2008-05-02

grave matters: part 1

snapshots of section “14e” at the “norra begravningsplatsen” cemetery in solna, sweden (stockholm metropolitan area), november 2007:









(click on images for larger size pics.)

for some reason, the graves and monuments of the tiny, tiny section “14e” of this huge, enormous cemetery all seem to be erected by romani/gypsy families. in fact, the section “14e” constitutes its own cemetery-within-a-cemetery, so to speak, hidden away, as it were, "somewhere in the back."

why this segregation? muslims and jews creating their own cemeteries in a predominantly christian nation could be expected. but segregating christians from christians? is it the romani community's expressive wish to keep to themselves; to have a mini cemetery of their own? or is it a case of racial/ethnic discrimination?

or could segregating section “14e” have something to do with the fact (?) that the gold-and-polished-granite opulence of romani grave monuments clashes with the more modest tastes of non-romani swedes? is the segregating of romani graves in this particular case “merely” a consequence of the cemetery's own rules for the design of headstones? are there rules which only allow for opulent romani monuments at some distance from the more modest headstones of everyone else? is it “just” a matter of - taste? is it "only" a matter of - style? (comments welcome from anyone who is more in the know than i on the subject of the section “14e” at “norra begravningsplatsen.”)