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Two-sided dabate on immigration in Finland

September 15, 2008

One of the interesting matters that has been seen in this blog is that debating an issue such as foreigners living in Finland is a polarized black-and-white debate. The more extreme views on the topic, go as far as to claim that it would bring destruction to Finland and its culture. Those on the other side of the coin claim the contrary: Finnish society is basically racist towards outsiders.

In my opinion, both sides are committing the mistake of oversimplifying matters. Finland will not be destroyed if more foreigners come to live here, and Finnish society is not that intolerant that it could not tolerate foreigners from other countries.

In order to resolve this two-sided debate, we should look for the Finnish way of solving the differences: education. Certainly if foreigners and Finns learned more about each other, matters such as suspicion, stereotypes and discrimination would be undermined.

But let’s define some of the main issues we are debating. Multiculturalism, for one, means a society that is inhabited by a number of cultures and subcultures. It is multicultural, or multinational, because there are people from different cultural and national backgrounds inhabiting the same society.

Multicultural policy, however, first originated from Canada about twenty years ago, where the cultural heritage of different groups are encouraged to maintain their identity in a society where racism is a crime punishable by law. So multiculturalism and multicultural policy are two different yet similar things.

Should Finland adopt the Canadian model or another one? I personally do not mind the Canadian model after having lived in the United States, Argentina, Spain, Italy and Finland. Does anyone have a more effective model other than integration by perkele (100% integration or leave the country)?

Today we live in a globalized world and Finland is a European Union member. Apart from competing for investment, countries are also competing in the labor market to fill vacant jobs. People with skills are like small mobile businesses that offer their services to the highest bidder. That is the way competition works.

Instead of just opposing a policy for the sake of opposition, we should try to look for concrete solutions. How do we integrate outsiders into the Finnish way of life? How do we make Finland more competitive? How can foreigners learn to speak Finnish more rapidly and effectively? These are some of the questions we should be focusing  — not why foreigners are bad for the country.

105 Comments leave one →
  1. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 15, 2008 4:06 pm

    – Should Finland adopt the Canadian model or another one? I personally do not mind the Canadian model.

    So why then do the people in http://www.notcanada.com whine? They live in a paradise.

  2. Enrique permalink
    September 15, 2008 4:09 pm

    Any suggestions on a better model? Do you think that after a government has a policy it works in a matter of days, or years? It is a long process that takes time. Look at the role of blacks in US society in the 1960s and today. Things have changed since then.

  3. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 15, 2008 4:21 pm

    Oh have they? Read another bulletin board:
    http://www.canadaimmigrants.com/forum_2.asp

    “The job market is a jungle and you have to understand that educated immigrants are a threat to local people with less qualifications so you will be blocked, nobody wants to hire an immigrant that eventually will take the job of the one that is hiring.

    I have been in hiring committees and believe me when people are scared of highly educated immigrants, the reality is that if you are not blocked you can easily take over their jobs so local people are scared of us. It is also common that once an immigrant is in a hiring position, the immigrant will bring more immigrants so eventually you will erase local candidates for any available position. The reality is that we immigrants work harder since we have no choice but for the same reason local people will fear you. Don’t get discouraged and just try to understand the system and try to play with it.

    Local people are just protecting their jobs and it is not a matter of discrimination but survival. I have seen few times how once immigrants get to a high level in a corporation, they will hire only immigrants since we know that we work harder and for less.

    The problem is Canada is not really a discrimination problem but an immigration policy problem, the government is making too much money with immigration and they don’t care about their own citizens, they are destroying the local job market by bringing hundreds of thousands of qualified individuals and by putting too much stress in the job market so local individuals have to work harder to compete with us foreigners. In my opinion, massive immigration is only good for the government pockets since they get taxes from us immigrants when they know that they did not pay for our education. Immigration is still important to Canada, but a middle point would be one third of the immigrants that Canada brings so they could easily be absorbed by the market and feared less by local citizens.”

    Your paradise has a snake.

  4. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 15, 2008 4:27 pm

    – Any suggestions on a better model?

    Do we need a “model”? I think the current system is working quite well. And I cannot see what is the problem – except with the jobmarkets but as you see its exactly the same in Canada. In how many countries for example do immigrant children receive education in their mother tongue? So I cannot see anything to whine about – except the same things the immigrants to Canada whine about. Though they whine about French Quebecois not giving them the time of day in English – while in Finland you get service in almost any language. So what is it you actually are whining about?

    – Do you think that after a government has a policy it works in a matter of days, or years?
    I think in the case of Finland it always takes years – but then again we have had some things changing quite rapidly. But again as you see if the realities of life are one thing and a hypocritical government policy another you see that the Canadian model is an abject failure.

  5. September 16, 2008 1:17 am

    In our defence, nearly 20% of us Canadians were foreign-born in 2001. That the country hasn’t fallen to pieces suggests some kind of success.

    There is poverty and unemployment in the immigrant population. Some of this needs to be addressed specifically as an immigration issue (accepting too many people with certain kinds of skills or unrecognized credentials) but because poverty is endemic in the entire population it has to be managed at that level too.

    I wonder if the official government policy is less important than the acceptance of native-born citizens. There is considerable freedom in both Canada and the US (at least the liberal, urban parts of those countries where immigrants settle) to continue practising your culture after immigration. If you can speak the language, you have access to most of the economy and society.

    I can’t speak authoritatively to the situation in Finland, but I’ve seen on TV the images of riots in the French banlieues. If immigrants aren’t given the tools to assimilate or allowed to retain their culture, you are asking for trouble.

  6. Tiwaz permalink
    September 16, 2008 4:17 am

    Enrique, if Canada is such a wonderland which you do not mind living in…

    Move there! For God’s sake man! You are entitled to leave this horrible country if you so much prefer slums, crimes and social problems of multicultural society.

    I heard from Canadian person I know from forum of trend of white canadians moving to smaller towns around places like Ottawa and other metropoles due to amount of immigrants moving in.

    Of course this is from HTT or HevosmiestenTietoToimisto, but does not sound too unreasonable.

    And this is Canada, society and country which lacks centuries of common background! Canada is nothing like Finland. Canada is huge piece of empty land which was inhabited from start by rather large variety of groups. And this took place few centuries ago.

    Finland is society which was, possibly, known already in the days of Roman Empire. Society which has existed longer than white man has been known to exist in all of America.

    In short, THIS IS NOT CANADA. Stop trying to import Canada to Finland. We natives like Finland as Finland, along with all of it’s problems and issues.

  7. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 7:23 am

    – And this is Canada, society and country which lacks centuries of common background!

    Well, actually they have a few centuries of common background. However the mass immigration is claimed to have had some effects on the national identity. Heres a good article on what the Canadian model is all about.

    http://www.immigrationwatchcanada.org/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=3304

    The objective is probably a quite noble one:

    “Overall, at some point at current rates of immigration, Canada will cease to be anything approximating a nation and be best described as a global suburb. Canada is becoming a prosperous and secure home in a nondescript neighbourhood which makes no effort to assimilate new-comers because real identity is associated with the country and/or region of origin. Integration, on the other hand, is very much encouraged and the indicators of success relate to the incomes of new arrivals compared to earlier arrivals. Therefore, capacity in English or French, acceptance of rules and regulations and a commitment to consumption are the touch-stones of success. Perhaps by giving up all pretence to cultivating a separate and unique society, Canada is truly leading the way to the dissolution of the nations system on the road towards a global culture and citizenship. Success in this project might enhance the possibility of international peace and security.”

    But the problem in Canada is that there is no debate. It is almost as bad as in Finland where you have the politicians going on with the mantra of “multiculturalism” and “need of workers” that does remind me quite much of the Canadian model. Global suburb with no identity. Yeah, no, not that model as apparently it is a failure. The immigrants *themselves* say so.

  8. Tiwaz permalink
    September 16, 2008 7:44 am

    Depends on how one looks. Colonization started around 1500, after which it was british, french and native. No common culture or background at that point, 200 years or so and all of it became under control of British.

    But in the end I would say that Canada has not been unified long enough to create functioning unified society/culture. Perhaps if there had not been colonies of two competing nations which were attempted to unite and lots of space between them… But that is speculation.

    Spain still has problems with it’s own, despite Castile and Aragon joining before 1500, Navarre holding up until 17th century.

    I think most people do not understand how slow process it is to create common culture/society even in smaller areas than Canada or USA. When people do not have luxury of hundreds of kilometers of empty space to run away from their neighbors.

    Finns still have leftovers of old tribal identities despite being unified under Swedish rule in 13th century. Effectively ending any notable intertribal conflicts. Then again, even back then Finns share language and cultural ties going further back in history instead of being offspring of completely different cultural groups.

