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Are you a target of racism in Finland?

June 7, 2007

By Enrique Tessieri

This blog entry broke on March 16, 2012 the 22,440-visits barrier. Since it was first published in May 2007, it has got 1,540 comments. Even though it is a simple test that aims to shed light on a social ill in this country, it asks, like the one by Alcoholic Anonymous, some hard and unpleasant questions.

Thanks to your support, the Are You a Target of Racism in Finland post has turned into a very big thumbs down against racism in this country.

Due to the popularity of this post, the “racism test” will be translated into different languages. The first of these is in Spanish.

Racism manifests itself in various ways. Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, Ku Klux Clan are some of its most terrible manifestations. Today, in Europe, some political parties are capitalizing on xenophobia in order to lure votes for their opportunistic and undemocratic political aims. Racism may happen in different ways in different cultures but one matter is for certain: its primary aim is to exclude, destroy lives and become underachievers

In a country like Finland, racism happens through exclusion. Unemployment among foreigners in Finland is a good example. At the end of 2009, 26% of immigrants living in this country were without work when compared with about 8% nationally. The unemployment figure for foreigners in Finland is one of the highest in the EU. A reader made an insightful comment about racism in Finland:

Finnish society, as I am sure you know, gives perhaps a rather misleading ‘public’ image at times. You probably know that Finns aren’t so great at being confrontational or saying what they think openly, thus I think sometimes things like racism are actually more prevalent than you would imagine – but fortunately mainly behind closed doors. People know it is wrong and don’t say it in public, but they still think it in private. The problem is, that in recent years the internet has let the ‘cat out of the bag.’ People can write often what they like without being traced. It’s definitely being used especially by the extremists.

With parliamentary elections in April 2011, a number of political parties, most notably the Social Democrats and True Finns, are trying to capitalize on xenophobia. It is shameful and a tragedy for this country.

Here is a short Migrant Tales “racism meter” for foreigners and minorities that can help you know if you are a target of discrimination in Finland:

1) I am self-employed (for some it is the only way of employment)
2) I’m unemployed (generally jobless claims among foreigners totals about 26%)
3) Finns often give me strange looks
4) Public officials, like the police, drag their heels with me
5) The police consider me guilty before proving my innocence
6) A Finn treats me too nicely. (I don’t want special treatment I want to be treated equally).
7) Finns are distrustful of me
8 Finns are usually watching over me at work (I have to be twice as good as a Finn)
9) If I make a mistake, it’s a bigger deal than normal
10) In a debate, I always know less than a Finn

Here is a new one, number 11: I get attacked by comments on my blog for speaking out against racism.

If you answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are a target of racism in Finland. If you answered YES to three or more, you are definitely a target of racism in Finland.

Note: This was based on an Alcoholics Anonymous questionnaire.

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1,544 Comments leave one →
  1. Obansu permalink
    August 23, 2007 7:09 pm

    Having spent several years in Finland (over 12 years) and currently living in UK, I have come to realise how racist Finland is. Over the years I lived in Finland, I studied to acquire two master’s degrees in marketing and new media, however, the best job I could get was as a taxi driver, but if one knows how difficult it is to get a taxi driver’s lincense in Helsinki, they will appreciate the struggle I went through. Besides, many finns dont appreciate whether you work or dont work as a foriegner. They seem to believe that every foreigner is living off social benefits.

    Further, the institutional racism in Finland is endemic. Police, teachers, social workers seem to lack the compentcies to deal with foriegners. The social tax foreigners (MORE ESPECIALLY AFRICANS) are paying is astronomical due to racism. I have experienced, and heard horrible tales of racism in Finland. How the whole country deals with immigrants from Africa, could be potentially, the worst in Europe.

    I am happily living in the UK with good job and salary I never dreamt of when I was in Finland. Looking back, I feel bitter about the racism I suffered in Finland. But happily, I have moved on. Finland is such a beautiful country, minus the people. I hope change come soon to this land, because diversity is good for any nation.

  2. nemoo permalink
    August 24, 2007 3:08 am

    Racism is and continues to be one of the biggest problems in Finland. A good way to measure it is to look at unemployment among foreigners, which is about four times higher than among Finns. Whenever a person or a country is racist, it’s a lost opportunity for it. A Finnish Martin Luther King will one day appear.

  3. David permalink
    August 26, 2007 4:34 pm

    It’s not like I can judge whether Finland is one of the most racist countries in Europe (something very questionable, specially based on such a questionnare) but I have to say that WHEREVER you go, you’ll find racists.
    I’ve been living in 4 different countries in the past 8 years and, even though I’ve been only twice to Finland, it’s been one of the countries where I have felt most welcome. On the other hand, I’ve been living in the Netherlands and that’s where I have experienced the worst treatment.

    In any case, I have the feeling that an important barrier for integration is the language. Finland has one of the highest ones in Europe. If you don’t learn the local language, your chances to be “excluded” raise dramatically. Here I am guessing, but I presume that Obansu tried to get by basically in English; no wonder that he’s currently living happily in the UK. In my opinion, if you move to other countries and don’t speak the local language, you’ll never stop experiencing discrimination. Finland is no exception to this, nor the UK.

  4. nemoo permalink
    August 26, 2007 6:18 pm

    Hi David, many thanks for your comment. Language is vital in helping a foreigner to be part the society he lives in. While racism happens everywhere, it acts in different ways in different countries and cultures. Some sociologists classify racism as old and new. “New” racism means that while some members of the majority culture won’t attack you physically, you’ll be excluded by them. In other words they’ll smile at you kindly and say: “Sorry, but we’re not hiring anyone today.” But you’re right: Learning the language is the first important step. I suspect that Obansu may have known some Finnish. He was applying for a taxi license in Helsinki.

  5. David permalink
    August 26, 2007 7:58 pm

    Hi nemoo, I fully agree with you.
    It is however difficult (at least for me) to distinguish between racism and a simple discrimination towards foreigners. The consequences are essentially the same for both and that’s why it is for me hard to believe that it was racism and not the discrimination that can be held against any foreigner, regardless for his/her ethnicity.
    Never meant to say that Obansu didn’t learn Finnish, which is something quite commendable… I might be wrong, but many people do appreciate that foreigners take the time to learn the language, that’s why it really surprised me that after 12 years in the country he still felt discriminated.

  6. nemoo permalink
    August 26, 2007 8:21 pm

    Hi David, it would be interesting to read what Obansu may have to say on this.

  7. Obansu permalink
    September 10, 2007 8:15 pm

    I am delighted to read that immigrants like David are enjoying their stay in Finland. Alas, wind of positive change is blowing accross the finnish society. What David did not tell us, though, is how long he has lived in the country and his ethinicity. It is true that racism is everywhere, but how it is dealt with by the society and the press as a whole makes a big difference.

    Certainly, in the UK there are terrifying accounts of racism suffered by the minority ethnic communities, but what impresses me is the open manner it is discussed in the press, however, two-faced the press are in the UK. Certainly, racism is experencial, so what I may percieve as racist experience may not be racist to David. To emphasise on this, I have visited Netherlands on many occasions, and I find that country to be liberal and genorous to foreigners. For example, Netherlands is one of the few countries in europe that have black elected parlimentarians.

    David, look around Finland and see if you will find even a single elected ethnic minority in the local councils. Though some political parties like SDP have constantly window dressed their candidates list to include few Somalians, but the average racist finnish voter will rather vote for his dog rather than vote for a foriegner. I hope David you have not come to a point in your stay in Finland where your children in school are always accussed as the wrong doers when they pick a fight, because they were being taunted by other kids. I hope you have not got to a point where you politely disagree with your kids teachers, on their opinions and they accuse you of being aggressive and report you to the social services. I hope you have not yet become a victim of verbal aggression and racism, and you become the agressor and accussed in the eyes of the police. The list can go on and on.

    What saddens me is that despite the marginalisation foriegners face in Finland, there is nowhere they can turn to, to address their grievances. And ironically, Finland has a high reputation abroad, because they have managed to put a smoke screen in front of racism in the country.

  8. nemoo permalink
    September 10, 2007 9:46 pm

    Hi Obansu, glad to hear from you again. You raise valid questions. I’m certain that Finland is a very different country if you are black as opposed to being white. As mentioned earlier, a good yardstick of how Finland is “treating” foreigners is to look at the latest unemployment figures (http://www.mol.fi/mol/fi/99_pdf/fi/04_maahanmuutto/08_maahanmuuttotilastot/wulktyoll.pdf)
    which are now at 20% versus about 6-7% for the whole population.
    Racism is one the worst ills that humanity has because it robs people on both sides of opportunities.
    So what do you think should be in done in Finland to undermine racism?
    Enrique

  9. Obansu permalink
    September 11, 2007 8:46 pm

    Enrique, I dont think there are quick fixes against racism in Finland, because it is shamelessly widespread in every corner of the society, but sadly the finnish society do not see it that way. I dont think that if one fails to acknowledge his diagnoses, he will accept any treatment regime. That is the problem we are facing in Finland. People do not accept that they are racists.

    I think racism and the plight of immigrants in Finland could be brought into the lime light if influential people in the country can boldly stand up in front of the national media and condemn racism. But the question is, even if this is done, will it be given enough air time and prominence?

    What’s more, immigrants in the country need to unite and strongly lobby for fair treatment. But you see, this may come with a higher price to pay. They may end up suffering even more victimisation. Even more sadly, where in Finland will they take their case to? Who is ready to listen to them? There are some fine and brilliant lawyers in Finland, but sadly no one has been bold enough to stand up for the cause of suffering immigrants.

  10. nemoo permalink
    September 13, 2007 11:42 am

    Hi Obansu, many thanks for your comment and suggestions. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner since I was out of town Tuesday and Wednesday.
    If we look at how some people in the US started to acknowledge that racism is a problem, I think it came thanks to the leadership of people like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. After some Americans acknowledged how racist their society was, only then did some in the States start to change and be more receptive against racism.
    Some influential people have brought the issue of racism to the public eye in Finland. However, I think that too many foreigners and Finns are passive about the matter. If you complain to loud you may be accused of Finn-bashing.
    The first and foremost important step in Finland is that there are laws in force against racism. Such laws didn’t exist before. People could as racist as they pleased without suffering any legal consequences.
    I agree with your comment: foreigners and Finns must take a more active role in Finland in nipping racism from the bud.

  11. Sumida permalink
    September 20, 2007 5:39 pm

    Thank you for your observations, Obansu. I am a person from a country which is not very popular with Finns, but I am white. I have been living in Finland for the last 15 years, which is due to my marriage to a very nice Finnish person (I really think he is the only one of this kind in this country). I have experienced both type of nationalism here: the exlcluding and the including nationalism. The first one I mentioned leaves me often sad: people do not know how to deal with foreigners, and “to be on the safe side” they just exclude them (many of my husband’s friends do not know how to treat me, so they will leave us two out of invitations, parties etc.). The including nationalism is also sad: people will say something like “You have been here for 15 years, so now YOU ARE JUST LIKE A FINN”. I never know what to answer to that… such things just mean that they do not want you to be someone else than a Finn… cultural diversity is not considered to be a virtue here. I have my own culture and I do not feel like a Finn, but they will be hurt if I tell them how things are. Instead, I get hurt myself – and I have to live with it.
    Concerning the language. In our family we do not speak Finnish (my husband is Swedish-speaking), neither is my work here connected with Finnish. That means I have never had a chance to learn this extremely difficult language properly. I do have a huge vocabulary, but my grammar is not very good. So, here we have a paradox: 1. I do not speak Finnish well because I do it seldom; 2. I do it seldom because I do not have any natural communication (Finnish friends, colleagues etc).
    I am happy for you, Obansu. I would like to do the same thing you finally did – leave this self-centered country – but I can not. I have family here (2 children). All the best to you.

  12. nemoo permalink
    September 20, 2007 6:50 pm

    Hi Sumida, many thanks for your interesting comments. You are in a real paradox, a bit of a vicious cultural circle. I used to hate comments a long time ago when a friend would let out racist statements but tell me that I was different from the rest of the foreigners. I’ve lived in Finland for well over 20 years and no longer care whether my Finnish is grammatically correct or not. The way I speak Finnish is a part of my identity in this country.
    Enrique

  13. Sumida permalink
    September 21, 2007 9:01 am

    Thanbk you, Enrique/Nemoo, for your comment.
    Actually, many people I know in Finland are genuinely NICE and as far as my intuition tells me, not racists. But the problem is they ar so passive and inclined to limit their social life to their family and closest relatives… Many times I feel someone likes me , and I sometimes would invite her/him home to meet my family – sometimes they do come, but never invite you back . It looks like there is no curiuosity, only cautionesess. Many people seize to make new friends when they are under 30 years of age. That means if you happen to move to another place in Finland when you are over 30 – you are OUT. You will be left outside, no matter how much curiousity you wil awake in the locals. They just do not do it. (After 4 years in Helsinki area we had to move to another city 1995 – now it is 2007, but during that time my husband and I have only twice ! have been invited to some home gathering -although due to our occupation many people do know us personally).
    Just as Obansu wrote – it will take ages until something chaghes here (if it does). There is so little good will. All the national is still the highest priority here. Every year they publish a lot of new books on the Winter War… it means people are still seeing themselves as a nation at war, a nation which has few other uniting points than the holy war. It is a young country which is still building its self-image… especially after the changes around 1990 (the collapse of the USSR, Finland’s participation in the EU, and now – loss of many working places in Finland to China…). It is really hard to feel oneself Finnish – if you are not born here.

  14. nemoo permalink
    September 21, 2007 7:02 pm

    Hi Sumida, many thanks again for your comments. What you mention is so true about how some foreigners feel. Moving to a smaller place from Helsinki can be difficult but it’s not impossible to crack when it comes to making new friends. We have had the same problems in the small town I live in but we’ve made some very good friends. If you don’t succeed, possibly you shouldn’t give up. One of the greatest joys in life is making new friends.
    Nationalism is a big thing in Finland. Some take it so seriously that it’s a problem. I once suspected a coach for throwing a racist comment about my son. My son heard it from another boy on the team. I wrote to the head coach about it and confronted him on the matter. I told him that racism is for idiots because it undermines the opportunities that life offers. Thus by being accepting to be a racist, your world — and opportunities! — diminish.
    Keep on trying, Sumida, you’ll find the right friends that will appreciate you for what you are. Why do you want to be with people who aren’t that way? Don’t even deal with them.

  15. Obansu permalink
    September 23, 2007 7:16 pm

    Thanks memoo. Thanks Samuda for your intriguing comments. Apologies for my late additions, I am a bit tight these days. Incidentally, I was reflecting on my long stay in Finland today before I came to this site. My feelings, in summary was that, the average Finn, no matter how educated, less educated, enlightened, less enlightened he/she is, knows deeply from his heart that he/she is smarter/better than a foreigner-no matter where the foreigner comes from (europe, africa, asia, america). My reason, apart from experiencing this, I had the opportunity to take many foreigners as passengers from all walks of life when I was a taxi driver for about five years in Helsinki, few expressed positive comments on their encounters with Finns. We all know that Finns are introverts, but beneath that, they harbour superiority complex over other nationals, more especially, to africans. Brethren, my experience in Finland left me a bitter person. I feel pity for you guys up there.

  16. nemoo permalink
    September 24, 2007 6:50 pm

    Hi Obansu, many thanks for your insight on Finland. It would be wrong for me to try to comprehend the difficulties you’ve had in this country. If you’re Black it’s a different story than being a German in this country. I believe that feeling of superiority you speak about is more of how Finns exclude some foreigners. You must have been a pretty tough person to be able to be a Black taxi driver in Helsinki. I for one raise my hat to you on that.

  17. Andra permalink
    December 13, 2007 7:29 pm

    I am a Romanian and I have been living in Finland for abit over 5 years, together with now 7years old son. I am married to a very nice Finn who is very critical to his fellow Finns and very dissapointed of what he thought he could call his friends. In past 5 years tfrom all the friends and relatives he has there are only 2-3 friends who visit us and who invited us at them, though they live at hundreds of km aways, we still meet occasionally. On the other hand near by friends do not keep contact, as they do not know how to handle me. I have been also working for 5 years. In my conountry I was known as one of the top sociologist there, but here I started from a lower level. Indeed, then I did not know the language. But even now, when I can speak farly well (with grammer mistakes), I still feel that the degree of kindness and availability to accept me as I am varies a lot. I have right now about 2 families of Finnish friends and 1 mix family where I feel welcome. At work, I feel somehow tolerated now, I can say that past 2 years have been better than first 3 in this respect, maybe Finnish language, maybe the contracts I brough having a say in this. In the beginning they did not even invite me to the personnel meeting, asuming that if a I speak bad I cannot understand neither care about them…
    On the street there are still people who get scared when looking at me. In the begining these looks made me angry, the wors being a moment few years ago when a drunkyard scared some school kids and when they passed us on the bikes or on foot they were visible scared and running away of us. He said bad words to us then, to me and my son. It is true I am darker as skin then an average Finn, but there are even darker people on earth and I do not think it is normal to discriminate because of the language. I think there are at least 2 kinds of discrimination, skin colour wise and language skills wise in Finland.
    Most amazing experience was a study on imigrants living in Kainuu we conducted this year in our region. While when needed preparation fo the methodology me and a Russian colleague have been welcome to input and the questionnaire got a lot of our suggestions, while analysing the results and especially while presenting them we have been excluded.
    I am firm in being a Romanian of Sotkamo (romanialainen sotkamolainen). I love finland and especially the place I live in with its lakes, forests and hills, but I will never be a Finn, no matter how much some will try to “integrate” me.
    I am happy that, unlike in pre-school, the current teacher is NOT racist and it is first time when my son have said to me “I am Romanian.Period”.
    I decided to smile to any scare old lady face and to say moi or hei when they pass me, so they calm down, they do not need to use a foreign language with me. I warn people that I am showing feelings and they do not need to panick when I do that, I will not atack them. And I started to be able to work better, at least with some of my co-workers.
    Do I feel I learned to control my voice and my emotions’ visibility more in past years? Yes. Is this rasism or lack of understanding of cultural differences? That’s something to be discussed!

  18. Andra permalink
    December 13, 2007 9:07 pm

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes, I wish there is an editing option…

  19. Kikos permalink
    January 30, 2008 10:05 pm

    Hello everyone!

    The racist or exclusion you feel in Finland is more than obvious. I am Mexican with Finnish wife and two blond sons. Once we went to the airport to leave my wife for a working trip and 2 Immigration officers arrested me, no explanation just ” come with us” after that they start asking what was my main criminal activity in Finland? is that your son? after they checked my Passport, thet said, we are sorry, it was a mistake. It old them every bad word I know in spanish, english and finnish. The next day I went oto the Immigration Headquarters and made a complain, several months later, they justed wrote, we are sorry, there was something going on in the airport and you were there by mistake.

    Every time a took the bus I always travell alone, quite comfortable but the exclusion is there. If you visit Neuvola, you feel you are not welcome.

    I have a BA in Business Administration, several courses in export and international commerca and it was a nightmare getting a job, the first year I went to learn finnish, I can speak and because of my latin culture I speak to everyone but the funny thing is ” Drunks” are the only ones who speak for me in the streets!!

    Many people refer to Mexico as a thrid world country but I have to say, I came to Finland to live in poverty. My salary is really bad, I’m still a sales trainee, but in my division I sell more than anyone, and never received good job or any word of support.

    Finally after 4 years, we decided to go back to my country, I have learned a lot of things and have a new job as Sales Manager. In many ways, it was a very nice experience living in Finland but people will not change in the next generations and I do not want my kids to be like Finns behave with no manners, and racist.

    Good luck for everyone, I am respect to any immigrant trying to make a nice living in this country.

    Until the next 1

  20. nemoo permalink
    February 2, 2008 4:05 pm

    Hola Kikos, muchas gracias por responder a este comentario. It’s really interesting what you say about the treatment you got at the airport and in Finland. It´s disgraceful. Some Finns still don’t understand what a positive force immigrants are. For a person to leave his home and move to a foreign country and begin from scratch a new life takes a lot of guts. I take my hat off to such people. In many respects, it’s Finland that loses out in the end when it treats foreigners they way the immigration officials did. I believe things will change in Finland but it will take time.
    Muchas gracias nuevamente y que tengas mucha suerte en México.
    Enrique

  21. Daniel permalink
    February 27, 2008 8:18 am

    Why would you all want to live in redneck, White trash countries like Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Baltic nations etc. Come to germany, Canada, USA, Australia, France, Italy, Russia anywhere where they have “seen” and “experienced” Asian-African cultures in their own histories so the question of “exclusion” is automatically ruled out. Look at this way these Scandinavian countries in their 1000-year histories had ZERO interaction until recently with foreign cultures especially non-White cultures. So, that explains why when they look at you it’s as if you belong to another planet about to invade Earth.

    I say let the fuckers stay alone. There are many open-minded countries in the world to live in. In any case, they have ageing populations, massive social security and declining birth rates. The bomb will explode 30-40 years from now when these countries will be BEGGING foreigners to come and be around them. All the SENSIBLE people in these countries have already left their shores to live in other lands.

    I know the girls in these countries are pretty and quite easy to bed but that’s not the only reason for you to hang out with those xenophobes.

  22. nemoo permalink
    February 27, 2008 1:47 pm

    You have a good point Daniel but what about if those people who “don’t look Finnish” have relatives in the country? In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges facing Finland — like many other European countries — is racism. It’s the most terrible thing that can hit a society because this illness aims to reduce a person’s chances of growing and taking part in society. Many thanks for your comment.
    Enrique

  23. Daniel permalink
    February 27, 2008 2:23 pm

    Enrique

    For those people stuck in Finland due to spouse/kids etc. it’s indeed a bitter pill to swallow. They should make arrangements to live in other countries and if in Finland, mix in those communities only which have large expat populations. From my own experience -ignorant, bigoted people cannot be corrected so don’t have high hopes. They can be merely “tolerated”. Learn to discriminate just as easily as these mindless bigots. I understand if you look non-Finnish, constant harassment is a day-to-day reality. So I’d advise you to wear that indifferent, condescending smile and develop skills to avoid fights/brawls. As the saying goes in a movie Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, “There’s no point in getting all riled up everytime some idiot gives you a hard time”. When I was in West Virginia (which is the most redneck state of the USA), I learnt to avoid those hang-out places where these losers most often converged, especially after boozing all nights (well they drink in daytime too). Mostly pubs, nightclubs, bars should be off limits (in any case, alcohol is not good for your body and mind).

    I can also see there may be lots of “educated” Finns with university degrees who are no less-opinionated. I say, screw them too. Mix in foreigners clubs’ and socialize with like-minded people. Try to send your children to international schools popular among Embassy staff.

    I have lots of experience in dealing with White trash of the lowest forms (I once almost gatecrashed into a Klan meeting). If you want to talk more about your experiences, feel free to write me.

    Sincerely
    Daniel

  24. Vincent permalink
    March 26, 2008 9:18 pm

    I´m so glad I found this site. I´m planing to study in Norway for a few of years, it’s good to know the situations I might be facing once I get there. Somehow these countries have a good reputation of tolerance, hmm, I wonder how they managed to keep all this shit out of international public sight.

  25. Enrique permalink
    March 26, 2008 11:08 pm

    Vincent, thank you for your comment! Good luck with your studies in Norway.
    Enrique

  26. March 27, 2008 11:23 am

    Hi everyone, i have read all comments and they really give an insight into Finaland.

    Am planning on studying in Helsinki for a few years too though i definately want to find a part time job as i study.

    We need to be a bit tolerant to the Fins, they are still trying to adjust to globlization. hopefully the stigma will die off in a few years (30 – 40yrs)

    The few i have met in my own country have really been nice to me, actually they are the ones who invited me to study in there country.

    As for getting a job . . . … . NO IDEA.

    Ed

  27. gringo permalink
    April 3, 2008 9:57 am

    Oye mis amigos,

    You think you got screwed over by Finns?. I speak the language fluently know the customs, have relatives there and that was not good enough for these fucking nazi/ commi ingrates who continue to make me want to vomit by exploiting other countries, such as U.S, raking in untold amounts of money which they use to promote their own megalomania agenda. They think a few public handshakes with celebrities, and a few exchange student programs fulfills the expectations of the international community. I myself have been assaulted by racist Finnish cops for doing nothing. The fucking Finn cop even pushed my mother so hard that she flew back lost her balance and crashed on the floor in our family home which they had no business interloping. My grandfather was a veteran of the Finnish/ Russian war and this is how they pay us Westerners back. The jeaslousy is unprecedented my friends. It manifests into hate and know it is my turn. If you have been treated like a foe let your voice be heard. Yes I was also harassed at that sterilized Vantaa airport, strip searched for nothing and shunned from the University of Helsinki, jobs that I have a degree for and had my reputation expunged by these secretive backstabbers in their offices. They think there technology is winning people. Fuck em!

  28. April 21, 2008 10:47 pm

    I recently did an entertainment gig in Finland. The biggest mistake of my career. I didn’t know Finns were so racist against black people until I came here. I have never been treated so bad in my life or treated like a common criminal. I worked on a ferry traveling from Sweden to Finland and back and mostly Finnish ride it. From the first day until the last I had doors slammed in my face, people not getting on elevators because I was there, the dirtiest looks I have ever had, people talking about me in finnish like I wasn’t there, I was called a nigger, I was attacked onstage, coming through customs I was stopped because “I triggered the dog” and I was searched, all my bags searched, but the drug dog laid down and almost went to sleep while they were searching me! There are other issues too numerous to mention here but I have never been treated so bad in even the most remote places of the south in the United States. Finland makes it plain that they don’t want black entertainers in their country and I would tell any black entertainer, stay away!

  29. Enrique permalink
    April 24, 2008 1:06 pm

    Hi Mo, Gringo and Ed, many thanks for your comments. I was really moved by what Mo said. It sounded like the US South in the 1950s or apartheid South Africa. Even if we struck a near-fatal blow to Nazism and their deranged racial ideas, the same idea lives on in many parts of the world. The Nazi racist ideology spearheaded by the likes of Alfred Rosenberg and Heinrich Himmler are the antithesis of Canadian policy on multiculturalism. Normal people think that it is a GOOD matter that people and cultures mix while others, like Nazi Germany, thought it weakened the Germans! (Read Rosenberg’s “The myth of the 20th century). It’s incredible that this particular post on racism in Finland has received the most comments. It shows that racism is and continues to be a very big problem in Finland. I know this may be a difficult question: How do we solve it? What should immigrants do in Finland to undermine racism.

  30. Malik permalink
    May 2, 2008 7:57 am

    I have been living in Finland for over 3 years now. I have faced racism in everyday life, and I believe job discrimination is the most disappointing thing in Finland. I have spent last two summers in UK, and I can clearly see the difference.
    I am graduating next autumn, and will rush out of this country asap (will most probably move to UK). But I must say, some (I really mean, some) Finns have been really nice to me. And I have always wished best for Finland. I hope the conditions change here soon, and locals try to accept the foreigners as a part of their country.

  31. dingo1931 permalink
    May 11, 2008 1:57 am

    Hmmmm… Me being a brown skinned latino immigrant from Dominican Republic in the US I have experienced the opposite while visiting other so-called third world countries like my own: Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Mexico I always had great experiences there and made some good friendships. My visits were work related (I am a videographer) and lasting about 2 months each – so I was not really the Hawaiian shirt/camera totting tourist type. While in Europe I felt just “tolerated” in Switzerland and Belgium but I have to say people are very polite those countries. Last year I visited Liberia, West Africa. People there were very friendly and welcoming despite their recent 14 years civil war. My point is… the world is a big place, if you have to live outside your own country, by all means try to choose one place you really like. Isn’t that the whole point of migrating, search of a better life, the pursue of happiness? I live in Miami, FL which is a safe haven for immigrants and it’s actually called “the second city of Latin America” but I would not live here at the expense of my happiness and my dignity. My two cents…Thank you for reading me 🙂

  32. May 11, 2008 2:46 pm

    Finland is the worst racist country I have ever been. Yes, racism is everywhere ( a reply I get always from Fins ) but here its 10 times bigger.
    Fins don’t like critic because their country is so ” perfect ” inclusive it’s racism and non-democratic hostile fascist mentality.
    I am being harassed since 2 years by a racist cop and there seems to be no way of stopping him. In the end Eurojust and the London police department got involved being on my site. He lost but won’t give up. The whole story is on Youtube user Seaniehunter.
    More on the 00server webpage
    I felt more secure 2 years after the dictatorship in Greece of 67-74
    Read the comments on the Uranus webpage. Link from my boras websites.
    The only thing that can change Finland is if we foreigners speak out

  33. Nigel Watson permalink
    May 11, 2008 4:07 pm

    I lived in Finland for 2 years.

    I can also confirm that racism in Finland is off the scale. Being on the receiving end of prejudice is not nice. The BBC series “Children of the Nazis” helped me to understand how/why racism in Finland is so ingrained. Finns are taught to be racist at school and at home by their parents. I left and came home because I felt that the situation wouldn’t change in a hurry.

  34. Mikko permalink
    May 13, 2008 7:32 pm

    “What should immigrants do in Finland to undermine racism.”

    Being a Finn I think I can give you a tip: learn something about Finland before you’ll start thinking how to fix it. I read this thread through and found few examples of racism. A Finn calling someone a nigger is probably motivated by racism. However, those perceptions of being “excluded” for being foreigners are due to your imaginations. Everyone is “excluded” here, because Finns don’t talk to strangers. I have lived in this town for 10 years and got very few new friends from here.

    Second, if you do not speak Finnish, how on earth you think of getting a job? Finns are overeducated. We have absolutely no need for “master’s in marketing and new media”, we have plenty of unemployed academics already. For every qualified immigrant there is ten qualified Finns. Should they hire the foreigner just to prove that they are not racists? What Finland lacks is people who are willing to work underpaid in lousy jobs that Finns do not accept. As for there being no immigrants in the parliament, the answer is: there has not been deserving candidates.

    “I think racism and the plight of immigrants in Finland could be brought into the lime light if influential people in the country can boldly stand up in front of the national media and condemn racism. But the question is, even if this is done, will it be given enough air time and prominence?”

    This one quote demonstrates the astonishing lack of knowledge you people have about Finland. This has been done over 20 years almost daily basis, including by our president. Finns are not taught to be racist at school, in fact, to the contrary.

    Have you ever thought, that Finns might have bad experiences of certain groups of foreigners (and unfairly reflect it back on those who might not deserve it)? The first visible groups of foreigners entering Finland were Somalis, and this was when the country was going through a period of major recession. And let’s say that they have done a share of things making them deserve their bad reputation.

    There are some real problems in Finnish society bad racism is not in top 5.

  35. Antti permalink
    May 13, 2008 7:40 pm

    wow, reading through these comments has been an experiense.

    Are you sure it is not you who has problem tolerating us? I mean, as far as I have gotten to know my countrymen, we do mostly tolerate in huge quantities and often in my opinion, we tolerate bit too much and give in too easy.

    Now that you live in this country, do you tolerate the original people or you would you accept us only if we were similar in nature and culture as people familiar to you? If we talk about living in Finland, which one should adapt? I suppose there is work for both but can you really say that Finns, the people who are always so worried of what others think of us, would not try to get along?

    I know there are also some very, very narrow-minded people here, we do have our lower class of intellect. We have crooks and we have people who have never been outside their hometown. So does your country propably. But reading these comments made me think that who is it here that is making unreasonable generalizations and putting everyone in the same group?

    Oh, and yes I have to admit that this Finnish way of drinking in too much is very embarrassing for us.

    For that guy who was asked questions by the police: so have I. I look just like everyone else here. That is not racism, that is life. Police made a mistake. I have also been taken into their car for similar mistake. (when I was younger, quite a number of times in fact…) No big deal. If you qualify everything unpleasant as “racism”, you will find a lot of racism. Racism is when someone is being treated unfairly or threatened because of ethnic origin. That does not mean that any crappy thing that happens to you is racism.

    But hey, if you don’t get the job you wanted, or if you meet an unpleasant person or police stops you or you get a parking-ticket it has to be racism!

    Where else in the world can you move to and get along about everywhere without knowing a word of local language? My experience has been that most often you are getting second class treatment if you don’t know the language. Try living in Paris and decide not to learn French language…. Here they’ll try to speak English to you if you don’t speak our language.

    We are propably not similar kind of people as in your original country. You may have known to expect that when you moved to a foreign country?

    Finns take their time to warm up for new people. When we speak in a tone that may sound boring to you, it does not mean that we hate you. If we just shake hands and not hug, it is the way that at least finnish men greet each other. It does not mean that you are not welcome. The fact that we don’t verbalise and act out all of our feelings does not mean that we dont have them. We are just kind of like slightly shy and slightly melancholic compared to many other nations. We also keep little more physical distance when having a conversation than many people from southern countries do. We usually wait for invitation before going to other people’s houses, so if your neighbour has not yet come to ring your doorbell… we’ll don’t hold your breath waiting for it. They might still like to get to know you.

    I remember one Russian woman in a newspaper telling that every time she hears Finns speak, she is afraid cause she thinks that they are angry and aggressive. Well, we do speak very differently from Russians and if she judges this as aggression, then what can be done? I hope some day she understands that if our speaking is different, it does not mean that we are angry.

    Are you sure that some of this racism does not come from misunderstandings? (Not claiming that there isn’t racism, but just asking sincerely….)

    And Mr Watson, Finnish children are not taught to be racist. That and many other comments on this chain would qualify as racism.

    Maby you guys give us a chance some day? I think I can say that most of us will welcome here anyone who is ready to respect our way of life and participate in Finnish society in a constructive way.

    And to those of you who truly hate Finland and Finns, as many stated… why the hell are you here???? I assume no-one has ever been taken here by force and kept in! It is not good for you to live in a place that you hate and it is not good for us to have among us people who hate us! Go somewhere else and be happy!

  36. Jukka Rasi permalink
    May 13, 2008 7:50 pm

    A bit harsh piece of text. Just a couple of thoughts from a fin, who doesn’t think he’s a racist, but according to your text, maybe I am(?).

    First I would like to state that from everyone’s point of view it tends to be bad to claim something/someone racists because someone else feels so. How the hell can we determine anything if we judge it by how someone else feels? I could get affended by something everyone else thinks is very strange, like if someone complements me or something else weird, can I now call the other person racist or something else? There needs to be a clear definition what is “racism” and we should judge situations by the definition. Any other way the term gets used too much and it loses it’s meaning,and then when the term should be used, it doesn’t have the meaning it should have.

    Now to the list by which you define someone/something racist.
    1&2 How does self-employment or unemployment somehow magically get people treat someone like a racist? Only thing I can imagine is the basic dislike to people who are unemployded which some people have. When the unemployed is a foregneir,the dislike doesn’t magically transform to rasism. Sometimes it can mean that, but you can’t draw definite conclusions from that.
    3, Finns give everyone strange looks. At least I tend to give. I get nervous around strange people, no matter what the colour.
    4, Well this is something that might or might not happen, I don’t have enough information about it. All I know that on some cases the police tends to attend more of their suspisions to foreign people, when the statistics tell that some group makes more of that kind of crime. It has nothing(depends on the officer) to do with racism.
    6, WTF?
    7, I am distrustful of everyone, no matter what the colour,language or social status. Can’t speak for the whole of Finland, but maybe we just don’t trust people so much.
    8, We don’t like to talk to strangers, but we sure do like to spy on them. Just look on the daily magazines “Iltalehti” and “Iltasanomat”. Not something im proud of 😦
    9, and how do you measure this? Kind of hard to say anything.
    10, do you always know less that the opponent when you are depating? Maybe the other one just knows more? Finns like to argue and most really don’t know the right way to do it, but when a Finn knows something for sure, he/she doesn’t accept anything else until someone proves he/she is wrong. At least this is the way I depate, I don’t see any point in surrendering when the opponent doesn’t have anything better to offer or even to disprove my point.

    You can just call us shitty,introvert,boring,stupid,ignorant and passive, but please don’t call us racist, when it’s just the crazy ass culture you don’t understand. Or atleast first give some clear definition for the term “racist” so we can atleast check what the fuck is that makes us them.

    ps. Sorry you didn’t like your stay here 😦 And for you to know, I don’t really like to be here either, but it has nothing to do with racism. Some things are just going down the toilet, like freedom of speech 😦

  37. Enrique permalink
    May 14, 2008 7:11 am

    Thank you Mikko for your comment. I don’t believe you make a valid point by stating that these people don’t know anything about Finland. They all express their experiences which were made through their knowledge of the country. In my opinion, Finland is a great country but there is one problem: racism. As you know, the aim of racism is to exclude people. In a society like Finland, there are very marked boundaries of exclusion and inclusion. Look at the unemployment figures for foreigners. When one is without a job or feels marginalized that is not a figment of imagination – it is something very real. You talk about the lack of language skills. What about if I tell you that in Spain there are many Latin American who speak Spanish are their mother tongues and know the Spanish culture and are still discriminated. It’s not only a language issue.
    Thank you Antti. You make an excellent point: racism comes from misunderstanding. Think of how much money we waste and pain we cause on others because of such misunderstanding. Why can’t people express their opinions if they live in a country? Don’t you think that a good old debate about a very sensitive issue like racism and discrimination is a good matter? Racism and discrimination occurs everywhere and wherever it occurs it is a shameful act.
    Jukka, your comments are welcome and many thanks. These are thoughts that I collected during my long stay in Finland. YOu might disagree with them, but I do believe they make a point. The biggest problem in Finland with respect to the small foreign population is that it is very maladapted. Unemployment and self-employment figures speak for themselves. But how do we look forward? How do we find synergy? How does Finland become a society more open to foreigners – and, very importantly, which can integrate them. That I believe is the secret of a dynamic society: one that can accept others and benefit from others.

  38. May 24, 2008 4:40 pm

    Hi Nigel, sorry for this late response to your comment. I read your very moving letter in 65 degrees North. I hope you are well in Surrey. Unfortunately, some children at Finnish schools are taught at home that its acceptable to discriminate against others. Once, about 15 years ago when I wrote for the Financial Times form Helsinki, I mentioned this problem to a reporter who was visiting from Wisconsin. I told him that “some Finns are racist and proud of this fact.” Finns’ concept of what is a country and its people is framed on a lot of mistrust for outsiders, like Russians. Certainly they have a right to be suspicious looking at the history but we must ask: for how long?
    Racism is still alive and kicking in this country because people and children have not been taught better. One should be ashamed of being a racist as opposed to being proud of such a fact, which is more the norm today.

  39. adiel4 permalink
    May 25, 2008 11:22 pm

    hmmm…. check this out. what a difference.

    http://www.gringoes.com/articles.asp?ID_Noticia=2128

  40. Embo permalink
    May 28, 2008 3:09 pm

    What you guys might not realize is that not all idiotic treatment you get from Finnis is racism – it’s the norm. That’s how Finns treat each other. You cannot of course see the Finnish social reality through Finnish eyes, but a lot of the stuff you desctribe seems just your average garden variety Finnish life.

    Here’s an example. I was in Tampere railway station once, sitting on a bench waiting for a train, minding my own business, when a policeman approached me and asked me in a very rude manner: “WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO? WHAT IS YOUR NAME?”. I asked him what he needed the information for, and he got even more upset: “IT’S FOR A MISSION I AM ASSIGNED TO”. To avoid handcuffing and other such problems I gave him my destination and name, and he went away.

    Had I been a foreigner, I would have attributed that to my foreigness. However, I am a Finn (and a very normal-and-nerdy-looking too, no piercings or dreadlocks etc), and I attribute that incident to me just being there. That’s Finland for you.

  41. Jonas permalink
    May 28, 2008 7:04 pm

    With the exception of point number 10, I find it difficult to see how experiencing these things means that one is experiencing racism. My neighbour is self-employed and he’s Finnish. There are unemployed Finnish people as well. The Police can be arses to everyone, they don’t have to be considering your race to be rude. I was once on the receiving end of a particularly rude traffic policeman near Salo. Now, of course there is racism in Finland. But I just think your numbered points are very misleading.

    This government has arguably done more to make life easier for immigrants than any previous one. It needs to do more. Much more. There are however signs it will do more. Migration minister Astrid Thors is being very active in this area and I am assuming you have seen the recent recommendations from Ole Norrback. Thors is trying to change the culture at the renamed Migration Authority for example. No easy task. Things will not happen over night. But remember, as a society we are far nearer to the start of our journey towards a more multicultural society than many other countries. It’s only very recently that we’re had foreigners in any visible numbers in our country. I’m sure if you looked at the history of other countries at the same stage as us in this respect, you would sadly find racism was prelevant there also. It takes time – some people are always scared of the unknown which is probably the primary source of racism. I am not at all attempting to excuse it.

    I must also say, as a Finnish person, that some of the remarks left as comments to this post also display racism towards Finns which is rather hypercritical. Surely all racism is bad. I do think some of these cases of reported racism are more likely cultural misunderstandings. If you come from a more talkative naturally social society, you may find cause to believe that random strangers not suddenly being all chatty with you means that they are avoiding you because of your race. Likelihood is that they would be as equally unchatty with a fellow Finn.

    Unfortunately if immigrants become overly negative and take this to the extreme that they themselves become racist towards Finnish people, then this will be counter-productive, as it will just feed the flames of the real racists amongst the population. It’s important to debate these matters moderately.

  42. Enrique permalink
    May 28, 2008 8:42 pm

    Hi Jonas, I agree with you that things are changing for the better in Finland and that the government wants to change things. Matters must change because immigration is a formidable force for a country. Look at Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and other nations that see immigration as a resource not a threat. When we understand this as Finns we can start to reap some fruits. Has Swedish culture undermined Finland? Certainly not. Finland is richer as a country because of the Swedish-speaking Finns. One interesting matter to look at is the Immigration Immigration Service. An example that things are changing is that it is a “service” not “an aliens office” as it was called a long time ago. How many times has the name of this office changed in the last 30 years? I believe many times, which reflects how public officials see immigration.
    When I lived in the US in the 1960s and 1970s, I saw how matters started to change on this front. In the 1970s, when Afro Americans were getting more recognition and political power thanks to people like Martin Luther King, the relationship between different ethnic groups started to change. One notable matter was how a “White” related with a “Black.” You learned that some things should not be said when with Blacks. Dealing with people from other cultures means learning about them. They are also gain a lot when they learn about your culture. By understanding this aspect, communication and friction is undermined. It’s a two-way street.

  43. Enrique permalink
    May 28, 2008 8:44 pm

    Hi Embo, what you are talking about are the fine points of dealing with people. Some might feel that a certain comment is racist. If you know their culture and that they may see such a comment in this fashion, why say it? Take a look at my comment to Jonas.

  44. ausfi permalink
    June 11, 2008 3:08 pm

    I am a Finn of 70 years, and my bags have been gone through at a Finnish and a Norwegian airport, I’m sure my looks were not the reason.
    My 22-year old daughter was sniffed by the dog and searched, there was nothing of course.
    Finns in general might not be very chatty, but there are many exceptions to the rule. As to the language, my husband was Australian. I was once chatting happily with a Finnish lady with a cat, when my husband came along and said something in English. The lady vanished quickly. She probably did not speak English and did not know many foreigners. Of course there’s racism, people still are not used to coloured people, or even just foreigners. Having lived in Australia has changed my attitude, so has having African friends. People have to be educated, more meetings between Finns and foreigners should be arranged, for people to learn to associate with other races and cultures.
    The Finns seem to fear all that is unfamiliar to them, or they generalize their bad experiences.
    I live in Norway and it has worried me though, how often, while visiting Finland, for ex. Africans have not met my eyes or responded to something I have said. To me, that shows fear of the Finns, which probably means fear of racism.

  45. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    June 12, 2008 1:06 pm

    “My feelings, in summary was that, the average Finn, no matter how educated, less educated, enlightened, less enlightened he/she is, knows deeply from his heart that he/she is smarter/better than a foreigner-no matter where the foreigner comes from (europe, africa, asia, america).”

    Well what should they then feel – that they are *inferior* ? Are they supposed to welcome foreign masters who come to deliver them from the darkness of stone age and teach them wonderful things of civilization?

    Maybe the thing is that the locals put everyone on the same level. And if you don’t know things, understand the language and miss all the cultural subtleties… well, are you not then in a disadvantaged position?

  46. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    June 12, 2008 1:14 pm

    “Come to germany, Canada, USA, Australia, France, Italy, Russia anywhere where they have “seen” and “experienced” Asian-African cultures in their own histories so the question of “exclusion” is automatically ruled out. Look at this way these Scandinavian countries in their 1000-year histories had ZERO interaction until recently with foreign cultures especially non-White cultures. So, that explains why when they look at you it’s as if you belong to another planet about to invade Earth.”

    Oh, so now it is *our* fault we didn’t go invading other countries, imposing our culture on the natives, destroy native cultures and keep slaves? So very nice of you to consider that aspect to be somehow wrong as well?

  47. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    June 12, 2008 1:41 pm

    “I don’t believe you make a valid point by stating that these people don’t know anything about Finland. They all express their experiences which were made through their knowledge of the country. In my opinion, Finland is a great country but there is one problem: racism.”

    Yes, the problem surely isn’t the foreigners that base their racist opinions on Finland due to their their lack of knowledge of Finnish culture.

    “What about if I tell you that in Spain there are many Latin American who speak Spanish are their mother tongues and know the Spanish culture and are still discriminated. It’s not only a language issue.”

    What about it? This is Finland and not Spain. If there were foreigners without a language problem being discriminated against then you would have something to compare with.

    “Why can’t people express their opinions if they live in a country?”

    Usually if you go to some other peoples home you don’t start giving them opinions on how they are conducting their house. You don’t step inside with your shoes on. Or you may do so, but then you see nobody else is wearing their shoes, and maybe you start thinking. What you are saying here not only should we let someone into my home with their shoes on, but they have a right to do so? And I am a racist if i don’t invite him over another time? Yes, really it is more you people that have a problem with your own stupidity than racism if that is how you think things ought to be done.

    Finland has allowed – among the first nations in Europe a freedom of worship for moslems and jews, universal suffrage, and in the latest times – in how many countries do you get your kids a right to be taught in their mother tongue? In Finland you are allowed to have your own religion and culture and political opinion and whatnot without disturbing others in the society. And “racism” is the “biggest problem” in Finland? Really, I think the only problem is Finns don’t put foreigners on a pedestal and worship them as Gods.

    And if you are wondering why there isn’t much if any immigrant origin people in the politics. how about educating yourself on Finnish history, looking at the statistics of immigration, calculating the populatiuon at any given time, and then wondering why someone stating “but the average racist finnish voter will rather vote for his dog rather than vote for a foriegner.” is definitely likely to get some offending remarks about his stupidity. So yes, it is definitely the racism of the Finns that is the problem? Really? Yes, we are racists if it comes to accepting stupidity.

  48. Enrique permalink
    June 12, 2008 10:02 pm

    Hi DeTant,

    Yes, the problem surely isn’t the foreigners that base their racist opinions on Finland due to their their lack of knowledge of Finnish culture.
    Am I defending racism on either side?
    What about it? This is Finland and not Spain. If there were foreigners without a language problem being discriminated against then you would have something to compare with.
    I make a very valid point. You can always find excuses why people DO NOT adapt. Even if they learned Finnish some other excuse would be made up. Why don’t you give me a reason why we should hire a person on his merits?
    Usually if you go to some other peoples home you don’t start giving them opinions on how they are conducting their house. You don’t step inside with your shoes on. Or you may do so, but then you see nobody else is wearing their shoes, and maybe you start thinking. What you are saying here not only should we let someone into my home with their shoes on, but they have a right to do so? And I am a racist if i don’t invite him over another time? Yes, really it is more you people that have a problem with your own stupidity than racism if that is how you think things ought to be done.
    Finland is not a house. It is a country with laws and belongs to the EU. There is a big difference. The way cultural differences are undermined is by learning about the other culture. Finns should now what hurts other nationalities like other nationalities should know what is improper to tell Finns. It’s an easy formula. Some, possibly you, think that you just bring foreign workers to this country and it requires you to not change a bit.
    Finland has allowed – among the first nations in Europe a freedom of worship for moslems and jews, universal suffrage, and in the latest times – in how many countries do you get your kids a right to be taught in their mother tongue? In Finland you are allowed to have your own religion and culture and political opinion and whatnot without disturbing others in the society. And “racism” is the “biggest problem” in Finland? Really, I think the only problem is Finns don’t put foreigners on a pedestal and worship them as Gods.
    Just because there are problems in Finnish society concerning racism/discrimination, the solution is not putting anyone on a pedestal. Is this how you solve problems with a fellow Finn?
    And if you are wondering why there isn’t much if any immigrant origin people in the politics. how about educating yourself on Finnish history, looking at the statistics of immigration, calculating the populatiuon at any given time, and then wondering why someone stating “but the average racist finnish voter will rather vote for his dog rather than vote for a foriegner.” is definitely likely to get some offending remarks about his stupidity. So yes, it is definitely the racism of the Finns that is the problem? Really? Yes, we are racists if it comes to accepting stupidity.
    One of the matters that I have not done is censor anyone who wants to make a comment. I don’t agree with all the statements but some feel that way. Let’s address the issues and move on.

  49. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    June 13, 2008 1:59 pm

    “Am I defending racism on either side?”

    Well yes you are because it is the Finns and Finland that has the problem and nobody else.

    “Even if they learned Finnish some other excuse would be made up”

    Actually the language thing is more based on the fact that the employer doesn’t have the time to teach “everything that everybody knows” to a foreigner, as a Finn “knows” certain things but a foreigner probably “knows” these things differently. Usually if a person knows Finnish they have been in the country long enough to have the Finnish “know”. The core issue is to avoid conflict. Like some Finn then says to the new employee something its immediately the foreigner screaming racism and the Finn accusing the one of being too dumb to do work. This is however true in the more prole jobs. In higher niche jobs the Finnish or the knowledge come secondary. What should be done by the government is to employ some sort of “godfathers” who know both sides “know” and can work for boths sides as a trusted person so that the chance of conflict is taken away. Very simple thing, but it has to be some sort of government involvement as only the very large companies have this kind of systems running.

    “The way cultural differences are undermined is by learning about the other culture”
    How about learning the Finnish culture first – theres millions of different cultures in the World, how much time does a Finn need to spend learning every single foreigners culture? And whose culture should I for example learn first?

