About E. Dacey-Fondelius

Raised in Boston. Rebranded in Sweden.

Generalizations: #1 “some immigrant groups are more prone to violence”



Newly landed in Sweden: Expat or Immigrant?

It took me forever to accept that I was an ‘immigrant’ in Sweden. Over the years I’ve pondered, examined, deliberated, researched and ‘played with’ the common struggle with word choices and terminology usage.

I didn’t associate myself as an immigrant for many years. The word ‘immigrant’ from popular usage while growing up was used to connote ‘poor or suffering people who want to live in my great country to make a better life like our forefathers did.’ It never meant white people from Europe unless they came with the WW2 wave (my parents were/are immigrants). My friends with parents (or themselves) from Armenia or countries where Armenians lived were immigrants, but our classmates with Irish or Italian parents were ‘off the boaters’…since they were from ‘the old country’ rather than trying to get away from ‘bad’ to arrive at ‘better.’ Immigrants made desperate decisions to give it all up for a ‘chance’ and ‘others’ were like I am now…relocated due to meeting someone from ‘somewhere else’.

It is my position of privilege as a wealthy westerner who met a life partner who happened to live in another administrative region that wasn’t in a treaty with the one I was from. We call them countries today, we now regard countries to be nearly exclusively nation-states. But (ok, this whole paragraph is more academic than debate but can add a dimension to the discussion nonetheless) the notion of ‘ethnic nation states’ is relatively new and certainly not applicable across the board.

What does that all mean? Well, that despite how we’ll argue the dictionary defines ‘expat/expatriate’, immigrant, migrant, migrant/guest worker etc, the whole reason we debate the nuances of the usage is to distinguish between those with privilege and those without.

No. Not all Swedes can [sic] English

Swedes are great at English. Pretty much every Swede manages proficiently in English. And most are rather fluent. Speakers. Readers. Understanders.

Writers? Not so much.

Writing is a skill, a craft. That’s true for native users of a language, too. Writing is is the trickiest of skill areas within a language because it’s recorded. This is why we hire writers, editors, professionals of the writing sort to assist with the written word. Especially if it’s the written word of a government minister. Specifically, in this case, Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ms. Margot Wallström has got herself into hot water before for the things she’s said. In those instances they have been for the content. So I guess poking some fun at her for her Swenglish will deflect off into outer space. But on a serious note, I do think Sweden has enough money to provide their foreign minister with a budget enough to run her tweets through before they’re public.

What exactly is a civil society actor? Non-unionized?

Today’s giggle from a random Twitter account

The word ‘Sweden’ has its Twitter feed on my Tweetdeck. It used to be a good source of random events or facts about Sweden. Sometimes it flagged an event currently in the news. Sometimes a fascinating image from a bygone era that prompts some research.

Of late, most of the posts are regurgitated erroneous propaganda factoids. Sweden’s once liberal welcome to refugees (a bygone day with the reintroduction of ID checks crossing from Denmark – not done in over 50 years) has placed it as the anti-Muslim, anti-refugee whipping post.

The warning is “Sweden took in refugees. Now look at the carnage. Let’s learn from their example and not follow.”

This evening’s eye-catch was:

And the geeky grammar stickler in me giggled thinking of ways to complete the threat: “We will kick UR sorry asses 2 the street & cut U balls off be4 the cops get their”

  • get their donuts
  • get their guns out
  • get their game on

So I read a bit more in the feed seeking more chuckles. It didn’t take many tweets. I could even forgive the spelling error for the deliciousness of the irony.

And perhaps the following tweet is taken out of context. Or maybe true patriots die for their countries by proxy via their relatives.

And now I am sure the intentions are noble, but just having read a run of acerbic tweets hating on pretty much every group out there (and especially Obama)  I just couldn’t help myself anymore when I read this one:

So I had to write it up. And so I did.

That is all.



At Stockholm’s Trade Show and Fair venue, Stockholmsmässan the tweens and teens rule the floor.

Rumor has it (but not their website) that it’s the first in Sweden. I will take their word for it. It’s my first visit to a fair aimed at youths so no one would be surprised that I might be feeling out of touch.

I don’t know the headliners though I do recognise STHLM Panda. They make thought-provoking social experiments around the greater Stockholm region with 131,000 subscribers. They’re available for meet and green at 4.30pm. That’s in 10 minutes from the time I am writing this. I think I will have to take a peek.

My 11yr old son has named Jockiboi, who are here too. They’re on at 5pm. I might have to see what that is about too. They have nearly a million subscribers. Hmmm.

White tie or black tie. In Sweden this is a funeral dress code.

“I wear a white tie, right?”

The Swedish husband asked me, the immigrant from across the pond.  I had to suppress  a giggle despite the somber reality of why the question was asked. We will bury my mother-in-law on Thursday. She often giggled together with me when we poked fun at her son with his moments of utter cluelessness regarding occasional Swedish customs and traditions.


“Yes, a white tie.”

He’s worn white ties to the funerals of his farfar (paternal grandmother,) his morfar (maternal grandfather,) his mormor (maternal grandmother,) and his father. And black ties to the funerals of his great aunt and his sister’s in-laws.

By deduction you can figure out the custom requires white tie for close family members and black tie for other family or related. Other attendees simply wear somber ties.

For non-Swedes, especially coming from the US where “white tie” and “black tie” are dress codes for more festive formal wear, this can sound confusing. Those would best be understood as “frack” (white tie) and “smoking” (black tie).