  9. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 9:11 am

    Hi Epimethus, welcome to Migrant Tales and thank you for posting your comment.

    –In our defence, nearly 20% of us Canadians were foreign-born in 2001. That the country hasn’t fallen to pieces suggests some kind of success.

    Yes, I agree. In countries like Argentina, you had cities such as Buenos Aires that had 49% of the population foreign born. There are many examples. The problem here in Europe is that some people continue to see “national identity” as inclusive to a certain group.

    Yes, the greater opportunities and integration solves a lot of problem. You end up having a very dynamic process — not a dead end ghetto as in some countries such as France.

  10. Tiwaz permalink
    September 16, 2008 10:04 am

    Enrique… I will try to give very simplified answer since concept of national identity still eludes you.

    National identity = representatives of certain cultural group.

    Culture != religion. Culture != race.

    Culture = learned code of conduct, set of values and traditions.

    So, national identity is identity connected to people who share certain values, traditions and behavior codes.

    Thus, Finnish identity is tied to Finnish culture and society. If you do not behave like Finn, you are not Finn. You may be citizen of Republic of Finland, but you are not Finn.

    That is because Finn defines itself as someone who follows Finnish social norms.

  11. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 11:05 am

    Tiwaz, I highly recommend you stop using as reference antiquated “science” books on anthropology. You may be a native of Finland and be a minority in your thoughts.

    It’s incredible that you make comments in this blog anonymously and claim to speak for all the Finns. That, I believe, is called leading from behind.

  12. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 12:51 pm

    – I can’t speak authoritatively to the situation in Finland, but I’ve seen on TV the images of riots in the French banlieues. If immigrants aren’t given the tools to assimilate or allowed to retain their culture, you are asking for trouble.

    I think the trouble is not as much “allowing to retain their culture” while promoting retaining their culture vs. promoting integration and giving the tools to assimilate. Now if for example the children all are in a school speaking only the language X and there is no incentive to learn the language Y – your parents speak only X and very few youth “get it” until they are out of school at 16 and notice that they can’t get anywhere without a school diploma and as their command of the language Y is what requires them to get a job – they’re “stuck” in the banlieu. Now we wait for an economic slump and no “need for workers” as the 2nd generation is too expensive than some more recent newcomers… well can you blame them for rioting?

  13. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 12:54 pm

    – It’s incredible that you make comments in this blog anonymously and claim to speak for all the Finns. That, I believe, is called leading from behind.

    Well you don’t speak for any Finns at all, so I guess that makes you equals.

  14. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 1:01 pm

    –I think the trouble is not as much “allowing to retain their culture” while promoting retaining their culture vs. promoting integration and giving the tools to assimilate. Now if for example the children all are in a school speaking only the language X and there is no incentive to learn the language Y – your parents speak only X and very few youth “get it” until they are out of school at 16 and notice that they can’t get anywhere without a school diploma and as their command of the language Y is what requires them to get a job – they’re “stuck” in the banlieu. Now we wait for an economic slump and no “need for workers” as the 2nd generation is too expensive than some more recent newcomers… well can you blame them for rioting?

    Schools are very effective integrators. It was used with great success in Argentina. Some of the Finnish colonists that lived in Argentina, heard Spanish for the first time at these schools. Do you want an easy answer: work and opportunities.

  15. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 1:24 pm

    – but I’ve seen on TV the images of riots in the French banlieues

    Oh, Epimetheus -you mean the likes of Montréal-Nord? Mon Dieu! In mülticültürelle Canuckistan!
    http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/475962
    Enrique, do you actually floow any news from Canada?

    BTW heres an analysis for you from the kind of site you get your informations:
    http://www.marxist.com/canada-riots-and-instability-montreal.htm

  16. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 1:25 pm

    – Do you want an easy answer: work and opportunities.

    So why do you insist on whining about racism when the answer is in the peoples themselves and the economic realities.

  17. Tiwaz permalink
    September 16, 2008 1:41 pm

    “Tiwaz, I highly recommend you stop using as reference antiquated “science” books on anthropology. You may be a native of Finland and be a minority in your thoughts.

    It’s incredible that you make comments in this blog anonymously and claim to speak for all the Finns. That, I believe, is called leading from behind.”

    What would my name matter here? It can be falsified as easily as anything else in the Internet. You may call me Ishmael if it tickles your fancy.

    This nick has served me on more occasions than I can remember in the Internet.
    Either way, it is not the nick you should put your effort to but the subject.

    Regarding which, definition of culture is defined roughly as I said in Webster dictionary. It has nothing outdated in it.

    Culture and national identity cannot be separated.

    I have never said that I do speak for all Finns. Or have I? I have pointed out the fallacies in your claims of multicultural goodness. And you have failed to point opposite.

  18. September 16, 2008 7:47 pm

    -Oh, Epimetheus -you mean the likes of Montréal-Nord? Mon Dieu! In mülticültürelle Canuckistan!

    I’m not denying the existence of poverty or racism in Canada. We also have murder, assault, and awful television programs. No country should be held up as a gold standard for policy. Just recently there was a report that immigrants are taking longer to integrate economically, so there are changes to be made. I don’t, however, know what they are.

    It is disingenuous to suggest that the riot was representative of Canada’s experience with immigration. It is not.

    (And at risk of going on too long about my own country when we are here to talk about Finland and immigration, Quebec and Montreal are special cases the probably cannot be generalized to the world because the Francophones are a minority in”their own” country. They have been for well over a century, and they’re a bit touchy about it.)

    -Culture and national identity cannot be separated.

    A small, rich country can’t afford to have this attitude in the 21st century. You need immigration at least to keep the population from shrinking and getting demographically too top heavy. National identity and ethnicity/religion/culture have to be decoupled because ethnic nationalism can be very bloody.

  19. Onkko permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:11 pm

    National identity = culture, and yes it can be bloody if you try to separate it.
    I dont want new Bobrikov but if it has to be done im in.

  20. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:14 pm

    Hi Epimetheus, many thanks again for your insightful comments. I would recommend them to a lot of people who claim that immigration is synonymous with strife. Culture is anything learned and since culture is a tool for survival, it is sometimes very flexible and open to change. One of the matters that may be hard for some to accept is that thanks to Finland’s immigration experience, our culture will incorporate new things as it has to this point. It will become more flexible and our definition of what is Finnish will include people from different backgrounds.

    —Culture and national identity cannot be separated.

    What is Finland’s national identity? Are language and some customs that unite us? Probably, but the list is not very long. They are mostly general things that we cannot really list and pinpoint. I agree that a rich small country cannot afford to keep a very rigid and inclusive definition of what it is because only then you are going to have those ghettos that some speak of in the blog. It will be a country of “them” and “us,” a nation that will never find any synergies from diversity.

    I have asked and never received a proper answer on the following question: If one believes that multiculturalism is the wrong path, what would be a more effective way of getting non-natives to integrate and take part in society?

  21. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:16 pm

    – Quebec and Montreal are special cases the probably cannot be generalized to the world because the Francophones are a minority in”their own” country. They have been for well over a century, and they’re a bit touchy about it.

    Yes exactly this is Finland.

    – National identity and ethnicity/religion/culture have to be decoupled because ethnic nationalism can be very bloody.

    We had that in 1917 and 1918 to showw 90 000 dead of those we thought of our*own* – and really do you want all the foreigners shot at the wall ? You either integrate or face the wall when the revolution comes.

  22. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:19 pm

    – I have asked and never received a proper answer on the following question: If one believes that multiculturalism is the wrong path, what would be a more effective way of getting non-natives to integrate and take part in society?

    Well like *ASK THESE PEOPLE* instead of whining.

  23. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:23 pm

    – You either integrate or face the wall when the revolution comes.
    And I have proof. in stone
    look for the monument for the polish soldiers.

  24. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:30 pm

    –We had that in 1917 and 1918 to showw 90 000 dead of those we thought of our*own* – and really do you want all the foreigners shot at the wall ? You either integrate or face the wall when the revolution comes.

    You are joking, right?

  25. Onkko permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:30 pm

    There http://www2.kotka.fi/kotouttamisavaimet/sisallys.html is first quide what doesnt blame finnish people on all, and look who wrote it.

  26. Enrique permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:39 pm

    I’ll take a look at it but I don’t seen any social scientists contributing to the work. This may be a noble attempt but I fear that it may be too general to be effective.

  27. Onkko permalink
    September 16, 2008 9:10 pm

    “Social scientics” are bunch of retarted people who live in their wonderland. One who wrote that has real first person experience about immigration.
    “Social scientics” want to find problems they can “fix” so they will have work to do and are contamined with beliefs with other high education morons who also havent seen a day of real life with immigrants (i dont count now highly educated immigrants with ready jobs).
    Its easy to dictate how to do things from Eira when you dont see a real problem.

