Two-sided dabate on immigration in Finland
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.