Migrant Tales memorable quotes of the week to February 21

by , under All categories, Enrique

Migrant Tales will begin publishing on Monday some interesting quotes on the ongoing immigration debate in Finland.  If you have some quotes you would like to share with us, please forward them to migranttalesblog@gmail.com.

Thank you.

–In the book (Milla Hannula’s Maassa maan tavalla) it is stressed that (rising) crime in Finland is due to immigration. Finland is without immigration certainly one of the world’s most violent countries if we set aside the Balkans. Even so, this does not mean that we should hide such crimes committed by people of immigrant backgrounds from public debate.  On the other side of the coin there are the visible number of Finns that have been sentenced (for crimes) in Sweden and Norway. Risto Laakkonen, Turun Sanomat.

(Kirjassa (Milla Hannula’s Maassa maan tavalla) korostetaan rikollisuuden tuloa Suomeen maahanmuuton seurauksena. Suomi on ilman maahanmuuttoakin yksi maailman ja ehdottomasti Euroopan väkivaltaisin maa kun Balkan jätetään huomioimatta. Silti maahanmuuttaja -taustaisten henkilöiden rikoksia ei tule peitellä. Vaakakupin toisella puolella on sitten ulkomailla rikoksista tuomittujen suomalaisten paikoin näkyvä osuus erityisesti Ruotsissa ja Norjassa. Risto Laakkonen Turun Sanomat).

–The thoughts of immigration critics have been made by different political currents ranging from Keijo Korhonen to Kari Rajamäki, from Eero Paloheimo to Jussi Halla-aho. The mass media had, however, for some time either stayed clear of the topic or labeled such people (immigration critics). Milla Hannula, Maassa maan tavalla.

(Maahanmuuttokriittisiä ajatuksia ovat Suomessa esittäneet eri poliittisinten suuntien edustajat Keijo Korhosesta Kari Rajamäkeen, Eero Paloheimoon ja Jussi Halla-ahoon. Valtalehdistö kuitenkin pitkään joko vaikeni aiheesta tai leimasi maahanmuuttokriitikot. Milla Hannula, Maassa maan tavalla).

–Yesterday’s (February 16) publishing of Maassa maan tavalla shows that being ”critical of  immigration” is a euphemism for anti-immigration and  xenophobia. Juha Siivola, Helsingin Sanomat.

Eilen julkaistu Maassa maan tavalla osoittaa, että “maahanmuuttokritiikki” on maahanmuuton vastustamisen ja muukalaisvihamielisyyden kaunisteleva nimitys. Juha Siivola, Helsingin Sanomat).

–In US Muslim terrorists seen as representing all Muslims, but white terrorists r portrayed as “crazy fringe individuals. @haloeffekti

–If I spoke about Finns in the same way as far-right parties do of some minorities, I would be the most hated man in Finland. Enrique Tessieri @MigrantTales

–Far-right parties across Europe speak against multiculturalism but do not give us a clue what monoculturalism is. Is monoculturalism an excuse to deny who we are and exclude millions of minorities from feeling at home in Europe?  Enrique Tessieri @MigrantTales


  1. laimach

    Enrique,
    Hello! I congratulate you for your blog which i consider very important in a country like Finland. Your work is really valuable. The whole debate about multicultural….identity….and so on… Arises from the fact that there is not enough self-criticism. Almost everyone in the country knows Kant, but we do not know what was his contribution and more importantly, does not occur to us that Finland could have an own Kant (kritik). Globalization is the realization of the differences. In globalization, a particular culture is not complete and there for cultures have to nurture eachother. In a way, searching for the completeness, which can never be achieved only by self -admiration. Countries that had tied to achieve that completeness by means of self-admiration have caused terrible disasters.
    “Cultures” that go around monetary values tend to be blind and deaf. “Culture”… what? History, Legends, Romance,Poetry, sings, symbols, gospectrums constantly hunting us….. where are they in our everyday life way of communicating today? They are all instruments of humanism which, prevent us to turn into machines.
    The whole thing has to be seen from a broader perspective than just a political party making politics.

    Just a commnet!
    thanks for the space give an opinion!

    • Enrique

      Hi Laimach, thank you for your kindness. Finnish culture exists beceause it coexists with others. Many of those that want to deny minorities and immigrants of their identity don’t have a clue who they are. And to put in jeopardy our future for the sake of some votes in an election by spreading xenophobia is beyond me.

  2. laimach

    Enrique,
    I agree with you! It is very interesting for me to as non-finnish born to hear that a finnish-finnish person, is more finnish than a sweedish-finnish one.
    When taking a look to the history one understands that the country was built by both sweedish and finnish speakers peoples (Sibelius, Runenberg, Mannerhein… etc..)
    Could you share your views on that!!

    • Enrique

      Laimach, we have to build a new identity in this country. No group can hold it to themselves and exclude others. Why do you think that some want to say they are more Finnish than others and hinder another person from being accepted as a member of this society? Legitimacy to use all the resources of society because we are the real Finns.

      I personally believe that our national identity is based on myths that exclude others. How is it possible that we are even having this discussion if over a million Finns left this land? Shameful.

      Part of the answer lies in our history. We have never dealt with what our relationship with Nazi Germany was and what it would have meant if the Nazis would have won. We dare not question that period because it would be questioning our sacred icons like Mannerheim.

      This country has always been multicultural, is and will be. Those that say that it is monocultural only use that term to keep on monopolizing all the cultural rights to this land. With respect to immigration, Finland should have easier pathways of incorporation to society than at present. Your identity is who you think you are.

      What are your views on this fascinating topic?

  3. laimach

    Indeed fascinating ! Eventhough Finnish culture is relatively new form me, it is really interesting as a concept for me. As you say, Finnish culture has been always muti-cultural and it is perhaps the fear of the people in recognizing it, and more importantly guessing that perhaps that new identity that you speak about will be created yes, by young people and the finnish character will be affected by the several cultures brought by imigrants into this country. That has happened in countries that have very ancient histories, long traditions and strong identities. Perhaps it is time to build our own as you very well put it. For people who come from countries with ancient civilizations; what other countries call traditions seem to be just at the beggining of the story. But there is something very important in the Edward Said and his great legacy “Orientalism” that perhaps all of us have something learn from.
    I guess you have involved with Finland longer than me, What do they mean when they speak about finnish traditions??
    Where are the intelectual voices of finland?

    • Enrique

      What are FInnish traditions? Those that we have agreed are? The intellectual voices are out there but few are speaking this way. It will happen because it is a natural outcome of things.

      Alain Touraine spoke of how we are social actors; ie we attempt to find our place in society. Why are some denying this of us? We have to make our place and defend it.

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