  28. Tiwaz permalink
    September 17, 2008 5:12 am

    “A small, rich country can’t afford to have this attitude in the 21st century. You need immigration at least to keep the population from shrinking and getting demographically too top heavy. National identity and ethnicity/religion/culture have to be decoupled because ethnic nationalism can be very bloody.”

    Do you understand that this cultural unity is the ONLY thing keeping small rich countries alive?

    Because if you are small but rich, there are plenty of those who want their share. At that point, having divided and fractured society is suicide. Just look at Georgia. They lacked cultural unity, so Russia steamrolls in and… What? Division where Ossetians were not integrated into Georgia gave excuse to take over Ossetia.

    Yugoslavia, attempt to have multiple culturally diverse populations live in same area, under same law and whatnot. It failed and crashed when guy who managed to hold it together perished. And it crashed in blood.

    Belgium with their Walloons and such. It is nearly breaking into pieces.

    Unity is only thing that keeps nations together. It can be unity by force of arms like in Iraq, it can be unity through strong leader, like Yugoslavia in one sense. Or it can be unity through shared way of life. Like in Finland.

    You cannot export cultures into existing, established cultures. It fails, we see it in France. We see it in UK.

    Only places where there is some form of success is when native culture is destroyed and replaced by mixture of cultures from start. That is Argentina, Australia, USA and Canada. And those societies are fractured, divided. If they were not living safely away from everything bad, they would face serious problems. When such society is pushed hard, it either has to find something to unify them, or fall apart.

    Societies with unity through common cultural norms does not face that problem in any level comparable. That is because there already is the unifying factor. Risk of falling apart is dramatically reduced, even eliminated.

    That is cultural and national identity.

    Finland has problems, but those problems are not solved by adding little ghettos of unintegrated immigrants. Such solution would only create problems.

    Neither are solutions possible to be imported from countries with totally different society. Because what works in one place does not work elsewhere if conditions are different.

    And for record, FINLAND IS NOT CANADA. FINLAND IS NOT HATTIVATTILAND. FINLAND IS FINLAND.

  29. Enrique permalink
    September 17, 2008 7:36 am

    –I happen to live in your experiment.

    You have a good sense of humor, but this last sentence really got me. You sound like some mad scientist has moved to your home. Check the move the Brain that would not die: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052646/.

  30. Enrique permalink
    September 17, 2008 7:42 am

    –Look how many “ethnic Russian” names you find in the “shot just for the heck of it” category.

    And? What is your point?

  31. Tiwaz permalink
    September 17, 2008 7:46 am

    What would you call your grand desire to have multiculturalism established to Finland if not experiment?

    Try running society with established cultural norms with principles of society without such (USA etc)…

    It is an experiment. Already tried in UK and France. And it failed there. Now you want to try again, and ruin Finland in the process. Fine for you, you lack roots in Finland. When Finland goes the way of downtown Los Angeles with gangs, crime and social problems overblown… Guy called Enrique just moves to next nation and starts to bitch how their culture is too restricted and how grand experiment of multiculturalism should be promoted there.

    Why oh why people who so desperately want to live in multicultural mess would not move to USA or Canada? Go there! No need to bring Finland down the same route to failure. Let us poor barbarians live in our closeminded society which values it’s own cultural norms. Let us suffer from it. You don’t have to, you can go elsewhere.

    I cannot go elsewhere, elsewhere there is no Finland.
    And if multiculturalism along with it’s negatives (yes there are positives but they are overshadowed by the problems) is brought here. Then there is no Finland here either.

  32. Enrique permalink
    September 17, 2008 7:52 am

    DeTant, Henrik, are you threatening me?

  33. Enrique permalink
    September 17, 2008 7:58 am

    I asked you a question, Henrik M.: are you threatening me?

  34. Tiwaz permalink
    September 17, 2008 8:26 am

    He was most likely referring to quite possible future situation where native populations are finally fed up with increasing demands of appeasement by unintegrating immigrants and swing towards right hits it’s peak.

    Resulting in potentially violent “solution” where unintegrated are removed by armed means as most extreme scenario.

    You have to realise increase in popularity of more extreme groups and anti-immigration policies is direct result of failure of immigrants to integrate to society they move into.

    Natives all over Europe feel that they are under invasion, that their culture and social/national identity are being slowly eroded. It leads to support towards groups which promise to return the safety of unified society.

    As said in this article:
    http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=255583

    “Right wing parties have succeeded because no one else has been willing to address immigration, the dominant domestic political issue in Europe today. The issue itself has little to do with traditional divisions between the left and the right.”

    One of three has to take place…

    1.Dramatic EU closing of borders until existing immigrant minorities are integrated and in future far more strict accepting of immigrants from outside EU along with slowdown in expansion.

    2.Immigrants understand that they have to integrate and start to work to integrate.

    3.Situation continues as it is until pressure boils over and there is violent explosion as response to immigrant problem.

    2 is unrealistic. 1 and 3 are options which right now are both tied to rightwing politicians. If they win big early on, I would guess option 1 would be used. If they win late or not at all, causing issues to have escaped from hand… I predict 3.

  35. Tiwaz permalink
    September 17, 2008 8:43 am

    Well, it could be worse. They could be using those dozers to dig graves and tanks to fill them with bodies.

  36. September 18, 2008 12:28 am

    I wish I could address each point but I would be here all night.

    If nothing else, the philosophical impasse we’ve reached suggests Finland will need to ease into the process of immigration and dedicate considerable resources to ensuring immigrants have the means to integrate into the Finnish economy.

    Start with small numbers and large efforts. If you can show the public that immigration doesn’t need to be destructive, for “culture” or the immigrants, than you will overcome some of the opposition.

    Given the small number of immigrants that could be practically admitted to Finland and the native-born peoples’ sensitivity to issues of “culture,” it might only be practical to pursue some policy of assimilation. It’s a beginning.

  37. Enrique permalink
    September 18, 2008 11:28 am

    Hi Epimetheus, I think you are absolutely right. Since, in my opinion, Finland still does not have a clear immigration policy, much of the adaption process is left to chance. As you mentioned, some Finns are very sensitive about matters such as “culture” and the factors that threaten it.

    I believe it has a lot to do with fear of something that people are not familiar with. This type of fear can be very expensive for a country like Finland; we cannot bring foreign laborers to fill vacant jobs because we fear; we don’t care to market Finland outside of our borders because we don’t have a comprehensive policy because that too is guided by uncertainty and fear; we have little idea on how our culture will integrate these people because we fear what it will imply; we do not care about regaining former lands we ceded to the former Soviet Union, like Karelia, even if it was reportedly offered to us by Boris Jeltsin because there are too many Russians, etc…

    It is a big challenge, but possibly your model of admitting a small number of immigrants with a clear plan could be the most sensible. In the 1990s, a small town in eastern Finland accepted hundreds of refugees from Somalia and other African countries. The friction that it caused was quite incredible. The social planners just brought them, put them up at a hotel without any idea about the impact it would have on the small town. I believe the town got government aid for housing the refugees. This type of planning, or the lack of it, causes more harm than good for all parties concerned.

  38. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 12:30 pm

    And then you wonder why we think the social planners or politicians can always be trusted – they don’t have to live in those towns and suffer from the consequences of their actions.

    But why are you switching your stand Enrique – you are the one advocating wholesale immigration and housing people in the small towns because that small town in Estern Finland got this spice in their life you so much wanted in Mikkeli? What gives? You are now having the same outlook to the work-based immigration as I do. have workers who have a realistic plan. Not just bring in people and dump them somewhere with skyrocketing unemployment. Of course the propaganda of Finland is one thing – but as with Canada the marketing speeches vs. reality cause many disillusionments.

    I think Kekkonen had the chance with Karelia in 1956 but he settled in getting rid of Porkkala.The only problem with Karelia and the Russians is the kind of examples we see in Estonia and the Baltics as well as the speeches of Medvedev. OK, but then again there could be benefits. But the second thing nobody ever brings forth is the sheer economic burden of integrating the infrastructure and bringing the standard of living up. Now we can see what happened in Germany when the BRD and DDR joined – it wasn’t a cakewalk in the park even the people spoke the same language and all that… and the bill is in the billions. Now just because of the economic factors involved I don’t think Finland would have a huge Russian minority if the population of Karelia was given EU passports – I’d expect many to use the door to Schengen as well… and would the EU welcome all that?

  39. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 12:39 pm

    – I believe the town got government aid for housing the refugees.

