• Sweden edition
'Swedishness can't only be about herring and potatoes'

'Swedishness can't only be about herring and potatoes'

Published: 12 Jun 2012 14:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Jun 2012 14:37 GMT+02:00

"Where are you from?" I ask the taxi driver who takes me to the airport in Sweden.


"Where is 'home'? Somalia or Sweden?"


"Do you feel Swedish?"

"No, not in the least. It takes several generations to become Swedish."

When I land in Washington, DC to study integration in the United States, I pose the same questions.

"Is 'home' Afghanistan (where the taxi driver comes from) or here?"

"Here, of course."

"Do you feel American?"

"Of course. What else would I be?"

This is discouraging. The Americans, and several other nations, have obviously been better at developing a sense of belonging; both among their immigrants, and among their majorities.

Sweden has failed to do so.

If one views integration as a process that isn't just about jobs, but also about a sense of community; of shared identity and belonging, then Sweden is lagging behind. The problem is that without this feeling, without a common identity, without a "Swedishness" that we can share, we will not succeed with integration or manage to create a country that has a place for immigrants.

The reason we have failed is that we have assumed that refugees (who have dominated Swedish immigration) have fled misfortune in their countries and want to return when the opportunity arises. We opened our doors to offer protection, but as a result we saw these people as a diaspora that was more focused on what they had left behind and less on their future in Sweden.

We handed out subsidies to help people return and ensured mother tongue language education, but the idea that we should create a sense of shared identity has almost been viewed as some sort of assault.

My own proof of citizenship dropped into the mailbox in a wet, beige envelope. The next day I was informed that Sweden offered "return subsidies".

Was that really a way to be welcomed into a community?

Immigrants have also made mistakes.

Since their stay in Sweden was regarded as temporary, many lived with suitcases in the hall; partly because it was hard for them to break with the past, partly because the signals from Swedish society were ambiguous. The myth of a return to one's country of origin became an obstacle to integration.

I know people who, after thirty years in Sweden, do not have Swedish friends, who socialize only with their fellow countrymen, and are more engaged in events that take place in their home countries than in Sweden. You live in some sort of "standby mode", in a no man's land, belonging to neither the country you live in nor the country you came from.

Satellite dishes maintain the illusion of contacts with your country of origin and a return - but a first return visit on vacation shows what a stranger you are.

It's time to get beyond the myth return and begin to focus on creating a common identity that we can share. We should create a new "we", a new Swedishness, transparent and inclusive, that both Swedes and immigrants can be proud of; an identity that unites us and doesn't divide us. It should give immigrants a sense of belonging that they often miss and offer them an opportunity to stop wandering.

A country must have a social glue that serves as the basis for solidarity among citizens. It gives legitimacy to state institutions and officials, it makes the exercise of power be seen as legitimate. The social glue is portrayed in the ideal of citizenship as it answers the question of who constitutes "we".

But there are different ways of defining "we".

The Sweden Democrats and other nationalists have made their pitch: what keeps us together, gives us power, strength and identity are the thick ties of ethnicity and culture. Therefore, according to them, rootlessness is a sin, cosmopolitanism crippling, Brussels the enemy, and the EU a foreign power.

According to them, we belong together simply because we are ethnically and culturally similar.

Zlatan and Loreen need not apply in the land of the Sweden Democrats.

If the rest of us want to deal with the nationalists, we need to formulate our response. By infusing civil citizenship with meaning; by talking about the values that should form the basis for society, we can create a common future and a unified country.

At the citizenship ceremony I attended in Washington, Madeleine Albright (the former US Secretary of State) told the new Americans: "The magic of this moment is not just that today you get your license to dream the American dream. The magic of this moment is that your name is now a part of us, a part of America."

Until we learn how to send such an inclusive welcoming signal, no immigrants in Sweden will feel Swedish.

We need to think through our integration policy, make the necessary changes, and begin to regard immigrants as part of the collective story of this country's future, not just its past. I don't need to do more than gesture a little with my hands for someone to come up and say "oh, how wonderfully un-Swedish you are".

Immigrants, for their part, must step forward and begin to imagine their future in this country. Neither the myth of return nor stories of discrimination can be the dominant narratives.

If we don't rise to the challenge, we'll be capitulating to those who want Swedishness to be defined ethnically or culturally.

