EDITORIAL: Immigrants, Finns and change

by , under All categories, Enrique

So-called “immigrant-critical” groups may see their plans backfire badly if they believe that by debating openly immigration is all it takes to strengthen their negative stand against immigration and refugees. One of the biggest flaws these groups use is that they believe that since cultures are so different, they can therefore never adapt to Finland.

Even if educated people, public officials, politicians and journalists use these arguments to justify their negative stances on immigration and immigrants in Finland, not one of them has produced one credible study nor fact that confirms their views of other cultures.

In my opinion, one of the problems in Finland is that we have not studied our history thoroughly enough. We could find a lot of facts about what kind of society we were and that we will continue being a multicultural society. The interesting question to ask is why this information about Finland’s multiculturalism is not that well-known by the population.

I believe that our values as a society, which are enshrined in our Constitution and Non-Discrimination Act, are correct. If we would accept other cultures in the same way as we treat each other, many of the problems due to racism and discrimination would disappear in one shot.

Our values as a society, which also permit diversity and multiculturalism without somebody ramming “Finland-love-it-or-leave-it” (maassa maan tavalla) down our throats, are our strengths that give all of us as Finns, irrespective of one’s ethnic background, the ability to meet our future challenges as a society.

Racism for this reason has no place in Finland and it should be treated like any social illness. Such negative forces only serve to weaken our potential as a nation.

I have lived in Finland for over thirty years and believe I have learned to know the positive matters and challenges our society faces. For this reason I believe that we will be able to overcome this dark period where racism and ignorance have raised their head for all of us to see.

  1. Tuomas

    “Even if educated people, public officials, politicians and journalists use these arguments to justify their negative stances on immigration and immigrants in Finland, not one of them has produced one credible study nor fact that confirms their views of other cultures.”

    There exists official and accepted studies on the subject of multiculturalism and ethnic diversity. The immigration policy critics often forget to mention any of these. I think it’s because they’re not interested in scientific truth or equality for people. They already believe in their minds that immigration and multiculturalism are things to fight, not to embrace or to take advantage of.

    “The interesting question to ask is why this information about Finland’s multiculturalism is not that well-known by the population.”

    Public education plays an important part in teaching this to young children as they grow up. I might be wrong here, but I don’t remember reading about Finland being a particularly multicultural society in any of my social studies books. Also it is not helping that a division to “immigrant” and “Finnish” schools might be on its way. ( http://yle.fi/uutiset/news/2009/10/finns_shun_immigrant-heavy_schools_1091988.html )

  2. OnTheRoadToSuccess

    “Even if educated people, public officials, politicians and journalists use these arguments to justify their negative stances on immigration and immigrants in Finland, not one of them has produced one credible study nor fact that confirms their views of other cultures.”

    The pathetic thing about Finland is that many people – even educated people are not enlightened.

    Tuomas, thanks for sharing that link – it highlights the shameful reality of xenophobia in day to day life in Finland.

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