    And add on top the time *when* this all was. During the deepest recession ever in the 1990’s when the economy was in the dumps. The hotel in question was probably on the verge of bankrupcy and the government figured out it was the cheapest deal and the county in question thought it as a way to get over the slump. Of course this logic doesn’t open up to the local people who are dropping on minimal social benefits and then you get some people drop in with hotel accommodation paid by teh government. Eating from the same resource pool… or seem to be eating from the same resource pool. You really don’t need to be a social psychologist to understand why the friction exists. Also back then the government had no money for much anything else than provide the housing, so you didin’t have as much resources to provide any integration classes either. Yes the 1990’s I used to live in a small town on the coast back then and one of the winters was so bleak I really don’t wish to remember it – violence and crime figures topped as people were taking out their frustrations on everything and everybody. Hopefully the current slump won’t take us so far down.

  40. Enrique permalink
    September 18, 2008 12:46 pm

    DeTant, explain how you make a strange correlation between what happened to Russians, an occupying power before and after December 6, 1917, and “unitegrating” foreigners. One was a revolution and in the other case we are talking about immigrants? Why did you make the connection? What did you want to infer? Your comparison raises a lot of bizarre questions. What is the “revolution” when it arrives?

  41. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 12:56 pm

    – Small numbers and large efforts.

    Sometimes you need huge efforts. And not only in Finland.
    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Helsinki+street+patrol+tries+to+improve+life+of+Eastern+European+beggars+in+the+capital+/1135239534710

  42. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 1:10 pm

    In 1918 “when the revolution came” the “White” Finns “ethnically cleansed” all the Russians they could lay their hands on. It is self -evident when you read both historical accounts and look at the list of names. If you read historical accounts it also shows near misses of people who were saved from the decimation – when they had people to vouch for them – they were integrated and seen as “one of us”. My theory – point – bizarre as it seem is: if the person is not integrated, “when the revolution comes” as in any polarized situation let alone civil unrest and armed conflict – he has a higher chance to be in peril if he is not integrated and has someone to save him. Go ahead and refute my theory on the integrated vs. non-integrated groups and their susceptibility to violence during conflicts. I just find this kind of polarization currently in even our “civilized” EU – and I really cannot see how to change the nature of man. I can only say it is good to have an integrated society – like at a schoolyard when the big boys from upper grade come to bully you’ll find people to come and say “don’t push my friend” (if you remember that campaign).

  43. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 2:44 pm

    – One was a revolution and in the other case we are talking about immigrants?

    How about the 1992 L.A riots. Who was targetted?
    How about the rioting in South Africa? Who is being targetted?

    I can come up with several examples – even the story your relate of the refugees in the small town. Who is targetted?

    How do “revolutions” start? In Estonia it started from a song festival. In DDR out of a candle vigil. In Romania it started with riots. So is a candle vigil a revolution? Is rioting a revolution?

  44. Enrique permalink
    September 18, 2008 3:55 pm

    All the countries you mention were either ruled by communism, are post-communist era, African countries with blistering historical ethnic problems, like post-Apartheid South Africa. Why don’t you write an article in the Finnish press and “extrapolate” your views? How many would jump on your doom-scenario bandwagon? Probably a few. It is surprising that a person like you, who works with foreigners, claims such things. There are, however, a number of “white supremacy” sites that are warning about “a race war.” People who think like that are, quite frankly, considered extremist fanatics. Why not “extrapolate” your ideas on their websites. I am sure they would agree with everything you say. In my opinion, it is a bunch of malarkey. But hey, I will draw a clear line: no alarmism, incitement of race wars, and the like are strictly moderated on my blog.
    Those are the rules.

  45. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 7:38 pm

    – African countries with blistering historical ethnic problems

    Yes and why is that? Because they were arbitrarily carved out by colonial powers and put together artificially without the “glue” of a national identity – instead pitting the tribes against each other the colonial lords could keep the natives in check. We have seen how this kind of thing can get real ugly when we loose the glue as happened in Yugoslavia and was it only last year Belgium was in a crisis as their glue is dissolving as well. I wouldn’t expect the Belgians to get up in arms against each other, but then again the Irish have been at it for a century – and that has n othing to do with race but religion – partially what was it all about in Yugoslavia as well. So do *we* have blistering ethnical problems in Finland – fortunately not – though you would wish to create one as per your Karelian suggestion.

    – How many would jump on your doom-scenario bandwagon? Probably a few. It is surprising that a person like you, who works with foreigners, claims such things.

    Have you actually read any blogs or such in Finland, Sweden or Canada that the foreigners as in immigrants are writing? You go to Finlandforum.org, Thelocal.se or my favorite notcanada.com – and you see *exactly* the same complaints – *exactly* the same issues. Now is this not saying something? Sweden and Canada have had immigrants say 20 years more than Finland so why exactly are the immigrants complaining? Is Finland somehow unique and evil nation? Or might it be that the immigrants have the same issues – due to the same reasons? And if the solution is somewhere there – it surely isn’t done by copying all the wrong things the other one is doing and by some preaching.

  46. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 7:45 pm

    And you should change the topic to “one-sided debate” as it is only your own viewpoints you wish to have praised.

  47. Enrique permalink
    September 18, 2008 7:49 pm

    I do not think Finland is unique and the problems you mention happen everywhere. How a country deals with it differs from country to country.

    –it surely isn’t done by copying all the wrong things the other one is doing and by some preaching.

    I haven’t read anything comprehensive from you about what should be done. Why don’t you make some suggestions instead of making unrealistic analogies from here to there? This is the EU — remember? Only extremists go around sounding alarm bells of things that won’t happen. Do you know the reasons that sparked the LA riots? Do you comprehend that a country like South Africa, which did away with apartheid peacefully, is living through that national trauma?

    Why not make concrete suggestions. But then again you do not think there are any problems in Finland and foreigners, if they complain, “whine.” In a debate, use arguments and don’t start getting personal. It only undermines your position.

  48. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 8:12 pm

    I have said what the problems Finland is facing – and you said up there yourself what might be an answer.

    So concrete things to do – or not to do:

    a) not jumping into the “canadian model” of promoting the country and hauling in “workers” if the economy and society cannot acommodate them so they come disillusioned and angry.
    b) not letting anyone become disenfranchised either the local youth nor the immigrants, by start offering language courses for people wishing to move to finland and providing them with information like that “bad book” for the Russians. Even it has some stereotypes they help alleviate the cultural shock.
    c) active policy by the MOL to provide “työkummi” like they do for say the handicapped. a foreigner might face the “handicap” as in fear – but people fear the handicappeds as something strange. once people know each one better the threshold is lowered but it cannot be forced
    d) not piling all the problems into one place when the issues start boiling over – again along with the not letting people become disenfranchised – not lump the disenfranchiseds together
    e) and if the immigrant is disillusioned and angry not letting him wallow in self-pity or suffer from the culture shock but provide tools for him to better his situation – rather than just call all the problems he faces due to the racists and become even more embittered.
    f) same thing if the local youth are disillusioned and angry not letting him wallow in self-pity or suffer from the culture shock the immigrants bring but provide tools for him to better his situation – just call all the problems he faces due to the immigrants and become even more embittered.

    Some of these things the government is doing – some of these things they realise should be done, but it is the catch-22 between economy and funding. The GHA area and some other places are further than others – but the change is slow.

    – But then again you do not think there are any problems in Finland and foreigners, if they complain, “whine.”

    Lets put it this way – the major problems in Finland the immigrants or returning expat Finns face are not due to Finns being an inherently racist nation (or then Sweden and Canada are as well ). And what else is it but “whine” if a disillusioned and embittered person rants and raves and finds fault in everything just because things aren’t as they were at home?

    So – Enrique – what are your solutions to what you see as the huge problems?

  49. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 18, 2008 8:19 pm

    Oh, if I may say – the biggest problem is always finding work. Or rather matching your lifestyle expectations and skills to the expectations of what the employers expect and provide. Say like if you expect to come and live in a haouse with a garden and have the mrs, home watching the kids and have 2 cars… then the cheap houses are in the boondocks where the mrs. creates cabin fever as there is nothing around and the master engineer with experience finds himself starting at half the salary he made “somewhere else”…. can happen to anyone. And as the expectations shatter then starts the “finding of faults” when the real problem is that the lifestyle expectations were not realistic. This is what happens with highly educated professionals – in Finland, Sweden and Canada all over.

  50. Enrique permalink
    September 18, 2008 8:35 pm

    DeTant, now you are talking. Very good suggestions. But let’s start one by one.

    a) not jumping into the “canadian model” of promoting the country and hauling in “workers” if the economy and society cannot acommodate them so they come disillusioned and angry.

    OK, so you think the “Canadian model” does not work. Here is an example: In Spain, when we had an economic boom, hundreds of thousands of workers came to the country to work especially in the construction sector.