    See now there is the problem, every foreigner thinks *they* are the first one, but they are in Finland. So unfortunately it is the Finns who decide what is right, what is wrong, what are the standards, what are the laws. Like Swedes do in Sweden, Canadians in Canada and so forth. or is there something wrong with the right of self-determination?

    No, I am not saying there isn’t problems with people being racists, and there being discrimination. However like above Mikko says “don’t call us racist if its the crazy ass culture you do not understand”. Recently it has become some sort of “Boy yelling wolf” thing – if a Finn wearing sandals is told “wrong shoes, come tomorrow” in a disco door the finn curses and continues. A foreigner immediately starts yelling “racism” even its the same cluelessness that makes him go to a suit&tie place dressed in sandals.

    So the only “problem” I have here is that everything is called “racism” when it is not.

  50. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    June 13, 2008 2:22 pm

    And this questionnaire is totally idiotic. This means everyone living in Finland including me is a subject of racism. I have been unemployed, given strange looks, had to wait offical papers for ages, been considered very guilty by the police, been treated too nicely, watched over at work, not been trusted as a stranger, my mistakes are always been larger than life…

    But no, I’ve never been self-employed and very seldom lost a debate.

    So if these are your symptoms of “racism” really no wonder any Finn would give you a strange look

    1. The self-employment of foreigners is an interesting thing – basically boiling down to also that they dare to take the chance and are not worried of debt and banktrupcy like Finns.

    2. The unemployment figures need a breakdown by age and skillset. Theres some clear trends there that explain a few things.

    3. The looks thing has been discussed… googleplex times. Yes, Finns do, stare back.

    4. Especially if you have the wrong papers in the wrong order and “think it works like at home” or try to be creative.

    5. Again, only guilty people get involved with the police to start with – would the Finns say.

    6. OK, so you people are then never satisfied. if you don’t say hello to your neighbor thats “racism” and now if I do say hello to my neighbour it is “racism”. Make up your bloody mind.

    7. Finns trust someone if they know him or know of him and even then after proof. So if you are a Finnish sngineer another Finnish engineer knows what you studied and how. If you’re an engineer from somewhere else how can they know? They have to see that you prove yourself.

    9. Depends if a Finn would have known something that such a mistake wouldn’t have been done. Maybe there is the reason for watching…

    10. As I have proved, you do 😉

    No, really, somneone debating with a Finn should know what they are talking about based on facts. Finns don’t debate except to prove the other side wrong especuially if they have a feeling they are right.

  51. Enrique permalink
    June 13, 2008 9:23 pm

    Hi, why is the table idiotic? It tell a lot. But let’s go through it one by one:
    1. By being self-employed, the foreigner has to because otherwise he’d be unemployed. Since he cannot be employed, he has to crease his own employment. It’s like the people at the unemployment office telling you that a solution to your unemployment is self-employment.
    2. Unemployment among foreigners is about 20% versus about 6% for the whole of the country. In some national groups unemployment may be over 70% while the lowest unemployment is found among the Chinese (8%).
    3. OK
    4. OK
    5. Yes, but in Western law we are innocent before proven guilty. In some dictatorships like in Argentina (1976-83) nobody questioned when the police or army took you away. People would justify it by stating: “If they caught him, it is for a reason.”
    6. Why aren’t people treated “normally.” I don’t think a sensible foreigner wants special treatment. He/she wants equal treatment.
    7. This has a little to do with #6. In order to prove my worth, I have to work twice as hard and if I make a mistake its a bigger thing than normal.
    9. check 7
    10. OK.
    I’m sorry to hear about the things that have happened to you. It’s not racism but discrimination. By the way, if you think you are so smart and know so much about racism, why don’t you tell me how you’d revise this chart.
    Enrique

  52. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    June 14, 2008 2:35 pm

    1. & 2. Oh, so where does it seem someone is *entitled* to a job? Is there some billboard on the border saying “come to Finland, you get luxury!”? No there doesn’t read anything like that. Anyone in Finland *knows* and this is *knows* not what you foreigners may “think”, the Finns *know* that finding a job and keeping it is a very long and hard process.

    OK, I went to Dublin a few years back and took “tourist photos” – I usually take photos of something extraordinary I don’t see at home. Do you know what I took pictures of? Every shop window had a “help wanted” advert or two. I mean when do you see something like that in Helsinki? The economy is crap and a fresh graduate in Finland – a Finnish one – is more likely to find his first job abroad than in Finland, or then sit unemployed 6-8 months… been there done that.

    So then who are these foreigners who come to Finland? Say the Chinese? They are professionals to fit the niche job. The unemployed is probably a spouse that follows. Who is the 70% unemployeds? Say a refugee with traumas who is in a totally different universe…. readily employable. Those people who come here for a job usually have a job. Then theres your lovesicj spouses that classically follow the hot blonde to some godforsaken hoick town to live at the farm because its cheap. Then they figure out as the local unemployment rate is in the 40’s they very seldom find a niche to fit in. And if you do not fit into a higher grade niche and want a customer service job – well you need to know Finnish, you need to know “how stuff works” and you need to know someone to employ you.As easy as that. The foreigner just landed is no speak, think foreign and lacks the network. A Finnish-speaking Finn that works as a coctail bartender would know thse “facts of life” if he went and moved to Närpes to live on a farm. No can speak, no can do anything with the cows, doesn’t know anyone to give a good word at the local Esso bar. Which already has full staff.

    So what is so extraordinary about foreigners they cannot cope with the same facts of life?

    And not to forget some cultures having the wife at home taking care of the family – which in Finnish statistics is “unemployed” even if by choice.

    5. This is Finland. (imagine a shrug and a sigh)

    6. Yes but the point exactly is that Finns have defined in their culture which is “normal”. Foreigners in foreign countries find different things as “normal”. So if a Finn treats a foreigner like a Finn – then the foreigner gets upset. Now you are saying we may not consider their special needs? As they might find the “Finnish normal” a bit too hard to cope with.

    7. Well, in Finland you do have to prove your worth. Lets have the city boy moved to the farm in Närpes. Now how long do you think it takes for the farmer to trust him with the machinery?

    I am just as sorry that you have a delusional view of Finland. We do not have problems what you describe – or lets say we have other problems that should be taken care of first and then we can concentrate on the few idiots in our midst. Yes, you go find blogs on blogspot with a few trigger words and Finland seems like Onkel Adis wonderland. Yeah, find any other country and you find your kooks. They’re not a “problem” as long as they keep their kookdom to themselves. After all, we’re not allowed to discriminate on ideological basis.

    OK, so I make a difference between “racism” which is something requiring a belief in different races based on some delusional theories from the 18th century. So I find calling “Finns racists” an offensive term implying we’re uneducated or something like forest natives. Discrimination may have nothing to do with skin color, because of ethnicity is a different thing alltogether. A person doing that may believe in those delusional theories or then not.

    OK, so to your list:

    1. Has a person who in his/her trade or profession, service of the general public, exercise of official authority or other public function or in the arrangement of a public amusement or meeting, without a justified reason refused you service in accordance with the generally applicable conditions; refused you entry to the amusement or meeting or ejected you; or placed you in an unequal or an essentially inferior position owing to your race, national or ethnic origin, colour, language, sex, age, family ties, sexual preference, state of health, religion, political orientation, political or industrial activity or another comparable circumstance?

    2. Has someone spread statements or other information among the public where you as a member of a certain race, a national, ethnic or religious group or a comparable group is threatened, defamed or insulted?

    If the answer is “yes” then you have a case. Anhdnoting the “justified case” again the definition is as per 6 the “Finnish definition of the justification”. Which brings us back to the issue that a foreigner may feel being treated unfairly, because its “his definition of fair” which may not be the definition generally used in Finland. Get my drift?

  53. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    June 14, 2008 5:06 pm

    And yeah, one favorite example of mine. A guy sends 100 applications and gets no answers. How about fact: Finnish companies are crap in answering. Which isn’t nice, but what can one do? Finn gives a “thats Finland” and a shrug, but the foreigner starts screaming “racism”. Can you imagine how damn irritating that comes after a while?

  54. June 17, 2008 3:26 pm

    I’m fortunate enough to have good Finnish friends, a Finnish wife and a good job here in Finland, to which I originally came to pursue my studies. I also speak Finnish fluently (albeit with an accent), so nobody can tell me I don’t know the local culture after living here for most of my adult life, and keep on learning every day. I am Mexican by origin and definitely don’t look like the general population hereabouts.

    However, my experiences are contradictory. At work and within my own circle of friends and acquaintances everything is just great, but I’ve had encountered scepticism (or outright hostility) when I leave my “bubble”, from e.g. bank personnel, police, or general people in the street. I’ve been shouted at (by an alcoholic), shoved and almost beaten (at a bar) and spat at (by a 12 year old!?!?!), although thankfully these occasions have been few and far between, or else I’d packed my bags ages ago.

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Finland is racist, but it is true that since people don’t have a contact with foreigners they fear what they don’t know. For more info, check this out: http://www.mol.fi/mol/fi/99_pdf/fi/06_tyoministerio/06_julkaisut/06_tutkimus/tpt286.pdf

  55. Ahmad permalink
    June 23, 2008 6:07 am

    Hi guys,

    I am considering to work in Finland for three years. The company is waiting for my answer should I want to go or not. If I go, I will bring my wife (who covers her head) and my kid. Should I be worried ???

    I appreciate any kind of feedback

    From my name I guess you can tell what religion I embraced

    Regards
    Ahmad

  56. Enrique permalink
    June 23, 2008 7:36 am

    Hi Ahmad, many thanks for your interest in the blog and taking part in this debate. As you know, moving to a country is like getting on a new path: many new experiences await you. If I were Arabic I’d get in touch with an association and speak directly with people from your country and ask many of them their opinions. Possibly http://www.arabsu.org/ would be a good starting point. I encourage any other to give Ahemad the advice he may need.

  57. Ahmad permalink
    June 23, 2008 7:55 am

    Enrique,

    I am a Malaysian actually. I would love to think that Finnish are a good bunch of people. But this discussion got me worried …though I know racism is everywhere..even in my own coutry sometimes we have that too.

    Anyway..I will give you folks the benefits of the doubt…

  58. Enrique permalink
    June 23, 2008 8:58 am

    Hi Ahmed, since there are few foreigners that live in Finland, each that arrives is a sort of pioneer. If you are being contracted to work in Finland from Malaysia, it suggests that you have a good profession to offer a company. However, why not ask your employer what kind of a place Finland would be for a family like yours. I think it is a fair question to ask.

  59. Finlandesa permalink
    July 1, 2008 11:49 pm

    Ahmad!
    Don´t go there. The culture is so different. You will have the biggest culture shock in your life.

  60. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    July 6, 2008 8:46 am

    Ahmad. You should only be worried if you intend to act like you were living home in Malaysia and then scream racism if you suddenly face the fact you are living in Finland. You are moving to a foreign country so if everything was like at home it wouldn’t be a foreign country, now would it?

    OK, lets say if a Finn came to Malaysia and screamed “racism” he was not allowed to drink alcohol, scream “xenophobia” there was no sauna, and then demand you start serving pork in the company canteen to acommodate his needs. What would you say and do? Would you tell him – sorry this is Malaysia and we have our laws and customs…

    So you try and figure this out with intelligence – what is “racism” and what is not.

  61. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    July 6, 2008 8:53 am

    And yes Ahmad, theres mosques, theres halal butchers, theres oriental spice stores and you can even get durian fruit from the thai market. And remember Finland was one of the first countries in Europe to give a freedom of worship to its moslem minority – we let everybody live how they want as long as they accept they live in our country according to how our society works. Same thing you go working in a business you accept the company values. And I suppose you’ll be working for the big N so theres people from all over, don’t think you’re somehow special.

  62. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    July 6, 2008 9:06 am

    Chiva Congelado wrote:

    “my experiences are contradictory. At work and within my own circle of friends and acquaintances everything is just great, but I’ve had encountered scepticism (or outright hostility) when I leave my “bubble””

    Ah, I did write about this somewhere. Finnish is in a sense a “tribal” or a “network” culture. So if you belong to “our” network/tribe you are “one of us” but if you are not of our network you are treated as air, or even worse. It is just… a thing that is.

    “I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Finland is racist, but it is true that since people don’t have a contact with foreigners they fear what they don’t know.”

    I would say that those people who don’t have a contact with foreigners are less in heart racist than then those who have had contacts, if the contacts have been negative. I mean people never seen foreigners can have these kind of prejudices and childish opinions but they still are willing to take the foreigner into their network. But then are those who have met one foreigner too many, maybe someplace in the suburbs or downtown with confrontations, violence and robberies. An old man in my old house got mugged by some somalians and after that every time he saw someone black he panicked – you think he will ever accept one to his network?

  63. Ahmad permalink
    July 6, 2008 11:36 am

    Finland desa

    I have worked in Nigeria, France and Switzerland. I have also spent a large part of my life living in Australia. Culture shock is not a problem really..on the contrary I embraced it. I understand each of us have different cultures and values..all I am worried about is blatant racism thats all…

    De Tant Blomhat

    Thanks for the assurances. I am not in any way implying that I am special. Never cross my mind…as long as I can work, my wife and kids can have some fun with me in weekends..thats all I am asking for really…Not expecting special treatment if thats what you meant..

    by the way..what do mean by “I suppose you’ll be working for the big N”..??

  64. Enrique permalink
    July 7, 2008 10:59 am

    Hi Ahmed, best of luck in Finland. I think De Tant meant big N to mean Nokia.

  65. Ahmad permalink
    July 12, 2008 6:38 am

    Enrique,

    Thanks for the wish…and nope..not joining Nokia..am hoping to get a new Nokia phone there though..I assume it is cheap there in Finland hehehe

  66. Enrique permalink
    July 12, 2008 4:41 pm

    Hi Ahmad, I don’t know how much those Nokia phones cost in your country. In some countries like Spain they give a mobile phone free when you decide to join an operator.
    Take care.

  67. John permalink
    July 12, 2008 5:34 pm

    Hi,

    I think strip searching at Vaanta Airport is the order of the day. I came to Finland to study but on the day I arrived to Helsinki all black guys and 1 pakistani were told to wait for over 5hrs that they were verifying our Visas. Imagine all of us were taken in a police Van and strip searched in one of Vaanta under ground police quotas. I was so ashamed and humiliated I had never been treated like this before in my life. If you are a person of colour please expect this. I wrote to them and I got the same reply just like above. But can you imagine all of us 6 guys were strip searched!!!!

    Now you Finns how would you feel if you visited another country and you were treated like that? The police force is bloody racist and so goes the whole Finland.

    If I ever get a voice to speak for foreigners either at UN or else where I will never forget to mention this kind of treatment.

    People should stop buying Nokia and Finnish products if Finns treat us like shit. If Americans treated Finns like that who went to America when Finland was facing hard times and they have helped build Finland when they came back, How would Finland have developed?

    Never invite us to study with you if you want to strip search us naked without any reason.

  68. assert( permalink
    July 13, 2008 9:03 am

    as a person of color… i feel sad for those who face racism.. i have my own share… however… the racism europe is showing towards africans & arabs & turks is due to abuse of the welfare system of european nations by those ethnic groups mentioned above. the sad thing about this situation is that… even if you work hard enough in your host nation and pay tax.. and contribute to society…, despite your hard work.. all is lost in vain.. because of those who abuse the welfare system …you bacome stigmatised , you get a bad wrap.. and that is so sad. solution… STERILIZE people in third-world nations. 🙂

  69. Enrique permalink
    July 13, 2008 10:17 am

    Hi Assert, if you look at my “racism test” above for Finland, one of them is that if a foreigner commits a mistake or crime it’s magnified many fold. You forget to mention that Finns abuse the welfare state as well. Forced sterilization? It seems odd that you’d suggest a thing. Shame on you!

  70. Enrique permalink
    July 13, 2008 10:20 am

    Hi John, what can I say except that I feel saddened by the treatment you received. There are many similar comments in this blog from readers and it is a very worrying sign. Can anyone relate their experience.
    I once once stopped by a Finnish policeman who asked me outright “when I am going to leave Finland.” One way to undermine this type of racist behavior by public officials are psychological tests and education at Finnish schools to nip racism in the bud.

  71. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    August 8, 2008 6:51 pm

    Yeah John, just because you are ignorant doesn’t hide the fact that the Finnish newspapers are regularly full of articles of Finns being strip searched at US airports and worse. The fact remains Finland is one of the landing points to Schengen area and unfortunately you foreigners cause this for yourselves.
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Suspected+document+forgery+centre+uncovered+in+Helsinki+student+flat/1135238336262
    So stop whining – I am not sorry at all this happened to you. Go look in the mirror at your own countrymen first who are cause of this prejudice against foreign students.
    Besides which who are you beggar to come here to study free on my tax money to complain about anything? You can go back to scratch your ass in your own country – I did not invite you here to freeload on my tax money and complain on top. Ungrateful parasite beggar.

  72. Enrique permalink
    August 8, 2008 9:38 pm

    Hei DeTant, this is the last warning I’m giving you. Do NOT insult others. Your comments and attitude show why your idea of turning people into Finns does not work. How do you expect people from other countries to embrace your culture if you insult them? First you impose something on them and then insult them. That does not sound very Finnish to me…

  73. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    August 9, 2008 2:34 pm

    THEY ARE INSULTING ME IN MY OWN COUNTRY!!! If anyone has a problem with Finland its better not come here at all or then leave. Theres thousands of countries in the world where people can live in whatever kind of cultural environment they please. It pleases me to live in Finland and in a Finnish cultural environment. It is not necessary for anyone to come here and stay here if they do not like it. If they choose to come here then it is of their own free choice and it is they who choose my cultural environment. So I find it highly insulting someone comes to complain of life here – especially as we are giving thousands of foreigners from poorer countries the chance of free education – and what do we get in return? Disrespect and abuse of the system. And the abuse of the system is what is the worst part because due to the greed of the few now everyone is a suspect. And WAS IT FINNS WHO WERE DOING ANYTHING CRIMINAL? No – it was the foreigners who did something wrong and then come insult us on top. So that is my problem – you just do not see how insulting this is do you? Biting the hand that feeds you.

    Stop blaming Finland of your own shortcomings.

  74. Juha permalink
    August 17, 2008 11:17 pm

    I’m a Finnish man who has been working with foreigners (mainly refugees and asylum seekers) for years here in Finland. I’ve had the chance to witness the initial reactions of these people when they first arrive in this country, as well as the many difficulties (and often success) they later have when trying to integrate into Finnish society. I am a Finn, which means I obviously have an insight into the opinions that normal Finns have about foreigners.

    Firstly, I do aknowledge that there IS racism and discrimination against foreigners (especially people of dark skin color) in this country. However I cannot agree to the fact that so many foreign people participating in discussions about Finland claim that this is a country of nazi skin heads waiting to beat-up the next black man they see on the street or that the society as a whole (meaning public policy, health care, education) is somehow discriminatory. I understand very well that Finnish people are often extremely cold and reserved towards foreigners but I have heard countless of remarks from foreign refugees and students claiming that nowhere else in Europe have they been received as well as in Finland, with social welfare services covering all of there financial and medical needs, there children being offered the highest quality education, even studies in their own native language as well as studies in their respective religions. My sister is a teacher with many immigrant pupils in her class and she told me that the school system goes to great lengths in organizing the education of immigrant students. I know Africans and Asians who have been made to feel more than welcome in local Finnish churches and schools, making Finnish friends.

    Yes, it is difficult for foreigners to find work here. There ARE employers reluctant to considering employing foreigners, whether due to reasons of prejudice, downright racism, or because the applicant doesn’t have the required knowledge of the Finnish language. BUT, why is it that I have black friends here, who speak the language fluently, and have NEVER had any problems finding work (and they have worked in many different fields)? It saddens me alot that so many in this country go to great lengths in helping refugees and other foreigners in need and I only find that this country is labeled completely racist. I once asked a group of Somalis who had been living in Finland for quite a while if they had experienced racism. They responded simply that 90% of Finnish people are good and 10% are racist. I am certain that WHEREVER you go especially in Europe you WILL find racism. Especially in eastern-European countries or countries not accustomed to foreigners. If a drunk on the street shouts offensive things to a black person, I am sure this happens in other countries as well.

    Finnish people are generally very reserved and do not have a good knowledge of foreign languages/cultures, hence the difficult connection with foreigners. DOES EVERYTHING NEED TO BE ATTRIBUTED TO RACISM? Finns, especially elderly citizens do find it hard to accept anything that is new, different or revolutionary. This applies as well to native Finns trying to go against the flow.

    I am sorry about the bad experiences foreigners have had in Finland but I believe things are changing. In the upcoming years we will be needing the effort of many foreigners in the labor market due to our aging population. I hope their arrival will continue to enrich this society.

  75. Enrique permalink
    August 17, 2008 11:46 pm

    Hi Juha, many thanks for allowing us to hear your ideas. You make a valid point: racism is an issue in Finland but, as you correctly point out, not everything that happens to foreigners can be attributed to racism. I recommend that others to take time to read your comments on the matter.
    As you mentioned, some Finns are suspicious of foreigners because they have had little contact with them. In my opinion, if Finland is going to take in foreign migrants, then it should do everything possible to make their stay worthwhile. If they can adapt and integrate into the Finnish way of life, or acquaint themselves thoroughly to it, it will only benefit Finland. We all lose if you create boundaries of exclusion around different groups.
    I don’t think that anyone can claim that Finland is 100% racist. Racism exists everywhere — take a look at the “racial cleaning” that went on in the Balkans not too long ago. There are many good people in Finland who are interested in helping foreigners lead meaningful lives in Finland. Even so, I think there needs to be more debate on the problems so we can move ahead. As you know, it is education.

    I’m certain that many of us would be interested in hearing from your point of view the foreigners who succeeded in Finland.

  76. Tiwaz permalink
    August 18, 2008 10:39 am

    But you have to understand, if these students undermine the foundation of finnish society…

    We lose.

    This country and people are just too small to survive if we do not hang on to our culture and society. We need those to exist. Without them, we are not finns. I don’t know what we would be, but not finns.

    But there is, and you cannot deny it, trend amongst immigrants and foreigners expecting finns and Finland to appease them and their wants. That is just flat out wrong.

    What immigrants should do, is study finnish culture and learn to behave according to it. You do not have to become carbon copy of finn. But your life will be far less problematic if you speak language and know how not to behave improperly in finnish cultural context.

    Else you WILL be unemployed and looked down upon. Not because you are foreigner, but because you are rude and do not behave properly.

    Because it is finnish definition of those that matters, not yours. We will look you through finnish cultural norms. Fill them, it’s ok. Do not fill them and you are rude and improperly behaving regardless of your origin.

    While YOU people may assume that you behave and speak just fine. Trust me, you are continuously giving out “wrong” signals. You just lack the eye and ear to notice.

    I had swedish teacher once, whom I immediately noticed to speak “wrong”. She was indeed finnish by birth (middle aged lady) but originated from swedish speaking area. But it was still there.

    Same thing with nonverbal stuff. Finnish body language tends to be minimal. We may be bit more perceptive towards such things due to this. And your body language will for decades betray you.

    Neither really matters, as long as you do not do anything which is against proper conduct. It is just your exotic spice. You will not be treated, overall, much differently than finns. We just prefer to be left alone in very small but tight (quality over quantity) groups of friends. Get into one, and you can pat yourself in the back. Just do not try to bring your cultural norms and expect them to work in Finland.

    Integration should not be if. It has to be must.

  77. Enrique permalink
    August 18, 2008 11:18 am

    Two important matters: 1) Finnish culture and the Finns are NOT in danger of disappearing because more foreigners are moving to the country;
    2) The key matter is to learn to live side by side and respect each others cultural diversity.
    3) If you strongly believe that integration is a must, how to you carry out such a policy? What laws must be changed? Can you impose such norms on Finns? Why not?

  78. Tiwaz permalink
    August 18, 2008 11:35 am

    1) Not yet. If we do permit all this multicultural rubbish it will. UK already shows serious signs of cultural erosion. Native brits have expressed feeling of starting to feel like being foreigners in their own country. And they have more people than Finns have!

    2) No. It is about immigrants learning to behave like you behave in country where you move. It is unacceptable to presume that natives have to appease immigrants. If you cannot live in country which is not like your native country, I can honestly recommend not moving.

    3) Integration to finnish society is must. If you are not working with society, you are working against society. There is very little room for troublemakers.

    One thing that comes to my mind is, depending on how EU legislation permits it, making for example stuff like unemployment benefits and/or residence permits dependant on progression in language skills.

    Language is product of culture, thus it can act at least as starting point to integration. Forcing integration is not going to work, but making life without integration even more difficult (as distasteful as I find it) may give motivation to immigrants.

    I really wish such measures would not be necessary, but reality is that immigrants appear to be far too unwilling to integrate.

    And norms are already imposed on Finns. When Finn does behave improperly, they do it knowingly. And are looked down by their countrymen as troublemakers and fools.

  79. Enrique permalink
    August 18, 2008 11:56 am

    Tiwaz, that is your opinion. I haven’t seen any empirical studies that show that British society is deteriorating as you mention. One of the inalienable aspects of British culture is that is multicultural through the colonial period. Certainly there are some Brits who may feel threatened by the foreigners that live in the country. Even so, I would claim that is a minority.
    Again, you mention that integration is not a choice but an obligation. The examples you mention about language tests and the like have been proposed. I believe that they will be unsuccessful. The Russians tried to do it to Finland in the Russification period and look what happened. Russia’s big mistake was that it forced Finns to become more Russified. This led to a lot of strife and bloodshed.
    In World War 2, and a very extreme example, was the Nazi regime and their racial policy. The thinking at the time was that Aryans were put into a second “racial” category because of groups like the Jews, Roma and others. Look at all the bloodshed and murder that took place back then through concentration camps. Take a look at a more tragic recent example such as the Balkans. No, I don’t think you can impose cultural norms on others unless you want to create friction.
    I mentioned before in many posts that foreigners should be inspired to integrate into a culture. This should be the norm in Finland because it is a society based on equality for all and has strong institutions that uphold such norms. We should not succumb to the ways of autocratic countries such as the Sudan or any other that force people to leave their culture. This is very especially to do, if we look at the first generation.
    Finland is in my opinion a good society with values that other autocratic countries should emulate. This should not apply to only to Finns, but all people who live leagally in the country.
    I understand your fears, but I think they are exaggerated.

  80. Tiwaz permalink
    August 19, 2008 6:42 am

    Ah, but Russia tried to russify people and society which were existing and were estabilished. That is totally different from telling immigrants to learn to behave properly and speak language.

    Because, when foreigners in Finland behave as if they are in their native country, they cause friction. This is stuff that causes that violence you mention. You are trying to separate yourselves from society. You refuse to integrate.

    Basically, Finn sees you…. Immigrant, who came to this country voluntarily. Refuse to respect our culture and language. For Finn, it is very basic idea of courtesy to show respect to culture and ways of country or house you visit.

    Some asshats of course fail to do so. The infamous drunk finns, who are shame for whole country when abroad. But overall it is found polite to behave properly in local sense of proper.

    Cultural norms and traditions are there because they are needed. They give everyone equal ground where they know how to behave. That you do not disturb others and so forth. Their purpose is to ensure as fluent functionality of society as possible.

    Everyone going against these norms, are causing problems.

    Thus, immigrants have to learn that when in Rome, behave like romans. Everything else is unacceptable.

    It is even benefit of immigrants themselves. We see lots of moaning that people have no jobs. Well whoop-de-doo!

    In case you people have not figured out, you have to work with FINNS. Majority of your customers are FINNS.

    What kind of employer would be so bloody stupid that they would hire rude person who cannot even speak to customers and/or colleagues in their preferred language?

    Jobs where language is not issue are rare. And often even if it is not impossible problem it is for example security issue. People working in construction are worried of security risks where two people who have to work together (say guy operating crane and one helping him) have communications issues.

    This far no serious accidents (that we know of) have not taken place. But risk is higher.

    Or if you have to sit in customer contact. Would you hire worker who may risk you losing customers because one immigrant you hired has no idea on proper behavior or cannot communicate with client?

  81. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:16 am

    – Again, you mention that integration is not a choice but an obligation. The examples you mention about language tests and the like have been proposed. I believe that they will be unsuccessful. The Russians tried to do it to Finland in the Russification period and look what happened. Russia’s big mistake was that it forced Finns to become more Russified. This led to a lot of strife and bloodshed.

    Again, you miss the point. the Russians invaded us. We’re not invading the immigrants – its their own choice to come here. They are not brought here by violence chained in slave ships. They voluntarily board on an airplane.

    And the UK is prime example of “white flight” – and the UK people move to Finland for that reason. It takes them a little while to figure out while they live in Bendoveristan where the foreigners rule, in Finland they are the foreigners and the natives still rule. Thats why they whine as they are ashamed of their country but we are not.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/6631541.stm

    In Finland there is only space for one kinds of towns and villages – full of “Finnish residents” and not “white ethnic Finns” and “immigrant foreigners”… its an attitude question if you want to be a Finn or not.

  82. Enrique permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:26 am

    Hey DeTant, the war ended in 1944. You see the world through black and white, immigrant versus non-immigrant. Then you should form a movement in Finland to ensure that no foreigners move to the country. What do you think? How many Brits have moved to Finland fleeing from the “foreign menace?”

  83. Linda permalink
    August 24, 2008 12:36 pm

    DeTant Blomhat : you suffer from a severe case of xenophobia – you need help.

    I can not comprehend how bloggers on this site even bother to respond to a hatemonger, disrespectful, unconstructive individual like you.

  84. Enrique permalink
    August 24, 2008 11:03 pm

    Hi Linda, nice to have you on board. Why bother with DeTant? To show how some people in Finland think. It would be great to hear from people as yourself and explain to them that matters are not the way they see them. More foreigners must speak out!

  85. Linda permalink
    August 28, 2008 6:25 pm

    Hi Enrique, you are correct indeed,

    I have lived in Finland for umpteen years and I have to say that racism is wide spread. Racism in Finland manifests itself through job discrimination, social exclusion and what not.

    Employers blame it on language impediment – that most foreigners don’t speak finnish. But this claim is not entirely true. I have met a lot of foreigners that have educated themselves in Finland, speak the language fluently, have an academic degree but are still unemployed. Some of them have never managed to even secure an interview just because their names are sound peculiar. Even if you get a job your chances of getting promoted is next to nill. The employer thinks that he/she is doing you a favour just because he/ hired you.

    I would also like to add that all foreigners are not refugees, some of us come here to study and end up getting married and build a family here.

    Unfortunately, we are here to stay because our family is here. Therefore, Things have to change in Finland and I strongly beleive it is up to us to outline our grievances bargain collectively for our rights.

  86. Enrique permalink
    August 28, 2008 7:27 pm

    Hi Linda, you are absolutely right! A person who cares about the society he lives in does not fear to speak out when there are injustices. It is not only a right, but we must do so for our children and our grandchildren. About language, I believe it is only an excuse in some cases used to exclude people. After they learn the language adequately, I am certain they will come up with some other excuse. It only suffices to look at unemployment to see that the foreign community in Finland is not well integrated. There are many factors for this. When you ask people who should know why, they usually fall short of giving an appropriate answer like discrimination or that the labor market system in Finland really sucks. How do you explain many years of high growth versus other EU countries and there is still high unemployment in Finland? It is because labor markets are inflexible and inefficient.
    Finland would be a pretty could society if it could overcome these deficiencies. Things will change but we have to speak out. It is the only way.

  87. September 5, 2008 5:02 am

    I am an immigrant. Sometimes I feel so frustrated in Finland that I just wanted to ‘give it back to the society’. Hence the crime. People like me (hypothetically) acting out of frustration. If the mentality here is that no foreigners are good and only a tiny fraction of people like Juha, the social worker, understands and/or appreciates diversity it doesn’t help much because the general society isn’t open=minded. I would even call racist.

    If a person like Juha comes to ask me how do I like it in Finland, I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings. A guy who works so hard for us. What do you expect me to say? that I am so frustrated that I can leave this second to another place where I feel more comfortable?

    I would reverse those numbers. 95% prejudiced and 4% nonchalant, 0.5% don’t care, 0.001% welcoming (and the rest 0.499% lost in statistics).

    Good welfare system is like a double-edged sword for immigrants. We are taken care of but we are also blamed for using them. And so you have to be ever-thankful that you are here, Finland. Because you are given shelter and food, now you can take this mental abuse in the form of institutionalized racism.

  88. Markus permalink
    September 6, 2008 2:10 pm

    Huh? I’m a bit surprised how many people think Finns are racists. Guess the majority has to be right…I don’t think I am a racist, not that I would have much chance to be. I live in Middle-Finland, there are pretty much zero black people in here. Which is a shame, a tad more cultural diversity would be nice.
    We need more immigrants =) But they all are going to Sweden…
    What irritates me, is that some say that racism is taught as schools, if you go flaunting that opinion, don’t complain if people dislike you! It’s not. Feel free to give examples.

  89. Enrique permalink
    September 6, 2008 2:23 pm

    Hi Markus, glad you could drop by and share your thoughts. I think it was one person who made that comment. Instead of pointing out how different we are, we should do the opposite: find things that unite us.
    I used to live in Mikkeli and I know what you mean. Cultural diversity is the spice of societies.

  90. ale permalink
    September 8, 2008 7:03 pm

    Hello all,

    I was just browsing the internet and found this most interesting discussion.

    I lived in Finland around three years, spoke quite well the language, had a good job at a laboratory as a technician, still, never got used to the narrow minded mentalily.

    I left many years ago, and as I read your comments I am so glad I did. After Finland, and after divorcing, I lived in Canada and Spain, previously I lived in the US, I can tell you I never encountered a society even close as racist as the finnish one, full or prejudices and stupidities. When the friends I left behind tell me it is still the same or even worse since there are many more foreigners, I had my doubts, but no, I confirm through your comments this has not changed.

    What can I tell you, as I said, I am glad that the rest of world is so different!! and glad I did not spent so menay years there

  91. Enrique permalink
    September 8, 2008 7:42 pm

    Sorry to hear that your experience was not pleasant. There are a lot of challenges in Finland with respect to discrimination but I believe that things will change in the end. It is a country that is opening up rather fast but does not have a focused idea what it means. Or is it that Finland expects to bring in foreign labor and then ask them to leave? One of the biggest questions or pitfalls, in my opinion, is that some Finns find diversity as a threat to their culture when, in essence, it is something that enriches it.

  92. Tiwaz permalink
    September 9, 2008 5:24 am

    How does destruction of cultural unity enrich it?

    You still have failed to present multicultural society which is stable, united, peaceful and/or not build on destruction of native culture.

    Go on. Present one to me. You can’t.

    It appears to me that most immigrant issues come from one source, refusal to learn Finnish culture. Instead trying to judge Finnish society based on values of other society with different structure, history and ways.

    Of course Finnish society which is very introvert and respects privacy will feel racist or rude to someone who is used to society where person who you just met claims you to be his/her best friend ever.

    I find such societies dishonest and annoying, as you are not given peace and you can never rely on word of another person even little.

  93. Enrique permalink
    September 9, 2008 8:09 am

    Here isn’t one, but a batch: Canada, Argentina, London, Spain, Germany, United States…

    –I find such societies dishonest and annoying, as you are not given peace and you can never rely on word of another person even little.

    Stop generalizing about cultures and people. There are extroverted and introverted Finns. There are people of all types. I told you that there is no such thing as national character, except for “national stereotypes.”

  94. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 15, 2008 5:15 pm

    Stop whining about Finnish culture and people. Here is a quote from some nice fellow in Canada.

    “canada is a country full of spitefull racist people, despite racism non white immigrant people still continue to live their and on account of the reason they’d be embarrased they simply do not unveil what it really is to their countrymen back home, like my self! whilst living in canada for 5 yrs and becoming a citizen i’ve seen that the english canadians r truly racist! esp the ones of toronto. (srry 4 my language but im just as pissed as u nice people r) these c*******g, dumbasses r totally ignorant! they think immigrants r stupid people from jungles! these blcokheaded nitwits also think we just walk in their “homeland” with out any permission of government and they dont even realize that they r the ones who stole this damn land god damn it!!! f* f* f*! toronto is shittingly horrible! but inspite of the fact that people of toronto r real dull wits the french canadians r how ever much less racist. as i’ve been in quebec(not montreal) all the white boys and girls were rather more like me and had manners and courtesy. unlike the low-lifed scums and wastes of england(namely the english canadians) in toronto now a days its impossible to even walk around the streets! otherwise well no they aint gona say racist things but their attitude and behaviour clearly states that they r indeed but racist (effective words). the ttc bus drivers r so rude damn it mother f*! one time when i was 12 one n**** bus driver yelled at me and humiliated me! now i understand the whites treat these african beasts like trash but tat dont give em the rights to f* with me. now i swear to my self! wehn im back to canada, if a single ttc bus driver wheather n**** or white i swear, if they behave in a f* way with me!”

    Yes, go read more http://www.notcanada.com/forum/

  95. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 15, 2008 5:29 pm

    Enrique: explain exactly how in this example from Denmark diversity enriches the Greenlanders culture instead of destroying it?
    stiften.dk/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080705/AAS/457841073/1002
    theres a translation found here
    canadianimmigrationreform.blogspot.com/search/label/racism

  96. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 15, 2008 5:35 pm

    – I can tell you I never encountered a society even close as racist as the finnish one, full or prejudices and stupidities.

    I can tell you I never encountered a person even close as whining as a foreign one, full or prejudices and stupidities.

    What do these two statements sound like? Who is the narrow minded one?

  97. Enrique permalink
    September 15, 2008 7:29 pm

    –Stop whining about Finnish culture and people. Here is a quote from some nice fellow in Canada.

    So, should we behave the same way. Hey, DeTant, if you lived in the early part of the last century, you would go up to Mannerheim and the Jaggers and say: Stop your whining. Nothing will change.

    Greenlanders? Oy vei! You really pick the odd ones. I’m talking about big countries with big urban buildings.

    –What do these two statements sound like? Who is the narrow minded one?

    Putting words in my mouth? I never said that. You did.

  98. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 15, 2008 8:16 pm

    – So, should we behave the same way.

    No, I am just proving that your model country of Canada is more racist than Finland.

    – I’m talking about big countries with big urban buildings.

    Unless you haven’t noticed Finland is a small country. And did you read the article? Or doesn’t it fit into your Finland-destruction agenda?

    –What do these two statements sound like? Who is the narrow minded one?
    Putting words in my mouth? I never said that. You did.

    No I didn’t – the whiny labrat whose ego got shattered when a Finnish woman dumped him was the one said so. Again the only reason to whine for racism is the persons own shortcomings.

  99. Enrique permalink
    September 15, 2008 8:18 pm

    No I didn’t – the whiny labrat whose ego got shattered when a Finnish woman dumped him was the one said so. Again the only reason to whine for racism is the persons own shortcomings.

    Well, you can sweep the problem under the rug that way if you please.

  100. September 16, 2008 6:24 am

    I had to writ this little experience I hd a few weeks ago when viewing a new houe but first: You would imagine growing up in Ireland during the religious/political divide in the late 60’s t0 the 90’s would give you some ides of racism. To add to that I was brought up by my mother a catholic and my father a protestant who’s parents were hard core Scots Northern Ireland.

    I came to live in Finland ten years ago. I had been on holiday a couple of times and found the people to be polite and what I thought shy of foreigners. On interaction – nine times out of ten – their face would turn red as they struggled to (speak English) be of assistance. The Finns were – to put it in a word – tolerant.

    Now with experience I see how I mistook tolerance for (just plain old) ignoring, and their shyness for wanting to get away (as fast as they can) from you. Their assistance to do what is their duty and make a profit if possible.

    The Finns are determined to stay in their own little culture, and if you care to join in nobody will go out of their way to push you out. You’ll just be ignored.

    I thought it was my imagination at first or maybe me and my inadequacies, but after a while I saw a definite pattern. It’s not organized, as you say it is unspoken inherent in some insidious way. But you do here it spoken and I think more so than I heard ten years ago or the longer you stick around.

    We moved house last week. Some weeks ago when we came to look at the house for the first time the woman turned to us in the middle of the tour and said: “I had a ((she used the term) mustalainen perhe (black people) family viewing the house just before you…………..
    ((((Romany have been in Finland since the 16th. Century. They didn’t just arrive there yesterday))))
    ……..I’m not racist or anything (she smiled at me knowing I was Irish) but when I saw them coming I said: there goes the neighborhood.
    It hit me God there it is/was (and I wanted to in some weird way thank her) right out in the open. It was refreshing in the sense that you can confront that where as you can’t confront silence. There are no signs: no n***s or Irish need apply. You know from the countless times you’ve been turned away or offered what most wont do.

  101. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 6:57 am

    – Well, you can sweep the problem under the rug that way if you please.

    There is no “problem”.

  102. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 7:08 am

    Paddy congratulations on the new house. Hopefully some of your traveling compatriots come along selling paving so you can then come back to extrapolate on your hypocricy.

  103. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 9:19 am

    OK, there is no “problem.” Does that make you feel better? Some Finns are above racism, it’s the way they express themselves. Sorry for not understanding.

    “Extrapolate on your hypocrisy.” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I will do the former.

  104. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 9:33 am

    Hi Paddy, good to hear from you. Why did she have to mention that? What did she want to imply? Hurry up and take it, or the neighborhood is going downhill? The discrimination without the sin you are talking about works very effectively. Some people smile at you and do not hire you, won’t allow you to rent an apartment because you are of this or that background… Some of these Finns resemble a person who told me about how Colombians murder people: Before killing you, they smile cordially. Some Colombians are very formal. In the school where my son went, kids used to call each other by their surnames.
    Congratulations on your new home.

  105. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 12:59 pm

    – I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I will do the former.

    Ask Paddy about Irish Travellers. And how much people wish them to come live next door.

  106. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 1:07 pm

    Oh, and *who* are the racists? And what is the “real problem”?
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Racism+one+of+many+problems+in+Karhuvuori+district+of+Kotka/1135221426704

  107. September 16, 2008 5:06 pm

    Thanks man.
    we’re in and putting the final touch to each and everything.
    DeTant, I lived with travellers for about two years when my first daughter Dara was born. Some of the finist people you could/would ever meet, and some very dangerous bastards just like in every level of society.
    I’m glad I had the experience, and not stupid to say everyone would love it; should do it, and so on. Life is a dangerous road on which you learn to be thankful for the people you have around you.

  108. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:06 pm

    So paddy- you agree – there can be a real estate agent in Ireland stating: there is no travellers in the neighbourhood”

    Considering my nan was a Finnish a gyppo, I find Enrique mighty white.

  109. September 17, 2008 8:36 am

    Damn Finns! I can’t be bothered to read through this enormous thread, but reading your checklist I realised that I’ve been subjected to horrible racism by Finns! Especially #1, #2, #3, #6, and #7 are or have at times been very true for me. The fact that I’m an ethnic Finn myself underscores the viciousness of the Finns: they’re racist even towards their own kind.

  110. September 17, 2008 11:42 am

    David, look around Finland and see if you will find even a single elected ethnic minority in the local councils. Though some political parties like SDP have constantly window dressed their candidates list to include few Somalians, but the average racist finnish voter will rather vote for his dog rather than vote for a foriegner.

    Excluding the Swedish-speakers (who are politically vastly overrepresented), not more than a couple percent of people living in Finland belong to ethnic minorities. Even fewer are “visible minorities”. Based on this statistic, you’d expect no more than one in fifty or one in a hundred politicians to be from minority ethnic backgrounds, provided that the proportion of people with the kind of socio-economic background where politicians typically come from is similar in minorities as it is in the native population (and it isn’t).

    Still, there are some minority politicians. For example, in the small rural town where I grew up, one half-black guy is a fixture in local politics, representing the SDP. I’m sure there are others like him around the country. In the parliament the only (non-Swedofinn) minority politicians that I can think of are Ben Zyskowicz, who is Jewish, and Janne Seurujärvi, who is a Sami, both from Kokoomus. There might be some others, and some have mixed backgrounds (Maria Guzenina is half-Russian, I think). Elisabeth Nauclér, the Åland representative in parliament, is in fact an immigrant from Sweden. Timo Soini, the popular leader of the True Finns party, is a Catholic, which is mighty exotic in Finland.

    In any case, none of these people make a point of their more exotic backgrounds, and are all treated as Finns precisely because they refuse to be “ethnic politicians”. If someone with an immigrant background is qualified, he or she will have no problem getting elected to a political office in Finland.

  111. Alat Katin permalink
    September 24, 2008 10:37 pm

    Hello all. I just stumbled upon this page. I am thinking of going to medical school in Finland near Helsinki in the english medical programme. I am originally from Egypt and speak english but not the native Finnish language. I also dress akin to the bedouin style with traditional headdress and robe. I was very excited to be able to study in Helsinki but now am having thoughts against it after reading this page. Medical programme itself is very tough but if I have to do it under difficult circumstances compounded with discrimination then I may not fare well. Can someone, both Finnish and non-Finnish in Finland give me his input on the matter? Best wishes from Alat.

  112. Enrique permalink
    September 24, 2008 11:04 pm

    Hi Alat, and welcome to Mirgrant Tales. Let’s wait for some comments. In the meantime, why don’t you ask the university where you are going to study if you will have any problems because of your dress and cultural background. It would be a fair question to them.
    There are also some Arab associations in Finland: http://www.rabita.fi and http://www.caisa.fi/.
    This could be a good start.

  113. Alat Katin permalink
    September 24, 2008 11:26 pm

    Hello Enrique. Thank you for the links. I am unable to ask the university as that would be not a good way to establish relations at a potential place of attendance. Yes, honest comments would be welcome, especially from Finns and non Finns alike. If a bad idea then I would rather know early than attempt a big move which could be disasterous. Points to keep in mind are

    A. I don’t speak anything other than English and native tongue.
    B. I wear traditional middleeast dress.
    C. I do not know anyone in Finland other than the correspondence persons at the school.

  114. Mark Hill permalink
    September 29, 2008 2:53 am

    Embo and others make a very good point, that not all bad experiences can or should be attributed to racism. Surely it does not feel good to a person when they are being treated rudely, etc. but in many cases attributing these things to racism is perhaps overly imaginative.
    I was in Finland last summer for an extended vacation. Now it should be understood that my family originally is from Finland, so I more or less look like any other Finn. But by most definitions, I am a foreigner when in Finland, even to some of my relatives (many of whom I cannot speak with as I do not speak Finnish).
    While in Helsinki, and even more so in smaller towns, I often noticed Finns behaving in a rather “reserved” manner. I learned quickly that if you smile at a stranger they will most likely think you are very strange.This is very different to where I am from, southern Ontario Canada. “Small talk” is not only uncommon, but according to my cousin, distrusted.
    My point here, is that there were many examples of situations were if I were a foreign “looking” person, I might imagine some sort of racism or discrimination going on. Mind you, I have no experience of being called names, etc. but what I mean here is the sort of “silent” discrimination that many here have mentioned. But I know that since I look Finnish, and because I spoke with very few people (and thus not many people would have known that I dont speak the language) I know that it could not have been racism, unless racists are all psychic! It is simply a fact that Finns can seem very reserved, and even cold on the surface, and needing some time to warm up to new people.
    It is also true that in spite of their sometimes less than dashing outwards demeanor, Finnish people can be, and often are very warm and friendly people. For example, I learned to appreciate their lack of small talk and superficial niceities (and perhaps some other people would have a much harder time with this). When you come from a place where people are generally more social and outgoing, it can seem off-putting at first, but you learn quickly that this is just the way they are.
    Surely there are racists in Finland, and I even would imagine that in a place which has been so homogenous for so long, that it is a problem. I just don’t think it is fair to exagerrate it by saying things like that not getting a job means you are a victim of racism. The list at the top of this page is ridiculous in most respects. I personally, here at home have met maybe a couple of foreign born people who seem to think that until people are kissing their asses, then surely they must be racists. Like when I was younger, a neighbourhood kid used to climb our fence, and my father would yell at him to get off. One day he went to the child’s mother and complained to his mother that he was cutting through our yard, and she said that he was just racist and didn’t like black people, which is certainly not true. I know from my cousins again that it is difficult even for Finns to get jobs – the fact that the unemployment rate is so much higher among immigrants has more to do with language skills than xenophobia, unlike in many other places Finns don’t feel the need to be so politically correct as to hire a foreigner over a better qualified Finn so as to appear not racist.
    And one last point – the main people I did speak with in Finland were other foreigners at the language classes I was attending (most of them not white). From them, many whom had been there for a number of years, I heard the typical complaints about living in a different country,(difficulties at the grocery store, getting lost in the city, etc.) but no complaints that I remember about being treated badly because of their race. I did hear many comments about what I said before, about the “usual” reserved Finnish demeanor, but nobody I spoke with seemed to feel they were being treated differently from anyone else.

  115. Mark Hill permalink
    September 29, 2008 3:23 am

    I would also like to add another observation:
    in may places ( and I personally believe especially here where I am from ) many people who are not racist at all will still in some situations go out of their way to specifically appear “not racist”, partly because maybe they are not sure how to behave around foreigners, partly out of fear of offending someone, and also partly because maybe they have had a racist thought or something like that and they feel they can make amends in a way. While personally I think it is pretty transparent, possibly insincere, and at worst condescending, I have caught myself at times doing the same thing. (in the example of the neighbourhood kid whom I mentioned earlier, many people unlike my father would not have complained, for fear of being mispercieved as racist). Many other people though, like my father, would resent and/or dismiss such accusations and complain anyhow.
    To most Finns, who are largely unfamiliar, and to an extent even distrusting of such small talks and “superficialities”, who strongly value honesty even to the point of bluntness, such a way of behaviour would seem very strange. Again I am not denying that there is racism in Finland, and I am sorry that I have not said before that many of the stories I have read here seem quite sad and dissapointing. What I am saying though, is in some situations, should one ask “Am I being treated badly (in a racist way) or am I I just not being treated “specially”? Am I being ignored truly because of the colour of my skin, or am I just being ignored?

  116. Mark Hill permalink
    September 29, 2008 3:27 am

    like if I am sitting on a bus, and noone, after the bus is almost full comes and sits next to me: I personally would know that it can’t be racism because no Finn on that bus would be able to tell I am a foreigner. But if I were a person of darker skin, I might think to myself that maybe that’s why noone wants to sit next to me. And perhaps that is the reason, but then again maybe it isn’t.

