Are you in favor of “mamu” or “maahanmuuttaja” – or none of the above?

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

What type of feelings does the term mamu, the shortened form of maahanmuuttaja, or immigrant, awaken in you? Mamu is less commonly used today than before but you can still see it peppered in the media. A fresh example is the Green Party’s Vihreä Lanka.

In order to call somebody a nickname you have to know the person pretty well and then proceed with caution. If Finns call immigrants mamu is it then ok in the media for men to call women gimma and women call men, äijä?

My blood boils every time I see the term mamu in print.  Even twilight-zone terms like maahanmuuttajataustainen, or a person with an immigrant background, are offensive because they exclude rather than include people in our society.

Bloggers like JusticeDemon have correctly pointed out on a number of occasions how difficult it is to figure out what maahanmuuttajataustainen actually means. At our school, a so-called maahanmuuttajataustainen refugee may have lived in three countries. Most of those years may have been in Finland.

Why is it important to know if a person — and especially a child — has an immigrant background or not? The most important matter for that person is acceptance and respect.

Prying into a person’s background and, on top of this, calling him an offensive nickname or giving him an obscure identity are pretty offensive in my opinion.

If you see people doing this don’t be afraid to point it out.

  1. JusticeDemon

    I understand that mamu was a coinage by people working in various migration-related services in the early 1990s, such as reception centre staff and Finnish language teachers. There is no particular reason to believe that the coinage was intended to be in any way pejorative. It was merely a slang coinage reflecting the point that maahanmuuttaja is a long word to repeat over and over.

    Terms become pejorative through the context in which they are used. Some sections of the public and media have (probably not wilfully) poisoned the terminology of immigration in recent years. One such term is refugee. It is nowadays possible to score cheap debating points against unwary politicians by shifting the reference of refugee back to its core meaning under the Geneva Convention. Raimo Ilaskivi was caught more than once in this way by questioning his attitude to Jewish refugees in the 1930s based on his remarks about asylum seekers in the early 1990s. It is a simple and, in some ways, educational point to ask people what they think of asylum seekers and then analyse their responses as evidence of holocaust denial and similar attitudes.

    I understand that new Australian was used as a term of abuse in Australia sometime in the 1950s. No expression is intrinsically immune to this process.

    We have seen some deliberate efforts in recent years to add a pejorative sense to terms like politically correct and human rights, but these largely depend on widespread ignorance of the meaning of these expressions. A person who thinks that political correctness is undesirable is quite literally inviting you to call her a dumbfuck, which is merely a politically incorrect expression for an ignorant person. Indeed, the requirement for political correctness is the only thing that makes this choice of expression inappropriate.

    • Enrique

      Hi JusticeDemon, thank you for giving us the long view on how the term mamu has evolved from the early 1990s. In the 1970s in the United States after the the civil rights movement, matters started to change radically also in the ethnic labelling department. As Finland’s immigrant and minority population grows, there will also be more debate on what these groups want to be called. A good example of how matters are changing is at the school where I work. The majority of the mamu students did not like the label. Enough of them felt it to be pejorative. The name was then changed from maahanmuuttaja to monikulttuurinen (MK) peruskoululinja. If you ask other learning institutions in Finland, I believe the tendency is to switch from the word maahanmuuttaja or mamu to something less offensive. I am certain that “monikulttuurinen” will change in the future.

      The most important matter when placing ethnic labels on others is to ask these minorities what they think about them.

  2. Tony Garcia

    So Enrique, you do get offended when someone is called Finn, Aussie or Yankee, don’t you? Can you see how ridiculous your insane wish to find racism can be?

    • Enrique

      Tony, did I state that calling an immigrant mamu was racist? At chatsites like that of Hommaforum the term mamu is used pejoritavely. The Term Finn, Aussie or Yankee (a question mark) is generally accepted by these nationalities. These are national not ethnic labels. If you can go around giving ethnic labels to others, why not go to the United States and call a black man a Negro? That was the general term used by whites for Negros. It was even accepted by blacks. Today you would get strange looks if you did.

