I often tease my American friends, especially one in particular who tells me he is part Swedish part German and so on. I find it fascinating that the whole nation seems very into family trees and where they come from. I guess the whole country is filled with immigrants (ok completely ignoring the people who lived there from the start now) and it makes sense to wonder where their family come from. But what I wonder is how far back to you go then. So if you say you find out your great grandfather was in German, are you then German? Or do you then try to find out how German he really was? As Europe was filled with wars, raping, invasions and pillaging, we are all quite mixed up in our nationality pools.
I once at school had a conversation with a guy called Sven (no not making it up he really was called that) who claimed to be Swedish through and through. I think he made the point as the third person in this conversation was my friend Karolina who is half Polish. Sadly in Sweden there is a lot of nationality pride and this guy was really boasting about that there was no foreign blood in him. I asked him how he could know that, surely there would at least be a bit of Dane or Norwegian in him knowing how much the vikings got around, but he claimed to know that, no for generations for 100 of years there were only Swedes in his family. Very silly. Maybe he was trying to tell us he came from a very inbred family…who knows.
Only a few months after this very enlightened talk, Karolina and me were talking to this guy, he was a drop out from school and not the sharpest tool in the box, but for some reason we used to find it amusing to go and talk to him. This day he had a belt on that said 100% Swedish. Ok..to start with his last name was a very Polish name, so Karolina pointed out that surely he was like her 50% Swede. This annoyed him and he started mumbling about that his dad was only half polish, his grandmother was German. I think we stood around outside his parents flat for about 10 mins just counting how Swedish he actually was. I don’t remember the outcome but it was far from 100% that’s for sure.
I don’t really see why you want want to be 100% one nationality, surely it makes it a bit more interesting if you have family from all over? I have never tried to count how Swedish I am. My mum is Swedish so was my Dad. My mum’s, mothers’ family comes from North Sweden, and my mum’s dad, well he was adopted and had jet black curly hair, maybe he had Wallon heritage who knows. (His Mother worked at some kind of castle or big mansion and had more kids before him and there seems to have been some rumours about the owner of the castle maybe being the dad. His father is listed as unknown, but I’d love to find out more about that part of the family). My dad’s family tree is made up from his dad who came from a long generation of statare. His mothers family wandered over from Finland, but a big part of her family also emigrated to America. So all you Americans out there with Swedish roots…we might be related
Sooo..how Swedish does that make me?