Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Fadime Sahindal was buried yesterday after a funeral in Uppsala Cathedral attended by thousands, including Crown Princess Victoria and various politicians such as the leader of the Folkpartiet, the Minister for Integration and the Speaker of Parliament. Archbishop Hammar led the service.

Fadime Sahindal wasn't famous. That is, not until she was murdered by her father for shaming the family name by dating the wrong guy. Her murder has caused an uproar in Sweden, adding fire to the debate of what to do about invandrare - immigrants, of which I am one, albeit one that is welcomed. Sahindal's family was Kurdish, although she was raised in Sweden. But obviously her family had held onto some, er, traditions from Turkey.

So Swedes are now asking themselves what they expect from immigrants, which is a difficult question for a country that since World War II has - out of guilt at being neutral during the war and letting the Nazis march through Sweden to get to Norway, I suspect - had strong policies encouraging immigration, particularly from war-torn parts of the world. But economically speaking, Sweden no longer needs these immigrants, which it did until the '90s. So there's a lot of tension around immigrants, yet people don't seem to want to go the way of Denmark. They just seem to want to do the right thing, whatever that may be.

The Swedish phrase for the day is utanför. It means outside.

- by Francis S.

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