  117. Enrique permalink
    September 29, 2008 7:51 am

    Hi Mark, welcome to Migrant Tales and sharing your views with us. You make some interesting points but I think you would have to be a black, Muslim or somebody very different looking in order to feel what it is like being an outsider in Finland. The point you make about Finns being blunt is very interesting as well as some Finns going out of their way to appear “not racist.”
    But I think it boils down to very essential facts: can I make a living in Finland? First you should ask why would you want to stay in a country that does not even offer a future. But if you have to stay in Finland and cannot find work, it is a big problem. If it is due to discrimination it is even a bigger problem. And with 20% unemployment on average among foreigners there is a very, very big problem that nobody is really addressing. We should thank our politicians and the social welfare state for that.

  118. Alat Katin permalink
    September 29, 2008 11:58 pm

    Hello. Can anyone recommend whether or not to come to Finland to study medicine. My previous posting is here @

    http://nemoo.wordpress.com/2007/06/07/are-you-a-racist-in-finland/#comment-3017

  119. October 1, 2008 1:56 pm

    I Love Finland and Finnish People. I am an American exchange student with Hispanic descent. I do get stared at- I guess people haven’t really seen to much of a young girsl with dark black hair and darker skin. SO WHAT? I just smile. What did you people think when you would immigrate to another country- that it would be easy? You must adapt. Discrimination can be fought- through education and positive interaction. It is unfair to say such things about the average Finn, because they are so polite. As far as the work situation, you need to look at the political structure and take a wild guess as to why it’s so hard for you to get a decent job! Forums like these are useless and only provide for bickering and stereotypes. Positive intercultural communication is the key. Really, what do you expect?

  120. Enrique permalink
    October 1, 2008 7:14 pm

    Hi KR, welcome to Migrant Tales and thank you for your views. I disagree that this blog only is a forum for bickering and stereotypes. On the contrary, it is a good forum to state your case. Like anything, healthy debate is always positive to get to know what each group is thinking. Without it we are still pretty much in the dark.
    Probably the big difference between the US and Europe is that the former had a civil rights movement. I wonder what some people thought when blacks started to march in cities such as Montgomery? See how many positive things came out of that and other marches. People did not remain quiet but preferred to bring forth their ideas and differences. Thank God that they had the courage to do it.

  121. Alian from Middle East permalink
    October 5, 2008 6:57 pm

    Hi:
    I am an Iranian man 43, I arrived in Finland in Dec. 1994. I applied for asylum right away. I received it after 27 months.
    – I received a B.Sc degree in computer engineering in May 1999.
    – I received a M.Sc. in Telecommunication from Helsinki University of Technology in 2005
    – I started working in a decent, official job, as a C programmer in 1997 before even I get a residence permit.
    – I have worked 5 years for Nokia
    – I have worked 3 years for HUT
    – I applied for citizenship in 2001
    – I received a negative answer in 2005. The reason was that I am a threat against Finland security and public order.
    I appealed against this decision. I won the decision in administrative court. My argue was that you should provide a reason why I am threat. No body should be guilty without a reason. Finland’s security services and the migration service take the case to supreme court and threatened the supreme court and the system that they will not show any evidence because I am too dangerous to know the reason. I asked that they show their reason to Supreme court and Finnish authorities. They did not, because there is none! The court voted in their favour and ruled that SUPO (Finnish Security Service) does not have to provide any reasons! So much for an independent judiciary system!
    – I lost my Job in a Finnish company after 2 weeks because of the SUPO,s decision about me. That was August 2006.
    – I asked the Finnish authority including Mrs. President Halonen that show me one simple reason, why I am a threat and I live your country voluntarily. They did not!
    – I moved to Sweden in 2007
    – I found a job now in Sweden as an IT consultant with lot more salary in Stockholm and lot more fun
    – I am happy now here. But Finland was like a nightmare for me.
    So this was my experience from Finland!
    Cheers

  122. Enrique permalink
    October 5, 2008 8:05 pm

    I am really saddened by this. It is action like this that really gives Finnish authorities a bad name. I hope that more people as yourself speak out and tell their experiences. Some already have. Thank you. I hope you have a lot of luck in Sweden. Was your case ever in the media?

  123. Alian from Middle East permalink
    October 5, 2008 10:56 pm

    Dear Enrique:
    Thank you for your sense of understanding.
    My case was published in Helsinki Sanomat (without my name), the biggest paper in Finland. However it was the story said by SUPO. I contacted the Helsinki Sanomat and demanded to hear our side of story. I received no answer. Then I want personally to meet the person who wrote the article. The receptionist called the guy and the guy said that he is on holiday and wont back for some time. Coincidently in 2 minutes the receptionist saw his collogue and asked about him. The collogue said that he is back in 10 minutes and he is not in holiday. I contacted to the person’s boss and some other people in Helsinki Sanomat and mentioned the acts and laws regarding publishing such an article. According to the law, they should also publish my side of story. I never received an answer!
    The followings are some links to the case in HS;
    – Courts say immigration officials give too much weight to statements by Security Police http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Courts+say+immigration+officials+give+too+much+weight+to+statements+by+Security+Police/1135225456158
    – Security Police threaten to stop giving statements on foreigners
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Security+Police+threaten+to+stop+giving+statements+on+foreigners/1135227258317

    So, I would say that there is no independent press and judiciary system in Finland as far as concerning to the foreigners.
    Cheers

  124. Enrique permalink
    October 6, 2008 9:08 am

    In all fairness, a good story hears both sides of the argument. It shows that there is little competition in Finland among newspapers. There is only one and its word is that of the Gods. You should have tried other media that could have listened to your side of the argument. Self-censorship is one of the biggest ills of society. It is something that inflicts many newspapers. This is very detrimental because it means that the real story never gets out there. It is always a view heavily leaning towards what officials want to say. Some of the stories in HS on racism have the same format: case and then a nice ending like “racism is not a problem.” With stories like that the problem never gets addressed because it is never considered a problem. It is like all the government agencies and labor offices that deal with foreigners. They are mostly Finns! How is a Finn going to understand what a foreigner is going through? It is like sending a social worker white person from Alabama to give advice to poor blacks in Harlem.

  125. shopnil permalink
    October 28, 2008 3:03 pm

    finland is the most racist country in the world! i am living in this country for more then 6 years! people r so different here then any other country! i do speak finnish but not that well! even cleaning job is difficult to find here! if foreigners use a trick then they will succed here! make a big family like 6-7 kids! and just take social! its the best way in finland! 99% finns r racist believe me!

  126. Citizen permalink
    November 2, 2008 9:02 am

    Shopril, you just told the reason WHY finnish people seem to be racist: they are fed up with taxes that are used for social expenses caused by foreigners not willing to accommodate and obey laws.

    If you don’t feel at home in Finland, why do you stay there? Why did you come? Living on wellfare? Yes!

  127. Maba permalink
    November 2, 2008 2:15 pm

    “99% finns r racist believe me!”

    And you are not, making a comment like that? Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. There is no another word to describe a comment like that.

    As a Finn I find this blog insulting. Racism, stereotypes and generalization against finnish people.

    The whole 10 point list is ridiculous. Like someone already said those things are quite normal also for the white heterosexual Finnish male so it’s really not usually about racism but culture.

    For example unemployment. You don’t have any idea how hard it is for a Finn to get a decent job with a BBA. Supermarkets are filled with cashiers with a BBA degree. So 20%? There are A LOT of refugees from the development countries with no education, no language skills, some can’t even read. How could they compete in a (too) highly competative modern economy? It’s freaking hard for a Finn, too! And we speak Finnish, which is a requiment for most of the jobs. It’s even more difficult for someone not speaking Finnish fluently. But it is seldom because of racism. It’s racist to just assume it’s always, or almost always, because of racism.

    I’m not surprised about number 11: “I get attacked by comments in my blog for speaking out against racism.”. I think you “get attacked” because of your racism againsts the Finns. I feel personally insulted because of your generalizing claims. You seem to just spew hatred in a disguise. Oh, the irony!

    Are you behaving that way in a “real life” too? Insulting people with generalized claims? Calling them names when their culture is different than yours, and because they don’t change their traditional ways just to humour you?

    I wonder, why you have such a hard time…

  128. Nikki permalink
    November 2, 2008 7:21 pm

    I dont like to use word (racism) but Finland does have a major problem towards foreigners, ive been living in Finland for 8 years, i speak fluent finnish but no offence to people who said thats its all about language difference thats not true, even knowing finnish wont save you from insults. I never insulted native finn or been rude etc, i always tryed to be nice and polite and what i got in return was always a spit to my face. Unemplyement for foregneirs shouldnt be a surprise anymore, they will rather take low educated finn to work than high degree foreigner to work, going to few intervies over here i realised that as foreigner i was completly ignored, prefect example was when i was having interview with 4 other people who were finns, the person who was asking us question simply didnt ask me or when asking hardly listened what i replyed. And i was left to wonder what did i personally do wrong to this country?? Neverless racism can be tolarated by adults, but what about kids? My brother is half finn, he speaks mainly finnish but in kindergarden he is treated like foreigner, seriously what can a child do bad to finns that he is becoming a target for racism? His teacher once told ” as he is not finnish”… So being half finnish, having finnish passport doesnt mean anything over here. This all doesnt make me racist or angry towards finns but it makes me sad, sad for people who are mostly well educated and sivilized but still they ruin all that by racism. Neverless not in far future i think foreigners will start major run from Finland and finns might be happy but should think about their reputation becouse for example all foreigner friends i know are living and dreaming for a chance to move away from Finland.

  129. Alien from Middle east permalink
    November 2, 2008 9:56 pm

    Regarding the last comment before me;

    In my view calling Finns racist is technically wrong and socially misleading. Finns are quite aware of their share in the world’s history and their achievement. On contrary they are quite modest aside from the times when they are addressing each other and making their history colourful. What makes Finland the way it is and very unpleasant to the most of the 3rd world countries immigrants, is the systematic, though hidden and very complex discrimination deployed by Finnish system so much that they are willing to circumvent their routines and regulations (like influencing their judiciary system from above) to restrict and eventually make the life harder for mostly the 3rd world countries immigrants. This complexity is so camouflaged which takes resources such as time, money, knowledge and courage to reveal it.

    The system most useful weapon against those foreigners mostly had to migrate from critical places in the world is blocking the right to be naturalized. By taking this right from a immigrant who has lived many years in Finland, they paralyse the person to function as an ordinary person. Why and how? look at my story!
    – I do not have a passport and I have never had. So no legal assistance and support provided to that person as a citizen.
    – I cannot travel to so many countries. If I do and get into the trouble, there is no legal assistance from any where.
    – If I get a better chance of job in some other country, taking that chance is as close as impossible because I am not an EU citizen. The employers are not willing to use any energy to convince their authorities to employ that person.
    – Continuing studying will become limited. In my case they stopped me to peruse a PHD because I did not have Finnish nationality.
    – The things like getting loan for buying a house some times get difficult as you need to be a Fin to raise the trust for the banks.
    – The rest of your credits could also be affected by that.
    – you cannot take part in major elections, though you have lived many years in that country. So your voice does not count on most important issues and your destiny.
    – You cannot be a nominee for the same matter
    – Being a Fin at least legally boosts your chance to get easier recruited.
    – In any dispute between a Fin and immigrant, you are always guilty. Having the nationality could make the situation a bit better
    -…
    This list can go on and on, in one world you have less right than a dog belong to a Fin. So this is what makes Finland to most of the foreigners so unpleasant and disturbing. The true word which should be used is not racism, but the word is STATE DISCRIMINATION !!!!!!

    You want to know why? Look at the fabric of power in Finland. I can see still the same people who were on the power 15 years ago. The same people but replaced from one place to other one. So the cluster of power is tried to be as closed as possible toward the people who actually have the will and knowledge and other qualities to take part in more administrative roles than being on the lower layer of the society.
    So my immigrant friends, what makes you frustrated and depressed is a systematic pressure imposed by the STATE of Finland in the forms of which I mentioned some examples.

    My advice to you is that don’t bring more children to this country. They will not be yours in 10 years. If you think that is smart, you better think twice. Leave this country if and when you can. Go to a place who appreciate your presence and invest on you better than Finland. To a place asking a foreigner why did you come to here is legally forbidden!

  130. Mikko2 permalink
    November 3, 2008 4:06 pm

    After reading Alian’s story and the newspaper articles, what could I say but tough luck indeed. The security police not saying what information it has or where it got it from is frustrating indeed.

    Unfortunately, the security police is there for a reason, that is, to prevent terrorists entering the country. If the police has made a mistake about you, sounds like it is difficult to do anything about it. I would’t go as far as to say the police is rasistic, as, according to the newspaper article, they give a rather small number of negative statements. On other hand, if the police is correct about the statements, it would do to alter the statement just because the individual complains. But, they should hear your story at least.

    Let’s ask, if *you* were in a deciding position, what kind of instructions would you give to the security staff? Would you ignore their recommendatios anyway in the end?

    Shopnil: Your statement sounds rather rasistic in itself. The Finns also have difficulties finding a job, and it really doesn’t help if you cannot speak Finnish fluently.
    Also, I wouldn’t recommend trying to live off the social security if you don’t want people to dislike you. Where then would you get your living, is indeed a good question. If the Finns and the culture are too different for you to get used to, it might be a better idea to try your luck in some other country, perhaps somewhere nearer to your own customs. If that is not an option, I would recommend just not giving up hope, or searching for a job.

    DeTant: I think you have some valid points, but your presentation is way too agressive, offensive and probably also insulting. That kind of approach more often than not just makes understanding your point of view more difficult. I would also recommend avoiding cusswords or sarcasm, even when you are agitated.

    Enrique: You sound like a sensible person, however seem to be rather depressed about perceived racism in Finland. About the initial questionnaire on the other hand, I find it rather funny. Indeed, this would classify majority of Finns rasistic of each other. As of question 6, I don’t think it’s a good attitude to pair up “special treatment” with racism either. If you’re a foreigner, it’s just expected you get treated a bit different. I got treated different every day when I did student exchange, and thought nothing of it. It did not darken my day the sligthest. I think KR shows a positive attitude in that sense.

    However, there is real racism in Finland too, and that saddens me as well. But, I don’t think it’s that common as you say, and it is not widely accepted either. Criminals have gone to jail for rasistic behavior and companies have been fined for treating customers rasistically.

    Anyway, it is true that the Finns’ attitudes toward foreigners could be better. Although the foreigners should be the ones to ultimately adapt, the Finns also should try to understand foreigners a bit better. As for foreigners, I’m sure that a positive attitude would help a lot, that is, trying hard and not giving up because of minor setbacks or occasional encounters with small-minded people.

  131. Enrique permalink
    November 3, 2008 4:49 pm

    Hi Shopnil and Citizen, welcome to Migrant Tales and thank you for your comment. One interesting and recurring theme by Finns to foreigners who are unhappy with their situation in Finland is that “they should leave.” I think this is an inappropriate answer that has been used in other countries as well, like the US,America: love it or leave it. With high unemployment and discrimination on the lose in many cases, it is a very good matter that more people (Finns and foreigners) are brining this matter to light.

  132. Mikko2 permalink
    November 3, 2008 7:20 pm

    “Love it or leave it” is many times rather irritating advice, and often better left unsaid. However, it is a good advice when the reason why the foreigner is not able to live a happy life is that he cannot adapt to Finnish culture. It’s probably not possible to change the way people in the whole nation behave, during one lifetime.

    In case of other reasons, like encountering real racism or the government conspiracy (first time I hear of this), telling people to leave is not constructive. In that case it’s indeed better to bring up the problem to be discussed.

    About the kindergarten incident, being teased for being a foreigner is not very surprising. It doesn’t mean the teachers or the parents tell the kids to annoy foreigners. Children do not really need good reasons to tease others. Just having funny teeth, old bike or shirt of the wrong colour is enough. The teachers are not always able to interfere with this, although they do try. This is a real problem in school world (not just in Finland), and actually not a racism issue.

  133. Nikki permalink
    November 3, 2008 8:30 pm

    “love or leave it” its harsh advice for foreigners who just simply have nowhere to go.Most of foreigners are normal people who just want to live in peace and enjoy the country no matter what color or nationality they got, its not like foreigners try to invade over finland and push finns out, or try to wipe out finnish traditions or religion etc. People just want to be exepted by who they are, but in most cases they just have to hide themselves and appear in the way finns would exept them.

    As for small kids,ye getting teased is normal everywhere in the world, but when they grow they will start questioning the reasons, so are we suppose to say ” sorry dear cant help the fact that yr from other country”?? Thats how majority of kids start being racistic etc, it is never ending circle. Its easier to mentally attack kids than adults becouse they wont fight it much.

    Personally when i get insulted but finn for being from other country i usually try to ignore it and think of it as just simple missunderstanding. But tell me how to behave when i stand with my friend near Metro station waiting for parents to join us for lunch and finnish men comes to us and asks how much he needs to pay us for sex, and he came only when he heared that we didnt talk in finnish. that was really insulting public humiliation, add to that cheap looks people started to give us and loud enough whispers ” f…g whores”. Yes indeed, foreigh girls are ALWAYS appear to be sluts dont they??? Or when some one started to yell at me and calling me names when he heared me speaking foreigh language, im sorry but i think sometimes finns do cross the line.

  134. Alien from Middle east permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:35 pm

    I have seen both sides argument about Finland. Finns off course pro-Finland argue that under-developing countries immigrants come to Finland to live by welfare and not really willing to pay any price to integrate into the society. Lets consider this;
    First of all Finland accepts refugees based on the 1951 convention in Geneva. The countries which have signed this convention are obliged to comply with that. So all the countries even under development countries have refugees, actually a large number of them. Finland’s share is too little and comparing with countries in Nordic area is not a very generous gesture.
    It is also obvious that expecting from refugees to hold a M.S in their packet or being being a doctor is not fair. A refugee usually has left his country for some reasons. For example he/she might have been under persecution, jailed, tortured and so many other reasons which understanding them might be difficult to Finns. Therefore it is the duty of the country who accepts them after so many investigations and checking to help them to cop with the new environment. To tolerate them and to understand them and help them to integrate into the society. Having them just in the country in not enough. One needs to live, to work, to integrate into society and use his/her ability. Otherwise the person is mentally unbalanced.
    I am myself a living example that not only helped but suppressed the most. I am a live example that not only encouraged, but my lawyer asked me why you become an engineer. She didn’t dare actually to ask why you did not become a pizza baker.
    I would also like to know the opinion of my Finnish friends how they feel about 600, 000 Fins living in Sweden? A big number of them living on welfare. Without any mistake, here in Stockholm, whoever drunk and misfortune person that I saw was a Fin. Unfortunately not even one mistake. So you live in Europe without the problem that people have in Middle east or Africa, but about 12% of your population have left your country, just because of economic problem and at the same time nagging all the time that foreigners coming here for economic reasons !!!!

    I will continue this later!!! 🙂

  135. Matt permalink
    November 3, 2008 11:07 pm

    hi, before i start i just want to thank enrique for the site.

    eh, where to start, just finished reading.ok. for me, i have moved to finland and been here for a year now, i am from england i am 19 1st came over here for a holiday when i was 18 met a girl who is a finnish resident but is from russia and basically it started from there, went over to visit a few more times and then decided to quit my job and move over to finland(helsinki) and live with my girlfriend and carry on a normal life over here.

    when i 1st visted everything was fine, people seemed nice, few wierd looks now and then but nothing unusual as i have heard from many people that finish people are not the most sociable so i took no notice. problems started to arrise when i moved over here and started applying for jobs.(just to add that i passed all exams that i had taken and got top results, including A levels)the sort of job i was looking for did not matter to me as i knew i didn’t speak the language very well at the time. so again in a way i knew this might be a problem. the most frustrating thing at the time was that to my applications i sent out 99% of the time i would get no reply back from the company i applied to(but this is a completely different problem).

    the longer i was starting to live over here the more i noticed that the odd stare started to turn into the odd comment about me being from another country. 1 example of this is that i was on a bus going home 1 day, speaking on the phone(in english) with my girlfriend amediately after i put down the phone, a guy decides to say to me ‘foriegners, all they do is come to our country and steal our women’ at the time i think it might have been wrong by me also to reply ‘so you should try harder then’ as then it turned into something abit more than just words. i tried to report this to the police but apparently i provoced it. but the only thing that i can see that started this was the fact that i was speaking another language.and 1 thing i dont understand is that i could just b over here on holiday, they do not know this but still comments like this are said. does it then mean that finnish people expect to be treated the same when they go abroad to other countries?

    another case is that 1 day in our flat we had some decoraiters come over to paint our walls. all seemed fine. then they started to realise that my girlfriend is from russia and we started to hear comments such as ‘ruski’ muttered among the 2 of them. we sent an email complaing about this to the company that they work for and got no reply.

    i do not really understand but i have noticed that there is a big dislike to russian people living in finland, not exactly sure where this comes from, all i can do is guess, is it still that they have a grudge because of the cold war 50+ years ago?
    its hard to tell, just i worry alot when my girlfriend goes out that she won’t get shouted at for speaking russian which has happened before.
    while on this topic i have noticed that on the news it shows alot about russia and watches everything that they are doing very closely, maybe this doesnt help the subject.1 thing at the moment with this NATO finland is unsure to sign because they thought it would be a threat to russia.

    but all is not bad, i have a few friends over here and they are really nice people.
    if u ask me if u think finland is rascist as a nation i say no,but i do think that there is a higher percentage of racists and cases of racism than where i came from in england.
    i’v had basically 3 i’d say major experiences of racism and only been living here a year, and im only 19, in ways i think if i had been older it may have been more.

    so unfortunately as i have been unable to get a job, me and my girlfriend are deciding 2 move to england as for a start iv had 3 different employers call me from there even tho i wasn’t in the country trying to employ me. and im sure that it will be abit easier for my girlfriend also getting a job.
    but finland as a country is a really nice place and the people(most of them) are nice and are not as hard to get along with as others might say, that is once you get to know them, but again there are a few cases of racism, higher percentage then other places i have been, i have also been in america for 6 months and portugal for 4.
    sorry if i was writing too much, i got abit carried away.

  136. Mikko2 permalink
    November 3, 2008 11:56 pm

    Indeed, if the refugee has nowhere else to go, I guess there’s at least something good in Finland after all. Being given weird looks feels like such a small problem compared to persecution etc. Not getting a job and such are more important issues that should be discussed.

    Alien: I get the picture you have really grown to hate Finland. Not necessarily the people, but the government at least. Well, I guess I would too if I was denied a decent life based on national security. Good to hear you’re doing well in Sweden.

    Nikki: those kind of Finns disgust me too. I am really ashamed of how some of us behave, But, please do not make extreme generalizations, I trust people calling you names is not everyday. It is probably best to just ignore them and not dwell on the experience. During the 8 years in Finland, you must have met some decent people too, right?

    As for what to do about teasing at school, I believe the situation is no different from the other reasons to tease. What do parents usually do in that situation? Unfortunately I do not know myself, as I do not have kids yet. At the moment I think the best course would be to teach four things: 1) There is nothing wrong with you. 2) The other kid is ignorant. 3) You should ignore it completely and most of all, 4) Try not to lose your pride or get depressed or bitter.

  137. Tiwaz permalink
    November 4, 2008 10:26 am

    I ask once more from you great wise people who say how Finland has to do this or that…

    HOW will Finland make people integrate? Integration starts and ends in short space between both ears of immigrant. If immigrant does not put effort to learning language, if immigrant does not put effort and work to learning Finnish culture…

    How can they be uploaded to them by Finland? Learning always starts and ends in head of person who is supposed to learn.

    As for how immigrants should have right to remain as they were. Fine. But Finland and Finns have every right to expect Finnish cultural norms to be respected and obeyed by immigrants. That means, if immigrants cultural norms are in violation with Finnish. Immigrant cannot expect Finns to bend over and appease his immigrant ways. HE has to change.

    If you have no ability or desire to learn to live in Finland in way that does not annoy/distance/whatever Finns (namely in way Finns expect everyone to interact, according to Finnish cultural norms)…. Leaving is not unreasonable option.

  138. Enrique permalink
    November 4, 2008 10:56 am

    Tiwaz, if you want to see a sad case of integration by perkele check out what happened in Australia http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7216873.stm. I think this is ample proof that 100% integration is a myth. The only integration is accepting diversity. It is the way civilized nations do it.

  139. Enrique permalink
    November 4, 2008 11:01 am

    Hi Matt, welcome to Migrant Tales and thank you for sharing your views. What you have said it in my opinion happens too often for comfort and should not be accepted. One matter that I don not understand is how some Finns still consider racism as something “chic” and in vogue. Like any crime, it should be denounced to the police. If the police do not do anything, I would go to the ministry of interior.
    Possibly the problem is that some Finns have not yet learned that it is not only rude to be a rasict, it is totally unacceptable. I am confident that the insults that you and your girlfriend suffered will become less frequent in the future. However, we must stand up to them and denounce them with all the force of the law.

  140. Matt permalink
    November 4, 2008 9:16 pm

    i found this over the internet, it was a good read in ways as i can somehow relate to it, it covered some sort of issues, although i do not completely agree with all of the points and it only shows 1 side of the story
    http://keskustelu.suomi24.fi/show.fcgi?category=500000000000002&conference=664&posting=21500000000203044

  141. Enrique permalink
    November 5, 2008 12:39 pm

    Hi Matt, thank you for posting the link. Whatever your opinions are, I believe it is a good matter to bring matters to the fore and debate them openly. It is apparent that this person left with a very poor view of Finland.

  142. Alien from Middle east permalink
    November 5, 2008 7:43 pm

    Tiwaz said
    “But Finland and Finns have every right to expect Finnish cultural norms to be respected and obeyed by immigrants. ”

    What is Finnish cultural norms that we should obey. Could you please explain for us. I want to obey your norms!
    Thanks 🙂

  143. Mikko2 permalink
    November 5, 2008 9:09 pm

    Alien: Don’t you think asking someone to describe every cultural norm is a bit unrealistic? Learning a foreign culture is a big, long and arduous task requiring one to spend many years in the country in question. Understanding (if not approving) also requires the will to learn; it is entirely possible to spend one’s whole life in a foreign country without learning anything, culture or language. In such case, it’s no wonder if one slowly starts to hate every aspect in the new country, everyday life slowly turning into hell. Good to hear you have the will to learn though (even though I slightly doubt your sincerity).

    This actually doensn’t have much to do with racism, but I hope it will turn into good advice for people trying to live in a foreign country (any country, not just Finland).

  144. Alien from Middle east permalink
    November 5, 2008 9:54 pm

    1- Obeying Finnish cultural norms:
    This is certainly a new thing which I am hearing. I have neither seen any legislative nor formal demands to ask immigrants to obey certain cultural norms or codes. If some body has seen them please don’t hesitate to send the link.
    Aside from that I think is a reasonable expectation for a foreigner to know what norms they have to obey because norms are not defined any where. There are only rules and laws which are defined. Rules and laws have no ethnic or national dependency. Some are copied and are resulted from experiences some where else.
    For some one demanding other people to do some thing, whether that is a legitimate demand or not, one has to define what he wants to be obeyed. So I guess it is a good habit to be clear about things and not just throwing some thing of which we have no idea or profound knowledge. I am sure this is not the case here and our friend is serious about his wills and explain what he wants.

    2- The other thing that I only explain once and that would be last, is that we better not address each other, but just to express our points. For me this is a place that we can share our experiences and learn. This is at least what I think. For me Finland is past. I have no more any interest if Fins think immigrants are stupid, smart, good or bad. However I guess this is a nice thing to share my experiences and only with sound facts and proves. If some body can challenge my sound facts, then go ahead. I welcome it. Other than that having pictures and images and analyzing people are as valid as imaginations itself. I am a scientist and I only credit facts and proves. I do not imagine, I experience it. So this is my recommendation to my friends in this cyberspace.
    Cheers, 🙂

  145. Tiwaz permalink
    November 6, 2008 5:53 am

    Enrique:

    Do you want me to post all the failures of multiculturalism? Because it is not working ANYWHERE. It causes division and conflict in society, weakening it and making it impossible to live for everyone. Integration to existing cultural society is only working solution.

    Alien:

    If you want to be on equal ground with natives, you have to be able to act like native. If you do not want to be source of conflict, you have to understand and accept what is considered appropriate in Finland and what is not. Your cultural norms of what is polite and what is not are not applicable in Finland. If you try to live according to your foreign norms, you are going to keep hitting your head in a wall repeatedly. Because… THIS IS NOT MIDDLE EAST! Thus stuff that works in Middle East may, and most often do not, work here.

    Different country, different way for things to work. Different way to act properly. But most immigrants do not grasp it. Then they are at awe that they are treated like badly behaving barbarians, because they ARE. Because they do not grasp that what is considered appropriate way of interaction in whateverland is rude and impolite in Finland.

    If you want to live and act in Finland, or any other nation for that matter, with least problems. You have to learn to adapt to cultural norms, instead of expecting everything to work like it would at home. Perhaps in some country handing little money to police or official is normal. In Finland it is considered corruption and is source of great disapproval. So if in Finland you try to bribe your way out of traffic issue, odds are you instead get arrested and get into court for attempted bribery. And at that point you are at loss because you did not get your head around fact that different country comes with different rules of conduct.

    Every country which is not divided and ready to tear itself apart (like multicultural heavens of Iraq, Somalia, USA and so forth) there is single set of rules, cultural norms, which set up rules for everyday life and interaction. Only idiot expects natives to respect and appease his foreigner ass by bending over and trying to follow his foreign, and quite likely completely unknown, cultural norms.

    There are hundreds of cultures and cultural norms in the world. Only imbecile presumes that putting them together and expecting them to get along would work. There will always be rules which are not compatible with one another. So it is very unreasonable to expect natives to learn all these hundreds of sets of norms to appease whatever culture foreigner might be coming from. It is far more simple and effective if foreigners learn culture and norms of country they move into, and thus learn to act in way which does not insult natives. And which gives everyone in that country same contact surface for interaction. There is less conflict because everyone knows that doing A is polite and doing B is not polite. Instead of applying foreign cultural norms which say things are opposite, and then again wonder why people treat them like trash. (hint, because they act like one!)

    There is racism of course, but much of what is considered rudeness or racism is simply failure of immigrant to learn local rules of proper and improper conduct. Interpreting disapproval of his/her bad behavior as racism.

  146. Mikko2 permalink
    November 6, 2008 12:59 pm

    Although it is very likely that a large portion of perceived racistic treatment is just a misunderstanding, I agree that certain kind of attitude problems are rather widespread in Finland.

    One thing is some people disrespecting/making fun of foreigners speaking anything less than perfect Finnish. People who really take the trouble to study the extremely difficult language should be admired and encouraged! Especially the pizza song some years back makes me sick. Luckily there are still many people who do have the correct attitude.

    About the written cultural norms, it is true there are (probably) no laws to force people to conform. But, on the other hand, there is probably lot of published research about Finnish culture, probably with comparations to Swedish, Russian and so on. Unfortunately it’s not my major, so I cannot give any recommendations. On the other hand, one could probably find a lot by visiting the local library, maybe even in English.

    Even though there are no laws forcing people to adapt to local culture, it’s only a good idea to do so. By not fighting against the windmills, one can make one’s life a lot easier. It’s probably not necessary to become boring/boorish/silent/alcoholic or anything, but, for example, things like keeping the correct distance in conversations are not obvious, but anyhow quite important. I have noticed finns generally like to keep larger distance to each other compared to many other countries with bigger population densities. It’s quite easy to give a bad impression by barging too close. Another thing is entering strangers’ homes without knocking/ringing the doorbell (this has happened to me), or with shoes on. Don’t they really teach these kind of stuff in immigration centers?

  147. Enrique permalink
    November 6, 2008 4:01 pm

    Hi Mikko, thank you for your insightful comments. Since it is a fact of life that in our modern Western world we learn to live with diversity, the best way for different cultures to coexist is by learning from each other. If there is a proper distance when people speak to each other in Finland, then foreigners should know this. A lot of misunderstanding could be solved if we took the effort to learn about each other’s culture.

  148. Tiwaz permalink
    November 7, 2008 5:30 am

    Attitude of Finns is something most immigrants do not grasp. It is less of racism and more of “Who the FU** you think you are to come and tell us how to XXXXXX”.
    Of course some are just flat out racist, but I would love to see you present society where they are totally absent.
    Also, the ridicule you speak of I have rarely if ever noticed when around immigrants and Finns. There also is possibility that you do not grasp Finnish friendship culture. It can include even rather cruel, from outsider point of view, use of words. But gist is, it is something between friends and not insulting, but rather sign of good enough relations that such terms can be used without anyone getting offended. At least in my circles. Got this friend who has last name of Laiho. He is commonly referred to as Luihu. Go check dictionary if you can.

    In same sense, Finnish sense of humor takes some learning. It is again part of culture. I have no idea what that pizza song you speak of is, but it might be expression of this sense of humor.

    There is no laws for cultural interaction, I think nobody thought it would be an issue since every Finn naturally follows those norms. And judges people based on it.

    But in order to be succesful in Finnish society, you have to play by Finnish rules. You yourself presented example of personal space. We do not understand it necessarily in everyday life as Finns, because it is natural for us to keep distance. So we do not mention it to you. But when you barge into our personal space, you leave bad impression.

    So you are treated like rude bastard who does not behave properly. In employment situation, it means you get big red marking in your interview paper.

    Enrique, do you grasp how many different cultures and cultural rules there are in the world? Which ones Finns should learn? And why? Why should we know how it is polite to behave in Zambia if we live in Finland and never set foot in Zambia? Or Venezuela. Or Indonesia…

    As opposed to people coming to Finland putting effort to learning how Finns act. That is single cultural set of norms, which happens to also be dominant in area where one lives. Far simpler and more effective solution.

    Naturally, if Finn goes to Zambia, Venezuela or Indonesia, Finn has to adjust to their culture.

    I have repeatedly said this, integration is that you learn to act properly in context of local culture. If your cultural norms are not in violation with Finnish, no problem. If they are, you must change. Because Finland will not change for you.

  149. Matthew permalink
    November 10, 2008 2:03 pm

    Hi,

    I moved to Finnland about 2 years ago. I am from Australia and my wife is Finnish. Most people a very nice to me and i have a group of good Finnish friends. My friends have told me that other Finns do not approve of them hanging out me because they feel that they prefer my company to theirs for reasons i don’t understand.

    Anyway i have always had a job even though i can only peak very basic Finnish and have even moved up the ladder slowly over the past 2 years. Having said that i still get little to no respect from most people i work with. Im a Chef and i have been well trained in Both Australia and Europe and i am not bragging but i am clearly more skilled and have greater knowledge of food then 99% of Finns but yet no-one wants to learn from me or take any addvise even the young students. Again for reasons i don’t understand. My contract ran out at my last job and even though i know legally they had to offer me a new contract i was not given one. Its a long storry but a student with no skills and far less experinced than me was given the job and i am now unemployed. The only reason i was given for this was IM NOT FINNISH! I couldn’t believe it! I have heard opennly racsit coments before and i just take it with a grain of salt and give it back. But this bothers me. Not only is it a stupid decission but they are telling me that they don’t want foreign scum like me working for their company.

    For the last few weeks i have been applying for countless jobs but i havn’t even got a single response. Mostly i think because of my poor Finnish skills. I will keep at it.

    I have also been told why don’t i just go back to Australia. I always reply when every Finn leaves my country and never visits again then i will leave. But they feel they should be able to travel anywhere they want just don’t come to my homeland. Im sorry that is a very small group of people i have meet.

    I just have one more thing to say. When i first came to Finland i loved it and i guess i still do but the attitudes of people towards me is slowly starting to get me down. I know for a fact that so many of them are nice to my face and even generally like me but i will alway be somewhat a lesser person to them regardless of my knowledge and experrince. Except to the ladies LOL

    Let me know what you think.

  150. elGreco permalink
    November 11, 2008 11:53 am

    I could write entire books about the racism and discrimination in Finland and don’t compare Finland with some fascist country. Finland claims to be the most democratic least corrupted country in the world!
    Finland should be compared with other EU countries or Scandinavian countries because it belongs there by situation and by economically ties.
    To my opinion 40% of the Fins are racists
    40% Xenophobic
    20% normal
    It’s a sick nation

    exposing racist stalkers
    do a google search with above words

  151. elGreco permalink
    November 11, 2008 1:39 pm

    Finland has changed as has my home country has.
    I can talk with many Finnish males 30 or younger.
    Since Finland joined the EU I don’t get insulted on the street anymore and the typical “interviews” in the bars from the pre EU times are a thing of the past.
    I have see Finnish stand up artists having a great time insulting foreigners and I have watched American artists insulting any ethnic group of people in the USA.
    The short comings of those Finnish stand up artist was that they did not make fun out of Fins as ethnic group but made fun only of non Finnish ethnic groups.
    Most foreigners who live here in Finland have suffered discrimination in one form or an other.
    Some are to polite to want to talk about it.
    Yes, foreigners have to adapt if they want to live in Finland.
    I have.
    I call a spate a spate and Finland is the most racist country of the EU
    Don’t know about the former communist countries.
    It’s a police state too.
    What stopped the neo Nazis in Turku were the foreigners themselves not their supporters the police.

  152. Enrique permalink
    November 11, 2008 11:39 pm

    Hi elGreco, thank you for sharing this valuable information, which highlights the problem of racism in Finland. As the article points out, there are differences depending on what kinds of Finns we are talking about.
    I recommend that people take the time to read the article and make their comments.

  153. Enrique permalink
    November 11, 2008 11:42 pm

    The pre EU times were quite difficult for one simple reason: there were no laws that protected foreigners against racist attacks. But the good thing is that matters are moving ahead in a more positive manner. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to eradicate this social ill from Finland.

  154. Enrique permalink
    November 11, 2008 11:48 pm

    Hi Matthew, thank you for your comment and welcome to Migrant Tales. If you think you have been discriminated, why not get in touch with the Ombudsman for Minorities
    http://www.vahemmistovaltuutettu.fi/ and ask them for advice. The worst thing you could do is “to grin and bare it.” Remember, you are not doing this for yourself but for other non Finns who may be a target of racism.
    Please keep us informed what the Ombudsman for Minorities told you.
    If there are any other people that could give better advice, please post your comments.

  155. Tiwaz permalink
    November 12, 2008 6:28 am

    Matthew. Have you ever looked at mirror and wondered if there is something wrong with you?

    I know some fools here try to tell you Finns are evil and racist. They are overall idiots who do not grasp Finnish culture. They try to pretend that Finland is just like whateveristan and that same rules apply.

    For example your position on how you are so much more skilled than Finns but nobody wants to learn from you. Have you presented yourself properly in FINNISH cultural context? If you go out there and try to teach them or generally act like you would in Australia of course you get cold shoulder. Most likely your approach there, and possibly also in your attempts to get other jobs, has come out as annoying bragging ass in eyes of Finns.

    Who would hire or learn from annoying bragging asshole? Nobody. But that may be what you present yourself as if you do not grasp Finnish code of conduct.

    Same thing with language. What kind of responsibility can be given to you in restaurant if you cannot communicate fluently with rest of the staff in language they are used to use? I presume they used Finnish in their interaction.
    Or do you presume that they switch to english for your sake alone? Might be easier, with current unemployment and all, to just let you go and replace you with someone who fits into working group and thus is less detrimental to efficiency of kitchen.

    You have to stop thinking how you think you would present yourself well. You have to think how you present yourself well in eyes of Finns.

    As for legal contract. How do you know they have to give it to you? Are you 100% certain you are not importing Australian legislation to Finland and presume things work the same way?

    I do not claim that these are reasons why you have received treatment you did, there is some genuine racism everywhere, but this is greatest source of complaints of racism in Finland. Not Finnish racism but, sorry but it’s true, immigrant stupidity. Every sane, logically thinking person should understand that when you move to another country you cannot assume that anything is like it is at home.

  156. Liz permalink
    November 15, 2008 2:23 pm

    As an Irish person, I was mortified, ashamed and horrified at the behaviour of the Irish Travelers in Finland. Perhaps Finnish people don’t realize this, but they are extremely unpopular in Ireland, and most people would never give them paving or other construction work of any kind as it is not reliable work. They are con-artists of the highest order. Wherever they go with their caravans and large families, they leave huge amounts of rubbish, it cost one Dublin area 250,000 euro to clean up after the mess they made on a River Embankment area in South Dublin. They live on social security, but are often involved in crime. No one in Ireland would want them living near them, if a Traveler family “settles” in a neighbourhood, the prices go down immediately. It seems they are moving farther and farther afield now, as they are “known” as troublemakers in the UK and Ireland. They want to be considered as an ethnic minority in Ireland in order to avail of the benefits of this status. It is very annoying for Irish people in general, we can’t just wake up tomorrow and decide we are not going to work, get social security and travel around, why can they? I warn all Finns to stay clear of them and have absolutely nothing to do with them. Regarding Finns, I have found them warm and perfectly normal. I have lived there in the early 90s.

  157. Alien from Middle East permalink
    November 15, 2008 7:07 pm

    At least me as a immigrant agree on one thing with the right wing Fins. And that is take it or leave it. It is better to stop nagging and complaining about the situation and accept the fact if some body thinks that things could be changed in his life time in Finland, he is damn wrong.

    Why I call them right-wing, because I think this the best to describe them. The word racist is not expressive enough and I guess a Fins (sane ones) with even half a brain believe that Finnish race is some thing to be so privileged compared to others. They are just right-wing people, e.i. they are so insensitive to others and they never think of change, they want to keep the situation as it is.

    About Finnish culture;
    You can see what is the Finnish culture when you read the comments belong to the persons like Tiwaz. It make no more explanation needed. The best that I can describe is that their Iron fist can be seen even under their white gloves.

    Again my problem as an immigrant was never that I wanted to bribe the Finnish police and they did not like it !!! The thing was always the State or organized discrimination in the society which give leverage to Fins against the immigrants.

    I should also mention that through my whole career in Finland at least in work place I never saw a person like “Tiwaz”. When they need you they are polite and fair. They will not say “Either My WAY OR HIGH WAY!”

    Those Fins which their daily activities are depending in Alcohol or sleeping pills (Majority in my opinion), think that it is only immigrant who needs Finland and not the Finland which needs immigrant. So this is a wrong perception. FINLAND ALSO NEEDS IMMIGRANT. AND A LOT OF THEM. So FINS better to learn how to be polite and how the things are in more civilized societies. IF they don’t want that so called immigrant take the education and expertise and leave Finland behind while showing the middle finger! 😀

  158. Tiwaz permalink
    November 16, 2008 3:35 pm

    Why Finland needs immigrants?

    To fulfill unemployment quota? To burn cars and riot a la Paris? To shoot our movie makers like in Netherlands?

    As said, racist on this blog are commonly the immigrants. They see themselves as great lords who come to Finland to “educate” poor barbarians. It is you immigrants who try to propose that destruction of Finnish culture is improvement.

    This is clearly seen on how everyone who dares to critisize immigrants is labelled, like middle eastern guy here tries to do, as some kind of nazi. Clearly immgrants in his, and enriques, mind are above reproach.

    Not to mention how alien here again tries to peg his own insufficient talents as “racism”. Of course he fel that he is getting organized racism, since he did not grasp that there is no jobs for people who cannot present themselves properly in Finnish cultural context.

    So, instead of learning how to interact in Finnish society such people want to have Finns change their culture.

  159. Enrique permalink
    November 16, 2008 9:28 pm

    Tiwaz, you sound like a scared and insecure man. So being “racist” is a part of Finnish culture? Anyone who differs from your myopic views is beyond reproach? You have misunderstood the who argument. If you wrote with your real name you would never express such opinions. Do you actually believe what you claim to say?

  160. Alien from Middle East permalink
    November 16, 2008 11:19 pm

    Tiwaz, I guess you not even read your own papers. At least watch some TV to update yourself.
    Finland needs immigrant because;

    1- aged population

    2- lack of manpower.

    3- Lots of diseases which has genetic reasons and therefore Fins should mix up with non-Fins to fix the problem

    I guess at least these 3 reasons should be enough to convince any one that Finland needs immigrants. This is your politician view also that they need more immigrants. Look at the quite;
    “All of the parties except the True Finns feel that it is important for Finland to get more foreign labour. “.
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Who+are+the+newcomers+that+Finland+wants/1101981943283

    About burning cars; I have not seen such a news that immigrants have burned your cars. However if you treat them as you are doing now, you are increasing the chance that similar things like France will happen in here. So you again change your discriminative view and you will benefit that.

    Film Directors murder; I am mot sure if your society is such a liberal and courageous society who dares to criticize taboos and old traditions as the late Director in Holland did. So you do not need to get worries about that. That is the concern of liberal societies. Many people in Europe think that Finland is actually a communist country, in which every thing is controlled including the papers. I should say that is up to a great percentage true.

    Nazi!!!; Well for you as a Fin to be against Nazis is really promising. and I truly congratulate you. Though you might disappoint your grand daddy who fought shoulder by shoulder with Nazis against Jews and the rest of the world! Off course I don’t mean the biological ones. 😀

    If I am talented !; I don’t know if I am talented or stupid. You choose one. But before you decide, remember, I came to your country in 1995. By 2005, I had one B.Sc, one M. Sc from you best technical University and around 8 years of work experience in IT field. not mentioning that when I started studying in your country I was 30 years old!

    Learning Finnish culture; Trust me if there has been some thing positive to learn, I have learned that and learned that fast. Not because of you but because of myself. To improve myself. So I guess one who needs more to learn is actually you. However I will not insist on it. Do whatever you like. I have already left your country so I don’t have to see angry violent faces any more. 😀

    Cheers, ever one

  161. Alien from Middle East permalink
    November 16, 2008 11:27 pm

    Finnish cultural context

    😀

  162. Tiwaz permalink
    November 17, 2008 6:38 am

    So?

    Do you want me to post some selected images of Middle Eastern cultural “pearls”?

    Perhaps few articles of “honor” murder?

    And Enrique, I stand behind my words in personal life. I am not scared, or insecure. I can make life for myself anywhere in the world with my education and skills.

    But I prefer to stay in Finland. And I want to stay in FINNISH Finland. One that I am comfortable with. I have travelled abroad, but places out there always feel wrong. They are not like my dear little home Finland. And now you are here wanting to destroy that home. It does not scare me, it annoys me.

    That you, cultural racist, have arrogance to come to Finland and tell that we should live in our country differently. That we should abandon our traditions, ways and habits and instead start imitating foreigners.

    What you call “racism” is by and large immigrant stupidity. If you do not act like Finn, how could you be treated like Finn? Learn to integrate to society of Finland first. If you after succesfully integrating are still target of what you think is discrimination, then start making issue of it. Before that, you cannot be treated like Finns because you do not act like Finns.

    And Alien. We have high unemployment as it is, companies are laying off workforce. We do not need foreigner workers, corporations who want foreign workers want idiots who work for peanuts. Slaves in certain sense. Finland has all the workforce it needs, with few very small exceptions. And those positions are not readily filled by immigrants because it requires more than ability to stand and breathe to fulfill position of highly skilled IT designer.

    As for diseases. Our biggest problem are diseases related to cardiovascular conditions. Which are readily solved by simple method of proper diet and exercise. No need for immigrants there either!

    As for rest of your rather uninformed dribble. Read history. There was one location in WW2 where there was field synagogue near German military formation.

    Finland.

    See, despite your claims of knowledge, you actually appear to know very little of things you speak of.

  163. elGreco permalink
    November 18, 2008 2:52 pm

    “why not get in touch with the Ombudsman for Minorities”
    It’s useless. I tried. Only 0.9% of the people who write there gets actually any help.
    Just google ” racist Turku Finland” and you know my problem.
    Or do a video search in google videos with:exposing racist stalkers

  164. bdd permalink
    November 18, 2008 2:55 pm

    3) Finns often give me strange looks

    Really? Perhaps you look somehow weird?

  165. Idaho Dancer permalink
    November 18, 2008 3:19 pm

    Unenplyment among foreigners in Finland is mostly due because there is lack of education and less work related history compared to native Finns.

  166. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 3:43 pm

    Then I should go and change my hair style, bdd.

  167. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 3:45 pm

    Hi Idaho Dancer, yes, the labor markets in Finland are pretty inflexible. Despite high growth, we still have about 6% unemployment.

  168. DKD permalink
    November 18, 2008 4:02 pm

    “Lots of diseases which has genetic reasons and therefore Fins should mix up with non-Fins to fix the problem”

    Bullshit. Pure and simple.

  169. Anselmi permalink
    November 18, 2008 4:34 pm

    Hmhh… As a Finn it makes me really sick to read these comments. Please, if you foreigners hate us racist redneck finns so much, then why do you bother to discuss our evilness and why do you bother to live in Finland at all? Is that some kind of masochism or what? Please, leave us and move to some more friendly place, if you cannot tolerate the (racist!) finnish society and our (xenophobic!) cultural norms.

  170. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 4:45 pm

    Why is it that if someone disagrees with an issue a common response is: go live somewhere else! It isn’t a very unique statement. It’s been used in all the countries by people who are intolerant of others. And who says that all the posts are by people who hate Finland?

  171. A Finnish guy permalink
    November 18, 2008 5:17 pm

    Hello,

    I find this conversation enlightening. It seems that some posts are blatantly out racist towards immigrants and others towards finnish people. Though, as a Finn, I generally tend to think that the majority has less reason to be offended of scared by the overflow of prejudice.

    I come from an partly immigrant background, but am finnish (born and raised) myself (whatever “finnish” is supposed to mean). So, I surely don’t have so much insight into racism as many of you do. I think Mikko was quite spot on, about finnish people being a bit more introverted than many other cultures, and thus exlusion, hesitation and not being approached cannot so easily be accounted by racism, and shouldn’t be!

    Employment and unemployment is a sensitive issue in finland. It is most certainly true, that there is a lot of competition for many jobs in finland at the moment. And I do suppose that such a thing as an accent or even a foreign name might (in the avarage) make it even more difficult to get a job. So, it’s maybe partly prejudice, but partly also caused by the difficult job-situation in all.

