Showing posts from June, 2020

More on holidays: glad midsommar and happy Juneteenth

Glad midsommar (happy mid-summer eve!)... like most Swedish holidays, you celebrate the day before. Friday, 19 June is Sweden's midsommar holiday. We had been looking forward to celebrating- perhaps inviting ourselves to someone's family celebration and joining in. Heck, we even managed to learn at least some of the dance moves for a few of the songs. Alas, it is not to be. Reading reports about Sweden yesterday, the lines were out the door at the systembolaget (the state run alcohol store). People were trying to figure out what to do for midsommar- normally a raucous revelry of a lot of friends and family dancing around a maypole. From watching the facebook page for our neighborhood, people are planning to shelter in place to some extent- our local produce market asked for reservations for the much sought after strawberries, a key piece of the midsommar meal.  Today is also Juneteenth in the U.S.- June 19th, or the day that the final slaves in Galveston, Texas were fr

Racism, the murder of Olof Palme, and #shutdownSTEM

A thunderstorm just passed overhead, rain running in sheets off the road and into the nearby field. The crash of the storm seems to echo events in society- cataclysms of noise and maybe change. Today in Sweden, they announced a suspect in a 30 year old case in the murder of Olof Palme . Who is Olof Palme? He was perhaps one of Sweden's more famous prime ministers, killed in Feb. 1986 at the age of 59. Anxious to preserve normal life as much as possible, he and his wife Lisbeth had gone out to a movie with family members and they were shot on their way home as they walked through Stockholm's streets (sans body guard). In perhaps Sweden's most famous unsolved murders, there were more than 134 confessions of the crime , one person previously convicted but then exonerated, and now the announcement of a closed case this morning. While big news in Sweden, why should anyone else care? Palme was apparently outspoken as a prime minister, drawing attention to the colonial past of