      All I am saying is that when a group places an ethnic label on another one they should at least find out what the others think.

  3. Tony Garcia

    “The most important matter when placing ethnic labels on others is to ask these minorities what they think about them.”

    Enrique, I don’t know about you but since I came to Europe one thing I hear all the time is how Latinos are far happier than Europeans, maybe because we don’t spend our time in ghost hunting?

  4. Tony Garcia

    “At chatsites like that of Hommaforum the term mamu is used pejoritavely.”

    That’s exactly my point, it’s not the term but how you use it. Would you say this phrase is not offensive?

    “I think Afro-Americans are all dirty”.

    There you go…

  5. Tony Garcia

    Ian O’Doherty has written an article that is perfect to this discussion…

    “A slight double standard, perhaps?

    Race once again rears its ugly head in America, where two interesting stories about use of the word ‘n***er’ have emerged.

    In the first, an American journalist has been sacked from a Fox News local affiliate.

    The station had done just an item on the local chapter of black rights group the NAACP where the word was used by some of the interviewees. The journalist, who is white, asked a colleague: “Can we say n***er now?” and was promptly suspended, even though black hacks in the newsroom regularly use the phrase.

    And now it looks like Huckleberry Finn is the latest book to fall victim to mad people.

    The children’s classic is banned from many American schools because of its use of racial epithets, but a new edition is being compiled which all excise all those nasty words and replace them with something more culturally sensitive.

    So, from now on, expect Jim to be referred to as “an African American displaced person and unpaid indentured servant” while all the injuns will simply be “noble native Americans who are the true owners of the land”.

    It all seems like the kind of Bowdlerising rubbish that right-on Americans like to get their knickers in a twist about — because, as we all know, there’s an entire generation of kids who have grown up knowing that you can never, ever use the word — unless you’re a rapper, a movie star or black American footballer, that is. “

  6. JusticeDemon

    lol@Tony the Toby

    Let’s not forget that these remarks are now coming from the dimwit who talks about yooman rites and brown-noses the American Taliban.

    But consistency was never your strong suit, was it Toby?

    What is your strong suit?

    Refugee from the Nuremberg process with one foot in the kitchen?

    I think we should be told.

  7. Klay_Immigrant

    This is just so typical. If immigrants and liberals/leftists spent half the time and effort into integrating/adapting into society or finding ways for others to do that instead of worrying about labels or who’s racist or not then there would be a much smaller immigrant backclash. Get your priorities straight.

  8. J

    “The Term Finn, Aussie or Yankee (a question mark) is generally accepted by these nationalities. These are national not ethnic labels.”
    Neither is mamu an ethnic label. It is a national label meaning people of nationalities that are not, in this case, Finnish. It’s as simple as that.

    • Enrique

      Hi J and welcome to Migrant Tales. Ok, fair enough, mamu is not an ethnic label. However, it is a label made by Finns for immigrants. Even though most Finns that use this term don’t mean anything bad, it is offensive to some immigrants. That is enough to question its usage.

  9. Seppo

    So which name would you prefer?

    I belive, in order to really discuss things, we have to agree upon some name for those people who are born / whose parents are born outside Finland.

    I bet that no matter which name we choose, some people will be willing to use it pejoratively..

    • Enrique

      Hi Seppo and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for sharing your views with us.

      –I belive, in order to really discuss things, we have to agree upon some name for those people who are born / whose parents are born outside Finland.

      I believe you are right. What about hearing what people from this group want to be called. I personally don’t think it is important to distinguish where a person is from. Can you imagine if you wer from Savo and in Helsinki you would be constantly reminded that you are a savolainen?

      In the US, as an example, we listened to what different ethnic groups wanted to be called. I think that is showing respect. If you look at different schools in Finland, fewer are using the term mamu because it is seen offensive by some immigrants.