    Now, with the year-long subprime crisis and the carnage in capital markets, unemployment has risen to over 12%, the highest in the EU. In the past you needed workers to spur economic growth but now, when the economy is slipping into recession, you want them to leave.

    Epimetheus made good suggestion: bring in small amounts of immigrants where they are needed and work out an effective plan. This plan, I suspect, would include: language training, culture courses such as teaching what kind of employees Finnish employers expect. Things like work ethic etc…

    As you know, a EU national can move freely from country to country. Even so, I do not see enormous amounts of foreigners moving to Finland because there are countries where the language barrier is lower, pay less taxes and probably would be easier to adapt.

    You mention “hauling workers” but what is a company to do if it does not have workers and this is causing it to lose profits? This creates a domino effect: less taxes for state coffers and less growth. Two matters that don’t bode well for any country.

    How do you think Finland could promote a more “humanitarian” immigrant policy where foreign laborers would not be seen to increase profits?

  51. Onkko permalink
    September 18, 2008 8:41 pm

    -How do you think Finland could promote a more “humanitarian” immigrant policy where foreign laborers would not be just seen as a way to make money?

    We cant afford to do anything else.

  52. Enrique permalink
    September 18, 2008 9:31 pm

    Do you mean that Finland must be humanitarian or that the country cannot afford to have immigrants?

  53. Onkko permalink
    September 18, 2008 9:45 pm

    I mean we should take some who REALLY have problems in their country but not all who whine that theyre in danger. And ones in danger if they arent integrated when danger ends then they should go home.
    And taking few in here wont really help, we should help them in refugee camps where they are and try to solve problems in there not bring problems in here.
    Main thing should be workers and if you have seen goverment plans they dont even care about that just want that theres some “vibrations..” Well multicultural vibrations wont feed the country.

  54. Enrique permalink
    September 18, 2008 10:22 pm

    That’s fine, but what happens to the children of those people you accept on humanitarian grounds? What about if they grow up and Finland becomes their home? So you are saying that the government does not have a clear plan? I agree.

  55. Tiwaz permalink
    September 19, 2008 5:21 am

    So? If they want to have their children remain in Finland, parents have to integrate as well.

    Reality you refuse to accept is that multicultural society is always riddled with tensions and friction due to incompatible cultural clashes. More you try to push the natives to tolerate what can even be considered bad behaviour, more you increase the actual tensions.

    History proves this. If there isn’t room to stick those who do not integrate into societies far, far away… There will be tensions. You just can’t drop load of people with totally different values and traditions and expect it not to create division.

    Divisions in turn are what weakens society. And they are what causes issues when things get bad.

    How did Adolf Hitler turn Germany against jews? Simple. Things were tough for people. Hyperinflation, whole pile of problems. There were very high tensions. Jews, on other hand, were often readily identified from ranks of average Germans. Tensions which had to be released somehow easily turned towards this division in society.

    Results we know.

    Iraq was carved from lands inhabited by 3 separate ethnical and partially cultural groups. Divisions cause huge amount of violence to this date.

    South Africa was country carved with whims of colonial lords, where tensions resulted in violence due to “Us vs Them”-situation.

    Division in society ALWAYS provides easy route for tension release. Unified society, culturally and socially, is much less likely to turn against itself. Or it has to invent lines along which to divide the society.

    If immigrants and idiots try to market “multicultural” society, they are providing these division lines for future problems by separating immigrants from Finnish society and culture into their own “enriching” blocks.

    Should one day in future there be really, really bad situation in Finland, it is likely that frustration and anger it would create would be released along those division lines. It would also make Finland that much more vulnerable to threats of future as society would not be unified when facing external threat.

    So, whatever is done, idea of multicultural society should be abandoned. More help should be given to immigrants to integrate, yes. But also it should be made clear to immigrants that integration is not something you do if you feel like it.

    How to achieve all this with resources available? Hard to say. But radical reduction in accepting immigrants would be first step. Tightening some of the more loose definitions would be good start (like accepting people who are 100% russians as Inkeriläinen). Make it more difficult to import spouses from abroad.

    I know, you Enrique hate the idea. You want to make Finland like Canada. But I am actually here also looking after immigrant interest. If they are here to make Finland their home, it is their interest to make certain that structures and foundations which have made Finland stable, safe and prosperous are not abandoned for sake of some current fad.

  56. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 19, 2008 9:14 am

    – OK, so you think the “Canadian model” does not work. Here is an example:

    Well I do not want some disillusioned worker write something like this:
    http://www.notcanada.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=389

    Class action lawsuit? And this is not your construction workers category – this is what people with degrees write.

    I can understand there is a need for professionals and laborers to immigrate and also a need for professionals and laborers as “gastarbeiters” for seasonal work. And we need to acommodate both those who wish to stay and also those who come and just plan on staying a few years and then leave.

    However I do not want people coming here lured on false pretenses and then getting disillusioned. And while there are the ups and downs of manpower I do not want the “problem” of underemloyment “fixed” with bringing in foreign cheap labor while theres people unemployed in the country. As those immigrants who have integrated here and have to make ends meet will be cut by these “gastarbeiters” that are used as the disposable workforce. There should be a balance.

    What there is now is there is a balance – but I return to the “shortage of nurses”. The facts are that Finland is educating more than enough nurses – but they cannot get tenures nor make ends meet so they leave for UK and Norway as they think they “get a better deal” or switch professions. At the same time Finland is importing nurses from the Philippines “who are making a good deal”. The Philippine economy depends on the money sent home by the expats, so they train nurses well over their own needs. But is the underlying problem that the nurses tenures and crap pay is fixed by bringing in someone “getting a good deal”? What if the Philippine nurse decides to have a family in Finland and notices ends don’t meet and wants a better salary? They’ll bring someone in to replace her.

  57. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 19, 2008 9:40 am

    – Even so, I do not see enormous amounts of foreigners moving to Finland because there are countries where the language barrier is lower, pay less taxes and probably would be easier to adapt.

    And you know what else those countries have. they got jobs. Also you know what they have – they have huge job markets.

    – but what is a company to do if it does not have workers and this is causing it to lose profits?

    Pay a salary and hire unemployed people already in the country? As you said theres a huge unemployment among foreigners – so whats wrong with them then? So they don’t speak Finnish and someone hauled over does?

    Funny enough theres people being headhunted from abroad to come to Finland, while people already in Finland who have been here for years with the same if even better credentials do not get hired. Weird thing, but I’ve witnessed it happen more than once.

    – How do you think Finland could promote a more “humanitarian” immigrant policy where foreign laborers would not be seen to increase profits?

    Well firstly there is the problem with “you need to fit in the box”. You get someone come here willing to find *any* work and they don’t get the light of day. The EURES office says “look in the internet” and all of MOL is in Finnish and unless they have some Finnish resident who knows the stuff friendly enough to coach them a bit – which is what I do – they’re usually back home crying all their money gone. Then you have someone in love. But Finn’s spouses have it harder as of course they believe it is going to be easier but the native person has usually no damned clue of “how stuff works” with the bureaucracy whatsoever. They – if they get registered on the family account get onto Finnish courses and whatnot…. now if someone gets headhunted or the lovebird gets a job – then again your integration stops there so no Finnish classes no nothing.

    There is a bit of a discrepancy here. Sweden used to have their version of MOL office in Belgrade in the days back when – so the people that came in had a job and things “fixed”. What I strongly would suggest that the Finnish Embassies wasting their time in coctail parties and promoting squiggly glassware should be made to take a proactive role. Have a MOL/Finnish classes/Student Admissions office… if someone wishes to come help make them employable – able to get a residence permit – and assist them have a job secured before they arrive.

    And we should have more hostels available that the people can stay for 2-3 months so they can find a flat on the free market. And all assistance available for both for EU and non-EU as nowadays if you happen to be an EU national and you get screwed there is nobody available to help you – unless you speak fluent Finnish. Theres all kinds of refugee assistances but if you are a normal working guy you again need that Finnish resident friend… So yes – they could do something sensible – rather than expecting the people straight off the Ryanair flight speak fluent Finnish and know how to find a flat once they sign in at a hostel first.

    And as I’ve said before then this kind of “godparent” persons employed in the counties – assigned to companies who can understand cultures and languages and can act as go-betweens so that the fear of the “otherness” can be alleviated as there is some kind of a moderator both parties trust available. I’ve noticed a lot of conflicts arise from really insignificant things.

  58. Enrique permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:11 pm

    –Funny enough theres people being headhunted from abroad to come to Finland, while people already in Finland who have been here for years with the same if even better credentials do not get hired. Weird thing, but I’ve witnessed it happen more than once.

    Do you think this is widespread?