    Mostly. I wanted to point out that finnsh with attitudes like “DeTant Blomhat”, “Tiwaz”, are in the minority. Thinking about say, DeTant Blomhat’s answer to question number five, and saying that “if you are arrested by the police, you must be involved in crime” – that is a typical and naive far-right / ultraconservative attitude towards the police and legal security. Certainly not shared by most of the finnsh, certainly not shared by our legal institutions, and certainly not shared by anyone having even the most basic legal education or reflective skills concerning society. As a Finn I am offended by DeTant Blomhat’s generalization that this ultraconservative view is a “finnish view”.

    As you can see, someone with a great deal of prejudice does not hesitate to attribute with violence of discourse his views even to other finns. Well, last that I heard we were a democracy, and we vote with a plurality of different oppinions for the legislation. Finnish culture is _not_ a “monoculture” (if such a thing exists), you must understand that finnish culture is originally a collection of different influences from russia, sweden and even the sami-people. Of course it is typical of a far-right nationalistic attitude to try to dream up such a thing as a homogenic “finnish” culture. But, that just isn’t based on facts. A born and raised, educated citized of helsinki might have more in common with a non-finnish citydweller of say europe, than he might culturally have in common with someone living in the forests of northern finland.

    It is obvious, that in any kind of form of social interaction, be it with a finn or a foreigner, you have to learn about the other person, and also learn to respect his boundaries. By making this relation unsymmetrical people like DeTant Blomhat and Tiwaz just show their unrealistic view of the finnish culture as being something homogenic and also are able to dwell on hate towards foreigners.

    Interesting indeed, though scary and a bit psychotic is Tiwazis insistance on dwelling on violent news on crimes. Instead of actually getting to know non-criminals and people of the world living out normal lives.

  172. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 5:32 pm

    Welcome to Migrant Tales A Finnish guy: You make some very good level-headed points. Your sensitivity of the topic probably is attributable to your upbringing.
    I hope that more people as yourself would bring forth their views.
    Thank you!

  173. Anselmi permalink
    November 18, 2008 5:47 pm

    “Why is it that if someone disagrees with an issue a common response is: go live somewhere else!”

    Because our Finnish culture drives us to say so. It’s a Finnish norm. Finland is not (yet) a multiethnical, multicultural or pluralistic country and we still have only one set of basic values. We still think that everybody who lives with us must share and obey them, or otherwise be “excluded”. We do not have a tradition of having multiple sets of values in our country. We are not intolerant of others if them behave like they should behave. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” etc.

    Oh yes, it’s a very widespreaded statement. Think, for example, about having Christmas decorations in Saudi Arabia (beating, jail, even death?) or Singapore and its fascistic laws? Or Japan and “gaijins”. Or even the vast redneck-districts of USA. The multivalual countries (or rather, cities) are rare in this world, and Finland is not one of them. Try to understand this. Do not evaluate us with your (possibly multicultural) country’s values. That is cultural imperialism. We have the right to be upset about it, and defend ourselves.

    “And who says that all the posts are by people who hate Finland?”

    If someone whines and whines and whines and whines about racism in Finland, how typical racism is for Finns and how every Finn is racist and racism is taught in schools and living in Finland is unbearable because of racism; and if racism is a bad thing; doesn’t this mean that he/she hates Finland? Or is it some kind of a multicultural compliment, a way to tell that Finland is OK?

    PS.

    We Finns are very curious of what foreign people think about us. We try to please the other members of the EU. We have all learned English to communicate with them. We provide free education and other services to them. We have had innumerable campaigns to prevent racism, even in our schools. And then you foreigners whine this. We Finns have a word for this: Kiittämättömyys. Google it.

  174. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:09 pm

    –Because our Finnish culture drives us to say so. It’s a Finnish norm. Finland is not (yet) a multiethnical, multicultural or pluralistic country and we still have only one set of basic values.

    Finland is a pluralistic society. I think you are generalizing. Why, then, are there so many political parties. It is a good thing that some of us are becoming aware of the vices of racism and that it has no place in Finnish or in any society.

    I for one have trust that things will improve in Finland but there is still a lot of work to be done. When Finland gained independence in 1917, are you saying that some of our forefathers such as Gallen-Kallela, Sibelius, Mannerheim whined about being under Russian rule? Debate is always healthy and it shows something that you many not be aware of: gratefulness that people in this country can bring forth their grievances and have them heard. It is not a sign of being an ingrate.

  175. Alex permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:14 pm

    Obansu: You mean that if I don’t vote for a (social democratic) Somali or some other candidate of an ethnic minority, then I am a racist? Is that what you wanted to say?

    BTW: Finnish people are one small ethnic minority of this world.

  176. A Finnish guy permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:16 pm

    “Because our Finnish culture drives us to say so. It’s a Finnish norm. Finland is not (yet) a multiethnical, multicultural or pluralistic country and we still have only one set of basic values. We still think that everybody who lives with us must share and obey them, or otherwise be “excluded”. We do not have a tradition of having multiple sets of values in our country. We are not intolerant of others if them behave like they should behave. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” etc.”

    Not true, or at least then I was never handed the rule book. The only one set of rules we have is the legistlation of the country, and even that can be changed somewhat through democratic process.

    Part from that finland in diverse in different kinds of manners and subcultures, be they youthcultures or manners, or regional differences or local differences. And I have got to know quite a bit of finnish people during my lifetime to observe this.

    “If someone whines and whines and whines and whines about racism in Finland, how typical racism is for Finns and how every Finn is racist and racism is taught in schools and living in Finland is unbearable because of racism; and if racism is a bad thing; doesn’t this mean that he/she hates Finland? Or is it some kind of a multicultural compliment, a way to tell that Finland is OK?”

    Saying genericalle that all foreigners whine is just prejudice. Anyway this oppinion is usually more based on a spread of conservative urbal legend in the coffee-tables than real insidents. And if someone unjustifyingly calls you a racist, don’t be scared, you should have the sisu to just step up and in a polite manner explain, that you are not racist, and your actions have reasons. Unjustified hollers of racism certainly does not imply that real racism doesn’t exist and that due action should not be taken in weeding it out.

  177. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:48 pm

    Hi Alex, are you serious? How can you be a racist if you don’t vote for a certain candidate?

  178. Hippo permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:49 pm


    – I am happy now here. But Finland was like a nightmare for me.
    So this was my experience from Finland!
    Cheers”

    -So you got housing, food and money forliving from 1994 to 1999

    -You got a B.Sc degree in computer engineering in May 1999. and M.Sc. in Telecommunication from Helsinki University of Technology in 2005 paid by the Finnis taxpayers. Studying is free of charge even in the universities. Students are allso obligated about 300 € / month student alloance and 80% of the rent is paid by the covernament.

    – I am sorry about the citizenship fiasco. But it seems that Supo had some sort of material that was provided by a foreing intelligence service that demanded not to reveal the material. It is something that should not happen. Person should be able to see all material conserning he or her. Unfortunatelly allso Finns are suspected to same unjust method. There is material that was received From German BND – so called “Rosenholtz files” – containing information of finnish spies recruted by former DDR`s Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung, HVA.
    The material is not open, though even one person was gharged to the court as spy.
    The reason why material is not revealed is treaty with BND – not to reveal the material.
    In finnish we are talking about Tiitisen lista ( in finnish : http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiitisen_lista ) .
    Unfortunetally you may find similar problems in Sweden when applying citizenship. The same information may be in Säpo files too, with same restrections?

    But quite a nightmare – free living for years and two free of gharge university degrees.
    Only Finland seems to be able to treat asylumseekers so bad.

  179. Alex permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:50 pm

    Enrique, exactly.

  180. Alex permalink
    November 18, 2008 6:52 pm

    What Obansu said earlier:

    “Though some political parties like SDP have constantly window dressed their candidates list to include few Somalians, but the average racist finnish voter will rather vote for his dog rather than vote for a foriegner.”

    That lead me to ask the question.

  181. Anselmi permalink
    November 18, 2008 7:55 pm

    Enrique:

    Gallen-Kallela and others indeed “whined” BUT it was Russia that had invaded and occupied their country and tried to russificate it. Now there is some guys also whining, but 1) Finland is not their native country 2) their native country is not being changed into something else 3) they (the whiners) want to change Finland to obey their standards. Gallen-Kallela and others didn’t tried to fennicizate Russia. I don’t see any sense in this comparison. The only mutual thing here is “whining”…

    I might be generalizing, but I think it’s very clear that all these whining foreigners misunderstand finnish habits and see them as examples of racism. Hmm. Maybe they are not multicultural at all. They cannot cope with different habits, standards and values etc. That is not racism (racial discrimination) but ethnocentrism, narrowmindedness and perhaps bigotry.

    Yes, we have lots of political parties. They all represent the same Finnish values, and usually their policies are also very similar. There’s no country where everyone shares same political opinions. Another failed comparison.

    Finns are still a really homogeneous people in Europe. Minorities have been traditionally nonexistent, or at least very finnicizated (Finland-Swedes, Romanis, Samis etc.) and few. Meeting and understanding differently talking, thinking and acting people is still something really new in this country. It seems that this is a hard part to understand for some immigrants, who come from countries that have been in the centre of the civilization for centuries.

    A Finnish Guy:

    “The only set of rules we have is the legistlation of the country, and even that can be changed somewhat through democratic process.”

    Yeah, yeah, right. You clearly, with or without purpose, misunderstood the meaning of values I used. I see… Does the law say how to act in a bus? Or in an elevator? Or how to talk with people and show interest? What is polite and what is not? There are regional differences in Finnish culture, whatever that culture means, but the differences of Finnish and any other culture are far more bigger.

    Have you read anything about the Finnish national characteristics? I’ve read a manual for businessmen on how to cope with finnish culture (because I’m a curious Finn and interested in the “Suomi-kuva.”) Perhaps it was all rubbish, everybody on the Earth behave likewise and there’s only some global subcultures and brands and so on? No, we are not so globalized yet.

    “Saying genericalle that all foreigners whine is just prejudice.”

    I didn’t said that.

    “Anyway this oppinion is usually more based on a spread of conservative urbal legend in the coffee-tables than real insidents.”

    No, my opinion about whining was made on the comments in this thread.

    “explain, that you are not racist, and your actions have reasons.”

    Many finns, including me, have tried to do that in this thread. But somehow most of the foreigners in this conversation doesn’t (want to?) understand that, and blame us for racism over and over again.

    I admit that there is racism in the Finnish society, but NOT 99% OF FINNS ARE RACISTS and so on… I don’t want to make a list about insults on Finnish people in this thread, you can read it yourself.

  182. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 8:54 pm

    –1) Finland is not their native country 2) their native country is not being changed into something else 3) they (the whiners) want to change Finland to obey their standards. Gallen-Kallela and others didn’t tried to fennicizate Russia. I don’t see any sense in this comparison. The only mutual thing here is “whining”…

    I would not call what happened before 1917 as “whining” but a “cry for Finnish independence.” In today’s world, there are different ways of being accepted in a community than just being born in a country. There are hybrid cultures, bi and multi cultural people who feel at home in more places than one.

    True: one of the matters of forging Finnish national identity has been to make Finland appear homogeneous. But statistically Finland can never be a homogeneous country because there are minorities. If Finland has succeeded at “Finnicizing” minorities why are there problems with some non-Finns? However, I think this idea of Finland being a near homogeneous society is a semi myth since it has never been tested when there are larger diverse groups than the Roma or Saami. Another certain myth is that things were better back then and now non-Finns are destroying the country.

    Probably one reason why some express such strong opinions about foreigners in this blog and in public is that foreigners are a new thing in Finland.

    But you are right: foreigners and Finns should learn more about their respective cultures to avoid misunderstandings.

  183. Enrichment in action permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:01 pm

    “Finland needs immigrant because;

    1- aged population

    2- lack of manpower.

    3- Lots of diseases which has genetic reasons and therefore Fins should mix up with non-Fins to fix the problem”
    None of these three reasons are actually true.

    But it is true that they are repeated in every news report made by Yleisradio, official media source of the government, about immigration.

    “if foreigners use a trick then they will succed here! make a big family like 6-7 kids! and just take social! its the best way in finland! 99% finns r racist believe me!”
    Yes, this is a big problem and not fixing it after all these years of blatant abuse is a good example of how far from reality of ordinary citizens the current crop of politicians and political parties in Finland have become.

    I like the premise that unemployement of foreigners in Finland is high automatically because the Evil Finns are discriminating against them. As if it isn’t possible for any other reasons.

  184. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:20 pm

    Hi Enrichment in action: So what you are saying is that Finland’s aging population is a made up story? Then why don’t you enlighten us with your knowledge and explain with facts why it isn’t true? Your reasoning is flawed. Why would a young person want to come to live in Finland, have 6-7 children as you claim and live off welfare? And can you actually live well on welfare in Finland?
    There are just as many Finns abusing the systems as there are foreigners. Have you ever asked yourself why these types of abuses, which are quite numerous, do not get reported in the mainstream Finnish media but then people as yourself are the first ones to point the finger at foreigners.

  185. Anselmi permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:22 pm

    I would not call what happened before 1917 as “whining” but a “cry for Finnish independence.”

    I didn’t started to talk about whining and Finland’s independence in same sentence… As I said, I don’t see any sense in this comparison.

    “There are hybrid cultures, bi and multi cultural people who feel at home in more places than one.”

    Yep, but in Finland they are rare (when compared to international metropolises like London or Berlin). Remember, we have only some 5 million Finns living in a quite large area. For example, more people live in a single city just about 100 km from Finnish border, in St. Petersburg. So a real multicultural person is a very rare sight in small rural Finnish towns or even in the “bigger” “cities” like Kuopio or Jyväskylä and quite rare (by international standards) even in Helsinki.

    “But statistically Finland can never be a homogeneous country because there are minorities.”

    As I said, the minorities were small and very similar to Finns. They looked like Finns, usually talked also Finnish and so on, and Finns were used to them. The Finland-Swedes, the largest minority, thought that they were not Swedes but swedish-speaking Finns. They fennizicated themselves in great numbers before and after the independence struggle. Before the first, few refugees came in the 60’s and 70’s Finland was utterly homogeneous and still is.

    “However, I think this idea of Finland being a near homogeneous society is a semi myth since it has never been tested when there are larger diverse groups than the Roma or Saami.”

    Eh, what do you mean with this sentence? It’s quite incoherent. Do you mean that the idea of Finnish homogeneousity is a semi myth because it has not been tested (how to test an idea???) nowadays, when there are other, larger minorities?

    When there were no larger minorities, Finland WAS very homogenous. And now, when there is some larger diverse groups, finland IS STILL quite homogenous, because those groups are still relatively small (smallest percentage in Europe?).

    “If Finland has succeeded at “Finnicizing” minorities why are there problems with some non-Finns?”

    These are typically not our hundreds-of-years-old minorities, but some newer groups, that has lived in Finland 10-20 years, doesn’t have language skills and thus are unemployed in great numbers etc. Let’s look them again in 2500.

    “Another certain myth is that things were better back then and now non-Finns are destroying the country.

    Probably one reason why some express such strong opinions about foreigners in this blog and in public is that foreigners are a new thing in Finland.

    But you are right: foreigners and Finns should learn more about their respective cultures to avoid misunderstandings.”

    Very true.

  186. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:29 pm

    –Yep, but in Finland they are rare (when compared to international metropolises like London or Berlin). Remember, we have only some 5 million Finns living in a quite large area. For example, more people live in a single city just about 100 km from Finnish border, in St. Petersburg. So a real multicultural person is a very rare sight in small rural Finnish towns or even in the “bigger” “cities” like Kuopio or Jyväskylä and quite rare (by international standards) even in Helsinki.

    Anselmi, you should look a little further beyond our border. There are over 1 million people who are Finns or who still consider themselves Finns living abroad. By forging a Finnish prototype we have forgotten these Finns, or do not consider them to be part of our group. If we look at this one-million-plus group, we can make an argument that Finnish culture and Finns are a very rich, diverse group that does not only fit to what I call the “mainland Finns.” Mainland Finnish culture is the benchmark of our culture but there are many offshoots: Ingrians, Saami, Finnish Canadians, Finnish Brazilians and so forth. All these people are Finns as well and have a right to claim this country as their home.

  187. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 10:31 pm

    –But you are right: foreigners and Finns should learn more about their respective cultures to avoid misunderstandings.”

    In my opinion, there should be courses on Finnish culture and history to new foreigners that move to this country. What do you think would be important to teach foreigners about Finnish culture?

  188. Sigrdrifa permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:06 pm

    My family has roots at the border of Sweden and Norway. According to a story, one of my forefathers left from there in 17th century because of the schism he had with the church. Back then, Finland was a destination for people like him who had become drop-outs of the European societies by their inability to follow the norms.

    In my home village in Central Finland, there are also people whose grandparents came from Russia after 1917. They also faced problem with following the norms that their society demanded from them. In our village they didn’t have to define whether they supported this and that ism or belonged to this or that class. So they stayed here. No-one here speaks much Russian, so the people who came from there and stayed here after October revolution started to speak Finnish, and now their grandchildren even have Finnish names. It is considered as quite normal here, their background and their absorption into local ways. We do not even think about it much that many of us have roots outside Finland, except for when we get drunk and start to talk about old times and the favorite Finnish topic, which is “the madness of the big world far away from here”.

    From the historical standpoint, coming to Finland has very often been a strong statement about what you think about the society you leave behind and the labels that it places upon a man. Moving to Finland has in earlier times meant that you run, flee and leave everything behind, cut all ties to your old life. Among the Russians who came soon after 1917, there were noblemen of highest rank from St. Petersburg and men who had left unimaginable riches behind them in Russia. In here they became just like everyone else, anonymous. In Finland, to my opinion, it is not possible to become happy or build relations with locals if your head is full of ideas about being a Christian, a jew, a communist, a rich man, a beggar, a moslim, a moral man, an intelligent man, an educated man, a man of the world etc.. One can only become oneself. This is the last asylum of the people “who guard the wisdom about how not to think and talk continuously or believe in useless things”, as my grandfather used to explain to his Russian born neighbor after few drinks.

    So here’s bit background for the reasons why Finns are not very keen on welcoming people who immigrate in here yet continue saying how their culture, their behavior and their norms should be accepted or even tolerated by us, not to say that we could ever consider such to be an enrichment to our culture. Our ancestors have already come from where you are now coming from, and they came in here exactly for the reason they had grown weary of your culture and norms, and saw that all as what it is: mere insane somnabulism of the big world.

    Where can we Finns run if even in Finland, in the final frontier of this earth we cannot be left alone from the priest, from the mullah, from the politician and from the rastafari – not to speak about other salesmen on mission to enslave us with designer clothes, hot and exotic temper or poodle-like graces?

    We emigrate to the darkside of the Moon? Anyone willing to join?

  189. Anselmi permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:13 pm

    “Anselmi, you should look a little further beyond our border. There are over 1 million people who are Finns or who still consider themselves Finns living abroad.”

    Yes I am quite familiar with them, Ulkosuomalaiset. There’s documents about them in TV, for example, quite frequently, and I’ve met a couple of them.

    They are indeed quite a diverse group. Some groups of them have left Finland generations ago, and they still conside themselves as Finns. Others barely remember some Finnish words. Some are international businessmen (I have a relative in the UK who owns a dentist clinic), some have just escaped Finland’s poverty (My father emigrated to Sweden and worked there quite a long time).

    But the “off-mainland” Finnish culture has only one sad thing: it’s dying everywhere. Those Ingrians, Finnish Americans and Forest Finns. Sooner or later the ulkosuomalaiset have assimilated into the culture where they emigrated. If some family is not seriously nationalistic (why would they leave their homeland then?) their “own culture” is lost in a couple of generations. Its assimilation, its how immigration works.

    “All these people are Finns as well and have a right to claim this country as their home.”

    Of course, but how long they will remember it?

    “What do you think would be important to teach foreigners about Finnish culture?”

    Hmm… That’s a really difficult question. It probably depends on how similar their culture is when compared with the Finnish one. Finnish habits and “etiquette” are good to know, if one wants to negotiate with Finns or otherwise spend time with them (and that is what this conversation is all about…)

    Maybe some important differences of Finnish culture and theirs should be teached. But otherwise its everyones own choice by what aspect of culture interests them, and its hard to say what else every foreigner should know.

  190. blond, not racist(yet) finn boy permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:23 pm

    O well. Im kinda speechless. I read all the comments and Im glad that u ppl let me know what u truly think about us finns. Ive thought that Im tolerant and my fellow citizens are pretty much aswell. So far Ive got along extremely well with every foreigner, but after readin this thread and its comments Im convinced that us finns arent the racist ones.

    But however, Thank u all for making me a bit more proud of my Finnish roots and our superiour welfare country!
    Hopefully you all will find your ideal dreamland somewhere. For myself I have found my own one and I will love living with my blonde,shy and “racist” countrymen! 🙂

    Peace! And once again , CHEERS A LOT!!

  191. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:28 pm

    –But the “off-mainland” Finnish culture has only one sad thing: it’s dying everywhere. Those Ingrians, Finnish Americans and Forest Finns. Sooner or later the ulkosuomalaiset have assimilated into the culture where they emigrated. If some family is not seriously nationalistic (why would they leave their homeland then?) their “own culture” is lost in a couple of generations. Its assimilation, its how immigration works.

    They have assimilated but possibly not acculturated yet. That is why I think that when talking about Finnish culture we should include these “off mainland” Finns as part of our community. As you know, language is a strong bond that forges a sense of cultural unity. However, I think that only now we are beginning to appreciate and accept that Finnish culture is diverse and rich. Thus when we speak of Finnish culture, we should always include — not exclude — these people as part of our heritage.

    –Of course, but how long they will remember it?

    Some continue to remember their dear Suomi for many generations. Those who still speak Finnish and have sentimental bonds to this country are not only bridges to other countries but rich manifestations of how Finnish culture and language has evolved outside of our country.

  192. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:34 pm

    –Hmm… That’s a really difficult question. It probably depends on how similar their culture is when compared with the Finnish one. Finnish habits and “etiquette” are good to know, if one wants to negotiate with Finns or otherwise spend time with them (and that is what this conversation is all about…)

    Etiquette is important in order not to make blunders. I think some of the visitors to this blog have brought some interesting suggestions. One of these that surprised me was the appropriate distance when conversing. One of the problems with such a course would be determining what is representative of Finnish culture since there are many types of Finns with differing opinions of what they consider culturally important.

    One of the first things I would teach would be how Finns greet. There are many variations, of course. However, some foreigners mistakenly believe Finns are “cold” because the way they greet is so laconic. Simple facts like what does it mean when a Finn invites you to a sauna, or what about lapses of silence between two people? In some parts of the United States, silence between two people at a party can be seen as being an embarrassing situation. In Finnish culture, it is fine to have long lapses of silence. I am generalizing here but you understand what I mean.

  193. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:42 pm

    Hi Sigrdrifa, thank you for sharing such an interesting comment on what Finland means to you. Do you think that the reasons why your grandfather came to Finland still holds true for most of the Finns? Do you think that it is more a rural as opposed to urban phenomenon?

  194. Enrique permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:43 pm

    Hi blond, and welcome to Migrant Tales and for sharing your thoughts. I don’t have to search for a dreamland anywhere since I already live here.

    So tell us how we can get more foreigners to feel the same way as you about Finland.

  195. Angie permalink
    November 18, 2008 11:54 pm

    Hola Enrique

    Me causo gracia lo que dijiste al comparar los colombianos con los finlandeses. En todo caso , tambien estas generalizando alli, y haciendo comentarios racistas (?) no todos los colombianos seran como tu piensas que son.

    There is one thing that suprised me a lot. I lived in the Uk, and travel several times to the schnegen area. I have entered to the Schengen area via Norway, Netherlands, Italy, France, Germany and this year twice via Finland. The only country where the police has stopped to me at the inmigration point is in Finland. I am sure is because I am Latin American with dark skin and dark hair.

    I have lived in many countries, in Scnadinavia, Continental Europe, Uk, Africa and Asia….and everywhere I have found discrimination and unfair rules agaisnt minorities. It is the nature of the human being….we need to protect ourselves.

  196. Enrique permalink
    November 19, 2008 12:11 am

    Hola Angie, un gusto de saludarte. No sé dónde hice tal comparación y que los colombianos son racistas. Viví en Colombia durante 1998-2000 y fue una de las más lindas experencias que tuve. Me gustó mucho tu país y lamento toda la violencia que siguen sufrido por esas latitudes.

    Discrimination is not, in my opinion, something “natural” but an ill that has no place in any society. There is more to gain without discrimination than with it.

  197. Angie permalink
    November 19, 2008 9:33 am

    Hola Enrique

    Lei los anteriores post y me encontre con uno que dice que has vivido en Colombia. Aun sigo pensado que es graciosa la comparacion que haces de los Colombianos y los Filandeses. Entre otras cosas porque ( segun tengo entendido) los Finlandeses no tienen un tradicion de ser una cultura violenta. Creo que esa comparacion es mas valida entre un Colombiano y un Ingles. Los dos pueden matar, uno con la sonrisa en la cara, y el otro diciendote “love” o “darling”. Pero los finlandeses segun mi modo de ver son gente pacifica, transparente y con una etica elevada ( quizas producto de la alta influencia de la iglesia protestante alli (?).

  198. Enrique permalink
    November 19, 2008 10:12 am

    Hola Angie, es verdad los que dices: los finlandeses son generalmente más pacificos que los colombianos. Esto, creo, se debe más al contexto político. Leí mi nota “Life in Colombia” y no comparo Colombia con Finlandia. Sólo escibo sobre la colectividad finlandesa en Colombia y sobre un pueblo en Quindio que se llama Filandia.
    Has vuelto a Colombia?

  199. Fabiola permalink
    November 19, 2008 2:22 pm

    Well I just wanted to contribute because I see a lack of positive experiences in this thread. I have to say I do not feel discriminated in any way in this country, or, maybe I do not care if someone does not want to get along with me, is their problem :D. I am from Mexico, have the “latin” look and happen to be married to a Dutch guy that I met in Finland. We have friends of many nationalities including many Finns.

    We decided to stay here for practical reasons, we both have jobs (not in Nokia), but in English working environment companies, and we think services work and are less burocratic as opossed to Mexico, I actually feel better in terms of gender equality, this is a paradise compare to how women in Mexico are discriminated at work.

    I speak English at home and at work, so my Finnish skills have suffered, nevertheless I would like to improve my Finnish at some point, at least I can enroll again to another Finnish course at my workplace and try to practice… I have a son, who goes to päiväkoti, he can now say many words in Spanish, Dutch and Finnish, I am afraid we will learn Finnish before me!!

    In general, I think it makes a difference if you have a good job here, that you actually enjoy and get fair paid for, keep some hobbies and have a nice social network that somehow can replace family. Our little family here is the three of us. But overall I am happy.

  200. elGreco permalink
    November 19, 2008 2:44 pm

    blond, not racist(yet) finn boy : yes you are racist. See the comment you made:
    Thank u all for making me a bit more proud of my Finnish roots and our superiour welfare country!
    ===========================================================000
    Swedish, Danish and Norwegian wealthfare is by far more superior to Finnish welfare but their citizens are less racists then the Fins. Thank goodness not all Fins are like you and by the way: Critic is a positive part of every healthy democratic society but to many Finns are reacting to strong towards critic. Could there be “mayby” be something wrong with the demoacratic structure of Finland or people like you? Clapping hands and saying everything is nice is an indicator for dictatorships. So if you don’t like critic then you should move to a country where critisizing is illegal and leave the country to the democratic Fins and democratic foreigners.

  201. A Finnish guy permalink
    November 19, 2008 4:43 pm

    First of all, I have to say again, that the racism in this thread seems to go both ways. I’m not really concerntrating on the racism towards finns in my replies.

    There is a problem with the so-called principle of “In Rome do as Romans do”, or “Maassa maan tavalla”. And this is something I would be glad to see Anselmi, DeTant Blomhat etc. to understand.

    Now to me ,first of all, I do not think the principle is coherent. It is not well enough described to be so. So, the racist situations it allows go as follows: If person A, from a foreign country, acts a bit different from person B from finland, person B, if racist may get angry and then explain, that the problem was that person A didn’t act like “you are supposed to in finland.

    Still and at the same time it is highly possible that person C from finland acts just as person A or more like person A, not like person B. So as the whole fact of “how to act in filand” is not well defined, it serves as an endless mechanism of justifying perjudice behaviour, and then not calling it such. Just calling it “the way of the country”.

    Now, the other problem is this, and I repeat myself: in _every_ kind of real social interaction both sides, be it a finn and finn, or a finn and a foreigner have to learn. Saying that it is only the foreigners “job” to adapt is unrealistic and even threatening. It doesn’t really open up real possibilities for social interaction. Both sides need to reflect on themselves, _not_ on others. This is the constructive approach to the matter.

    And I want to ask Anselmi, DeTant etc. Do they understand this fact?

    “Yeah, yeah, right. You clearly, with or without purpose, misunderstood the meaning of values I used. I see… Does the law say how to act in a bus? Or in an elevator? Or how to talk with people and show interest? What is polite and what is not? There are regional differences in Finnish culture, whatever that culture means, but the differences of Finnish and any other culture are far more bigger.”

    Look, I might act much more similar to say a mexican or a turkish guy in an elevator than to a random savonian. There is no typically finnish way to go on a elevator. Maybe we are a bit more quite, but I see no mind in actually telling foreigners that they are not “allowed” to talk on busses, because this is not the finnish way. WTF? That would be non-sense. I know in fact that many finnish people are gladdend when they are approached by foreigenrs that have a bit more active social skills and are not afraid to talk to new people. So it would be completely nonsensical to say, that in finland foreigners should become introeverted, because a lot of, especially country-side, finns are introverted.

  202. Enrique permalink
    November 19, 2008 4:59 pm

    Hi A Finnish guy, you make an excellent point. If we learned more of each other and respected each other’s cultures, then that would reduce misunderstandings and problems. People like DeTant, Tiwaz and others believe that they do not have to move an inch to learn about these foreigners since this is their country (sic!), full stop. In the same way we have learned to travel geographically, we should learn how to travel in cultures.
    Even though it is impossible to generalize, what do you think are some important matters that foreigners should absolutely know about Finnish culture or interacting with Finns?
    Thank you for your insights on the matter.

  203. Anselmi permalink
    November 19, 2008 5:50 pm

    elGreco:

    “blond, not racist(yet) finn boy : yes you are racist. See the comment you made:
    Thank u all for making me a bit more proud of my Finnish roots and our superiour welfare country!”

    And again these. I don’t want to be a 24/7 defender of Finnish culture, but when I read this kind of comments I had to react.

    Are you a troll or something?

    If someone is proud of his Finnish roots and Finnish welfare, that isn’t racism. Racism means racial discrimination. Or maybe ethnical, but this kind of definitions are only ridiculous. Try to understand the meaning of words before you use them. This is how “racism” is becoming an empty word, that doesn’t mean anything, and what is used when trying to insult someone.

    Yes you are a troll.

    A Finnish guy:

    Yes, I understand your points, but I think some of them have too much naivete, obliviousness and/or idealism in them that I could wholly accept them.

    Fabiola:

    “Well I just wanted to contribute because I see a lack of positive experiences in this thread. I have to say I do not feel discriminated in any way in this country.”

    Nice to hear that! 🙂

  204. Tiwaz permalink
    November 20, 2008 5:51 am

    “Look, I might act much more similar to say a mexican or a turkish guy in an elevator than to a random savonian. There is no typically finnish way to go on a elevator. Maybe we are a bit more quite, but I see no mind in actually telling foreigners that they are not “allowed” to talk on busses, because this is not the finnish way. WTF? That would be non-sense. I know in fact that many finnish people are gladdend when they are approached by foreigenrs that have a bit more active social skills and are not afraid to talk to new people. So it would be completely nonsensical to say, that in finland foreigners should become introeverted, because a lot of, especially country-side, finns are introverted.”

    Congratulations. You are one of those few in every country who through fluke of fate fit better in some other country.

    Yes, we Finns are quiet. We are introverted. We do not want to be bothered.

    All foreigners are free to speak in elevator or try to chat up if they want. But if they get silent treatment, they are NOT free to whine how Finns are racist. Because they are themselves failing to respect general Finnish attitude of “do not disturb”.

    Finns have far wider area of “no-entry” than natives of most other, usually more crowded areas. Getting withing 1-1.5 meters of your average Finn will make him/her think you are trespassing in their private zone. So, because you make Finn uncomfortable they respond like they would to anyone making them uncomfortable. If they are being interviewed for a job, they might suck it up to get the job. If they are ones hiring, they might just decide they do not hire that troublesome guy.

    This is Finland. There is no need for me, Finn, to start playing by your cultural norms if you come to Finland. I do not give a flying f**** if someones culture says that farting to your face is polite. Here it is not.

    Here, if you do that, I treat you like I would treat anyone else who behaves so badly.

    Reality is, everything everyone does in Finland in eyes of Finns is judged according to Finnish standards. No by Zambian, Gambian or Whateveristan standards. What might be polite there, is not here. If you act impolitely here, you are treated as rude bastard. It does not matter if you are Finn or foreigner.

    To expect to have some kind of preferential treatment is stupidity of immigrants.

  205. blond, not racist(yet) finn boy permalink
    November 21, 2008 3:04 pm

    “Swedish, Danish and Norwegian wealthfare is by far more superior to Finnish welfare”

    U are absolutely right and Im happy it’s that way. No wonder why other nordic countries have 5-10times more asulym seekers. See the pattern?

    I wasnt talking about economical welfare only. Ive been in swe / den and Ive read and seen a lot. Finland is far more safer country to live in. Good game.

  206. Enrique permalink
    November 21, 2008 4:07 pm

    Wow, blond, not racist/yet) finnboy, you are a real soc ial scientist! You should do your PhD dissertation on the correlation between welfare and asylum seekers. So many people have been refugees and they have made something out of themselves in countries where there are opportunities. My great grandfather was a refugee and I am very proud of that fact.

  207. blond, not racist(yet) finn boy permalink
    November 22, 2008 6:50 am

    Maybe I should, good idea mate!

    Anyway, the bottom line of my first sarcastic message was that after reading this whole “conversation” here, the racistic messages here are coming from other people than finns. Reading this information here has changed my opinion about foreigners totally.

    I have no more interested to read and comment here. Have fun despising us finns here. I still keep living happily in our finnish “lintukoto” thx n bye! 🙂

  208. Enrique permalink
    November 22, 2008 6:53 am

    That is your choice. In a democratic country you and everyone have the right to chose and air their points of views. Good luck!

  209. Hippo permalink
    November 23, 2008 11:22 am

    From the historical standpoint, coming to Finland has very often been a strong statement about what you think about the society you leave behind and the labels that it places upon a man. Moving to Finland has in earlier times meant that you run, flee and leave everything behind, cut all ties to your old life. Among the Russians who came soon after 1917, there were noblemen of highest rank from St. Petersburg and men who had left unimaginable riches behind them in Russia. In here they became just like everyone else, anonymous. In Finland, to my opinion, it is not possible to become happy or build relations with locals if your head is full of ideas about being a Christian, a jew, a communist, a rich man, a beggar, a moslim, a moral man, an intelligent man, an educated man, a man of the world etc.. One can only become oneself. This is the last asylum of the people “who guard the wisdom about how not to think and talk continuously or believe in useless things”, as my grandfather used to explain to his Russian born neighbor after few drinks. ”

    My family came in 1919 from ST.Petersburg. They had to leave everything behind. Apartment, even photos. My great grand father was over 50 years old, without no money with two children in Finland. No going back. On ly one of his brothers managed to come to Finland. Other family perished.

    He was a businessman, he had bought weed from Russia to a finnish company and sold finnish produce in Russia. He got emplyed and was building a house in 1921! With his brother they started and reopened orthodox -church that was left by russian soldiers. In surroundings there were next to none other orthodox-people in 20-30-ties.

    Children adopted in sociaty as the family. Children got educated in lyseum and kauppaoppilaitos also girls. 1939 onward my grandmother worked as Lotta and his brother was officer in finnish army. He was in rank of capitan in Karelian isthmus defending Finland against enemy coming from his birth city.

    They got integrated and made good life in Finland – even though they arrived pennyless -with out multiculturalism etc. dogma.

  210. Enrique permalink
    November 23, 2008 6:05 pm

    That is a nice account you gave, Hippo. It goes to show that “home” is something that can change. I am happy that your family ended up growing up in a society that they considered home. How do you think this can be applied to fit today?

  211. Tiwaz permalink
    November 24, 2008 6:45 am

    Did you miss the message in his tale?

    They made it because they did not try to change Finland. They accepted for what it was and built from there, adapting to society and not expecting society to adapt to them.

    Same thing works today.

    Those who are willing to work for their living, willing to integrate into Finland as it is. Welcome. Those who want to introduce(push) their “groundbreaking” cultural or ideological ideas (like multiculturalism) into Finnish society…

    F*** off.

  212. November 24, 2008 1:25 pm

    if you dont like racists dont come in finnland kk?

  213. Enrique permalink
    November 24, 2008 1:45 pm

    Hi Kauski, if people would run away from everything they consider repulsive, there would be no place on earth to go. Running away from a problem is definitely not the answer.

  214. Enrique permalink
    November 24, 2008 1:48 pm

    –They made it because they did not try to change Finland. They accepted for what it was and built from there, adapting to society and not expecting society to adapt to them.

    I understood the point perfectly well. The problem is that your “integration” model kills identities. That is not a good thing.

    I am happy you use the word “integration” not “assimilation, acculturation” when speaking about how much foreigners should adapt to Finland.

    Is this a change of opinion?

  215. Tiwaz permalink
    November 24, 2008 2:36 pm

    No, integration means assimilation. Integration without obeying local cultural norms is not integration. It is mere citizenship fishing. And that is failure. Integration must never result in minorities and divisions formed in society where none are.

  216. Alien from Middle East permalink
    November 27, 2008 6:24 pm

    I simply don’t give a F.. about Finnish norms. Up yours be my guest. I took the most out of Finland and said Adio. I bought a beautiful house and living some where whose natives see farther than their tip of their noses.

    I also understand some people like Tiwaz and their hatred toward us. May be a bad memory, may his wife falled in love with some dark skin guy who was better in bed. So I guess I should understand their hatred. But change is some thing hits your door some day. May not voluntarily but a MUST do.

    Some wise guy say never say never and I believe so. What if half of UK goes under water in 50 years and UN orders Finland that you have too much land and you should take 2 millions. Or a better case, Bangladesh with millions of people and Finland should place 5 million of them. Then we should really see the face of Tiwaz and other hard ass people. It would be some thing to see that who assimilate to what. They become Fin or you become Bangladesh :D. In a culture that hardly say hello to each other, I wont bet on Fins. 😀

  217. Enrique permalink
    November 27, 2008 7:02 pm

    Tiwaz, there is a difference between integration and assimilation. Look it up.

  218. Enrique permalink
    November 27, 2008 7:11 pm

    Hi Alien from Middle East, I hope you are enjoying yourself. It is a good thing to move out of Finland and then return if you wish. Every ten years I move to work outside Finland. It is a great experience.
    I don’t know if I agree with you about Tiwaz. He is only an obstinate in his opinion. He is not a lost case, however.

  219. Alien from Middle East permalink
    November 27, 2008 8:13 pm

    Thank you dear Enrique for this nice effort and great job you are putting down with this site. About Finland I should say that it is a beautiful country. I personally coming from a cultural back ground which adores beauty and art. I have learned to be fair and have courage to admit into the truths. Therefore I appreciate the good things in every country including Finland.

    During my stay I have never tried to change Finnish culture. I have always kept distance not to make Fins uncomfortable. The only thing that molest people in general and foreigners in particular, is a break which hold people from being happy. This break is working much stronger for foreigners.

    Yes it is true that Fins having a social security system and this is very good in comparison with many countries, but I doubt if Fins are truly happy. This people hardly laugh from their bottom of their heart. They hardly able to express themselves. They have a low self esteem. They are not so friendly within themselves even and if they are, they have a very strange way to show it. In their view, all foreigners are guilty unless proven not. So I can talk for hours about this. It is these things that give a very bad image from Finland.

    Most Fins think that foreigners live on social benefits. But I was working in Finland since 97. Some months I have paid more than 2500 euros tax, which is 7-8 times of the social allowance.

    Fins have right to think however they want, but there is a world outside their imagination. In a world of constant change, one should be very ignorant to resist change. A culture, a society or any entity if does not change according to conditions, is doom to be diminished and extinguished. This is what the politicians see, because they see the rest of the world. however they are not willing to theorize it and explain it for the people. because next step is give their place to some one more capable. They dont want this. So they make a phenomenon such as Somalian phenomena. This way they can justify their way in how discriminatory treat immigrants and at the same time to make Fins feel better about themselves. Some of these Politicians were people like Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva who was fulfilling his sexual needs with the money of tax payers.

    Either Fins learn to change, or they will learn the change. This is their only way. Resisting against this makes change happen later, but more painful. Finland should think macro and not micro if they want to survive. They need many immigrants in next 30 years. This population is too old. Among their new generation there is only a few who will become an specialist and actually making things. The rest are consuming and they can be used in service section. Bringing only a few Indian will not fully help them. These Indians after a few years in Nokia, leave Finland if they are treated upon their race and culture and law does not endorse them. This will be another loss.

    So open up Finland.

  220. Enrique permalink
    November 27, 2008 9:54 pm

    Alien from Middle East, many thanks for your comments. If we are sincere with each other, I believe we all have a sentimental bond with this country. The things you mention about the Finns may be true in some but it is a part of their culture.
    I, personally, think that Finland would be a near-perfect society from my point of view if some people were not so suspicious and reticent of people who are not like them. Discrimination is a social ill and has no place in a society like Finland. Unfortunately, I think many Finns do not have a clue about diversity and how positive it can be.
    I am pretty certain that people like yourself work long hours to make a living. If some Finns would know, they’d understand that foreigners/immigrants are very hard workers and ambitious. And, an immigrant has to, because he must be twice as good as a Finn in many sectors to compete.

  221. Tiwaz permalink
    November 28, 2008 5:18 am

    Alien, you are wrong. There is also alternative.

    Read history, we have lots of text on how natives who resent others pushing into their land react to attempts of forced entry.

    It is called war. And Finns, fortunately, are not unarmed savages. If it did take place that some people tried to flood Finland, you can bet they have soon 2 options.

    Integrate and act according to Finnish culture.

    Or die.

    That is human nature. We defend what is ours. You want to take it, prepare for a fight. And Finns know how to fight. Enrique will again get a stroke, but that is truth. Read history. Humans have not changed a bit. UN cannot make Finns accept foreigners no matter what flooding takes place elsewhere. Finns will first get annoyed, then angry (along with rest of nations who are attempted to be forced to accept refugees who refuse to integrate and assimilate) and then there is violence. And not just in Finland. But everywhere. No society will accept such flood and not turn against it violently.

    As for learning. You foreigners should learn from Finns. What I see abroad is so much empty words, useless gestures and basically lack of true happiness in form of being content with your life. You people are so miserable that you have to put up facades of happiness and friendship because else your true misery would show.

    Finn does not need those. Finn is secure in his identity, content with his life. He will not laugh and act like Italian. Because unlike Italian, Finn has no need. Finn is happy.

    Your issue, Alien, is that Finns didn’t act like people on your native country. So now you whine how Finns are evil, when it was you who failed to understand that you are no longer in Middle East. Classical immigrant stupidity.
    You expect Finland to be like your hole in sand, but when it is you complain about it and whine how Finns must be so sad because they are not like people of your native country.

    And fail to see the true happiness of Finns.

  222. Enrique permalink
    November 28, 2008 6:07 am

    Tiwaz, are you serious? If you said it with your own name I would believe you, but not as a peeping tom. Nobody can take you seriously when you threaten others.

    –And fail to see the true happiness of Finns.

    Well in all honesty, you don’t paint a very optimistic picture with your words.

  223. Tiwaz permalink
    November 28, 2008 7:48 am

    So, my real name is Matti Veijola. Happy now?

    Or is it… Oh dear. Perhaps I value my privacy and right to privacy. Not to have lunatics like you trying to look after my personal information to bother me and my family in my home. Because we both know your kind of lunatics do practice it.

    It is alien who makes threats. That Finland is invaded and native culture killed off. Like it was done in Argentina. We, natives, refuse to go without a fight. It is not threat, it is reality.

    And you fail to grasp that happiness is not absolute. There are definitions of happiness. When I am most happy, I do not feel need to get cramp to my face muscles. I just enjoy the blissfull feeling. And no, I do not smile.

  224. Enrique permalink
    November 28, 2008 7:54 am

    When you go around threatening people with death, or some horrific and demented “white power” race war, it is SO easy when you do it anonymously. It is a bit like confessing everything about yourself to a psychiatrist. It is a bit like having a split personality: anonymously I am an “ultra-nationalist” by in real life I am well-behaved and measure my words carefully. I have a good hunch that you are a person that writes comments in this blog with another name.
    If we have a name and identity, we weigh better what we say. It is like the idiots watching a peep show in a booth. It is anonymous, nobody cares, and you are free to do what your please (with yourself).

  225. A fin permalink
    November 28, 2008 2:50 pm

    You do understand that you are being culturally intolerant by demanding a change in finnish culture? You do understand that there are about 100 finns for every foreigner? So to accomodate one foreigner 100 finns should change the way they interact with strangers, personal space, demand shopservice etc….

    Many cultural things in finnish culture go in the complete opposite of other cultures. Im not claiming that there aren’t racist in Finland. There aren’t a country where there aren’t any. It just is that finnish culture and idioms are so different from most cultures that they might seem impolite, even hostile.

    The personal space is a hard one. In Finland it’s polite to give people space, as mutch as is available. Arabic countries have a culture of getting close and it’s impolite to keep distance, not sure how it is in others. In Finland personal space is probably the largest of all cultures. That 1.5m is about right in a bus. That’s why when bus fills up it starts from every other window seat, and lastly isle seats. But on a street it’s more, about 3-10 meter’s depending on how crowded it is. On a nearly empty street it’even more. A doctor’s waiting room fills from far ends and egual spaced then on. There was a mention of elevators and not getting on. If its a small elevator, seats about 4, and not heavy traffic on it, it’s polite to get next one even if there’s only one person in it. The list goes on and on.

    When shopping if you don’t get service you aren’t being insulted. Most finns prefer it that way. We ask if we need assistance. A service person might come to ask if you need help but yo need to look really lost for it. Too pushy service hurts sales.

    Talking to strangers on streets. Don’t. If you see a finn to talk on street to many people he’s probably crazy. So if you do it you will probably be labeled somewhat crazy too.

    Eyecontactact on busses etc. Definite nono. In public you dont acknowledge strangers. You give them room but you act like they don’t exist. This manifest best in busses. People don’t usually ask to get off from window seat. They are given room just from the way they start to move when stop comes close.

    These are just a few of the things in finnish culture that go completely opposite of the most cultures. It might look impolite or racist to people from other cultures but we are grown fond of it. By demanding a change in these and many more you are being culturally intolerant.

  226. Enrique permalink
    November 28, 2008 3:44 pm

    Hi Fin, thank you for dropping by. Thanks for your views on space in Finnish culture. For some this may be something new.

    I do not think that any sensible person is asking Finnish culture to change. When they move to Finland they have a rough idea, or should have, about the type of country they are moving to. I think the best thing is allow cultural bygones be cultural bygones. But if I did business or had a group of friends from another culture, it would be intelligent to find out something about them in order that we do not stick our foot in out mouth. How well you learn this will help you succeed in the society you live and work.

    It is really not that complicated. Very easy.

  227. A fin permalink
    November 28, 2008 5:35 pm

    Enrique Says:
    “I, personally, think that Finland would be a near-perfect society from my point of view if some people were not so suspicious and reticent of people who are not like them.”

    “I do not think that any sensible person is asking Finnish culture to change. ”

    There you have a missundeerstanding of finnish culture and ask it to change. You think incorrectly it’s becouse your different from them. That applys to everybody. If somebody from Rovaniemi moves to Helsinki and lives there for 20 years, people of helsinki don’t consider him as a people of helsinki. It takes a long time for somebody to be considered a local even from moving inside country, possibly a generation.

    The biggest problem with what you write is that you say we are reticent and suspicious of people different from us, but don’t say how it manifest itself.
    Here I have to guess that it’s becouse you don’t have interaction with neighbors. Well, most finns don’t, most don’t know their names or what they look like. It’s part of the culture.

  228. Enrique permalink
    November 28, 2008 6:12 pm

    You pose an interesting question that highlights something more general and deep about this society. True, the person from Rovaniemi may never be accepted as a Helsinkian (maybe he doesn’t want to). Even though he is from Rovaniemi is is treated as “a Finn from such a city.” If he lives in Helsinki, it means he is well-adapted; he has a job, pays a mortgage, taxes and fits in.
    With a foreigner it is a bit different. In first place some are not even accepted as a member of this society; too many are unemployed and on welfare. We have spoken before in this blog about the causes behind the high 20-percent unemployment as we almost had in the early 1990s, remember? As long as people don’t have work they will not be part of Finnish or any society. If I were to start, I would work on this aspect, or at least bring down unemployment among foreigners to 10 percent.
    What do you think?

  229. A fin permalink
    November 28, 2008 8:49 pm

    As theres structural unemployment with finnish born, dont you think that some of this can be structural unenmployment with immigrants? Studies that show with increased stay in the country the unemployment goes down, This points that there is some thuth in saying the immigrant unemployment largely is structural. With time language skills better and education too. In Norge the immigrant unemployment rate is 3 times higher that the unemployment rate of the country as a whole so the immigrant unemployment isn’t uniquelly a finnish problem.

  230. Enrique permalink
    November 29, 2008 9:17 am

    –As theres structural unemployment with finnish born, dont you think that some of this can be structural unenmployment with immigrants?

    You are right. There is something wrong with Finland’s labor markets — they are too inflexible and create a system of people with permanent and temporary jobs. Even though Finland has not sought qualified labor very forcefully, you pose a good question. Maybe the problem in Finland is that since “all of our work is important”, which it is, we create dumb obstacles. For example, having to take one or two years schooling to become a janitor. One matter is for sure: Finland’s labor market are not dynamic. They promote little work mobility and, therefore, create this structural unemployment.

    That is a good point about Norway’s immigrant unemployment problem. It probably shows a similar structural problem. But, as you know, it is always easy to find excuses than effective solutions to the problem.

    I would take a radical stance: no effective employment do not ask foreigners/EU nationals to move to Finland. Or be warned: landing a permanent job with Finnish benefits is the exception rather than the rule.

