Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Multiculturalism and immigration are hot topics up in Scandinavia right now. The debate on immigration and how to deal with it is intense, and the process is something that will unavoidably change those small, and until now relatively homogenous countries.

In my opinion multiculturalism is something positive, it enriches society. Thinking that a country "belongs" to a certain people seems irrational to me. However, and of course there’s a "however", the welfare state belongs to someone: the people who are maintaining it by their hard work. I don’t mind giving away a big part of my salary if it guarantees free education, effective health care, and so on. It’s OK that foreigners benefit as well, as long as they contribute to the general welfare. The problem is that there will always be free-riders who will enjoy the benefits while lying in the sofa, smoking pot. 

There is, however, one thing that annoys me beyond exasperation: people who come to a country, excepting to have everything given to them and then they dare to criticise the local people. They say that the locals are idiots and that it’s impossible to talk to them, but do they try make any contact? No. They claim that everybody hates them because they come from country X and that all the locals are racists. Are they friendly to the people who approach them? No. Are they trying to learn the language? No. They say that all the local girls are sluts because they like going to the local cattle market every Saturday. Have they tried to meet girls in any other places? No. The food is horrible, and so is the weather.

Moving to another country and adapting to the culture is tough, yeah anyone who’s been in the same situation knows that. It’s incredibly scary, not knowing anyone and having to deal with a lot of strange things at once. But it’s no excuse for self-pity and it definitely doesn’t justify the claim that all local people would be racists, because they’re not. They might not be welcoming you with open arms because they are busy with their own lives, but usually, if you’re nice, cultured, hard-working and make an effort, they’ll end up liking you. We are all responsible for our own happiness, both in our own country and in foreign lands.

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