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'Swedish society forces 'immigrants' to emigrate'

The Local · 28 Nov 2011, 14:06

Published: 28 Nov 2011 14:06 GMT+01:00

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“I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic” - this is no way to express oneself in Sweden, if you are aware of the silent, strict codes in order to be accepted (editor's note: in reference to the title of the autobiography of the Sweden and Milan star).

I was once told how the former US ambassador to Sweden Lyndon Olson paid a visit to a daycare a couple of days after arriving in Sweden. He was baffled to see how the children, dressed up as pieces of pie in papier-maché hats, sang that they were part of the pie.

“This would never happen in America! There they would say ‘I am pie!”

Swedes possess, aside from their reputation as the Scandinavian Japanese (quiet, polite, punctual, conflict-shy, nature-lovers) a characteristic which ethnologists continually return to: Sweden is the country where similarity is appreciated more than anywhere else.

This peculiarity causes us trouble when faced with that which constitutes the contrast to similarity: difference. People who differ - for example, immigrants, emigrants, returning Swedes, odd personalities, those with high ambitions or unwillingness to adapt to the social regulations - are at high risk of being met with negative attitudes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Lagercrantz’s readable book is not primarily about Sweden - even if some who have read it, amazingly enough, seemed to have missed at least ten years of debate on integration filled with stories of how social exclusion appears to many, naively treating this part of the book as "dynamite". Wake up, like.

The comments and reviews by which the main character is met, both now and previously, are however illustrative. One person gets hung up for a large part of their review on Zlatan’s admission that he has not been interested or heard of some famous Swedish football players, and the reviewer concludes, after a long explanation, that Zlatan can’t be telling the truth. No one can surely be in the dark about Ravelli! (editor's note: Sweden's national team goalkeeper in the 1994 World Cup).

One thing is certain: We can bask in the glow of Zlatan, but not take any of the credit.

Sure, we like football and are happy to praise our heroes when successful. But Zlatan hasn’t succeeded because of Sweden and Swedish society, but despite it - or possibly hardened by the mistrust, the questioning, the complaints, protest lists, and other negativity that he has encountered.

The support he has received in Sweden has come from from certain individuals who have chosen inopportunistically to defy the entrenched norms.

In New York, there are currently around 25 other Swedes who meet to play football. Not as a pros, but as happy recreational amateurs. The team is called Blatte United, and consists mainly of Swedish-born guys who, when they lived in Sweden, were regarded as immigrants (sometimes classified into second or third generation...).

We lost them to foreign shores, because they diverged from Swedish norms and were never given a chance.

They thus chose to build their lives elsewhere. Today, they run lauded, world-renowned restaurants and advertising companies, or hold senior positions within banking and finance. Some of them can, without exaggeration, be called “Zlatans” within their respective fields.

Story continues below…

We hold them up as Swedes who have succeeded internationally, but the truth is we bullied them away and showed them the door.

Sure there are a large number who look elsewhere as a natural part of a career choice.

But this completely new category of immigrants which Sweden has created are successful, global citizens who play football in their freetime, and who look back to reflect on Sweden, wondering when we'll understand that the suppressed, sometimes hissing, envy and the difficulty in overcoming differences, is characteristic of our societal culture for which we are paying a very heavy price.

Tove Lifvendahl is 37-years-old and lives in Uppsala. She is the head of communications at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and the author of a new book on national identity, development and emigration.

This article was originally published in Swedish on the Aftonbladet daily. English translation by The Local.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:30 November 28, 2011 by Chickybee
I am completely gobsmacked by how much Swedes turn on their own kind.

Sweden is one of the most gernerous countries in receiving and giving to immigrants. Sweden goes out of her way to facilitate the further learning of immigrants' native languages almost to the detriment of Swedish.

While admittedly not being a world language, Swedish is essential if one wishes to remain for good in Sweden. Sweden has a long and proud culture.

I think the real issue is the unwillingness for the government to wake up to the reality that Mrs Merkel stated so plainly and honestly about Germany - multiculturalism is well and truly dead and multiethnicity with the creation of parallel societies living discretely is the unpalatable reality.

