Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Raggare
































Raggare, as far as I understand, is a sub-culture in Sweden that is hooked on vintage American cars. It seems like one Saturday a month the Raggare spend the evening cruising Sveavagan, the largest street and basically the entering street into Stockholm from the north. Living close to Sveavagan we get to watch the Raggare Parade from the window to the delight of my kids who find hours of entertainment watching this.

Vintage car clubs are not unusual, we have them in the United States also. The Reggare take it to a whole other level. In addition to parading their cars they usually dress up as 50's greasers, red necks, punkers, etc. The cars are not limited to old style American vintage, though that is mostly what you will see. There are more vintage American cars in Sweden than in the entire US. You will also see just strange contraptions welded together. This weekend we saw a Smart car with a race car grill and bumber and all sorts of unusual pairings welded together.

With this traffic comes to a halt on Sveavagen and it is pretty much mayhem for several hours. Music blaring, people hanging out off car windows, riding on roofs, openly drinking while driving, horns beeping, singing in unison (a European tradition that I'll never understand) and sheer craziness rule the street. For some reason, American Confederate flags adorn the landscape. The way I understand it, Ragarre has it's roots in the rural towns and the followers were viewed upon as sort of rednecks. In fact, there is a Swedish saying - "if you don't like CCR, you are not a raggare

A celebration of red-neck-iness. In Europe. Yep, even Europe has rednecks.

1 comment:

  1. About the Confederate flag... I can explain the whole matter. It has its roots from the original 1960s raggare. They used the flag as a symbol of being a rebel, and to signify rock 'n' roll - as the rock 'n' roll originates from the Southern United States. It has nothing to do with the racist ideology it once stood for.

    I know about this, for I know many raggare around Sweden. I myself am more of a American greaser, however.

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