Since I moved to Berlin I have thought about nationality, and what makes you feel connected to the country you were born in. Of course language, family and friends are part of the package, but in my case I don’t find traditions especially important. I see myself as a kind of free spirit, but I can’t deny my Swedish heritage. I will always be Swedish at heart.
Today is the Swedish national day. I haven’t thought much about it. I never do. Nationality is important, but not as important as being a good person. Sometimes I feel nationality creates walls instead of tearing them down.
As a Swede being proud of the Father-/Motherland doesn’t come natural. We’ve always concealed our pride, and waving flags was something only children did. We Swedes consider ourselves to be equal, or “lagom” as we say. Just right. In the middle. Neutral.
But there are things you never can deny. Even though Swedish traditions aren’t something I hold dear I can’t see myself adopting the German ways. I am open and curious, but what I do behind closed doors is nobody’s business.
Like someone said:
You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy…
I have learnt this through personal experience, thus it pains me when people demand refugees and immigrants to “become Swedish”. Or German. Or Finnish. Or… Whatever.
Like a child can love both its parents, immigrants and expats can love and respect two countries.
I’m simply Swerman. (Or maybe Gerdish…?)
Happy Birthday, Sweden! 🙂