  10. J

    We Finns do tend to use abbreviations for long words, yes. So saying that mamu is a label made by Finns for immigrants is essentially the same as saying that maahanmuuttaja is a label made by Finns for immigrants. This, while technically it is true, makes no sense whatsoever for obvious reasons.

    I do agree, though, that the word mamu should not be used by the media since, as you have pointed out, the meaning of the abbreviation is unclear to many people.

    • Enrique

      J, I think that maahanmuuttaja is a million times better than mamu. And why is it so important to give people labels if he is a resident and Finland is his home. Is this the way we create “us” or more “them?”

  11. J

    I don’t really see the problem with calling immigrants immigrants. Of course we should take into account what different ethnic groups want to be called but that has nothing to do with the word maahanmuuttaja or the abbreviation mamu. The thing to remember here is that immigrants are not an ethnic group. We should not have to think up a new word for immigrant when we already have one. Also, do you really mean that you don’t see a reason for distinguishing between an immigrant and a citizen?

    • Enrique

      –Also, do you really mean that you don’t see a reason for distinguishing between an immigrant and a citizen?

      The most important matter is that when you place a label on a group that it does not exclude them. Maahanmuuttaja never mind mamudoesn’t even imply Finland is your home. The term should (1) be acceptable to the group and (2) should imply that Finland is their home not a place they are in transit.

  12. JusticeDemon

    Strictly speaking, maahanmuuttaja focuses on the history of an individual. In this sense a maahanmuuttaja can be a Finnish citizen by birth, and can also be of Finnish extraction and speak Finnish as her native language.

    The modern usage of maahanmuuttaja implies some degree of change of domicile. In other words, a maahanmuuttaja is someone whose home is now in Finland, but was formerly elsewhere. It is an interesting historical question to ask precisely when the Finnish government first recognised maahanmuuttajat in the de facto and de jure senses of this expression. Ahti Tovanen’s brief review in Strange Days certainly suggests that there were de facto immigrants in Finland in the early 1980s, in the sense that some people had moved to Finland and remained here for several years. Certainly at the point of naturalisation we would have to concede that these people were immigrants, but there was no formal status of immigrant reçu prior to this.

    My own view is that Finland did not formally recognise the existence of immigrants until the 2004 Aliens Act finally removed the requirement for an immigrant to hold a passport or other travel document issued by a foreign power. This means that although a permanent residence permit can only be issued to a person with a passport or other travel document, there is no further duty to renew this passport or travel document. A foreign immigrant with no desire to travel abroad therefore has no further obligation to deal in any way with the authorities of her country of origin or with the immigration machinery of Finland.

    Suomen kansalainen is a legal category. This has nothing necessarily to do with birthplace, extraction or language. The complementary modern legal category is ulkomaalainen (or ulkolainen if you are a real peasant). The older expression is muukalainen.

    The adjective maahanmuuttajataustainen is a recent coinage that is almost, but not quite as useful as a chocolate teapot. For some people this has simply become a euphemism for black.

    In my [considerable] experience with immigrants, the most practical expression for most purposes is simply foreigner before naturalisation and, arguably, new Finn after naturalisation.

  13. JusticeDemon

    Ricky

    Maahanmuuttaja never mind mamu doesn’t even imply Finland is your home.

    For reasons that I just explained, it certainly does imply precisely this. The change of domicile is crucial. You cannot be an immigrant unless your permanent home is now in Finland.

    IIRC, this factor caused some difficulties for Ingrian immigrants in the early 1990s precisely because they lost certain accrued benefits of domicile in the old USSR. The point was that they could not be domiciled in both Finland and Russia, meaning that they lost out on the privatisation of real estate in the post-Soviet period.

    Obviously there are circumstances in which maahanmuuttaja is not especially useful. It should, for example, be applied to all Finnish citizens by birth who were born into emigré families but now live in Finland.

