They Call Me Sweden

21 year old Swede living and studying (BA Journalism, Media and Sociology) in Cardiff, UK. Originally from Stockholm. Loves food, to travel and my dear friends.

Archive for the ‘…that makes me wanna debate!’ Category

Stop being ignorant, please.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I felt that I had to comment the terrorist incident that occurred in Stockholm the other day. Or rather the aftermath of the attack.

Of course I was shocked and a bit worried when I found about  what had happened. Personally, Stockholm has always been like a safe bubble which excludes everything bad that is happening in the rest of the world. I have always felt safe, crime has never come across my 20 years’  life and I grew up in a safe environment where I could walk home safely from school. Pedophiles were the only threat, that may have been hiding behind a bush, however, that was something I never bothered about – it was probably just my parents who were scared, I never found out if there actually were any pedophiles that lumbered close to our neighborhood.

I’m aware that it’s naive to think about a society as a ‘bubble’ and I don’t think anyone benefits from isolation from the rest of the world. Yet, I had a safe growth and that has shaped who I am today, as well as my values and opinions  and what I think about the rest of the world. Some Swede’s reactions of the terrorist incident make me wonder (as some has put it), what the he** they were doing during their religion lessons? And it shocks me. Probably more than the attack itself to be honest. I grew up in a safe society and yes, I wish that my future children will do the same. That doesn’t mean that I would blame Muslims or immigrants if anything happens (such as a terrorist attack) that may disturb our harmonic surrounding.

Two words come to mind, ignorance and generalization, which could be used this reactions. Ignorance of the fact that those who operate these attacks are often extremists and also mentally ill. And also that only a tiny fraction of attacks from 2006-2009 (Europol) were acted out by Muslims. See below. They’re also generalizing that all immigrants and Muslims (especially Muslims, remember that!) are capable of establish a terrorist attack. “Let’s threw all of them out of Sweden!” What good would that do? And when they’re in action, they could throw out the Royal family as well. They are after all not 100% Swedish. In my opinion, all of this is so silly, what is the definition of a Swede? Is there even one? I would prefer to live in a society where there are a variety of cultures and people are able to express themselves, rather in society where there’s only one ideal and people are oppressed as an effect.

Conclusion: Do more research before making a statement and base arguments on Facts rather than Assumptions. Something to help you on the way:

Total number: 1770
Islamic: 6 (0.34%)
Right Wing Ethno-Nationalist and Separatist: 1596 (90.17%)
Left Wing: 106 (5.99%)
Other/Not Specified: 62 (3.50%)

Also, why can’t we be positive about the fact nobody except the suicide bomber himself got killed during the attack and that it was an operation solo? I could probably write a 3000 word essay about this subject, but let’s stop there.

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I’m out of words

Monday, September 20th, 2010

It has been the Swedish parliament election today as you may know and the situation is a bit chaotic. The reason is obviously that the Swedish democrats (I can’t understand how they can call themselves democrats speaking of which) have passed the 4% parliament border and will also receive 20 mandates. The Alliance won but not with majority and if the Environmental party aren’t interested of supporting, there’s a serious problem. I can’t believe that 5.7% of the Swedish population wants a party that are hostile towards immigrants.

Yes, I’m worried about where this country and its inhabitants are heading as the support for SD is continuously increases. A party that bases their arguments on fiction and not on facts. A party which many of its members are former nazis. I’m glad that Fredrik Reinfeldt (M), the prime minister of Sweden, is still confident on that they will do whatever they can so that SD won’t get influence in Swedish politics. I also think it was strong and admirable by Lars Ohly (Left-wing party) that he wouldn’t even be in the same room as the leader of SD, Jimmie Åkesson! But still, I’m wondering what the h*** is wrong with 5.7% of the Swedish population. It’s clear that the government and the red-green parties must take actions and have discussions about immigration, in order to win back those supporting SD.

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Snow, snow and even more snow!

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

It’s total chaos in the rail traffic in Stockholm and the rest of Sweden because of the snow; trains, buses and subways have been cancelled and delayed. I had plans for practise driving this forenoon but I had no choice but to return home to my boyfriend’s when the subway didn’t seem to come at all. The Swedish Rail service and the local transport never seem to be well prepared and always seem surprised when the winter comes. It’s not like we’re part of the northern Europe, absolutely not!

 There has been an extreme winter this year, but you think that the responsible should be a lot better on making sure that the trains are on time and that the railroads are free of ice and snow. There’s no lack of resources – the government has put in money for restoring the tracks. In my view it’s a disaster when the local transport of Stockholm are suggesting that people should stay home from work because of the weather. It seems though that I can take advantage of the travel guarantee and take a taxi to my job!

Personally I’m longing for warmer weather and lesser snow, we have reached a point where the end of the continous snowfall and the decreasing degrees seem to be out of reach. There’s a major problem when people are struggling to find a way home from the central Stockholm or cannot get to work because of the traffic. This is the first winter since years that we have experienced a ‘full white winter’. On my way home from a night out yesterday my friend and I saw people slipping and falling on the crossing because of the stormy snowfall, I think it’s enough now!

