|Bicycle is a common mode of transport in Christiania|
warmly welcome to Christiania”, hospitable Christianians welcome visitors.
Christiania is known as “Free Town” and is situated in the middle of Denmark’s
capital Copenhagen. The concept of Christiania is “Peace, Love and
Understanding”. It’s depicted in their flag, which has three yellow circles on
dark orange background. It’s believed that, a lot of red and yellow paints were
found at the time, when the original squatters took over the former military
barracks, and as a result these colours were used to make their flag. A self-proclaimed
autonomous neighbourhood covers more than 85 acres, and has more than 1,000
inhabitants. More than one million people visit Christiania each year to
explore its arts, crafts and progressive Danish lifestyle.
Visitors are attracted by free town’s magic mixture
of anarchy and love. Christiania is also known as “Losers’ Paradise”, because
of its rare creativity (graffiti and murals) and recreational values.
“We say no to
hard drugs, weapons and violence. We welcome all from Denmark and other parts
of the world. We don’t treat others differently. The people of Christiania want
to lead a simple life. The government wants to build apartments in Christiania,
but we oppose the idea. We want to live in peace” says Ole Lykke, the
spokesperson for Christiania, and one of the initial occupants of the place.
Christiania was founded in 1971 by the squatters.
They knocked down the fence, and used the unused former military barracks as a
playground for their children.
“The use of
hash is criminal, and possession is punishable in Denmark. But, hard drugs such
as cocaine, heroin, speed and so on are brought into Christiania from Balkans. It’s
a big business in the free town, and we do routine raids and arrests”
according to Copenhagen Police.
A dream of a life in
freedom, communal living and an idea of a city ruled by its inhabitants is
still alive. Homeless, jobless, Greenlanders and vagabonds find refuge in