Migrant Tales story sheds more light on a wider problem at schools in Mikkeli

by , under Enrique

Who says that writing cannot change matters? Migrant Tales published on Monday a story about a single mother who moved out of Mikkeli with her child because of the racist harassment at school. The story was picked up by Länsi-SavossaItä-SavossaPeruopetuksessa and commented widely in different national chat forums

Kuvankaappaus 2013-5-3 kello 10.16.24
Read whole story here.

On Friday Länsi-Savo wrote an interview with Maaret Deufel-Kirjalainen, Mikkeli’s school immigrant coordinator.

Deufel-Kirjalainen said that the single mother and her boy are not the only immigrant children who may possibly have moved out of Mikkeli because of racist harassment and bullying at school.

She said that these types of racist attitudes are learned at home.

 

 

 

    • Joonas

      Well, I wouldn’t say it is taking away peoples rights. If the idea is harmful to other people we shouldn’t make it acceptable in our society. People might be racist and might not change, but at least we should condemn it. Same thing for any other harmful actions, may it be fundamentalism, sexism, discrimination or just bullying.

    • Farang

      We should condemn racist actions. We can’t start controlling people’s thoughts.

  1. Joonas

    We should condemn racist actions. We can’t start controlling people’s thoughts.

    And that is exactly what we are doing now. The children was facing racist bullying in school and we condemning it. Mind controlling is not possible, but we can give an example what is acceptable and what is not.

    • Farang

      Yes, but we can’t know if it’s even truth that the children were bullied.

      The papers and Migrant Tales wrote that the reason for the family to move was racism. But when you take a closer look you realise that this was not true. The family moved because the mother didn’t have job in Mikkeli.

      So, if there is this kind of misinformation already, then how can we trust that rest of the story is true?

    • Mark

      Because of course the fact she cannot get a job has nothing to do with racism!

  2. ALWILBGOOD

    Lord have mercy—-I remember a house that a foreigner and his wife were living in was set on fire in mikkeli.
    Nough respect Joonas

  3. Joonas

    Yes, but we can’t know if it’s even truth that the children were bullied.

    The papers and Migrant Tales wrote that the reason for the family to move was racism. But when you take a closer look you realize that this was not true. The family moved because the mother didn’t have job in Mikkeli.

    So, if there is this kind of misinformation already, then how can we trust that rest of the story is true?

    I think it quite well established in the article it wasn’t the only reason they moved away from Mikkeli – but it was one of the reasons. But yes, the headline could have been better, but the newspapers have to give a headline which catches your attention and well, sells.

    What kind of proof do you need from the bullying? Frankly, I don’t see what would it benefit the family to lie about it. It’s not like they are getting money or fame from it.

    • Farang

      What kind of proof do you need from the bullying? Frankly, I don’t see what would it benefit the family to lie about it. It’s not like they are getting money or fame from it.

      I don’t know, propably same reasons as people here in MT have for spreading false information about racism in Finland.

      Everybody knows there are no racism in Finland.

    • Mark

      Farang, you are clearly insane. But I find your comments utterly offensive. I mean, they are worse in many ways than outright racist comments. Your blank denial of racism is a huge insult to the victims of racism, the kind of sick and twisted comment intended to cause real harm and feelings of isolation in people living with racism in Finland.

      Contrary to your ridiculous claim, many Finns themselves have told me of their personal stories about the racism they have witnessed in Finland by other Finns, some of it so blatant and vile that you really wouldn’t believe that in a so-called modern nation that such attitudes still existed. It’s a shock to people. You are in a minority in Finland and among Finns. Only someon steeped in ideology could so effectively close their eyes to the real world. Other Finns see your denial and shake their heads. I’ve heard it said several times that this way of being ‘racist’ is not Finnish, that Finnish people reach out to others and look for peace and shared understanding. But ignorance exists even in the most enlightened of societies. And in this case, much of it is imported from the other Far Right groups of Europe.

      The only thing I can think is that you are just trolling here on Migrant Tales, baiting foreigners on MT because you get sick pleasure out of it and it feeds your provocative personality, which is fundamentally aggressive and hostile, though most of the time, you try to hide it through rationalisations and passive aggression, but it is evident to me in your fundamental (and seemingly pathalogical) unwillingness to try to understand a different point of view.

      But this isn’t just about ‘points of view’, even though you routinely try to reduce the issue to such a level. YOU are talking about matters that significantly affect the wellbeing of other people, people you will likely never meet, like D4R, who have lived with daily antagonism and racist hostility in Finland.

      The time is coming swiftly when I am not going to engage with you any more. It’s too depressing that we come back to these ridiculous positions that you set up like ‘everyone knows there is no racism in Finland’. I will take pleasure in talking to smart, educated and well-intentioned Finns about the complicated and difficult subject of racism. No stupid denials. No routine reversals of the arguments. Just simple conversations that attempt to find out the truth and solutions to the problems. You represent the kind of attitudes that will eventually die out in Finland. It will perhaps take a generation or two and a great deal more contact between Finns and others beyond the European circle. But it will happen, as inevitably as the world is becoming more global, and our shared security rests ever more on the principles of mutual trust and cooperation.

      So I think it’s goodbye, Farang, from me! One thing is certain though, Migrant Tales will continue to make these issues visible via the internet and I will continue to write here.

    • Farang

      Mark

      Just simple conversations that attempt to find out the truth and solutions to the problems.

      In all these years I haven’t read a single solution here in MR to tackle racism. Why is that? You only want to talk, but you don’t have any solutions.

      On other hand, I am the one who has presented REAL solutions, but you have then always attacked me.

    • Mark

      Bollocks. Whenever real solutions like respect and tolerance are offered by MT, you have your fingers in your ears and you hum “blah, blah, blah!”

      On the other hand, when we refer to international instruments designed to protect the cohesion of modern societies, such as the International Convention on Human Rights, you call it bullshit. The human rights framework is the only framework that offers a workable and tested to solution to prejudice, if implemented properly and not just adopted in word only.

      You hear what you want to hear and then complain that you no-one else except yourself is offering ‘solutions’. Your solutions have been to defend fascists, racists and xenophobes. That’s not a solution. That’s a perpetuation of prejudice.

  4. ALWILBGOOD

    Whatever happened to the Finnish honesty Farang—let people take you a bit serious. you will become a joke with just leavin drivels all over the place.

  5. Yossie

    “…Uskoo, että on mahdollista…”

    and

    “said that the single mother and her boy are not the only immigrant children who have moved out ”

    Are not the same things. Intentionally translating these things to fit your agenda?

    I have to say its rather unbelievable how you make this a race thing. The boy got bullied, the problem? SCHOOL BULLING! The very same thing that causes dozens of white kids to change schools too.

    If you want to make things better, tackle school bullying and make things better for everyone. Don’t cherry pick the victims you want to help based on skin color. Or maybe that just doesnt fit your agenda.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Are not the same things. Intentionally translating these things to fit your agenda?

      Sorry that what I write and know don’t fit your agenda.

    • Farang

      Enrique, why didn’t you answer to Yossie’s question?

      While correct translation would be: “A believes that it is possible that X”

      why did you translate it as: “A said that X”?

