brown hair, green eyes, did you say swedish?
Here you can see a summery of my work, enjoy!
What is typical Swedish?
It was the first question I asked myself when I started my work. Who is the right person to say what is typically Swedish? I found three persons to interview, in my eyes they where specialist in typical Swedish things, for the reason that two of them are working with young refugee from the hole world. So they must know about our behaviour, the kind you do without reflection. The third person I interviewed was a man who came to Sweden 19 years ago when he was 14 years old. I thought he might have another view of Sweden and that he could tell me how the felling was to come to here. So how good knowledge do Swedish people have about themselves? When people come to Sweden in which way are the staff of migration workers prepared? I mean, do they get any courses or something in intercultural communication or in intercultural meetings?
I started to ask my interview people what they thought was typical Swedish. In the beginning they had some problem to find an answer. One of them said that he did not think that any thing is typical Swedish, except the “Svensson family”. The Svensson family is a stereotype for a nuclear family, but also, the dog, the Volvo, and caravan.
From the interviews I got three thing who could represent the Swedish values; Equality between sexes, bureaucracy and traditions. They mean that Sweden is about being equal. Bureaucracy is very well known in Sweden. We like a lot of paper work and if we have rules about something they should be obeyed. For example the Swedish Immigration Board is a government authority, and if they say something we don’t ask any questions. Because we trust in the governments authority.
Traditions, we love to celebrate all of the traditions we have, like Christmas, the New Year, “midsommar”. We celebrate midsommar in the middle of the summer, in the end of June.
Then we raise a “flowerpole” and dance around it, singing about small frogs. We eat a lot and drink too much.
I think that Swedish people in general do not know so much about our culture and why we are like we are. I think this can become a problem for us when other people from different cultures arrive in Sweden. Because it is when we meet a person from another culture that we recognize our own culture.
I get very surprised when I realise the people who worked with refugee people didn’t get any edition in intercultural communication. I think it would be compulsory to give everyone edition in intercultural communication who is working with immigrant people.
The result of my work is that Swedish people have a very small knowledge about there own culture. When I get to the conclusion I get scared that we didn’t have any vocational training.
If we don’t define what Swedish is today, can we not expect that immigrant people can understand the Swedish way to live.
It is the society’s responsibility to give all the employees who are working with immigrant people edition in intercultural communication.