    Unemployment in society is a disgrace. Politicians and policy makers cover it up and wash their hands of the problem with social welfare. It is a lose-lose situation.

  231. Tiwaz permalink
    November 29, 2008 11:56 am

    -With a foreigner it is a bit different. In first place some are not even accepted as a member of this society; too many are unemployed and on welfare. We have spoken before in this blog about the causes behind the high 20-percent unemployment as we almost had in the early 1990s, remember? As long as people don’t have work they will not be part of Finnish or any society. If I were to start, I would work on this aspect, or at least bring down unemployment among foreigners to 10 percent.
    What do you think?

    This is easy! Or would be if you were not so stupid at demanding Finns to accept foreigners. LEARN HOW TO ACT IN FINLAND.

    There is very little unemployment in ranks of foreigners who went through integration. Learned how to speak the language, how to act properly in Finnish culture. They present themselves as integrated foreigners. So every employer has reason to presume that they know how to act in workplace without annoying the hell out of everyone.

    But then we have this 20% of idiots who think they should get job without putting any effort at adjusting to society around them. They should not be pampered. It is their choice not to put work towards learning to act properly in Finland, not to show off miles away how they cannot fit in the group.

    Because why would Finn hire someone into work who will disrupt the working conditions? Only idiot hires someone who causes more problems than his work is worth. That is why there are interviews, to see how person fits in the work community. Foreigners just do not fit in, they repeatedly cause cultural conflicts. It does not matter how much Finns understand it. We know you come from different culture. But it still annoys us when you break things like privacy zone. It makes us feel uncomfortable. We understand it, but we do not accept it. We tolerate it for a time, but if you keep doing it day after day…

    It becomes annoying. That is why guy who does not fit in the work community is not hired, or finds himself resigning soon. Same is true for Finns, but they know how culture works because they were born to it. So they know how NOT to act.

    This is only small example of cultural conflict caused by cultural differences. It is duty of immigrant to learn to behave in a way that does not cause conflict. If they do not, if they insist on this multicultural impossibility, they will become division. And as we have seen in history, divisions breed violence.

  232. Enrique permalink
    November 29, 2008 3:26 pm

    –This is easy! Or would be if you were not so stupid at demanding Finns to accept foreigners. LEARN HOW TO ACT IN FINLAND.

    Hey, can we refrain from getting personal? I think foreigners try that all the time. The foreigners and the Finns need to build more bridges of cultural understanding.

    –But then we have this 20% of idiots who think they should get job without putting any effort at adjusting to society around them.

    OK, in your way of thinking the 20% unemployed are “idiots.” Were the almost 20% unemployed Finns in the early 1990w “idiots?” I guess so. And what about the 6% that are unemployed today. Are they idiots too?

    –This is only small example of cultural conflict caused by cultural differences. It is duty of immigrant to learn to behave in a way that does not cause conflict.

    I believe in the labor market it is important to integrate. Anything outside of that is my private business and a matter of conversation.

  233. elGreco permalink
    November 30, 2008 10:39 am

    If a person is discriminated against it because of his looks, skin or hair color it’s racism. If a person is discriminated because of his ethnic origin, He might be a German or a Serb who looks like a Fin or almost like a Fin then it is discrimination because of his ethnic origin. The difference is, when you look different you can be isolated and separated more easily. I am not here to waste my time with Finnish racists or Finns who discriminate against people based mainly on the fact that those people aren’t Fins. Discrimination is as old as Finland itself. I remember the hate towards foreigners in 78 and after that and Finland had only 20.000 foreigners and there was not the excuse of LAMA or depression which come in 93. To hate and to discriminate is Finnish culture ( just kidding )
    In my 14 years living in Germany I was not one single time insulted by Germans for being a foreigner. It was back in the 60’s and 70’s. There are Fins who will not discriminate against foreigners on the base that they are foreigners but they are a minority among the Fins. According to the Finnish radio only 18% of the Fins have generally a positive opinion about foreigners. So I throw my lot with every 6th Fin and try to avoid the other 5/6 as good as I can. One out of 6 aren’t that bad.

  234. Enrique permalink
    November 30, 2008 10:46 am

    Hi elGreco, interesting points you point out. I remember back in the late-1970s how draconian Finland’s immigrant laws. Remember Eila Kännö? What a woman… That era, 1939-1995, is when Finland closed itself to the world. This was imposed by the Soviet Union and the whole effort of those years was to reintegrate politically and economically with Western Europe.
    There have not been many studies on racism or racial attitudes in Finland before 1939, some of the attitudes and comments of Finns is quite remarkable when it comes to people from other cultures. They can insult you as if it were the normalest thing in the world. But let’s be fair, things are moving towards a better direction than from those terrible years, when a foreigner was as rare as a Finn on the moon.

  235. elGreco permalink
    November 30, 2008 11:17 am

    A few comments of my about Finnish culture but in a funny way:
    Fins eat more often pizza then Italians. Met some years back an Italian who was amazed at the amounts of Pizzeria here.
    Fins eat more bananas then anybody else in Europe ( bananas don’t grow in Finland )
    Fins drink more coffee then anybody else on this planet ( coffee don’t grow in Finland )
    “Karjalaan piiraka” made with the rice grown in Finland?
    You can hear more English songs coming from the Finnish radio then English songs in England.
    To the foreigners on this board:
    Happy people ( talking about most Fins on this board ) don’t talk like that.
    Don’t permit yourself to become like them ( again, not all Fins are people who feel more hate then love in their hearts but to many do so )
    Work together with the positive Fins and positive foreigners.
    Negativity can drag you down as can a bitter reality.
    It’s just a waste of energy which could be used for something positive.
    Be happy even if the sun don’t shine ( sometimes it does shine)
    I had once a conversation with an Eesti friend of my.
    She said the following:
    Those are the typical characteristics of most Fins:
    Envy
    High expectations and therefore failure
    Low self confidence
    ===========================
    Back to the Finnish radio:
    The average Fin has 1-2 friends and gets 2 visits per year
    =================================================
    Those are my observations: Friendship is built during the years they go to school or study. Later friendship might be established at the work place or in a group they belong. Like a group of people interested in dancing particular dances etc.
    Most friendship anyway develop during school or studies.
    So even for Fins it is difficult to get friends.
    The bars here in Finland are for getting drunk NOT for being social.
    That comment was made by an Irish friend of my.
    So the problem is twofold.
    Discrimination ( and that applies to people not to food, music or stuff)
    and isolation.
    Most Fins are isolated with hardly any social contacts and they like it ( or at least say so). Don’t know if there is a connection between being lonely, depression and alcoholism.
    I was married to a Fin for 20 years and my kids ( I have 3 ) were born and raised in Finland. So don’t tell me I don’t know the mentality.
    Critic is seeing as a very negative thing by most Fins and indeed it is a negative thing in most countries that are not democratic.
    I also find it funny that when under pressure some Fins then compare the bad stuff in Finland with the bad stuff in some other country that is in a worse position.
    Finland should be compared to other EU countries and/or Scandinavian countries.
    I won’t debate with haters
    Have a nice time

  236. Enrique permalink
    November 30, 2008 5:19 pm

    el greco many thanks for some good advice. When you talk about pizza, about 40 years ago many Finns did not know what was a pizza. If there is multiculturalism that has come to this country it is in the form of food.
    It is interesting thing you say about critique. In other countries such as the US it is very normal. Critique is good because it opens new questions that seek new answers.
    All very interesting stuff you point out. It would be interesting to hear people comment on your thoughts which that been formulated after living many years in this country.
    There are all types of Finns. I for example, need to live abroad a couple of years every decade in order to recharge my cultural batteries and get a different slant on things. That has been my solution to finding a balance between Finland and my own diverse cultural background.

  237. Enrique permalink
    November 30, 2008 5:26 pm

    Some of the comments, especially those that see foreigners as a threat because these Finns believe they have to be nice, shows in my opinion low self-esteem. In order to feel stronger from one’s low view of oneself it is always easier to pick on people who are weaker than yourself. Even so, I believe much of the debate on foreigners in Finland has to do with a very generous quantity of not having a clue about the topic.
    The way that I have been educated and brought up (parents and society) is that racism is a social ill and multiculturalism is a positive matter. Immigrants are tough industrious people. They have a lot of ambition and are not afraid to start life from scratch. Now that takes a lot of guts!

  238. Tiwaz permalink
    December 1, 2008 5:18 am

    -The way that I have been educated and brought up (parents and society) is that racism is a social ill and multiculturalism is a positive matter. Immigrants are tough industrious people. They have a lot of ambition and are not afraid to start life from scratch. Now that takes a lot of guts!

    Then perhaps you should spend some time learning facts of multiculturalism.

    Multicultural Rwanda. 800 000 – 1 000 000 dead.
    Multicultural Yugoslavia. Bosnia area 102 000 dead.
    Multicultural Iraq. Currently over 100 000 dead at least.
    Multicultural India. Unknown, plenty of various conflicts, skirmishes and terror attacks.
    Monocultural Finland. No internal conflict.
    Monocultural Japan. No internal conflict.

    Multiculturalism is not good, it is plague upon society. Look at your beloved multicultralism with critical eye Enrique. It is a failure. I do not want to import that failure even if you are too s***** or blind to see multiculturalism as a failure it is.

    If foreigners want to succeed in Finland, they have to do what foreigners everywhere have to do. Get over their own arrogance and adjust to conditions around them. Not expect country they moved into to somehow adjust to them.

  239. Tiwaz permalink
    December 1, 2008 5:44 am

    elGreco. Let me guess…

    Youwere mistreated because you did not get a job in Finland and people do not act like they did back at home?

    I’m perfectly correct I guess…

    At which phase, greco, you thought that someone would find use for someone like you? You do not speak the language, you disrupt the work community with incorrect behavior…
    What kind of employer would employ someone who is more trouble than worth?

    Of course, instead of being critical about your own exellence, you come up with this theory of racism and speak to other no-speak immigrants to reinforce your excellent conclusion.

    Could it be that this 82% of Finns who have bad opinion about foreigners are ones who have had bad experiences of them?

    You know, who see, hear and read about whining foreigners. Demanding more and more things. G****** women in dark parks.

    That kind of stuff easily turns people against foreigners.
    And in same sense, you lack grasp of Finnish culture. Here honesty and straight talk are valued.

    Not this foreign beating around bush and never getting to point. Enrique here complains that we insult him. Well, if I see him present i**** opinions little research and critical thinking would solve. I call him i****. I call spade a spade and not for example dirt movement device.

    There is no malice involved. I do not hate Enrique. But I do strongly dislike the future he tries to build for Finland. One of conflict and civil war. We had that once already. No need to build another by replacing reds of civil war with unintegrating foreigners for next war.

  240. Enrique permalink
    December 1, 2008 6:26 am

    I think elGreco made some valid points. I have a suggestion: set up a anti-immigration party, bitch like hell, demand Finland leaves the EU and reinstates Eila Kännö as head of the “Aliens Office.” In order to find your meaning, go to the “white power” websites in the US or Europe and sharpen up your agenda. That is your destiny.

  241. Enrique permalink
    December 1, 2008 6:32 am

    –Multicultural Rwanda. 800 000 – 1 000 000 dead.
    Multicultural Yugoslavia. Bosnia area 102 000 dead.
    Multicultural Iraq. Currently over 100 000 dead at least.
    Multicultural India. Unknown, plenty of various conflicts, skirmishes and terror attacks.
    Monocultural Finland. No internal conflict.
    Monocultural Japan. No internal conflict.

    You should read history. Rwanda and Yugoslavia are fictitious states created by “MONOCULTURAL” Europeans.
    Despite india’s problems, it is an example if you consider over 100 languages are spoken there.
    Finland is NOT “monocultural.” Your views on countries and peoples sounds like a geography class from the 1950s.

  242. shopnil permalink
    December 1, 2008 8:07 pm

    i am living in finland more then 7 years! its like a hell to live in finland as a foreigner!

    one of the most racist country in the world is finland! i am suffering here! i am trying my best to move from this shit country!

  243. Enrique permalink
    December 2, 2008 3:33 am

    Hi shopnil for your new comment. I am saddened to hear that your stay in Finland has not turned out well. Some of us still continue to feel a sort of “culture shock” many years after we have moved to this country. This shock is made worse if we find it very difficult to get a job. What would I suggest? The last thing I would do is lose hope. The Muslims have a good saying, which applies to people, but could apply to a bad situation as well: “Nothing bad lasts a hundred years.” One solution is moving to another country. Such a decision hinges on whether you believe life can be better. However, we may have family ties in this country that keep us here. You are faced with difficult — not impossible — decisions but I am certain you will find the right answer for you.

  244. elGreco permalink
    December 2, 2008 11:21 pm

    shopnil Says: I agree with you. Finland is to my own experience the most racist country I have ever been. I am at the moment fighting racist criminal cops.
    Made a litle video on Youtube. User PsychopathSean
    Click on the link of the 00server web page. There you can read my story of being stalked by a) a racist stalker from London and b) how the police in Turku did their best to ignore him but blame me for all his racist posts and insults. He made an audio file claiming to be me and threaten to kill my ex and beat her boyfriend up. All users in my Usenet group were telling who the poster was but not him but I was arrested. It is not my voice and for 10 months the police was lying that they can’t run voice recognition on that. 10 months later AFTER they received a phone call from the London police who then had arrested the troll they HAD voice recognition software but in Vanta. The result come later from Vanta claiming that my voice and the murder threats audio had the same accent which was a lie and a crime if voice recognition experts lie about their findings. Then they could not come to a conclusion if the audio was made by me because of it’s ” bad” quality which was one other lie because even from the voice from a mobile phone the person can be pontificated and the quality on that audio was better then that. Then they concluded that while they could not say if it was my voice it was still possible on a later time to charge me. Then the police on court said that I ” must have used some software to change my voice beyond recognition ” and the court concluded that it is my voice.
    THEN: The racist stalker used AOL-UK and Finland has no AOL internet and I live in Finland so the cop said that I must ” have faked my IP” number. He didn’t knew how it could be done and how I did it but this how I must have done it.
    By the way: You cant post through google groups if you have a fake IP number
    The poster who posted via AOL-UK also used a registered domains email address and the domain was registered by Sean Ruittledge. The same person that made the audio file. The same person who lives in London and that person I pointed out to the police on October 2006 and in March 2007 and many other Usenet posters did the same thing. I asked the police on March 2007 to run a voice recognition on Sean Ruttledge but they never did. Instead they rather turn a non proof in to a proof.
    Did I mention that I was in jail when the same AOL-UK poster posted 3 messages to Usenet. Should that not proof my innocence?
    Far from it. The cops in Finl;and are not bothered by facts nor the worlds best alibi.
    “It must be me, it can’t be anybody else”. Those magic words are better then no way to post with a faked IP address or running voice recognition on the guy 10 other people have pointed out as the guilty one because they know him since 2002.
    Also his English is perfect and I make many mistakes.
    They have been in my house without a search warrant and keep my art work and passwords since March 2007
    Ombudsman? Forget it. Just got crap from them all the time

  245. elGreco permalink
    December 2, 2008 11:34 pm

    Then I remeber the Iranian who studied in Finland computer technology and can’t get the Finnish citizenship because the Finnish Gestapo has some secret information about him that is so secret that they can’t reveal it even to the judge and the Fins argued that everything is right so. The example given was a Fin who was spying for the DDR but the reasons there could rather be government involvement and heads of Finnish politicians could have been rolling but how they treat an Iranian is again a clear case of discrimination with the victim being as usually the suspect. There must be a reason why so many Fins don’t trust foreigners. Blame the foreigners for it.
    Other excuses are the Lama or depression Finland had. I was in Finland BEFORE lama or the depression and that time Finland had only 20.000 foreigner but I was insulted and told to go back to my home country about every second time I went to a bar. I have spend 13 years in Germany and not one single times did Germans tell me to go back to my home country. I left Germany in 74
    No, Fins are funny. They think everybody else must be an idiot or Finland is the only country in the world. On a scale of 1-10 Finland is not the most racist but it’s among the top.
    better then Saudi Arabia but I am not from Saudi Arabia

  246. elGreco permalink
    December 2, 2008 11:47 pm

    Most dead Iraqis are a result of the bombings or there after.
    During the from the US enforced boycott of Iraq about half million children died.
    Since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan the opium production went 30-40 up.
    The 911 had US government involvement
    Now from Noam Chomsky:
    If the USA would stop terrorist acts or stop supporting terrorists the world would have 80% less terrorism.

    Consider the world’s largest
    democracy, India. The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, which is larger
    than all but a few countries of the world and is notorious for
    horrifying treatment of women, is not only a woman, but a Dalit
    (“untouchable”), at the lowest rung of India’s disgraceful caste system.

  247. Linda permalink
    December 3, 2008 12:47 am

    Hi Alat Katin,

    I beleive it is quite ok to come to Finland and study. As you have read on this postings…finns are not the most communicative people on earth but they certainly don’t bother you. You might even end up making life long trustworthy finnish friends.

    There is racism in Finland – big time!. There is no denial… and everything that is written here regarding racism isfor the most part true. However, I had a friend in Med school in Finland and she didn’t experience any out right prejuduce neither from her peers nor the faculty staff. Therefore, rest assured, once you get through the cultural differences, home sickness, and what not you will manage to go through you schooling without having to face unsurmountable challenges.

    The aparthied is in the job market, it is very difficult for foreigners to achieve their full potential. however much you contribute to the firm – it is not recognised. Your mistakes are exagerated etc….

    I hope you will have a good time in Finalnd if and when you come…also remember experiences are subjective…so, come here and see for yourself.

    Cheers,

  248. Linda permalink
    December 3, 2008 1:41 am

    Dear Tiwaz,

    You repeatedly say that foreigners disrupt the work environment. Could you please tell me how they do it? do they start dancing and singing wearing leaves while others work? please elaborate your remark. I am confused!

    Moreover, do you really beleive that Finns excel in what ever they do? do you also beleive that all foreingers don’t speak the language and are less skilled?

    also, could you please define finnish culture for me? I heard the proximity bit but it does not cut it. i am not a finn but i do appreciate my personal space as well… I don’t know my neighbours nor do I make an effort to know them, i don’t want to sit next to anyone in public transports … i love annonimity…do I qualify as a Finn because i have the same characteristics? Will i get employed if I promise not to disrupt the work environment?

    really confused!

  249. Tiwaz permalink
    December 3, 2008 5:13 am

    -You repeatedly say that foreigners disrupt the work environment. Could you please tell me how they do it? do they start dancing and singing wearing leaves while others work? please elaborate your remark. I am confused!

    Cultural conflict. Have you ever noticed that people of different cultures have different way of doing same things? Or acting differently?

    They disrupt the work enviroment by simply acting in way which is at odds with how work enviroment works in Finland. If things are done in one way here, and you insist on doing it differently it can be very disruptive to working conditions as unnecessary effort and work goes to sorting out the mess caused by two different ways of doing same thing.

    It happens between Finns too, but when someone with totally different cultural background comes and does things even more differently it is a mess.

    -Moreover, do you really beleive that Finns excel in what ever they do? do you also beleive that all foreingers don’t speak the language and are less skilled?

    Have I said that? Do you think that their skills or lack of them somehow should make them so holy and precious that they do not have to respect language and culture of society they moved into?

    If they cannot speak the language, worth of their skills is reduced because they have other handicaps. Language and culture! And they are too stupid or arrogant to understand that.

    If your working enviroment speaks Finnish, how much good are your skills, or lack of them, if you cannot use them in Finnish?

    -also, could you please define finnish culture for me? I heard the proximity bit but it does not cut it. i am not a finn but i do appreciate my personal space as well… I don’t know my neighbours nor do I make an effort to know them, i don’t want to sit next to anyone in public transports … i love annonimity…do I qualify as a Finn because i have the same characteristics? Will i get employed if I promise not to disrupt the work environment?

    How about you defining your culture to me. It should give you little experience on how complex cultural influence is.

    I notice you too started to preach about racism without grasping the actual issue. Here is quote from you Linda.

    There is far less racism by Finns in Finland than you try to claim. There is, however, racism by immigrants which is rampant. Refusal to learn Finnish way of doing things, Finnish way of interaction. Because of immigrants refuse to learn those, they fail repeatedly in the most basic acts of interpretating actions and words. And when they fail, they scream racism. Because they failed to adjust their thinking to new enviroment.

    Immigrants appear to be biggest racists in Finland.

  250. Enrique permalink
    December 3, 2008 6:57 am

    –Cultural conflict. Have you ever noticed that people of different cultures have different way of doing same things? Or acting differently?

    One thing that is incredible about your arguments is how much effort you put in to showing how different people are from the Finns. If you are fair, the differences are in between in your ears. The big difference with your argument and mine is that you blame everything on multiculturalism, when, in fact, a society may have deficiencies to handle people from other cultures. Why is it important? Because we want to achieve a person´s full potential in society; it is cheaper and more effective than paying social welfare, which is only another way for politicians and policy makers to wash their hands of the problem.

    Linda asks a good question: What is Finnish culture? I can tell you that it is no exclusive club living in a museum in a machine where time does not move forward. Finns were culturally different in the early 20th century when compared with today.
    Why? Because culture, attitudes and values change.

  251. Tiwaz permalink
    December 3, 2008 9:29 am

    -One thing that is incredible about your arguments is how much effort you put in to showing how different people are from the Finns. If you are fair, the differences are in between in your ears. The big difference with your argument and mine is that you blame everything on multiculturalism, when, in fact, a society may have deficiencies to handle people from other cultures. Why is it important? Because we want to achieve a person´s full potential in society; it is cheaper and more effective than paying social welfare, which is only another way for politicians and policy makers to wash their hands of the problem.

    You mean we are all alike and all that jizzz… So WHY IS THERE CONFLICT IN THE WORLD IF WE ARE SO ALIKE?

    WHY EVERYWHERE WHERE YOU HAVE MULTIPLE CULTURES INHABITING SAME AREA WE SEE THEM FIGHT?

    MULTICULTURALISM DOES NOT WORK!

    See, it is that simple, I wrote it in big, plain letters for you to finally grasp it. If multiculturalism was possible, it would have worked already. Everyone knows it has been tried in one form or another enough times when different cultures have met. Except…

    It has never worked. Conflict comes and either one side is wiped out or subjected to rule of another.

    That is why it is essential that immigrants are made to integrate into Finnish society. To ensure that there are no divisions which will cause those conflicts. It is in interests of Finns, but above all else it is in interests of immigrants. Because they are the losing side if conflict is permitted to start.

    And only part where you make sense is that culture changes. Yes, it does. But it does so very slowly, very gradually and ONLY ACCORDING TO DESIRES OF NATIVES. If natives, those who define the culture through their actions and values, do not want some change. It will not take place, no matter how much idiotic foreigners whine that things are not like at home.

    And apparently you and Linda think you are so clever with your “what is Finnish culture”-question.

    I’ll answer your question once you have given me complete and thorough analysis on what YOUR culture is like. Point by point.

    If you think it is so easy to put culture into few bullet points, it should not be great task for you.

    Answer, Finnish culture is what Finns (this again is not same as citizen of Finland) find collectively as their preferred way to act, their core values and so forth.

  252. Calculator Man permalink
    December 3, 2008 10:41 pm

    Australia, USA, Canada are full of Foreigners.

    1.4 Mio Finns left Finland in the last 150 years/160000 Immigrants live in Finland.

    For every Foreigner who is getting into Finland, 10 Finns left Finland

  253. Enrique permalink
    December 3, 2008 10:45 pm

    Hi Calculator Man, welcome to Migrant Tales and thank you for sharing your mathematical knowledge. That is one way of looking ab immigration and emigration.

  254. Alien from Middle East permalink
    December 4, 2008 10:01 pm

    [Finnish Immigration Policy faces new challenges]
    Tapio Wallenius
    http://www.etla.fi/files/936_FES_01_2_immigration.pdf

    This is a good study done by a study group in Finland. I recommend it to all hard ass Finns, to read it. You will find out why you should treat us as an important and beneficial asset in your country. Enjoy it 😀

    • Enrique permalink
      December 6, 2008 7:39 am

      This is a very good article showing the problem. There are other views that show that the labor shortage in 2020 will be 2 million (Ministry of Finance). Thank you.

  255. Tiwaz permalink
    December 5, 2008 8:52 am

    And Australia, USA and Canada are places where I would never want to live. They are unstable, unsafe and heading straight to hell.

    Thanks to unintegrating immigrants.

    I’m waiting for your analysis on your own culture Enrique. It can’t be that hard after all. Just few bullet points and you have thoroughly explained your own culture.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 6, 2008 7:34 am

      –I’m waiting for your analysis on your own culture Enrique. It can’t be that hard after all. Just few bullet points and you have thoroughly explained your own culture.

      Yes, you are right. You are such an enlightened “cultured” person. But look around you, things have changed. It is time to wake up and bring youself up to date.

  256. Linda permalink
    December 6, 2008 2:14 am

    Hi Tiwaz,

    -Cultural conflict. Have you ever noticed that people of different cultures have different way of doing same things? Or acting differently?

    Yes, I have noticed that people from different social backgrounds, different towns, even siblings from the same family perform the same task in their own individual ways also.

    For your information, large companies have an organization culture that clearly describes business policy, manner of communication, etc…Therefore; it is hard to believe that immigrants simply ignore the conditions.

    -How about you defining your culture to me. It should give you little experience on how complex cultural influence is.

    I believe in Hoffsteds theory of culture, that “Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.” I have also accepted the notion that it is socially transmitted and can be relearned. I believe we have been conditioned to think in a certain way, do things in a certain manner etc…but I don’t let my cultural conditioning influence my perceptions of others – I know that it is not the absolute truth.

    Unlike you, I don’t believe that total assimilation into the prevailing culture should be a prerequisite to be accepted; instead, all communities learn to co-exist, respect each other, and be critical of one-self and open. None of us posses a cultural high ground – we can learn from each other.

    -There is far less racism by Finns in Finland than you try to claim. There is, however, racism by immigrants which is rampant.

    I never attempted to generalize the whole Finnish population as racists. As in any society, Finns have their good, their bad and their ugly.

    -Refusal to learn Finnish way of doing things, Finnish way of interaction. Because of immigrants refuse to learn those, they fail repeatedly in the most basic acts of interpretating actions and words. And when they fail, they scream racism. Because they failed to adjust their thinking to new enviroment.

    All immigrants are not born equal…you can not condemn the entire immigrant population because some might have refused to learn or were not able to learn the language. But I doubt that anyone that immigrates to another country with the intention of working will ever refuse to learn the language.

    -Immigrants appear to be biggest racists in Finland.

    We have to make a distinction between resentment and racism. Most minorities have made humongous efforts to learn the language, accustom themselves to the culture, getting a Finnish qualification and what not. But what they get in return is social exclusion, institutional racism, never ending unemployment and system dependency.

    Therefore, they resent the people that have reduced their value. The resentment has nothing to do with the cultural difference or the color of one’s skin.

    Indeed, there are cultural differences, but we have much more in common – we all have the need to contribute, self actualize and also affiliate. But these dreams or needs don’t get realized if one is socially excluded and undermined every step of the way.

    Cheers,

    • Enrique permalink
      December 6, 2008 7:14 am

      Linda, I think you bring some very good questions into discussion. Some people exaggerate differences
      in order to strengthen their their identity. What would happen to these people if culture was
      only a tool help us function effectively in society and we would be able to travel in many cultures; that is, be
      “seasoned cultural travelers?” What about if we used our culture to show that diversity is beautiful since
      people, like cultures,have imagination and do things differently?

  257. alien permalink
    December 6, 2008 11:05 am

    Thank you Linda:
    Your comments were comprehensive, intellectual though simple to understand, and it seemed to me very professional. You put it in a really good way.

    Yes Indeed the differences among the majority of Finns and majority of the immigrants is really minor and negligible. But the system somehow tries to make it a big an unresolvable issue. This view is indicated in the words of people like Tiwaz and the system in Finland works based on that. Other than that, if the system would not support hiddenly and cowardly such a view, the attitude of a minor percentage of Finns against foreigners would be absolutely tolerable.

    For example my case: I am labeled a threat against Finland’s security by SUPO. Alpo Rossi(politician) was also accused by SUPO of some espionage . But Alpo Rossi was discharged because there was not enough evidence against him. Me; I was condemned without SUPO needs to present one simple evidence!!!!

    This is what is so scary about this country. They step on their fundamental rules and laws when the subject is a foreigner. And no body asks why our Constitution should be slaved like this.

    Hey Tiwaz; this is why your grandfather fought side by side with Nazis and once you were defeated you turn backed your guns against them. So if you are really concerned about culture, you should ask yourself what makes you so principle less that you fight one day against some one and the other for them.

    Integrity is an important part of a culture. Yes the problem is cultural. But the reason is not that we dance Flamingo at work and you don’t. The problem is lack of identity, and integrity that you suffer. The problem is lack of courage and guts. Your honesty is based on fear, and not realizing the importance of honesty.

    I have never had any complain from my Finnish colleges that I have done some thing unusual at work. Neither any thing like that about any other foreigners. In fact most of them were amazed how prestigious and gentleman most of us(foreigners) are.

    Our differences are indeed minor. The human beings values are getting closer and closer every day passed on.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 6, 2008 12:44 pm

      Yes, Alien, I agree. Linda made a very clear point. I could not have said it better. But you interesting comment brings and interesting question. I believe that humans and cultures are closer related to each other than they think. They have been separated especially in the last century by border, laws and education. The aim of these matters has been to stress how different as opposed to how simliar we may be. That, I think, is an important point.

  258. Tiwaz permalink
    December 6, 2008 2:17 pm

    -Hey Tiwaz; this is why your grandfather fought side by side with Nazis and once you were defeated you turn backed your guns against them. So if you are really concerned about culture, you should ask yourself what makes you so principle less that you fight one day against some one and the other for them.

    Answer to this imbecile is simple. We our priorities are…
    1) Finland 2) Finland 3) Finland and so forth. Rest of the world comes somewhere around rank number 5432.

    Germans were useful against Soviets, when they became more problem than asset they were dumped. We do not commit suicide because it would be convenient for some foreign fop.

    -Yes, you are right. You are such an enlightened “cultured” person. But look around you, things have changed. It is time to wake up and bring youself up to date.

    Stop trying to avoid the issue. Give us thorough, complete analysis on your culture as bulleting points!

    -Yes, I have noticed that people from different social backgrounds, different towns, even siblings from the same family perform the same task in their own individual ways also.

    For your information, large companies have an organization culture that clearly describes business policy, manner of communication, etc…Therefore; it is hard to believe that immigrants simply ignore the conditions.

    Business policy and all that crap do not include method of interaction. That is essentially left to indivisuals themselves. And there is another thing you have not figured out…

    MOST COMPANIES ARE NOT LARGE! Huge majority of companies, and employers, are small to mid range. Those are organisations where you have to fit in the existing community. I work in engineering office in mid-small range. Having some foreign fop around disrupting things and requiring everything to be done twice because he/she could not understand Finnish would be unnecessary trouble.

    -I believe in Hoffsteds theory of culture, that “Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.” I have also accepted the notion that it is socially transmitted and can be relearned. I believe we have been conditioned to think in a certain way, do things in a certain manner etc…but I don’t let my cultural conditioning influence my perceptions of others – I know that it is not the absolute truth.

    Unlike you, I don’t believe that total assimilation into the prevailing culture should be a prerequisite to be accepted; instead, all communities learn to co-exist, respect each other, and be critical of one-self and open. None of us posses a cultural high ground – we can learn from each other.

    And I believe that Gulf of Finland should have oil. And that everyone should get along. And that nobody should break the laws.

    What do those and your belief have in common? Exactly, they are all noble, idealisti and totally idiotic wishes which have no ground in REALITY. Yes, reality, that bitchy thing that determines what is, instead of what you wish there was.

    Co-existense in harmony and respect is nice dream, but it is impossible achievement. Attempts for that result in divided society which turns against itself. Not in happy utopia of perfectness.

    Again, Rwanda, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Somalia, USA, Paris riots, UK white flight, Mumbai attacks and so forth and so forth.

    -All immigrants are not born equal…you can not condemn the entire immigrant population because some might have refused to learn or were not able to learn the language. But I doubt that anyone that immigrates to another country with the intention of working will ever refuse to learn the language.

    Yes, I can condemn parts which refuse to put their own countrymen in check. Every time immigrants commit crime, their own community tends to clam up and tries to protect their criminal elements. It is division which causes problems.

    And do you know how many immigrants start their life in Finland saying “How I get job without speaking Finnish”? When they are told that their odds are around level of snowball in hell they get all huffed up and complain racism. Why do you immigrants presume you are entitled to work without local language? And if it takes 4-5 years for you to learn… Tough luck, your problem.

    Because Finnish clients do not want service in foreign languages, so employers do not hire no-speak people. Since they are liability.

    -We have to make a distinction between resentment and racism. Most minorities have made humongous efforts to learn the language, accustom themselves to the culture, getting a Finnish qualification and what not. But what they get in return is social exclusion, institutional racism, never ending unemployment and system dependency.

    Therefore, they resent the people that have reduced their value. The resentment has nothing to do with the cultural difference or the color of one’s skin.

    Indeed, there are cultural differences, but we have much more in common – we all have the need to contribute, self actualize and also affiliate. But these dreams or needs don’t get realized if one is socially excluded and undermined every step of the way.

    And this leads us again to point of them not grasping the culture they moved into.

    Finns value privacy. We exclude one another. Our preference is towards small, tight groups of friends. We do not embrace the world, we prefer to have friends who are worthy to be called such, and rest are ignored.

  259. Calculator Man permalink
    December 7, 2008 7:53 am

    I think it is not worth to discuss with Tiwaz… he lives somewhere behind the moon. You should maybe go traveling or live in another country for a while to wake up.

    Ever looked at the economic growth forecast for Finland and Australia for next year? Finland has +0.5 % while Australia has 2.0 %

    • Enrique permalink
      December 7, 2008 8:40 am

      Why should I go an live in another country if I had just done that? One of the last things I want to do in this blog is censor people. Tiwaz’ comments show one very narrow side of Finland.

      • Enrique permalink
        December 7, 2008 8:43 am

        I think many Finnish companies understand what you are saying. In the 1980s, when Finnish companies started to expand big way outside their borders, it was pretty funny to note that they spoke of being “international” with few foreign workers. Neste was one of these. They had close to no foreign workers/engineers working in Finland. It was also a policy by them not to hire foreigners.

  260. Calculator Man permalink
    December 7, 2008 8:06 am

    I was also wondering, how do you want to sell your products to other countries if you are not able to work with foreigners?

    As far as I know in Nokia they communicate in English within their company.

    Many companies here in Finland have their HQ in another country…so they are only Sales Offices and only require Finnish speaking people as they just want to sell their stuff.

    So what is the Solution: Finnish companies should expand their business activities to other countries. However, this requires to get in contact with foreigners in order to get cash.

  261. Tiwaz permalink
    December 7, 2008 10:37 am

    You know, calculator, issue is not that Finns cannot respect foreign cultural norms. We can, very well actually. That is what we use when we sell our stuff abroad, we try to sell it in way that makes customer want to buy. (in which also our cultural tradition of striving for straight and clear answers instead of useless dribble works for us. Businessmen globally do not appriciate wasting their time on irrelevant crap)

    Problem are you foreigners in Finland who refuse to accept that in Finland you have to sell yourself to Finns in way that makes Finns want to “buy” you.

    If person trying to get a job cannot speak Finnish or interact with Finns without problems. What kind of imbecile of an employer would take them in? Nobody! It is not racism of employer or Finland or Finns, but racism of immigrants to refuse to learn how to do things in Finland the Finnish way.

    And as said, Nokia is very small employer. Small to mid range companies hire huge majority of workers. And they do not have need to switch to english speaking office.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 7, 2008 10:54 am

      Why do you think that when foreigners come to live, work and pay taxes in Finland, they are totally uncooperative? That they do not make any effort to understand Finnish culture, language and ways? I think many do. Some, unfortunately, get fed up and frustrated.

  262. Calculator Man permalink
    December 7, 2008 7:03 pm

    My Finnish Girlfriend has no problem with me as a Foreigner. And I know so many other Foreigners who have a girlfriend/boyfriend here…but I think we have to distinguish between a Finn who knows the world and a Finn who only knows the trees in front of his house and lives still in the 60s!

    You guys have to learn how to live with foreigners otherwise you will get a problem here….did you know that by 2025 every 4th person will have a foreign background in Finland? What are they all going to do here? If you don’t want to pay taxes for them you have to give them work 🙂

    I also heared that it is cool to have a foreigner as a boy/girlfriend in Helsinki…there were some girls in the city last time who said that they are British but in fact were Finns.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 7, 2008 7:33 pm

      You pose a good comment Calculator Man: “You guys have to learn how to live with foreigners otherwise you will get a problem here….did you know that by 2025 every 4th person will have a foreign background in Finland? What are they all going to do here?”

      Why is it such a difficult thing for some to understand?

  263. Calculator Man permalink
    December 7, 2008 7:06 pm

    Sorry, ment every 4th person in Helsinki 🙂

    However, I also want to say that I personally try to learn the Finnish language because I respect the culture of others but I think it will still take a few years…

    • Enrique permalink
      December 7, 2008 7:18 pm

      Hi Calculator Man, I think that the majority of the foreigners that move to Finland, make an effort to learn the language and culture. For some, this may be easier said than done.

  264. Spam and destroy from Finnish critic of multiculturalism web page permalink
    December 7, 2008 7:24 pm

    from the guestbook of halla-aho.com/scripta:

    Nimi : Järkevä Alkoholisti
    http://www.halla-aho.com/scripta

    Viesti : “Arvon netsit! Jos ylimääräistä viitseiliäisyyttä löytyy, käykääpä vihaisesti spametdestroyaamassa http://nemoo.wordpress.com/2007/06/07/are-you-a-racist-in-finland/ keskustelu.”

    No joo, jos tuolla keskustelu on täysin idioottimaista niin sitten ihan OK-ehdotus, mutta jos kyseessä on asiallinen keskustelu, niin käyttäydytään ainakin me järkevästi eikä alennuta näiden monikulttuuri-idioottien tasolle. En siis lukenut tuota juttua, mietin vaan että mitä vähemmän aletaan sontaa heittelemään, sitä parempi on oma julkisuuskuvamme.

    7. joulukuuta 2008 19:06:52″

  265. Tiwaz permalink
    December 8, 2008 5:01 am

    -“My Finnish Girlfriend has no problem with me as a Foreigner. And I know so many other Foreigners who have a girlfriend/boyfriend here…but I think we have to distinguish between a Finn who knows the world and a Finn who only knows the trees in front of his house and lives still in the 60s!

    You guys have to learn how to live with foreigners otherwise you will get a problem here….did you know that by 2025 every 4th person will have a foreign background in Finland? What are they all going to do here? If you don’t want to pay taxes for them you have to give them work 🙂

    I also heared that it is cool to have a foreigner as a boy/girlfriend in Helsinki…there were some girls in the city last time who said that they are British but in fact were Finns.”

    Yes, I know this youth movement of “all foreign is cool”. It happens everywhere.
    And minor detail that your importing girlfriend finds you nice is not proof of anything.

    I used to date foreign girl in my earlier youth. Nice girl and all that. Nothing in that. But it does not change fact that permitting or encouraging foreigners to stick to their foreign ways or encouraging them not to put more effort and work to learning to live in Finland according to Finnish principles is unacceptable. It will result in divided society which in turn means conflict.

    Only method to avoid this conflict is to ensure there is no division, that means that foreigners have to learn to let go of their previous assumptions, preconceptions and ways. And learn to do stuff the Finnish way.

    I do not know what those assumed 25% of HKI population are going to do here either. If they cannot communicate and act properly with 75% of HKI population, and over 90% of population of Finland.

    They are useless. Odds of this taking place are minimal anyway. Increase of foreigners will very soon cap in HKI area.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 8, 2008 7:15 am

      –Yes, I know this youth movement of “all foreign is cool”. It happens everywhere.
      And minor detail that your importing girlfriend finds you nice is not proof of anything.

      It is not that being foreigner or Finnish cool, but that these two things ARE cool.

  266. Tiwaz permalink
    December 8, 2008 5:37 am

    Now, let’s get back to Linda and her point that huge companies have company culture which is enforced globally!

    CORRECT! There is ONE set of cultural rules in company, it is MONOcultural. It overrides all, or tries to since there still are issues making people of certain cultures understand concept of time as exact, local cultures.

    Why? If Multiculturalism is so superior way of handling things… Why there is one set of rules enforced in corporations which naturally seek most efficient way to do things?

    Or point calculator made that salespersons in Finland are… Finns! Could this have something to do with fact that foreigners do not know how to sell things to Finns? Despite cultural differences being just illusions… Of course not!

    So, Enrique. To help us debate, I have here list of questions to which I expect you to answer. It will help us debate as you have to point out what you base your claims on.

    1) Do you admit that every conflict is built around some kind of dividing line? Be it cultural, ethnic, religious or ideological. As we see with history.

    If not, explain WHAT exactly conflicts build around of if not divisions? And how you logically come to that conclusion?

    2) Do you admit that multiculturalism is all about dividing people into separate groups? Each with their own ways and values which they follow no matter where they move to.

    3)If no, explain why that is exactly what takes place everywhere where multiculturalism is attempted. People bunch up with people like themselves. I live near area of Hervanta in TRE. I see every time I go visit Hervanta center that people stick to their own kind. Muslim women walking with muslim women. Men of immigrant origin bunching up with their own kind. Chinese people walking with chinese.
    Only exceptions being student groups where there is usually one token Finn for interpretation.

    Explain why this is logically illusion and in reality they are happily mixed bunch. And how you came to that logical conclusion.

    4) If multicultural approach is more efficient than monocultural, why corporations instead of letting all cultures get along peacefully like they, in your theory, would… Enforce single corporation culture in whole corporation?

    Explain logic on why these corporations, which have high interest on most efficient system possible, choose monocultural approach over multicultural.

    5) Explain why people of certain cultural background are way overrepresented in rape statistics if there is no cultural conflict. Because they are anything up to 10 times overrepresented in rape statistics. While there are other, even larger, immigrant groups who share same problems but not same culture and who do NOT have such overrepresentation on rape statistics.

    Explain why this is not due to cultural conflict and what is your logic behind that conclusion. (hint, poverty, Finnish racism and all that do not cut the mustard as Russians etc will have same issues without same result)

    I WILL keep bombing you with these questions, and will add more of them as time goes by and I have time to formulate them, until you answer them thoroughly.

    Or admit that multiculturalism is failure.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 8, 2008 7:44 am

      1) Do you admit that every conflict is built around some kind of dividing line? Be it cultural, ethnic, religious or ideological. As we see with history.

      The dividing line you talk about are in between people’s ears. The bottom line of these conflicts is when one group imposes its will and ways on another.

      2) Do you admit that multiculturalism is all about dividing people into separate groups? Each with their own ways and values which they follow no matter where they move to.

      This is what it aims to do THEORETICALLY but it does not happen in practice. It is incorrect to think that when people from very diverse cultures come to a country in Finland just lock themselves up in a cultural compartment and stay there. Since they live in a new country, they change as do the people who deal with them. It is a sort of dynamic process of give and take. Some are more able to adapt to the host culture faster than others. Some, can live in both cultures. It is like traveling form one country to the other. I do it all the time.

      3) Explain why this is logically illusion and in reality they are happily mixed bunch. And how you came to that logical conclusion.

      Instead of forcing and destroying people’s identity, why not try to do it another way: accept diversity; learn to live and respect each other. Isn’t that the way how people become good friends and share friendship?

      4) If multicultural approach is more efficient than monocultural, why corporations instead of letting all cultures get along peacefully like they, in your theory, would… Enforce single corporation culture in whole corporation?

      These companies work in a corporate culture. They focus on how to minimize cultural problems in order to maximize profits. Corporate culture is nothing more than a universal sort of culture. Most of the managers have studied at universities, lived abroad so cultural differences are not an issue. When I worked in Colombia as bureau chief for a US news agency, the managers were people who had studied in universities such as the London School of Economics, Yale, Harvard etc…

      5) Explain why people of certain cultural background are way overrepresented in rape statistics if there is no cultural conflict. Because they are anything up to 10 times overrepresented in rape statistics. While there are other, even larger, immigrant groups who share same problems but not same culture and who do NOT have such overrepresentation on rape statistics.

      Because there IS a problem. However, we cannot generalize. What would I teach such people? I’d tell them that since women have been emancipated in many respects (salaries are still lower than what men make) the worst insult you can commit to a member of the opposite sex is to rape or take away her rights. It is a big cultural NO-NO as well as being a serious crime.

      You can bomb me as many times you wish.

  267. Tiwaz permalink
    December 8, 2008 7:26 am

    Now, Enrique. Start answering my questions.

    You want debate, start providing some foundation for your claims on excellence of multiculturalism.

  268. Calculator Man permalink
    December 8, 2008 8:31 am

    Of course Foreigners can sell their stuff to Finns. Just go to Stockmann and have a look how many products are not from Finland.

    Do you drive a Finnish Car? How many Restaurants do you have in Helsinki were you can get Finnish Food.

    I am sorry, but your Finnish Culture is already influenced by Foreign Culture but it seems that you are not aware of this fact.

  269. Tiwaz permalink
    December 8, 2008 11:19 am

    1)The dividing line you talk about are in between people’s ears. The bottom line of these conflicts is when one group imposes its will and ways on another.

    So you do admit that divisions are reason for conflict?
    It does not matter where those divisions are, because as long as they exist they will be source of conflict.

    2)This is what it aims to do THEORETICALLY but it does not happen in practice. It is incorrect to think that when people from very diverse cultures come to a country in Finland just lock themselves up in a cultural compartment and stay there. Since they live in a new country, they change as do the people who deal with them. It is a sort of dynamic process of give and take. Some are more able to adapt to the host culture faster than others. Some, can live in both cultures. It is like traveling form one country to the other. I do it all the time.

    In practice it fails even worse. They segregate, separate and form division. This is seen everywhere in the world. Immigrants sticking to immigrants, clinging to their old ways and causing friction.

    3)Instead of forcing and destroying people’s identity, why not try to do it another way: accept diversity; learn to live and respect each other. Isn’t that the way how people become good friends and share friendship?

    Humm… Again, conflict? You see, people do not act like you say they should. They act like they do. History proves that people just do not become good friends and share friendship.

    You are again spewing your “if nobody committed crime, we would not need police”-dogma. I am not interested in what you WISH there was, I am interested in what there IS. Because one is your delusion, which is limited between your ears. And another is reality in which we live, and in which people divided culturally slaughter one another.

    5)These companies work in a corporate culture. They focus on how to minimize cultural problems in order to maximize profits. Corporate culture is nothing more than a universal sort of culture. Most of the managers have studied at universities, lived abroad so cultural differences are not an issue. When I worked in Colombia as bureau chief for a US news agency, the managers were people who had studied in universities such as the London School of Economics, Yale, Harvard etc…

    But if people are so happy and good friends with one another, why would there be need for corporate culture which minimizes cultural problems? After all, why would there be cultural problems if everyone was getting along fine and being friends and all that crap?

    You yourself here admit that there are cultural problems!

    5)Because there IS a problem. However, we cannot generalize. What would I teach such people? I’d tell them that since women have been emancipated in many respects (salaries are still lower than what men make) the worst insult you can commit to a member of the opposite sex is to rape or take away her rights. It is a big cultural NO-NO as well as being a serious crime.

    And it is CULTURAL problem. You are right now imposing in their CULTURE. You are telling them they cannot hold on to their own culture here in Finland. what happened to multiculturalism? Where is “Their way is just as good as Finnish way” idea?

    You are prescribing my solution to problems. Make sure everyone who immigrates understand and accept Finnish cultural norms as standard for behavior in Finland, and forget their existing preconceptions.

    Calculator, you are idiot.
    Do you know how those foreign origin items are sold? In Finnish way! Because trying to sell something without understanding Finnish language and culture is failure.
    But you are too thick to get it into your bonehead.

  270. Calculator Man permalink
    December 8, 2008 11:56 am

    Yes, for example there was this VW advertising…it is the same as in my home country. They just translated it for you so you can understand it. If it would be in a different language you would think it is crap.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that you buy this stuff from foreigners (at least Finnish Sales people buy it and sell it here again).

    If you would be a real patriot you should only buy Finnish products and support Finnish manufacturers AND you should only go to Finnish Restaurants because Foreign Restaurants help to minimize the revenues of the Finnish Restaurant because it takes customers away. You should also not travel to other countries because they would hate you in other countries because they made such bad experience here with you 🙂

    So, If I ever see you again in a Kebab or Italian Restaurant I will make a picture of you eating Kebab and post it here. Remember, you are a Finn! You should only eat Lapland Cheese and Reindeer meat!!! 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 8, 2008 12:25 pm

      Caluclator Man, you make a very good point. If we look at ourselves in Finnish or any modern society, we’d be surprised by how many “foreign” things make up our lives. I like your sense of humor!
      What is interesting to note is that if multiculturalism has “invaded” Finland in the past four decades, it has been with food. People did not know in the 1970s what was a pizza never mind kebab, and real American hamburgers.
      We should ask people such as Tiwaz what their daily diet comprises of.

  271. Calculator Man permalink
    December 8, 2008 12:50 pm

    well, what do you do if you can’t find a job and are forced to live here because you are e.g. married to a Finn, have children etc. …you open a Restaurant. Why do you think there are so many of them here in Helsinki 🙂 At least more than Finnish Restaurants.

  272. Tiwaz permalink
    December 9, 2008 6:56 am

    Imbecilator, you fail to grasp difference between using foreign made product and accepting foreign culture in Finland.

    If I sometimes eat pizza, it does not make me have any connection with italian culture.
    If I drive Toyota, it does not make me suddenly have japanese cultural values.

    I remain Finn culturally and totally. Issue here are not foreign products, but foreign cultures attempted to be imported to Finland and idiots trying to say that it is just fine to have them replace out native culture.

  273. Calculator Man permalink
    December 9, 2008 8:24 am

    yeah whatever, I don’t care anymore. It doesn’t matter what I say…you will always find something to say against it. Of course you have a connection to the Italian culture if you eat Pizza. Did you have Pizza here 100 years ago?