      It really looks like you change the story in translation so that it fits better your agenda. Why do you want to give misinformation to those who don’t understand Finnish?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –While correct translation would be: “A believes that it is possible that X”

      In the first place, I’m not quoting her directly. And in second place what I said is that other parents could have left for the same reasons.

      In journalism, if a source says “possibly” it implies a strong chance, especially when you speak of racist bullying or harassment. She not only says that this may be the case but that “more” families may have left Mikkeli for this reason. How many is more is an open question. Even so, its shameful if even one family leaves for this reason a city.

      Why are you so worried if this is true? Why do you feel threatened by such a matter?

    • Yossie

      Enrique

      In this article you have put words in her mouth that she did not say. At least the journalist that made the original article felt it was needed to use the “thinks its possible” wording. What you did was to imply that something was a fact when you now admit it is an “open question”.

    • Yossie

      Just bullying? So when the victim is immigrant its horrible racism but when the victim is native finn its “just bullying”?

      Newsflash! It doesnt matter for the victim whether he gets bullied because of color of his skin, weight, “ugliness”, style of his cloths, eye glasses, shyness, whatever. In all cases it will destroy the person’s self esteem and causes problems later in life.

      Your attitude is crux of my problem. How would you feel if we raise the bullying against overweight people the biggest problem? We could call it fattism to make it sexy. Lets just ignore the racism bullying, how would you feel?

      Are you gonna grade bullying and say this is more severe that other?

    • Mark

      Yossie

      Just bullying? So when the victim is immigrant its horrible racism but when the victim is native finn its “just bullying”?

      Yes, that was it exactly. ~_~

      Newsflash!

      Yossie, you are not persuading anyone that you have a shred of intelligence by deliberately creating a straw man argument and then attempting to impress everyone with how easily you demolish it!

      ‘no just’ in English is not necessarily used in a diminishing way. Who would choose to diminish bullying? Clearly that was not meant. But hey, you go play in the straw and leave the grown ups to do the real debating!

      The harm of ‘racist bullying’ is that it represents a far greater evil in society than other kinds of school bullying. If you choose to close your eyes to that and claim that all bullying is ‘the same’, then go ahead. I’m not going to waste one fucking second trying to point out what should be fucking obvious. Racism is form of bullying that continues throughout the lifecycle, unlike other forms of school bullying and is far more serious in its repurcussions. This does not diminish other forms of bullying, which can have devastating effects and its not a contest. But to close your eyes to the special circumstances of racist bullying, as you obviously are choosing to do, only shows that you have little understanding of the difference between personal bullying and ‘social’ bullying, where a majority attempt to intimidate a minority population.

  6. Farang

    When we were discussing about kids being bullied because of their gay parents, someone made it perfectly clear that the gay parents are not the reasons for bullying, but bullies just pick something for the reason.

    Why don’t that same logic apply here? Why can’t we now agree that the boy would have been bullied anyway, and his skin colour was just picked for the reason?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Why don’t that same logic apply here? Why can’t we now agree that the boy would have been bullied anyway, and his skin colour was just picked for the reason?

      WHy is this point so important to you?

    • Farang

      Because you are trying to ethnicise this issue in order to promote your own agenda.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Because you are trying to ethnicise this issue in order to promote your own agenda.

      So do you believe that ethnicity has nothing to do with what happened to the kid at the Mikkeli school? The mother thinks so. In fact she thought it played such a big role that they moved from Mikkeli to Helsinki.

      Moreover, a teacher confirms indirectly what the mother said by stating that possibly other families may have left Mikkeli for the same reason.

      If something like this happened at a school, we must find ways to address it. There’s no reason why you should feel defensive about the whole affair. You should be happy that there are people in our society that worry enough about our country to defend its values, which don’t include intolerance.

    • Farang

      We can’t know that. Even the mother only “thinks” that it may be possible, but even she is not sure.

      And she didn’t move from Mikkeli because of that. She moved because she didn’t have a job in Mikkeli.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Farang, you are now trolling. If there is an issue like racist harassment, we should deal with it. By “we” I mean you too.

  7. Farang

    Enrique

    Why are you so worried if this is true? Why do you feel threatened by such a matter?

    This comment tells much of you.

    First you tell us a lie. Then when you are challenged, you just ask “why are you so worried if this is true?”

    How would you feel and act if someone tells lies about immigrants, which shows immigrants in negative light? Would you just think “I don’t need to worry if it’s true”?

    You have the same proplem as Mark. You don’t acknowledge your own racism. You think that it is ok to treat people differently based on their ethnic background. For example you think it’s ok to lie if it’s positive about immigrants, but you condemn lying if it’s negative about immigratns.

  8. PS voter

    Your attitude is crux of my problem. How would you feel if we raise the bullying against overweight people the biggest problem? We could call it fattism to make it sexy. Lets just ignore the racism bullying, how would you feel?

    There are differences in the severity of bullying, but I think racist bullying might not be the worst. For example, if a gay children from a Muslim family gets bullied because of his homosexuality, it might be even worse than racist bullying. In case of racist bullying, the child can still can still get understanding and comfort from the parents, but if the parents are Muslim fundamentalists, the child has reason to fear his parents as well and may became a victim of honour violence if the parents find out that he is a gay.

    I think we need more work to stop all kind of bullying. Efforts to stop just one kind of bullying aren’t going to work well. And I think there should be more empirical studies to see what are more effective ways to stop bullying as many methods seem to have limited effect.

    • Yossie

      “And I think there should be more empirical studies to see what are more effective ways to stop bullying as many methods seem to have limited effect.”

      I agree, the story shows pretty well how the things work out. There is initiative to make things better from teachers but after a while it falls short. Other thing to note is how other kids followed the bullies shortly after.

      I my opinion the problem is that the bullies are the force that other students gravitate towards. They might not care themselves so much but they join along. There would need to be a counter force to this. Basically try to have an opinion maker in the class that is against bullying to whom other kinds can gravitate towards rather than the bullies.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Without straying from the original issue, a boy moving from Mikkeli because of alleged racist harassment at school (his mother got hate mail in 2012 as well), it surprises me why a topic like racism creates such a knee-jerk reaction in many like Farang and Yossie.

      If we study the reasons behind this, we could probably debate sensibly about the ongoing issue: acceptance of people who are different from white Finns and their right to be treated equally.

    • Yossie

      Enrique

      The problem is that you see the problem as “acceptance of people who are different from white Finns and their right to be treated equally. ”

      Its not! There are plenty white finns that get bullied at school too. The fact that you dont want to see issue with bullying in general just tells me you are only interested about people in your own group.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Its not! There are plenty white finns that get bullied at school too. The fact that you dont want to see issue with bullying in general just tells me you are only interested about people in your own group.

      I’m well aware of the problems that Finnish immigrants endured in the Americas. I have researched Finnish immigration to Argentina since the late-1970s.

      When I speak of intolerance I mean all types. Migrant Tales not only takes up the cause of immigrants, but third-culture Finns, gays, women’s rights and other groups that are being discriminated. If we improve the rights of one minority, it will have a positive knock-on effect on other groups, even white Finns.

