"What is a real Swede? Do you have to shop at Ikea, be blond or listen to Abba? "

An interview with Jonas Hassan Khemiri (who is a hottie) about his book (which came out only in Sweden) and his ideas about identity. Here’s a little somthin’:

Halil rebels against the discontinuation of Arabic lessons at school and against his liberal father. How much do you identify with this attitude?

Khemiri: As an adolescent I tried to distance myself from Swedish identity – to the point of completely romanticizing my Arab origins. Once I said to my father: “We’ll be going home soon.” My father asked: “What do you mean?”

2 thoughts on “"What is a real Swede? Do you have to shop at Ikea, be blond or listen to Abba? "

  1. I’ve often wondered when I’ll really be an American. I mean, I was born here, but if someone were to ask what I was and I answered “American,” they wouldn’t let me get by with that the way they would if I were a little blonder/whiter/whatever. I think I’ll only be an American when this country stops seeing me as “other,” and that can only happen if the majority shifts from being comprised of white men. Then again, I don’t know if I’ll ever want to stop being the “other.” Assimilation is over-rated, although some may argue that it’s necessary for survival.

    Anyway, I wrote an article about Arab identity and such a little bit ago, it probably fleshes out my ideas on the subject a little better than I am now – http://www.popmatters.com/features/050614-arabidentity.shtml

  2. reminds me of something a good friend said to me a few days back.

    He sat smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of whiskey with the same hand and was upset that I had mentioned we were planning to move to Canada (we live in the dc area)

    he said i wish i never came here. I wish my parents never left their country. I wish my kids never had to endure being immigrants forever.

    He continued to explain to me how his great grandchildren would be living the immigrant experience.

    He thought the whole thing was so sad. for some reason i didn’t.

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