08/09/2022

Exclusion of Syriac language in election campaign in Botkyrka, Sweden, provokes controversy

BOTKYRKA, Sweden — The recent exclusion of the Syriac language in election materials in Sweden has raised the ire of the country’s Syriac community.

In Botkyrka Municipality’s recently launched public awareness campaign, it released material — in multiple languages except Syriac — calling on Swedish citizens to participate in the elections scheduled for 11 September.

This drew the attention of Syriac activist and Christian Democratic Party candidate in the Botkyrka municipal elections in Stockholm Province Aday BethKinne, who requested the municipal council include the Syriac language in advertisements for the upcoming elections.

In response to the complaint, the municipality agreed to include the Syriac language in the election campaign advertisements.

Previously, the municipality of Södertälje, which has a large Syriac population, erected an identification sign at the entrance to the city with the phrase “Welcome to Södertälje,” in all the languages ​​spoken by the city’s residents, except the Syriac language.

At that time, activist BethKinne also intervened, causing the Södertälje Municipality to include the Syriac language in the identification sign.