      The biggest losers are those who are into white privilege and those who believe it’s ok to be racist.

    • Yossie

      Oh jeez, Lets stop school bullying by concentrating on just bullying against “visible minority”! Hang in there white kids, we get back to you…

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Yossie, you’re steering away from the issue and trying to water down the rights of visible minorities to have a voice in their harassment. What are you saying, that we shouldn’t talk about bullying against minorities because whites are bullied too. You’re right. This issue should be taken up as well and it is as serious as what visible minorities suffer at school.

      I hope you’re point is not the one that claims, “well what about racism against whites.” If that is your point, then you are on the wrong path and the only matter you are doing is trying to undermine the original point, which is racist harassment at school.

    • Mark

      Straw man – you’re only stoking your own bonfire, Yossie.

    • Farang

      Here we can see the familiar pattern again.

      In Enriques’s opinion it is totally OK for immigrants to only be driving the wellbeing of immigrants, no matter of the white Finns.

      But at the same time Enrique demands that white Finns should also drive the wellbeing of immigrants.

      So he is dividing people in two groups A and B. For group A it is OK to do things that only benefit group A. But for B he doesn’t allow the same.

      That is racism.

      Enrique, you actions here in MT are only causing more hatred against immigrants.

    • Yossie

      I´m talking about school bullying and is all. I find it ridiculous to try round off one part of it like it would be considerably different than rest of the phenomenon. Do you see mother of a overweight kid crying how there is so much bullying against overweight people? No, it would be considered matter of school bullying without touching the how or why or what form of bullying it is.

      Also how would you tackle the racist bullying? “No you cant bully Ben because he is black”? Or would you rather approach it that you should not bully anyone no matter what?

      How I see it that when you talk about racist bullying, you are trying to rise yourself above others in importance rather than accepting this affect student of all kind and the whole phenomenon should be tackled.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –How I see it that when you talk about racist bullying, you are trying to rise yourself above others in importance rather than accepting this affect student of all kind and the whole phenomenon should be tackled.

      Your reasoning here is odd. If I speak of this type of bullying why do I have to talk about all type of bullying, even if it were important. What you are saying in effect is that when we write about a murder, we should speak about thousands of different crimes. If we dont’t we are showing preference to just murders.

      But you are right: All types of harassment and bullying should be addressed at school.

    • Yossie

      “Your reasoning here is odd. If I speak of this type of bullying why do I have to talk about all type of bullying, even if it were important. What you are saying in effect is that when we write about a murder, we should speak about thousands of different crimes. If we don’t we are showing preference to just murders.”

      Because they are too much of a same thing to make a difference. Or are you differentiating a murder when someone kills someone over argument over garden hose (really, america…) or when you kill someone over argument over cars in McDonals que (really, Finland..)

      Like I said, I don’t think there is a meaningful way to tackle just only one part of school bullying. You tackle them all and dont draw lines over this is ok bullying and this is not.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Yossie, look at it this way: Racist harassment is unacceptable as is bullying at school.

      Have you ever been harassed in a racist fashion at school or bullied? If you have, you know how much it hurts.

    • Farang

      Enrique

      Your reasoning here is odd. If I speak of this type of bullying why do I have to talk about all type of bullying, even if it were important.

      Don’t you get it?

      Your reasoning is like this: There is a flood on an island and there are lots of people there that needs to be rescued. You say that “Let’s save all the black people first and then if we have time we can save the rest”. Don’t you see anything racist in that?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Farang, this is a comment sent to me for you by Dana:

      @ Frang
      Oh Ha ha ha ha, so racist is a funny thing?
      Oh racist is normal… i see …ur right it’s normal in Finland
      Thanks for u feel the fact
      *(In Finland we don’t ask people to join us, we just join in an party along.)
      This is prejudice, ur prejudices and u admit it, bravooo
      But in work place it’s not normal it’s abnormal… u cant ignore the person who has contact with her every day? Can u when u work in group? dont u think its a very narrowminded of yours?
      I dont blame u and Finns ( i don’t care about u Finns anymore ) i don’t even balme i just say racist is abnormal and in Finalnd only %1 of Finns are not racist.

      Disgusting is racist and It’s very disgusting that you Farang support such a impolite and racist way of behaving. who cares about u, by the way.

      I was interest to be with them in that day that’s why i suffered whole day, that’s why i wrote this blog,,, its easy to understand it’s not mathematic.

      (Learn to live in Finland and stop blaming Finns of your own mistakes)

      I dont need u tecah me about living and life, i wont live without morals and cruel minds,
      I will live as i wish and i will do as i want… u finns are not my boss.
      And u Finns dont try to teach foreigner ur customs and behave… they all have their own customs.. respect them whatever they are they are humans too, even they are balck, white, brown, red, yellow and purple or rainbow
      They want be in peace,… and their customs give them peace… why they should adapt ur customs.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Your reasoning is like this: There is a flood on an island and there are lots of people there that needs to be rescued. You say that “Let’s save all the black people first and then if we have time we can save the rest”. Don’t you see anything racist in that?

      That’s your imagination at work. There’s not a shred of truth in what you say. At the most, it suggests an issue with self-esteem about who you are since you take such things so personally.

    • Farang

      By reading that Dana’s response it becomes very clear that she is a person who only imagines racism everywhere. Sad.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      “Imagines” racism? If you say that of her we could say that you “deny racism everywhere.”

      Instead of judging people, why don’t you try to work this thing out with her? Why not find proactive solutions instead of (a) denying and (b) labeling others?

    • Yossie

      “Instead of judging people, why don’t you try to work this thing out with her? Why not find proactive solutions instead of (a) denying and (b) labeling others? ”

      Did you tell that to her too?

      “i don’t even balme i just say racist is abnormal and in Finalnd only %1 of Finns are not racist.”

      Cant this be considered as hate speech? Stigmatizes finns it does.

      “And u Finns dont try to teach foreigner ur customs and behave… they all have their own customs.. respect them whatever they are ”

      Did she consider they might just done this when they didnt invite her to attend finnish vappu customs?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Here’s a comment from Dana to PS Voter:

      Whats ur custom?
      Nothing specially so why shall i mlearn something that is cold and empthy of happiness.
      U cant control foreigners… they have their own customs, foods, morals and some times cloths… they have their own ways…. like uuuu
      U r christians… they are christians, muslims, jewish, hindu, budhist an delse

      If u Finns dont invite ur even co/woker who is close to u everyday… so u should not wait for their friendship, sure they cant feel comfor an dsafe between u guys, tahts why foreigner in all work places prefer to be in their own group… now i understand it well and i just wasted my time on my co/workers.

      First of all who told u am Muslim? Not every shining stuff is gold, not every circle stuff is walnut
      Secondly why u Finns just focus on muslim matter… on religion… for me we r one, we r all humans beings… even we have difefrent reeligions, if u were borning in IRAN u were a muslim.. so do u think it was a guilt of u?
      My idea religion is a control stuff but when people feel comfort with it, let it be…. they want it, they love it, they believe it so we should not attack them all the time and tell them ur muslim, ur christian, ur hindu and else.
      I am not a religious person and told am not muslim from first day in my work place u got it now.
      But for ur information i understand people with diffrent ways and religion even am not with them and i dont believe their ideas and laws.
      there was not alcohol on table… even if was it was not my problem… i easily dont drink alcohol for i love my brain and living helathy.

