I just had a discussion with a fellow Swede about
multiculturalism. It is difficult subject.
We ended up talking about immigration as that seems to be the essence of multiculturalism.
This topic is very emotional for most Swedes.
Multiculturalism seems to force us to learn about all kinds of different cultures. How is that even possible. It is not. We cannot learn about let’s sy 15 different cultures. In fact in one culture there a subcultures.
Anyway, what has the Church said about this?
The Church is quite possibly the most multi-cultural institution on the planet. I’m not sure what you’re looking for?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but, from what I have heard, there is a problem in Sweden with a large influx of immigrants not assimilating within wider Swedish society. Are you asking what does the Church say about nations insisting on a certain degree of cultural homogeneity?
All I know is that the Church upholds the right of immigrants to seek a better life elsewhere, but, they must respect the laws and customs of the countries that let them in.
For me, multiculturalism is only a problem if its goal/aim is to push out Christian/Catholic culture, particularly in a country where that is the dominant culture. As for different races and ethnicities living together in one country, I’m not bothered by it.
I think the Church says we are all God’s children, all created in the image and likeness of God, and loved by God.
Jesus prayed that we would be one. (John 17:20-23)
As somebody living in a very diverse environment I would say multiculturalism is not much about learning about different cultures (even if learning abut it could be quite interesting) but respecting the ‘other’ as a precious child of God.
Many immigrants have a Catholic tradition and that is good but I would still never want to visit places with nearly all people being immigrants or children of immigrants.
I feel like I do not belong there.
I am more comfortable with places where Swedes live.
Also, I feel Swedish is way easier than the “strange” Arabic language. Mant immigrants have weird behaviors. Sure, it would be normal in their home countries.
I feel out of place in “segregated” areas.
Nowadays we see the problem with immigration. I say this, if we cannot take care of our homeless people then how can we take care of all the immigrants?
Also, I have not much energy to learn about their cultures.
What to make of all this?
No disrespect, but you sound very close minded and phobic. You may wish to explore this.
How on earth is learning about other cultures impossible?
It is easier to learn about European cultures than eg Arabic cultures.
I am not afraid of other cultures. I have for example attened Coptic Orthodox Liturgies.
The problem I have is people using different ways of looking at social rules. I guess we cannot have too msny system at once.
There is also a reason why eg Polish people sometimes attend Mass in Polish.
Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile
Yes but…cant I simply not have my own culture?
But look guys…I want official statements from the Church.
You don’t have to surrender your own culture to learn about others.
I am now learning Italian ans it takes time. I cannot learn too many languages.
You do not have to master foreign languages to learn about other cultures.
Ok. What part of other cultures should I learn. I did take a course in Eastern/Oriental Catholic traditions at the local Parish. Is that the way to go? I would still feel a bit out of place at a Melkite Divine Liturgy. I would understand thst it is a Catholic Mass.
I find that I need to live in a culture in order to understand it. That takes time and lots of energy.
If I traveled back to the time of Jesus I would probably feel like a foreigner even if Jesus would be kind to me. The people I met at the Coptic church were nice but I could never fit in culturaly. But we had the same faith in Jesus.
Have you actually tried to get to know anyone with a different cultural background to you? Instead of dismissing them as “weird” with “strange” languages, why not talk to them with an open mind? It is never a bad thing to learn about different cultures. You don’t need to learn a new language or dedicate a significant amount of time to do it, just get to know people around you.
Most people can’t do that, but it’s not an all-or-nothing endeavor.
Learn their customs and manners. Find a recipe and cook something they eat. Maybe learn some greetings in their language. (There’s no shortage of Youtube videos on this). If you enjoy books, read about their history, or their politics and what type of turmoil made them leave. Learn as much as you like, but commit to learning a bare minimum.
Consider volunteering 1-2 hours weekly in a Catholic ministry or secular agency that works with immigrants and refugees. Read to the children and teach them new words in Swedish. Foreign people really aren’t so intimidating once you share a meal together.