  14. J

    “Maahanmuuttaja never mind mamu doesn’t even imply Finland is your home.”
    Maahanmuuttaja is a compound word coined from words muuttaa (move) and maahan (to a country). So unless you think moving doesn’t imply that one has formerly lived in one place and now lives in an another place, I don’t really see what you’re getting at.

    • Enrique

      My point, J, is that we got to stop calling people immigrants when in fact they live as residents in the country. In the US some of these immigrants have hyphanated identieis, for example. If you move to another city in Finland, do you like to be reminded constantly that you are from somewhere else. We should look for terms and labels that promote “us” more than “them.”

  15. Tony Garcia

    “We should look for terms and labels that promote “us” more than “them.””

    Enrique, you are dead right, however behaviour from some groups of immigrants promote more “them” then terms used by Finns.

    • Enrique

      –Enrique, you are dead right, however behaviour from some groups of immigrants promote more “them” then terms used by Finns.

      I would debate that. The majority of immigrants that move to a country want to make something out of their lives. Some of them (hint) are more conservative and nationalistic than the locals. They too are competing for scarce resources and don’t want other’s competing for them.

  16. Tony Garcia

    “The majority of immigrants that move to a country want to make something out of their lives.”

    But still some promote a very strong “us” and “them” ideology.

    “Some of them (hint) are more conservative and nationalistic than the locals.”

    Those (hint) are doing very well indeed.

    “They too are competing for scarce resources and don’t want other’s competing for them.”

    Funny…

    • Enrique

      –But still some promote a very strong “us” and “them” ideology.

      If you are conservative why do you think that other groups have to mold in and be like the masses? Certainly people have the right to decide. The host society must have rules where everyone is included. We come from diverse backgrounds but we belong to the same community.

  17. Tony Garcia

    “If you are conservative why do you think that other groups have to mold in and be like the masses?”

    Because that’s what works.

    “Certainly people have the right to decide.”

    Absolutely, everyone should make their own decisions, however don’t blame the consequences on others.

    “The host society must have rules where everyone is included. “

    There rules are there, it’s up to us the not exclude ourselves. As already said: “Certainly people have the right to decide.”

    “We come from diverse backgrounds but we belong to the same community.”

    Dead right again, that has always been by motto here, our background is irrelevant, what matter is where we are and what we need to do to fit in.

    • Enrique

      –Because that’s what works.

      Does it work for you. Could you tell us how you do it.

      –There rules are there, it’s up to us the not exclude ourselves.

      So you believe that immigrants and Finns have the same opportunities. Equal opportunity is the rule.

  18. JusticeDemon

    lol@Tony the Toby

    Because that’s what works.

    The Toby is recommending brown-nosing here, because it worked for his ancestors: Never let your values get in the way of making a fast buck.

    The interesting thing about these shits is how they never tell the customer how much better than the rest of us they think they are. Integrity is for losers: all that matters is the appearance of respectability. Real authenticity is too expensive.

    These people are the real parasites in any society.

    Why don’t you tell us all who your family supported in Brazil between 1964 and 1985, Toby? How many of them stood up for democracy when it was bad for business? Are you afraid that your answer might show the customers what you are really like?

  19. Tony Garcia

    “Could you tell us how you do it. “

    Sorry I already gave plenty of examples of it. I’ve done it in Finland and and Ireland, worked like a charm.

    “So you believe that immigrants and Finns have the same opportunities.”

    We have, this is not a believe but a fact.

  20. JusticeDemon

    Interestingly enough, the servile approach to immigration was fairly common among immigrants from the West Indies in Britain in the 1950s, but there are no indications that the children and grandchildren of those immigrants have made any more social progress than, say, the Orthodox Jewish or Chinese communities.

    Toby the Toby would have us believe that all you need to do is ape the natives. There is a reason why we use the word ape as a verb in this sense.

    Uncle Tom remains Uncle Tom, and loses the respect of his children. Tony the Toby is obviously too terminally thick to understand this, but smarter immigrants realise that society is dynamic. In order to find a place in it you must engage actively with it as an individual, applying your unique perspective, and not merely drifting with whatever social currents happen to be flowing. Otherwise the danger is that you will become well integrated into a society that no longer exists.