    –heres all kinds of refugee assistances but if you are a normal working guy you again need that Finnish resident friend… So yes – they could do something sensible – rather than expecting the people straight off the Ryanair flight speak fluent Finnish and know how to find a flat once they sign in at a hostel first.

    Yes, you are right. The problem is a lack of planning. While the adaption guide we spoke of for Russians is pretty thin, There should be greater planning. For example, as you know, there aren’t enough Finnish-language courses to plug demand. Why, then, doesn’t the private sector do this? Why don’t you start a business and start teaching English and culture courses? Give them that valuable insider information to succeed in Finland? There’s a good business opportunity.

  59. Enrique permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:18 pm

    –Well I do not want some disillusioned worker write something like this:
    http://www.notcanada.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=389

    It’s one critical view but do you think Canadians are debating feverishly every day about multiculturalism? I don’t think it happens because for them, the world’s second-largest country after Russia, it is a natural thing. There are people of many diverse backgrounds living in the same city. It is not an issue in that sense as it could be in Finland.

    –What if the Philippine nurse decides to have a family in Finland and notices ends don’t meet and wants a better salary?

    That’s the kind of abuse we should try to avoid. The crux of the matter is that when Finland’s labor market gets more supply, it will mean competition for jobs. This will make businesses happy and probably force the government to implement more flexible labor laws with respect to hiring and firing. Is this a good thing? Probably not but it is better than living in a country where if you are lucky of landing a permanent job you’ll stay there for the rest of your life. That kind of situation stifles growth and creativity. Job mobility is good but living in a country with rigid labor laws where people think many times before leaving a job is not good.

    In a nutshell it is injecting competition and more supply to the market.

  60. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:37 pm

    And compare Sweden has always been richer with more opportunities:

    “It takes on average more than seven years for an adult refugee to find work in Sweden,” write finance minister Anders Borg and integration minister Nyamko Sabuni in an article in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

    “Employment among the foreign born is around 10 percent lower than among those born in the country, and open unemployment is more than twice as high. These are devastating numbers.”

  61. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:41 pm

    – Why don’t you start a business and start teaching English and culture courses? Give them that valuable insider information to succeed in Finland? There’s a good business opportunity.

    Yes I would if
    a) I would have enough money to be able to start a business – 100K maybe before I would leave my day job. So yes once I win the lotto and become independently wealthy.

    b) if there would be people willing actually *pay* for this kind of service.

    Actually had an idea to join into a relocation service but the independently wealthy relative got fed up with Finland and buggered back off to the greener pastures.

  62. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:43 pm

    – Do you think this is widespread?

    I’ve witnessed this happen about a dozen times… I think it is quite related to this prejudice against people with a long term of unemployment that is rife here.

  63. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:47 pm

    – It’s one critical view but do you think Canadians are debating feverishly every day about multiculturalism?

    Ah, but did you red it – it is not *Canadians* debating – its the *immigrants*.

    And just like in Finland if you dare to say anything against foreigners you are immediately some guy donning a white robe and burning a cross in the refugee centre yard. The “political correctness” as well as then the extremists have highjacked the debate so if you start to say anything against the politically correct policy you’re branded a “racist” because it is so polarized. I think both extremities are *blind* to the facts.

  64. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 19, 2008 4:52 pm

    – Job mobility is good but living in a country with rigid labor laws where people think many times before leaving a job is not good.

    Well, that is Finland. And importing people to “compete”… has it made the government change policies? The unions are there like the mule on the tracks and it ain’t budging. So realistically speaking all the import of the “competition” is doing is creating civil unrest as in “getting rid of the competition” and I fail to see any benefit in that. The government – your politician friends – need to take the thumbs out first.

  65. Enrique permalink
    September 19, 2008 6:58 pm

    –I’ve witnessed this happen about a dozen times… I think it is quite related to this prejudice against people with a long term of unemployment that is rife here.

    That type of discrimination is uncalled for.

    –And just like in Finland if you dare to say anything against foreigners you are immediately some guy donning a white robe and burning a cross in the refugee centre yard. The “political correctness” as well as then the extremists have highjacked the debate so if you start to say anything against the politically correct policy you’re branded a “racist” because it is so polarized. I think both extremities are *blind* to the facts.

    Why don’t you change your approach. You can be against something without insulting others, unless you want to intentionally provoke. Look how we are debating now. No low punches. I disagree with you in a lot of matters but you also feel that way about my ideas. If we would be able to forget all the emotions that such a debate entails, we may even discover that we agree on many things.

    –“competition” is doing is creating civil unrest as in “getting rid of the competition” and I fail to see any benefit in that.

    You lived in the States so you should know the good and bad points about competition. If competition creates a more effective system, then that is good. If it creates human misery and lowers wages to near-starvation levels, then it is not.

    Why would you need 100k to start up such a business. Start offering Finnish-language courses and start making a lot of money. Imagine what a service you would do to the foreigners and to Finland. B L O M H A T E N T E R P R I S E S — your ticket to cracking the language and culture barrier.

  66. Onkko permalink
    September 19, 2008 9:33 pm

    You probably cencor this too but again
    “That’s fine, but what happens to the children of those people you accept on humanitarian grounds? What about if they grow up and Finland becomes their home? So you are saying that the government does not have a clear plan? I agree.”

    There is no need to do childs when theyre refugees, condoms are invented. If child is already born then its childs parents worry.

  67. Enrique permalink
    September 19, 2008 9:43 pm

    Onkko, that is a rude thing what you are saying. Using a condom is a choice and people have a right to make children and give birth to them anywhere they wish. Maybe some Finns should stop using condoms so that the population would stop aging at such a rapid rate.

  68. Onkko permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:04 pm

    Sure they have if they can support child.
    They have right to make childs and we have right to say “then feed it”.

  69. Enrique permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:20 pm

    Why are you so tough on others? Certainly there are Finns who live on unemployment and welfare and have children. Lighten up, Onkko, things are not that serious as you picture them.

  70. Onkko permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:24 pm

    There are and i tell them they are stupid.
    Difference is they are finnish.

  71. Enrique permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:38 pm

    If the child of a refugee is born in Finland, doesn’t that make him a Finn? And if you think of it, being unemployed or living off welfare does not strengthen self-esteem. Those people you call “stupid” are far from it. They are people without work. Is it a crime?

  72. Onkko permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:46 pm

    No.
    Why living on welfare should grow self esteem. And people i call stupid are stupid.
    If you cant provide living to child then use condom.

  73. Enrique permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:50 pm

    And if you can, why do you use condoms?

    I meant it does not fuel self-esteem.

  74. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 20, 2008 7:03 am

    – Why would you need 100k to start up such a business.

    Because I either get to make money now to pay my debts or then go fly myself into a ferris wheel. Again – I am a Finn and there is no option of bantruptcy nor personal failure. You as a foreigner can leave this country – I can not. So I know what my reality is – no stupid ideas of having a business. I have to live within my reality.

  75. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 20, 2008 7:08 am

    –I’ve witnessed this happen about a dozen times… I think it is quite related to this prejudice against people with a long term of unemployment that is rife here.

    That type of discrimination is uncalled for.

    So maybe you should write something about the “real problems” in Finland. The other one if is you
    are too old, say in your 50’s… They don’t exactly force al the 55 year olds to go onto disability pension if they are unemployed but just talk to anyone in that situation.

    I think that is more of a “problem” than someone shattering his ego being called into a wrong color category.

    There is more racism in Finland that you can think of in your philosophy.

  76. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 20, 2008 7:10 am

    – You can be against something without insulting others, unless you want to intentionally provoke.

    Unless you provoke the people walk/talk/are just like zombies…

  77. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 20, 2008 7:32 am

    We read in the HS internatrional edition today;

    – For crossing on a red light one can theoretically receive a ten-euro traffic fine. In reality people seldom get fined, however. The sum is so small that issuing the fine is not worth the effort.
    “At the National Audit Office of Finland, the bureaucrats would faint away if they discovered that the police were wasting resources on something like that”

    So Enrique – you think that crossing on the red light would
    a) make cars stop
    b) make the politicians change laws
    c) get someone flattened by the bus

    Fact of life remains even if it is a green and the bus comes you end up flat “i was right” – realism is a good survival trait.

  78. Enrique permalink
    September 20, 2008 10:18 am

    –I am a Finn and there is no option of bantruptcy nor personal failure. You as a foreigner can leave this country – I can not. So I know what my reality is – no stupid ideas of having a business. I have to live within my reality.

    Why is it so important for you to point out that I am a Finn and you are a foreigner? Is it some tribal thing? I don’t understand it. Finns can also skip the country and move deep into Paraguay. It is indifferent if you are a Finn or not.