And as for me, I'd rather see a thin, constitutional solidarity that specifies within the contract of citizenship what immigrants should do to become a part of society (like the US) than thick, cultural affiliation requirements that allow me, after 19 years in Sweden, to still be called "wonderfully un-Swedish" when I gesture a little with my hands.

Rather precise requirements for citizenship than the obscure and life-long requirement to love herring and potatoes.

Rather a debate on what Swedishness should be, than the vague and unspoken consensus on what it is.

Jasenko Selimovic came to Sweden in 1992 as a refugee from the war in Bosnia. He is currently a State Secretary within the Swedish Ministry of Labour, but is writing here in his capacity as a member of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet).

This article was first published in Swedish in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Your comments about this article

17:29 June 12, 2012 by towns
Ah the comparison to the United States again. Sure, people call themselves "American" but if you next ask them, "But where are you REALLY from?" They'll say something along the lines of (example) "Oh I'm Irish on my father's side and Italian on my mother's side." They may be several generations "American" but they'll still identify as German American or Italian American or Scotch-Irish or whatever else they may be. I know a fellow who is of French origin from near the Canadian border in Maine. You'll ask him: "so are you American?" And he'll respond: "Well of course but I'm really French" and this guy's family has lived in North America for 300 years. Being "American" has more to do with residence and citizenship whereas in Sweden it's something more. Of course, this is perfectly understandable since the United States is a predominantly immigrant/recent immigrant origin country whereas Sweden is not. Therefore, it's much easier being "American" than "Swedish" since the term is more general and can apply to literally anybody. Just my 2 cents.
23:27 June 12, 2012 by Bolinb
Absolutely righ on the spot. Only those that are born of 2 swedish parents are truely considered swedish. All others are just visitors and need to be spoken to only when needed. AND....... OMG don't give them a job unless it is BLACK money and for 59 Kr an hour. SLAVE Labour....
10:16 June 13, 2012 by rami_20
My very Swedish girlfriend whose family has been Swedish since anyone can remember, has dark hair and dark eyes. I find it amusing when "Swedes" asks her where she is from. The other day, a guy asked her again and again "Are you sure you're Swedish... no really are you sure?" Funny!
10:51 June 13, 2012 by Breizh
The problem is not only Swedish per se, it is common to most countries that experienced "ethnic nationalism" in the 19th century. For the Swedish case nationalism began to spread as a mobilization against the mass-emigration to the US and Sweden's neighboring countries. A national consciousness of "Swedishness" was built upon cultural/ethnic features but also regional: Scandinavia, sharing a common tongue, religion and history. We can see that it left many marks in actual geopolitics.

The second form of nationalism is "civic nationalism", national consciousness was build upon political institutions, the national identity is citizenship. Most countries that had this nationalism were countries with a multicultural society such as France (with strong cultural regions) and the US, for obvious reasons.

This historical features are still important today, for more complete information I highly recommend the book "imagined communities" by Benedict Anderson.
11:11 June 13, 2012 by Baned
I had to second guess linking this article on FB because I'm unsure if I'd offend my husband's Swedish family! Occasional "reminders" about what's Swedish have always been thrown into regular, random conversation. Even wedding traditions that don't follow the Swedish way (by immigrants) are considered "odd".

I honestly don't know if they even want foreigners to be accepted as Swedish. From all their comments (though educational) have never been inclusive nor sensitive of exclusion. Unfortunately, that's the Sweden I know. As a foreigner from a country that was founded by immigrants, it doesn't motivate me to want to be included.

So no, I'm not Swedish. I just happen to live here.

As for the guy that commented about Americans and their association about being American - yes, Americans are very specific. They'll state their ethnic and cultural ties even if it's been generations past. German, Polish, Asian, Mexican, Irish American -- but we are all Americans regardless!
11:43 June 13, 2012 by bonbon29
I have a serious issue with this. I am Scottish and love Sweden. I plan, in the future, to move to Sweden and am currently studying the language. When I visit, I embrace everything Swedish - from Fika to Melodifestivalen! When I move to the country I intend to speak Swedish and do everything Swedish. Why? Because I love the country and share the principles, beliefs and attitudes that Sweden has. If people don't like Swedish culture they shouldn't force the country to change. They should lighten up and try to find parts of the culture they do like. It has something for everyone. Sweden - please don't change. I love you the way you are!
12:05 June 13, 2012 by Migga
When someone want to criticize Sweden or the Swedes then apperently it`s no question about what is swedish. But in any other case swedish is indefinable and should include everything or everyone. Talk about hypocrisy.
12:24 June 13, 2012 by towns
@ bonbon29 (#6)

Unfortunately, immigrants who think like you are far and few in between. God Bless you for caring about Sweden!