  274. Tiwaz permalink
    December 9, 2008 9:24 am

    Does eating pizza change my values, traditions or behavior?

    No.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 9, 2008 10:55 am

      It shows that a culture can change. People change. Apart from changing your eating habits, it changes your diet. This can have health consequences.

  275. Tiwaz permalink
    December 9, 2008 12:23 pm

    Pizza is not culture. Eating it does not change anything in my culture, my values, my traditions and so on. Pizza is just food.

    It has more cultural importance for italians, for Finn it is just food. And I never said culture does not change. But what you fail to grasp is that Finnish culture is changes to fit wants and needs of FINNS. That is, people who build their identity through it.

    Finns will not change culture to fit you foreigners. Perhaps something worthy from your culture is altered to fit ours. But we say what is worthy to be added, not you. Most of what you find worthy is pure shit from our point of view. As it fails to respect existing Finnish culture. And we do not tear it apart to accommodate some piece of your culture for which we see no use or value.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 9, 2008 1:22 pm

      It sure is important to Finns as well. If you are hungry, a pizza looks mighty fine.

      –But we say what is worthy to be added, not you. Most of what you find worthy is pure shit from our point of view.

      There you go, blowing your top again. I wonder what kind of relations you have with your friends never mind the opposite sex.

  276. Calculator Man permalink
    December 9, 2008 6:50 pm

    Tiwaz can’t just accept that the Finnish Culture has mixed up with the Italian Culture. Hmmm..what would the world do without the Italian Pizza Culture…you find it everywhere in the world.

    Ok, next example…Big Brother is originally from the Netherlands and it is not food…I think I have also seen it on TV with some Finns in it 🙂 Finnish TV Culture has changed as well…(and they are not introvert as they show themselves to everybody)

    Now he is going to tell me that those Finns are betrayer of the Finnish Culture and not real Finns 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 9, 2008 7:53 pm

      Hi Calculator Man, Tiwaz would not accept what you said. In a way he has become “famous” for his dubious ideas. I personally do not understand how a person can be so close-minded but he has a right to his opinions. Someone posed an interesting question: is Tiwaz one person posting with different names? This may be highly possible.

  277. Calculator Man permalink
    December 9, 2008 11:02 pm

    Honestly, I don’t care…I find it quite amusing to read this stuff. Didn’t know that such people still exist 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 10, 2008 10:07 am

      Yes, Calculator Man, it is tragi-comic. I feel sorry for such people because they really lose out on life. It is like seeing the world with binoculars: some know how to use it (see things closer) and others look at from the wrong side (see everything distant).

  278. Karri permalink
    December 10, 2008 1:35 am

    I can’t help but comment on the comparisons that some people draw in their comments between Finland and countries like Canada. I live in Toronto, Canada, myself, and while I greatly enjoy the great mix of people in Toronto and think that most Canadians in this city have a very healthy, sane idea on multiculturalism and just people, people of any color, ethnicity or background in general, there are loads of examples of blatant racism in Canada as well. Just do a quick Google search, search for info on how the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) treats the Natives in Saskatchewan, in Manitoba, find out about how in Alberta, Canada, the KKK has been officially recognized as a legal association by the provincial government, not just once, but twice in the past decades, or read about how the police in Toronto, too, is sometimes dubbed ‘racist’. I’ve seen what I think is blatant racism at the airport in Toronto, at the customs and immigration desks, numerous times.

    And while I know and very well recognize that there is racism in Finland, yes, and it needs to be destroyed, and I feel extremely sorry for the bad experiences some have experienced, I also know many foreigners, including my own wife, of all color and backgrounds who say they have quite enjoyed their lives in Finland and have found many Finns a bit quirky, yes, introverted and cold at first, but warm and welcoming at heart.

    So my point is this: there is racism in Finland and we all must help to get rid of it. And there are differences in the type and ‘amount’ of racism between different countries. But before you jump into generalizations and comparisons, keep in mind that there is racism elsewhere, probably everywhere, in the world too, and if you haven’t really lived in the other country that you’re comparing Finland to, I think you’re more likely to be wrong with your assumptions than right. I thought Canada was clean of most racism before I really got to know this country better.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 10, 2008 10:03 am

      Even though a social ill such as racism exists, it is a good matter that some countries are addressing this problem. Think what kind of a country Canada would be if it taught totally different values?

  279. Tiwaz permalink
    December 10, 2008 11:45 am

    “Tiwaz can’t just accept that the Finnish Culture has mixed up with the Italian Culture. Hmmm..what would the world do without the Italian Pizza Culture…you find it everywhere in the world.

    Ok, next example…Big Brother is originally from the Netherlands and it is not food…I think I have also seen it on TV with some Finns in it 🙂 Finnish TV Culture has changed as well…(and they are not introvert as they show themselves to everybody)

    Now he is going to tell me that those Finns are betrayer of the Finnish Culture and not real Finns 🙂 ”

    Imbecile, read the dictionary definition of culture and tell which part of Finnish values, traditions etc has changed with eating pizza?

    Nothing! It has not added anything to our culture. It is food idiot. Culture is not physical, you cannot bake it and eat it.

  280. Tiwaz permalink
    December 10, 2008 11:46 am

    As for BB people. They are attention whores found from every society. And most of their stupidity comes from them forgetting that they are always in camera.

  281. Calculator Man permalink
    December 10, 2008 12:59 pm

    Tiwaz: Believe whatever you want 🙂

  282. Tiwaz permalink
    December 10, 2008 1:03 pm

    I do not need to believe.
    Which part of Italian traditions or values come with which pizza slice? Will eating Quattro make me imitate windmill while talking like italians?

    Or perhaps it makes me talk nonstop?

    • Enrique permalink
      December 10, 2008 2:10 pm

      It’s rude to speak with your mouth full. Pizza has turned into a Finnish national food. Forty years ago they did not know what was a pizza in Finland. I think that it pretty interesting. But see how culture changes and incorporates new things?

  283. Calculator Man permalink
    December 10, 2008 1:11 pm

    Food is part of Culture 🙂

  284. Calculator Man permalink
    December 10, 2008 1:23 pm

    http://africa.eduprojects.net/culture/index.php?action%5B%5D=IArticleShow::showArticle(259)

  285. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 10, 2008 2:35 pm

    Cultures can do that like pizza and kebab, those arent offending parts of cultures. Well if Chinese would demand to dog in table that would be offending.
    Those what you represent are parts of other cultures we WILLINGLY take.
    Multiculturalism doesnt have anything to do with willing, its to force other values and if you dont take it youre racists…
    Eat dog. No. RACISTS!
    I can tell to whom my child marries. No. RACISTS!
    I can mutilate my child. No. RACISTS!
    Pleace dont camp in here. Im black so youre racists when you enforce rules same to all byhyy!!!

    There is big difference with normal living together and multiculturalism.

    Multiculturalism has nothing to do with peaceful living, it starts with assumption that every culture is equal what is lie.

    There is no equality in multicultarism.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 10, 2008 2:48 pm

      –Multiculturalism doesnt have anything to do with willing, its to force other values and if you dont take it youre racists…
      Eat dog. No. RACISTS! I can tell to whom my child marries. No. RACISTS!

      Intternetnetsi, I think you are exaggerating a bit. If you do not want to interact with certain people, that is your right. Nobody can force you to.

      –Multiculturalism has nothing to do with peaceful living, it starts with assumption that every culture is equal what is lie.

      Well, here is where the problem is. And, yes, when you consider your culture superior to others, they call that ethnocentrism (Sumner, 1906). Are you saying that there are more advanced and less-advanced cultures?

  286. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 10, 2008 3:19 pm

    -Well, here is where the problem is. And, yes, when you consider your culture superior to others, they call that ethnocentrism (Sumner, 1906). Are you saying that there are more advanced and less-advanced cultures?

    Yes there is, according to our culture woman is equal, we dont mutilate our childrens, we take care of people of need etc.
    I call that superior.

    There is of course parts of other cultures to learn but that doesnt mean all cultures are equal and that we should accept them as whole.

    Of course other culture can see that beating woman is ok and see our culture inferior but they can stay home.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 10, 2008 4:03 pm

      OK, that’s your opinion. That is a value judgment. I can also say subjectively that in Finnish culture people care very little for their elderly. Is that a yardstick to measure how superior or inferior Finnish culture is? Of course not.
      By the way, are you the guy that used to post as Onkko?

  287. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 10, 2008 3:23 pm

    -Intternetnetsi, I think you are exaggerating a bit. If you do not want to interact with certain people, that is your right. Nobody can force you to.

    That becomes problem when multiculturalist manage to get law on those. Like they have in USA and Canada, There is apartheid going on.

    There is no problem with me interacting with friends taiwanese wife or others russian wife or my cousins indian husband. They aren yelling and demanding just living.
    Or few others foreigners i know.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 10, 2008 4:05 pm

      “Apartheid” is a pretty strong word to use to describe ethnic and cultural diversity in Canada and the US. You probably have little idea what was apartheid in South Africa.

  288. elGreco permalink
    December 10, 2008 3:35 pm

    Statistics from Statistics Finland: from 2004
    108346 total amount of foreigners.
    Total amount from the Former Soviet Union, Estonia and Sweden:46.813
    And I think most of those who come from the first 2 places have Finnish ancestors and in the case of Sweden most are Fins who got the Swedish citizenship and are returning to Finland.
    Now about Multicultural: The world is already Multicultural or how else could food like Pizza and kebab being explained? Add to this rock music blues classic music etc. All those did not origin from Finland.
    The fact is that cultures are national and international as well.
    Tomatoes come from the Americas and carrots from Italy etc.
    The concept of democracy, philosophy and the Olympic games from Greece.
    Try to have a intelligent conversation in Finnish for 10 minutes without using ONE single foreign word.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 10, 2008 4:07 pm

      You make a very good point, elGreco. We are already part of a big international/multicultural family. Some have a harder time grasping that than others.

  289. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 11, 2008 1:25 am

    -“Apartheid” is a pretty strong word to use to describe ethnic and cultural diversity in Canada and the US. You probably have little idea what was apartheid in South Africa.

    Yes thats strong word but principles are same, there are people who are more equal because of their colour. And there is genocide going out in south africa. i do know what happened and is happening in there.

    And about elderly? Tell me about it. Tell it to my relatives who painted our grandparents home for them or relatives who managed to ride for shop when they needed. And those includes me when i lived in same city, now it would be 800km from her and i still se her atleast once in year.
    If granmother called to me and asked to come now i wouldnt hesitate to lift.
    Tell it to me who drove 30km just for let grandparents in shop. Not caring?

    Tell that to my home where we had fathers mother living with us as long as possible.

    Tell that to my friend who is “transferring” his mother to near where he lives, she has alzheimer.

    That is part where we can learn from other cultures or keep our old culture what had that but again thats our choise like we take parts of other cultures all time by choise and due to moving its sometimes impossible.

    Thats not bad part culture and no one probably has nothing against of caring elders.
    Thing is that in culture there can be bad things and we have to have right to oppose those without being branded as racistst like you did to Halla-aho without even reading/understanding his texts.

    And yes im Onkko, i decided to change my nick to point what i think current things.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 11, 2008 8:57 am

      –Yes thats strong word but principles are same, there are people who are more equal because of their colour. And there is genocide going out in south africa. i do know what happened and is happening in there.

      So do you think that apartheid would resolve South Africa’s social problems?

      About the elderly. I am happy that you respect and help your parents and grandparents. My point here is that many of our interpretations are based on our culture. For some Finns it is ok to send elderly people to homes for senior citizens and that they have a very small role in this society. My point is that elderly people should play a more important role. That is my opinion and I am not telling you what is bad or good.

      Greetings Onkko.

  290. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 11, 2008 2:19 am

    And about “our racism”, we have poland jude in eduskunta (he is married with tatar), swede in eduskunta, half black as miss finland with weird name, cheered boxer with weird name and background, man with russian name as head of military intelligence etc…

    They are all finnish, just not ordinary finnish.

    Point is most of us dont give a shit about where youre from, its your problem to live according our rules and make something out of it.

    Be finnish and youre accepted regardless of your name or colour.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 11, 2008 8:51 am

      –Point is most of us dont give a shit about where youre from, its your problem to live according our rules and make something out of it.

      I hope this was true. That is the way it should be. Everyone is entitled to privacy. More people will accept diverse people as we move into the future. I think many foreigners make an effort to learn the language and be part of the culture. Don’t you think so? If you run a business, what better integrator than that? You have to adapt to the needs of your clients/customers and offer a service they like.

  291. Tiwaz permalink
    December 11, 2008 5:10 am

    -Well, here is where the problem is. And, yes, when you consider your culture superior to others, they call that ethnocentrism (Sumner, 1906). Are you saying that there are more advanced and less-advanced cultures?

    Well, YES! There are superior cultures in this world. EVERY culture is superior in their native land.

    And this is Finland, native culture is FINNISH. You foreigners have no place telling us natives how our society should be built, how we should live and what our traditions should be.

    Respect our culture, do not try to import your culture to replace ours. Do not presume that we are so stupid we do not know what smiling is. Accept that our values are different, accept that our values are values of this country.

    And then learn not to try to push your foreign ways to us. Stop whining about racism when you are clearly at huge handicap because you refuse to learn Finnish language and culture.

    Finnish culture is one of the most liberal there are. It is founded on privacy and respect of privacy for others. But it is also founded on strong community. Solo people died out in harsh conditions.

    When in Finland, act and speak Finnish. If you can’t, leave. Do not presume to come here to tell us how to live in OUR country.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 11, 2008 8:47 am

      –Respect our culture, do not try to import your culture to replace ours. Do not presume that we are so stupid we do not know what smiling is. Accept that our values are different, accept that our values are values of this country.

      You should point the finger at the Finns. They are the “culprits” taking and adapting pieces of other cultures.

      –And then learn not to try to push your foreign ways to us. Stop whining about racism when you are clearly at huge handicap because you refuse to learn Finnish language and culture.

      Handicap? Isn’t your antiquated way of seeing the world a handicap to this country and society?

      –When in Finland, act and speak Finnish. If you can’t, leave. Do not presume to come here to tell us how to live in OUR country.

      Here, I will throw some water on you to smother your flames. Feel better?

  292. Tiwaz permalink
    December 11, 2008 9:01 am

    -“I hope this was true. That is the way it should be. Everyone is entitled to privacy. More people will accept diverse people as we move into the future. I think many foreigners make an effort to learn the language and be part of the culture. Don’t you think so? If you run a business, what better integrator than that? You have to adapt to the needs of your clients/customers and offer a service they like.”

    Business is there to make PROFIT, not act as shelter job for incompetent immigrants. If immigrant cannot do the job in a way which is profitable for company (give service in a way which Finnish customer expects to get) why the hell should they be employed?

    Learn to do and speak things in Finnish cultural context/language and your chances of employment go through the roof. Namely, INTEGRATE to society around you, do not expect it to integrate to you losers.

    -“Handicap? Isn’t your antiquated way of seeing the world a handicap to this country and society?”

    Nope. It is handicap if you cannot communicate with your client. Or do you perhaps think that customer coming should somehow try to learn your language and do business in way they do not prefer just so your incompetent ego is not bruised?

    -“You should point the finger at the Finns. They are the “culprits” taking and adapting pieces of other cultures. ”

    Listen idiot, I have told this to you many times but apparently all you can grasp is “multiculturalismmulticulturalismmulticulturalismmulticulturalismmulticulturalismmulticulturalism”

    I have never said that Finnish culture is static, it changes. It adapts. It even takes pieces from other cultures, CHANGES those pieces to fit larger whole of Finnish culture and then ASSIMILATES them into Finnish culture (nothing significant is taken as it is, Finnish pizza is totally different from what you get in Italy for example).

    But all this takes place by FINNISH desires. Like this chico or something who thinks he has to teach Finns to smile. It has never occurred to his little mind that Finns just have values which find his behavior to be bad. He just wants to educate us barbarians to act like his fellow mexicans.

    He does not respect our culture. He didn’t even bother learning WHY Finns do not smile as much as mexicans.

    And then there is you, idiot. You want to import whole pieces of foreign culture, push away Finnish culture and call it progress. You want to make every culture “equal”, create “multicultural heaven”. You are oblivious to fact that despite all the attempts to create your heaven, it has never worked! All it causes is conflict and problems.

    We Finns have “right” to change our culture, you foreigners have no right to try to force your culture on us. So stop doing it. Learn to respect Finnish culture, learn to act in Finnish culture according to Finnish norms. Stop being pathetic losers screaming racism every time your arrogance and ignorance bites you in the ass.

  293. Calculator Man permalink
    December 11, 2008 11:52 am

    Is this also part of the Finnish Culture to call others Idiots and Losers? 🙂 You have a really weak personality 🙂

  294. Tiwaz permalink
    December 11, 2008 11:59 am

    No, you guys are just stupid losers.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 11, 2008 12:06 pm

      In one sentence you blow yourself and your arguments into the dustbin. Thank you for revealing your persona.

  295. Calculator Man permalink
    December 11, 2008 12:11 pm

    It is not worth talking with Tiwaz. The Finns I know do not behave like him.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 11, 2008 12:21 pm

      Yes, you are right.

  296. Tiwaz permalink
    December 11, 2008 12:26 pm

    The Finns who you know are too polite to tell you flat out to your face that you are arrogant little ass who needs to be smacked around the ears.

    Because that you are kid.

    You think you are entitled to walk to other countries and start to criticize them, whine how racist they are and how they have to respect you. But refuse to respect locals, their culture and language.

    So, you are stupid.

    And you fail to argue arguments, instead trying to avoid the issue. Enrique specially does his best not to touch the actual issues with 10 feet pole, just making his pathetic attempts to label Finns as racists and me as nazi.

    So you are losers.

    Together, you are stupid losers.

  297. Tiwaz permalink
    December 11, 2008 12:28 pm

    Tell me, is it racism if you do not get a job because you cannot speak or behave properly and your possible certificates are not recognized in Finland?

    Do you honestly think that Finn, if they managed to have as little credentials, would get a job?

    Answer to that racist losers.

    By the way, Enrique, I notice that you have failed to respond to my message in “Foreigners in Finland: Integration or conversation? ” as an example. Ran out of ways to try to avoid the issue so you just hope you can silence the truth to death?

  298. Calculator Man permalink
    December 11, 2008 1:12 pm

    Tiwaz: Well, I have a job here in Finland without knowing any Finnish. But fortunately my Boss, who is a Finn, has not your mentality. So again…you are actually the “stupid loser” because you can’t get along with other nationalities but there are also others who can.

    I was wondering if Tiwaz would also behave like a Baby if he would be exposed to a different environment…I guess he would be really quite and polite 🙂 Now he will tell us: That’s the reason why I stay at home and never go to another country 🙂

    When are you planning to eat Pizza again? 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 11, 2008 3:39 pm

      I wonder what his employer would say if we exposed what his comments in this blog.

  299. Calculator Man permalink
    December 11, 2008 1:25 pm

    Tiwaz: Do you think your Finnish Certificates are somehow better? If you have a certificate then I don’t think so 🙂

    I think Tiwaz can’t get along with Foreigners because he can’t believe that Pizza comes from Italy and not from Finland 🙂

  300. Calculator Man permalink
    December 11, 2008 3:50 pm

    Maybe he has no employer 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 11, 2008 4:06 pm

      Or, maybe he IS the employer!

  301. Calculator Man permalink
    December 11, 2008 4:16 pm

    Could also be. I don’t care…he has a personal problem 🙂

  302. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 11, 2008 6:45 pm

    -Tiwaz: Do you think your Finnish Certificates are somehow better? If you have a certificate then I don’t think so 🙂

    In Finland Finnish certificate is way better than Nowherestan certificate.

    -Tiwaz: Well, I have a job here in Finland without knowing any Finnish.

    Who said thats impossible? you have niche job where your skills are needed and your skills override need of finnish.
    And youre probably from europe/usa/canada/australia where values are quite close to our values. Not like my friend employee who refused to work when he had woman as boss and yelled racism when he was fired.

  303. Calculator Man permalink
    December 11, 2008 7:55 pm

    Don’t know which foreigners you know…at least those foreigners who I know come from civilized countries within the EU and have problems finding a Job here.

    I also know a foreigner who has 2 Master Degrees from Finland and is still not able to get a job here but I also know one guy who has no degree at all and works here in programming.

    I think you just need to be lucky and find the right employer…guess that’s the same in other countries.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 12, 2008 6:10 am

      I believe, Calculator Man, it has a lot to do with luck as you said. Resourcefulness is also another important factor. However, I think too many Finnish employers fail to grasp what is a foreigner and how both could benefit from a professional relationship. In sum, too many don’t have a clue about the whole matter.

  304. Tiwaz permalink
    December 12, 2008 4:49 am

    And being lucky is aided by learning to speak and behave according to local norms.

    You might get lucky and get a job like you did imbecilator, but then again… Large portion of immigrants who fail to grasp that do not.

    Does this 2 masters degree guy have any skills in interacting in Finnish society? And is he master of some useless humanist crap, which simply has excess of Finns competing for every job?

    • Enrique permalink
      December 12, 2008 6:08 am

      The problem with your arguments is that you believe that ALL foreigners are a bunch of lazy bums. As I told you, we live in a democratic country and region where people have the right to make CHOICES. They makes choices and take responsibility for them. However, you use the present arguments and descriptions of other people who are not like you to justify your extreme bipolar world.

  305. Tiwaz permalink
    December 12, 2008 4:58 am

    -I was wondering if Tiwaz would also behave like a Baby if he would be exposed to a different environment…I guess he would be really quite and polite 🙂 Now he will tell us: That’s the reason why I stay at home and never go to another country 🙂

    When I visit foreign countries, I respect their culture and tradition Imbecilator.

    It is basic politeness which you and Enrique appear to be incapable of grasping. You demand appeasement from us natives, instead of respecting our culture.

    And don’t give me that bullshit about “two way road”. That is just pathetic excuse to demand appeasement.

    “Two way road” is just way of getting guy whos culture tells him to take a dump at my livingroom carpet to take a dump in the toilet, as room not as object, and then demand me to accept that.

    No way.

    Immigrant integrates, society they immigrates to does not come halfway there because you are too stupid or lazy to change.

    You came here, you were not dragged in against your will. So shut up about your two way road and start accepting that in Finland, the Finnish way is the supreme way.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 12, 2008 6:00 am

      –It is basic politeness which you and Enrique appear to be incapable of grasping. You demand appeasement from us natives, instead of respecting our culture.

      Yes, right. You “respect” other people’s culture. Your comments show that.

      –“Two way road” is just way of getting guy whos culture tells him to take a dump at my livingroom carpet to take a dump in the toilet, as room not as object, and then demand me to accept that.

      Your comparisons are getting weirder by the day. You should get an award for furthering the cause of cultural understanding among people. What about if I nominate you as president of the Advancement of Multiculturalism in Finland?

      –You came here, you were not dragged in against your will. So shut up about your two way road and start accepting that in Finland, the Finnish way is the supreme way.

      Do you know the law and rights of other in Finland? It appears that you are very much in the dark about it.

  306. Calculator Man permalink
    December 12, 2008 9:02 am

    Tiwaz, this guy with 2 Master Degree can also speak Finnish. Was wondering if you have you ever been to another country? Ibiza, Mallorca, Stockholm..I guess? 🙂

  307. alien permalink
    December 12, 2008 12:27 pm

    Attention:

    To me most of the Finns are like normal people. They try to come along and realize how the world is attached and how the people are depending in each other. So most of the Finns are dealing with their fears and concerns and lack of confidence in correct way. SO please dont Take Tiwaz so seriously. He needs help. He needs professional help.

    Guys, please try to understand Tiwaz. We should help him and encourage him. Tiwaz might be suffering from some childhood drama. Every thing could be possible. He could be taken advantage by a dark skin man when he has been a child. A foreigner could have stolen his GF. He could have been raised in an environment with full of hatred against foreigners. Maybe too much alcohol has made him impotent and that is a source of great complex. All this could make a man unstable and make him not to think straight.

    Tiwaz if you have to hate us, do so. No problem my friend. but please take your medicine and keep consulting with professionals. That is all I can recommend. Don’t take part in serious discussions. It might be a bit heavy for you. And dont try to convince us that we are stupid. We already know that a bit of that is true, otherwise we would never show up in Finland.

    All I am saying is that try to understand Tiwaz by putting yourself in his place. In his superior culture you should see your folks 2-3 times a year (Privacy rule!). Your children do not say hello and treat you as if you don’t exist (This makes you remarkably distinguished from the cultures in Middle east or south of Europe). Your GF leave you if he gets a better BF (Emotion is a sign of immaturity). You are eating magnificent Makaroni laatikko (quite portable). if lucky the red dishes for Christmas (compulsory privilege). You can add to that the pleasant weather of Finland and sun shines 3 hours a day which gives you extra superiority to vampires.

    Does not all this make us a Tiwaz 😀

    • Enrique permalink
      December 12, 2008 1:10 pm

      Hi Alien, thank you for those inspiring and compassionate words. As you have noticed, Tiwaz has had the right to state his case. But if debate turns into a mud fight, what purpose does it serve?

  308. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 12, 2008 10:48 pm

    -hose foreigners who I know come from civilized countries within the EU and have problems finding a Job here.

    Well i know plenty of finnish people with degrees who have difficulties to find job, add there unability to speak good finnish then you have more problems.

    Obviously you dont know dark side of multiculturalism, you see only english carpenter, german engineer etc and dont see other side.
    I see both sides, i happen to have friends and relatives in police, healthcare, teacher, security and in other professions where they see reality of living.

    I dont mind if someone who is willing to adapt and work in finland, keep your thanksgiving and other parties, keep your food and parts of culture what doesnt insult our culture.

    But dont come to us telling were racists when your culture insults ours or use yelling racism as way to get what you want.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 12, 2008 11:11 pm

      Some part of your comment is sensible but then you go into a sort of cruise-drive mode and start saying “yelling” racist that racist this. It isn’t that simple and it is a problem in all cultures. But if you are a target of racism, you have all the right of the law to denounce it. It is as simple as that.
      It is clear that Finland was and will become more of a multicultural/multiethnical society. That nobody can stop — not you nor me. Are you guys the last Mohegans making a final stand before Finnish culture is “destroyed” and “doomed” because foreigners come to live here and pay taxes. It will bring many challenges to this society but there is one thing we cannot do: stop time. And I belive that Finland has all the tools to meet that challenge and turn that situation into an opportunity.

  309. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 12, 2008 11:50 pm

    -and start saying “yelling” racist that racist this

    Tell them to stop accusing racism where there isnt racims. Open you eyes.. well you dont even live in finland..

    -That nobody can stop

    Lie

    -Finnish culture is “destroyed” and “doomed” because foreigners come to live here and pay taxes.

    In your hopes, look statistics. After 6 years its about +-0, before that we pay. And then we have horde of flowerhats telling we cant have suvivirsi or such because it offends immigrants. Read news.

  310. Calculator Man permalink
    December 13, 2008 2:04 pm

    What is the use of all these University Courses in Finland where language of instruction is English if you don’t want foreigners?

    And hey there is Racism here in Finland…just read your own postings 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 13, 2008 11:20 pm

      If you ask my honest opinion about your last sentence on racism in Finland, I think the answer is pretty clear. There is a problem in Finland as there is in other countries in the EU. However, if we look at some of the postings, we can conclude that those that have written them have never been taught that racism/discrimination is wrong. They act as if it were their right to insult other cultures, place conditions and then make an ultimatum: if you do not like it here leave or, worse, throw away your identity and become a Finn.
      The problem in Finland is due to ignorance and because these people do not have a clue.

  311. alien permalink
    December 13, 2008 2:40 pm

    My Finnish friends; In spite of what u like or not, the way Finland is going is toward more openness to outside. Preferably to countries within EU or non-moslem countries. Why because you need man power. Only a tiny fraction of you might think otherwise.

    Now the comment from intternetnetsi;
    “After 6 years its about +-0, before that we pay.” If that is true that is the price you have to pay when you are not so useful in bed and your population is shrinking. Not doing so give you the same faith as Mohegans or Azteks. The word is extinction!

    Finding job in Finland;
    Calculator says; “at least those foreigners who I know come from civilized countries within the EU and have problems finding a Job here. ”
    Well if you from civilized countries within EU feel the problem, imagine people like me coming from uncivilized countries outside EU! 😀

    Body snatchers:
    Every time I saw movies like “body snatchers” or the new version, “Invaders”, it reminds me of Fins. They are truly people who respect the laws and very disciplined. They cannot tolerate any one not alike themselves. They say we cannot tolerate deficiency! They claim that they have superior culture and ways of doing things. They are the most sufficient. And perfect. Free of emotions. Or maybe we cannot grasp and digest their culture. The only problem that they have is that they are not human.

    Any one sharing the same experience with me ? :-/

    • Enrique permalink
      December 13, 2008 11:15 pm

      alien, I don’t buy everything you rights. There are all types of Finns, ranging from Tiwaz to very open ones. Those that are ethnocentric and do not tolerate diversity live in their own world. Life passes them by while the rest of us enjoy the cultural fireworks like on New Year.
      Are there “uncivilized” countries in the EU? What do you mean by “civilized?”

  312. alien permalink
    December 14, 2008 3:36 am

    Hi Enrique:
    It is absolutely OK we have different opinions on things. About civilized things, I was quoting from Our friend Calculator. That is not originally what I post. Ctrl+F and you will find it out.
    Cheers

    • Enrique permalink
      December 14, 2008 10:28 am

      OK, fine, alien. Thank you for clearing the matter up.

  313. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 14, 2008 4:32 am

    Or is your racism that you dont understand that we take you as equal, not some fragile multiculture identity who breaks with few words?

    -them have never been taught that racism/discrimination is wrong.

    Well not really because atleast i think everyone is equal without teaching. Problem is people who see discrimination when theyre treaded equally.

    And to alien, in finland we give great value for words and own space. You seem to see that as coldness. E.G if you fall in ice no one “sees” you because of your dignity. That doesnt apply if youre old or child or really hurt yourself.
    Also remember that if you get finnish frend you get frend for life, its not american “friend”.
    About speaking you have choose your words carefully because theyre bonding, not like american chitchat. Sanasta miestä, sarvesta härkää is old finnish saying.
    So you just dont get finnish culture.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 14, 2008 10:31 am

      It takes more guts to depend on one’s character than on nationalist-ethnic fantasies that are only a stack of cards.

      –Also remember that if you get finnish frend you get frend for life, its not american “friend”.

      This is the type of myths I have written about previously. In some cases this may be true and in others it is not. You cannot generalize about Finns as of any other groups. There are many types of people that fit the cultural slot.

  314. Calculator Man permalink
    December 14, 2008 6:32 pm

    alien: yeah sorry, I know there are also countries outside the EU which are civilized…sorry. Just made sometimes the experience that some people only consider European and some English speaking countries as civilized 🙂 Sorry !!!!!

  315. Calculator Man permalink
    December 14, 2008 6:48 pm

    Tiwaz: well If you think you represent the Finnish Culture then I have to tell you that it sucks 🙂 Sometimes I see these drunken people in the city (actually every day). I don’t want to behave like them (as you said that I have to behave like Finns do).

    And hey if your culture is so superior, why do you guys have the highest suicide rate in Europe? Because of the Foreigners 🙂

    My girlfriend works in Customer Service here in Finland and even she complains that so many people are not even able to say “Hallo” or “Thank you”.

    Last time I went to a Bank and you have to get this ticket with a number to see when its your turn. There was a Finn who just went to the counter when it was actually my turn.

    So please stop with your stupid arguments that Foreigners have to behave like Finns. Either you know how to behave or you don’t know it…this has nothing to do if you are a Finn or a Foreigner.

  316. Karri permalink
    December 15, 2008 1:00 am

    Enrique:
    >Even though a social ill such as racism exists, it is a good matter that some countries
    >are addressing this problem. Think what kind of a country Canada would be if it
    >taught totally different values?

    Enrique, I’m not sure if the comment above was meant to be a reply to my comment earlier, and I’m not quite sure if I understood your comment correctly. But if you meant to say something like “Canada is doing something to prevent racism, and Finland isn’t,” then I have to say I disagree.

    Contrary to some of the early comments here, were a couple people complained that there isn’t anyone in Finland to turn to is possible cases of racism, that’s not true. There is, for example, The Ombudsman for Minorities (http://www.ofm.fi), a government authority with the basic task of advancing the status and legal protection of ethnic minorities and foreigners as well as equality, non-discrimination and good ethnic relations in Finland.

    In fact, the Finnish government’s official policies are well in line with other Western societies and their measures to tackle discrimination. I think that, for most part, the problem isn’t in the government or authorities’ official line. It’s more in cultural values that Finns may, in some cases, learn, personal experiences or the lack there of, and other “unofficial” perceptions. And that’s the same everywhere. Canada isn’t free of racism, either, and when it comes to the rights and treatment Native population of Canada or certain groups of migrant workers here in Canada, their treatment here has been appalling at times. So – again – I don’t think that straightforward, simple comparisons between different countries are entirely useful. The Canadian police, namely RCMP, for example, is known for scandals and brutalities, like the incident where a new, Polish immigrant got killed by four Taser-waving policemen at the Vancouver airport a bit over a year ago.

    So back to FInland… There’s lot to fix there, and people’s attitudes – on both sides of the issue – need to grow, learn, get more mature. I think a lot of discussion around immigration and immigrants in Finland is very naive at the moment, stuck in a kind “yay-nay” type black and white arguments where both sides are just vehemently defending their dearest beliefs, because their afraid that they might “lose”. Well, the whole issue isn’t that simple. It’s not a matter of winning or losing. There are as many types of people as there are people in the world, and immigrants as well as natives are just people. Both sides could learn a bit of empathy, learn how to laugh at each other and themselves, and not take things so seriously all the time. I know, I know, that, of course, doesn’t help if you’ve just been a victim of racism or just silent discrimination, and I’m not saying that racism isn’t a serious issue.

    Also, contrary to early comments here, there are several immigrants – black, Asian and white – in Finland who have got elected to local city councils. There could well be many more, but somehow here, in the beginning of this discussion, claimed that there aren’t any, which is simply not true. In Helsinki, there’s Zahra Abdulla, for example, whose a very well-spoken, smart Finnish politician with Somali roots. In Vantaa, Espoo, Tampere and Turku there are also elected immigrants in city councils. And, according to polls and statistics, most of their voters have consistently been native Finns. Not other immigrants, but native Finns. In fact, immigrants in Finland aren’t very politically active, even if they are citizens and have a right to vote. If you want to see more immigrants in politics, then why don’t you come up with a good agenda, or at least vote for some of the other immigrants, if you think they are worthy of getting elected. Politics is quite ‘white’ here in Canada too despite the large number of immigrants from all over the world here.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 15, 2008 3:22 am

      –Enrique, I’m not sure if the comment above was meant to be a reply to my comment earlier, and I’m not quite sure if I understood your comment correctly. But if you meant to say something like “Canada is doing something to prevent racism, and Finland isn’t,” then I have to say I disagree.

      My point here was that what kind of a countries such as Canada and Finland did not do anything to prevent racism/ethnic exclusion. Especially in recent years Finland has taken steps to correct this matter. Compared with 10 never mind 20 years, Finland has come a very long way. One of the most important legislation to be approved is the Equality Act, which I wrote about earlier.

      –So back to FInland… There’s lot to fix there, and people’s attitudes – on both sides of the issue – need to grow, learn, get more mature. I think a lot of discussion around immigration and immigrants in Finland is very naive at the moment, stuck in a kind “yay-nay” type black and white arguments where both sides are just vehemently defending their dearest beliefs, because their afraid that they might “lose”.

      I could not agree more with you. The debate is bipolar: for or against, win or lose etc. A lot more effort has to be made from people from all sides of the debate to bridge gaps and know more of each other.

  317. Tiwaz permalink
    December 15, 2008 5:07 am

    -Yes, right. You “respect” other people’s culture. Your comments show that.

    Yes they do. In their country, I respect their culture and traditions. Unlike you idiots who demand appeasement when you move to Finland

    -Your comparisons are getting weirder by the day. You should get an award for furthering the cause of cultural understanding among people. What about if I nominate you as president of the Advancement of Multiculturalism in Finland?

    Then I will happily declare multiculturalism failure which it is.
    What else is “two way road” but attempt to demand appeasement from Finns? It is little “better” than your average “You must respect my foreigner culture”-crap, but it is still attempt to demand that Finns must adjust to you. Now you are just trying to trade that you will respect one of our traditions, in our society, in exchange for us to replace part of our culture with part of your.

    Idiot, Finnish culture is not for sale! We do NOT barter pieces of it with foreigners to make you lazy asses more comfortable.

    Perhaps you do, perhaps you are spineless and lack pride in your culture and are willing to commodity to trade. We are not spineless. We do not lack pride.

    -Do you know the law and rights of other in Finland? It appears that you are very much in the dark about it.

    Yes, I do. And I see foreigners treated equally. They are “no speak, no behave”-idiots, who are then stunned when they are treated like “no speak, no behave”-idiots. They expect us Finns to bend over backwards to appease you.
    In essence, you demand preferential treatment. You refuse to accept that to be able to get somewhere as easily as Finns, you have to learn to do as Finns do.

    You need to learn the language, because someone who cannot communicate with 90+% of people around them are worthless to employers. You need to learn how things are done, because if you can’t get along with 90+% of people without always causing cultural chafing you are again worthless.

    But you idiots do not want to go through the effort. You come up with this multicultural stupidity and demand appeasement.

  318. Lontoolainen permalink
    December 15, 2008 5:27 am

    Thanks for the great discussion.
    I am a foreigner living in a very small town in South Carelia, and have to say I have not experienced any Racism first hand, mabye this has something to do with not looking very different from your average Finn:) I get called ”Britti” at the local bar though…and free drinks, so I dont mind the indignation.
    A new Immigrant reception centre is being opened close by in a neighbouring town. I am sure you can imagine the townsfolks comments in the local newspaper..

    ”we didn’t give this place to the Russians, why start giving it away now?” ”why cant they build the thing somewhere else?, we dont want any rapes here” etc, etc..

    These feelings are common in small towns in the area, and most probably most of Finland. I understand that locals here have in general never spoken, knowingly, to a foreigner.. and it is truely a difficult issue.
    The state could do more, education for older Citizens ( 35+) is important, involving newcomers in local organisations and getting Finns to SPEAK to, and know outsiders are key points. You cannot expect homogenous people to become multicultural overnight, especially out here in the sticks
    As for work, well living in a small place it is difficult. Long bouts of unemployment are a problem. As a EU citizen not applying for Finnish Citizenship, I get no state support when not working….which is hard, but fair. I think the Jobcentre should offer lessons in Finnish, but it is not available here.
    As for job discrimination, of course the employer would rather hire someone who knows the language better than me, its easier for them and less hassle…I dont see it as being a ‘racist’ issue, just frustrating. I have been here 2 years and can speak moderate Finnish, I have not been to any language courses, there arent any withing 60km (a long way when you dont have a driving card) of the place. I do my best with the books I have…it’s a hard language!, dont let any one tell you different.

    Finns are Finns, and they have faults like anyone else. I learned a long time ago that just because a Finn wont say ”good morning” to me doesnt mean they are rude, or even a racist!…some people are more open than others. I get dirty looks all the time, its normal procedure. Then I get a ”hyvä huomenta!” and it makes my day.

    I dont like to generalize, but there is a problem with ignorance, and minor racism in the form of stupid sarcastic comments. This will happen if the only foreigners you see are on the TV or Internet, its about education and interaction. I cant wait for the Immigrant centre to be built!…I just wish the government would do more to ease local worries and create a better environment for the new arrivals. The problem is, most dont like change in any form.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 15, 2008 5:46 am

      Hi Lontoolainen and welcome to Migrant Tales. It must be pretty interesting to live in a small town in South Carelia. It would be interesting to hear what the townspeople do when the Immigrant center opens its doors.
      As you said, education plays an important role. The 35-plus-age group you speak of is a pretty interesting group since they grew up during the cold war period in Finland, when the country was isolated geopolitically and where nationalism and exclusion of non-Finns was the rule. That has now changed with EU membership and we are moving in the right direction. I believe that many of those who claim that “foreigners will destroy Finnish culture” are those who grew up during this period. Some of these born between 1944 and 1995 have had dear little contact with foreigners or seen how whites treat blacks through 70s sitcoms such as Archie Bunker. But the good news is that matters are changing.

  319. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 15, 2008 6:39 am

    -I get called ”Britti” at the local bar though…and free drinks, so I dont mind the indignation.

    Thats how things here works, youre britti, ryssä, hurri, neekeri, vinosilmä, savolainen, tamperelainen or whatever. If you show that you want to fit in then youre our britti etc.
    People are curious about you and if you dont offend our culture or demand something and yell racism you will do well.

    What most oppose is that for example you demand carpet in toilet because youre brit, well say fck off and if you then yell racism you find yourself in wery odd place.

    Here is something to read. http://hommaforum.org/index.php?topic=97.0

    “When multiculturalists imagine the future, I suspect they have something in mind like the glorious multiplicity of restaurants serving all the cuisines of the world which is now to be found in most large cities. You can eat Thai on Monday, Italian on Tuesday, Szechuan on Wednesday, Hungarian on Thursday, and so forth, without any strain whatever.”

    And you can write in english in there too, most probably understand and can answer in english.

  320. Calculator Man permalink
    December 15, 2008 11:51 am

    Hey Enrique,

    I would stop talking with those guys. It is really waste of time. There will be no outcome. It doesn’t matter what you tell them, they will always find something against you. They have never been in the position of an immigrant so how do you expect them to understand you? I think I would act similar if I would sit my whole life at home and have no contact with foreigners. So just ignore them.

  321. Lontoolainen permalink
    December 15, 2008 5:47 pm

    Hey Enrique, I agree with you on the isolation during the cold war period. Urho Kekkonen ‘appeasement’ with Russia had both good and bad points, mostly bad when looking in retrospect.

    The situation in Finland is quite unique, and should be treated as such. Especially in the countryside, the city and small towns here are often butting heads with everything.
    The difference between Immigration problems in Finland and the UK is massive.

    In my opinion, the best way to get along is to fit in. Speak Finnish as much as possible, I always try and remember that I am a guest here whenever something untoward happens due to me being a foreigner. It does not do to make enemies in a small town anywhere.

    Yes there are problems, and the sooner things change the better. But isolating the locals and ignoring their concerns will only cause resentment. I dont want the same situation arising here as in the UK, with the rise of nationalist groups like the BNP.
    Finland is a young country, and the immigration issue is also. Brussels may well think they know what is best for Finland, but how much does the average Finn or Englishman know about the EU?, in my experience almost nothing.
    It is quite funny how the local farmers are willing to take EU subsidies, complain and moan when they might get cut…but then as soon as the EU does anything positive for change that might affect their little corner of the world, all hell breaks loose.

    Internettsesti – ”Thats how things here works, youre britti, ryssä, hurri, neekeri, vinosilmä, savolainen, tamperelainen or whatever. If you show that you want to fit in then youre our britti etc.´´

    Very true, if you are from Helsinki here you will have almost as many problems as a foreign immigrant. If you fit in, you are their little pet outsider. If you are opinionated like I am, sometimes its best to keep your mouth shut on certain issues around certain people.

    Try watching the film comedy ”poliisin poika” from 1997.

    Great blog, its a shame so many idiots like to post on here!.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 16, 2008 4:25 am

      Hi Lontoolainen, thanks for the insightful level-headed comments. I am optimistic about Finland. There are some in Finland that are fueling hatred at foreigners in order to get votes. I was surprised that in Spain Mariano Rajoy, the president of the Populist Party, tried to use it in the last general elections without success. One of the most interesting (and sad) things to watch is how people/politicians state that they are not against refugees and are not racists when in fact they are but dress it another way. I think that anyone who bashes people in a weaker social position for their political benefit to be cowards. They should pick on groups their own size.

      –Very true, if you are from Helsinki here you will have almost as many problems as a foreign immigrant. If you fit in, you are their little pet outsider. If you are opinionated like I am, sometimes its best to keep your mouth shut on certain issues around certain people.

      This is so true. I like the comment “pet foreigner.” As you know, in our culture and in many others dissent is encouraged. Being a devil’s advocate is healthy; poor decisions emerge when there is too much consensus and yes-men. That is why some who read this blog are outraged because it is not only a Finn who thinks differently on a sensitive subject but a “foreigner.” On the other side of the coin, there are many Finns who would not buy this consensus line.

      –Great blog, its a shame so many idiots like to post on here!

      Some of these so-called “idiots” bring their special flavor. One of the things I don’t like to do is sensor people. I have, however, had to moderate and omit a lot of comments that I considered offensive.

  322. Tiwaz permalink
    December 16, 2008 8:20 am

    -This is so true. I like the comment “pet foreigner.” As you know, in out culture and in many others dissent is encouraged. Being a devil’s advocate is healthy; poor decisions emerge when there is too much consensus and yes-men. That is why some who read this blog are outraged because it is not only a Finn who thinks differently on a sensitive subject but a “foreigner.” On the other side of the coin, there are many Finns who would not buy this consensus line.

    And which society has managed to get further in less time?

    Dissent wastes resources on petty squabbling and useless arguments. Dissent is very anathema of efficiency. Finnish society works so well because traditionally when line is chosen, everyone works towards it.

    That is why every single time when there are two opposing teams, one with principle of agreeing on something and then going with it, and another with dissenting. One pulling the rope together wins, every single time. Unity equals strength, infighting is just recipe for disaster.

    By the way, do not refer to yourself as Finn. Merriam-Webster definition.

    [quote]

    Main Entry:
    Finn Listen to the pronunciation of Finn
    Pronunciation:
    ˈfin
    Function:
    noun
    Etymology:
    Swedish Finne, from Old Swedish; akin to Old Norse Finnar Finns, Old English Finnas
    Date:
    before 12th century

    1: a member of a people speaking Finnish or a Finnic language2 a: a native or inhabitant of Finland b: one who is of Finnish descent
    [/quote]

    Out of those categories, you are indeed inhabitant. But in every other way you are not.
    It would be preferable that you would not use term Finn of yourself here, while technically entitled to, as it gives false image of you.

    It would be better to refer to yourself as citizen of Finland, as it would not have other connotations of word Finn.

    Why your comments are not given weight you think they deserve, is that you still do not grasp Finnish culture. Different culture, different values and different weight these values have. Not to mention how you deliver your comments.

    Idiot immigrant might not understand that you just can’t sell your ideas in Finland like you would in USA for example. If you try, you easily fail. And then whine racism due to your own stupidity.

  323. Lontoolainen permalink
    December 16, 2008 3:40 pm

    Some of these so-called “idiots” bring their special flavor. One of the things I don’t like to do is sensor people. I have, however, had to moderate and omit a lot of comments that I considered offensive.

    Of course 🙂 I am all for freedom of speech, something that seems to be slipping here in Finland with recent issues over internet sensorship. But would be interesting to have a discussion like this in person away from the internet. When having to look someone in the face and take part in live debate, I wonder how many posters would moderate their opinions or not take part at all.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 16, 2008 7:55 pm

      You are right Lontoolainen. Sometimes it would be great to discuss things in person and see the gestures on people’s faces. Many would not make the comments they write if they did not do so anonymously. I am not an anonymous in this blog. It would be a bit like being accused of a crime and covering my face with a jacket when reporters try to take pictures of me.

  324. Calculator Man permalink
    December 16, 2008 8:01 pm

    Was wondering if all the Foreigners would leave Finland, who would clean here and drive Buses (Jobs which the average Foreigners get here)? I guess then it would not work here so well anymore. This Tiwaz is so funny 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 16, 2008 8:13 pm

      That would mean the end of many good things in this country. Some Finns would be required to do the menial jobs. Tiwaz is a sad case. He is not funny.

  325. Calculator Man permalink
    December 16, 2008 8:48 pm

    Do you know Mämmi? This black stuff Finns eat during Easter. Read about the origins of it 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A4mmi#History

    • Enrique permalink
      December 16, 2008 9:45 pm

      Pretty interesting and another example of how interrelated we are culturally. The interesting question to ask is why it is SO important for some to stress differences? Some of the people in this blog take it to an obsessive level. I understand that it is important for people to have an identity and be proud of it. What I do not understand is why they are always stressing these types of walls when they meet people from different cultures and throw a few unfounded comments here and there only to reinforce their stereotypes.
      When two people meet, don’t they try to look at things such as COMMON interests to build a relationship?

  326. Calculator Man permalink
    December 16, 2008 10:13 pm

    That’s a good question. We have to wait for Tiwaz answer.
    Was wondering how long it takes for him to understand that people can also learn from other cultures 🙂 I also learned nice things here from the Finnish Culture, however I only take those pieces out of it which I found usable for myself. Thus, I am further developing my own culture.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 16, 2008 10:36 pm

      I always said you have a head on your shoulder. “Developing our own culture” is not only fun, but also highly enriching.

  327. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 17, 2008 4:03 am

    http://www.adressit.com/ulkomaalaislaki

    And reply from foreigner

    http://www.ilkka.fi/Article.jsp?article=388458&Title=Pakolaisasiantuntija+puolustaa+Thorsin+ulkomaalaislakia

    RRACISM!

    Thats how it goes, whatever you say against something what has to do with foreigners you get racist/nazi/xenophobic etc yelled to you. That is multuculturalism what we see, that has nothing to do with normal migration.
    Its *nism like communism, facism or other other religious like shit what doesnt ask what common people wants. And our beliefs is bashed by greenred who currently are noisy part in news.

    Like you have accused that i dont have foreign friends and havent travelled and of course i have to be young and uneducad…. Look who are most against, people who see real immigration problems and who are travelled.

    There goes your “meeting helps”
    There goes your “education helps”

    Well education helps so they can get better salary and with more money you dont have to live with problems so its easy to say there is no problems or when youre in still in school so you dont see…

    Im sick in tired that if i say that muslims believe 1500 y old pedofile and thats stupid, woman are equal, behave and respect police/ambulace/fire deparment is racist..

    I can bash christianity, finnish culture and white heterosexual male, all others i get some stamp on me.
    Thats not right, if minority has bad habits i will tell about those. And if your multiculturalism is bad i will tell it.

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/test i got
    Economic Left/Right: -4.12
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.21

    Thats near of Gandhi.

    Terveisin phobinen natsi ja rasisti….