This is the same for every country in Europe where at least there is more honesty and not the usual practice of sticking one's head in the sand so prevalent in Sweden.
15:51 November 28, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
I can see multi-culturalism concept being semi successful in Canada because we are a country built upon a history of immigration, but in a homogeneous society like Sweden to be suddenly be dumped with large groups of immigrants over a short period of time, the policy was destined to fail.
15:59 November 28, 2011 by Streja
Zlatan is not an immigrant, why does Tove talk about him as if he is? She is only perpetuating the whole stereotype.
20:26 November 28, 2011 by PoJo
The most important thing in swedish culture seems to be "being part of the pie". If you are a different sort of pie, swedes will take their time to admit that you also might be good. Till then, maybe someone else dared to eat it.
21:07 November 28, 2011 by nyh2o
100% true. The productive immigrants i.e. the professionals who would otherwise bear most of the tax burden, are bound to leave Sweden because they are isolated and always looked at as 'non Swedes' - leaving the country only with the unproductive people, the ones looking to constantly collect social welfare. Its a social model that is bound to collapse soon as at this rate, within decades the country will only be left with people asking for welfare and with only the top few percentages pulling the tax burden. The inequality will widen as well of course.

What Sweden needs to understand is that the world is no more so divided - there is nothing tying down intelligent people here anymore. Armed with their intelligence and work ethics, they actually have the capability to set up where ever they want....somewhere with better weather, better standard of life and lower taxes - and most importantly somewhere where people will not constantly make you feel like an 'invandrare'.
12:40 November 29, 2011 by RobinHood
Poor Tove Lifvendahl seems a bit dim. There's not a team in Sweden anywhere near able to meet Zlatan's wage demands. He plays abroad because that's where his talent earns him the most money - by far. It has nothing to do with all the stuff Tove is going on about.

The same goes for most of the other talented Swedes Tove mentions. Talent follows the money. If Sweden was able to match or beat what's on offer elsewhere, talented Swedes (even immigrants) would be more than pleased to live and work at home. Many of them will return when they retire.

You're barking up the wrong tree Tove.
13:17 November 29, 2011 by salalah
MMMMM...those Immagrants sure taste good when baked for about 1 hour in an oven....
14:16 November 29, 2011 by godnatt

What a horribly written, pointless, moronic piece of "journalistic" vomit this is.
15:16 November 29, 2011 by prince T
I agree with Tove. I was in Canada this year and i was shocked and amazed to meet friends occupying top positions there. The best most of my sweden trained master degree holders could do in sweden was to clean at Mc donld or throw GP papper in the night. Most of them told me that they were not even considered for interview once insweden. What we dont know is that we are the losers.
15:52 November 29, 2011 by oliver from moon
I have noticed following attitudes in Sweden:

Many Swedes consider themselves better that other nations. Better than Norwegians(who are just uneducated and lucky lottery winners with their oil), better than Fins(who are just bare potato farmers), better than all eastern European nations(who are just barbaric rubbish).

As many Swedes consider themselves by default better than most of other nations they think they can teach everybody and take higher moral ground. I have heard many times phrase```you know...we have Swedish rule`` Once i was even told Swedish man that Swedes start peeling banana from other end.(this is no joke)

If you feel that most people around you think they are better than you then at some point you do not want to be part of that society and you go away.

Also i have noticed that more intelligent Swedes understand that this attitude is not suitable for ``higher culture`` nation and try to hide their thinking. Many do not succeed on that. Simple Swedes emphasize this attitude and try to explain you that Swedish culture is some high culture even when you can understand that most of these people have not been even in London or any other metropolis.

Also. Fear and greed are quite common attitudes. These attitudes create hate.
16:12 November 29, 2011 by DAVID T
The problem is the government let a load of people in that nobody in Sweden wanted - If immigration was done on a points based system like in Canada and Australia then it wouldn't be so bad but to let anyone in including talented people, criminals and uneducated then there will be problems.
16:13 November 29, 2011 by Migga
@ oliver from moon

"Simple Swedes emphasize this attitude and try to explain you that Swedish culture is some high culture even when you can understand that most of these people have not been even in London or any other metropolis."

