Seeing the world through eyes of colour
I am being racialised..
im not sure if that is a legit word but it works for what i'm feeling..
for the first time i'm living in a city thats not big and international,
one where multicultural doesn't mean the same thing as it would, say, in my last home;London
i have to say this isn't an anti sweden rant..
in fact unlike most people that moved here,
i chose to be here because i loved Sweden
i love the seasons, including the winter
i love the green parks everywhere
i love the pastry
i loved the islands
i love the feminism that exists here in a real way
i love that sports newscasters can all be women and thats normal
i love that pregnant women can still be tv presenters with their tummys so big theyre ready to pop
i love the constant hot water pressure and functioning indoor heating
i love that my husband is equal to me as a parent in the eyes of the law and society
i love that i got one year parental leave as a mum
i love that my husband gets one year parental leave as a dad
i love the working healthcare and public transport
gosh i love it here
now after 4 years , im finally seeing myself in sweden
and i dont like what i see
I may not look like a minority but i feel like one here
Because really i meet swedes everyday who look like me. .
i looked for work for 4 years in my field and didnt manage a single interview
i see colour within a stratosphere of power plays that i do not appreciate
the questions and looks make me feel different in a way that is unappreciated.
in london being different is the norm, in sweden being different is not
Instead, to get ahead one must
I worry not at being a curiosity, but that my daughter will be one,
that her skin will be questioned
that her hair will be touched
that she will one day say 'I am swedish' and society will give her a questioning look
That she would then turn to her parents roots for acceptance and find she doesnt quite fit there either..
when i gave her daycare teacher a pot of sheabutter for her on the first day,
i was ready for the explanations necessary, i know they think it odd,
but there you go ,thier education begins just like hers
but you have to wonder how long we are willing and ready to ' educate ' those around us
because if we're being honest there are other places in the world albeit filled with problems of thier owns but at least i can get my hair conditioner from the regular local store like a normal person.
And i guess that is what it boils down to..
I want to be in a place where it is normal to look brown,speak italian and be Indonesian. .
I dont want people to see me or my family and be surprised that we speak three languages
That we have an education
That we are kind..
Or simply that we now speak swedish
In a place which seems so inclusive from the exterior there seems to be intrinsic discrimination once a layer is peeled back..