When you are still in your first year in a new place, you are still in a space where everything excites you, even the national day. I do not remember celebrating my home country’s national day with much enthusiasm. I blame the 40 degree and 80% humidity that is so characteristic of the monsoon season around that particular time of year. We do go green though with our clothes, shalwar, qameez, dupatta, t-shirts and all, but end up watching the ceremonies from the comfort of our TV lounge couches while trying to keep ourselves cool.
The Swedish national day couldn’t have come at a better time. I had just graduated. I was having an old friend from med school stay over at my place. The weather was lovely with that celebratory mood in the air. So off we went to Gamlastan to witness the changing of the guards and whatever it had to offer that day.
There is something about people in uniforms moving in formations in complete synchronicity and playing instruments in rhythm. As we made steady attempts at getting to a position to ensure better visuals, we saw people of all kind come together, sing and clap. It was nice to see people proud in blue and yellow own the day as their own. In that beautiful moment I wanted to go back to Pakistan and witness the celebrations of our national day and take pictures like I was doing there. I was instantly reminded, however of how hot it would be and I reconsidered it.
We wanted to move to Skansen to witness the king’s speech and celebrations. On our way through Kungstragarden we saw swarms of people enjoying the festivities there. Sadly we couldn’t make to Skansen but I was happy to have captured the festivities of the day with my camera.
So if you are ever in Sweden around the national day, don’t miss going to Gamlastan and Skansen. You are bound to have a good time.