In Sweden, Finnish has for decades been the second most spoken language. The closeness in proximity and cultures has for centuries fostered a natural interaction. But for the first time ever, Arabic is about to push Finnish aside to become the second most spoken language in Sweden.
While many may be surprised, in taking a closer look there are a few key facts to point to. Many of the Finnish speaking population is older, and beginning to die out. They might have spoken the language with their children, but living in Sweden, most probably prefer to speak Swedish in their daily lives. The other influencer is that last year, 163,000 migrants, mostly from the Middle-East applied for asylum in Sweden, considering estimated 155,000 people of Middle-Eastern decent lived in Sweden in 2012, that number easily begins to swallow the 200,000 who report Finnish as their first language.
Europe has always been a crossroads of civilization, as seen by the sheer number and diversity of the languages and cultures. But I find it interesting seeing this culture mixing happening now, even though similar things have occurred for thousands of years. How will Eastern cultures change Europe? I don’t know. Many in Europe are panicking, talking about the loss of their culture, which is understandable. But haven’t cultures always adapted and shifted, borrowing things from each other? This idea that culture is a fixed, rigid thing that needs to be protected from other cultures is absolutely incorrect.
Read the full story at Sveriges Radio.