Nationalism. I don't like that word. Too many negative connotations throughout history, too much egoism, greed and intolerance. And still, when it comes to Midsummer, I feel very Swedish.
I feel proud of our Swedish Midsummer traditions, the way we celebrate the height of the summer, the light, the long summer nights. I mean... can you blame us? After what seems like an eternal, dark, cold winter with short days and depressing darkness, Summer comes as a welcome relief, a breathing space. Laid back Swedes let their hair down and enjoy each other's company in a feast celebrating this short period of light. Ok, this solstice indulgence is very much alcohol induced, I grant you. However, that is probably what it takes for us Swedes to show our inner emotions. Italians we are not.
Anyway. What I really wanted to say is that I think we become more nationalistically inclined the longer we stay away from our native country. I was never that bothered about celebrating Midsummer when I lived in Sweden. But now, after soon 13 years away from what I still call home, I'm making the most of this weekend. My Swedish flag is on the table, it's pickled herring if I can find it, salmon, prawns and lots of dill.