01 May '21

Being different is fine

door Nathalie Dirix
Pia Sjogren arrived in Belgium 25 years ago. She returns to Sweden about four times a year. Then she is able to experience the intense pleasure of being by the sea, which is never far away, and the friendly chats in her mother tongue.

Yet it is not long before she starts to miss Belgium and all her Belgian friends. ‘When I am in Sweden, it strikes me how similar most of the people there are, how they live and look at life. There is a tremendous amount of consensus about so many things. People tend to frown upon those who stand out of line. What a contrast with the rebellious, individualistic Belgian mindset! Here it is totally acceptable to be different. That is precisely what I like so much about Belgium. Here I can really be myself.’