Headlines that raise questions and reveal a lot about our attitudes of other cultures

by , under Enrique

If one wants to start a humorous blog in Finland, just check out the headlines that dailies use sometimes to write about immigrants and refugees. True, some of them aren’t funny at all because they are hostile and ostracize specific groups.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-10-28 kello 8.12.22

 

 

Read full story here.

Here’s one headline I read on Monday’s Helsingin Sanomat: ”[Syrian] Refugees [that will move to Finland] are warned about the Finns’ use of alcohol.”

Fair enough, but the following sentence in the lead surprised me the most: “Finland has started to familiarize itself more than ever before about quota refugees [that move here].”

Hasn’t this been done before? Does this mean that Finland is now starting to familiarize itself with those quote refugees that move here? Strange statement, no?

While it is a positive matter that values such as gender and social equality are taught to newcomers and that they play an important role in our society, are these refugees taught that Finland respects cultural diversity? Are they told about the important role that mutual acceptance and respect play in our society?

Do the teachers speak of our ever-growing cultural diversity or is the Finland they teach them only white?

One matter bothered me about the article and reinforced my worst suspicions when the teacher assumed that the people didn’t know how to use a toilet bowl.

Possibly the authorities organizing these types of courses could to a little bit of homework to familiarize themselves with the group they are teaching. 

Instead of speaking of alcohol usage, Angry birds, rye bread and how Finns like silence, which are important, can one generalize about a culture in that way?When I speak to immigrants about Finland and Finns I use the word some Finns as opposed to everyone.

Did the orienteering course about Finland tell the refugees about the rise of xenophobia in this country and the role that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party has had in strengthening prejudices and racism especially against Muslims?

Migrant Tales wishes these refugees the best of success and happiness in their new home country.

 

 

  1. Brave

    One matter bothered me about the article and reinforced my worst suspicions when the teacher assumed that the people didn’t know how to use a toilet bowl.

    Possibly the authorities organizing these types of courses could to a little bit of homework to familiarize themselves with the group they are teaching.

    Instead of speaking of alcohol usage, Angry birds, rye bread and how Finns like silence, which are important, can one generalize about a culture in that way?When I speak to immigrants about Finland and Finns I use the word some Finns as opposed to everyone.
    …………

    The teacher or the teaser?

    Toilet bowl? The teacher could not find important than toilet bowl to talk about? or this kind of toilet bowl are something special or some kind of technology in Finland?

    How to find things to talk about?
    IF this question is hard for you then go to toilet you can find things……
    ……..
    Finns like silence? OH NO
    They just like immigrant to be silent

  2. Joonas

    ““Finland has started to familiarize itself more than ever before with quota refugees [that move here].” Hasn’t this been done before? Does this mean that Finland is now starting to familiarize itself with those quote refugees that move here? Strange statement, no?”

    As it states, they are doing more than ever. They having been doing it already, but trying to improve their program.

    “One matter bothered me about the article and reinforced my worst suspicions when the teacher assumed that the people didn’t know how to use a toilet bowl.”

    This might sound strange, but in many countries toilet bowls are not commonly used. Squat toilet is sometimes found more hygiene option and toilet bowl usage might be new to some (some might even squad on the toilet seat). I have a friend who never got used to a toilet bowl, so he replaced it with squad toilet.

    “Possibly the authorities organizing these types of courses could to a little bit of homework to familiarize themselves with the group they are teaching. ”

    I agree

    “When I speak to immigrants about Finland and Finns I use the word some Finns as opposed to everyone.”

    It might be useful, but you have to admit when we generalize Finns, they are quite quiet and many of them uses alcohol. I believe refugees understands that.

    “Did the orienteering course about Finland tell the refugees about the rise of xenophobia in this country and the role that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party has had in strengthening prejudices and racism especially against Muslims?”

    Do you believe knowing about current political atmosphere in Finland is the most useful information for the refugees? Especially if this information is only based on your own narrow views?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Joonas, thank you for your points. I’m certain that the authorities inform refugees about life in this country. However, if you look at the headline and some of the statements in the HS story, they are kind of odd.

      If the sentence reads: “familiarize itself more…”

    • Brave

      Do you believe knowing about current political atmosphere in Finland is the most useful information for the refugees? Especially if this information is only based on your own narrow views?

      Joonas,

      Yes it is, the most of most useful information why not?
      Is not better than speaking about voileipä?

      Toilet bowl_ We have both in my country but the way the teacher were speaking about is completely negative… also squat toilet bowl are better, much better if a person is not old and sick.

      Have you seen a Finn that does not drink alcohol except yours? its just a question so hands up and don’t attack.

      What? are you sure Joonas?
      As it states, they are doing more than ever. They having been doing it already, but trying to improve their program.

      Their program was and is minä sinä hän me te he and it has been always this, they better improve their minds and ideas about foreigners, minä sinä hän wont improve any life in Finland, specially if YOU ( You is a symbol in here ) don’t speak with immigrants and when u yourself don’t know Finnish language and also when u don’t know how to answer questions about Finnish grammar and else don’t tell us its a difficult language, don’t praise ur language, its not difficult but yes its not beautiful and attractive specially when you ignoring us all the time.

