and almost the entire city was showing the solidarity by hoisting the rainbow flags. The parade kicked off from Gotaplatsen near the Poseidon and carried on. The sheer diversity of people, the expression of love and camaraderie was heart warming. The event again must have attracted a few thousand participants and many more supporters tagging along the street as the parade proceeded. The struggle of the LBGT population is a legally vindicated one in Sweden. This event was not only a celebration of this triumph, but a reminder to rest of the world to stand up for equal rights.
The indomitable spirit of humanity, captured over a couple of events, in not surprisingly – Sweden.