The Midsummer Pole in Biskopsgården was raised on thursday but the next morning it was promptly sawn down and thrown away. “Midsummer didn’t last long in Biskopsgården” – says Tito Rojas, who arranged the celebration.
The celebration started on Thursday when 50 children danced to traditional Midsummer songs.
Identity is important. Many who live here do not feel as though they are a part of Swedish culture, some feel as if they don’t even live in Sweden. I am a father to two children and I want them to cherish that which exists in Sweden, which I think me and my wife have been successful at. If you live in a country you should adapt to the culture of the majority.
Tito’s initiative was unfortunately not appreciated by everyone.
It was pretty [the maypole] and the thought was to have it standing for a couple of days. But this morning someone had sawn it down, says Tito.
After searching the neighborhood the maypole was found in bushes approximately 20 metres from where it was raised.
One can speculate about what has happened. But it shows the atmosphere in Biskopsgården, says Tito Rojas, who feels deeply disappointed.
Celebrating Midsummer is the biggest and arguably the most important Swedish tradition. It was common in Biskopsgården during the 80’s and 90’s but has strangely ceased during the past few years. My guess is that a large segment of the population in this particular suburb are busy celebrating a new tradition which happens to coincide with Midsummer this year.
In Biskopsgården Ramadan is observed in ever school and every pre-school. But Midsummer celebrations are taboo, in pre-school it isn’t allowed to be mentioned.
Coincidentally there has been quite a bit of ISIS recruitment in Biskopsgården, a neighborhood which also happens to be mentioned alongside 54 others in a police report dubbed “areas where criminal networks have a large influence on civil society”.
Following the shooting in March, whereas two masked gunment stormed a restaurant with Kalashnikovs leaving two killed and more than 10 injured, the Prime Minister visited to pay his respects to the victims.
He was not given a particularily warm welcome.