      However
      Language in Finland is not the only factor we need, and some of foreigners don’t need it at all.

  3. Joonas

    Yes it is, the most of most useful information why not?
    Is not better than speaking about voileipä?

    Usually religion and politics are little bit “hot” topics and people can’t always be neutral about them. I don’t like Green- and Christian Democrats parties (and I’m not a big fan of True Finns either), but if I was a trainer I shouldn’t tell my personal opinions about the parties. In a way, it is safer (and neutral) to speak about voileipä. If the immigrant is actually interested about politics, he can find out by himself and form his own opinion.

    Toilet bowl_ We have both in my country but the way the teacher were speaking about is completely negative… also squat toilet bowl are better, much better if a person is not old and sick.

    In which way it was negative? I would say both of the toilets have their benefits. Squat toilet bowl is more hygiene and better for your, eh, bowel movement, but I think sitting is more comfortable. Actually I’m not sure which one I prefer.

    Have you seena Finn that does not drink alcohol except yours? its just a question so hands up and don’t attack.
    What? are you sure Joonas?

    I’m not quite sure what is the point in this question. But yes, I know many Finns who do not drink at all or drink rarely. But in generally, many Finns do drink alcohol and it’s a recognizable problem in Finland.

    … else don’t tell us its a difficult language, don’t praise ur language, its not difficult but yes its not beautiful and attractive specially when you ignoring us all the time.

    However
    Language in Finland is not the only factor we need, and some of foreigners don’t need it at all.

    Finnish is quite difficult language to learn. Some people can learn perfect Finnish in a year and some people will never learn it. If you don’t have your own firm in Finland or are just visiting here or are not some kind of genius, then you have to learn Finnish. Learning the language opens so many opportunities and I have witnessed it many times. Not only job opportunities, but also social ones.

  4. Brave

    The point was Finland is a drunk country.
    ………
    NO Finnish is not a difficult language, what u mean when u use this world, DIFFICULT?
    I always heard this word about Finnish language from Finland,and u prefer that i answer oh yes its difficult.

    It is a language with problems,it is a language with no program in, it has no melody and beauty, it is a language with no system in, so its a bore language for foreigners.

    Also being difficult does not make a language perfect, it does not show your language is better than other languages in world, it shows nothing but u can repeat it all the time.

    When u tell its difficult language means its a difficult language because we r difficult nation and better than others so our language is best too.
    It means this to me
    Am not new with this difficult word, Joonas u r not the first one told me this.
    ……..

    But also social ones?

    Finland is not a social country, so Finnish language cant help on this matter, Finland is an anti-social country with anti-social characters in every organization, system, parliament, ministers and,….

    Every foreigner knows this

    U Cant witnessed negative things? Just positives?
    Is that mean ur a lucky person or means u do not want see negative and injustices around?

    About the teacher, she was talking negative, i cant explain it… i cant not, NOT because i am not able but because u Joonas don’t want face negative matters, u turn ur face to other side and u will repeat me it was normal no negative.

    I cant explain it because its clear it does not need explain

  5. Joonas

    “The point was Finland is a drunk country…—- it is a language with no program in, it has no melody and beauty, it is a language with no system in, so its a bore language for foreigners…. —Finland is not a social country, so Finnish language cant help on this matter, Finland is an anti-social country with anti-social characters in every organization, system, parliament, ministers and… Every foreigner knows this”

    Wow. I do not know how to response, Brave. You really did exceed yourself. Your previous message was probably the most foul and generalizing comment have read for a long time in MT. Other users probably would get banned, if they would say same things about any other country/nation/culture. Just… wow.

    “it does not show your language is better than other languages in world… When u tell its difficult language means its a difficult language because we r difficult nation and better than others so our language is best too.”

    I don’t quite understand why you think difficult language would make a better nation. When Finns says their language is difficult, it is not meant as a compliment about their nation or language. It is actually on the contrary.

  6. Mark

    Dana

    I agree with Joonas. Please tone down your comments or you will be suspended for a period.

    I understand you are frustrated by many things in Finland, but expressing those as generalisations aimed at ALL Finns or expressed in the absolutist way that you are doing does not help to make the case. Please stop doing it. It undermines what this site stands for, which is primarily tolerance.

    I stand up for immigrants in Finland BECAUSE I hate seeing exactly these kinds of lazy and generalised attacks on PEOPLE, regardless of their origin, whether native or immigrant!

    I do not want to see comments like

    “Finland is an anti-social country with anti-social characters in every organization, system, parliament, ministers and… Every foreigner knows this”

    or

    The point was Finland is a drunk country.

    I’m a foreigner and I know that Finland is a mixture of people, many of whom promote social values to a very high extent, including through organisations and parliament. But yes, it does have individuals, some with high public profile, that work to undermine some of those social values.

    But presenting Finland in the way you are is unrealistic, insulting to Finns, and does nothing effective to oppose those Finns who do not represent the best of Finland.

    For the record, alcohol consumption is on a par with other countries in Europe, like the UK, and well below that of other countries, such as Hungary or Czech Republic.

    If you have particular problems with particular politicians or with particular organisations, then this is a forum where you can discuss those problems, and I welcome that. But this is NOT a forum where you can generalise from those experiences to talk about Finns or Finland in a bitter and absolutist way.