      No i wont learn ur customs even i know all and am not interest because i am interest to great ideas and moraly things. and u Finns u should understand that its not only us who need to adapt herself here with u but u Finns also need to adapt and accept us. its two way street. two ways tango.

      I am me, and not your foreigner friends, am independent, i wont wordship u Finns. never ever.

      Nothing is worng with me, open ur eyes Mr Finn .. human has problem its normal… why u Finns think u r perfect creatures?
      Dont u have alcohol problems in Finland?
      Broken families?
      Many of ur children have two fathers and mothers
      Racist is like storm in here
      Then dont try to put me down… u cant, u have no power on a foriegner like me, am brave and telling whats fact with a chin up, dont afarid of u and manners

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Here’s a comment from Dana:

      Yossie,

      Does Dana always eat alone?
      No am not eating alone.. and specially try to be between them, I am a social person.
      Could her coworkers believe she wants to stay alone?
      No they could not think like this because they know i like it people.
      Could they just be sensitive to let her be like she wants (from their point of view)
      No they were not sensitive…. it was not kind of them… whole day being alone… i cant say oh please give me a way between yours… because that’s their party, they have right on their own party so if they are sensitive they should tell me at least come to us.
      NO i am not a muslim ( and nothing is wrong with a muslim woman, a muslim woman can also feel love and hate… we all have heart ) and there was nothing against a muslim in their party why they should think about muslim stuffs? about religion?
      being openminded is a big bliss…. even a person who does not looks like us in colour, religion, minds, thoughts, ideas and else has heart.
      ….
      No one can invite herself, so i could not why shall i put me down for a party?
      Shall i go and begging oh pleasssse i nee dur party?
      So now what u think? again u think same before Yossie or i opened some fact for u?hopfully i helped.
      (does muslims have labor day?)
      Thats a comic question?
      yes we have or had in my country as i remember… but ur question is really saltless….
      there r many muslim countries… there live many muslims … so if they dont have this labor day means they are not deserve to join us in same country and work place???
      Is it not prejudice???
      Whats means that? Why u look at religion why u dont look at heart and feelings?
      Even ur winter that is cold and dark is better than ur ideas and manners.
      Really.

  9. Farang

    Dana, couple of things for you:

    1) You still don’t seem to understand the fact that in that kind of situations in Finland people are not invited to that kind of party in work place. People just join in without invitation. Therefore your assumption that you wasn’t invited because of racism is totally failed.

    Why can’t you understand that.

    2) How can you say that Finns should be understanding and respecting your customs, but at the same time you show no interest in Finnish customs?

    If Finnish custom is that people are not invited to parties in workplace, you are not in a position to expect Finns to change that custom because of you. It is you who need to change and understand how things work here.

    3) It’s not us who need to adapt. Finns don’t have to change because of you. If you come from outside to Finland, it is you who need to change your customs in cases when the conflict with Finnish customs. It is your own choice to come in Finland, so please show some respect and learn our customs. If you could do that, you would see that also Finns would try to understand and help you adapt.

    • Mark

      Farang

      1) You still don’t seem to understand the fact that in that kind of situations in Finland people are not invited to that kind of party in work place. People just join in without invitation. Therefore your assumption that you wasn’t invited because of racism is totally failed.

      There is always a notification or invitation sent. But assuming Dana is one of the few foreigners in her workplace, it would have been polite to invite her or explain to her that the event was taking place and what the house rule is for registering your attendance. This has happened with me every year during the last 10 years of living in Finland. I am always told by somebody, often by several people.

      You are just saying anything at all to avoid the conclusion that racism may have been the reason she was left out. It certainly struck me as very odd that no-one asked her if she was going or knew it was happening. Very odd. And yet you want to make out it is the norm, just so you can tell her that she is ‘inventing racism’.

      2) How can you say that Finns should be understanding and respecting your customs, but at the same time you show no interest in Finnish customs?

      What is her motivation to be interested, Farang, if her own culture is seen as completely valueless? Sounds like Dana respects cultures but is just fed up of being treated badly. It doesn’t sound like she doesn’t like culture, she just doesn’t like people being so tied up in their own culture that they look down on her and her culture. Indeed, the various assumptions that people in these comments are making about her show all too well the difficulties she clearly faces.

      Dana reminds me of an abused woman, who is angry and talking ‘bad’ about the man that has been abusing her. It is all too easy to be offended by her anger and to say that this anger must somehow have been the reason why she was treated badly in the first place. Indeed, it’s all too easy to blame her for the abuse that she has received, especially if that abuse means she started to hate ‘all men’, or to talk about them all as if they were all bad, which might be more likely if this wasn’t the first time she’d been abused. It’s easy to generalise this into some kind of theory about ‘women inventing abuse’, as if it was somehow in their nature to exaggerate and behave in an emotionally hysterical way. Indeed, it’s easy to construct a whole description and explanation for why this woman ‘left herself open to abuse’, or even invited it. The problem with that is that it would morally wrong. It would be a huge failure. It would be blaming victims for the abuse or for even daring to be scarred by that abuse. How dare they!!!! They should be perfect human beings regardless of what has happened to them – only then will we take their abuse seriously and listen to them.

      All the while, no-one is looking towards or talking about the abuser or the abuse! Why is that?

      3) It’s not us who need to adapt. Finns don’t have to change because of you.

      You mean that being impolite is a Finnish thing? This isn’t a ‘Finnish’ matter. You cannot stand up and speak for all Finns. You can only speak for Farang. If you put it like this, though, it makes you sound rather pathetic, doesn’t it:

      It’s not me that needs to adapt. I don’t have to change because of you.

      No, you don’t have to change, but you could listen, and try to understand how this person has been hurt by her experiences, instead of rushing at every step to stand up for Finland and to speak for Finland as if you were its President or moral conscience. Finland can take care of itself, Farang. Perhaps it’s time you started to take care of your own morals!

  10. Farang

    Enrique

    “Imagines” racism? If you say that of her we could say that you “deny racism everywhere.”

    What is so hard to understand in this?

    “Imagining racism” refers to situations where no racism happens, but person just imagines that racism happened.

    For example a black person sits next to white person in a bus. White person doesn’t speak anything and makes no eye contact with the black person. That is totally normal behaviour of Finns, but in that case the black person might imagine that the white person is behaving like that because she is black, thus imagining it is racism from the white person.

    Conclusion: No racism happened, but still the black person imagined that there was racism. And in some cases may go home and write in internet blog that “Once again I was racistly treated in public”.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –For example a black person sits next to white person in a bus. White person doesn’t speak anything and makes no eye contact with the black person.

      You should discuss this with Dana.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Here’s a comment by Dana:

      Farang, many of knowledge u can get from me if u first wash ur eyes and then open ur ears infront of my words.