It's much easier to think like the author of this article, they can't "integrate" themselves nor do they really want to (if they are honest with themselves), so they expect society to change for their convenience.
13:10 June 13, 2012 by nibbler
Comment: This article angered me a lot. Regularly it appears Sweden is blamed for not doing enough to include non-nationals. I would suggest the authors look at what other countries in Europe offer immigrants in the way of support and inclusive activities and see how proactive Sweden actually is. The other posters are correct, it is the responsibility of the immigrants to be proactive, learn the language, make friends with Swedish people and push themselves out of their comfort zone. As for the United States, it is very easy to believe you are american when the country is occupied by such a varied population with multiple traditions, cultural backgrounds, based languages. Your behaviour does not stand out as odd as it would in Sweden, where it is populated by predominately with a people who have a shared understanding of the history, popular culture and all the intricacies that comes with thousands of years of heritage. I also am like the Scottish poster. My husband is Swedish and we plan to return to Sweden but I will not go until I can speak the language and integrate. However I will never view myself as Swedish not would I dain to do so. My culture, upbringing and experience of my homeland has influenced me so much that I could never see myself as any other way. I also think the point of being unswedish because you wave your hands as being an insult, my own husband explains that some of what I do will be excused because as he puts it "you are foreign". I do the same for him. Immigrants need to have a flexibility when coming to another country. Try learn and adopt traditions as much as you can while maintaining your own. My husband and I now celebrate Christmas on the 24th and the 25th of December, and my house is decorated in bright feathers every easter. Its odd to me but you have to accept these things. Sorry for the rant but I am sick of reading these type of articles on the local.
13:11 June 13, 2012 by EmployedProfessional

Simply ,the best op-ed piece ever written on the subject here or anywhere in the media.You nailed every point with clear and concise analysis. Being from the states,half a century old and deeply ethnic by swedish standards,I never had a moment growing up that I didn't feel American. If someone were to suggest I go back to my native country,I wouldn't know where to go as 4th generation,longer than most that might dare to say such a thing to me? Ironic,laughable! Pure ignorance. One friend replied"Hope you've done your reaserch.You will have to pay the one way ticket just for starters.Oh,don't forget construction and on the spot design costs for the White house,the Capital and much more". I, for one hope to here more from you!
14:50 June 13, 2012 by alecLoTh
A difficult topic, no doubt. But I will share the observation that after years here I dont have a single Swedish friend, not one. Of course I can speak Swedish, I'm friendly -but with only 24 hours in a day : 8 to sleep, 8 at work - being self-employed this extends to 10 or 12, I dont see the luxury of friendships.

But it is a fact and bothers me somewhat. Luckily, I move to the UK next month - there at least language is a non-issue, diversity of sport - namely rugby/cricket and the lovable Brit desire to have a pint at regular intervals, even alone.
15:34 June 13, 2012 by towns
Actually, I take back what I said about the author of this article in my last comment (#8). I'm sure he's a nice guy. The rest of my comment still stands, however.
16:25 June 13, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
I neglected to mention one observation over the years:

The young folks are making good things happen in their generation,they are a bit more interested in their classmates and neighborhood who appear different than them and have a different herritage,

It's only the older potato-suckers who are missing out.

It makes Sweden the loser in the short term.

To some degree,you just gotta let it go,they are not that interesting anyway with such a limited perspective on most everything.
23:25 June 13, 2012 by dizzymoe33
You have to realize that the United States Of America are all made up of immigrants. We are all from all over the World so it is only natural that is easier for an immigrant to fit into our society a little easier than say a Swedish society. Not saying anything is wrong with your Swedish society but you have been around a heck of a lot longer than my American society. So it isn't a fair comparison.
14:37 June 14, 2012 by Beef
@alecLoTh, I hear you!!!

After nearly 11 years here, I think Swedish society is a little too exclusive.

There is very little, more the merrier culture. i remember when I had just moved here and my GF at the time and had a party, one of her friends, who had also lived in the UK since leaving school, asked if she could bring a friend.. It was like she asked to borrow 10000SEK or something, sparking hours of discussion.. I couldn't believe what a big deal it was!

