Exposing white Finnish privilege #47: President Sauli Niinistö’s “culture inside four walls”

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Instead of showing leadership and giving a public face to our ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse non-white society, President Sauli Niinistö does the opposite again. I have said it before and I wil say it again: President Niinistö is no friend of non-white Finland. 

In an interview on YLE, Niinistö gave an Iraqi man’s example of how he thinks foreigners should practice their culture:

“I read in a newspaper of an Iraqi who had lived a long time in Finland and he said that this [his culture] isn’t any problem. When I go home, to the store, anywhere, I behave like a Finn as in this society following the rules of the [cultural] game. But when I come home, I have Iraqi culture – truly impressive. And together with acquaintances can very well practice [my culture] but the starting point is that Finland’s values are respected, democracy, gender equality.”


Listen to the full Ylen Aamu TV talk show here.

President Niinistö speaks conveniently of gender equality but doesn’t mention the importance of non-discrimination.

White Finnish privilege #47

If we study a bit closer what Niinistö said, it suggests that cultural diversity has no public place in Finland. His affirmation is full of holes that expose his ignorance and prejudices of “other” cultures.

Even if Finnish public officials, politicians, and the president speak of two-way integration, it doesn’t mean that at all because it works as a one-way adaption process.

President Niinistö disappoints but we all knew this. His former statements on cultural diversity, asylum seekers and minorities are many and his disdain for other cultures, especially those from Muslim countries, is clear beyond any doubt.

Under President Niinistö, other cultures that are different from ours can expect the same treatment as the Roma endured for five centuries: social exclusion and hostility. In a twenty-first century context, the only place they can practice their culture is inside four walls.

Listening to these types of views from Finland’s head of state, it’s clear that non-whites don’t have power and privilege in this society and will never get it as long as they remain passive and don’t become active citizens who are proud of their cultures.

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  1. Joonas

    “I behave like a Finn as in this society following the rules of the [cultural] game. But when I come home, I have Iraqi culture”

    What does he do different in public place than in his home? I mean, we all need to behave in public places, but at home we can even walk around naked, if we want to. Can you give examples how people with different cultural background have to “hide” their cultural behavior?

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Joonas, that is a very good question. Such a comment by President Sauli Niinistö reveals that he’s in the dark about what cultural and ethnic diversity mean.

    • Joonas

      But it was the Iraqi guy who said “When I go home, to the store, anywhere, I behave like a Finn as in this society following the rules of the [cultural] game.”. I don’t quite understand what that means. How does your culture shows when you go to home or to the store?

      Maybe it means not talking loudly or to strangers in public places? Dressing differently? Acting equally towards women (greeting by shaking hands, sitting next to them in public transportation etc.)?

  2. Finland is a hateful country

    Joonas hi,

    How does your culture shows when you go to home or to the store?
    It shows, its clear if you care .
    ***
    Maybe it means not talking loudly or to strangers in public places?
    Oh you make
    Sarcastic ? you angry a bit? no you angry more than a bit, looks you are really angry, you mean Finnish people never talking loudly ?

    Dressing differently? dont you like it? but its good my idea ( if they been free to do that ) specially finns are sad and deeply depress, colours and different culture can make sad people feel alive.

    Acting equally towards women (greeting by shaking hands, sitting next to them in public transportation etc.)?

    But this is finnish people who never sit next to us ( foreigners ) ! they always take distance, so we know they dont like us and thats why we try to sit alone.

    Greeting by shaking hands? but Finns has no hi and they never shaking hands. hi and please does not exist in your culture plus shaking hands, am shock, how do you like it shaking hands ?

    Acting equally towards women? what about Finland and finns? Do you really respect your woman ? so everything is 100% perfect in this social? in fact woman is not worthy at all in Finland : )

  3. Finland is a hateful country

    Sauli Niinistö is a real dictator, liar and scammer, who abuse own nation. 65% vote? thats not true, he had everything in control, he is a loser .
    Finnish media is full of lie and censorship, everything is possible in a dictatorship system and government.
    How people can vote him? what he done? number 1, 2, 3?

    He is a real dictator !

  4. Joonas

    Finland is a hateful country, I made a genuine question what does he mean, because I can’t think of other examples how he his culture might show in public places. None of my examples are meant as negative thing as you seem to interpret, but trying to find what his comment might mean. However, your comment seem quite hateful towards Finns and are not even presenting facts. For example, “in fact woman is not worthy at all in Finland” statement is false. Finland is always in top5 in gender equality with other Nordic countries.

    1) In many cultures it is common to small talk with people you might not know and discussions might get loud. In Finnish culture _most_ people do not do that on a normal day and might find that even uncomfortable situation.

    2) Dressing up differently, than people in the host culture, is one way of you showing your culture background and that’s why I was speculating, if this is what he meant. However, in his country there is no proper winter (coldest weather is like +8’c), so he most likely needs to wear Finnish winter clothing.