    This active engagement is a moral imperative, and the immigrant is likely to pay a price for discharging it. Finland’s best-known immigrant over the last 30 years most certainly did so, but Finland would be a much poorer place if, instead of becoming one of Finland’s leading social critics, Neil Hardwick had followed the advice of Tony the Toby and kept his head down.

    • Enrique

      –Interestingly enough, the servile approach to immigration was fairly common among immigrants from the West Indies in Britain in the 1950s.

      This is an interesting point but it happens over and over again. It is the second generation that reacts. Many have seen how their parents got pushed around and they would rather fight than allow the same to happen to them. This may explain why the second geneartion are more violent than the first when it comes to their situation.

  21. Tony Garcia

    “This may explain why the secon geneartion are more violent than the first when it comes to their situation.”

    Also explain why the first generation are, in many cases, more successful than the second.

    • Enrique

      –Also explain why the first generation are, in many cases, more successful than the second.

      From my own research of the Finns who settled Argentina it had to do with different values and goals.

  22. Tony Garcia

    “From my own research of the Finns who settled Argentina it had to do with different values and goals.”

    I’m sorry Enrique, but I didn’t get what you mean.

    • Enrique

      What I mean is that the first versus the second generation has different life values and goals. The first generation lived in the jungle and farmed whereas their children, the second generation, moved to the cities in search of a more comfortable life. Different values and lifestyles.

  23. J

    “My point, J, is that we got to stop calling people immigrants when in fact they live as residents in the country.”
    And why exactly is that? When one is an immigrant, there is no reason not to use the word immigrant. Or do you think being an immigrant is something to be ashamed of?

    • Enrique

      J, I don’t think that being an immigrant means something to be ashamed of. On the contrary, I am very proud of it where I was an immigrant. However, I don’t feel comfortable with people reminding me all the time my status as an immigrant in society. The place I live in is my home and it is just as much of a home as it is yours. That is all the identity I like to give out about where I am from.

      The term maahanmuuttaja is also an easy classification for politicians to not deal with the issues because that person is an immigrant. If he were accepted as a full member of society the treatment would be different, more inclusive. That is my point.

      The identity you have is what you think you are and are comfortable with.

  24. JusticeDemon

    J

    At what point is it no longer appropriate to call someone a newcomer to your street? Two-thirds of the population of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area has moved there in the last 40 years. Should we refer to these people as immigrants or highlight this fact about their history?

    The problem seems to concern unreflective use of the term immigrant to highlight a perceived but irrelevant distinction. Ricky and I can still remember a time when the word foreigner was used in this way. I can even identify the specific public servants who deliberately popularised the use of immigrant as an alternative to foreigner. This is the main motivation behind the changing nomenclature of the immigration and naturalisation service, where muukalainen is now obsolete and ulkomaalainen is used only in a very narrow technical sense.

    Referring to someone who has lived in Finland for decades as an immigrant is like referring to the hair colour and fashion sense of a radio presenter. It’s like the gratuitous references to a person’s age that used to be popular in news reports. Try to imagine how you would feel if you read a news item about yourself in HS that began by describing you as a 60 year-old Lappeenranta-born Espoo resident who objects to a proposal to widen part of the Kehä III bypass. In other words, as some old interloper standing in the way of progress.

    • Enrique

      Thank you JusticeDemon, you put it pretty well. One of the matters that surprised me when I moved back to Finland was that there was no term for immigrant, which was a big change from when I lived in Southern California. Even if most Finns do not mean anything bad when they call people maahanmuuttaja, I personally believe that most Finns call foreigners that name because they haven’t figured out what their place in society is. Maybe that is why some are obsessed with the term maahanmuuttajataustainen even if they are second- or third-generation Finns. J, I met people in the United States who spoke little English but wanted to throw away their former identity and become “Americans.” If that is ok with the person then so be it.