    PS: Please give to me real data about richness.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 17, 2008 9:16 am

      Onkko, aka Ghandi, I think you are exaggerating here. The Kaleva link is no longer available.
      It is interesting that the defense you use is that every time a foreigner claims racism/nazism/xenophobia that is wrong. This shows how threatened and how poor relations are in some cases. These claims are ALLEGED because they have not been proven.
      Certainly if you have a country where about 20% of the foreigners are unemployed, face discrimination, ethnic distance, misunderstanding and have also little knowledge and chances to progress in Finland, there is going to be a big social problem. Remember when unemployment hit 19% in the early 1990s? Remember the atmosphere, desperation and fear? Did people function normally back then?
      And please do not answer that last comment by asking foreigners to leave the country “if they don’t like it.” Certainly people have a right to air their complaints. It is one of the principles of a democratic society. You must have leaned that in your civics class.

  328. Tiwaz permalink
    December 17, 2008 5:17 am

    Because it is these differences which cause conflict.

    And conflict is what brings suffering. Cultural conflict specially, as we see everywhere.

    Even Enrique admits that cultural conflict comes with misery, violence, poverty and suffering. All he can say that it would not be result if nothing bad took place.

    In short, he thinks it is possible to have multicultural society if absolutely nothing comes and causes problems. That is why I call him an i***.

    Always there will be something that goes wrong. Our current culture and society is under attack by you idiots who think like Enrique, that multiculturalism is possible.
    But unlike multiculturalism, monocultural Finland is not showing signs of falling apart. Because it WORKS.

    That is huge difference between monocultural and multicultural society. Monocultural works, it does not fall apart first time there are issues.

    By the way i******, you might want to reconsider your argument that immigrants drive bus or clean up garbage. Most of those jobs are filled by Finns.

    If every immigrant disappeared tomorrow, effect would not be dramatic. Problems? Sure. But nothing as major as tends to take place in multicultural societies.
    Remember, we have more unemployed than we have foreigners here.

    And finally, in case your rather thick skulls still have not figured it out. I have nothing against immigrants, I do have much against immigrants who refuse to accept that…

    In Finland, do as the Finns do. If we want to import your culture, trust me. We would have done that by now. That we have not, is clear sign that we do not.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 17, 2008 9:23 am

      You are not being very imaginative. These are the same argument peppered with insults. Having foreigners in a country, bicultural people, and being influenced by other cultures is a constant process that you and I cannot stop because it is the natural way things work. Living and believing otherwise is confining oneself in a cultural time warp.

  329. Tiwaz permalink
    December 17, 2008 6:56 am

    By the way, about your comment how “your culture” supports dissent.

    Well, in that case it is no wonder that Argentina is such pathetic piece of land.
    You have had that land all for yourself to dissent over from 1816.

    And behold!

    You have almost 10 times the land area (330 000 vs 2 770 000)
    You have eight times the population (5 million vs 40 million)
    Net migration rate of ZERO compared to 0,73 for Finland. (If multiculturalism is so good… Why Argentina is so undesired target for immigration… )
    Hell you are way ahead of us in infant mortality though! Almost four times as much.
    (11 vs 3,5 for Finland)
    Seven times the HIV/AIDS prevalence. (0,7 Agry vs >0,1 Finns)
    Well, at least you are saving in something. Education that is. 3,8% from GDP vs 6,4% for Finland.

    Well, fortunately you guys have lots of natural resources. 100 years ago you guys were one of the richest countries in the world. And multiculturalism has further enriched you, leading to 60% of Argentinians being below poverty line in the nineties! But who cares about material wealth when you have MULTICULTURALISM!

    Not Argentinians. With your 526 billion USD GDP (2007) against pitiful 188 we have here in Finland you appear to be in good position though.
    Until we look what it means with your huge population…
    As a result, Argentina has 13100 USD GDP per capita.
    Greedy and evil Finns dare to almost triple that, to 36 000 USD.

    Which means that (2007 again) 8,7% of Argentinians were without job. Finland has to take second place with 6,7%.

    Because of that, multiculturally enriched Argentina has come to conclusion that making positive budget is stupidity.
    Resulting in following situation:
    revenues: $48.99 billion
    expenditures: $61.23 billion (2007 est.)

    Gosh.. It is good thing you are so enriched by multiculturalism, else that might appear to be pitiful number. Considering that tiny Finland with it’s evil monocultural society and unwashed barbarian natives had these numbers:
    revenues: $62.02 billion
    expenditures: $58.16 billion (2007)

    We actually could have balanced your budget… Not bad for monocultural racist society which is not enriched by multiculturalism.

    But hey, at least you can still loan money. You are only in debt for 51% of your GDP. Finns have some way to go with 35%.

    But fortunately there is always inflation, in which Argentina has progressed to enviable level of 8,8% (officially, actual might be double that). Finns have so much to learn with 2,5%. What do you mean inflation is not good?

    But there is shining light in Argentina too. You only have 135 billion external debt. Finland has to struggle with it’s 270 billions for a while longer. Then again, negative numbers at end of budget are rarely good for paying debts…

    And because there are only 42 television broadcast stations and 444 repeaters, compared to 120 and 431 for Finland which has smaller country… Argentinians are not slaves of television! And they still enjoy the analogue output, unlike poor Finns who were one of the first nations in the world to switch to digital.

    Well, this is odd… Argentina with huge coastline and so forth should be great maritime power. But you guys only have merchant marine of half the size of Finnish. 48 vs 96. But at least you have 5 times the petroleum tankers. It should be some console considering most of economy is built around that. Finns have 24 times RORO capability though, might have something to do with exporting technology and machinery instead of oil and wheat.

    I can SO see why Finland should learn from Argentina.

    You guys have achieved SO much more in 200 years than we have in less than 100.

    No, seriously. You are so advanced and stable country with no dictators or such. We really should learn from country so vastly superior to ours.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 17, 2008 9:29 am

      I don’t live by countries but by things that I have learned from societies. I am way passed that stage. If you want to “attack me,” use another argument. I am happy that you have taken the time to learn about some statistics of Argentina.

  330. Calculator Man permalink
    December 17, 2008 7:59 am

    Tiwaz: You should maybe read Newspaper sometimes. Most of the Foreigners are cleaning your toilets here:

    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Immigration+Minister+tries+her+hand+at+hotel+cleaning/1135240242968

    Even the Immigration Minister says in this article: “She sees a danger that a two-tier labour market might be emerging – if it has not come about already. “

    • Enrique permalink
      December 17, 2008 9:36 am

      Yes, you are right Calculator Man.

  331. Calculator Man permalink
    December 17, 2008 8:12 am

    Finland: 270 billion debts / 5 million inhabitants = 54.000 per person
    Argentina: 135 billion debts / 40 million inhabitants = 3.375 per person

    Well-beeing build on debts 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 17, 2008 9:40 am

      It’s not the expenditure but did the Nordic welfare system spend so much money on some Finns to have such backward ideas about other cultures?? I think that is the question and highlights the utter failure of the system.

  332. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 17, 2008 10:43 pm

    From your “promised land”
    “Quebec demands immigrants sign off on ‘shared values'”
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=917628

    Other promised land. “Discrimination against white males will soon be encouraged” http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0%2C21985%2C24771759-2862%2C00.html

    “It’s not the expenditure but did the Nordic welfare system spend so much money on some Finns to have such backward ideas about other cultures??”

    Or its so that some cultures are backwards and we dont brainwash people.

    “Tiwaz: You should maybe read Newspaper sometimes. Most of the Foreigners are cleaning your toilets here:”

    Tiwaz doesnt live in helsinki and helsinki isnt finland. And thats exactly problem, with shitty pay and conditions they wont get any finn to do that. That leads to nondesirable way.

    “Onkko, aka Ghandi, I think you are exaggerating here. The Kaleva link is no longer available.”

    Am i? what about “A DRIVER spent two nights in jail after being accused of “revving his car in a racist manner”.” in UK.

    Think it, its like thought crime in neuvostoliitto.

    Lets take 3 examples. someone spills something on you.
    Vitun nutipää.
    Vitun hörökorva.
    Vitun neekeri.

    Now quess what one can be punishable and tell the difference.

    I also want you to come and tell about richness of multiculture in http://hommaforum.org/ what is made for debate about multiculturalism and such.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 18, 2008 6:21 am

      –Or its so that some cultures are backwards and we dont brainwash people.

      There isn’t such a thing as advanced and backwards cultures. That kind of thinking took place in anthropology (historical evolutionism) in the 19th century. It was a way to justify colonialism and the exploitation of others. The Swedes and Russians must have used similar arguments to dominate and justify their occupation of Finland.

      The third insult you gave is racist. How can you ever learn about black people if you have such a lowly view of them? Like in every ethnic group, there are great men who have emerged. To name just a few Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Barak Obama, etc..

  333. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 18, 2008 8:47 am

    3rd insult is not racist, neekeri is just a black man, nothing to do with racism and nothing to do with view of them. Arent there great bald or hörökorva people? (for bald check kekkonen).

    That was to prove your racism and i did it, you think black people are somehow inferior and need more protection than bald or hörökorva people. They are humans like all of us and have change to prove theyre worth like i had i to do even im white heterosexual male.

    Im lapp and i dont see any racism or discrimination if someone call me lapp. Most of people know where im from when i open my mouth but thats not problem. We laugh on stereotypes and ridicule those, i tell that my igloo melted so i had to move south. Like once black man worked with us and said “ei tämä ole mustankaan miehen hommaa” and thats from “ei ole valkoisen miehen hommaa” what is to point slavery when white didnt have to do hard work. He wasnt bigot like you and he had sense of humour, finnish humour. Or like one russian said “perkele, ryssä ryssi” when he did mistake. Same russian told me he is 11th russian 🙂

    As long there is over protected minorities there cant be equality.

    -There isn’t such a thing as advanced and backwards cultures.

    Ok, ill kill and cook you and eat you. thats part of some cultures. Is that ok? Your skull makes good decoration.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 18, 2008 9:02 am

      –That was to prove your racism and i did it, you think black people are somehow inferior and need more protection than bald or hörökorva people. They are humans like all of us and have change to prove theyre worth like i had i to do even im white heterosexual male.

      That does not prove anything.

      –Im lapp and i dont see any racism or discrimination if someone call me lapp. Most of people know where im from when i open my mouth but thats not problem. We laugh on stereotypes and ridicule those, i tell that my igloo melted so i had to move south.

      Are you a Finn who is from Lapland or a Saami? Sense of humor has its limits. If you are a white, protestand Finn from Lapland certainly there is a difference when you are talking about a black from Sudan, for example. I am certain that Sudanese can laugh at themselves but this is in the ingroup. It is not an outsider with little knowledge of what may offend them.

      –Ok, ill kill and cook you and eat you. thats part of some cultures. Is that ok? Your skull makes good decoration.

      That is an extreme example, Onkko. In some cultures, like the Guayakis of Paraguay, white people killed them off simply because they were cannibals. There are three types of cannibals: endocannibals (eat members of their group when they die to free the soul), exocannibals (eat outsiders. Some believed that by eating their victim/soldier they would gain their strength) and autocannibalism (the Iroquois forced their prisoners to eat parts of their body). So, as you can see, little knowledge of a group led to the mass destruction of another group (cannibals) because in our culture eating human flesh is a taboo.

  334. Tiwaz permalink
    December 18, 2008 11:01 am

    Imbecilator, most foreigners clean toilets yes, but most toilets are not cleaned by foreigners.

    -It is interesting that the defense you use is that every time a foreigner claims racism/nazism/xenophobia that is wrong. This shows how threatened and how poor relations are in some cases. These claims are ALLEGED because they have not been proven.
    Certainly if you have a country where about 20% of the foreigners are unemployed, face discrimination, ethnic distance, misunderstanding and have also little knowledge and chances to progress in Finland, there is going to be a big social problem. Remember when unemployment hit 19% in the early 1990s? Remember the atmosphere, desperation and fear? Did people function normally back then?
    And please do not answer that last comment by asking foreigners to leave the country “if they don’t like it.” Certainly people have a right to air their complaints. It is one of the principles of a democratic society. You must have leaned that in your civics class.

    Maybe those idiots screaming racism should take a look in the mirror and ask how THEY looked in the eyes of Finns when they did whatever they did.

    But of course blame is never on immigrants. They are wonderful individuals who should never be grouped together. Finns on other hand may be grouped together because Finns in your foreigner eyes are inferior.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 18, 2008 7:05 pm

      –But of course blame is never on immigrants. They are wonderful individuals who should never be grouped together. Finns on other hand may be grouped together because Finns in your foreigner eyes are inferior.

      I wonder what your shrink would say about this comment. Hmmm…

  335. Calculator Man permalink
    December 18, 2008 3:52 pm

    Of course we are wonderful, that’s why we are here and you are still at the same place where you have been your whole live because you are afraid to learn something new, goat brain!

  336. elGreco permalink
    December 19, 2008 3:17 pm

    intternetnetsi Says:
    You generalize to much. For most people religion is just tradition and you find extremist on every part of the spectra. Who was shaking hands with the islamic political party? Finnish politicians. The Muslims I know are scared of this party.
    to Tiwaz: I remember the racism and hate towards foreigners in the 80s way before the depression” Lama” and when there were only 20.000 foreigners living in Finland.
    Finland has a problem with people, not with goods. No country has so many pizzerias as Finland. Nobody eats as many bananas and drinks so much coffee as the Fins and neither bananas grow in Finland nor coffee.

  337. elGreco permalink
    December 19, 2008 3:31 pm

    “Neekeri” according to Sanakirja.org:
    afrikkalaisperäisestä tummaihoisesta henkilöstä käytetty hieman vanhahtava sana. Sanaa pidetään nykyään yleisesti epäkorrektina tai halventavana, vaikka monet käyttävätkin sitä yhä.
    And from Wikipedia:
    In Finland, neekeri used to be considered a neutral term for black people, but the term has gradually fell out of favor through the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Today the neutral term to define a black person is musta (literally “black”). There is a Finnish pastry traditionally called Neekerinsuukko (literally “negro’s kiss”). Due to its arguably offensive character, the name has fallen out of use.

  338. Tiwaz permalink
    December 19, 2008 3:33 pm

    So elGreco? Who cares? Is your culture dependant on bananas?

    And Enrique, I do not need a shrink. Army found me quite stable and functional individual.

    You just try to paint everyone who does not sign your multicultural wonderfulness as racist nazi lunatics. When you fail to give ANY proof of superiority of multiculturalism.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 19, 2008 10:33 pm

      I meant that your comment shows that you feel inferior to foreigners. That’s not the way things are.

  339. Calculator Man permalink
    December 19, 2008 9:24 pm

    Guess Army is happy to get people nowadays 🙂

  340. Tiwaz permalink
    December 20, 2008 10:18 am

    I have no feeling of inferiority, Enrique, quite the opposite. Looking at how horribly you multiculturalists have failed in your nationbuilding, I feel rather secure and superior considering how my country has managed to become wealthy, stable and well functioning.

    Which is why I oppose your suggestions of bringing that failure to Finland.

    My approach to foreign cultures is one which is healthy, I respect them in their native lands. And expect them to respect mine in my country. Try it someday. Your arrogant “behole barbarians and lear from me”-attitude is sick to be honest.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 20, 2008 1:50 pm

      –My approach to foreign cultures is one which is healthy, I respect them in their native lands.

      You have a very myopic and illegal view of other cultures. Read Finnish and EU law and then come to talk to me about “respect” for other cultures. You only respect others if they “conform” to your very narrow world. Times have changed. We live in the new century.

  341. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 20, 2008 5:55 pm

    “You generalize to much. For most people religion is just tradition and you find extremist on every part of the spectra. Who was shaking hands with the islamic political party? Finnish politicians. The Muslims I know are scared of this party.”

    Of course they were shaking hands because if they werent they would be racists and islamophopics…

    Tell them to say that a loud and tell them to stop harassing our traditions. Tell them to stop asking freedoms like separate swimming time. I know most of this because of stupid greenred understanders like enrique but only immigrants themself have real power to stop it without being branded nazis.

    And of course i generalize because thats how you look masses. There is no individual in masses, just statistics.

    There is little cartoon to enrique http://www.kolumbus.fi/jik/mku1.htm and something to think too http://hommaforum.org/index.php?topic=452.0

    And about that word neekeri, its not racists. Neekerinpusu and lakupekka arent racists. Those sweets made connection to me that neekeri is good. Racism? That dropped when Illman and friends started to yell racism on those, they have to be bad if they cant stand a sweet.

    And as one said.

    Touhussa pitää toisaalta käyttää myös järkeä. Onko huumori nyt sitten todellista rasismia? No, kai se voi olla. Jos vitsailee tyhmistä miehistä, se on miesvihaa. Jos vitsailee blondeista ja bruneteista, se on sovinismia ja naisvihaa. Jos vitsailee uskovaisista, se on ties mitä uskonnollista vainoa ja sortoa. Jos vitsailee vanhuksista, se on ikäsyrjintää. Jos vitsailee etnisyydestä tai rodusta, se on rasismia… Eih… tai sitten kaiken voisi ottaa huumorilla, koska se on nimenomaan huumoria, vetämättä hernettä poikittain nenuliin.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 20, 2008 8:54 pm

      –Of course they were shaking hands because if they werent they would be racists and islamophopics…

      Nah, I think it has to do with democracy.

      What may be humorous to you many not be to another person. There was also a shoe polish in the 1960s called “Congo.” All these types of brand names do is maintain stereotypes about other groups. The people who named these brands probably had very rudimentary views of blacks. Did it come from Tarzan books?

  342. elGreco permalink
    December 21, 2008 12:41 am

    Tiwaz: Just take the coffee and bananas away from the Fins and you see the Fins going bananas.
    Finland does not live in a vacuum. So what do you call culture?
    Anything is either related to a product or an idea.
    Literature
    Arts
    Music
    Industry
    Languages
    All those were influenced by other people and other cultures.
    Even your famous Karjalan Piiraka need foreign grown rice

    • Enrique permalink
      December 21, 2008 9:03 am

      elGreco, your point exemplifies the global village. “Monoculturalism” is a myth inhabiting in between the ears.

  343. elGreco permalink
    December 21, 2008 10:45 pm

    Culture:
    1A particular society at a particular time and place
    2The tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group
    3All the knowledge and values shared by a society
    4(biology) the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin or agar)
    5The attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization
    ===============================================================
    To 1) time is moving and when I come her the town had only 3 Pizzerias and only in Stockmann you could buy chili and it was in 2 gram packages. Now you can buy by kilos
    To 2) I don’t think that all Fins have the same taste in food, music, clothing or have the same manners
    To 3)I think this is very global. Get a education, a good job, get married have children, own a car and a house and don’t lie or steal or at least don’t get caught in it
    To 5) Could depend on the weather. In more sunny places people tend to be more social and more positive and in more darker and colder places people drink more alcohol, are more depressed and are less social unless you are Irish and live in Irland
    =====================================================
    There are many factors that can and do influence mentality and there are local differences. Differences between sub groups and social classes. Much depends on upbringing and on the individual itself.
    Peoples opinion tended to be formed by local events and the local media but our food is very international, our music, the films we watch, the news are from around the world ( filtered by the local stations )
    The European enlightenment was inspired by Greek philosophers, mathematicians and historians. So even the hundreds of years back peoples mind were influenced by other people from a different nation and on top of that by people who were dead since 2000 years.

  344. Tiwaz permalink
    December 22, 2008 8:23 am

    -You have a very myopic and illegal view of other cultures. Read Finnish and EU law and then come to talk to me about “respect” for other cultures. You only respect others if they “conform” to your very narrow world. Times have changed. We live in the new century.

    I respect them in THEIR country. Here, in my country, I expect them to respect MY culture.

    You are the narrow minded Enrique, Like I pointed at another post of yours. You are one who tries to push his culture to others no matter where you go.

    -Tiwaz: Just take the coffee and bananas away from the Fins and you see the Fins going bananas.
    Finland does not live in a vacuum. So what do you call culture?
    Anything is either related to a product or an idea.
    Literature
    Arts
    Music
    Industry
    Languages
    All those were influenced by other people and other cultures.
    Even your famous Karjalan Piiraka need foreign grown rice

    So? I never said Finnish culture does not change.

    But what you do not grasp is that it changes to fit FINNS. Not you foreigners. Of course you lazy, arrogant and/or stupid foreigners would want us to switch our culture to one you prefer. But what you do not grasp is that we have OUR culture, one that has values which often enough are nothing like your values. We do not want your values, we do not want your traditions. We might take bits and pieces of them if we see them fit, and then CHANGE them to fit our existing culture.

    But we do NOT barter with you, we do NOT accept compromises where we remove parts of our culture and replace them with yours to have you accept some parts of our culture in OUR country.

    Nor do we copypaste whatever your culture considers important and use it to replace existing piece of our culture.

    In Finland, do as Finns do. Because else you are just lazy, arrogant bastard who tries for force his ways to natives of another country.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 22, 2008 11:14 am

      –I respect them in THEIR country. Here, in my country, I expect them to respect MY culture.

      If you have family you should know how to gain respect. You cannot force anyone to respect you. If you ask me, I think many foreigners that live in this country respect Finland and consider it their home. What they DON’T respect are things like discrimination, exclusion and racism.

  345. Tiwaz permalink
    December 22, 2008 12:14 pm

    -If you have family you should know how to gain respect. You cannot force anyone to respect you. If you ask me, I think many foreigners that live in this country respect Finland and consider it their home. What they DON’T respect are things like discrimination, exclusion and racism.

    Maybe they should stop trying to exclude themselves from Finnish society, maybe they should LEARN to behave and speak and maybe they should not be such racists themselves.

  346. Calculator Man permalink
    December 22, 2008 4:49 pm

    Leave Finns alone!!!! :

  347. Calculator Man permalink
    December 22, 2008 4:50 pm

    Could be Tiwaz 🙂

  348. alien permalink
    December 23, 2008 12:18 am

    Merry Christmas to all of you my friends. I wish you a happy year full of joy and warmness. May god bless all of us to be capable of loving each other and celebrating Christmas without any hard feelings. I guess any one who has shared his opinion with us, whether we like it or not, has been bold enough to express him/herself and that me means that we are all good people. The wicked people never say what they think. On the other hand good people believe in what they say and therefore they share it with others.

    God bless Finland and every other country in this world with whatever culture they have.
    Long live friendship and long live humanity.
    🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 23, 2008 9:30 am

      Thank you alien! That was a very beautiful gesture you sent to all of us. I also wish you a Merry Christmas and much success and happiness in 2009.
      One of the reasons why this blog as succeeded at attracting many people is because we want to hear their opinions. How can we solve a problem if we do not even know what others think? Thank you for posting your thoughts, alien. I have enjoyed reading them as well as those of others. Most importantly, I have learned a lot.

  349. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 24, 2008 12:55 pm


    Here you see what “racism” is about.

  350. elGreco permalink
    December 28, 2008 12:07 pm

    “Here you see what “racism” is about.”?
    Satire?
    Here is one other Finnish satire
    Finnish Waffen SS Volunteers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe-qooJGwfo
    Celebrating the Waffen SS a Nazi German creation for jokers
    You are right intternetnatzi, racism is in the mind of the paranoid AND those beaten up by a group of Neo Nazis

  351. elGreco permalink
    December 28, 2008 12:16 pm

    “Maybe they should stop trying to exclude themselves from Finnish society, maybe they should LEARN to behave and speak and maybe they should not be such racists themselves.”
    tiwaz this argument rings a bell somehow….
    Now I remember. Girl got raped in a park. Comment: “She was asking for it. Why did she walk alone in a park and then so lightly dressed.”
    http://helsinki.palloliitto.fi/taustasivut/artikkeliarkisto/?num=12074
    So it’s not black or white. It’s black, white and some grey

    • Enrique permalink
      December 28, 2008 12:52 pm

      That comment by Tiwaz that foreigners are excluding themselves from Finnish society should be turned around: “Are Finns excluding foreigners from Finnish society?”
      What is the use of nationalism if it only fills you with a lot of hot air and encourages you to pick on people that are weaker than you?

  352. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 28, 2008 6:47 pm

    -Here is one other Finnish satire
    Finnish Waffen SS Volunteers

    http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomalainen_SS-pataljoona read and learn, not everything what has to do with nazi germany means its nazism. http://www.holocaustinfo.org/faq/suomessa/ there is some more info. Those finnish man went to fight against russia. And show me neo-nazi groups in finland, i would like to see, no siitoin please because hes clown. And there is one good example about horrible racists attack, read and learn. http://reinoblog.blogspot.com/2006/11/kajaani-maailman-rasistisin-kaupunki.html

  353. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 29, 2008 12:49 pm

    -What is the use of nationalism if it only fills you with a lot of hot air and encourages you to pick on people that are weaker than you?

    Weaker? may i laugh? They have allmighty racism card what is played in every turn. And parts of goverment playing with them be reason of why they got offended whatever. Did you know that iirc 2 or 3 of 6 polices interviewed didnt even think that finn can be target of racists attack?

    And i have seen succesfull immigrants but they didnt hide in their communities with racism card.

    You may forget that we were oppressed for millennium and still partly are, do you think we really look with good eye for rise of some groups wanting something over what we have? I think we will get rid of this swedish apartheid in this decade and we dont need new one called multiculturalism.
    Did you know most prone to multiculturalism are communists who were behind of suomettuminen.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 31, 2008 7:36 am

      –And i have seen succesfull immigrants but they didnt hide in their communities with racism card.

      Certainly not everything is racism. However, racism exists and people must speak out against it just like any other social ill. There are many definitions and forms of racism. “Ikärasismi” is not racism. It is discrimination because of age. However, if a person is discriminated because of his ethnic background, that is a clear case of racism. Racism comes from the word “race,” even if we can debate that such a classification exists.

  354. intternetnetsi permalink
    December 31, 2008 7:17 pm

    Problem is overuse of racism, there is some always anywhere.
    Friend of mine who is employer dont hire certain nationalities because they use racism too much. Is that good for them?

  355. Tiwaz permalink
    January 2, 2009 5:28 pm

    -That comment by Tiwaz that foreigners are excluding themselves from Finnish society should be turned around: “Are Finns excluding foreigners from Finnish society?”
    What is the use of nationalism if it only fills you with a lot of hot air and encourages you to pick on people that are weaker than you?

    No, you cannot turn it around. Of course, you in your sick mind always do. Reality is this, this country is Finland. Country of Finns. Our society is built around our rules, traditions and values. We do not change it so that some fruitass foreigner feels more comfortable here. You guys have to learn to live in this society.

    If you do not approach this society and try to integrate to it in terms of the society, you will not get in. We natives have no reason to try to make our society more likeable to you foreigners. If you do not like it, leave!

    What use is multiculturalism if it only divides people, denies them their identity and turns country against itself? It is useless!

    • Enrique permalink
      January 4, 2009 12:47 pm

      –No, you cannot turn it around. Of course, you in your sick mind always do.

      Why do you always get personal? Can´t you debate an issue without insulting the other person? Certainly the question can be turned around, placed also sideways, upside down etc!..

      National culture is a sort of artificial flavoring on top of culture, which is what people use to function in society. Culture changes. What is surprising about your statement is that you believe that you don´t have to even take into consideration that other peoples from diverse backgrounds live in this country, but then are so concerned about indigenous cultures. I don´t get it.

      –If you do not approach this society and try to integrate to it in terms of the society, you will not get in. We natives have no reason to try to make our society more likeable to you foreigners. If you do not like it, leave!

      I wonder what the Finnish foreign investment department would think of that statement. Should it be: Finland a GREAT place to invest or Finland: love it or leave it!

  356. intternetnetsi permalink
    January 3, 2009 11:07 pm

    And as you are so prone to look what YK says.

    1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
    2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
    (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
    (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
    (c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
    (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;

    Finns are Indigenous people. Been here thousands of years.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 4, 2009 12:43 pm

      This is a joke, right? Indigenous people?! Then the Italians, Spaniards, French, British etc. are indigenous people?! Come on, Onkko, you can make a better argument than that.

  357. intternetnetsi permalink
    January 4, 2009 8:06 pm

    -I wonder what the Finnish foreign investment department would think of that statement. Should it be: Finland a GREAT place to invest or Finland: love it or leave it!

    Nothing because investors work according to culture and know how to behave.

    -This is a joke, right? Indigenous people?! Then the Italians, Spaniards, French, British etc. are indigenous people?!

    And no im not kidding, we are. I dont know enough history but ill say your examples are. Brits are siinä ja siinä because britain was forcifully invaded and resettled in written history.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 4, 2009 11:22 pm

      If you look at some tighter definitions of “indigenous people” you will conclude that Finns are NOT in that category. Indigenous groups are:

      * alongside other cultural groups during the formation of a nation-state; or
      * independently or largely isolated from the influence of the claimed governance by a nation-state,

      and who furthermore:

      * have maintained at least in part their distinct linguistic, cultural and social/organizational characteristics, and in doing so remain differentiated in some degree from the surrounding populations and dominant culture of the nation-state.

      To the above, a criterion is usually added to also include:

      * peoples who are self-identified as indigenous, and/or those recognized as such by other groups.

      Note that even if all the above criteria are fulfilled, some people may either not consider themselves as indigenous or may not be considered as indigenous by governments, organizations or scholars.

  358. intternetnetsi permalink
    January 4, 2009 8:08 pm

    There is good example of immigrant what is welcome.

    http://www.ts.fi/ajassa/?ts=1,3:1007:0:0,4:7:0:1:2009-01-02,104:7:585058,1:0:0:0:0:0

    And my fellow nuiva comment about it.

    Veteleekö tämmöinen peli?

    Voisin jopa väittää, että nämä ovat nyt niitä vääriä maahanmuuttajia. He eivät ole suorittaneet jutun mukaan minkäänlaisia rikastuksia, lapsi on oppinut kielen nopeasti ja töitä on hankittu onnistuneesti.

    Tällaiset epävarsinaiset maahahmuuttajat eivät tarvitse pakolaisasiain lakimiestä, eivät vähemmistövaltuutettua eivätkä kotouttamista, ja vielä vähemmän he tarvitsevat kotoutusta suunnitelevaa erityisasiantuntijaa tai sosiaalitoimen tulkkia.

    He eivät tuo siis mitään lisää monikulttuuriseen Suomeen! Häpeäisivät, tai sanoisivat sentään, että kyllä se rakenteellinen rasismi Vehmaalla tekee säästä huonon tai valittaisivat jotenkin, vaikka edes ihan vähäsen, paikallisten asenteellisuudesta. Tässähän rupeaa muuten juttua lukevat suomalaiset kuvittelemaan, että maahanmuuttajat voivat omalla panoksellaan sopeutua ihan mukavasti Suomen oloihin. Eihän se nyt saa olla… kyllä pitäisi vähintään työryhmä ainakin perustaa.

    and comment to that

    Mielestäni tuollaiset monikulttuurisuustyöntekijöille haitalliset tyypit pitäisi ainakin velvoittaa kulkemaan kylillä naama mustaksi lankattuna ja puhumaan vain tulkin välityksellä. Tuollainen omatoiminen sopeutuminen on suorastaan virkamiesten työn haittaamista ja siten tuomittavaa.

    Kotoutua saa ilman maahanmuuttovirkamiesten apua mutta siitä ei pidä puhua ääneen!

    There you see how “we” see your multicultarism.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 4, 2009 11:28 pm

      This is a good example of how immigrants can take the first steps in making Finland their home. However, what you are saying is that Finland should not accept refugees, do away with the integration program etc.

      This is an example that multiculturalism works. I don´t understand how such a family does not bring more to multiculturalism in Finland. You exaggerate about racism accusation. Certainly a Sudanese would feel racism in a whole different light than the young British couple in the story.

      Can you claim that there is no racism in Finland and that foreigners are only exaggerating? Do you have any empirical study to back up your statement?

  359. intternetnetsi permalink
    January 5, 2009 6:45 pm

    -Can you claim that there is no racism in Finland and that foreigners are only exaggerating? Do you have any empirical study to back up your statement?

    Of course there is some racists but what you call racism is way over head. I red how someone thought he was target of racism and facism when he was stopped by police. I have been stopped by police atleast 10 times so im also target of racism?

    I overheard how apotheracy was full of racists because they didnt sell medicine other than in prescription.

    I seen guy yelling racism when police got him for beating young boy.

    You can add whatever they dont like and thats racism. Is that correct way to think?

    And to add my friends experience, his employee asked holiday for some of his religional days but that was impossible to arrange so RACISM!

    • Enrique permalink
      January 7, 2009 4:34 pm

      Hey, in every group there are jerks. However, I do not know the cases you are mentioning I am only relying on word of mouth, which is a poor source for things.
      Racism, like any crime, is a problem in many societies. If it occurs, I recommend the person to act swiftly, decisively and use the full weight of the law. It applies to any other crimes.

  360. intternetnetsi permalink
    January 5, 2009 6:48 pm

    -If you look at some tighter definitions of “indigenous people” you will conclude that Finns are NOT in that category. Indigenous groups are:

    I know that, we arent small enough group to get that status but we still are indigenous

  361. Tiwaz permalink
    January 7, 2009 5:18 am

    -“Why do you always get personal? Can´t you debate an issue without insulting the other person? Certainly the question can be turned around, placed also sideways, upside down etc!..”

    Because you insult me, my heritage and my family with every single time you utter new like of bullshit about Finnish culture and how it must this or that because you, the great holy foreigner, deem it better.

    -“National culture is a sort of artificial flavoring on top of culture, which is what people use to function in society. Culture changes. What is surprising about your statement is that you believe that you don´t have to even take into consideration that other peoples from diverse backgrounds live in this country, but then are so concerned about indigenous cultures. I don´t get it.”

    There is nothing artificial in national culture. Apparently your thick head still has not grasped that this nation is built by FINNS for FINNS and according to FINNISH culture. Ergo, national culture and Finnish culture are one and same. It is not on top of anything, it IS anything and everything here.

    This is not Argentina or USA where native culture is wiped out and replaced with variety of bits and pieces from dozens of cultures. There your words might ring true, but here they do not.

    As for culture changing. Absolutely! Finnish culture has changed and will change. But according to FINNISH wants. Not your foreign desires. I do not care what you think would be better for Finnish culture, you are not Finn so you do not get to “vote”. We do not barter our culture, you do not get right to demand anything from us if you learn to respect one piece of our culture.

    And I am concerned for indigenous cultures. That indeed includes FINNISH culture. Foreigners have homeland where they can practice their culture. Do not bring your culture and try to push away our culture in OUR homeland.

    If you argentinians were being pushed by for example indians in Argentina, trying to force Indian culture to replace Argentinian. I would defend you against Indians. But you are not, most likely because nobody really wants to live in multicultural “heaven” that is Argentina. So most people try to leave it, not enter it.

    -“I wonder what the Finnish foreign investment department would think of that statement. Should it be: Finland a GREAT place to invest or Finland: love it or leave it!”

    How about “Finland, stable and prosperous place to invest. No internal problems, no race riots, low crime and low corruption.”

    Besides, investors do not move with their investments, idiot. They live in Monaco or another tax paradise and just invest money. Their money has no culture. It is just money.

    If they send in workers, those workers do not have any special rights to demand cultural appeasement. They live in this culture, according to rules of this culture.
    Again, we do not barter with our culture and society. You cannot buy right to change our culture with money or your own cultural concessions.

    Our way or highway is good and working solution. It keeps society stable when everyone is on same page on what is ok and what is not.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 7, 2009 4:28 pm

      –Because you insult me, my heritage and my family with every single time you utter new like of bullshit about Finnish culture and how it must this or that because you, the great holy foreigner, deem it better.

      Could you be more specific were I insult your heritage, family etc…

      Some people as yourself use so-called national culture to further your sense of superiority over others who are not like you. Smell the coffee: diversity has always existed, will exist in Finland. There is no such society as you mentioned. It only exists in between your ears.

      If you read some of the major business daily, there is a term called “foreign investment.” Foreign companies invest in a country. But I guess yo are also mister-know-it-all in this sector as well.

      I would not care if this is Argentina, the US or Finland. I live by the law, have my constitutional rights and obligations, full stop. It is useless, unless you want to commit a crime and break the law, to refuse me or take away this right. Now that would be ANTI-FINNISH in your books because you are acting as a deviant, outsider and are a menace to society.

  362. Tiwaz permalink
    January 8, 2009 7:16 am

    -Some people as yourself use so-called national culture to further your sense of superiority over others who are not like you. Smell the coffee: diversity has always existed, will exist in Finland. There is no such society as you mentioned. It only exists in between your ears.

    How about you proving your claim? Do you have actual, certified professors who say that Finns, native ones, are not products of SINGLE culture? Granted, there are swedish speakers and sami. But even their cultures have evolved not to be in conflict with Finnish.

    Go on. Find a professor who tells us that Finland is not 90+% Finnish culturally. And who is willing to go public with that claim.

    -If you read some of the major business daily, there is a term called “foreign investment.” Foreign companies invest in a country. But I guess yo are also mister-know-it-all in this sector as well.

    If you bothered to actually learn what they do, it is that they buy company/start company or something similar. Ergo, they send their money. They do not come themselves. To foreign investors and companies it is one and fucking same what kind of culture and how they expect people moving in to integrate as long as it makes profit with reasonable risk.

    They do not demand Finns to change Finnish culture.
    In fact, many companies find Finnish culture of low corruption and high stability to be very good. Not to mention high quality. Only think keeping Finland down is not our culture, but costs. If it cost as much to hire a Finn as it does to hire Chinese, all companies in the world would be rushing to Finland and would not give a damn if we have as a condition integration into society. They would just tell their workers to either integrate or find new employer.

    -I would not care if this is Argentina, the US or Finland. I live by the law, have my constitutional rights and obligations, full stop. It is useless, unless you want to commit a crime and break the law, to refuse me or take away this right. Now that would be ANTI-FINNISH in your books because you are acting as a deviant, outsider and are a menace to society.

    If you do not live here like Finnish culture expects you to live, you should not expect to be treated like Finn either. Feel free to act like foreigner, but do not come whine when you are treated like foreigner.
    Feel free not to learn the language, but do not come whining when you do not find a job because employer wants you to be able to communicate.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 8, 2009 8:39 am

      –How about you proving your claim? Do you have actual, certified professors who say that Finns, native ones, are not products of SINGLE culture? Granted, there are swedish speakers and sami. But even their cultures have evolved not to be in conflict with Finnish.

      I don’t have to prove anything. Cultures are complex and there are many types of people that live in this country with varying lifestyles. Society is diverse it does not fit a grammar school oral examination of Finland that begins: Finland is located zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Its population is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Those are only facts but do not give the true picture of our diverse society.

      –If you bothered to actually learn what they do, it is that they buy company/start company or something similar. Ergo, they send their money. They do not come themselves. To foreign investors and companies it is one and f**** same what kind of culture and how they expect people moving in to integrate as long as it makes profit with reasonable risk.

      They send their money and MANAGE the company with personnel and create a corporate culture that is conducive to profit.

      –If you do not live here like Finnish culture expects you to live, you should not expect to be treated like Finn either. Feel free to act like foreigner, but do not come whine when you are treated like foreigner. Feel free not to learn the language, but do not come whining when you do not find a job because employer wants you to be able to communicate.

      You continue to have a very lowly view of others who are not like you. You should work on this. People do make an effort to integrate. Some succeed while other do not. People are taught tolerance in Finnish schools but some embrace it while others throw it in the trash can of society. People are different, like societies.

  363. Tiwaz permalink
    January 9, 2009 6:32 am

    -“I don’t have to prove anything. Cultures are complex and there are many types of people that live in this country with varying lifestyles. Society is diverse it does not fit a grammar school oral examination of Finland that begins: Finland is located zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Its population is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Those are only facts but do not give the true picture of our diverse society.”

    FACTS ARE TRUTH. IF IT IS NOT FACT, IT IS FICTION. SO GIVE ME FACTS!!!
    Idiot. Finns are over 90% of population, any professor you would go to would tell you that there is one dominant culture in Finland. Finnish culture.

    Every other older culture, jewish, tatar, sami and swedish, are subject to this culture.
    Finland is not diverse, idiot.

    To be diverse, other cultures but Finnish would have to actually pick up in the radar. They do not. Your stupidity is same as you claiming that because you found one brown ball in huge pile of white balls, it is somehow diverse pile of balls.

    -“They send their money and MANAGE the company with personnel and create a corporate culture that is conducive to profit. ”

    They hire managers, who only deal with handful of NATIVE managers (assuming first one was not like that) who then handle things. And again, they do not care what kind of cultural requirements there are in that society. Those are problems for workers. And when workers are natives, there is no problem.

    When they import worker from abroad, it is problem of that worker to survive in the world outside corporation. Corporations do not go around demanding cultures to change, they work IN the local culture.

    -“You continue to have a very lowly view of others who are not like you. You should work on this. People do make an effort to integrate. Some succeed while other do not. People are taught tolerance in Finnish schools but some embrace it while others throw it in the trash can of society. People are different, like societies.”

    I have very low view of people who go to different country, refuse to learn local language and culture, respect those two, and then start whining that natives are racist for not bending over backwards to appease foreign idiots whims.

    Societies built on this bullshit that every culture is equal are ones that are least stable. I like my society stable.

    This thing is going wrong. Immigrants should be taught to respect FINNISH culture and way of life. That would give good start for interaction.

    I have no intention to respect any culture or cultures which immigrate to Finland and become for example source of rapists into this nice, peaceful and stable society.

  364. Helsinki permalink
    January 9, 2009 7:09 pm

    “This thing is going wrong. Immigrants should be taught to respect FINNISH culture and way of life. That would give good start for interaction.

    I have no intention to respect any culture or cultures which immigrate to Finland and become for example source of rapists into this nice, peaceful and stable society.”

    So you have to better to change for yourself!

    At the moment Finland has a lot of kind of “immigration critics” which one have much much time to defend their opinion in every space on the internet. From Finlanf to abroad as I see. Well, take care Enrique. I think these guys are here as well!:)

    • Enrique permalink
      January 9, 2009 8:16 pm

      Hi Helsinki, and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for your comment. Respect, which is a two-way street, is a the best way to start a meaningful relation. Why do you think that immigrants that come to Finland do not respect Finnish culture?

  365. Helsinki permalink
    January 10, 2009 12:33 pm

    Hi!

    “Why do you think that immigrants that come to Finland do not respect Finnish culture?”

    Well, I have no idea. My neighbours are from Africa (maybe Somalia, I don’t know them as I don’t know my white one neigbourgs as well) and I was studying some years at Eira Highschool. You know, Eira Highschool is very international, there’s maybe more immigrants than anywhere else highschool in Finland). And I have been working with people from Iraq, Morocco, Somalia, Eastern Block, Mediterrean sometimes. I have not problems with them. Well, what is the Finnish culture? I think it is the most same culture than everywhere else in Western World. Global culture mixed with local. Listening American/UK rockmusic, eating Italian pizza, Kebab, Indian food. Watching Hollywood movies, Football, Icehockey (one of them is not from Finland). Of course for examplle literatuere from 1800’s like Kalevala, Aleksis Kivi’s Seitsemän veljestä (7 brothers), winter war with Russia, Finnish countryside (I think more Finland is Helsinki railway station:)) like Koli. Jean Sibelius is also kind of Finnish culture, you know, Sibelius’s Finlandia hymn. But if you think about more, it is just song. It would be as well Somalia’s national hymn, it’s only imaginaton about what is Finland in this song. That kind of imagination is true as here in Finland is many people to believe it. So I have no my own experience why do they not respect Finnish culture. I think most of them respect as much they have to respect.

    Of course there’s criminals as well as is in local Finns. And of course some of them (Immigrants) have some special socioeconomic problems. I meant to get a job from Finland. and after that the may have some other problems. Well, in my own exprerience (what I have seen) is it not so easy get a job if you are Immigrant. And it depens on what kind of immgrant you are. You may have no problems if you are white Germanian. Or mediterranian. If you live in Helsinki, it is mayne easy than somewhere else in Finland.

    “Respect, which is a two-way street, is a the best way to start a meaningful relation. ”

    Do you mean with other Finnish people?

    • Enrique permalink
      January 10, 2009 10:27 pm

      Hi Helsinki, I enjoyed reading your post. It brings a lot of interesting question and explains well about the hybrid state of Western culture. If those things that you mentioned make you feel Finnish, then all power to you. All the you mention as Finnish traits are things that we have experienced together because they relate to those that live in this part of the world. They are some of us hold precious in Finland
      You also hit the problem on the nail: socioeconomic. Since you have worked with people from different countries you understand that getting a decent job is the most important hurdle. With unemployment levels so high in Finland among foreigners, I guess one loses hope after many years of ending up in job dead ends/unemployed.
      By respect being a two-way street I meant that both groups, if they are going to interact because of work, family of friendship reasons, should make an effort to understand each other between all people from different/same groups. This is nothing strange. We do the same thing when we meet new people. Thus we try to find things that unite us rather than tear us apart.

  366. Tiwaz permalink
    January 12, 2009 6:54 am

    -“Of course there’s criminals as well as is in local Finns. And of course some of them (Immigrants) have some special socioeconomic problems. I meant to get a job from Finland. and after that the may have some other problems. Well, in my own exprerience (what I have seen) is it not so easy get a job if you are Immigrant. And it depens on what kind of immgrant you are. You may have no problems if you are white Germanian. Or mediterranian. If you live in Helsinki, it is mayne easy than somewhere else in Finland.”

    Issue is not that there are criminals, issue is that there are disproportionately MORE criminals in immigrants than Finns.

    And have you ever grasped that your problems of getting job are twofold..
    1) It is not in general easy to get a job in Finland. Even for natives.
    2) You lack basic skills of communication and interaction. Those are essential in fitting into workplace. If you do not have them, you are liability.

    -“By respect being a two-way street I meant that both groups, if they are going to interact because of work, family of friendship reasons, should make an effort to understand each other between all people from different/same groups. This is nothing strange. We do the same thing when we meet new people. Thus we try to find things that unite us rather than tear us apart.”

    Yes, let’s have Finns give up piece of Finnish culture to appease first immigrant. In name of two way interaction. Then another piece for next immigrant, third for third. And in the end, with enough immigrants you have no Finnish culture left.

    What unites people in Finland, is cultural norms and rules. We all share them. They bind us. By trying to destroy these binds, Enrique, you try to destroy whole society.

    -“It would be as well Somalia’s national hymn, it’s only imaginaton about what is Finland in this song. ”

    Ever thought that it is simphony created by Finn, for Finns. And that it draws upon Finnish culture to create it. And that to Finns it acts as piece of the foundation for our identity.

    And you foreigners clearly do not respect Finnish culture. If you did, you would not be bitching and moaning how things are not working like you want to. You have never respected Finland and Finns enough to learn how things work here. So you end up beating your head in the wall, and then whine that Finns are racists because they do not bend over backwards to make things work the way YOU want. Instead of how FINNS want them to work.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 12, 2009 8:03 am

      -”It would be as well Somalia’s national hymn, it’s only imaginaton about what is Finland in this song. ” Ever thought that it is simphony created by Finn, for Finns. And that it draws upon Finnish culture to create it. And that to Finns it acts as piece of the foundation for our identity.

      Would you feel totally naked as a person if you did not persist with your ramped nationalism? I mean, stop hiding in folktales and myths?
      Sibelius’ masterpieces were not composed for Finns but for humankind. My grandmother’s first husband was a violinist who played under Sibelius and later moved to Boston to become the head violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he played and promoted Sibelius. He was an immigrant from Russia. So, you see, if Sibelius would have thought like you about people from other countries he would have killed his ability to compose masterpieces.

      One thing that I do not appreciate from you is that you claim to “own” pieces of what some interpret as Finnish when in fact they have been inherited by humanity. Sibelius is one such composer. Finlandia was also Biafra’s national anthem.

  367. Tiwaz permalink
    January 14, 2009 6:29 am

    -“Would you feel totally naked as a person if you did not persist with your ramped nationalism? I mean, stop hiding in folktales and myths?
    Sibelius’ masterpieces were not composed for Finns but for humankind. My grandmother’s first husband was a violinist who played under Sibelius and later moved to Boston to become the head violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he played and promoted Sibelius. He was an immigrant from Russia. So, you see, if Sibelius would have thought like you about people from other countries he would have killed his ability to compose masterpieces.”

    Tell me, imbecile, what you build your identity upon? Because every psychologist will tell you it is something that takes place in your youth. You pretend you have no culture, but in next breath tell how your parents brought you up.

    That is where your identity came from. If we take away everything which became dear to you in childhood. You would lose your identity. Mine, and every Finns, identity is built on our society and culture.

    -“One thing that I do not appreciate from you is that you claim to “own” pieces of what some interpret as Finnish when in fact they have been inherited by humanity. Sibelius is one such composer. Finlandia was also Biafra’s national anthem.”

    And it still is Finnish composition by Finn made in Finland. So, it is part of Finnish culture and psyche. If others try to add it to their culture, they can. But it does not make it less Finnish.

    There is no “humanity” we are not all one big happy family. We live in groups, tribes. Or have you perhaps missed what is taking place in Gaza imbecile?

    • Enrique permalink
      January 14, 2009 5:03 pm

      Who said I do not have culture. The difference between you and me is that I am not obsessed by it.

      Why don’t you try to break your personal record by using the term “imbecile” more than two times in a comment. That would be a new record. Furthermore, you should use words correctly. An “imbecile” has an IQ of about 25. I do not call you an imbecile because I respect people with physical and mental problems.

  368. Tiwaz permalink
    January 14, 2009 6:31 am

    By the way, how on earth you can make jump of logic that Sibelius somehow depended in his creations on your grandmothers first husband?

    You try to overexaggerate importance of your family there. If your grannys hubbie had not been there, another violinist would have been. And Sibelius would have composed just the same.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 14, 2009 4:56 pm

      Read the post carefully. I said that he promoted his music in the US.

  369. Tiwaz permalink
    January 15, 2009 6:29 am

    So? He promoted Sibelius?

    What would we have lost if he had not? NOTHING!
    Sibelius still would have made his symphonies, they would still be played in Finland.

    Husband of your grandmother was on large scale totally irrelevant to Sibelius and his creation.

    And I call you imbecile because that tends to fit you. Though I think calling you one might be insult to mentally handicapped.

