MIDNIGHT THOUGHTS & THUNDERS
Blank. That’s how I feel about this.
We had a general election this year in Sweden. And after a whole two months, the government collapsed. Something about the coalition government not agreeing on a budget. I don’t even bother to understand what’s going on, to be honest. I have a confession to make. It’s going to sound hella harsh. But I don’t feel I belong here. Just thinking about my childhood brings tears to my eyes. It’s so painful because I love Sweden so darn much, but the culture…And I just read that the ultra-right Sweden Democrats have proposed a motion that says Swedes should be categorized according to ethnic backgrounds. It’s not even about Swedes and non-Swedes; it’s anyone with at least one immigrant parent, even if they themselves were born here. So, in this proposed motion, I’d be categorized as ‘immigrant’ even though I was born and bred here. This echoes the anti-semitic Nuremberg Laws in Nazi-Germany 1935, where people were classified as German if they had four German grandparents, and non-German (hence deprived of citizenship) if any grandparent weren’t ‘pure-blooded’ Germans.
I’m actually sick of this. I had a dream some days ago that I was refused my Swedish citizenship and I said fuck it, I’m going to Australia. I grew up with the constant reminder that my skin-tone and hair colour made me different, that I was less of a Swede than the kids my age because they were fairer than me. I grew up in a segregated neighbourhood as ‘immigrants’ and Swedes don’t live in the same neighbourhoods. Of course, there’s no official law that prevents this, but it’s notorious that landlords would reject people with foreign sounding names because that would be detrimental to the real estate value. It’s tacitly believed that immigrants are criminals. Hence the motion to classify. 😡
Most Swedes are very mellow and polite. I find they are the politest in all of Scandinavia, and try their best to be politically correct. However, the flip side of this is passive-aggressiveness that when suppressed long enough can turn into bitter resentment which is now being taken advantage of by the fascist Sweden Democrats party.
I love Sweden for its nature and reclusive culture. If Sweden were an MBTI type, I’d classify it as ISFP. I’ve lived in Kenya and Egypt, and let me tell you, that was more than enough a lesson for me to learn that populous and loud societies is my kryptonite. I need nature. I need it to recalibrate myself. Did I mention that 70% of Sweden is covered in forest? Yeah. 70%. That means less people, less crowding, fresher air, more nature. An HSP’s paradise. My best childhood memories were when I was in the nature; hiking with dad ( I got this love for nature from my pops! :P) school trips, smell of summer breeze… 🙄
I’m so upset because I don’t know any other country in my heart. It’s not even about nationality or patriotism; I don’t care much about arbitrary boundaries but my soul is comfortable here. Nowhere else but here. I was gone for 8 years and in those years I’d have recurring dreams about my old school. My soul kept tugging at me to remember Sweden. In those 8 years, I never knew peace, not even once. Until I came back. It was a mixture of nostalgia,deja vu, and the relief of coming home after spending a week with strangers. I can’t quite explain.
I just want to belong. I grew up with an identity crisis because I wasn’t really a Somali, nor was I fully accepted as a Swede. I’d be told to ‘go home’, and the elder Somalis would look down upon me for being a first generationer, as if that made me less ‘real’. In fact, they wouldn’t shy away from saying that my ilk are spoilt airheads. I grew up with my books and imagination. That was the only place I could go and not get questioned.
Here are pics, btw, of my lovely neighbourhood;
Photo Credit: Biketommy
Trams are the most common form of transport, here in Gothenburg.
Above is a 2000 year old stone circle graveyard from early iron age. Real vikings are buried in there, and the stone circle also served as some sort of meeting place/court. I’ve sat on those stones, and it’s hella eerie, if I may say so. I wonder what happens at midnight
I needed this off my chest. Thanks for reading my erratic ramble.