So there is a higher culture in London or any other metropolis? Now who is the one taking the higher moral ground and looking down on others? You are bunching yourself with the same people you are criticizing.
16:27 November 29, 2011 by prince T
David T. My friends in Canada entered with point system. I wonder y they could not get a job here. Despite the fact that we trained them.
16:40 November 29, 2011 by oliver from moon
@ Migga

My point was badly expressed. I did not say there is some higher culture in London or any other place. i just wanted to point out that IT IS strange when somebody thinks he is better `` by default `` without having comparison information to come to this conclusion. There are many Swedes who think they better `` by default`` just being Swedes without doing themselves anything special.
16:44 November 29, 2011 by Kaethar
ZLATAN IS NOT AN IMMIGRANT. For someone claiming to oppose prejudice based on ancestry Tove sure is making this into an us-them situation. I'm sure Zlatan would not appreciate such a thing (be sure to ask him if you ever meet him).

As for the rest of this mess I don't even know where to begin. In Sweden we have the jante law - this is basically small-town mentality that exists on a national scale here since Sweden is such a small country. It's more common in smaller towns but exists in bigger cities to an extent as well. And that's that. Why make any distinction of ancestry? Therefore making the assumption that Swedes will see someone as "different" simply because they have a foreign name. This is nonsense. Having a love for cultural conformity is just that - don't try to find "racism" where it doesn't exist. Just because Tove subconsciously see's anyone with a foreign name as an immigrant doesn't mean we all do.

And finally when it comes to Zlatan he of course moved abroad to get to the better clubs. Shocker. Does Tove know nothing about football? People moving abroad to get to better institutions and/or better pay is hardly new and there's nothing wrong with that. Tove viewing this kind of action as a betrayal of some sort to Swedish society is on the other hand real racism. Those of any background don't owe anything to Sweden. You can't help where you're born and it's up to every person to find what works for them.

Zlatan is proud to be Swedish and we're just as proud of him. That Tove cannot see that is too bad for her.
18:15 November 29, 2011 by alieninsweden
This article is spot on. Sweden is a very closed and closed minded society, particularly within the academic sector. Coming to this country as a highly skilled immigrant a number of years ago to be with my Swedish wife, with a professional Masters degree as well as a PhD, I expected to pick up a job rather quickly, in which I would be able to continue working in English. Little did I know that Swedes would prefer to hire under-qualified Swedes rather than someone like myself with superior qualifications. (As a matter of fact, the university from which I gained my qualifications ranks above ALL Swedish universities). Thus, I have not managed to find a job here for the entire time, instead having to resort to contracting overseas where such opportunities present themselves.

20:58 November 29, 2011 by burlison

I hear you. I live in the US and am married to a Swede, and her peer group - almost all of whom studied and lived abroad - are almost unable to return to the workforce in Sweden because they're viewed as too different. Imagine that - native-born Swedes. Experience at good companies doing challenging work. We have another friend who returned with a four-year undergraduate degree and had to junk it - the experience abroad was valueless. The degree, meaningless. And I know some of the characters on this New York soccer team - they are bright, aware contributors to society but they weren't valued in Sweden. And a few more in DC. Wouldn't get a sniff at a job in Sweden, even with an ivy league education.

What a shame.
22:32 November 29, 2011 by seborga82
too late to save sweden now...it will die slowly...the murder is the unqualified multiculturalism
03:00 November 30, 2011 by nathan45
@ comment # 8 Exactly what I was thinking this is garbage just like most of the completly bias one sided articles that the local is known for.

The local removed my account for the Germany edition because I made unfavorable comments directed at mass immigration.

It is not wrong in any way to have this opinion im not a racist Im anti immigration there is a diferance I dont support being rude to people based on ethnicty but I dont want my country flooded either.
03:26 November 30, 2011 by voidplay
All advanced countries require two kinds of people, highly qualified people to run/build high value businesses to keep the economy competitive. The other end is low skills work that require human presence, to keep the living costs low.

