Boston Blatte

Raised in Boston, remade in Sweden

Karl XII, Skinheads and Blatte in Stockholm: 16 years on

Today, November 30th, marks the annual “Kiss a skinhead Day” –or whatever skinheads called it– the anniversary of the death of King Karl XII. It used to be the date that skinheads took to the street, specifically in or around Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm to protest what skinheads protest best, us non-skinhead types.

Karl XII in Kungsträdgården explaining, “The skinhead went that-a-way

Karl XII

Back then we were more normally called “svartskallerna”  or black heads, “blatte” is a relatively new epithet.

Today  is also the 16th anniversary of my immigration to Sweden.And since I had been here back and forth for over a year I would never have remembered this particular date had it not been for Skinhead Day.  Landing at Arlanda with too much to schlep on the bus, I shared a taxi with a guy going to the Grand Hotel (the only hotel in Sweden good enough for Anna Anka, albeit barely.) Seeing that Kungsträdgården was blocked off, I asked the driver why and was told about the  Skinhead protests (and anti-skinhead anti-protests –all sorts of hullabaloo).

The irony that my “official move to Sweden Day” coincided with the “Skinheads hate immigrants Day” tickled me.

Today the skinheads have abandoned Kungsträgården and their revered King and I think they’ve moved to a suburb south of Stockholm on another day to mark a more modern occasion.

Maybe we ought to rename the day, Blatte Day.

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