      Let me ask this question, J: Do you think an immigrant can become a Finn? How many generations must he wait to be acknowledged as a Finn? This is totally contrary to what you were taught about Finnish identity. Didn’t we become an independent nation because we wanted to be Finns and didn’t like to be pushed around by Russians and Swedes? Finns took nation-building very seriously. But times have changed and our society is more diverse; people search for pathways to inclusion.

      If we are going to label people (especially others of other groups) let’s use ones that inclusive and acceptable by the group.

      At the end of the day you are who you think you are.

  25. Tony Garcia

    “What I mean is that the first versus the second generation has different life values and goals.”

    Thanks for clarifying. That’s what happen, from generation to generation the society as a whole changes. I believe not only the Finns changed but also the Argentineans.

    The problem is that those changes are not always for batter. Look a Pakistanis in the UK, the first generation brought the traditional moderate Sufi Islam, the second however decided to embrace the extremist Wahhabism.

    So, you are very right, from generation to generation values and goals are changed, some, like the Finns in Americas, change for better, others, like Muslims in Europe, change for worse.

    • Enrique

      –So, you are very right, from generation to generation values and goals are changed, some, like the Finns in Americas, change for better, others, like Muslims in Europe, change for worse.

      That is your oen subjective view of the matter. Think for a moment what you are stating: A whole group of people judged either “bad” or “good” by you.

  26. JusticeDemon

    lol@Tony the Toby

    The Toby obviously has a copy of How to Bluff Your Way in Theology on his bookshelf. I’ll have some of this battered and fried:

    the traditional moderate Sufi Islam

    Why don’t you tell us what that is, Toby?

    lol

    What a dumbass!

  27. Tony Garcia

    “Think for a moment what you are stating:”

    The new generation became more radical, violent and less productive than the previous one, for me this is a change for worse.

    “A whole group of people judged either “bad” or “good” by you.”

    How do you judge the True Finns?

    • Enrique

      –The new generation became more radical, violent and less productive than the previous one, for me this is a change for worse.

      So by your line of thinking ALL of the second generation are bad? Hmmm.

      In my opinion the True Finns are a party that support racism, exclusion and are reactive. In other words, they don’t have any social models never mind constructive ideas on how to make immigration work. The True Finns are a snow job. When is Finland going to leave the EU? The euro is another matter that we should ditch and return back to the days of the markka. Good, Tony, good. We are going to make a lot of progress here and reap benefits.

      There are a lot of dying villages in eastern Finland where you can see what will happen to Finland if the True Finns handled things. I would start from Sulkava then go to Rantasalmi… Pensioners, poverty, no industry, few jobs (all public sector) and the graveyard, which has a bigger “population” than the town.

  28. Tony Garcia

    “So by your line of thinking ALL of the second generation are bad? “

    I didn’t say they are bad, I said the the second generation, compared to the first, changed for worse.

    There you go, you have your opinion about the True Finns and its supporters (a whole group) and I have my about the Muslims (another whole group). In our opinion both groups have flaws that make them incompatible to our society and we are expressing our opinion about it.

    • Enrique

      –I didn’t say they are bad, I said the the second generation, compared to the first, changed for worse.

      Do you know one of the biggest problems with Germany and why so many have not integrated? Because Germany never wanted them to. All they thought about was to use their labor and for them to leave. Now that is a very mistaken way of handling adaption. And then the second generation, who are Germans, see how their parents were exploited and discriminated. What do you expect? They have a right to protest and demand changes. That is how our societies work in Europe.

  29. Tony Garcia

    “Because Germany never wanted them to. “

    That’s a valid argument that should be debated. But as you can see my first argument wasn’t wrong after all. Your rush to denying everything I say is quite annoying, but at least eventually you end up agreeing.

    I don’t think there is one reason for they radicalization but many. Another is that they have in one side liberals telling them that they must hold on to their cultural heritage, in the other fire-breathing Imams telling them that the only way for them to do so is renouncing to the decadent West. I think this is an explosive (literally) combination.