In some countries the employment of 'outsiders' is discouraged in the middle segment which is also the bulk of it, it is a sector that is already facing competition from machines and improved developments elsewhere.

So If you find yourself in a country that continues to treat you like an 'outsider', you know where you are welcome and where you are not. Even if you do end up in the highly qualified pool, it wouldn't be long before you hit the glass-ceiling.
08:05 November 30, 2011 by update-2011

Leave Sweden and you will find no where on this planet where you kan raise you kids in a peaceful environment!!!
12:04 November 30, 2011 by Kublai
I agree that Sweden fails the educated immigrants, not so much the illiterates, because where else would they be able to turn up without papers and get a flat and a monthly wage for doing nothing? Sweden also fails its own people even more. Immigrants, particularly from the Middle East, have far mor rights than any swede and no obligations to the society whereas swedes have only obligations and shall pay their tax and keep their mouths shut.

I also agree that many swedes are brainwashed to have this attitude that they are better than others, that everything swedish is so much better. I guess they have that attitude because they don't know anything better. It is a contradicting attitude when swedes are told that anything swedish is better than anything foreign and at the same time we are told that swedish culture and traditions don't exist and we are all ignorant rasists. Swedish schools today are terrible propaganda organs for multiculture and islam, nothing else.
13:05 November 30, 2011 by omash kavash
kublai i gree with you enough said and zlatan felt an immigrant as we all feel
13:17 November 30, 2011 by alieninsweden
@burlison thanks for your kind words! its true what you say that even ivy league educated immigrants would find it very difficult to even get an interview, which is what makes the official self-image of Sweden projected to the outer world rather odd, the self-image of Sweden as a tolerant and egalitarian society. there's also the matter of Swedish self-pride as a nation, which a number of posts have touched on here, the notion that somehow Sweden is so much better than the rest of the world. i wonder where this mistaken notion comes from?
21:01 November 30, 2011 by tolerance
Leave Sweden and you will find no where on this planet where you kan raise you kids in a peaceful environment!!!

is this all that keeps you in Sweden?
23:37 November 30, 2011 by scrawler
this is just a crap such a poor article. One thing is more clear from the media in Sweden. Even if the swedish people likes some immigrants they will create animosity with each other.

I don't know why you sick people come out of your own delusion look around other country tell me a country where only there own kind is living may be you can go to Mars and see. Immigrants ! its just a 9 letter word and s in the end.

you guys are such a retarded and sowing an animosity seed on the hearts of young swedes towards immigrants , in future in will grow as a tree that always call the god "chaos"
14:23 December 1, 2011 by rolfkrohna
I am one of those Bl**y immigrants, no, not in Sweden, I gave up an that country a very long time ago and moved to Asia. I was one of the misfits in Sweden, I could not keep my mouth shut and work from nine to five and take the weekend off and take four weeks vacation, I wanted to see things happen, things develop, things get better, I could no conform to any PK standard, silently pay my taxes and love it, and figuratively bow to the bureaucratic dictatorship, the high handed supremacists, and like the conformities. I hear 30% of the productive people have left, last man out, please turn off the lights.
14:35 December 1, 2011 by cogito
The writer is correct in a sense. Zlatan is sometimes thought of as an immigrant. Like Germany, Sweden traditionally conceived of nationality in terms of "right of blood" ("Lus sanguine" in Latin), by which nationality is determined not by place of birth, but by the blood line of the parents.

Two swedish parents meant you were Swedish. One foreign parent, uhh, OK. Two non-swedish parents, forget about it.

I would like to believe this embarrassingly racist definition of nationality is falling into disrepute.

Some countries, for example the USA and France, conceive of nationality as subscribing to cerain abstract ideals. For France--liberté, egalité; for the USA--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
21:35 December 1, 2011 by myself_eumesmo_själv

"It is not wrong in any way to have this opinion im not a racist Im anti immigration "

You should be ashamed of such commentary, to be honest... i feel bad for you, you just cant be happy living on your little world. There's so much you could learn from other cultures, you don't know the richness that someone raised on other culture can bring to the way you see things. The development comes when you join different forms of thinking, not when you meet with a bunch of people with the same ideas as you
00:23 December 2, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
I am a bit amazed at the idea that Sweden owes an immigrant that left his people, culture, language and national identity and came to Sweden.