Look at Stockholm at mid-summer, NYE etc.. It's a ghost town. Everyone just disappears and to friends since they've had since nursery and/or family, look at the summer holidays. people go off to country houses and seclude themselves.

I think the culture is strong and having a strong culture and identity is something to be proud of, so not criticising, just an observation, but hardly conducive to making friends and hence, becoming swedish. As I said, just my observations after over 10 years here.
17:56 June 14, 2012 by Good Mr Che
My roommate of 3 years is my best fried who is Swedish. I have loads of Swedish friends and can't complain about that :)

For me the biggest obstacle in feeling Swedish is visa bureaucracy. That is I think the stumbling-block of my mental or emotional integration. As a self-employed I had to extend my visa 3 times for 1 year at a time. This year I got my permit extended for 2 more years...after waiting for a decision for almost 2 years. I don't know how it works for others, but my last application took 18 months to come through with a decision. It's 18 months of total suspension. Can't leave the country (which didn't do well for my business, as I work with clients all over Europe), can't make any long-term plans. Can't settle as I might get a refusal... Can't go visit my family.

I think that what makes me hesitant about feeling Swedish, because the country (in form of Migrationsverket) makes me prove it again and again, year after year, that I "deserve" to stay here. I work hard and I pay my taxes, but there's no chance for failure or a break, because come next application time, I need to show profitability of my company and live through the suspension again.

I don't have a right to be employed. So if it was my home country and I would want a break from running my business and just have a "sabbatical" by getting a job somewhere, I would just do it. Here I can't do it just like that, I would need to go through another visa process again.

I love Sweden and I have a life here. But I do feel like the author of this article pointed out - like a person with no land. Not there any more, but not here just yet.
20:58 June 14, 2012 by alecLoTh

Funny you mention - I went to a birthday party once, not a special event like 21 or something, just an excuse to gather, but almost all the people there were neighbours from childhood, primary school friends and the odd workmate.

Admittedly I was surprised as I have hardly had a gathering with school friends for a birthday. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I wondered about the saying -"make new friends but keep the old", yet here were the same set of friends and hardly any new. Fast forward a year later they guy got married - guess what ?- same people!
01:51 June 15, 2012 by Tubez

What is wrong with having a close group of friends that you have known for almost your entire life?

I rather have that then a lot of shallow meanlingless friendship with lots of people.
17:05 June 15, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
This article boils my blood! You can not compare immigrants in the USA to immigrants in Sweden. Apples & Oranges.
20:36 June 15, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
Good point.

You can't compare a 300 plus year history to to a 20 year history especially in THESE times.

But history is the best tacher and Sweden really didn't really do their homework.

Threr's so much to consider when you throw any kind of big party.

It's never good when you run out of food,drink,resourses to provide for less advantaged people.Mini- nations within countries have never been a good answer.
23:16 June 15, 2012 by jostein
"This is discouraging. The Americans, and several other nations, have obviously been better at developing a sense of belonging; both among their immigrants, and among their majorities.

Sweden has failed to do so."

The trick is to exterminate the indigenous people. Then the colonists can feel the togetherness of being partners in crime.
18:53 June 16, 2012 by towns
@ jostein

Yep, the United States is a country created by immigrants at the expense of the indigenous population. Hardly a valid comparison to Sweden.
22:53 June 16, 2012 by mafketis
" a country created by immigrants at the expense of the indigenous population"

But itsn't that what Selimovic wants Sweden to be?
10:15 June 17, 2012 by towns
@ mafketis

Well he IS suggesting Sweden should be more like the United States in some ways, so yes.
10:55 June 17, 2012 by jostein
18:53 June 16, 2012 by towns

"Well he IS suggesting Sweden should be more like the United States in some ways, so yes. "

Which cannot be done until the immigrants have exterminated us indigenous people.
02:07 June 18, 2012 by alecLoTh

You may have realised, that I said that I thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with this - it only an observation. If anything, it's what we hope to have isin't it? I remember my father saying once to me that I'd count myself lucky to go through life and count all my friends on one hand.... and I realise as I grow he may be right. So I get all that.