      1) There is nothing for understanding between ur words because u try so hard to support them.
      I dont seem to u like that because am not in ur side, if i was in ur side u could understand what am telling very perfectly.
      About understanding… why u think the only one is able to understand is u???? i am understanding perfectly thats why i felt hurt in me… they were showing me so strongly that i should not put my feet between them , am a grown up human but even a child could understan dthis in that situation.

      2) UR joking? whats ur custom???
      Working in group means working in one, means family, how can u make a party and close ur eyes on her, who u have contact with her every single day?? Is that custom, or prejudice?
      I am not interst to such a moral less custom, i am a happy person who lives her best, i am social person i cant accept sadness and anger around me.
      Oh I except nothing from u Finns… because all i need and want i ahave, i am very successful person… and u dont need change ur custom just dont play theatre for me, If u respect ur labor day and u celebrate it strongly then u should be able to see me as a worker between yours because am working in ur country aand i pay my tax to Finalnd.

      3 ) Oh yes exactly u Finns should adapt yours with us too, it’s two-way street u need to believe it and accept it… its not only about us… dont u see we both live in same country and social group???
      Why u think we want change u??? No/one can change u except you can with ur free will.
      I dont come to Finland with my own choice.
      Respect for what, for Racist? Now i have not even one moment for u, yes i am able to close my eyes , but in my case is right, because i close my eyes on racist.
      I won’t push me between ur people again because i done that enough and i got nothing except pain.

    • Farang

      Enrique, I’m not only saying this to Dana, but to you too.

      You also promote that kind if imagined racism here in MT, so could you please comment to this matter also? Do you agree what I wrote about imagined racism?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      “Imagined” racism? It’s not imagined by me. If you look at who I am and where I’ve lived, I do have a pretty good idea what is racism.

    • Farang

      I am not saying that ALL racist experiences you have are imagined. I am sure most of them are real.

      But what is your stand on imagined racism? Do you believe that some of the “racist experiences” immigrants in Finland have are only racist in their imagination?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      There’s a clear distinction between what you call “imagined” and real racism. I’ve been around long enough to know the difference. If you are having problems understanding what it is, then you should ask instead of judge.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      A comment by Dana:

      Farang…

      An example
      for a Finn
      Are u sure about ur destiny?
      U don’t know anything about even ur next moment, yes?
      Who knows ur future? no/one.
      Something can happens to u and make u to run from ur country… so would u like people treat u different? attack u with prejudice? u like it?
      Many of Finns live in other countries, why u cant see this? or u just able to see us in Finland?
      Change is good why u afarid of change?
      Even u afarid its happening all the time around u an din ur country, so u cant chnage it this change… ur not able.
      Many things changed in Finalnd from 30 years ago, 40, 50, 100 years ago…
      U got cars from other countries, stuffs, foods, fruits,technology, languages ( like English) woman and man for marriage, children ,…,…,…
      Cumputer is not yours, is it?
      Electricity is not yours is it?
      Airplane? noooo
      Alcohol ( i mean medicine alcohol )
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Zakariya_al-Razi
      and more example….
      So u cant build a wall around this country and say oh we won’t change, thats impossible even if u build a wall around Finland, u need other countries for food, u have not enough food in Finland, u need medicine, u need woman and man, u need contact, u need news, u need toi be aware about around the world and politic, UN politic and ,…gooo on
      Oh U need Estonia for beer and alcohol, to drink and be drunk and scream at midnight…
      U wnat more?

    • Farang

      Enrique, why are you afraid of my opinions so much, that you put my messages in premoderation before publishing? Is is so hard to handle the truth?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      This is Migrant Tales and we decide what comments to approve or disapprove.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      A comment by Dana:

      Farang,

      Enrique is barve, that’s why u see him here.

      How do you imagine yourself? Are a scary human? Or a super human?

      Your imagination doesn’t tell you the truth.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Conclusion: No racism happened, but still the black person imagined that there was racism. And in some cases may go home and write in internet blog that “Once again I was racistly treated in public”.

      Because of course, black people are normally that stupid and paranoid, aren’t they Farang?

      Ironic, isn’t it. You say there was no racism, and yet your example is brimming with it. You are doing everything you can to ‘blame’ the black person for whatever has happened, and don’t consider for a second that there is any other context to this situation.

      When a minority continuously hears or sees messages that say their ethnicity or skin colour is regarded as inferior and a mark of second class citizenship within society, then those message are carried in all public places. The public space is polluted by those messages, but you, you don’t have to suffer or live with that pollution, though you are quite happy to either deny it or worse, add to it. Part of that pollution is not being able to trust the goodwill of ordinary strangers, to travel on public transport without the fear of being harrassed or ‘stared at’, or simply completely ignored.

      It’s not about Finns ‘not looking at each other’. That’s total bullshit. You just have to sit on a bus and watch people and you will see their gaze will move around quite a lot and that some people will watch you as you approach a seat, while others will occassionally glance at you. Watching and viewing people is a quite normal habit of Finnish people, even if striking up conversations isn’t. So, if people feel too awkward to be seen ‘staring’ at a black person, they will tend to avoid any gaze, even while being aware of them. Black people notice this. Because they are not stupid, contrary to what you seem to want to tell us. It is one thing to not be stared at by everyone, but it is also quite another when you are suddenly ‘ignored’ by people too, because of the ‘awkwardness’. Ask around and you might find out that the world is quite different to how you imagined it to be.

      Today, you added to the pollution in the public space by putting out the public message on a public forum that black people invent racism, sit paranoid on buses and are too ‘stupid’ to understand that they are ‘being racist’. In the same breath, you tell us there is no racism against blacks in Finland.

      The irony is, as usual with you, unbelievable!

  11. Farang

    Dana seems to be very childish person, her outcome can’t all be because of her poor english skills.

    She is all the time blaming Finns for being prejudice against her, but she can’t see that it is HER who has prejudice against Finns.

    Either she is unable to understand written english or she is just unable to understand the whole situation.

    Let’s still focus on what happened in her workplace. None of the co-workers were racist or discriminating against Dana. Only prejudice here has been Dana’s prejudice against her co-workers. Without asking she has judged her co-workers to be racists. Even when we have several times tried to explain her how this kind of situations work in Finland, she still refuses to understand that and admit her own mistake.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Ha ha ha ha Farang u make a false story on my real story? Nice going!

      Imagination is coming for positive things, not negative … no/one likes to use her imagination to see racist and make herself suffer. That’s logical. I use my imagination for my poems, not for trouble.

      Lets see ur important example, black and white in BUS
      🙂 : ) : ))))))))

      Not for sure and 100%, some times ur white person makes eye contact after eyes contact and then they leave the bus in same station.
      Conclusion…
      No racism happened but a love story, and i dont know permanently or temporarily.
      And the Balck person go to library and write in internet… end of story.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      An commment from Dana:

      Yossie,
      Certainly ur not a judge? are u? why Finns are very curious about a foreigner?