He was taken in, wasn't he?...Isn't that enough?

Now upon leaving Sweden it is said that Sweden did not do enough for him, is totally ridiculous!

Ask the question what did his native country NOT do for him that caused him to leave in the first place?

Ridiculous article...Total rubbish.
01:55 December 2, 2011 by nathan45
@ Gamla Hälsingebock : Exactly right is it possible they wanted to return because of a strong pride in their culture and their people after making a bit of money as I would do?

@ myself_eumesmo_själv : You are a very rude person there is no need for such insults to get a point across. I know alot about other cultures the thing is they have a part of the world where their culture is the way of life we also have ours.

I dont think any non western country would be quite so worried about making their country more western friendly and go as far as to criminaly charge their own people for wanting to send me back to where I came from.
02:45 December 2, 2011 by Marc the Texan
There is a big difference between immigrants who go to Sweden and those who go to America. Immigrants to Sweden expect government handouts and to be living the same lifestyle as the average Swede. Immigrants to America expect they will have to work their butt off and still be on the low end economically, then hopefully after years or decades of hard work, achieve their American dream.
11:52 December 2, 2011 by oliver from moon

Your have interesting ideas! Could you please explain how did you come to this conclusion ? What information and analysis did you use ?

Is is really so that....immigrant is coming to Sweden and he will get all kind on nice handouts from government ? What should i do if i want also these ? Do i just come to Sweden and ask it ?
21:44 December 2, 2011 by wakak
Fully agreed with the journalist.

As an expat with a good background, I am treated like s... by Swedish locals: how could a non-Swede be better than Swedes, and even more shocking, tell Swedes how to do better? This is far beyond their understanding, even in 'educated' (locally that is) population

Then, I understand that Swedes might be even tougher to immigrants, who themselves, when luckly enough to become successful, only dream of leaving this country to more open and less racist countries like US or UK.
23:32 December 2, 2011 by Iftikhar_Ahmad
Instead of making it a British home with British customs the migrant Muslims turn it into a satellite of their homeland" That's EXACTLY what the Europeans did when they arrived in Americas and Australia, didn't they? Or did you fail grade 6 history? My grandchildren seem to be very well aware that the Aboriginals were there FIRST and europeans IMMIGRATED AFTER.

Lets stop talking about integration, lets talk about living together, acting together, contributing together, for the sake of our common future

What the Muslims should do is to refuse the victim mentality, its not the question to be liked or not to be liked, its a question of rights, its a question of understanding, its a question of self-respect.

Teaching Islam is not only about learning the basic duties such as praying. It is teaching the children manners, as well as cleanliness. A nursery shall provide an Islamic environment and will instil in them good morals, which will help them become good Muslims. A good Muslim is a good citizen, a gentle and caring member of society.

Islam places huge emphasis on gaining knowledge. Education is also crucial to integration and social cohesion in a diverse multicultural and multi-faith society.

I see no reason why immigration and tolerance for other cultures is a threat to the welfare state. Immigrants keep some of our most important public services running and will likely be required even more so in the decades ahead in order to care for European's ageing population. There are certainly legitimate concerns among the trade union movement about social dumping bringing down wages but that could quite easily be solved by tightening labour regulations and making sure all workers have the same pay and working conditions regardless of where they come from. I think the main threat is the EU (together with global financial institutions like the IMF). Why not challenge economic globalisation and the powerful corporate interests it serves instead of putting the blame on migrants from the third world who are either fleeing persecution or simply looking for a better life for themselves and their families?


