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A futuristic solution to the integration of foreigners in Finland

October 18, 2008

Owing to the recalcitrant attitude of some readers of this blog that foreigners are a threat to Finland and that they should throw away their culture and embrace Finnish ways and life, for them I would like to propose a futuristic model of integration.

Finnish technology firms should start thinking about investing time in building the “language-and-culture chip” that can be implanted in a person’s brain and resolve all those sticky cultural and language issues.

With the help of this  chip, which he can switch on and off at will, can be purchased for an extra cost to fit your specific regional language needs (Helsinki, Turku slang or Rauma dialect) wherever and whenever you want. You do not need to take those boring language courses because the chip will help you speak Finnish in a jiffy.

But perfectly fluent Finnish in regional variations is not enough without the culture adapter.It works like any electric adapter at an extra-extra price, giving you cultural spice and meaning to your Finnish language. You will know exactly when to laugh, cry, smile or simply shut up with the help of the adapter.

Who said that learning and acting Finnish is difficult! With the language-and-culture chip Finland will be able to eat and have its cake when it comes to foreigners!

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Onkko permalink
    October 22, 2008 7:21 pm

    “Who said that learning and acting Finnish is difficult! With the language-and-culture chip Finland will be able to eat and have its cake when it comes to foreigners!”

    Ask that about savonian negro i met.
    Its possible without chips, sorry if you couldnt make it.

  2. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    October 25, 2008 7:54 am

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/labour/3230463/Immigration-Phil-Woolas-admits-Labour-responsible-for-string-of-failures.html

    “Phil Woolas said the Government had implemented policies that had damaged both those moving to the country and the existing population. He said too much money had been spent on translating signs and documents into other languages and not enough on teaching migrants to learn English, leading to segregated communities.”

    what was this thing about learning Finnish all about 😈

  3. Enrique permalink
    October 25, 2008 8:47 am

    Yes, you are right but the Telegraph is a pretty right-wing daily. Read the Guardian for a different take. I believe it is a mix of everything: allowing people to retain their identity (very important) but integrating in order to function effectively in society.
    I see a city like London as a place where I can walk in a visit different cultures. Possibly if people could leave their hang ups over other to the side and learn to “travel in cultures” things would be different.

  4. Enrique permalink
    October 25, 2008 8:47 am

    Well, Onkko, I am happy about your optimism.

  5. Tiwaz permalink
    October 27, 2008 9:37 am

    “Yes, you are right but the Telegraph is a pretty right-wing daily. Read the Guardian for a different take. I believe it is a mix of everything: allowing people to retain their identity (very important) but integrating in order to function effectively in society.
    I see a city like London as a place where I can walk in a visit different cultures. Possibly if people could leave their hang ups over other to the side and learn to “travel in cultures” things would be different.”

    And those cultures fight one another. Are in constant conflict as they see same issue differently.

    Integration requires adherence to local cultural norms. You cannot ever become Finn if you are foreigner by birth, but you can learn to act according to Finnish cultural norms. If you do not, odds are you will become center of conflict, as you try to impose your cultural norms upon surroundings.

    You, Enrique, are one of those troublemakers. Believe it or not. You try to live in Finland as if Finland was Argentina. Of course it cannot work.

    But in the end, your cultural difference is relatively minor. Some cultures carry far greater baggage. Many see woman for example more as property than individual. Should we just accept this, from Finnish cultural sense, barbaric thinking in Finland too?

    Perhaps mutilation through circumcision of boys and girls in name of culture.
    Should we accept that too?

    I say no. In Finland, there is one culture which defines acceptable boundaries. Finnish culture.

    If your personal cultural ways do not violate Finnish one, fine. If they do, you have to adjust. Why is this difficult concept for you Enrique? Why do you pretend that you and other immigrants have right to demand Finns to bend over and respect your cultural norms in Finland?

  6. November 3, 2008 8:47 pm

    The chip would also come in handy for those returning to Finland or the children of those that emigrated years before. I have heard of 2nd generation Finnish-Americans going to Finland and being told, “You talk like my grandmother”.

  7. Karri permalink
    December 9, 2008 3:44 pm

    Tiwaz, most Finns themselves know and understand that there is more than one culture in Finland, more than just what you describe as “Finnish culture”, whatever that means. That is what the greatest values of the Finnish society stand for – tasa-arvo, yhdenvertaisuus ja vapaus – we all have our own ways, and we can all live together. If we had only one culture in Finland, then there wouldn’t be the freedom of religion – uskonvapauslaki – in Finland, for example. If we only had one culture, then we didn’t have varieties like Karelian food, the Kainuu cuisine, Sami in Lapland, slang in Helsinki, etc. If we had only one culture, then you wouldn’t speak or write any English, right? And if all Finns were law-abiding, hard working citizens, then you wouldn’t waste your time writing inflammatory comments here, but would find a real job instead, right? Surely you could use your time in a more productive way than writing nonsense on the Internet.

    As a Finn, I’m really glad knowing that not nearly all of us are or think like Tiwaz. If we were, Finland wouldn’t be the kind of safe (relatively speaking), free, varied and wealthy society that it is now.

    • Enrique permalink
      December 9, 2008 4:15 pm

      Hi Karri, and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for your comment. I have a feeling that Tiwaz does not take his opinions too seriously. How can a person see the world in such a black-and-white fashion?

  8. Karri permalink
    December 9, 2008 4:01 pm

    @Tiwaz:
    “Why do you pretend that you and other immigrants have right to demand Finns to bend over and respect your cultural norms in Finland?”

    Tiwaz, why on Earth do you think that Enrique is asking anybody to do that? To me it’s clear that Enrique in fact likes many aspects of the Finnish society, and has chosen to stay in Finland, learn about it’s culture, values, history and language probably even more than many people you’d call the “real Finns”. To me it seems like Enrique knows more about Finnish history and literature than you do, for example. Why do you keep posting an endless rant here, when other people aren’t actually saying what you claim they’re saying? What’s your problem? Do something useful with your time instead, like read some books, for example.

  9. Karri permalink
    December 9, 2008 5:05 pm

    Thanks, Tiwaz. I think you’re right about not taking it too seriously. I must also admit that I myself tend to get a bit heated sometimes over other people’s comments. I don’t mean to attack Tiwaz, either, as all of us have an equal right to their own opinions, and I shall be quiet for a moment now to learn how to laugh at my own comments again. 🙂

    • Enrique permalink
      December 9, 2008 7:39 pm

      Don’t worry about it and you have a good attitude towards things. I wish it would rub off on some bloggers that make comments here.

  10. Karri permalink
    December 9, 2008 7:13 pm

    Ummm…. Shoot. That last comment was supposed to say “Thanks, Enrique”, not “Tiwaz”. Sorry for the confusion.

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