      Does Dana always eat alone?
      No am not eating alone.. and specially try to be between them, am a social person.
      Could her coworkers believe she wants to stay alone?
      No, they could not think like this because they know i like to be with people.
      Could they just be sensitive to let her be like she wants (from their point of view)
      No, they were not sensitive…. it was not kind of them… whole day being alone… i cant say oh please give me a way between yours… because that’s their party, they have right on their own party so if they are sensitive they should tell me at least come to us.
      NO i am not a muslim ( and nothing is wrong with a muslim woman, a muslim woman can also feel love and hate… we all have a heart ) and there was nothing against a muslim in their party why they should think about muslim stuffs? about religion?
      being openminded is a big bliss…. even a person who does not looks like us in colour, religion, minds, thoughts, ideas and else has heart.
      ….
      No-one can invite herself, so i could not why shall i put me down for a party?
      Shall i go and begging oh pleasssse i nee dur party?
      So now what u think? again u think same before Yossie or i opened some fact for u?hopfully i helped.
      (does muslims have labor day?)
      Thats a comic question?
      yes we have or had in my country as i remember… but ur question is really saltless….
      there r many muslim countries… there are living many muslims … so if they dont ahve this labor day means they are not deserve to join us in same country an dwork place???
      Is not it prejudice???
      What does it mean? Why u look at religion why don’t u look at heart and a person’s feelings?
      Even ur winter that is cold and dark is better than ur ideas and manners.
      Really.

    • Farang

      No, I’m not trying to make it false.

      I am simply trying to say that you should consider the possibility that maybe what you experience was not racism, but instead it was just misunderstanding because of cultural differences.

      Something that is perfectly normal in Finland, you could interpret as something negative towards you and it makes you feel like you are treated differently because of your background. But in reality it might be that you are not even treated differently, but just similar way as any other person.

      Something you may found normal based on your own culture might not be how people behave according to our culture. That’s why you shouldn’t make immediate assumptions about racism or discrimination.

      We all know only what you have told us, so it is impossible to be 100% certain what was the real case. We can’t know that if we weren’t there to see it.

      But you should also acknowledge that because you don’t understand Finnish culture it is possible that you could misunderstand something. Could you acknowledge that? Yes or No?

  12. Farang

    Mark

    There is always a notification or invitation sent.

    That is total bullshit. And it really shows your arrogance. You come outside and still you claim that you know better how things work in Finland.

    What is her motivation to be interested, Farang, if her own culture is seen as completely valueless?

    But the fact is that her own culture IS valueless for us Finns. It might be valuable for herself, but not for us. Therefore we don’t need to value her culture.

    But she has moved to Finland, so Finnish culture makes a role in her life. If she wants to be able to fit in, she should learn the culture.

    No, you don’t have to change, but you could listen, and try to understand how this person has been hurt by her experiences, instead of rushing at every step to stand up for Finland and to speak for Finland as if you were its President or moral conscience.

    But that is exactly what I have done. I have listened her concerns and then given her help and advice so that she could work out the situations in future. What else would you expect?

    Would you expect me to find out where she work and then have a discussion with her co-workers? Or would it just be easier to give advice to Dana?

    Dana just is so disrespectful that she don’t take the advice given to her.

    Ironic, isn’t it. You say there was no racism, and yet your example is brimming with it.

    Of course there is natural racism in Finland like in rest of the world. But there is no more racism in Finland than anywhere else, therefore you can’t say that Finland is especially a racist country.

    Of course there are individual racists also in Finland, but those are marginal minority.

    • Mark

      Farang

      That is total bullshit. And it really shows your arrogance. You come outside and still you claim that you know better how things work in Finland.

      If no-one is told and no-one bothers to notify anybody, how is it that everyone turns up in the correct room on the correct day at the correct time to have a party?

      But the fact is that her own culture IS valueless for us Finns. It might be valuable for herself, but not for us. Therefore we don’t need to value her culture.

      One thing does not follow the other as a necessity. If a foreign culture has little value for you, I do not hold you to account for a moral failure. If however, you have the opportunity to encounter that culture and you prefer to turn your back, make NO effort whatsoever to see that culture and then claim it is ‘valueless’ by some inherent lack, then you become morally accountable for a failure in your humanity. Understanding and reaching out to human beings in a friendly way will ALWAYS involve a bit of give and take, and a willingness to see the value in that persons beliefs and traditions. This is so obviously common sense that it is an awful shame that it has to be spelt out for some people.

      If she wants to be able to fit in, she should learn the culture.

      I’m pretty sure she has learnt the culture and is rather just pouting at the idiots that make this ridiculous demand that she has to appreciate everything ‘Finnish’, even while idiots like you are saying her culture has no value. Not all Finns follow traditions. Indeed, my closest work colleague did not celebrate Vappu in any way this year. Bad Finn?

      But that is exactly what I have done. I have listened her concerns and then given her help and advice so that she could work out the situations in future. What else would you expect?

      Well, there’s listening and there’s listening, isn’t there Farang!?

      You’re advice to her was to first become like a Finn and THEN people would try to understand and adapt to her.

      If you could do that, you would see that also Finns would try to understand and help you adapt.

      The fact that you assume that she hasn’t done this shows how much you look down on her. Dana worked very very hard when she first came to Finland to learn the customs and language. She took great pride in putting that effort in, believing that it was the key to meeting people successfully in Finland. That is one reason why her experiences have been such a disappointment, because everything WAS premised on the idea that if she did that effort, Finns would meet her half way. But for her, they didn’t and haven’t. And yet you still want to claim that of course, she hasn’t ‘worked hard enough’.

      Like I said, at what point are you going to acknowledge that she is entitled to wear the scars that her experiences have left her with?

      Dana just is so disrespectful that she don’t take the advice given to her.

      You accused her of inventing racism. It’s hardly like you are being particularly respectful to her, is it Farang? It’s not like you made any real effort to get to the bottom of the story – no, you started in with your ‘this NEVER happens in Finland’ routine, and even when people are contradicting you, you are playing the nationality card, claiming that foreigners cannot possibly know how it is done in Finland.

      Of course there is natural racism in Finland like in rest of the world.

      Natural racism? Good God! So, babies are born racist are they?`Well, at least you are admitting there is racism in Finland.

      Having lived in England, in predominately ethnically homogenous parts and highly multicultural parts, I would say that levels of racism in Finland are on a par with the UK in the 1970s. Clearly it will take a lot more actual encounters between immigrants and native Finns for many of the more riduculously racist attitudes to die out. Even in England nowadays, there are plenty of racists around, perhaps even more blatant in the last decade than previously, partly because the new ‘War on Terror’ created a massive pretext for ‘cultural self-defence’, which is a kind of modern and sanitised version of racism.

    • Farang

      Mark

      If no-one is told and no-one bothers to notify anybody, how is it that everyone turns up in the correct room on the correct day at the correct time to have a party?

      So, you didn’t even bother to read Dana’s post. Way to go. Read it and you understand how.

      Not all Finns follow traditions. Indeed, my closest work colleague did not celebrate Vappu in any way this year. Bad Finn?

      I didn’t celebrate Vappu either. I think it’s a shit tradition. Most of Finnish traditions are shit and I don’t celebrate or follow them.

      You’re advice to her was to first become like a Finn and THEN people would try to understand and adapt to her.

      No it wasn’t. My first advice was that she should next time just join the party, because that’s how it work with Finns.

      Natural racism? Good God! So, babies are born racist are they?`Well, at least you are admitting there is racism in Finland.