    I’m afraid you overstepped the line with these comments and I am very clear with all people who post here that this is not acceptable on this blog.

    Please, give it some thought and target your frustrations in a more realistic and constructive way.

    • Mark

      Dana

      Just to illustrate clearly that this site stands for respect, tolerance and a shared humanity, Dana, all your comments will go to the moderation queue for a period of one week from today.

      Likewise, your authoring privileges have also been suspended on Migrant Tales for the same period.

  7. Brave

    Hi Mak and okay,
    I got it all
    Joonas is better than me this is ur loud message for me
    Thank u so much

    U can banned me from MT but u can not banned me from universe

    I have no argue with u, i dont care

    • Mark

      Dana

      This is not about anyone being better than anyone else, this is about something YOU did that overstepped our standards on Migrant Tales. Joonas just happened to notice it, but I would have acted anyway, for the record.

      You are not banned from MT, but some of the freedom you had before has been withdrawn for a period to make it absolutely clear that what you wrote reflected badly on Migrant Tales.

      I’m glad the message is loud, but don’t lose sight of the fact that the feeling behind it is actually one of great disappointment! I have supported you loudly and publicly for a long time and I will continue to support you, but when you start to direct your anger and pain in a way that only perpetuates the very same biases and prejudices that we are actually trying to challenge here, you let us down, you weaken the overall message and also it will not help you come to terms with your painful grief one jot more.

      Your message from the very beginning was one of love and pain. But when you lose touch with the loving part of that message, then what you are left with is only pain, which inevitably will distort our every thought and feeling.

      Don’t lose sight of who you are, Dana.

  8. Brave

    Hi again Mark,
    U just made Joonas dream comes true, it was an old dream of him, congrats to him , now congrats to him.
    You can not tell to a person under whip , hey u should respect the monster.
    yes u supported me a lot, i appreciate and again am telling u thanks, thanks thanks.
    But what about now_ shall i say thanks when i see even a friend of mine looking down at me?
    Am not a memebr of EU, joonas is
    Am not writing good English on MT, but he does
    Am not writing even a bad English, my English is comic i know and truely am sorry
    BUT
    I am brave and humble, i am self confidence and can fight for me
    It was not possible in real in Finalnd
    But was possible on MT
    However now is door close but
    I dont stand against u and ur wish Mark no, mnay respect for u mods.
    I use my bad English and stand for me.
    So now where
    I have GOD
    No one can banned me from GOD, universe has my back
    ….
    Joonas made u to banned me with his tactic.

    But what kind of banned , i can send my messages and u can read them
    Aagain am victory
    Even i wont write again to u.

    • Mark

      Brave

      This has NOTHING to do with Joonas, so just stop it. You insult my intelligence by even suggesting it!!!

      You can not tell to a person under whip , hey u should respect the monster.

      Yes, you can, and you must, if you turn yourself into a monster in return, then it helps no-one, the victim becomes an abuser. If you hate racism and prejudice, then don’t practice it yourself. If you care about respecting people, then you also care about how you use your language so as not to make this a useless discussion about what ‘The Finns’ are or what they are not.

      The more you try to blame Joonas for what I have decided to do, the more likely it is that you will just do it again, and that is worrying and disappointing. I took this action because of what you wrote Dana. And Joonas was RIGHT to point it out. If you don’t like that, then you should have been more careful in giving him the possibility to point it out.

      Time to take responsibility for your words Dana, because those words are damaging – they are damaging to the reputation of this website, which stands for human rights, respect and tolerance. Your words in that post did not fit those values and I’m very sad to see that you do not immediately understand what I am talking about, or that you try to make this about Joonas.

      I guess when you take a pause for breath and read what I HAVE WRITTEN, and think seriously about it, you will see that perhaps I have a point.

  9. Brave

    Sorry Mark,

    I dont insult you *(i can not insult my enemy so how can i insult a friend? Ur my friend, u always been )
    And i never done that,
    You have my respect.
    Again thanks for ur all supports.

    Have a bless evening

    Be safe dear friend

    Canary gooone

  10. Mark

    You be safe too. You have much to say that’s important, but perhaps you are still finding out what that is and what it isn’t.

  11. Joonas

    “Am not writing good English on MT, but he does”

    You are giving me too much credit. My English is far from good, but it is (hopefully) understandable. I use the skills I have as you should too. It doesn’t matter HOW you write, but WHAT you write.

    “Joonas made u to banned me with his tactic.”

    Seriously, Dana? I did not tease you nor did I provoke you. My text is not edited and can be read by anyone – there wasn’t even a hint of downplaying you in my messages. If anything, I think I was more positive towards you than usually. You chose the words – it was your decision to show your true colors and you should take responsibility of your writings. I was expecting you wrote it in a heat of a moment, but I do not see you regretting anything; instead you decided shift the blame on me. You can’t blame other people of your own mistakes.

    Mark and me disagree with many things, but I believe both of us knows generalizing group of people is wrong.

    • Brave

      I encouraged you, thats all.