    –So maybe you should write something about the “real problems” in Finland. The other one if is you are too old, say in your 50’s…

    There are many “real problems” in Finland and they should be addressed.

    —Fact of life remains even if it is a green and the bus comes you end up flat “i was right” – realism is a good survival trait.

    Here we go again… but if it pleases you: societies are not road crossings with traffic lights.

  79. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 20, 2008 1:24 pm

    – Finns can also skip the country and move deep into Paraguay.

    But I do not see that as an option. I am bound to the turf, so I won’t be leaving.

    – societies are not road crossings with traffic lights.

    But they work in a similar manner – societies have rules.

  80. Enrique permalink
    September 20, 2008 1:42 pm

    Yes, rules change. The law is a wonderful because it protects us.

  81. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 20, 2008 4:47 pm

    But the law doesn’t protect you from the bus. As you can read from the HS article on jaywalking in Helsinki not everybody follows the rules – even if they are there to protect them.

  82. Tiwaz permalink
    September 22, 2008 5:53 am

    -Yes, rules change. The law is a wonderful because it protects us.

    But they change only when it is necessary. They do not change to fit some minor group who just want to walk over when they please. Or who think that driving fast is their god-given right.

    Also, human law is not above laws of physics. As DeTant said, you are just as dead regardless of if you were protected by human law or not if your opponent was a bus.

  83. Enrique permalink
    September 22, 2008 3:15 pm

    There are big differences between jaywalking and fraud, as well as between jaywalking and murder.

    Tiwaz, have you ever felt hunger and suffered discrimination? Do you feel that the opinions you express are shared by the majority of Finns — or do you consider yourself a “misunderstood minority?”

  84. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 22, 2008 3:32 pm

    Well, now again we do stray from the topic… but
    a) is it right to steal if you are hungry?
    b) is it right to buy from the black market or fake coupons if the government decides everybody needs to eat so one needs to control the consumption?

    So then we can extrapolate is it right for the rich people to avoid taxes? After all it is no different – from a moral standpoint. When do you make a difference between the right and the wrong… or is it black and white or shades of grey? One mans freedom fighter is the other mans terrorist.

    So is jaywalking not a fraud against the rules of the social contract?

  85. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 22, 2008 3:38 pm

    – have you ever felt hunger and suffered discrimination?

    Have you? Do you now? I know my grandparents and parents did. My grandmother had some business sense so she had a stockpile of coffee and sugar in her cabinet when she died.

    So if someone is well fed and don’t need to fear some men coming at night because you belong in a political party – what is exactly again the reason to whine about Finland? Apart of course of us being such a bad nation.

  86. Enrique permalink
    September 22, 2008 4:00 pm

    –So if someone is well fed and don’t need to fear some men coming at night because you belong in a political party – what is exactly again the reason to whine about Finland? Apart of course of us being such a bad nation.

    I have lived through a civil wars in Argentina and Colombia. They are very humbling situations. And then there was all the pain from the post-war period in Finland, after it lost lands such as Karelia. There was also the civil rights movement in the United States and growing up during the Vietnam War. Yes, I have seen a lot of suffering. But there are two ways you can react to it: be quiet or do something about it. That is a choice.

    The other road is that you can accuse all those that want to debate matters in society as “whining.” Take a look at Ingrid Betancourt, who was held as a hostage by the FARC in the Colombian jungle for six years until she was rescued. Did she come out and demanded that the Colombian army should go and kill more guerrillas? No. She said she would continue to fight for peace in her war-torn country.

    That is the difference between a leader and one who just retires to a corner and becomes apathetic. Why is it difficult for some Finns to hear the other side of things? Very little would change if we did not raise questions about society. In fact, it is an essential part of any democracy. Killing debate because you do not agree what the other person says does not help the problem go away.

    –So is jaywalking not a fraud against the rules of the social contract?

    I doubt that jaywalking is fraud. It is an infraction at the most.

  87. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 22, 2008 7:20 pm

    – Did she come out and demanded that the Colombian army should go and kill more guerrillas? No. She said she would continue to fight for peace in her war-torn country.

    So what – she does not believe in the smell of napalm in the morning. You win wars with enough backup – if your backup fails you need to suck up. And the losers whine.

    The Finns blocked the “losing” of 1918 in 1939… but the “revenge” came in 1945… we are the nation of “suck it up”…. we don’t believe in the “smell of napalm in the mornings” either… as we have no backup.

  88. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 22, 2008 7:25 pm

    – Killing debate because you do not agree what the other person says does not help the problem go away.

    Well I think killing the debate is still better than killing the persons? As happened in Argentina and Chile? And what is happening in Colombia. Finland had this problem and after that we decided it that killing the debate *is* a better thing than having to kill the people. It is just a point of view – here where we have killed the debate we have not had a political murder since the 1920’s was it? How is that for a track reckord?

  89. Enrique permalink
    September 22, 2008 9:11 pm

    –So what – she does not believe in the smell of napalm in the morning. You win wars with enough backup – if your backup fails you need to suck up. And the losers whine.

    I wonder what hundreds of thousands of people who are victims of the over 40-year civil war would think about an answer such as “so what.” They would probably call you a “Yankee.” If you think you can win a war in Colombia with enough backup, you are wrong.

    Could “sucking it in” be another word for being tough and bearing pain?

    Yes, it is a precious thing we have in this part of the world that we attempt to kill debate instead of killing the one who debates. That is a very good track record but I think there were some “reds” in the Finnish army that might have been killed by some trigger-happy people who still thought they were in 1918 even though it was 1941-44.

    But, as you know, ideas cannot be killed.

  90. Tiwaz permalink
    September 23, 2008 4:53 am

    Sadly no, they can’t.

    As for your questions… Do I need to go through week without food to know I do not want to be hungry? As for discrimination, depends. I had some rather rough time at one point at school. So I know what it is like to be outcast.

    As for if I represent majority of Finns. Based on my relatively limited outtake, yes. Finns love Finland, as Finland. Trying to mold it in image you desire, one without clear identity or unity, is an anathema to your average Finn.

    You speak high praise of how immigrants “enrich” our society, we look at foreign cities and countries “enriched” by it, then look at already existing problems in our society and firmly reject that idea.

    Sadly, we cannot just shoot your delusional desire for destroying Finland. And as law abiding society (overall and generally more law abiding than most) we do not kill you. So how about making favor to all of us.

    You clearly are miserable in Finnish Finland. We do not want to be miserable in your desired form of Finland. So what if you move to one of those hellholes, sorry heavens, of multiculturalism to enjoy the richness it brings. And we can keep our Finnish Finland. Because there is no Finnish Finland elsewhere for us to go to, but you have multicultural hellholes, sorry heavens, to go to.

    Go to Canada!

  91. Enrique permalink
    September 23, 2008 11:21 am

    –I had some rather rough time at one point at school. So I know what it is like to be outcast.

    Maybe this explains your strong attitudes. Sometimes, when we have been at the bottom of the social totem pole, we want to push other people under us to flee from our social situation. A good example were the Roma, who started to discriminate on the Somalis. It was a way of lifting their position in Finnish society.

    –Sadly, we cannot just shoot your delusional desire for destroying Finland.

    You have to be joking, right?

    –You clearly are miserable in Finnish Finland. We do not want to be miserable in your desired form of Finland. So what if you move to one of those hellholes, sorry heavens, of multiculturalism to enjoy the richness it brings. And we can keep our Finnish Finland. Because there is no Finnish Finland elsewhere for us to go to, but you have multicultural hellholes, sorry heavens, to go to. Go to Canada!

    Really, Tiwaz, can’t you use any new arguments? You are saying the same thing over and over again. Furthermore, you are losing your temper, your cool. I think you are a minority. No sane person can have such a myopic world view as you.

  92. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 23, 2008 12:41 pm

    Just after the news today – i don’t think any one of us has anything really to complain about… and talking about delusional desires and shooting isn’t really kosher right now.

  93. Enrique permalink
    September 23, 2008 1:03 pm

    What a dark day. Yes, talking about these two things is never kosher.

  94. Tiwaz permalink
    September 24, 2008 5:21 am

    -Maybe this explains your strong attitudes. Sometimes, when we have been at the bottom of the social totem pole, we want to push other people under us to flee from our social situation. A good example were the Roma, who started to discriminate on the Somalis. It was a way of lifting their position in Finnish society.

    No, it has nothing to do with my personal past. It has everything to do with me having seen with little eyes in my head what such multiculturalism does to society, and reading far more about it at home.

    As for new arguments, you are always saying how multiculturalism will improve society. And you still have not been able to shoot down my arguments. Nor provide proof of unified, undivided, socially safe, lowish crime, little social problems and stable multicultural society with strong native culture.