      It has been scientifically proved that even babies can be racist. Therefore it’s no learnt feature, it’s a natural feature. When people grow up, most of them learn to not be racists anymore, because they understand and accept that all people are equal.

      Having lived in England, in predominately ethnically homogenous parts and highly multicultural parts, I would say that levels of racism in Finland are on a par with the UK in the 1970s.

      Yes. There was not that much racism in UK in 70s. Racism has risen in UK in recent years.

    • Mark

      Farang

      I didn’t celebrate Vappu either. I think it’s a shit tradition. Most of Finnish traditions are shit and I don’t celebrate or follow them.

      Which is why it’s a totally stupid idea to demand that foreigners adopt Finnish customs while Finns have the freedom to choose.

      No it wasn’t. My first advice was that she should next time just join the party, because that’s how it work with Finns.

      I quoted you Farang – you said she should adopt the customs, THEN Finns would be sympathetic to her.

      It has been scientifically proved that even babies can be racist. Therefore it’s no learnt feature, it’s a natural feature. When people grow up, most of them learn to not be racists anymore, because they understand and accept that all people are equal.

      You are clearly not a researcher Farang, as you continuously and repeatedly take research out of context. The research you are referring to I’m sure is that which says babies from the age of 9 months upwards show more interest in face colors that match the colour of their primary care giver, even when that colour is different to their own. That is hardly defining babies as racist, and more likely reflects the fact that babies have learnt to recognise their care giver partly based on face colour. Racism is about weilding power over people in a way that is damaging – as a 9-month baby is pretty much POWERLESS, it really is quite a stretch to say that a baby is racist.

      In fact, it’s plain ridiculous. And ironic that you then take this research and claim it as PROOF of racism, or that ‘racism’ is natural. On the contrary, racism is learnt, albeit at a young age, mostly from parents but also later from peers.

      Yes. There was not that much racism in UK in 70s. Racism has risen in UK in recent years.

      You are clearly clueless, mate!

  13. Farang

    Mark

    It’s not about Finns ‘not looking at each other’. That’s total bullshit. You just have to sit on a bus and watch people and you will see their gaze will move around quite a lot and that some people will watch you as you approach a seat, while others will occassionally glance at you. Watching and viewing people is a quite normal habit of Finnish people, even if striking up conversations isn’t. So, if people feel too awkward to be seen ‘staring’ at a black person, they will tend to avoid any gaze, even while being aware of them. Black people notice this. Because they are not stupid, contrary to what you seem to want to tell us. It is one thing to not be stared at by everyone, but it is also quite another when you are suddenly ‘ignored’ by people too, because of the ‘awkwardness’. Ask around and you might find out that the world is quite different to how you imagined it to be.

    And here comes proof of imagined racism again, gloriously by Mark 😀

    What you just described was a great example of you insane logic:

    – If you look at black person, you are a racist
    – If you don’t look at black person, you are a racist

    So there you go, no matter what you do or don’t do, Mark can find racism from it 🙂

    I really would like to get hell out of Migrant Tales. This place makes me sick.

    • Mark

      Farang

      – If you look at black person, you are a racist
      – If you don’t look at black person, you are a racist

      So there you go, no matter what you do or don’t do, Mark can find racism from it

      Yes, because there is NO OTHER interpretation possible – just assume that Mark, the foreigner, is too stupid to say anything that could possibly make any sense or ring true.

      I did not mention racism in that paragraph, and yet you chose to use the word twice in your paraphrasing of my ideas. In fact, you made it all about racism and ignored what was actually being said. Why was that?

      There is social awkwardness in Finland for many Finns who have not grown up with other ethnicities or not spend a great deal of time getting to know different belonging to different ethnicities. This results in ‘marked’ behaviour. This isn’t a trick to call you a racist, Farang, this is just a basic understanding of what happens when visible immigrants travel on public transport in many parts of Finland. You don’t want to explore it, from anybodies point of view, either that of Finns or of immigrants. No, you want to lock the discussion down, push it into simple accusations of ‘he’s calling me a racist if I look at black people or if I don’t’. Actually, what i said is that there is a measure of awkwardness and curiosity, and they can result in quite ‘opposite’ reactions to people of different ethnicities, but which are ‘noticeable’.

      However, rather than even begin to understand this or get deeper into it, you prefer to play the role of ‘victim’ and accuse foreigners of inventing racism at every turn, as if foreigners were all just ‘really stupid people’.

      I really would like to get hell out of Migrant Tales. This place makes me sick.

      I’m not surprised. But you work so hard to MISUNDERSTAND, that I’m not surprised it makes you feel ill! You are fighting shadows here half the time.

    • Farang

      So, if I’m sitting on a bus and in walks a sexy black woman and I stare at her and eat her with my eyes, do you think I am:
      a) racist
      b) pervert
      c) normal

    • Mark

      Farang

      So, if I’m sitting on a bus and in walks a sexy black woman and I stare at her and eat her with my eyes, do you think I am:
      a) racist
      b) pervert
      c) normal

      You tell me!

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Here’s a comment from Dana:

      So, if I’m sitting on a bus and in walks a sexy black woman and I stare at her and eat her with my eyes, do you think I am:
      a) racist
      b) pervert
      c) normal

      @ Farang ooops Frankenstein

      1. U r lonely Finn

      2. U r single

      3. U r an alien because u eat with ur eyes… we human eat with our mouth

      4. U r hungry and see her like a chicken

      5. U r a cannibal

      6. U love black colour

      7. U forget to use ur eye drops

      8. U r in a dream

      9. U r in a nightmare

      10. U r Frankenstein….. Ha ha ha ha

    • Farang

      That’s my point. You can’t make ANY conclusions about ANYTHING based what or how or when people look or don’t look something.

  14. Farang

    Mark

    If no-one is told and no-one bothers to notify anybody, how is it that everyone turns up in the correct room on the correct day at the correct time to have a party?

    Correct day? Are you asking this seriously? It doesn’t take Einstein to know when Vappu is 😀 And if you would have read Dana’s post you would have known that the party was like an ongoing party for the whole day.

    Like in my work place. Somebody brought “sima and munkki” in our coffee room and then people just went and ate those. Nobody was informed about that or invited, it was just business as usual, as people would anyway go to the coffee room during the day.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Correct day? Are you asking this seriously?

      I was talking generally. And yes, even for coffee and ice cream, we have notifications and people knocking on doors. I could literally cut and paste ‘hundreds’ of these notice emails, Farang.

      Ice cream is a specific thing in our work place – people are told, because ice cream melts if left on a table!!!! What do you say about that?

  15. Farang

    Mark

    Which is why it’s a totally stupid idea to demand that foreigners adopt Finnish customs while Finns have the freedom to choose.

    What are you talking about? Nobody has said anything that foreigners must celebrate Finnish stuff etc. Adopting customs means that if foreigners want to do something that Finns do, they need to understand the customs, HOW they are supposed to be done.

    I quoted you Farang – you said she should adopt the customs, THEN Finns would be sympathetic to her.

    Are you really that unable to understand context?

    By “adopting the custom” in Dana’s context meant that if she wants to be included in the party, she should understand that the custom in the workplace is NOT to send any invitations, but people just join the party without invitation.