      Yes seriously, i have no joke with u ( i can not even smile and i lost my laugh and am not interested to laughing again ) but now all is okay, even am banned, i forget past, am living in present, i did not blame u, i did not insult u, as i told
      am talking very free and with my style, but u always feel everything against yourself.
      I use symbols, when i tell Finland is a drunk country, it means
      Finland is dizzy because there are many problem,
      Finland is doing like a drunk guy and makes a lot of mistakes and cruel things.
      It means Finland need to care about itself.
      And many others
      It does not mean all Finns are drunk, but yes it means there are many Finns who drink alcohol( its a fact why u felt worry about )
      So where of this message was wrong?
      I can not writing a lot of words, i can write a few in one sentence, short and useful.

      Do you know what kind of time i have in Finland? yet u have allergy with racist word, but it was racist law that attacked on me and my family, insulted me, and left me alone after 7 years waiting to meeting my parents. And who created racist law? and who supports racist law? for sure no robots but racist ones, if u pushing me that hey Dana don’t use this word, don’t use that word, then how can i put a few words on MT? and how can i show the facts in my life, do u want lie from a writer? Do u searching fiction novels? is there anything wrong with real stories from real humans? For sure ur not looking for cartoons and animation, yes?
      Again please dont think am begging u kindness and acceptance, my wings wont let me stay in role and my soul wont let me be depends on people.

    • Mark

      You are not banned, Brave. 🙂

      Your comments go to moderation, that’s all. And that is for a week.

      And if you did not mean that Finland is a drunk country, then you should be more careful in how you write, even if it is difficult for you. For example, explaining it how you just did is good enough. It’s all I expect. But you also said other things too that were too strong and too easily can be seen as a direct insult or attack on all Finns. I know many good Finns. Many. And I will not stand by while their reputations are slandered by generalised comments about ‘Finns’. If you are struggling with this, then just don’t use the word Finns.

      You know, defining the problem starts with talking about actual things that have happened, rather than trying to decide on some ‘big picture’. Big pictures are almost NEVER big enough to do justice to the people they are supposed to describe. That’s the simple lesson here. So avoid them, if possible. Always try to get down to the details. And if it’s an abstract discussion about ‘justice’ or ‘rights’, then there really is no need to mention nationalities, as so many people within all countries have their own ideas about these things, that it’s just not correct to talk about a ‘nation’ having ideas about these things, or acting a certain way.

      I know people do it all the time, but it’s lazy. And in this debate lazy=damaging. So let’s just agree to be more careful. You don’t want to be misrepresented and I certainly don’t want the editors or authors here on Migrant Tales to be misrepresented, and if we are not careful in how we write, there are people who will jump at the chance to misrepresent us. They already spew countless lies about what we are supposed to believe and support, but usually, they cannot provide any actual words to support those lies. But lazy writing will give them words, and they will be twisted.

  12. Mark

    Joonas

    I think you should give some thought to the fact that Dana is still in the grip of a very deep and painful grief and that this kind of thing can lead to a feeling of strong isolation. I know, I lost my mother too while I was living in Finland. It is not fair to say therefore that Dana is showing her “true colors”.

    • Joonas

      Yeah, you are right. I might have been little bit too harsh on her, considering what she is dealing at the moment. However, she should find another way to impress herself than insulting the others and really process what we wrote to her.

  13. Brave

    I think I was more positive towards you than usually. You chose the words – it was your decision to show your true colors and you should take responsibility of your writings. ….

    Joonas….positive but cold, ur a very cold heart.
    My decision is not coming from me but my soul, i done no mistake, i showed one centimeter of my pain, why that made u angry and u bombardment me with wow wow and complain, now i don’t use question mark on this because i understand ur hate and as i told its about past, even am banned, i try to talk with ur soul not with ur icy heart.

    What is my true colors? May i ask Mr gentleman?
    There is no mean for me if i dont write an dwhen i write u insulting with this word?
    I have no complain against u, am not a child.
    Again yesterday u told me this……

    Wow. I do not know how to response, Brave. You really did exceed yourself

    And i was writing a comment, but Mark deleted that for he cares about Finns and foreigners on MT and i wish u Finns understand his kind for yourself, so he supported u .

    But Joonas look at ur comment, its a very negative sentences.
    I don’t complain again, am not a child, but this comment was bloody, it was like u put a sharp knife on my wounds and u broken my bones.however let it go, its past and am not angry at u, am not against u, i have nothing against u, i dont blame u,I dont judge u, i am not judge and i dont wish u bad, but i wish u safe.

    But about my colors,
    My colors are between my words, i am nothing except words, if u clean ur glasses u can see my real colors.
    and
    I have no color in my life because am alone and with no family memeber close to me,
    So am extremely hungry for my family, and i am extremely suffering not because death is abnormal for me, no
    death is a fact
    But i
    lost my parents not on a normal destiny and ways
    I can not even mourning for them, and i could not do this,i need to scream one after one, but i have no place for this.
    I need my parents, even for a good bye, even for some hugs, before they leave, but all is finish
    I cant
    So
    look at me
    Its me
    Its me strong
    even alone
    alone but not a real alone, alone with GOD, GOD is my supporter, i am safe in light.
    Hopefully u could see some colours in my colorless tears.