12:53 December 4, 2011 by Snob
I think frankly Sweden requires a good old-fashioned robust UPPER CLASS at the pinnacle of a society where the classes are relatively well-defined, as prevalent at the end of 19th century...The fuzzy-duzzy Nordic cool egalitarianism has met the end of the road with globalization, global forces of competition and entry of immigrants. Start with the egalitarian cool society with a nonsense provocative avant-garde culture was a disneyland version of human reality which was not going to work anyway. Incidents like the Breivik clearly demonstrate the need for a nice succinct Elite attached to the Royal household which can preserve and perpetuate icons of national symbols. Immigrants should adhere to the ethos and symbols of the upper-class and appreciate that this their host society's heritage and not rant and rave liberal gibberish of cultural relativism. We have the rise of these funky 'laddies', modern IT version of petty-bourgeoisie who are IT experts churning out programs which make the economy work well, get drunk on weekends, talk liberal cool platitudes and watch obscene sports like car-racing. Man come on where is the distinction of refinement and culture?? The sooner Sweden starts accepting and welcoming a non-birth based nobility of culture and heritage than it will be better and we can prevent the frightening rise of far-right. It makes me angry how the Breivik incident is misinterpreted across the Nordic belt as an issue of freedom of expression, just rubbish, only if we had outlets like the Prussian aristocracy and its custodianship of the army we could have absorbed and tempered such violent forces.

Believe the chaps like the multikulti ones can be sorted out nicely in a semi-feudal society with dukes and barons!! Visit Pakistan where the elites carry Bikini bags speak accented English and relish life and we have the gutter discourse of 'isolationist' here...
15:30 December 4, 2011 by acidcritic
I am an argentinian. I have been in Sweden some years ago. From then on I have realised that immigrants in Sweden are always complaining. They arrive without nothing, after a while they got all, all that really matters I want to say: free education for them and their kids, shelter, housing and so on and they contnue to complain. They also get inough money to migrate to other countries or to return to ther own. Why did they don´t go? Becouse, in the end, nowhere is as in Sweden.

As we say: Immigrants in Sweden want, the beacon, the pig and all the piglets
18:37 December 4, 2011 by Chickybee
@Iftikhar_Ahmed Sorry to have to disagree with you but while Islam may be as you allege all baout learning and valuing education try telling Saudi and Afghanistan where women have no rights and often in Afghanistan are married off at 12 or 14 years old.

How much one can say this is culture or just Islamisation is debatable by one's perception. Another unpaltable truth is that of all the immigrant minorities to come to Europe - immigrants with Muslim backgrounds have been the least integrated.
21:48 December 4, 2011 by Streja
cogito, I agree with you completely in your post here. That's exactly it and hopefully it is and will disappear soon.
22:42 December 4, 2011 by toskana
I am amazed about some comments here. I am an immigrant too in Sweden and if I leave it ll be because of people like you, immigrants who keep on critizing after SO many years they same things. If you are so miserable in Sweden, just leave, nobody forces to stay. Of course I can see the good and bad things of Sweden and it is totally normal to compare to your own background, but is it that swedes are bad when they don´t appreciate your skills, experience,etc, why are the swedes so bad because they let more immigrants to come (kind of ironic being immigrants yourselves). Is it maybe that you are meassuring the "godness" of Sweden according to your success or failure?

For the ones that say multiculturalism is dead, I have to say that now globalization ll not make any easier to come back to the old days where multicultural experience was exceptional. We are more than ever connected to each other so we better learn how to co-exist, apparently we haven´t done it yet.
13:54 December 5, 2011 by jomamas
Immigrants are good people.

But multiculturalism will wipe Sweden off the map within a generation.

All that will remain is some architecture, a flag, some snippets of language and a constitution (i.e. a piece of paper).

This realization is instinctive in proud cultures and is the root of the antagonism to outsiders - by definition - Sweden can either be Swedish - or have immigration and cease to be Swedish.

