Swedish Ways: Första maj

The first of May, första maj, is a red letter day in Sweden. Emphasis on red. You could stay at home nursing a hangover from last night’s Valborg-celebrations, or you could go out and join a demonstration.

May 1st is the international labourers’ day (or something like that) and the labour union movement in Sweden has traditionally been very strong, if perhaps slightly on the decline in recent years. There was a famous riot in Ådalen in 1931, made into a film by Lasse Hallström or someone. We saw it in class once upon a time.

So on the first day of May, it’s common to have political rallies and speeches and demonstrations, because Socialism is kind of a big deal in my home country.

(If you can’t distinguish between Socialism and Communism, go educate yourself now. Seriously. Especially if you think Socialism “doesn’t work”. Do your homework.)

Anyway. Happy May Day; go stick it to the man!

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