  95. Tiwaz permalink
    September 24, 2008 5:22 am

    And yes, Finland has problems. Kauhajoki being prime example of that.

    Sad day I hoped never to see again…

  96. Enrique permalink
    September 24, 2008 6:05 pm

    That’s too bad because you have lost a lot.

    For me, multiculturalism, or a situation where people from different cultural backgrounds live in the same place as I, is a NORMAL thing. Check the Mayberry syndrome. Maybe your views of Finnish society are not what they appear on the surface. Every society has problems. None of them are perfect.

    Yes, and you said: “Sadly, we cannot just shoot your delusional desire for destroying Finland. And as law abiding society (overall and generally more law abiding than most) we do not kill you. So how about making favor to all of us.”

    Are you serious about those words?

  97. Tiwaz permalink
    September 25, 2008 4:32 am

    To you, YES. Because you come from society BUILT on it. This is not Argentina Enqrique! Argentinian values and principles do not apply here! We have our OWN values and principles. One of them is unity, because in this less than pleasant part of world you either stand together or fall separated.

    Unity cannot be achieved through division. And multicultural society where there are no common principles, values and ways to act there is only division. There are different groups who can’t connect because their ways and values are different.

    Was your place of birth unified in same sense as Finland? Did it have same culture and tradition as Finland? No! So same things do not apply. Now we are getting to the bottom of why you want multicultural Finland. It has nothing to do with what is best for Finland, but you have desire for familiar surroundings. Thus you try to change Finland to be Argentina.

    As for shooting, if you read it carefully it was aimed at your idea. As you said that idea cannot be killed, I agreed and said it was sad. Because some ideas are dangerous and highly undesirable. Sadly, since we cannot kill ideas (idea should not be mistaken for a person)…

  98. Tiwaz permalink
    September 25, 2008 7:47 am

    And no, since we can’t kill ideas I do not promote killing humans either. All we can do is try to oppose bad ideas which hurt us or our society through debates like this.

    Point out, time after time, how something working in one place does not mean it works in another place if conditions are totally different. Try to make such people understand.

  99. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 27, 2008 7:22 am

    – Now we are getting to the bottom of why you want multicultural Finland. It has nothing to do with what is best for Finland, but you have desire for familiar surroundings. Thus you try to change Finland to be Argentina.
    🙂 Mr. Freud

  100. Enrique permalink
    September 27, 2008 12:53 pm

    Wow, that is an unique way of putting it. I am glad Tiwaz does not promote killing anyone for his ideas. However, I think your views on Finnish society being a hermetically sealed place where everything is dandy is wrong. Are you sure you have not been inflicted with the Mayberry syndrome?

  101. Tiwaz permalink
    September 28, 2008 9:25 am

    I am not interested in keeping everything as it is, but I am firmly against changing anything because immigrants want to change them. That is change pushed from outside.

    Finland and it’s culture are going to change, but change must be done in terms of natives. In FINNISH terms.

    Finnish society, Finnish nation, Finnish culture.

    You want to come from Wonkytonkyland or whatever. Feel free, but respect Finnish culture and tradition if you move in. That is what you would expect from people who moved into your native country.

    In Finland, the Finnish way. Elsewhere, the Elsewhere way. Very simple yes?

    Not that in Finland whatever way you feel most familiar (IE, your native foreign way) and let the natives suck it up and bend over. If you can’t live in Finland by Finnish cultural norms and traditions, move away. It is best for everyone.

    There is only one way how society can be stable and unified. That is if everyone accepts one common rules of social interaction. That is, one culture. No, you most likely never will become Finn. But you can learn to fake it well, you can integrate.

    Attempt to promote no common ground, instead saying that every culture is equal everywhere and all the time will only give ground to segregation and conflict. Because, why should _I_ give in on my cultural norms if it is equal to cultural norms of that _other_ guy… See? There is the issue. Nobody wants to give in and obey norms of another culture. Thus, attempt to claim that every culture is equal just gives room for more conflict. If it is made clear that in Finland (or name any other country with it’s own established culture) it is Finnish way or highway. There is no longer such conflict. Those who move in and stay, will act along the same rules. Those who can, either leave or are thrown out.

  102. Enrique permalink
    September 28, 2008 1:32 pm

    It is not that “immigrants can change anything,” it is society and culture that changes all the time. When you mention, “Finnish society, Finnish nation, Finnish culture,” you forget to mention other religions, cultural backgrounds that form an integral part of “Finnish society, Finnish nation and Finnish culture.” Your view of where people are from and what there roles are in society is, unfortunately, old.

    Your “love it or leave it” argument is as old as time. Many have used the same argument. However, people do not leave a place because somebody tells them to. That is there choice. If they decide to stay, they may put on a hell of a fight as we have seen in many countries. Read about the civil rights movement in the US. You may learn something you did not know.

    I still think you have been inflicted by the Mayberry syndrome.

  103. Tiwaz permalink
    September 29, 2008 4:09 am

    You know, about fights. Native people when attempted to oppress into subjugated position tend to fight too. Zulu fought, Indians fought… Everyone fought. Except, today, Finns have bigger guns. It is no longer Zulu-wars where immigrant/invaders won the day with superior firepower.

    You trying to present very minor groups like Sami, Swedish speakers or Roma as significant. They are not. And what is more essential, they CAN act Finnish. When push comes, they will suddenly show remarkable skill at being Finnish in Finnish way. Roma are biggest exception to this, and guess what is general opinion of them…

    Same thing with incredibly small jewish or muslim minorities. When they are out in the open, they behave Finnish.

    They are integral only because they do not stick their head out to scream “I’m different!”. They behave according to Finnish principles in Finnish society. See, it has nothing to do with their religion, but how they present themselves in everyday life.

    My views are not outdated, they are what we are. They are what human societies are. Today we are seeing results of excessively liberal experiments trying to create multicultural world. And pendulum is turning to swing the other way, rightwing and extreme right are gaining support. Immigrants are number one problem all over Europe and even rest of the world. People complain about them.

    Immigrants have to wake up and smell the roses, because if they do not. They will have rough wakening when people finally are fed up with them trying to push their ways upon natives.

    Finland is in late train in this, because we have suffered from excessive amount of unintegrating only at later date.

  104. Enrique permalink
    September 29, 2008 7:43 am

    Did you ever think that it was shameful in the past to be different in Finland? The Jews are probably some of the best examples. Since it was shameful to be a Jew, people hid it as opposed to show it. This probably had to do with the Finnish identity building and the like. You mention the Roma but forget the tremendous discrimination on them for not throwing away their culture and become “white” Finns. If you think of it, they have a lot of guts.
    As Finland’s society is and becomes more diverse, it is only natural that “cultures will come out of the closet” and not be afraid to show who they are.
    Of course we are all Finns! Do you hold the magic key that defines who is and who is not?

  105. Tiwaz permalink
    September 29, 2008 8:18 am

    Yes. Finnish cultural norms.

    They are the foundation of this society. If you do not play by them, or if you do not have ability to imitate it. You are not Finn.

    Being Finnish is more than what is stated at your nationality in your passport.

    Do you honestly think that Finns will sit by idly and watch their society being brought to ruin by immigrants who want to impose their norms on Finland?
    WAKE UP! No they won’t. Roma were tolerated because they were few and overall did not push their way of thinking upon rest of society. They accepted their part as outcasts. And because they were few, they caused few problems.

    Trying to divide the society by claiming that other cultures are just as good as Finnish in Finland will lead to ruin. Finns won’t bend over and take it up the arse forever.

    Hide your head in the sand all you want. Reality is that movement against multicultural illusion is already starting in Europe. Natives are getting fed up with bending over. Natives are fed up with immigrants waltzing in and trampling on the native culture and tradition. And immigrants happily do it, because “their culture is equal to native one”-stupidity they are told.

    This is not Argentina, it never will be. This is not Canada either. Our society has existed far longer than either of those. Why it still exists? Because it was strong. Why it was strong? Because it was united under one cultural background. Finland was built on Finnish values. It became stable, prosperous society because huge majority lived and worked by those values. It would not have risen from ashes if there were dozens of cultures fighting one another like you fantasize having in Finland.

    Societies without unity collapse, because they lack the foundation to make it strong. Multiculturalism lacks this foundation, and attempt to implement it on society with existing foundation will lead to eroding that foundation. But before whole thing collapses, natives will awaken to what is going on and will start correcting situation.

    Problem is, it gets nasty. Those who try to present themselves as something else will suffer. It will be return to those days you mentioned. And it will come unless immigrants learn to stop trying to push their ways to Finland.

    Why it is so difficult concept? In Finland, things are done the Finnish way. Can’t deal with it? Leave and find place which suits you! If you stay and try to change Finland to fit yourself, you will only cause trouble.

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