But lets get real now, how many people do you know in their 30s inviting daycare and primary school friends to a birthday party to this day? I'll repeat, nothing wrong with it - but having lived in 4 of the 5 continents, it happens here much more than anywhere else I've been. The rule of thumb seems to be just get a few friends, grow old with them and be done with it.
12:45 June 18, 2012 by BackpackerKev
This may not be for all immigrants, but I don't feel like I can adapt to Swedish society or become more swinishness, while many parts are great for the people and society, i myself feel like i have walked into a time machine where as western civilisation(sometimes the world) took one path and the swedish culture took another direction. We say about people are in government have lost touch with the people, and i think sometimes Sweden as a whole has done the same thing about the world. Some ideas are concepts are out dated with no explanation as to why not to adapt certain models that have a proven track record to work in other western cultures. When you come to a country like sweden, there are too many alien concepts, you cannot feel like it is home.
10:36 June 19, 2012 by ehune
I've seen quite a few of the mentioned issues across the world. There are few countries as welcoming as USA and Australia when it comes to integrating in the society and making long lasting friendships with the locals. It actually baffles me that someone found it strange seeing how Swedish people like to leave town and hang out with friends and family during weekends and holidays.

There are always channels to meet people, and the best way to make friends is to come with ideas for events etc where both locals and immigrants would feel welcome. Personally, I like to use websites such as Internations and meetup.com, or to create events on Facebook where I tell my friends to invite more people. You simply can't meet people or integrate in a new country from your home - just go out and be creative about it!

Currently residing in Malta since a year (after four years in London), I find that Maltese are friendly but standoffish - meaning they'll help you with anything they can on the street or in the shop, but won't invite you to their home even after working together for years (includes both inviting foreigners and other Maltese people) unless you know someone in their established social group. However, just like in Sweden, I see this mentality changing among young people - so believe it's just a matter of time before a more relaxed and welcoming attitude becomes more common (of course the time frame is more like around 10-30 years than weeks).

If instead looking at life in London, it can barely be compared to the rest of UK, as it's an international hub with more than 30% of the population being immigrants. Therefore it has a more accepting culture already compared to countries and cities where where people are predominantly of the same origin - which is true for any country, city or place, not just Sweden...
16:45 June 19, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
I think it's time for some constructive ideas here now that we've all beaten this subject to death!

Anyone familiar with "bring your child(fd doughter)to work day?

With Midsommer fast approaching how about:

Bring your invandere/foreign friend to Midsommer!!!

Many cultures see these special days as a way to have their close and not so close friends get to know their cultures,families,was of celebration.

Africans,Asians even Americans pride themselfs on bringing others in to the fold on these days.In Hawaiian ceremonies,guests who are willing to wear the not so silly(lay) flowers and try to dance are the winners!

Step 1 is to be shameless and share the tradition with others.

One of my signifigant partners shared that weekend with me and some friends and I will never forget it!

There was singing ,dancing,rain,sun wind,strong drink,explanations,everything that the day can bring including a closeness that they brought me into.The important thing is to shut up and listen to that girl or guy who will inevitably adopt you for the day and fill your head with stuff you already know about the day and a few you didn't.

OK my fellow Svenssons,you have your assighnment,make it happen!
20:09 June 19, 2012 by david anderson
From the base of the Statue of Liberty;

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, Tempest-tossed to me

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

What a cruel joke those words have become. My grandparent came here to the US from Sweden in 1899. If they could see what the US was to become in the future, I'm sure they would have been on the next boat back to Sweden.I am Swedish who was born in the US, To the most part I am very proud of Sweden and very ashamed of the US.
20:50 June 19, 2012 by EmployedProfessional
David,so am I!

My family from the Caribbean would have stayed in Toronto!
20:57 June 19, 2012 by david anderson
I'm sure many would disagree about my above post?

I've lived in Sweden and the US and many other countrys of europe.

If you would like to disagree? debate or want more info?

David Anderson

04:13 June 22, 2012 by embil
Bonbon29, perfect post here; Well said.
08:53 June 22, 2012 by scandiland
The way I see it, if you move to a new place, a foreign country or in your own country, it takes a long time to make new friends, maybe five years. The situation is the people already have their own circle of friends before you turned up on the scene and they don't have time / want to / need any more friends. And if you're foreign you're different as well, and your'e put in a box labelled "foreign", but that doesn't have to be the main reason. Once people get to know you I think they see you as the person you are. One way of making friends in a new place is to look out for other people who are also new to the area and approach them as they are probably also looking for new friendships and company.

