Stockholm Santa Run

The (maybe traditional in the future) Stockholm Santa Claus run was organized this Sunday by – well, don’t know. The Facebook group claimed this was a first. The prompt to go and photograph the event came via meetup (www.meetup.com – I’m a member of the photography group in Stockholm). December is seldom splendid in Scandinavia, and this day was no exception. Just over zero C and an icy fine rain. A fair few Santas braved the conditions. Well, since they come from the north pole, this Stockholm Sunday must have felt positively tropical.

Sth Santa Run-13

Christmas market 2

In general, the Christmas markets are full of people in a reasonably cheerful mood, as we’re supposed to be in this season.

Xmas market 07

There are some amongst us who’s luck ran out a long time ago. The fellow in next image sells a magazine issued by an organization for homeless people. To be an authorized sales person for this magazine, you have to be sober and drug free. Most of the sales persons have gone through long downward spirals of unemployment, drug and or alcohol abuse ¬†and living in the streets.

Xmas market 08

The guy jumped out in front of me and posed and then we had a chat. He was ever so cheerful, happy and positive (not artificially induced). He, who has nothing, was full of Christmas cheer. We, who have everything, are so frequently dissatisfied with out lot. We have no idea.

Xmas market 09

There are degrees in hell I suppose. There are still social safety nets here for citizens. There are loads of Eastern European gypsies begging on the streets of Stockholm, sitting on freezing streets all day. They live in ramshackle camps on the fringe of the city. And this is better than staying in their country of origin. Says something of the condition there.