Holier than thou

As in any culture, there are codes and norms by which said people tend to understand each other which in turn use to signal that they belong to the same group. No fault there as everyone is guilty of said conduct. Though there is one rather particular to the Swedes: they are painfully unaware of their surroundings so much they a guilty of appearing holier than others. They lack a so called sociological imagination and live a rather bubbled life unperturbed by outside forces. So its no surprise that they are largely unaware of how they are perceived by others other than themselves even they they complain about it. It is their nature to be nescient.

However. Swedes can not be faulted for not taking into consideration the Other amongst their midst nor for being utterly hegemonic and unaware of one’s surroundings. This is what makes them a part of being Swedish. There is even a saying in Spanish that addresses the feature at hand: Hacerse el sueco and even one in Swedish which pinpoints the issue at hand: låtsas som det regnar. Both idioms refer to the fact that obliviousness pours out of the essence of the Swede. This conduct tends to cause irritation in immigrants since they perceive Swedes as being callous, right out cold and right out arrogant when they are away from the rest of us. Mind you, this in the eye of the Other.

Now, am not trying to untangle a riddle but rather trying to explain an ens so as to bitch about the one aspect that I loath and which rankles the soul to no end. Mostly because as one as an immigrant one is bound to adopt the customs of the ruling majority and this particular behavior is pretty darn difficult to mimic. It taxes the psyche to try to ignore at will one’s surroundings or other people around one. Swedes are good at shutting out the milieu that engulfs their existence. Not so for an immigrant, one is utterly useless in shutting down the environment at all. Hence the effort usually tends to backfire like a ricocheted lost bullet. It just looks right out bad and ugly when the immigrant tries to pull off said act.

This sort of behavior also backfires on fully integrated immigrants and the hate poured on immigrants who do it as to pass off as a genuine article are even more of a loath object by new arrivals to the country.  One ends up in nowhere land neither belonging to the Swedes nor the immigrant community at large. This requires a certain balance or cultural migration so as to appease both groups.


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