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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

Fitting in

Should we fit in or not? Yesterday evening, I listened briefly to a Swedish political debate, where the leader of the Sweden Democrats affirmed that he thought it would be best to focus on our majority and that it's the responsibility of minorities, such as immigrants, to make the effort to fit in. He was quickly opposed by the Environmental party, who said she thought it's our duty to uphold the minorities, such as offering news in various languages, including Arabic and Somalian, in Sweden. This had me thinking about minority vs majority in our cultures. What is the right way to go?

Either we encourage and support individualisation, or we include more people into our groups. From my experience, Swedish people are very reluctant to ever let someone in to their social circles, unless they are impressed by you, or a wannabe themselves. Even I, who is native Swedish, have experienced this. It's not all in our language, it's a way of being closed, cold, and often degrading. So, we should be who we really are, ie authentic, but then not fitting in? This is one of the reasons why I haven't been able to coach people here in Sweden, because how can I coach someone in conditions that even hinder personal growth? It's a deep seated behavior, which is yet another reason for me to also go live in the United States again.

Thus, the majority must invite the minorities, but yet I have also learned that Americans seem to be more interested in me, when I'm being more Swedish oriented in my ways, to not come off as someone wanting to become like them. Unless that is just about competitiveness for long term staying, vs hospitality for short term staying. All in all, it's always a matter of what we can contribute with.

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