Also I think it's important to keep both cultures going, say you're a Swedish person living in England, look for other Swedes and see them every so often. At the same time look for English people and make a few friends there.

Once you know people both from your own background and your new "home" country, you have a balanced social life and it reflects who you truly are, namely a person who is a part of two cultures.
11:27 June 22, 2012 by calebian22
One of the great things about Sweden is that it actually has a distinctive culture, a traditional Swedishness, not a new Swedishness. Liberal tards and idiot immigrants who wish to throw that away so easily in the name of pc thinking, need to be brought up short. Multiculturalism is Sweden is code for the majority having to accept the new, while being considered racist and backwards if they happen to be proud of their history and culture.

Jasenko and the Liberal Party can suck it.
23:41 June 22, 2012 by RonHess
A Swede is only and WILL only EVER be a Swede by BLOOD. The land of Sweden is and should be THEIRS ALONE. Your agenda is simply to destroy the Swedish people and their culture... I don't care what sort of twisted cultural marxist world you have woven for yourself, this remains the incontrovertible fact. You are a genocidal maniac, you "integrationist" swine, and may you rot in hell for all eternity for your crimes!
01:10 June 23, 2012 by esvahnt
the swedishnes to be transfered through a course of swedish language and a learned declaration is imposible

they have a different race

different origin , genetics a different shape of the face different lips nose eyes shape a different color

its very easy to see you only have to open your eyes and watch

just like in the street you can tell if the light is red or green in the corner

that is how we can positivly discriminate as adults

a baby instead cannot discriminate betwen colors or shapes very much
00:58 June 24, 2012 by jostein
RonHess, my sentiment exactly.
05:13 June 24, 2012 by TheWatchman
@RonHess, jostein

I agree completely also, but in Sweden this kind of opinion, to stand up for your own people is extremely unpopular. A nation destroyed foolishly by its kindness to others.
12:05 August 4, 2012 by rise
#36, #38, #39

I do love immigrants but I love Sweden and the Swedes even more. Therefore in the next election I probably will give my vote to Sverigedemokraterna. Because enough is enough! Think what you will of SD but they're still the only ones willing to do anything about the mass immigration. Other ones just follows along with the stream of politically correctness and cowardly keeps bending over.
22:30 August 13, 2012 by MitchXXX
This is the way I see it- When the US national team is playing at any sport event every one of the players signs the American Anthem. When the Swedish national soccer team played this year on the Euro Cup half of the players where just watching or chewing gums. Guess which half. Even your biggest star Zlatan Ibrahimovich showed same attitude. Sweden should face the truth-those people despite any native "Swedishness" because for them Sweden is a country which pays good money and have blond beauties and that's all. If there was no good standard and the benefits which give them Swedish citizenship none of them would even stay one day with his Swedish Passport. The so called "new Swedishness" is a scam for the tax payers and abusing the Social system until it collapses. America can afford it because it was build using the labor of generations of immigrants and also can print money out as much as they need. Can Sweden afford it?
07:21 August 14, 2012 by Lavaux
I was born American and I'll die American regardless of what happens to me in life. Swedish? I don't want to be Swedish - why would I want to be less than I already am?

Look, I'm grateful for the Swedish citizenship, but I didn't really need it, and I'm beginning to believe that coming here to Sweden was a catastrophic mistake. Nice country, but no future other than homogeneous decline, just like the rest of Old Europe. And I'm not going down with the ship.
16:12 August 17, 2012 by ctinej
I live in the USA. I belong to Scandinavian clubs and stick with that culture for many reasons. Simply because Scandinavians are good people.

Immigrants to Sweden similarly stick to their own. But generally are NOT good people.

Do we have a problem here in the US with Swedish youth gangs, and crime? NO!!! Do I see graffiti written in Swedish anywhere??? NO.

Do you in Sweden have problems with Immigrants and crime???YES. 85% of all the crirme is Immigrant related.

So....get smart and stop taking them in, deport every one who is involved in any crime along with the whole family. I dont like seeing the beauty of Swedish culture destroyed by the Immigrants.
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Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions
A Gripen plane was scrambled to see off the Russian planes. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden protests over Russian plane incursions

UPDATED: Sweden has summoned the Russian Ambassador for a dressing down after two Russian planes violated Swedish airspace last week. READ  

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Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »


19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

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