  14. Brave

    Yeah, you are right. I might have been little bit too harsh on her, considering what she is dealing at the moment. However, she should find another way to impress herself than insulting the others and really process what we wrote to her.
    …………
    Joonas i don’t care if people are harsh to me, its like
    I have many pains and u just make me a few more,… so a few more pain or a few less pain, it cant change my situation.no blame on u at all, ur free and neighbout on MT for me.

    considering what she is dealing at the moment?

    NO u cant understand this,people think its normal, parents will die, yes
    but for me was not normal
    i lost them when i was suffering and they were suffering and we been far.
    i lost them when i left my home, i should knew that i could not see them again, being a refugee is not easy, people hate u, look down at u, insulting u, abusing u, and finally are ready to close ur mouth and after they closed all doors on u.
    Being homeless is not easy
    Being hungry for a member of family is not easy
    Being hungry for a hug is not easy.

    NO/one understand me, not even myself and Dana.

    • Mark

      Brave

      NO u cant understand this,people think its normal, parents will die,

      My mother’s death was not ‘normal’. She was 62. At the time, my passport had elapsed and I had no money in that month to get an emergency one even. I could not attend the funeral. I was alone in Finland at the time, working hard but still poor. I think I have a good idea what you might be feeling. But no two people ever experience the same thing, that is true. But I don’t doubt your agony at all, either.

  15. Brave

    YES its sad, so sad.
    So sorry Mark ((((((( Mark ))))))))
    My deepest condolence,please accept it,even condolence has nothing to do, its just a word and i understand .

    Mother and father, oh are best gifts from GOD to us.

  16. Joonas

    i did not blame u,

    I even quoted your sentence in my previous message where you indeed blame me: “Joonas made u to banned me with his tactic”, so stop your BS.

    i did not insult u,

    You did not make any insults towards me, but you insulted whole nation and Finnish culture on your message. And the worst of all, you do not seems to regret it at all! If we are pedantic, you made distasteful presumption of me when you said “U just made Joonas dream comes true, it was an old dream of him, congrats to him , now congrats to him”.

    I use symbols, when i tell Finland is a drunk country, it means —- So where of this message was wrong?

    How can you expect people to understand your “symbolism” in that context? When you say “The point was Finland is a drunk country”, it does not sound symbolism when we are just discussing about alcohol usage of Finnish people (we did not discuss about the other problems in Finland as you tried to explain what your “symbolic” sentenced meant). You sound just like when some people are caught slandering minorities and then telling “it was a JOKE! I was not serious!”. And I guess other slandering sentences you wrote are also “symbolism” for inner struggle? Give me a break!

    racist law that attacked on me and my family, insulted me, and left me alone after 7 years waiting to meeting my parents. And who created racist law? and who supports racist law?

    This is discussed to death at this point. I’m sorry what happened with your parents, but you can’t blame “racist laws” on that. These laws might seem to unfair and sometimes it’s pure luck whose family can come to Finland, but certainly not racist.

    hey Dana don’t use this word, don’t use that word, then how can i put a few words on MT? and how can i show the facts in my life, do u want lie from a writer?

    If the words are slandering group of people, then you shouldn’t use them! It’s that simple and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand it. Have you really lost the touch with the reality and can’t even understand what is wrong with the message your wrote? Or what me and Mark wrote according to it?

    • Brave

      What Joonas?
      Oh enough is enough…… dont shy… why u use internet slang BS, Huh huh
      Write it completely,ur free, stop ur BS? U cranky child telling me this??? Go and tell this to yourself in front of mirror… listen to my advice. u jealous blackbird, u cried on MT and u complained about me, it was what i told, it was not a blame to u.
      Now what u want of me?
      Am no regret NOOOOOO, and wont be, be sure.
      You attacking me over and over? for what?
      I told u, that u r a neighbour for me on MT, u and every one on MT, and yet u spray ur hate on me?
      I dont care about ur hate.
      what u want more? am banned on MT…. BANNED ….. Cant it make u happy? U want more?
      What more?
      Again after i made a peaceful space between all of us, u try to make a cold war yes? again?
      Can u understand what does mean neighbour when i used that word?

      Neighbour has a philosophy mean to me, i hope u understand it was a peaceful wave for u and all when i used that.

      I am not afraid of u Joonas,Do u have allergy with my personality?Ur angry today and u been yesterday too.
      If u can not see me around, let me know, i wont come close to u.

      My symbolism?
      U r free to understand or opposite… U r free to abuse my words and opposite.
      ……….

      Give me a break!

      You want break?Then give it to yourself, i give u a zero.
      ………

      OH so

      but certainly not racist???

      YES but certainly racist.for u is easy to calling law no racist… u got no attack and insult from law,law did not break ur wishes and hopes, law was not ur enemy,law respect u but this law hates me and attacking me, scammed me, its not only a racist law but scammer law.
      ……

      If the words are slandering group of people, then you shouldn’t use them! It’s that simple and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand it. Have you really lost the touch with the reality and can’t even understand what is wrong with the message your wrote? Or what me and Mark wrote according to it?

      U can not tell me should or should not, Joonas ur not my boss.
      So a refugee has no right at all in this social but whatever happens on her, all crimes, she should not talk other wise u will stand against her and u will repeat ur meaningless words again and again.
      if u can not understand what am talking about in my comments then that’s not my problem.

