Below is an interview with Ashley Daily, whom is of Swedish American descent and is very involved with her culture.
1. What is your experience growing up in the United States as a Swedish American person?
As a third generation Swedish person born and raised in the United States, my experience has been very interesting. I’ve grown up seeing lots of work such as churches, foundations, and fraternals done by Swedish people which makes me very proud and dedicated to strive for success.
2. What are your experiences with immigration, if any at all?
I personally have not had any experiences with immigration but knowing that my mother and father have experienced these issues makes me really sad.
3. Are you affiliated with any Swedish American group/club/organization? If so, what is it/are they called? Can you elaborate on the group(s) please?
My family and I are in a Swedish American Club in Rockford, IL. It is called the SMSF club which stands for Swedish Music and Sick Fraternity. Basically the club is like a VFW. There are Friday fish fries along with other dinners and charities like Kick in For Cancer.
4. How did you get involved with Swedish American organizations?
I got involved with this organization through my family.
5. What contributions do you feel the Swedish culture has made in America?
I know the Swedish culture definitely has shaped Chicago’s history. Many Swedish American figures have made a huge impact in the city’s image through architecture and it makes me very proud to view the beautiful scenery nowadays and know that a lot of it looks that way partially because of my culture’s inventions. For example, after the Chicago Fire, many Swedes helped to rebuild the city.
6. Do you know of any famous Swedish Americans? How have they impacted America?
Aside from many famous carpenters and architectural figured, I know of Selma Lagerlof, whom wrote a book called “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” and won a Nobel prize for it. I love that book! You should read it. I am aware that many Swedish people have impacted America through art, architecture, and literature.
7. Were you aware that the Swedish American person, Albert Ivar Appleton, whom is credited for the lighting of the Chicago skyline, was part of your culture?
I did know a Swedish American person created a fantastic invention although I did not know his name exactly. I do know that his invention is super creative and the skyline at night looks superb.
8. How do you identify as a Swedish American growing up in Illinois?
Although I am a 3rd generation Swedish American, I stay in tune with my culture and know my culture and language pretty well. I feel deeply connected to my culture although I live in Illinois. I maintain this identity by going to the Swedish American Club each week, visiting museums often, speaking the language with my friends and family, and doing my own research so I can continue learning new things I did not know previously.
9. Do you feel like your nationality has helped or been a disadvantage to you growing up America?
I do not believe that being Swedish American has put me at a disadvantage in any way at all living in America. In fact, I feel very blessed that I grow up in America as a Sweden after many people from my culture have contributed tremendously and impacted it through innovative ways. I feel very privileged.