Last June I wrote about my conflicted feelings about the Swedish version of an American counting song with racist roots – Ten Little Indians:
And I realize that I do not like my American daughter singing this song. They would not sing Arab songs at her daycare and dress her up as an Arab princess. Or a Chinese one. Or a Greek one.
NK will almost surely live in the US again, and I do not want her to have this slightly disengaged, way up north, disconnect from the sensitivities of the world. She will almost surely know Indians, or Native Americans, if you prefer. I am not happy this stupid song is her first contact with that culture.
I dropped it then because we hit our two months of summer break (and I did not want to cause a fuss and the Swedish version is actually complimentary to Indians, sort of). And it never came up again, until last week, when the state children’s television channel, of all places, showed a little girl singing the stupid song.
I told NK that I did not like that song.
“But I like it.”
“It is not nice to Indians.”
“I like Indians!”
“But they might not like it.”
“I want to go to India!”
I stopped there, more or less. I mean, she is 3. But I did ask if she sang the song at daycare, and she said yes.
So I wrote the head of the daycare, echoing my post from last year.
And she wrote right back. The song is gone!