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Is this ad that intimidating?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010


You think that Sweden has become a liberal country where people don’t have anything against people being homo-, bi- or transsexual, then you read this article. What’s the difference between a poster representing a man with two women all over him and a woman also with two women? I wouldn’t be provoked if I saw a photo like the one above in a newspaper. I wouldn’t. How far have we come if mayor newspapers such as Sydsvenskan and City (Malmö) refuse to publish this kind of advertising?

This reaction from two newspapers that both originate from Skåne, the south of Sweden, strengthens the prejudice over that people in Skåne are narrow minded and conservative. Skåne is like the black sheep of Sweden as they many times before have been upsetting people in the whole Sweden by inliberal statements, for example when a county in Skåne refused to accepting refugee children. The feared Sverigedemokraterna (The Swedish democrats) also have a strong support in Skåne. I love being in Lund where people are nice and friendly, would they really get offended if this picture was published in the morning newspaper? What do you think?

Update: I don’t have any problem whatsoever to publish the whole RFSL ad picture, the previous photo came from The Local article.

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Is there any hope left for Haiti?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Photo taken by Paul Hansen.

Right now I’m sitting on a train on its way to Lund, the south of Sweden, where I’m going to visit my sister who studies there. I usually buy some magazine or newspaper when I travel by train, by this time I decided not to buy a newspaper in style of Aftonbladet or Expressen as their content is rubbish. They always exaggerating their stories and considering celebrity gossip as real news. So went online to Dagens Nyheter instead and found this article about Haiti written by the journalist Mikael Winiarski. If you are bilingual and can read Swedish then I think that you should go there and read it, I’ve read stories by Winiarski before and he has the ability to reach out to the reader and grap the reader’s attention.

This article is about the consequences of the horrible earthquake in Haiti and describing how far the lawness society has gone. Everything in Haiti is of course out of control as hospitals, schools and even the UN building has collapsed. Therefore I don’t think it’s strange that many are desperate and tempted to plunder belongings of others, and it’s not just belongings that are stolen – even food such as rice. People are defintely desperate to survive. However, what happens when even the police don’t follow the laws any more?

What Winiarski witnessed was Fabienne, 15 who had plundered two paintings for which she was shot to death by the police. According to Amnesty International Haiti has abolished death  penalty so this proves that they were not allowed to do this act. How does a person think when he shoots fifteen year old girl who doesn’t do any resistance at all? Does he have any moraliy at all? The country has for a long time been struggling with violence and corrupt governments, but they must find a way in this chaotic environment to find some kind of order. When a country doesn’t have death penalty there’s no reason for the police to shoot raiders and in my opinion, they certainly shouldn’t support a lawless society as they do when they’re acting like this. When something like this happens I can’t help by wondering if there’s any hope left for Haiti.

Photo taken by Paul Hansen.

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‘The heart of Africa’

Sunday, January 17th, 2010


Long time no seen, huh? Well, I’ve been enjoying my long term vacation from work and keeping inside most of the time, due to how the temperature went down to -20 Celsius degrees. I’ve also had a bit of a writer’s cramp; it has never been so hard to type down opinions, emotions and thoughts etc. as it has been for a while now. I have good hopes for the coming year though, and I’m certained about that 2010 is going to be a fabulous one.

Life feels so good at the moment, it’s like everything in it’s order, I enjoy myself and I start working tomorrow. Therefore today was the last day of my vacation so I’ve mostly relaxed and prepared myself  to the ‘new’ work routines. Laying back in the sofa and watching The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was a perfect way for me to end this week, as it’s such a warm and loveable TV show. The programme is based on the books with the same name written by the author Alexander McCall Smith and outplays in Botswana. The plot is about Precious Ramotswe who is a strong, caring and dedicated woman who seeks for the truth and does not let anyone step on her toes. She works according to a perspective called the “heart of Africa”, which means that even in hard times forgiveness may be found and that they belive that everyone has something to give.

There’s an ongoing debate in Sweden on how rolemodels and ideals should be. People are obsessed by being perfect instead of finding one’s true personality. In my view we need more women like Precious, women that are fearless and seeking for the truth. I don’t think it’s worth discussing role models and the template for them, but I’d rather look up to someone who stands up for oneself and others than someone who’s focus is to be perfect. I wonder if there’s a “Heart of Europe” as well?

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SAAB and the environment

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

The latest news here in Sweden are about the closedown of SAAB and for most people it seemed to come as a chock, and it also shadowed the results of the climate meeting in Copenhagen (Denmark). When the outcome of the COP15 came to be a disappointment, the intensive reporting about the session stopped and instead, journalists rate the economy higher than the environment once again.

Of course, both Swedish economy and the unemployment rate will definitely get effected by the closure, but most of us did see this coming. And no company is formed to be able to survive centuries after centuries. I guess that is the cycle of economy and people seem to forget SAAB actally was a company that is dependent on people buying their cars. Swedes often tend to have a ‘special and friendly relationship’ towards companies that heritage from Sweden. We’re fond of Swedish brands such as IKEA, Volvo, SAAB and Electrolux. For some the result of a company reaching bankruptcy is almost like losing a loved one or a friend.