    “They have a right to protest and demand changes.”

    Not with violence.

    “That is how our societies work in Europe.”

    Our society has democratic mechanisms that one should use rather than violence.

    • Enrique

      –That’s a valid argument that should be debated. But as you can see my first argument wasn’t wrong after all. Your rush to denying everything I say is quite annoying, but at least eventually you end up agreeing.

      Now how did you arrive at such a conclusion? When I am speaking of the situation in Germany it is a generalization. Many have succeeded and become good citizens of the community. The point is that politicians like Merkel should not complain if they don’t have any effective policies to include immigrants into German society.

  30. Tony Garcia

    “Many have succeeded and become good citizens of the community.”

    How many? A handful from 4+ million?

    “The point is that politicians like Merkel should not complain if they don’t have any effective policies to include immigrants into German society.”

    Another valid point. So you could answer me 2 questions.

    1. Are Muslims the only group that immigrated to Germany?

    2. If no, are the other groups of immigrants also being a problem?

    • Enrique

      Tony, this is were you and I differ totally. I give immigrants the benefit of the doubt where you don’t with some groups. The vast majority of people who live in society live within the law. If they didn’t we would not have a workable society. xyz is German. I am certain he can give you a more native take on the situation there.

      Your argument is a bit like saying all Mexicans and Central Americans are mañana types. These people have sacrificed so much and worked many times more than average white USAmericans at lower wages. Please don’t insult these hard-working immigrants and don’t include all from one ethnic group in your negative judgement.

  31. Tony Garcia

    Sorry but you made the point yourself, now you are escaping from it. My question was valid. If it’s all about Germany’s lack of integration policy why Muslims are being a trouble and Americans or Japanese, for example, aren’t? They are all immigrants after all.

    “Please don’t insult these hard-working immigrants…”

    What I’m doing is the very opposite of it, separating the hard-working-adaptable-integrated-assimilated immigrants from the others. When you mix both groups you are the one insulting us.

  32. xyz

    Ever heard that there are also American and Japanese Muslims? 🙂

    And why are you talking about integrated immigrants. You can not even speak Finnish yourself even so you have lived here for ages…

    • Enrique

      –Ever heard that there are also American and Japanese Muslims? 🙂

      Yes, true, and German and European Muslims as well.

  33. Tony Garcia

    “Yes, true, and German and European Muslims as well.”

    Well sorry, next time I’ll be more carful. There you go.

    “If it’s all about Germany’s lack of integration policy why Muslims immigrants and, most importantly, second generation are being a trouble and non-Muslims aren’t? ”

    PS. Apparently Filipinos are doing very well in Finland, do you happen to know the main religion of Philippines?

  34. Tony Garcia

    In case you decide to honour us with an answer you could also tell us if it’s all about “Germans don’t want Muslims around” how do explain Jews doing so well in Germany? (in fact Jews do very well everywhere they go)

    No group has been more hated in Germany than Jews. Do you have an explanation for the huge difference of results from both groups?

  35. Seppo

    “Can you imagine if you were from Savo and in Helsinki you would be constantly reminded that you are a savolainen?”

    You are right, it is not nice to be constantly called savolainen or maahanmuuttaja. But I still think that we need the word savolainen as well as the word maahanmuuttaja in order to understand this world.

    It’s one thing how to use the word and another whether it should exist or not. We need words!

    But I asked already in my first comment: Which word/term would you then prefer instead of maahanmuuttaja? I think many people have quite well argued in favour of that term. But if you would like me to use another one, I can do that.

    • Enrique

      Hi Seppo, you are right. In the present context of things and taking into account the bad name parties like the True Finns have given immigration and refugees, in many circles in Finland it is a negative thing. In the United States, however, it would be more of a positive matter. This naturally depends where you are from.

      Maahanmuuttaja is cool and so is savolainen. The important thing is what the person thinks and if he/she likes to be constantly reminded where he/she is from.

