Maha Nasser: Young people exceed adult fears of negative influence by other cultures and create a mixed culture
Cultures are influenced by each other through the exchange of customs, traditions, beliefs and ideas, as well as language. Throughout history, there have been many cultural exchanges between many peoples and different cultures. Unfortunately, that was through the occupation of other countries. For example, the Ottoman Empire, which occupied the Arab countries for centuries. During this occupation, a very large cultural exchange took place between the Arab and Turkish cultures. In addition to the two languages being affected by each other, many Arabic words entered the Turkish language and many Turkish words entered the Arabic language. Turkish culture is not the only one that has influenced and been influenced by Arab culture, but French culture has greatly influenced Arab culture through its occupation of several Arab countries. Where the Arabic language was strongly influenced by the French language and the French culture, to the present time there are a lot of words we use in our Arabic language and we do not know that they are French. Even the Arab countries that were not occupied by France were also influenced by French culture through the cultural exchange between the Arab countries themselves as well as through the Egyptian cinema. In addition, Arab culture was influenced by other cultures such as English, Hindi and others. But despite all that influence, Arab culture still retains its identity.
When we talk about Sweden, Sweden has been a reclusive country for a large period of time, given that Sweden did not have political and economic ambitions like the other European countries, so the Swedish culture was not affected by other cultures. There was no mixing with other cultures until the 1970s when immigration from Eastern Europe began. Perhaps this explains to some extent the isolation of the Scandinavian peoples and their fear of other cultures. But in the recent period a lot of refugees flocked to Sweden because of the wars taking place in different parts of the world. But there is a rejection of this cultural diversity. Because there is a fear by Swedish society that Swedish culture will be negatively affected by other cultures. Some also see other languages as a threat to Swedish and could replace it. At the same time, people from immigrant backgrounds fear that their children will be completely influenced by Swedish culture and forget the culture they come from. They try to create a balance in their children to go with the two cultures. So that the children are brought up in the culture of their parents and are involved in an unexaggerated way in Swedish culture. For example, parents from immigrant backgrounds worry that their children will forget to speak their mother tongue. It is important for them that their children learn the language of their parents in writing, reading and pronunciation, in order to preserve the identity first, and secondly, the child must be able to communicate with his family and relatives. While Swedish for children with immigrant backgrounds is their mother tongue and their parents' language as a second language. One of the friends says that her daughter, who came to Sweden when she was 3 years old and is now 14 years old, speaks Swedish more fluently than Arabic even though all her family members speak Arabic at home and when her family speaks to her in Arabic, she answers in Swedish. She understands Arabic but finds it difficult to speak it, says Swedish is her mother tongue and finds it difficult to answer in Arabic because translation from Swedish to Arabic takes time while replying. So, Parents could not prevent their children from being affected by Swedish culture, just as Swedes' fears did not prevent Swedish culture from being influenced by other cultures. Despite all these concerns, there is a very large cultural overlap and exchange taking place between Swedish culture and other cultures. But this cultural exchange was not created by adults with fears, but by young people and children.
According to some teachers who work with children and young people, a new and mixed language has emerged among the young people as they include some foreign words such as Arabic, Somali or any other languages into Swedish as they speak. Children who play with each other and spend their time with each other in nurseries or in other places are also affected by foreign languages. For example, I was surprised by a four-year-old Swedish child singing a song in Arabic. It is clear that he spends his time with a child who speaks Arabic and sings this song in front of him. I don't know to what extent this thing can be positive or negative for Swedish society? But from my point of view, this is what is called cultural intermarriage, which is the merging of cultures to create a new culture that is a mixture of all cultures, and I believe that the next generation will experience this culture. Because children and young people are more affected than adults. The adults face a great problem in integrating and learning the new language, so that some of them resided in Sweden for many years and still rely on their children for translation. While integration and learning a new language did not constitute an obstacle for young people and children, they integrated into the society, forming a wonderful cultural mixture, although this cultural duality may sometimes create conflict within one because of the dual identity. However, young Swedes, together with young people from immigrant backgrounds, transcended all fears of parents and adults and integrated admirably. Even the emotional relationships between this group more than other age groups. Because they do not have concerns about bonding with people of different cultures and are not afraid of cultural collision.
Regardless of the concerns and the negative side that may result from the intersection of cultures. However, the positive side remains much greater, because this will create a homogeneous social fabric, despite the religious and ethnic differences. It contributes to the acceptance of the other and enhances the sense of belonging. In addition, no matter how much Swedish society is affected by other cultures, this influence will remain slight. Those coming to Sweden and young people with immigrant backgrounds are greatly influenced by Swedish culture. This means that Sweden's culture will also preserve its identity, no matter how much it is influenced by other cultures.