May 28, 2018

To integrate migrants in Sweden might have to begin with helping Swedes valuing their heritage (their Swedness) more.

Sir, Richard Milne’s reports Ulf Kristersson (Moderate party) told the Financial Times that integrating the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in Sweden was a “really tricky thing,”“Swedish poll favourite eyes welfare change to integrate migrants” May 28.

Over the weekend I was in Sweden visiting family. There I had a chance to sit down and chat with the priest of the parish where the cemetery in which my parents are buried. After hearing her lamenting, discreetly, I said: Indeed, if you do not teach your children about the historical importance of the Church for Sweden’s development, it is hard to see them take due interest of it. 

Two years ago, the only girl wearing a typical Swedish national dress in the “folkpark” where we danced around the Midsummer pole, was my Canadian granddaughter. It was sad. Of course, to integrate migrants to something not given sufficient importance is a tricky affair. In Sweden, when it comes to swearing, even the “fan” I knew has been pulverized by the “shit”. 

Perhaps Sweden needs to look at itself more in terms of a cultural profitable business franchise, and have its universities analyze how much Swedes and migrants would be losing if Sweden got rid of its originalities and went neutrally global. To start out they could try calculating what its Swedish heritage has meant to bring cohesion and strength to the marketing strategy of an IKEA.

But perhaps that’s not politically correct. I wonder if a university in UK has dared estimating the added value in pounds to Britain, of the recent Meghan and Harry wedding. Surely many billions! Instead you have a Bank of England giving you the cost of Brexit, £900 per family.