There is no middle ground.
16:12 December 5, 2011 by seekingthetruth
I agree with this article. Swedish people love there fellow Swedes but if someone's with a different skin color walks in, they make a face and stop talking!!! I am trying to survive in Sweden but can't find good work and the money we get now just isn't enough. We have to stay beacuse my daughter is disabled and we get free doctors but if it wasn' tfor that, I would go back to my homeland tomorrow! Miserable people!
17:22 December 5, 2011 by Snob

You have little option but to accept some of the ancient ways of life...do you realize that it is the hopeless Swedish middle-classes and lower middle classes which are going to be responsible for cessation of Swedishness and not the hapless helpless immigrants. The pathetic post-war society celebrated consumerism both the Anglo-Saxon and welfare state variety as well, you created a middle-class which negotiates identity for the immigrants. Why cant you just accept some nobility and private enclaves where Swedish culture can be protected?? Why this defense of drunken laddies who are good in IT-skills but promote lowest common denominator culture?? I have witnessed in downtown immigrant kids being encouraged by the stupid laddies to pee on the streets and violate the norms of the society.

I can guarantee you without a renewed 19th century style Bourgeoisie who patronized arts and operas have no hope for protecting Swedish culture and identity....take it from me...as a newcomer naturally I will be drawn towards liberals the cool dudes from university who exposes me to Swedishness of heavy drinking and stupid ice-hockey games and I learn diffidence since in Sweden you don't call a moron a moron even school mediocre drop-outs can speak and dont shut up!!

19:23 December 6, 2011 by Streja
Snob, egalitarian culture equals Swedish culture. It's Swedish to claim that everyone is equal. It's deeply engrained.
19:36 December 6, 2011 by Snob
Well Streja thanks for the response:

1.0 Is it Swedish culture today or in the glorious which for me is the pathetic post-war distortion of notion of egalitarianism, if I read text and memoirs about 19th century when BTW Europe was a world power not the welfare-state dump there was a distinct 'court culture' and an elite 'scientific culture'. If as a foreigner I landed in early 20th century I would have witnessed a robust cultural, intellectual bourgeoisie not drunken IT lads with millions in their pockets!!

2.0 Its fine to be equal on wealth terms, which Sweden isnt exactly when the media props up IT and commerce millionaires as role-models, but lets accept is far more equal than other countries...FINE AND GREAT...

But where do we draw the line??? Why not combine great Swedish welfare state egalitarianism with sophisticated intellectual and cultural elites?? Why the penchant for 'provocative' post-modern junkies in the field of culture?

Do you believe having a refined sophisticated cultural world contradicts the spirit of equality and how?? Do we need 'forced' equality of mind and spirit??

Besides Swedish culture is clearly under threat from this spirit of egalitie...frustrated young people are taking to violence across the nordic belt...

Look what we have....drunk youths and macho sports...please reflect and think about this..
23:25 December 8, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
@ seekingthetruth

Your plight is unfortunate, but I must reply in opposition.

How can you say that about Sweden when/if you go home your daughter would suffer at the hands of your own "miserable people"

If your people were not "miserable people" you would never have left them...would you?

I am glad that the Swedish people care more for your child than her own do!

I hope that she does well, wherever she is.

Don't bite the hand that cares for your child.
16:05 December 12, 2011 by Achilles7
It blows my mind that people from a completely different culture and background who come to a foreign country expect to fit in straight away and encounter no problems whatsoever. Of course it's going to be difficult for you but you made your choice to come here. Don't act 'surprised' when things don't go perfectly.

As for the article - pointless. Ibrahimovic is a multi-millionaire, world-famous, well respected, hugely talented football player. I doubt, if you asked him, he'd feel 'hard done by' by Sweden. Please don't feel sorry for him.
16:39 May 8, 2012 by GuidoBandido
Smiling Canuck says, "I can see multi-culturalism concept being semi successful in Canada because we are a country built upon a history of immigration, but in a homogeneous society like Sweden to be suddenly be dumped with large groups of immigrants over a short period of time, the policy was destined to fail."

Actually, Smiling Canuck, Canada does not have a history of immigration. You might be confusing yourself with the United States. Canada, like Australia, hadn't experienced major influx of immigrants until a generation ago. Up until the 1990s, 96% of Canada's population consisted of about five nationalities, compared with hundreds in the United States. And apparently, Canada is losing many of its educated immigrants to the United States in the same way Sweden is. Are you still smiling?
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Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

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Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
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This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

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