July 2nd, 2014

Today was the time when I’ve had a lot of personal conversations with people and got more insights on what people in Sweden think about different issues. Most of those who I met during the Almedalen event so far were supporters of the left wing. Two young men who I’ve talked to today shared their views on religion and immigration.

First I asked them, if they saw any link between the Christian past of Sweden and its current values and level of development. They first shared about the current religious state of the country, that most people are atheists and don’t really care about the church anymore. However, they agreed that the values and attitudes existing in society nowadays have been influenced by the Christian past of the country.

The next subject we discussed was refugees and immigration. People in Sweden in general are very open to immigration and approve of their taxes being spent on foreign aid. I raised the issue of the changing image of Sweden, because thousands of people with different cultures and religions are arriving in Sweden yearly. The two young men who I was having the conversation with said that it was perfect and that they were very excited to see Sweden as a multicultural nation. According to them, segregation was the main problem and the challenge was helping the immigrants integrate into the Swedish society.

These opinions are a good representation of what many other people in Sweden think. It was great to hear this information directly from them. I’ve been reassured once again that the government policies and ways of dealing with certain issues in the country reflect the opinions and attitudes of its citizens.

During the last day of my stay in Almedalen I also took the chance to walk around, and enjoy the beauty of the beach and the botanical gardens neaby. You can see the pictures below:

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