We all go through phases, until finally we come to terms with who we really are – we find our identities. I was born in Sweden, but raised in a way that let me in touch with the Swedish culture fairly late. See I didn’t join kindergarten till I was three and a half years old. And I’ve been raised in the… let’s say “multicultural areas”… of Sweden. It wasn’t until I turned 17 that we finally moved to a more peaceful area.
Some of my friends, I guess, are happy that I’ve finally started agreeing with them on certain matters. I’ve come out of my phases and finally realized that life is much more than rice and parties where you sit with the mothers cuz you don’t know anyone. Cuz that life was so empty. And our former generation either doesn’t realize it or realizes too late. That it’s not all about showing off your new shari (traditional clothing) which you will wear only once in your life or the jewellery your husband bought for you. Can you believe such women still exist? These are the ones who probably are incapable of helping their kids with their homework yet still expecting them to become doctors.
I am sick of this thing they call “culture”. It’s a made-up phenomenon restricted to things that don’t even matter anymore. And the things that do? Teaching your parents who came to visit Sweden for the first time not to call colored people the n-word; respecting that people are people despite gender, social/economical status, job and education level; teaching your kids to do charity work instead of teaching them the opposite (by showing off). Do these things not matter? Apparently they don’t! And I don’t care how many people try to prove me wrong because I’m just saying what I’m seeing here. And until I see something different, I won’t shut up. Cuz I’m sick of it… this thing they call “culture”.
Why do you think young people nowadays marry non-Bangladeshis over here? Why do you think they criticize that nationality so much? Whenever you do decide to take your kids back home, what do you show them? You show them how fancy you live, right next to the slums where humans actually reside. You teach them the word “servant”. You take them to a country without teaching them how people should behave there (yes, your children lack common sense – just like you).
It disgusts me, and it affects me because one day I might have children (highly unlikely at the moment but hey one should dream!). And I have no clue as to how I should raise them because I don’t know what culture will mean to them. At first I felt it very important they should learn certain basic things… and I realized the only “basic” thing I know of is the language. But what comes after that? Holidays? And then what? See I don’t know because I wasn’t taught. And I don’t know things by heart because I wasn’t raised over there. I feel this most when I hang with my friends who were. I am quiet when they speak of how this and that is done over there because they won’t be able to relate to my childhood.
See some of us still feel guilty over the responsibilities we should have towards the country where our parents come from. And we feel confused because we don’t know what those responsibilities are. Nobody told us what the legacy is, hence we belong to a confused generation… race. I personally focus on principles, and I’ve come to realize that they originate more from religion than they do from culture. Cuz… I still don’t know what my culture is.