Alla inlägg den 20 november 2008

Av Gary Fraser - 20 november 2008 17:48

Well I guess it is time, a part of this blog is basically just to bitch on what I think is wrong, mostly with Sweden, but even the whole world as a society.

I guess I should begin with the thing that I deal with every day, and it could also be a bit of a controversial subject.

Foreigners, when they come to Sweden are expected to integrate into society, and at least make an effort to pull their own weight. Admittedly, the system lets them down a bit, with dodgy entry schooling, and an underlying current of racism, which exists no matter where you go, makes it difficult to be titled "Swedish".

Coming from a "european" country, I  have no problem looking like a swede/european, therefore, at least in physical appearance, can it be assumed that I can integrate better and be one of the "locals". But to settle in here, can be very difficult, people are not willing to chance on something they don't know. Sure there is interest in my land, and my background, but when it comes to education or life experience, comes  the problems.

But despite these problems, I've managed to get a job, and a good one, by emigrants standards, and I've managed to get a grip on the language within a few years, which, so I'm told, I should be very proud of.

So other foreigners, whats the problem? I've met people who have been here 20-30 years, and only know the very basic words "hit" "Gris?" and a few more, with much worse grammar than even I have (and mine can be pretty bad). Not to mention the cultural difference, that makes them appear very rude in their behaviour, which in turn can be quite hard not to feel offended. So I guess here comes the gripe, if these people can be here for such a long time, why can't they make the effort to learn Swedish? Sure its a difficult language, but having been here for so long, its hard to justify not learning the language. And herein lies the problem

Because these people stick within their communities, and don't venture out to broaden their horizons, they don't integrate into society, and therefore cannot be accepted into society. It is then, that they hold their hands up and say "I can't get a job" or "they hate us foreigners", and wonder why. Those who do venture out generally don't have a problem finding work, albeit that it is generally labouring work, or work requiring very little intellectual ability, or responsibility.

So in reality, its a vicious circle, the swedes don't want the foreigners, and the foreigners don't want to make the effort. So whose job is it to fix it?

Million dollar question.

I guess it needs to begin from when they first step off the ship (metaphorically speaking), if they're going to be accepted by the government, irrelevant of which land they are in, then they must be made to feel welcome, to be given every encouragement to not sit on social security, and to prove that they can bring some form of value to society, other than to just drain away others taxes.

Communities are great, and they are needed. As a New Zealander, I don't get much opportunity to build my own community of people around me, simply due to the lack of numbers of my type of people, both in Halmstad and in Sweden. In my time here, I have met three New Zealanders, and maybe 10 Australians. But for a foreigner to succeed in a new land, they must step outside that community, and drop that reliance on the community to pull them through, and support them. Independance is the key.

So, given that my job, and the nature and location of my job, entails that I will meet many frustrating people, it is to the future I look, where I hope that immigrants will try to blend into society a bit better, without selling out the image of who they are. A universal country, where background doesn't matter, because we all speak the same language, is vital for any country to be successful in the future, where globalisation is going to continue to dominate.



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