      Now u really abusing me
      Look carefully to ur words please

      …..be a o be a rocket scientist to understand it. Have you really lost the touch with the reality and can’t even understand what is wrong with the message your wrote? Or what me and Mark wrote according to it? to understand it. Have you really lost the touch with the reality and can’t even understand what is wrong with the message your wrote? Or what me and Mark wrote according to it?

      U judging me because am a poet, u try to tell that am not real and what am writing is just fiction yes? imagination yes?
      U insulting me but again this is a common attack in Finland.
      >>>>>>>
      Joonas
      rocket scientist???
      Dont look down at me, u dont know me.
      Oh no, the only one is able to understand is you, u have mountains scientist… why u r so proud of yours?
      Okay praise yours and insult me , i hope it could make u happy my neighbour or better i say my enemy.

    • Mark

      Brave

      what u want more? am banned on MT…. BANNED ….. Cant it make u happy? U want more?

      Brave, you are not banned on MT. Can we at least put that idea to bed?

      Joonas doesn’t hate you from what I can see. He gets frustrated with you, but that is not the same thing. He is within his rights to challenge you, too and I I don’t think that is ‘attacking’ you, though it means you have to fight a bit to keep the focus what is ‘real’ for you. In this kind of situation, you work to understand other people’s point of view – to see what it is that Joonas sees and what you think he doesn’t give enough attention to.

      As an outsider, I would say that you are both bringing out useful points in the conversation, but that it appears too personal at times.

      My own thought is that the way you come back to the personal and the way you feel it is actually important for the debates – too many people debating these issues are totally insulated themselves from the miseries or difficulties of living in a foreign country or dealing with racism. But then seeing the comments always as attacks in the end gets in the way of real dialogue.

      It’s a really difficult question as to whether this kind of ‘disagreement’ and failure of trust in the discussion makes any of the discussion worthwhile anymore. It’s a very serious question to ask. The danger is that further ‘discussion’ only entrenches the viewpoints and narrows the space for real dialogue.

      Can you have dialogue and disagree at the same time? Yes. You can. But then, people have to get used to hearing their own voice and the voices of others as just single voices among many, and not chase the need to control other people.

      But then again, can you really do that in an internet forum? Even face to face it would be hard, but perhaps also a bit easier too.

      Dana, you should give some ground here. You made comments that were too generalising. If they don’t reflect how you want to think about this topic, then okay. But in that moment, you certainly gave the strong impression that you were generalising in a very negative way about ‘the whole’ of Finnish society.

      Normally, if one has done that, one apologies for any offence caused and commits to understanding the need to be more careful, so as not to be offensive. Many people on the immigration-skeptic side of things address real and important issues about how immigration policy could and should work, but they poison the atmosphere of that debate by habitually generalising about immigrants as groups – which only narrows the debate and makes addressing those concerns even harder.

      The same also applies to minorities when it comes to discussing the ‘host’ culture. If we fall into the same bad habits, then although it feels like we are only ‘fighting back’, actually we are just making those things ‘normal’, and making them even more likely.

      There are two words you should leave out of your vocabulary for a period of time – racism and Finns. This takes nothing away from the sense of injustice you feel at not having the integrity of your own family valued to the same extent that Finns generally accept that Finnish families have integrity that should be safeguarded. You can have that discussion without mentioning the word ‘racism’ and it will still cover the most important injustices. This isn’t to say that ‘racism’ isn’t an issue to be discussed, but that the way you are discussing it doesn’t help. That’s a fact, Dana. I’ve watched you express your thoughts on this for some time now, and you use the word in situations where people show no sympathy – but lack of sympathy isn’t necessarily racism, sometimes people are just reacting to the fact that ‘racism’ appears to be your way of attacking the system, rather than a way of expressing the hurt and agony that the system has brought into your life.

      You make it seem that anyone that disagrees with you must be a racist, and when you succeed in giving that impression, then you have to stand back and ask whether you are making things worse by trying to tackle this as a problem of racism, as opposed to just a cold-hearted system that doesn’t give enough account to the suffering it causes.

      You should study institutional racism and study how it has been tackled in other countries, and that will help you understand when it is important to bring racism into the discussion and when it is important to leave it out and focus on the human story, because your story is worth telling.

      I really mean this; I really want you to give this some deep thought. It’s very important we make space for our own learning and development as people, even in the middle of horrible life-experiences. Every time I write something here, I am learning too. I wouldn’t believe in my own integrity if I wasn’t. ‘Knowing’ about the experience does mean you know how to communicate it properly. If you think that communicating it is less important than the fact you’ve experienced it, you will only succeed in taking value AWAY FROM your experience in the eyes of others. That doesn’t mean others don’t have a responsibility to reach out past your words to grasp your meaning, because they do.

      I wish there was an easier way to convey these things to you. These are steps you could take that would bring many people closer to your story, and I believe that Finns are no more nor less compassionate than other nations – you would get an enormous amount of sympathy. But throwing the word ‘racism’ around in a way that is not well-thought out or expressed will only make people defensive. You might think it is worth it, but I personally do not. Choose your battles wisely, Dana.