    Now, tell me idiot, I hope I do not insult idiots here, how you are not “obsessed” by your culture? You are after all constantly trying to push it to me, native, in my country. You are far more obsessed of your culture than I am of mine. I just want to keep my identity intact, part of that identity is Finnish culture.

    You want to tear apart that unique culture, replace it with whatever you prefer and destroy Finnish culture from this world once and for all. If you have your way, Finnish culture will stop existing. There is no more Finns. Because Finn would be empty word which would mean nothing.

    You are arrogant little idiot who thinks he has right to go to foreign countries and demand natives of those countries to appease you by following your cultural norms. And an idiot, since you apparently think culture and genetics are somehow connected.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 15, 2009 7:25 pm

      Wow, you outdid yourself: you mentioned imbecile once and idiot a record five times! People who are ethnocentric tend to exaggerate differences between people. I believe that cultures and people are not as different as you state. Finns are not a lost “tribe” living in the Deep North with unique anthropolgical traits.
      Did I say that culture and genetics are somewhow connected??

  370. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    January 15, 2009 3:21 pm

    “how you are not “obsessed” by your culture? ”

    Ah, thats “multiculture”.

  371. intternetnetsi permalink
    January 16, 2009 12:57 am

    -“Finns are not a lost “tribe” living in the Deep North with unique anthropolgical traits.”

    If we look europe we are, i would like to see russia in this map too. Couldt find map where “finns swim alone in gene pool”

  372. Tiwaz permalink
    January 16, 2009 5:09 am

    -“Wow, you outdid yourself: you mentioned imbecile once and idiot a record five times! People who are ethnocentric tend to exaggerate differences between people. I believe that cultures and people are not as different as you state. Finns are not a lost “tribe” living in the Deep North with unique anthropolgical traits.
    Did I say that culture and genetics are somewhow connected??”

    Apologies for calling you idiot, but your arguments are ones that resemble ones that are made by an idiot. But I admit you are not an idiot, delusional idealist but not necessarily idiot.

    As for “lost tribe”. We are genetically set apart from basically all our neighbours. There has been VERY minor interaction between Finns and people of surrounding regions, but it has been minimal. That is what has made many geneticists so interested about Finns. Our genetic code is very close to what it was when our ancestors came to this country. It has changed very little because there has been very little interaction with other societies around us.

    Finns are tribe of it’s own. We have our own language, our own culture. Today we have our own country too. And our genetics are clearly set apart from dominant genes surrounding us.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/science/13visual.html

    Read.

    And what you believe is irrelevant. People and cultures are VASTLY different. More common things they share, more alike they are of course. But since humans live in huge amount of areas, so our cultures have huge amount of variation. To point where no two cultures are not perfectly compatible. Because if they were, they would not be different cultures.

    Differences between European cultures are relatively minor, on global scale. Which is why your poor, innocent immigrant muslims are so problematic. Their culture comes from totally different background, and their refusal to accept that their native norms no longer apply lead to situation of them being overrepresented in rape statistics.

    Now, tell me. How your grannys husband was so critical for Sibelius? What FACTS (you know, we Finns are from culture which values facts instead of all that emotional stuff your native latin-american culture prefers. We find emotional arguments to be tools of those who have no argument) you have to back it up?

  373. Helsinki permalink
    January 24, 2009 6:26 pm

    “-”It would be as well Somalia’s national hymn, it’s only imaginaton about what is Finland in this song. ”

    Ever thought that it is simphony created by Finn, for Finns. And that it draws upon Finnish culture to create it. And that to Finns it acts as piece of the foundation for our identity.”

    Yeah I know but I did not meant that. Well, if you just heard the song “Finlandia” without you don’t know nothing about this song history, how you can connect this song to Finland? There’s no way.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 24, 2009 7:56 pm

      Finlandia is a masterpiece. Certainly those that live and know Finland can see sublime images flowering from his music. If you never have been to Finland nor did not know who the composer was, you would still be marveled by its beauty.

  374. Helsinki permalink
    January 24, 2009 6:36 pm

    “And have you ever grasped that your problems of getting job are twofold..
    1) It is not in general easy to get a job in Finland. Even for natives.
    2) You lack basic skills of communication and interaction. Those are essential in fitting into workplace. If you do not have them, you are liability.”

    Of course of course but if you but it will be sometimes many times harder to get a job unless you have good skills to communication and so on. Think about it if you are Finnish gypsy or Finnish born non-islamic black one with perfect language skills.

    “1) It is not in general easy to get a job in Finland. Even for natives.”

    That’s sometimes true, partically in the country side but normally not higher economy cities like in Helsinki.

    • Enrique permalink
      January 24, 2009 8:01 pm

      Helsinki, thank you for making an intersting point. Spain is another example. In that country you have hundreds of thousands of Latin American immigrants who speak Spanish as their mother tongue and understand culture. They also share the same religion as the Spaniards. Why are these people form the lower economic classes in Spain? Lack of professional training? Or is it something in between the Spaniards’ ears? There are professions that suit EVERYONE in society — from cleaning to managing a multinational company. Langauge is only an excuse. Then when the person learns the language, I am certain some other excuse will be made up not to hire him/her.

  375. Lontoolainen permalink
    February 3, 2009 7:06 pm

    ”As for “lost tribe”. We are genetically set apart from basically all our neighbours. There has been VERY minor interaction between Finns and people of surrounding regions, but it has been minimal. That is what has made many geneticists so interested about Finns. Our genetic code is very close to what it was when our ancestors came to this country. It has changed very little because there has been very little interaction with other societies around us.

    Finns are tribe of it’s own. We have our own language, our own culture. Today we have our own country too. And our genetics are clearly set apart from dominant genes surrounding us.”

    When we walk around Saimaa, we might do well to see the dozens of rock art locations, some made well over 10,000 years ago. These were not made by ”Finns” in todays sense, indeed Sami and Finn did not exist as distinctly separate entities at the time. As for Finns, if you mean Karelians, Tavastians, Ingrians, Ostrobothnians…they were seperate tribes, who never considered themselves as Finns, not until they were branded as such in the 14th Century or later. The ”Finnish” language was standardized less than 150 years ago. So much for the single tribe theory.
    The Sami are distant relations of Finns, it doesnt take a Linguistics or Genetics expert to work that out.
    Russia, Estonia and Latvia contain well over half of the Baltic Finnic languages spoken today, or vestiges of those that were not wiped off the map by Stalin. The single tribe theory does not stick, and I am sick and tired of self styled Nationalists citing this outdated, disproven crap over and over again.

    • Enrique permalink
      February 3, 2009 8:20 pm

      Hi Lontoolainen, I think you made your point eloquently. People who push around this idea that “Finns are a tribe” has a lot to do with the way the Finns see themselves with the rest of the Europe. It is a good thing that less and less people see themselves this way. It is like the poppycock about the Continuation War, in which Finland fought a “separate” war with the Soviet Union. It is a hard sell taking into account that ALL of Europe (except for Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) was engulfed in an all-out war and, here in the corner pocket of Europe, the Finns are fighting a “separate war” with the USSR with the help of Germany. Now that is, in my opinion, an incredible statement. It will one day be disproved like this idea that the Finns came from the Volga region and happened to settle Finland.

  376. alien permalink
    February 5, 2009 4:12 pm

    Hi every body.

    Just to cheer you up.
    🙂

  377. February 7, 2009 11:41 am

    Obama !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a solution to a problem !

    • Enrique permalink
      February 8, 2009 11:05 am

      Hi lu, and welcome to Migrant Tales. I hear you and hope that he will be a solution to a very serious problem left by Bush.

    • Enrique permalink
      February 8, 2009 11:08 am

      Hi lu, and welcome to Migrant Tales. I sure hope so!

  378. alien permalink
    February 7, 2009 11:25 pm

    I don’t know what problem is to be solved to which Obama could be a solution. But I know that it takes courage to solve big problems and not color! Some thing which seems to be far less accessible for politicians!!

    • Enrique permalink
      February 8, 2009 11:06 am

      Let’s hope so, alien. Only time holds the secret to the question you pose. It is pretty incredulous, how much hope has been placed on a person. Special interest can ruin the party.

  379. alien permalink
    February 9, 2009 9:28 pm

    Lets hope my friend!:)

  380. alien permalink
    February 12, 2009 11:56 pm

    To racists:
    I don’t care If you are racist or what!I don’t really care if u like me or hate me. Personally I just laugh at you if u think you are superior. I am more intelligent, more handsome, braver, educated, and if you want to fight me, I kick your monkey ass. I all I want is the equal chances.If Finland administration give me the same chances that is assumed granted for you, I would be happy. That is nothing but equal chance to study, to work, to travel, and social positions. If Finland follows the rule in the democracy that every one is innocent until proven guilty that is enough for me.
    Our problem, immigrants problem, is the State Discrimination. You racists are nothing. What is so good about you or your history which makes you feel superior? Nothing! SO If you are racist and hate us, you can go and f*** yourself.

  381. Lontoolainen permalink
    February 13, 2009 6:12 pm

    The ‘racists’ here are just ignorant fools. They see themselves as patriots. You cant blame an inexperienced, uneducated person of being a racist, education and contact with foreigners will usually fix that. It’s the informed who choose to ignore the truth and fan the flames, they are the racists.

    Anyway, all have a good weekend!

    • Enrique permalink
      February 14, 2009 7:55 am

      Hi Lontoolainen, I hope you are well in Small Town, Finland. You are absolutely right: racism loses out in the end because it is self-inflicting and undermines the social, political and economic foundations of society. It turns you into a person with very narrow views of society.
      Have a restful weekend as well.

  382. intternetnetsi permalink
    February 21, 2009 9:38 pm

    “education and contact with foreigners will usually fix that. It’s the informed who choose to ignore the truth and fan the flames, they are the racists.”

    Bollocks, that causes “racism”. Problems and frictions what current multiculturalISM causes are facts and any sensible person see those.

    I would like to have ambulance in where i live so no multicultarism please.

    • Enrique permalink
      February 22, 2009 6:55 am

      Why would multiculturalism cause racism?! And, if you did not know, it is the law in Finland that all forms of discrimination are a crime. If I were you, I would march and form a lobby group that would do away with laws such as the Equality and Non-Discrimination Act. I would be fascinated to hear how you would sell your plan to the general public. If you can, please tell me what arguments you would use to do away these two laws.

  383. intternetnetsi permalink
    February 22, 2009 2:54 pm

    Those laws are against multiculturalism because multiculturalism isnt about equality but for separation and segregation.

  384. February 28, 2009 8:59 pm

    “I hope change come soon to this land, because diversity is good for any nation.”

    Yeah, i think we have seen that in Sweden…. LOL

    Immigrants dont want to be equal… they want to be superior.

    • Enrique permalink
      February 28, 2009 9:06 pm

      –Immigrants dont want to be equal… they want to be superior.

      Why do you think that? Don’t come and tell me that immigrants in Finland use up all the social welfare services at your expense. That is one of the most senseless arguments I have heard.

  385. March 2, 2009 11:35 pm

    Quite a racistic article. Qualifies as a hate speech against Finns.

    • Enrique permalink
      March 3, 2009 1:11 pm

      Hi VV, why do you consider this a “hate” speech against Finns? If racism is a problem, isn’t it important that we address it forcefully?

  386. Timo Hellman permalink
    March 3, 2009 9:38 am

    “And, if you did not know, it is the law in Finland that all forms of discrimination are a crime.”

    Except positive discrimination aka “affirmative action”

    What is your opinion about positive discrimination?

    And what you think of swimming hours only for Muslim ladies by City of Helsinki?

    • Enrique permalink
      March 3, 2009 10:08 am

      Hi Timo Hellman, thank you for your comment and welcome to Migrant Tales.
      What is “positive discrimination?” I do not understand the concept. Are you trying to say that when Muslim ladies have swimming hours for them that is “positive discrimination?” Discrimination is a more sinister thing. As you know, some Finns use the word racism to apply to everything such as “ikärasismi.” Racism is discrimination due to race, full stop. Why do you feel that you are being “discriminated” because Muslim women have swimming hours? Aren’t there different classes that reserve the pool on certain hours, for example scuba divers?
      Is this issue only a storm in a tea cup?

  387. KitKat permalink
    March 3, 2009 2:45 pm

    I am quite insulted by this piece of writing and all the comments on here. I personally don’t think Finland is racist. I’m getting sick and tired of being called a racist because I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to Finland what has happened to other big European countries (e.g. England, France, Holland..) I’m also sick of people coming into Finland and demanding special treatment because they are foreign. I know most of these demanders happen to be Muslim. Now don’t get me wrong, I am tolerant of all religions, I have lived in a muslim country and some of my best friends are muslims. But I don’t understand how as soon as muslims enter Europe they seem to think that they have the right to demand special treatment. As an example what Timo Hellman mentioned about the swimming hours on for muslim women. How would it be received if a swimming pool took for example thursday and made it “only for finnish men”.

    I can understand different times for men and women, but what goes beyond my understanding is separating times according to religion. This is political correctness gone mad.

    Can you imagine a scenario where a finnish person would go to e.g. Saudi Arabia and demand a restaurant to serve him pork? This would be unacceptable there. However the western world is so set on being politically correct that we are willing to give up our own heritage and culture to please others.

    Some people who have commented on this think it’s racist if a finn doesnt say hello to you or isn’t polite. Well let me tell you something. Like I said I lived in a muslim country for two years when I was younger. We were pretty much the only “white” people in the village. I have been spat on, made fun of, been hit, been called names.. I was once hit with a glass bottle on my head and had to go to get stiches. We arrived at the clinic and the doctor who was immediately available wouldn’t treat me because I wasn’t a muslim.. I had to wait for two hours to get stickes. That’s what’s racism.

    And Enrique, for your question about positive discrimination.. it happens for example when there are quotas being issued to certain jobs. Lets say there are two applicants to a job, a finnish man and a foreign one. Now the finn has better qualifications and is by far a better candidate but the company feels they need to employ the foreign one just to fill a quota or avoid being called racists. That’s positive discrimination.

    • Enrique permalink
      March 3, 2009 5:52 pm

      Hi KitKat, many thanks for dropping by and posting a comment.

      If you are a Finn, how do you know what other people from different cultures have to endure in this country? Maybe you have an idea what it means to be excluded from your experiences in the Middle East. Add to that the fact that you have to make a living in a country that may not accept you, and you may get an idea what it means to be at the receiving end.

      –I’m getting sick and tired of being called a racist because I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to Finland what has happened to other big European countries (e.g. England, France, Holland..) I’m also sick of people coming into Finland and demanding special treatment because they are foreign.

      I wonder who is calling you a racist. What is it that you do not want happening to Finland. If there is about 20% unemployment among foreigners in general, what kind of special treatment are they receiving?

      At Yrjö’s swimming pool in Helsinki there are days when it is reserved only for men and other days for women. I don’t think you can compare Finland to Saudi Arabia nor is it a country that I would personally want to emulate. I enjoy Western principles and values. What happened to you in the Muslim country you mentioned is just as bad as what Skinheads and other similar groups are doing in Finland.

      I do not like the word “positive discrimination.” They are called quotas. It also happens among women in Finland. In the public sector and city council committees there are quotas for how many women must sit in management or as a member. Is that discrimination against men? Could you please tell me which company in Finland has ethnic quotas? I am pretty certain it is not the private sector.

  388. alien permalink
    March 8, 2009 2:46 pm

    JP Says:
    February 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    “I hope change come soon to this land, because diversity is good for any nation.”

    Yeah, i think we have seen that in Sweden…. LOL
    ….

    I dont know if Sweden is so bad why 600 000 Fins are living there !!!???

    If Sweden is so terrible, why they have stronger economy!!!!

    Why you follow every thing from Sweden, except the way they let immigrants integrate into their society!!!

    Who travels more to the other one’s country? Swedes to Finland, or Finns to Sweden!!!!???

    • Enrique permalink
      March 9, 2009 7:40 am

      Hi Alien, there are many things about Sweden that I like. It is funny how some of the comments talk about how “bad” Sweden is when in reality it had given hunreds of thousands of jobs to Finns. Some comments in this blogs are made by chronic nationalists and by people afflicted by a bad case of ethnocentrism.

  389. alien permalink
    March 9, 2009 2:57 pm

    You are right Enrique:
    If you had this sight in Sweden and this discussion would be about Sweden, there would be many Swedes and Finns who living in Sweden who would endorse and support you. I am sorry that you have such a difficult job in Finland. Though I respect Finland in many ways, but I am afraid to say that Finnish society is so right-wing, meaning has still work to do to see the things from other perspectives and from a higher point. In such a situation running a discussion which takes some intellects seems to be hard and not appreciated as we observe.

    Good luck my friend and if it happened you come by to Stockholm I would be happy to have a lunch, coffee, or a beer with you depending on the time. 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      March 9, 2009 10:48 pm

      Thank you for the invitation, alien. I will take you up on it if I travel to Stockholm. The same invitation goes for you if you are ever in Finland.
      It would be interesting to hear what things are being debated in Sweden about the issues we discuss in this blog.

  390. intternetnetsi permalink
    March 10, 2009 6:33 pm

    “Why you follow every thing from Sweden, except the way they let immigrants integrate into their society!!!”

    I dont call stoning firetruck/ambulance as integrating.

    “The same invitation goes for you if you are ever in Finland.”

    So you moved back to finland?

  391. alien permalink
    March 11, 2009 8:07 pm

    intternetnetsi Says:
    March 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm
    ….
    So you moved back to finland?

    kamoo sä oot ihan pihalla! 🙂 keep wishing

  392. alien permalink
    March 12, 2009 8:38 pm

    No one of you Finns would like to answer to this question if there is riots in Stockholm, there lives people who according to you “stone ambulances” (is good to show a picture to endorse your claim), and all the rest that you are saying, why 600 000 of you Finnish people live in such a bad place and do not go back to Finland where you dont do these bad things and being the third criminal nation is only domestic issues and nothing cultural!!!

    • Enrique permalink
      March 12, 2009 10:53 pm

      Hi Alien, do not take some of these comments too seriously. You should be fortunate that you live in Sweden, where debate over cultural diversity is on a totally different league than in Finland. This does not mean that there are genuinely good and open people that live in this country. Some of these 600,000 Finns you mention understand what it means to start anew in a new society. From the comments you make, I can tell that you too understand well the issue. Thank you for sharing your views with us.

  393. intternetnetsi permalink
    March 14, 2009 8:10 pm

    “Now in Malmo, Sweden, a city where a quarter of the population is Muslim, there are some parts of the city where buses refuse to go for fear of safety. Fireman, policemen, and ambulance drivers have been attacked in certain sections when trying to do their job.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,136500,00.html

    And about back in finland i was quoting and commenting enrique not you.

  394. intternetnetsi permalink
    March 14, 2009 8:11 pm

    And about why finns still live in sweden, whole sweden isnt hellhole and you probably know term white flight.

  395. alien permalink
    March 15, 2009 1:44 pm

    intternetnetsi Says:
    March 14, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    “Now in Malmo, Sweden, a city where a quarter of the population is Muslim, there are some parts of the city where buses refuse to go for fear of safety. Fireman, policemen, and ambulance drivers have been attacked in certain sections when trying to do their job.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,136500,00.html

    Your resource is a right-winged anti-moslem resource and is lying according to Expressen. Watch it out for your self:

    Expressen.se om Fox News, Malmö och bloggare
    Expressen kommenterade, glädjande nog, Fox News Malmöreportage på söndagen:

    “Rävstationen besökte Malmö och lämnade staden med ett reportage med namnet ‘Sverige har nått smärtgränsen när det gäller muslimer’. Malmö beskrivs som en förlorad stad där en fjärdedel av invånarna är muslimer, därtill fundamentalister och därmed potentiella terrorister. Reportern Steve Harrigan kokade ihop en soppa av manipulerad och delvis påhittad fakta, kryddad med gammal guilt-by-association, lätt fräst i ett mardrömsscenario. (…)

    Lyckligtvis så finns det vakna bloggare som Jonas Södersten på kornet.se som slår ut etablerade medier såväl när det gäller snabbhet som noggrannhet.”
    Expressen: Räven går i Rosengård – Fox News sprider myter om muslimerna i Malmö, 5 dec 2004 (min kursivering)

    Finns should know Swedish since they have been once under Swedes from the beginning for 700 years. I bring a summary for others so that it shows how racist people of Finland using phony resources to endorse their claims.

    Summary in english:
    …. Reporter Steve Harrigan had boiled a soup of manipulation and partly artificial facts, spiced with old guilt-by-association, and lightly fried in a nightmare scenario!…….

    … Hopefully there exists a awakened blogger such as Jonas Södersten in kornet.se who stands in established media when it comes to prompt accuracy.

    Here is the link:
    http://kornet.nu/blindhona/arkiv/001142.html

    You see this is a Swedish White NEWSPAPER. A Swedish one which knows Mälmo and Sweden better than you and it confirms that Foxnews article is a lie!

    You were here in Sweden we would show you a white fight that you forget your way back home! You dont believe me, ask your Finnish people in Sweden, how much of a with fight they can put up in here!

  396. intternetnetsi permalink
    March 16, 2009 6:13 pm

    Its white FLIGHT you imbesil and i have talked to relatives who live in sweden and situation is grim.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flight

    White flight is a term for the demographic trend in which working and middle-class white people move away from suburbs or urban neighborhoods that are becoming racially desegregated to white suburbs and exurbs.

  397. March 17, 2009 12:44 am

    “Here is a new one, number 11: I get attacked by comments in my blog for speaking out against racism….
    The problem is, that in recent years the internet has let the ‘cat out of the bag.’ People can write often what they like without being traced. It’s definitely being used especially by the extremists.”

    Perhaps your own blog reinforces this point, given how much you’re addressing some rather emotional and polemic comments? I think you’re a patient person to endure all these comments in such a cool-headed manner. While I consider myself level-headed, I don’t react as kindly to remarkably unsubtle bigotry and xenophobia–and it does not reinforce whatever pride I may have in my family’s heritage.

    In regards to extremism, I’ve noted this too while reading web resources on Finnish culture. Sadly, one eventually comes across someone who has a huge chip on their shoulder, behaving with extreme drama as if the very fabric of Finnish society is at risk. I find this hard to believe and rather ironic, given how Finnish culture and identity has survived centuries of occupation and marginalization. It’s a testament to Finland’s enduring character to survive despite these odds—so I find little dignity in those who figuratively “piss their pants” at the prospect of a little cultural abrasion due to immigration. Excuse the colorful metaphor, but surely similar cultural tension happened during Sweden’s or Russia’s administration? Is such tension really a new, untenable problem for any culture?

    Obviously, it’s up to every country to determine their future and how they integrate disparate cultures. Yet, it strikes me that once you invite multinationals, it’s your responsibility to set a good example of the values that represent your country. I think that is incumbent upon any culture—particularly my own. Conversely, I would consider it common sense for any guest to try to understand, appreciate and integrate in the host culture if they plan living there. However, it should be common-sense that people are most willing to integrate in cultures where they feel welcome and have equal opportunity to pursue the same goals as everyone else. But there’s an apparent contradiction when people are brought in to do work nobody else wants, given little reason for hope for advancement, yet expected to seamlessly integrate into their host culture? Excuse me if I chuckle a bit at this irony which I see repeated in many countries—including the United States.

    • Enrique permalink
      March 17, 2009 10:02 am

      KS, many thanks for your words. What you say is spot on and explains the whole issue in a nutshell. I will remember your comment and recommend it to others. I could not have said it better.
      The reason why I think it is important that some xenophobes comment in this blog is to see what they actually think and how distorted and opinionated their views are. There was a new attitude study published by Magdalena Jaakkola that shows that Finns’ attitudes towards immigrants has become more favorable.
      If we look at some of the commentators in the blog who vehemently oppose cultural diversity, I get the feeling they would be happier living under a dictatorship. They have little respect for the laws and believe mistakenly that they have the right to insult other groups because Finland is “their” country. There is a basic flaw in this argument: 1) Finland is NOT their country; 2) and Finland has become the home of people from all walks of cultural life. Another interesting matter is that they talk of “Finnish” attitudes and values when, in fact, they are undermining these very values. Few have the guts to come out of the closet so to speak and challenge Finland’s anti-discrimination laws and multicultural model. They do not do this because their countrymen would run them out of Finland, or they would be too ashamed to show their face. It is a bit like the peeping Tom: he watches from afar anonymously to get their rocks off. As this blog has grown so have these types of people become a minority.
      In my opinion, racism is nothing more than a tool to dominate minorities.

  398. March 17, 2009 5:51 pm

    “If we look at some of the commentators in the blog who vehemently oppose cultural diversity, I get the feeling they would be happier living under a dictatorship.”

    In a wider sense, I’ve also observed a direct correlation between racism, ultra-nationalism, and insular/xenophobic thinking. To this way of thinking, the solution is understood in “black-white” terms, where splitting hairs on cultural identity ever finer achieves a “pure” model of national identity that “strengthens” the country—or so they claim. Obviously, if such a goal is pursued it does not stop with foreigners, but will eventually turn on itself and attack the country. Recent history should provide more than a few cautionary tales of what happens to nations driven by ultra-nationalism, “racial purity”, and cultural scapegoating. It essentially manipulates an extreme form of tribalism to put the blame on a convenient target during a time of crisis.

    Cultural pride is a fine thing, but when taken to such exclusionary extremes it becomes a self-destructive form of tribalism. Having once lived in Europe, I’ve seen this taken to ludicrous ends within an ostensibly “multi-cultural” country where unfavorable comparisons were made on the basis regional dialects, local culture, or even physical appearance. Even here in the United States, one runs across some incredibly inaccurate racial stereotypes. Recently, I ran spoke to a person of Finnish descent who was convinced all Finns must have blonde hair/blue eyes—just like them. Obviously, someone like me who has dark brown hair and green eyes isn’t of Finnish ancestry (!) Racism is a mental disease that can be used against anybody if one finds justification. But here I’ll end and continue this topic on my own blog. 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      March 17, 2009 7:57 pm

      Hi KS, of all the thousands of comments that have been made in this blog, your last two posts shine out. You say it so well, even an elementary school child understands it. A Finn can be of any religion, color or ethnic group. Some Finns have just not woken up to this fact of life.
      The aim of this blog is for people to air their opinions over racism/xenophobia in Finland. We do so because we want to make Finland a better country to live in. Racism/xenophobia/exclusionism is the most harmful matter that can besiege a society. It destroys talent, opportunity and growth. That is why in Finland there are laws and zero tolerance in government for racism.

  399. intternetnetsi permalink
    March 17, 2009 11:41 pm

    Again you use word xenoPHOBIA and probably mean me on that too, phobia is irrational fear and i dont have irrational fears even if you try claim that i have. I have fears that everything happens like in every other country in europe and thats not irrational.
    I have anakrophobia tho so i know what irrational fear is.

    exclusionism is what multiculturalism is advocating, its separating and labeling people. There is no equality in multiculturalism.

  400. intternetnetsi permalink
    March 17, 2009 11:48 pm

    “Racism is a mental disease that can be used against anybody if one finds justification.”

    And being gay was mental disease not so long ago and in UUSR that was common way to get rid of people who didnt “think correctly”, that how yourkind of people describe racism means finland if one f***** big loony bin.

  401. intternetnetsi permalink
    March 18, 2009 11:21 pm

    And about racism… people have accused that “we racists” speak under nickname and there is reason for that.

    http://hommaforum.org/index.php?topic=3489.0

    If youre interested im Hannu Matias Varjo born in 1977 and living in Tampere. That extra info so you wont mix me on my 2 “kaima”.

  402. Biko permalink
    March 20, 2009 7:05 pm

    I have been living in Finland almost ten years, just to work, that is the only thing I am interested in about Finland. I have a real life elsewhere, Finland means just a job and this is not going to change. I have no interest whatsoever in knowing finns or what they call their culture, there is just nothing I like about this country and I would tell foreigners to not waste their time, work is work but they should have a life somewhere else, where normal,interesting and humane people dwell.

    • Enrique permalink
      March 20, 2009 7:45 pm

      Hi Biko, many thanks for your comment and welcome to Migrant Tales. I think a lot of people from diverse backgrounds do what you said. After traveling and working in many countries I have become quite adaptive. I like to enjoy the place (for better or worse) where I live. If I move to another place, I try to live to the fullest in my new hometown. We are all different. What ever works for one is the most important course of action.

  403. Hannu Varjo permalink
    March 24, 2009 11:39 pm

    Sweden is quiet and peaceful, everything else is lie!
    Or is it? http://sydsvenskan.se/malmo/article421610/Stenkastning-vid-brand-i-Rosengard.html

  404. JPR permalink
    April 6, 2009 10:01 pm

    What is the point of this blog? It’s totally useless. There is no proper, constructive discussion going on here. A couple of Finnish racists arguing with bitter foreigners whose life Finland has destroyed. It’s really tiring reading these similar messages over and over again. I think those two racists should be banned from writing here, anyone can see that they are very childish, ignorant people. Their posts are getting quite annoying. And those foreigners complaining about Finland, well, if Finland is so horrible then why don’t you leave the country then? Nobody is forcing you to live here. If Sweden is so much better, then move there! I’m quite sure you’ll very quickly find something to complain about Sweden too once you’re living there

    • Enrique permalink
      April 6, 2009 10:49 pm

      Hi JPR, I think this is the second time you have posted a comment with us. Taking into account that this is a blog where you have to post comments, I believe it is quite commendable that there are so many people willing to debate an issue such as being an immigrant in Finland. I disagree that we are “complaining” about Finland. I believe one of the fortes of this blog is that it brings a lot of debate that has not even been discussed enough in Finland. How many newspapers in Finland have written editorials about high unemployment among foreigners? Few to none, I would suspect.
      If we live in a democratic society, don’t we have the right to debate anything we want under the sun, especially those things that the majority culture may not prefer to debate because it is a sticky issue. The people will determine whether what is debated in Migrant Tales is of any interest or relates to their lives. Why should I or anyone have to move to another country? The suggestion, “love it or leave it,” has been used by almost every country on Earth. As for myself, I have learned a lot thanks to this blog about how some Finns feel about otherness.
      To conclude, this blog is not useless. It offers a forum for some to express what they feel and their opinions. I not only consider that very valuable but important.

  405. Irvman permalink
    April 7, 2009 12:17 pm

    I ended up being in Finland because I’m married to a Finn. Anyways here are three videos, the first one is a video of MOL trying to tell foreigners why they should come to Finland.

    http://www.mol.fi/mol/fi/02_tyosuhteet_ja_lait/02_ulkom_suomessa/07_flash/Tyoministerio_WEB_ENG.html

    This second video i made for a contest in Tampere during fall of 08(Mun Tampere contest by Mindtrek).

    The winning video ended up being this one (a great video).

    My point was to speak out for immigrants in Tampere because of the xenophobia towards them. Tampere still is a nice place to live but try to get a job here. Finns here enjoy the free labor from the foreigners seeking internships but the truth occurs as soon as the internships are over.

    Just a few weeks ago we had a MOL representative at our local immigrant place give advice on how to look for jobs and when i discussed figures of umeployment and the reality of things (so much as to quit the bullshit) she sort of agreed how immigrants really are fucked. And finally I asked her that if MOL knows that among immigrants the unemployment is so high then why the hell are they letting so many immigrants in if the aren’t enough jobs for everyone. She didn’t know how to answer.

    As highly educated as Finns are sometimes I wonder their true people skills. Immigrants are not figures and once the people holding the jobs that decide immigrants lives understand that then maybe immigrants will begin to be treated as people.

    • Enrique permalink
      April 7, 2009 1:35 pm

      Hi Irvman and thank your for sharing your thoughts with us. You make as good questions as “immigrant” did about employment. The most important matter for anyone to get a foothold in Finnish society is work. Without it we don’t cut it and do not have too much say. It’s a good thing you asked those tough questions to the MOL rep. We should be asking more similar question all the time.
      I enjoyed your videoclip as well as the British guide to Tampere. The MOL videoclip was interesting as well. I had never seen it. There was a key word that they mentioned: Finland wants SKILLED workers. However, they do not mention that unemployment among immigrants is one of the highest in the EU and that it would be easier to find a job in other countries.
      Many thanks again for sharing this interesting material.

  406. April 8, 2009 4:57 pm

    As a Finlander (read Finnish-American) I haven’t experienced too much difficulty during my 5 years in Finland, however as a bartender I occasionally find my self at the receiving end of drunken verbal abuse due to my accent. This usually occurs when I choose not to serve individuals who are overly intoxicated. On occasion I’ve been told to go back to Turkey or Iran (perhaps due to my dark eyes and hair as well as the presence of a tiny bit more pigment in my skin than the average Finn). Nothing to shocking and nothing that I’d file a criminal report over.

    I recently had an opinion piece concerning immigration in Finland published in the New World Finn. You can read it on my blog at willielahti.blogspot.com

    Yes, thats my real name. Please refrain from sending me death threats 🙂 although constructive comments and criticism are welcome.

    • Enrique permalink
      April 8, 2009 10:18 pm

      Hi Willie, welcome to Migrant Tales and thank you for sharing your views with us. Being a Finlander must have been a key factor in helping you integrate and understand Finnish society. I visited your blog and I was impressed by your explanation of mojakka, beef stew, used by Finlanders. Since Finlanders are “close relatives” of mainland Finns, it is interesting to note how Finnish culture has evolved in different parts of the world. It shows how diverse and rich our culture is.
      I hope a lot of bloggers who visit us will migrate to your blog. I also write for New World Finn, which is a very good publication. Keep up the good work!

  407. April 8, 2009 9:02 pm

    kääk

  408. intternetnetsi permalink
    April 10, 2009 7:58 am

    Being finlander probably help some but when i red blog i found what probably helped most.

    “Should we cling to our own languages and cultures and hope that our stay here is temporary? Or should we become comfortable with the fact that this is where we live and that this is where we must forge a future for ourselves and for our adopted homeland? If so, we must make every effort to improve our language skills and to begin the gradual process of assimilation. Nothing comes for free, and certainly not without hard work.”

    “When I first moved here I made up my mind that I would speak as little English as possible during interactions with my Finnish friends.”

    And i admit that current finnish language teaching is fckd up because we just dont have resources.

    “Under the current system refugees are prohibited from working”

    No, in that old system “asulym seekers” who got temporary permit didnt get work permit. Goverment fucked up that law but you can google about it.

    Immigration is burden for our society if we dont control who comes in http://hommaforum.org/index.php?topic=3791.0 and there you see most whiny and demanding groups, then look how educated they are and what religion they practise etc.. Then we see those groups in TV as model of “cultural richness..”

  409. intternetnetsi permalink
    April 10, 2009 8:00 am

    Enrigue you maybe want to look http://www.kolumbus.fi/matti.sarmela/Suomen%20perinneatlas.pdf
    There is something interesting about finnish history in pages 25-26

    “Itämeren suomalaiset. Arkeologiassa on nykyisin hyväksytty käsitys, että Itämereltä Uraliin ulottuvalla
    pohjoisella havumetsävyöhykkeellä suomalais-ugrilaisia eli uralilaisia kieliä puhuvat kansat ovat alkuperäiskansoja;
    heitä varhemmasta kulttuurista ei ole tietoja. Proto-uralilaisten on arveltu kuuluneen jo myöhäisglasiaalisen
    ajan (15 000-10 000 eKr.) asukkaisiin Itä-Euroopassa.”

  410. EvilFinn permalink
    April 18, 2009 9:29 pm

    I’m a Finn from a little municipality of the rural areas of Finland so seeing a foreigner here is not very common. Yet we have had some exchange students. I would love to share my thoughts about this subject because I think I understand a bit of this problem form both sides now (thank to this blog).

    I remember when an exchange student from Nigeria was in front of our class one day and he talked about himself, his culture and his opinnions about Finland. He really brought sunshine and rainbows and other good things in to the classroom that day (not literally) =D He was something new and fresh to us. It happened so long ago that I can’t really remember what he said but I remember that I really enjoyed that class.

    Then there was this one exchange student from Australia. He was really nice too and had some interesting things to share. We asked him if he could say something in Finnish and he said “ruisleipä” (rye bread). I remember that we laughed because it was so exciting that someone even tries to learn our language. He thought we laughed at him.

    That’s where the basic problem jumps in. Finns (not trying to generalize) fear to speak English even if we know how to. We fear to make errors in our speech (grammar, pronanciation etc). That basically means we remain silent. We didn’t tell to the Australian the reason why we laughed. So I believe the guy from Australia still thinks we laughed at him =(

    (soon I’ll get to the point… patience, please!)

    The last exchange student I remember was a disapointment. (Won’t tell you where she came from because I’m going to say bad things about her…) She came to our school praising her homecountry and telling us what is wrong in Finland and it was NOT any good critic… just something stupid from our apples being too small to us being [insert-a-bad-thing-you-can-imagine]. I didn’t make any contact to her because I felt she was an idiot. She might have been a golden person deep deep under her skin, but the first (and the second and…) impression was not good. And as she was an ass, she represented her whole country as a place full of stupid people (I know it’s not like that – she was just an individual and not the whole nation but people tend to generalize).

    (And to the point)

    I think that most of those people interested in Finland are not coming here to destroy us and our culture. That’s just ridiculous. But really… the guys from Nigeria and Australia taught us SO much about other cultures AND our own. So I do really agree to the point that some diversity by immigrants could enrich our little Finland.

    The problem is that we still are very young nation at having immigrants so we really have no idea how to interact with them. Other thing is that it’s common here to “mind your own business”. So we basically stare to the people who really look foreign =D Stare out of curiosity, fear or hate (I’ll come to this “hate”-part later). I wouldn’t start a conversation with a foreigner for the same reason I wouldn’t start a conversation with a Finn-stranger. I’m minding my own business. I don’t want to disturbe anybody. So there will only be the stare… I wouldn’t avoid a conversation if somebody spoke to me but then the lack of small talk would really strike because I don’t talk if I have nothing to say. I would help and give directions if somebody asks though. I’d never be rude and I really have nothing against foreigners! So my excuse would be the fear of the unknown not racism. I think that most of the Finns are a bit like me. They don’t have anything against but they just don’t interact with immigrants for a diversity little of reasons.

    Then there’s those who shout stupid things to foreigners and act like idiots. This group is a minority. But even one stupid individual can ruin everything. The first group (the ones that do nothing) and this group (the ones that do stupidities) combined… well… I understand why you call us racists… I understand why many of you don’t want to stay here. I think it’s sad. I love my country ofcourse but this thing is sad. I have realized this a while ago – that’s why I started to do a little research and found this blog.

    I do believe that changes can happen quite soon. My generation (oh.. I’m 19 years old btw) and next generations will have more and more interaction with foreigners – good and bad – so it’s just a matter of time that we Finns realize that foreigners are people just like us – not some aliens. The effect of our history (being part of Sweden and Russia, the wars…) as a block is fading really fast. etc…

    And I must admit that Finnish bureaucracy is invented in hell =)

    We’re not evil. Or at least I hope we aren’t…
    Please respond and correct my thoughts (and sentences ;D )! (And feel free to ask)

    • Enrique permalink
      April 19, 2009 8:06 am

      Hi “Evil”Finn, thank you for your insightful post and welcome to Migrant Tales! You are the hope of this country and I am certain that there are many, many other young people (middle-aged/senior citizens) as yourself. You are the example of the Finn that will ensure that our society continues to be built on justice and aims towards equality. You appear to be able to travel interculturally without the baggage of suspicion and hate; you are probably a polyglot and can write at least three languages very good text. In the US I was bombarded by how bad and lazy blacks were, how the Mexicans were this and the Amerindians were that; can you imagine that in the 1960s I was told by my own relatives in Finland that ALL Roma are crooks? One could not trust any of them… If you use your brains, however, you know that there is something fishy about such an absolute claim. How could 100% of the Roma be mistrusted??
      Amid all this misinformation that one grows up with, you have to find the courage to investigate matters by yourself. That initial significant step to try to accept people for what they are (not where they are from), can be one of the most important decisions in your life. It can really open up your world and such an attitude can impact you throughout your life. Just think how short life is and how little time we have on Earth to savor all the beautiful things and experiences that this world has to offer. How do I know? I embarked on that journey in Los Angeles many years ago and I am grateful I did.

  411. EvilFinn permalink
    April 19, 2009 10:16 pm

    Thank you Enrique for your respond!

    Enrique says: “can you imagine that in the 1960s I was told by my own relatives in Finland that ALL Roma are crooks? One could not trust any of them… If you use your brains, however, you know that there is something fishy about such an absolute claim. How could 100% of the Roma be mistrusted??”

    Actually I can imagine. My grandmother told about the Roma in Finland. When she was young the Roma already had a bad reputation of being crooks as you mentioned it. My grandmother told that she had seen a group of Roma… well… being worth of their reputation… But as my grandmother also said, it happened decades ago and this is now. She said that not all the Roma were/are bad but it’s really hard to gain trust when even a little group feeds the flames. As I said in my previous post: even one stupid individual can ruin everything. All the Roma are not crooks – I even think that majority of them is good people.

    I remember a short documentary (can’t remember the name) of this issue on TV. It was about the bad reputation of Roma in Finland. People are just too suspicious and tend to generalize and because of that one family in the program had serious trouble getting jobs. They really wanted to have honest jobs and they were unbelievably hard for them to get! I think that the whole program was/is good, educational and could be something suitable for schools in Finland. At least it really crushed the misinformation I grew with!

    I hope all this misinformation will die in time. I understand that my grandmother (and some other older people) will be cautious for the rest of her life but younger generations should have a more and more modern view on this whole thing. We are not taught to be racists but then again we are not fully informed about these things either. Most of us just don’t have enough knowledge about the problems immigrants have in our country.

    The world is globalizing. Foreigners will play a bigger and bigger role in our country in the future. My opinnion is that Finland should have a little update on our education system. We have good education about geography and other cultures but really nothing about immigrants in our own country. I’m not talking about a major change here. If we could have couple of lessons from the immigrants (who have been living here for a while) about their lives. Maybe some short introduction to their culture/life before moving to Finland; something about adapting to this culture of ours… things like that… good and bad things. I’m not talking about 45 minutes of whining how bad Finland is – that wouldn’t do the thing. I’m talking about having Finnish people to realize that immigrants are real people too – that comes from the (good kind of) interaction between Finns and foreigners. School is always good environment for this kind of thing. …Uh, I don’t know… Please share your thoughts about this one!

    Enrique says: “You are the example of the Finn that will ensure that our society continues to be built on justice and aims towards equality. You appear to be able to travel interculturally without the baggage of suspicion and hate; you are probably a polyglot and can write at least three languages very good text.”
    Enrique says: “Just think how short life is and how little time we have on Earth to savor all the beautiful things and experiences that this world has to offer.”

    Thank you, Enrique! I really appreciate these words. =) I have thought about how short life is and how my story is just in the beginning (meaning that lukio [the upper secondary school] is at end for me). I try to be open-minded but still carry my values. I have thought that I’d take a language course (4 – 6 weeks maybe) in a different country. I think I would get some golden moments, new views on life and some courage to speak with foreigners (etc) from that. Really looking forward to it. =)

    • Enrique permalink
      April 20, 2009 1:58 pm

      You may be you young, “Evil”Finn, but you show a lot of intelligence for a young person. I agree with you about how Finland will change. Everything changes everywhere, even ourselves. I encourage you to go on that language course. Many of us who leave for long periods never return the same person because we have seen new things.
      If you look at our history, many of them are about traveling and how they changed their lives. One of the most fascinating travelers that I have read of is about Alvaro Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. I don’t know if you can find anything in the Finnish language, but there are many books on him in the English language.
      I have very good Roma friends. Some of them I have known for over 30 years and we are good friends. The catch is that we attempt to pass through culture and our own prejudice in order to accept the person for what he is.
      One of the misconceptions about ourselves as Finns is that we do come from diverse cultural backgrounds. I believe that relations between some Finns and immigrants will improve when there is more attraction. The saying “good business makes good friends” is so true. The whole idea is that we can benefit and find synergies to enrich our society and community. Moreover, I do not think that cultures are SO different from each other. The differences and wall we build are in between our ears.
      So good luck in your endeavors. You will certainly live a rewarding life because you have already noticed that there is beauty in diversity.

  412. alien permalink
    April 22, 2009 9:31 am

    Dear Evil Finn, your comments was one of the most insightful and honest comments I have seen in this blog. Congratulation and I wish happiness and warmth through all your life.

    • Enrique permalink
      April 22, 2009 6:01 pm

      Dear alien, it was very nice that you dropped by. Good to hear from you again.

  413. jamnas permalink
    April 27, 2009 11:59 pm

    I am an immigrant in Finland,having lived here for just over a year now I cannot call myself an expert in the matter being discussed here because most of you guys have lived here longer than I, but I believe this is issue boils down to just common sense.The basic trait that drives humanity is self preservation and the people who understand that, I believe live better with themselves and the decisions they make.I come from Africa and centuries ago my forefathers made the mistake of welcoming invaders who wanted to civilise us with their cultures and religions and look where it got us.Had we not done that and had been wiser as to what we took in from other cultures and had been less tolerant to these self seeking bastards,I dont think we would be in the situation we are now,so kudos to Tiwaz for standing up for what you believe in,in the end thats all that matters,I dont believe you are a racist,you just tell it as is..and people find that hard to swallow..in the end you have a working nation,we dont..so something must be working for you guys..and dont mistake me for condoning racism..alas I would be on the receiving end of it..So guys adapt to the place if It does not work for you..move on,thats what am planninig to do.cheers!

    • Enrique permalink
      April 28, 2009 7:42 am

      Hi Janmas, thank you for sharing your comments with us. I tend to disagree with you about Africans embracing foreigners and that is why things are so bad today. In first place, the white European colonial powers were militarily much more stronger than the natives in Africa and I am certain after slave traders started rounding up Africans, the word got around pretty fast that these newcomers are out to enslave us. It has nothing to do with acceptance — but on raw might and economic subjugation. The other factor is that we live in the 21st century and our societies have become — like it or not — multicultural.

      –So guys adapt to the place if It does not work for you..move on,thats what am planninig to do.cheers.

      This sounds like a love-it-or-leave it approach to things. It is a bit odd coming from an African. Taking part in democratic society and debating openly issues is adaption. If you have developed your independence to such a point that you are ready to move to other countries, as you are encouraging others to do, you should understand that people can have different opinions and debate them openly in society without persecution. That is how our societies are modeled. There is freedom of movement and freedom of speech.

  414. jamnas permalink
    April 28, 2009 11:10 am

    Am sorry if I come across as somewhat insensitive to the plight of immigrants here,and I know that nobody likes to leave the comfort of their homelands and the familiarity it offers but somehow for reasons that are not of our own making we find out that we have to.
    We all harbour utopian views on how the world and humanity should be and what not but history and reality tells a different story,it all out about survival.So the Finns are not a smiley bunch and dont engage in chat chat with people,look at their geography,climate and history and tell me what they have to smile about but they survived.Am not trivialising the issue here but I believe when it comes to culture and the way of living,it is we that have something to learn from them.They are a bunch of 5 million so all the more they should be suspicious of foreigners and overprotective of their identity..I know I would.Being an African does not exclude me from being rational and realistic,and seeing why things are as they are..we ask for acceptance but we are unwilling to accept the truth, that we are the outsiders and we are the ones who have to make ourselves acceptable..If that means I have to make an effort to learn the culture and language,so be it,in the end if that may not be good enough for them because I have this weird accent and suspicious looking dark skin that scares the old ladies and the kids,well I did my best and thats their loss because I was willing. Call me naive but I know whining will not get me anywhere. p.s the destruction of Africa did not start with a soldier bearing musket ,it began with a merchant and a priest holding the holy book..this is not the place for that discussion but it kinda puts things into perspective..it was all very benign..

    • Enrique permalink
      April 28, 2009 11:43 am

      Hi Jamnas, thank you for your comment. We all understand that life is hard and that reality forces us to accept things we do not like. However, society is based on ideals, values and trust. If these do not exist we undermine our way of life. I do not understand why you think I believe that Finns should adapt to immigrants. It is, in my opinion, a two-way street. We need positive attitudes and a growing environment for both groups to coexist. And there comes the challenge that immigrants place on a society: they test its good and negative points because those values that almost everyone considers normal do not apply but may show the best or the worst of us.
      Let’s find solutions on how to solve the problems. I, believe, that one important component is acceptance of the “other.” This, I believe, is still in small albeit quantities but growing in Finland. Finns will understand in the end that immigration is not a negative matter but something that could benefit the country. The saying “good business makes good friends” makes a lot of sense.
      You are right about the destruction of Africa but it was all a form of colonialism imposed by the sheer weight of might. I am certain you have read Chinua Achebe’s “When things fall apart.” It gives a very sad account of how society fell apart in Nigeria with its British colonial masters.

  415. jamnas permalink
    April 28, 2009 12:51 pm

    Am sorry if I have implied in anyway that you believe that Finns should adapt to immigrants,all am trying to say is most Finns believe and am sorry if am wrong on that, what they have is working for them,and why in the world would they want to change any of it,so the hard task is to convince them otherwise,but do we have the answer to that? enlighten me.Does the situation of immigrants in Finland need to improve?most definitely yes..but sincerely speaking we have to courageously bear most of the weight of the burden so that in the end if things dont turn around for us,we can honestly say they lost out..

    • Enrique permalink
      April 28, 2009 1:49 pm

      Janmas, you are right and I am very grateful for sharing your ideas. However, if we have people from different cultural backgrounds society must find a way of integrating them. They have to do a lot of work as well as the majority culture. If we fail in this task, we get those ghettos inhabited by dysfunctional members of society.
      I agree that immigrants must do a lot of work and I would think that they do. Why would you want to leave everything behind and move to a foreign country just to be worst off than in your former home. There is nothing wrong with people who want to live a better life. That in itself is already proof that people want to integrate and improve their lives.

  416. May 2, 2009 12:44 am

    lol cheers for the VERY useful information pple

  417. mecheng77 permalink
    May 2, 2009 11:33 pm

    I can answer ‘yes’ to almost all of the questions. I’m of Finnish heritage and live in Oklahoma. If an Okie is smiling at you and has a friendly word, know that you have a knife in your back. These guys are very hostile to outsiders and it doesn’t matter what color you are…and I appreciate it may be more difficult for colored folks…I think people are people, generally insecure with inferiority complexes.

  418. Viktor permalink
    May 9, 2009 8:10 am

    The answer is simple. Finland is for the Finnish. You have a problem? Then leave.