Historically different starting
Prior to this, many Norwegians with immigrant backgrounds had never entered Sorting. This is a victory for Norwegian democracy.
This is a comment. The commentary reveals the writer’s attitude
I remember Afshan Rafiq of the Conservative Party entering Sorting in 2001. Exactly 30 years after the first Pakistanis came to Norway.
He was Norway’s first parliamentary representative with an immigrant background (see amendment below text). Seeing her at the start changed something in me, as did many like me.
It is possible. You can reach the pinnacle of the Norwegian social hierarchy, even if you have immigrant parents from Pakistan, Muslims and women.
It’s not just that “we” have it – Norway has it to get us.
A Norwegian politician
Today, being Norwegian has become a widespread concept. It has many identities and cultural backgrounds.
“Minority politicians” were originally Norwegian politicians. They were originally Norwegians. The choice of night is proof of this.
Today we take into account that Abid Raja can become the Minister of Culture, just as Hadia Tajik became the first (culture) Minister of Norway with an ethnic minority background.
My generation is younger than immigrant children and considers it their inherent right to have access to the inner corridors of power on par with others.
They may not be moved by:
Norway has elected eleven parliamentarians with immigrant backgrounds.
It is historically significant. We have never seen so many people with an immigrant background in Sorting before.
We have never had so many women with such backgrounds in Sorting.
We brought in Shekar Aydar (red), Lon Mary Berg (MDG) and Marion Hussein (SV). We brought Kamsi Gunaratnam and Hadia Tajik from the Labor Party.
This is not only the most multicultural parliament we have – it is also a women’s revolution (see box on fact).
A women’s revolution
Norway’s first female parliamentarians were born in Somalia, Kurdistan and Sri Lanka. In parliamentary elections everyone enters the direct seat. They join the ring fox Tajik with their Pakistani parents who have been sitting in parliament for 11 years.
The importance of this small but large group cannot be underestimated. Barriers are high, especially for minority ethnic women. Especially those belonging to patriarchal circles.
Pieces of glass rained down from all layers of broken glass roofs last night.
It may not move the younger one. But it touches people like me. It was initially said that women should not speak in assemblies. We really have no place in Norway.
Representation means something
These women and six men have occupied Storting to represent their parties. Party politics. That will be their job, and that is how they will be measured. In this sense, skin color and background are irrelevant.
But they still reflect something. Whether they like it or not.
They represent their class affiliation, they represent their district and village – and they represent their multicultural background.
They bring experiences, knowledge and perspectives that no one else has. They get it from their parents, the country where their parents came from, the environment they belong to, the religion they speak of, the time they were raised as brown children in Norway, and the class trip they took.
That’s why they mean so much. That is why representation means so much.
That is why it is so important that there are more women, more minorities, more Sami, more disabled, different religions and different orientations. In all forums where decisions are made.
Talent is not just about school papers and party politics. That’s how much the mix man brings to the table.
Almost to the end
New starting, Norwegian resource moving over time.
We are not in the finish line. But we are not far off either. If the starting is a complete reflection of Norway, there will be 13 delegates other than 11 with background from Asia and Africa. A total of 25 people with an immigration background.
But we are on our way. We took a big shot last night. More than double, from five to eleven delegates with ethnic minority backgrounds.
The road here was long and hard. And it took 50 years to get here.
Those who went first
Afzan Rafiq was the first to enter the starting lineup, but she, like everyone else after her, stands on the shoulders of those who went first. The struggles of the parent generation.
Who became voice announcers and local politicians, but could not break the glass ceiling in national politics.
Those who stick their heads out against the structures established in their own parties. It was not high enough on the ballot. Those who spoke Norway by pronunciation, but preferred to stay in the rarity.
They can thank “foreign workers” and Pakistanis Nashat Ali Qureshi (SV), Khalid Mahmood (H) and Indian Mohan Singh Verma (H). Like everyone else, in 1983 the Norwegian city / municipal council elected chiefs with a non-Western background.
For the first time since 1983 “foreign workers” can vote. So it was an achievement on the first try. He followed the names of Athar Ali, Aslam Ahsan, Akhtar Chaudhry, Bashe Massi and many more.
New generation, new role models
They were local politicians. Many of them were ignored.
The new generation does not see it. They seek power and influence. The parties are pushing them back and forth, and voters have shown confidence in them. A Norwegian politician is a Norwegian politician. Whatever the background.
We will celebrate it. Because it shows an inclusive community.
At the same time it shows that the immigrant population has grown very fast, despite some votes they have the power to make a real impact.
The new generation has received new role models. In four years, a new record could be set.
Correction: Viji originally wrote that Afshan Rafiq was Norway’s first parliamentarian with a minority background. The right thing is, she is the first (from a non-Western country) with an immigrant background. Sami Ishaq Sabah was the first Member of Parliament with an ethnic minority background and was elected to Storting in 1906. The amendment was submitted on 15 September 12.02.
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