Sunday, March 11, 2007

Swedes Heart Americans

They just don't like Bush. Who can blame them?

First, please let me apologize. I intended to do at least one post daily while in Europe. However, I had no idea how busy I would be once I arrived in Stockholm. But, it's been a fantastic experience and I learned a great deal from the many interesting people that I have met over the past couple of days.

Back to my point. In America, we often think that Europeans now hate America. While I can't speak to that issue in other places, the people of Sweden do NOT hate America. Much like the progressives in America being able to be supportive of our troops in harm's way while opposing a pointless war, Swedes are able to distinguish their dislike of Bush from their admiration for the American people.

In fact, Americans are welcomed with open arms here. Sometimes, when you order a coffee in English, the barrister gives you a second look and gets a smirk while enthusiastically replying in English. American television shows, movies, and music are very much a part of the culture here and throughout Scandanvia. Even at the party I was at last night, perhaps a majority of the music played was English. It is amusing for me to watch the people here sing along to American music. They know the words better than I do!

In one brief discussion about New York City, one lady replied, "It's not Paris." That's about the only negative thing I heard.

However, when it came to Bush, Swedes and other Scandanavians were nearly unanimous in their dislike of him. It is interesting that I had very few policy-oriented discussions with anyone about Bush. The only exception was the war in Iraq. But it is no surprise that there is widespread anger here over the war.

At any rate, I'm very taken by this beautiful city and its charming, friendly people. The next time you meet a Swede, be sure to tell them you've heard great things about them!


Anonymous said...

When I was in Sweden the war in Vietnam was in full force. The Swedes I knew and met did not support that war so I am not surprised that Swedes feel the same way about Iraq. But they liked me even though I am an American. They just did not care for the warrior ways of the United States. They must have learned a lesson from Viking times and changed their ways to embrace a more peaceful lifestyle.

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