    3) In most Muslim countries, that also includes Iraq, women and men do not have equal rights. For example, men are forbidden touch women and usually they have to sit separately from men. Iraq was different place a few decades ago, but it is more conservative place nowadays.

  5. Light

    Joonas, Finland is always in top5 in gender equality with other Nordic countries ??? statement is false and and your dream !

    This is what you say but its not the truth and fact!
    Finland is always in top 1 racism and racist !

    You finnish people always are proud about numbers one and 2 and 3, why you never looking after fact? you always close your eyes, you always keep silent, and you always prefer to not thinking.

    Most of Finnish woman are like men and behave like men, it does not mean they are worthy in this country, it just show they have men in control. being worthy is different matter.

    You can make advertisement about Finland more and more as you wish and as you like, but who believe it? who care? a foreigner never believe it, specially those are living here because they can see everything clearly.

    You can not hide the facts behind curtains !

    Finland is in top 1 proud countries, you still do not know how to say hi then why are you looking after shakehands? like yourself, i said hi and you could not able to answer my simple hi.

    • Joonas

      “Finland is always in top5 in gender equality with other Nordic countries ??? statement is false and and your dream !”

      You can easily find the results for gender equality in different countries and Finland ranks highly in women’s economic participation, educational attainment, political empowerment and health. Please, educate yourself better before making false statements.

      “Most of Finnish woman are like men and behave like men, it does not mean they are worthy in this country, ”

      That is quite harsh statement about Finnish women’s femininity. Maybe you are not giving worth to Finnish women, but most Finnish men respect them and they are treated equally in most work places.

      But why are you staying in Finland, if you hate it so much? If it makes you unhappy, why not to find a place where you can be happy and find most suitable for your lifestyle? I wouldn’t stay years and years in a country, workplace or any other places, if it would give me stress and I wouldn’t be able to live normal life. That kind of hatred is not good for your mental- or physical health – as we can see from your lack of writing skills.

  6. Light

    Please, educate yourself better before making false statements.

    Please make calm yourself before your blood pressure raise more.

    World does no need educate itself, you are the only educate person and thats enough.

    That kind of hatred is not good for your mental- or physical health – as we can see from your lack of writing skills.

    How many gram do you have brain in your head Joonas? mental or physical health what has to do with writing skills ? Ha ha ha haaa

    This is what racist people always do it against us foreigners.

    Who is we? are you we? you are not even one, maybe less than half, so dont call yourself we, and i am not here for you judging my writing skills, i am here to make my voice heard, dont play a teacher role. you are no more no less a mentaly sick racist. most of you even are not aware that you are racist, but internet is a good place , because it can show how you are falling in love with your race and face.

    You must give up, i will not leave Finland, i am here exactly to make raise your blood pressure !

    Go eat your pills .

    People are not here for a perfect writing skills but for the truth !

  7. Joonas

    “Please make calm yourself before your blood pressure raise more.”

    I think my statement was clear and calm. That’s why I politely asked you to check your facts.

    “mental or physical health what has to do with writing skills ?”

    Actually quite a lot. Stress might start interfering your ability to live a normal live and you might get mentally exhausted. When this happens, also your literacy skills and critical thinking are affected.

    “This is what racist people always do it against us foreigners. Who is we? are you we?”

    I know quite many foreigners and immigrants with ethnic backgrounds, who are able to live happy and stable life in Finland. If I disagree with you something, it doesn’t mean I disagree with all foreigners in Finland. You are not representing all of them and their experiences.

    “You must give up, i will not leave Finland, i am here exactly to make raise your blood pressure !”

    Sure, you can stay in Finland, if you like. I just don’t quite understand what is the point to make your own life miserable by staying here. Usually people move around, from city to city or from country to country, until they find the suitable place to live – even I have done this several times. I don’t know you in real life, so your anger and depression has no impact on my life. However, if the anger gives meaning for your life and it doesn’t affect people around you negatively, well, go for it – it’s just not very healthy way to live in the long run.

    • Light

      Actually quite a lot. Stress might start interfering your ability to live a normal live and you might get mentally exhausted. When this happens, also your literacy skills and critical thinking are affected.

      Ha ha haaa so today you are playing a doctor role? come on now, take off your mask, you are not baby anymore, take responsibility for your behaviour ! and remember i dont afraid of you, not behind screen not in real life ! you do not have heart to see a foreigner even on internet, so now who is sick? me or you? who is on risk, me or you? you have allergy with foreigners ! oh okay but it is noraml in Finland ! calling bad names foreigners is normal in Finland, terror attack is normal in Finland, keeping an asylum seeker days after days and week after weeks in cell is normal in finland, ….. more an dmore examples
      Oh boy, you even can not accept a foreigner on internet ; you racists are a joke !
      So behind a screen you write a prescription for me? :))))) what a proud insane are you finnish man. shame on you. you still can not understand that you are not better than me? you try to insult me, this is easy way to kick me out yes? this is what you do it in real life against us foreigners. your world is small, your mind has limit, your thoughts is black and toxic, so you see this is you who is mentaly sick, do not point your fingers on others, one is on me but 4 of your fingers on yourself!

