No Longer Just Nordic: Growing Role of Immigrant Communities Is Changing What It Means to Be a Swede
By Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, October 22, 2004; Page A01
MALMO, Sweden — In one of his most popular songs, Swedish hip-hop artist Timbuktu sings of two strangers warily eyeing each other on a Stockholm subway, one a white Swede, the other an immigrant, each with his own thoughts and prejudices.
“I wonder why he’s eyeing me like this,” the white Swede asks himself. “Maybe he’s planning to follow me and rob me at knife tip. I bet he’s a drug user that beats his kids, forces his wife to wear a veil.”
Timbuktu knows something about racial prejudice — as a black man born in Lund, Sweden, whose first language is Swedish, but who for most of his life has had to deal with the stares, the taunts, the curiosity and the inevitable question: “But where are you really from?”