  17. Brave

    Hi Mark,
    And
    With respect to you
    ….
    So Racist and Finns words are taboo? Yes forbidden?
    This is what exactly they want, otherwise they attack a victim and will call it racist, if they cant they attack her with different methods, they try to close MT on me, they done this slowly slowly, nothing was hide from my intelligent eyes.
    ……….
    I am not agree with this taboo but i get ur points Mark.
    This is what Joonas and you are agree with, but am also a member on MT, even am a guest i have right to write, and why shall i come on MT with a censorship stamp on my mouth?

    There is no freedom in Finland even on net, this is the only site that had and has open door on me if i can’t choose my words so i cant feel free, a bird can’t sing songs in a cage.

    sympathy? i exactly don’t search this from Finns and no/one.
    ….

    Now Mark, i don’t want argue with u and so i wont make Joonas happy more than this,i don’t like to fight with you and i wont for u r a man of humanity and i just want a peaceful space between me and you.

    And as i see
    You cant accept me more than this on MT,this is okay and i understand.

    I have no battles, my battles are broken with racism and racists in a country that built in the middle of injustice and crime control and attack.
    Am not patient under control, i want to fly up up upper.

    @ joonas
    Now u have more space on MT, dont feel winner, u r a looser.

    • Mark

      Brave

      So Racist and Finns words are taboo? Yes forbidden?

      Sometimes to hear the flutes, you need the violins to be quiet!

      This is what exactly they want,

      Now you sound paranoid. And you still have not actually considered my points as having any merit yet? Rather than focus on ‘they’, please focus for a second on ‘me’, your friend, Mark, trying to make some serious points that would benefit and strengthen you and your message. I’m not trying to take something away, I’m trying to show you how to express it in a way that it will be heard. There is a time and a place to call out racism – but your experience speaks of many other things besides racism that need to be addressed by Europe’s and Finland’s immigration and especially family reunification policy. By trying to make this about ‘racism’, you drown out those other important lessons to be learnt from your suffering.

      why shall i come on MT with a censorship stamp on my mouth?

      That’s your decision. The only thing I will ‘censor’ is speech that borders on hate speech. And frankly, my friend, your comments verged on hate speech. You might not see it as such, but then you have a lot to learn about this topic, outside of your own experiences.

      Now Mark, i don’t want argue with u

      Good.

      @ joonas
      Now u have more space on MT, dont feel winner, u r a looser.

      It really disappoints me that you continue to see this only as part of some agenda that suits Joonas. You have had only one post that was held back because you were speaking too much out of anger. Everything else you wanted to write has been published since you were put into moderation, so the idea that Joonas has ‘won’ a victory by kicking you off Migrant Tales is simply not true. You keep saying you are banned, and I keep correcting you. If you were banned, NONE of your posts would appear on Migrant Tales. That is not the case, no?

      You cant accept me more than this on MT

      I accept you, Dana, but I don’t accept comments that smack of prejudice against a nation. I well understand that your view of Finland has been poisoned by very difficult experiences, but the reality is that there are ten’s of thousands of ‘other’ Finlands in which immigrants have had good experiences in Finland. There is no ‘ONE’ Finland, the one you experience. It’s so important to see beyond our own bubbles, especially when we start to be activists to highlight problems in this country. It’s called perspective! And the simple reality is that if you lose perspective, your message falls into banalities and generalisations, even though your experiences are real and terrible. If a country fails to allow all its voices to be heard, it is not necessary a failure in that country, but can also be an unrealistic expectation that people automatically understand the situation of another simply because there is an exchange of words. The conditions for real dialogue have to be prepared and accepted, by all parties. That’s the hardest work.

      sympathy? i exactly don’t search this from Finns and no/one

      Why not? I have spoken of your situation (without any names) to many of my friends, the difficulties in getting your family to Finland, their sad passing, the difficulties you had with the authorities and struggling to deal with the authorities, and my friends are sympathetic to your situation and especially to your grief. Finns are capable of sympathy and understanding. If you close your eyes and heart to that, then you have let those who only defend a political policy with no thought for the human victims of that policy a victory, because they have poisoned your mind.

      Your work situation is difficult too, I understand, but not all workplaces are so negative to foreigners. That’s the problem here, it’s not that I want to silence you, but I will not let you fool yourself or anyone else that you or we are speaking in one voice for all the voices of every immigrant in Finland. We can only speak with any authority with OUR OWN single voice. The minute you start to speak for all foreigners or even about ALL FINNS, you pretend to speak with many voices, and the effect is that your voice loses authority. It’s important not to lose sight of this, otherwise we also lose perspective. It is the same for all of us in this argument about immigration and protecting human rights, and it is the single most common mistake that people make when speaking also ABOUT immigrants, as if they were a single homogenous PERSONA to which you can ascribe permanent and often negative characteristics.

      Am not patient under control, i want to fly up up upper.

      Indeed you are not. You are impetuous for truth. 🙂

  18. Joonas

    Now what u want of me?

    I was hoping you would have noticed the errors of your ways and take responsibility of your mistakes.

    Am no regret NOOOOOO, and wont be, be sure.

    It is respectful you stick behind your words, even those words are disrespectful to group of people. However, you have right to your opinion as in any free country. I do not think there is a point to continue this argument, because you have made your mind. But because you have not decided to regret things you said, I’m entitled to use your claims against you in our future discussions.