      You have no moral in your culture, then okay i dont blame you, you grow up without love, then thats okay, spray your posion here and there, you have free will. actually you are not alone, Finnish social and the way you grow up made you this much harsh and deep in sad . your social is a very dangerous aggressive social, for me and yours, because we both live here, do not think it will be safe for you , we all live in one boat !

      Do not be worry for my anger and English skill and life style, my anger is good for me and it makes racists keep distance from me in real life also makes me feel very healthy, i do show my anger, i dont shy of my anger, i am friend with myself and my inner , my English skill makes me money even more than enough, i can say excellent money, my life style is perfect just because it is not a finnish life style which is extremely horrible !

      And i eat most delicious foods that you can not see even in your draems , now go and educate yourself about hi and hello, because you never can have a peaceful contact with humanity without a hi ! never shakehands without a hi, first hi, second shakehands, 3th a smile, try try try it, you can do it .

      People who are not thinking like you, are not sick, repeat this for yourself over 100 times infront of mirror.

      Now deep breath,1, 2, 3 and eat your pills. thank you Mr potato scientist : )

  8. Joonas

    “take responsibility for your behaviour !”

    Exactly what behaviour do you mean? I always stand behind my words.

    “you do not have heart to see a foreigner even on internet — Oh boy, you even can not accept a foreigner on internet ; you racists are a joke !”

    When exactly in this discussion I have been against foreigners? Can you give me the exact quote of my sentence where I have been racist? The problem is you can’t find any of them, because I have not said any racist things in this thread. But I can find multiple racist statements you have said about Finnish people.

    Problem, ehem, “debating” with you is your delusional view of all Finns being after you, not being able to notice your own generalizations, making your own “facts” even there are multiple research results available and avoiding answer the topics that are discussed. I made genuine question beginning of this threat and your reaction was to accuse me being a racist. That word loses it’s power, if you use it on everyone with differentiate opinion or every time you face some hardship in your life. This kind of discussion has never helped to understand other person’s perspective.

    I was thought you are maybe traumatized some events and quite immature person, but now I suspect you just being a person who wants to make foreigners look bad by trolling online.

    “my life style is perfect — i can say excellent money — eat most delicious foods”

    You surely complain a lot, if your life is perfect.

    • Light

      People are not your slave , you are not master of universe!

      You can make many and many advertisement about all things you want, and there are many things on internet about Finland and Finns, you always have lie things on internet about your country and education. woman, man, president, social systems, finnish law,… but all is lie, education in Finland? universities are like päiväkoti and kindergarten, lie, lie, lie, why should i believe your advertisemnet about finnish women and the else matters when i am living in this country and when i see everything with my own eyes???? and own experiences ?

      Oh you are wothy because you are a finn, so much worthy, you should not waste your time on a foreigner, debating with me? oh you been hero, what a gentleman, thats so sad, you wasted your time, am no worthy ! ( then why you reading my comments when you do not want debate and when you are fanatical about your race )

      You feel yourself very high and important? you forget that we dont have everlasting life on this planet?
      Now should i thank you for you insulted me ? thank you very much that you did not accepted my hi, for you debating with me a not worthy race for you wasted your golden time on me !

      Racist? Do you think only calling bad names make a person racist? your words made you racist, the way you behave. i am a very intelligent person, i could see this all, and you think i should prove it again and again.

      Because you try to change my mind with some lie on internet, sorry thats not possible. i am not living with internet, i am living with my experiences and i have eyes and i can see million and million wrong and bad and cruel and crime things in Finland.

      Most of finnish woman are very harsh, most of them even forgot that are woman, they have everything in control, harsh, wild, rude, very rude, no heart, angry, with a very short hair and …thats the fact that i can see it every single day, so i will not check your advertisment about number one and 2 and 3 on iternet. you can call yourself on the top of the universe, but who belives? people are alive and they can see truth.

      Finland always hide facts from the world, always says lie to the world, but a foreigner who is living here will not believe any, thats for sure.
      I am not going to spending my time on things that are not true at all.

      I was thought you are maybe traumatized some events and quite immature person, but now I suspect you just being a person who wants to make foreigners look bad by trolling online.

      Your thought has nothing about fact, just sick thoughts in a sick head. world does not think with your head !

      Complain with talking about racist and racism and cruel humans is different.

      You mean every single blog, every single world about racists and every protest and group against racism, racists are all about complain, people who are not lucky, who has no life make them all? yes? is this your IQ?

      So what now, are you jealous at me because i am eating good foods and i am successful? ha ha haaaa, this is your real personality, you can not see other people are lucky, you want see all foreigners in your control and slave !

      Being jealous is in your genetic !

      So what time you will come on Mt with a hi?

      Go and search for hi on google and internet!

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