  36. xyz

    There is a subject called history where you learn what happened to the jews during the second world war. The idea is actually that something like this does not happen again (and this is not only restricted to jews) and that you respect people having a different background. What I also found quite interesting is that you almost don’t see any German flags when you go to Germany. However, if you go to Switzerland or if there is flag day in Finland then you can see plenty of flags. I was wondering if promotion of national ideantity has an affect on how foreigners are perceived in a country…

    • Enrique

      I don’t know if there is a correlation, xyz. There are many examples of how others have used race/ethnicity to wipe other people off the map: Armenians, the former Yugoslav conflict, Amerindians etc. But no regime has murdered so many as the Nazis did.

  37. xyz

    However, its also not that easy in Germany if you are an immigrant. Recognition of foreign qualifications is for example a big problem. However, the government is planning to ease this process.

  38. JusticeDemon

    Tony the Toby knows NOTHING about Filipinos in Finland.

    Immigrants from the Philippines were one of the most downtrodden minorities in Finland in the 1980s and 90s. We had to get the message out into the Tagalog-speaking community about employment and immigration rights and encourage people working under virtual slave labour conditions to switch to better employers. In several cases the immigration authorities were virtual accomplices in sustained abuse of migrant workers and foreign spouses lasting (in one case) for decades on end.

    It is plainly disgusting to hear a little shit like Tony the Toby refer to Filipinos in Finland and suggest that they are ideal immigrants.

    You are not fit to polish their shoes.

  39. Timo Ojanen

    A small comment to share.

    Enrique said “My point, J, is that we got to stop calling people immigrants when in fact they live as residents in the country.”

    In my new de facto homeland, I’m renewing a “non-immigrant” visa year after year
    (been six years now), which seems to be lecturing to me the point that I don’t have the
    right to consider myself an immigrant (that is, a person with a claim to permanent
    stay in the country) here. It’s in fact worse than being considered an “immigrant.”

    I’d be quite happy if they issued an “immigrant visa” to me.

    • Enrique

      Timo, the interesting question to ask is why do some countries make a bigger deal about your “otherness” than other countries? What are the implications when we make a big deal that you are an immigrant? Is it to exclude you or to hinder your inclusion. If so, why? I think those string of questions will lead you to the following answer: “Us” controls resources and wants to keep “them” as far as possible from such resources.

  40. Timo Ojanen

    “What I also found quite interesting is that you almost don’t see any German flags when you go to Germany. However, if you go to Switzerland or if there is flag day in Finland then you can see plenty of flags. I was wondering if promotion of national ideantity has an affect on how foreigners are perceived in a country…”

    In my adopted homeland, the national flag is hoisted at 8 am in every school and govt building, every day. Schoolkids have to gather in front of it, stand and sing the national anthem in front of it, every day, Mon-Fri. They seem quite bewildered when I tell them in my old country we might sing the national anthem perhaps once a year (if we don’t go to sports events).

    There’s nationalism and flag worship for you.

    The country where I stay is not in Europe or North America.

  41. Timo Ojanen

    Enrique, I agree that’s an interesting question, as is how those differentials could be reduced.
    And the answer is obvious, yes, it all is there exactly to make inclusion more difficult.

    Here, I think, much of the nationalist rhetoric and practices were imported from a number of Western countries and introduced by the country’s royalist elite as a strategy of building a stronger nation through a stronger centralized state and through an imagined sameness of the population, for whom it did not quite exist before those attempts. Of course, this not only excludes first-generation immigrants like myself, but even those whose ancestors came to the country several generations ago (in terms of cultural exclusion, though not legal, since some immigrants’ children can obtain nationality relatively easily, while they might cringe upon singing the national anthem that talks of being of the same blood).

    A further point is that the real treasures like permanent residency are reserved for those on high incomes or with big, big money in the bank, even officially so. In these terms, we foreigners are welcome to join the club of “us” as long as we bring a big bunch of those resources you mentioned with us.

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