    • Brave

      Joo plus nas,

      Dont never ever hope in me,especially the errors u mentioned are the facts, so
      GIVE UP on me.

      Are u waiting for my decision? What a simple child u r, u think i will make decision against mine?So u insulted me and attacked me to washing my brain and teaching me ur roles? what a dreamer u r.

      My claims are humanity claims and u have no power on me.

      Joo and nas
      Why u fighting to me?
      What makes you to make plan for future and why u want clean your guns against me? ( even i told u cant )
      U have no reason, except u want change me, i tell u
      U can not change me and my minds because this thoughts are coming directly from my hard, harsh, terrible , first class experiences in Finland.
      Sure u can not understand,BECAUSE

      When i was suffering in jail and been under a terror, u were watching ur bore TV program and ur warm blanket was on u, u were eating ur hot milk and u were talking with ur beloved ones.

      When i was shaking for how can i go to court without a lawyer, u been ready to make a plan for ur next trip to asia.

      When i been under insult in court u been laughing with ur friends and u were wishing a great dinner for yours.

      When i was waiting for my parents for 3 years and my life was tears and blood u were enjoying a tango dance.

      When i was searching for a new apartment on net and was hearing no from landlords u were in safe an din your home
      When i was under attack in social worker service and two monster making a box bag with my body, u were where?
      Huuum GOD knows.

      Now
      U try to make me believe all happened to me in this 6 years was okay, was my rights, i deserved it, was misunderstanding, was not racist law…,…………
      yes when polices attacked me was my rights
      I see
      U see me an animal? or do u think am a ghost?
      Maybe u think am not alive and have no flesh?

      Dont you think and dont u never ask yourself why u r working against a victim?

      At least in the night time when u put ur head on ur soft pillow that is made in Finland, wow what a great pillow
      Ask yours a few question,not bad yes?

      Now u

      A lucky man,woman who has everything s/he needs try to teach me lessons?
      Joo and nas
      If u live in this world for 1000 years
      and then again u back here and live 1000 years and again u die and go and back here for 1000 times
      U wont see my regret
      It wont happen
      BECAUSE
      I am real
      and my pains are reals
      and i tasted racist with my deep soul

      My soul is my witness
      GOD is my witness that how Finland treated me
      I dont need
      Human believes me or not

      I have full support from my darling GOD

      I
      DONT
      AFRAID
      OF
      UR
      PLASTIC
      GUN
      Joonas

      Inform me if u missed my sharp pen

  19. PS voter

    It is a language with problems,it is a language with no program in, it has no melody and beauty, it is a language with no system in, so its a bore language for foreigners.

    I think whether a language is beautiful or not, is in the eye of beholder. I don’t know if you have read J. R. R. Tolkien’s books or movies based on them, but he seemed to love Finnish language and with Welsh language, it was his inspiration for his own languages. Here is a short quote from Wikipedia about it:

    “He was a professional philologist of ancient Germanic languages, specialising in Old English. He was also interested in many languages outside his field, and developed a particular love for the Finnish language. He described the finding of a Finnish grammar book as “entering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before”.[4]

    Finnish morphology (particularly its rich system of inflection) in part gave rise to Quenya.”

    I must admit that I don’t like the sound of some languages. Of course the language environment what I am used to, shapes my views, just like your experiences shape your perception of languages. Some languages sound ugly to me, some sound as some kind of jokes, some sound like little children’s talk, some sound like some would be clearing their throat, some sound like they were cursing all the time etc. However, I don’t constantly complain speakers of those languages what kind of association they have in my mind. If I am in small circle of people and I can be pretty sure that they don’t take it too personally, I can say jokingly for example that to Finns your language sounds like constant cursing. But I do not continue with endless insults like that, which are just funny perceptions and not anything that would deserve real complaints.

    Finland is not a social country, so Finnish language cant help on this matter, Finland is an anti-social country with anti-social characters in every organization, system, parliament, ministers and,….

    I guess it very much depends on what you actually mean by anti-social. Usually anti-social behaviour means violent crimes, lack of consideration to anybody else, breaking social norms, arsons, scams etc. If we use that definition, I don’t think really describes that well typical Finnish organizations.

  20. PS voter

    One matter bothered me about the article and reinforced my worst suspicions when the teacher assumed that the people didn’t know how to use a toilet bowl.

    Refugees come from many different areas, some of which are quite poor, many are completely illiterate and not used to modern lifestyle. If anything, we need more that kind of basic training for those, who need it, because there are constantly cases where persons with refugee background have caused expensive damage to apartments, for example by not knowing how sensitive some floor materials are for water, how you should always use cookware on stove instead of putting your food directly on stove etc. That kind understandable, but easily avoidable errors are expensive and can spread racism.

    And it is difficult to treat each refugee individually or be completely sure what in what areas they need more information, so explaining basic things to some persons who are already well aware of those things, isn’t completely unavoidable and it is small price to pay.

    And some quite surprising things may be unfamiliar to some persons. For example, a friend of my who is a refugee from your direction told me about their relatives children, who had never seen a fork before and didn’t know what it is used for. So they tried to comp their hair with it.

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