I’m sure that the closedown of SAAB will not effect my life in a big way, I still have my job and I don’t think it will increase the taxes. The environment on the other hand will have an affect on how my life turn out to be, and it does that to everyone. Though I think that citizens have the right to big news immediately, I must wonder; Was it a bad timing that they went public about SAAB on the same date as the final day of the COP15?

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Why are people so narrow-minded?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Have you seen the film Milk, of which story that concerns the gay activist Harvey Milk? If you have, then you must agree with me that it’s a movie that everyone should see, either if you’re pro-homosexuals or homophobic (though I find it very hard to understand why someone dislike HBT-people), as you definitely learn a lot about people and how important human rights are. Today a long with my co-workers from Amnesty I got the opportunity to watch it the second time and we were so surprised over how narrow-minded people in our age are. The majority of us from Amnesty is 19 and in the salon there were students that were about 16-24 years old. People were interrupting by speaking to each other during the film, shouting when two men kissed and when applauding when the central figure was shot dead.

Milk is in my opinion one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen and I think that Sean Penn did an extraordinary achievement when he acted as Harvey Milk. I’ve gotten moved and touched by his effort and both times I’ve been speechless on how it’s possible that people even can have so much disgust for people that are slightly different than themselves. I’ve always thought that people are born equally and should deserve full human rights – no matter what. I was surprised to find out that people still, even in my age, are so prejudicial about HBT-people and that so many are insecure with that subject. Fear has given birth to many disasters like the Holocaust, gay movement, the Rwanda genocide and so many other events. Wouldn’t you agree with me that it’s time to treat people as people instead of putting labels and categorize people?


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I met a Prisoner of conscience today.

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Is there anybody of you readers that knows what a prisoner of conscience is? According to my experience talking to people at town, there are many who are not familiar with that term . Anyway, a prisoner of conscience is a concept that Amnesty International uses to symbolize people that has been imprisoned due to their ethnic heritage, skin colour, religious and political stand points, sex, sexual orientation, faith or opinions. This term often concerns people that haven’t practiced or campaigned for violence in any way. Journalists and people who fights for Human Rights are often those who get imprisoned. You have probably heard of Dawit Isaak.

I hadn’t heard a prisoner of conscience’s story directly until today, even though I daily discuss them they have been rather distant from me I guess. I have only read about what they have been through, never heard their own words. So, it was very powerful to hear Jahangir Alam Akash‘s story about how it was to work as a journalist in Bangladesh and how it all ended up.

One of my colleagues met him by a coincidence when she was recruiting new members to Amnesty and it turned out that he had been prisoned in Bangladesh and Amnesty had later helped him and his family to move to Germany. It was inspiring to meet Mr Akash and I think that there are lots to learn from him, but also from other people that never stop fighting for human rights. He said that many journalists in Bangladesh are corrupt and that their salary are often very low, which means that many authorities hand out money to newspapers to publish their news. Akash, however, did not hesitate from being critically towards high-ranking men, and for this he was accused for bribing a entrepreneur.

Akash was not only imprisoned and experienced torture, he was also evicted against his will because of his writings. This lead to that he had to flee his hometown to Dhaka. He said that he is still experiencing back pains from being tortured.

I wish that all people could get knowledge on how badly people are treated in many countries worldwide and that newspapers would write more about human rights issues than people like Anna Anka. If more people would have met Mr Akash I’m sure that they wouldn’t hesitate to take a stand for human right and to become a member of Amnesty International. How many of you are members of Amnesty?

Jahangir Alam Akash

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Anyone who’s looking for an employee?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Right now I’m so annoyed with the boss of my job. Feels like he thinks that he could treat me however he likes. Some days ago I said to my friends that I rather “work” as a housewife than at the café and that’s an evidence of how much I dislike it there, ’cause I would never ever accept if my future husband would demand that I should stay at home with the kids. Anyway, the boss is so awful! He gives too many promises of work opportunities and he always breaks them! E.g. Last week he said that I could work the whole last week except Monday, Wednesday and Sunday and I only got to work on Tuesday and for two hours on Thursday. He also said that I could work this week, all days, but this morning he contacted me and said “no work this week”. It’s so annoying ’cause I really need the money!

I really feel like he has taken advantage of my workforce and I don’t think this is seldom in the café, bar and resturant business. It’s so wrong when café owners treat their workers in this way. It’s also irrespectively and selfish by him! I mean, I also have bills to pay and I need money for upcoming trips. How can some people regard that they could treat young people however they like? We also have rights and I’m so irritated ’cause I have never let anyone step on me! You know what, I’m so tempted by contacting the work agency and report my boss. I’m probably not the first young girl that he has taken advantage of. Really should begin with sending out emails to people who possibly could hire me… Oh I know! If anyone of you readers is looking for an employee, don’t hesitate for contacting me! Comment and I’ll send my resumé. :)

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