    • Mark

      Farang

      What are you talking about? Nobody has said anything that foreigners must celebrate Finnish stuff etc. Adopting customs means that if foreigners want to do something that Finns do, they need to understand the customs, HOW they are supposed to be done.

      As if Finns only do things ‘one way’. What bollocks. This is a good example of this debate. Farang tries to suggest there is ONE WAY for a workplace to organise it’s recreational staff activities – Mark points out that his Finnish workplace actually does something different, more along the lines of what Dana expected – Farang tries to discredit Mark by merely calling him a ‘foreigner’, while insisting that there is ONLY ONE WAY that these things are done in Finland. THEN he tells us that actually he doesn’t do them anyway! (celebrated Vappu, for instance).

      ‘Adopting’ customs almost certainly means ‘doing’ those things. Learning about Finnish customs is having knowledge of the customs, but also being free to choose whether to follow those customs or not.

      However, I still think its quite ridiculous to refer to this obvious discrimination against Dana as reflecting a ‘custom’. I think this is a matter of politeness and friendliness, something I that that many Finns understand all too well in a workplace setting where there are foreigners. Suggesting that ‘unfriendliness towards foreigners’ is somehow a ‘custom’ to be learnt in Finland is just a convenient way to absolve the people involved of responsibility, or worse, just a fudge to hide racism.

      Rather than even try to find out more about Dana’s situation and why SHE thought it was racism and not something else, you instead immediately started to call her a racist, for feeling angry towards ‘Finns’. Like I said, you are asking for people scarred by racism to hide their scars. It is normal that she would be angry, and while it is important to work through that anger and not let it close our minds or to overly generalise, it is also very important to validate and understand her experience.

      I would say this is also true of people I would consider as Finnish racists, Farang. It is not that I see ‘racism’ differently in different nationalities. I appreciate that there is anger and grievance. A key thing here though is that DANA is living out an experience of living with racism, while many Finnish racists have almost no experience of foreigners, but choose to peddle racist views and generally pollute the public space with messages of hostility.

      By “adopting the custom” in Dana’s context meant that if she wants to be included in the party, she should understand that the custom in the workplace is NOT to send any invitations, but people just join the party without invitation.

      It’s not a CUSTOM in Finland Farang. There is obviously some variation in how things are done in different workplaces. Dana is in the best place to decide how things are done in her workplace, but you give no respect to her ability to evaluate this – assuming and claiming falsely that it is done this WAY throughout Finland. You are making excuses to exclude racism as a possible cause, without even beginning to do a proper investigation of the matter.

  16. Farang

    I was talking generally. And yes, even for coffee and ice cream, we have notifications and people knocking on doors. I could literally cut and paste ‘hundreds’ of these notice emails, Farang.
    Ice cream is a specific thing in our work place – people are told, because ice cream melts if left on a table!!!! What do you say about that?

    Well, isn’t it obvious that ice cream is time critical, therefore quite expected that people are notified.

    But don’t try to generalise and assume that what ever are the customs in your work place, would apply to all work places.

    • Mark

      I specifically did NOT generalise. But you are free to ignore those qualifying comments, just as you normally do.

  17. Farang

    However, I still think its quite ridiculous to refer to this obvious discrimination against Dana as reflecting a ‘custom’. I think this is a matter of politeness and friendliness, something I that that many Finns understand all too well in a workplace setting where there are foreigners. Suggesting that ‘unfriendliness towards foreigners’ is somehow a ‘custom’ to be learnt in Finland is just a convenient way to absolve the people involved of responsibility, or worse, just a fudge to hide racism.

    You are pathetic liar, Mark. You twist everything and refuse to accept the point.

    In this case Dana was treated exactly like anyone else working there, but you are desperately trying to make this a racism issue, suggesting that Dana was treated that way because she is a foreigner. That is total bullshit and it seems to be the core feature of this whole Migrant Tales.

    So also seem to suggest that people should be behaving differently if there are foreigners in the work place. That proves your own racism, eg. you want different treatment based on ethnic background.

    How can someone be so blind?

    • Mark

      Farang

      You are pathetic liar, Mark. You twist everything and refuse to accept the point.

      😀 There are no lies in my statements. Just common sense and honesty.

      In this case Dana was treated exactly like anyone else working there,

      You are not in a position to state this definitively. This is just how you choose to read the situation. You didn’t bother to actually try to get to the bottom of this, as with almost everything you deal with. You sit on the sidelines and judge and prefer to insult her by saying she is inventing racism. That is what you do. It’s as plain as the nose on your face, Farang. Show me anywhere here where you held back on your judgement to actually establish facts first? You didn’t. You jumped in with both feet!

      suggesting that Dana was treated that way because she is a foreigner.

      It might have been because they simply perceive her as ‘different’. I’m not even sure that it’s important that she’s a foreigner – they may be more willing to accept ‘white’ European ‘foreigners’, but dark Muslim-looking Middle-easterns? Who knows. I don’t know if this was racism. I do know that it appears like that and that Dana was very upset by it. I know Dana better than you do Farang, and I can tell you that she is someone that is very prepared to see the good in people. Like I said, she is in the best place to understand what is normal in her workplace, and trying to make this completely about her ignorance of Finnish culture is utterly insulting and quite racist in itself. You do this ONLY because she is a foreigner. If a Finns said this about being left out of the workplace activities, though not discrimination, you probably wouldn’t start your reply by telling this Finn that they were ‘ignorant of Finnish customs’. It’s just ridiculous and quite likely racist that this is your first response to Dana.

      So also seem to suggest that people should be behaving differently if there are foreigners in the work place.

      YOU are so far up your own arse with this ‘being treated differently’ that I really doubt that any daylight can actually get in there. First you want Foreigners to learn about Finnish customs, but then you are telling me that Finns are not going to teach foreigners because that would somehow require them to treat foreigners ‘differently’ to how they treat Finns, i.e. assuming that they already know how things work. This is a lose-lose situation for foreigners, Farang.

      That is total bullshit and it seems to be the core feature of this whole Migrant Tales.

      What is total bullshit is the fact that you don’t want to hear about people’s real experiences of being foreigners in Finland. Every single time someone writes something, you wriggle and squirm or work to discredit that person’s experience. You almost always call the racist and insult their intelligence by implying paranoia. Even when you are presented with concrete examples of racist and extremist behaviour, like the Nazi clock incident, you make excuses for it.

      That proves your own racism, eg. you want different treatment based on ethnic background.

      So, next time a tourist in the street stops you asking for directions, you will tell them that you are sorry, but you cannot tell them, because that will be treating them like they are NOT FINNS, who are supposed to know these things already.

      Racism is creating a negative stereotype about particular nationalities or ethnicities. How is being aware of ethnic differences creating a negative stereotype? Differences do exist, and blinding yourself to those differences while the whole time INSISTING on Finnish identity as the only NORM is disengenous. You are saying that ethnicity doesn’t matter with one breath except when it comes to Finnish ethnicity, and then you are telling foreigners that Finnish customs must all be learnt by them.

      On a common sense level, it just stands to reason that anyone in a workplace will make an effort to make a stranger aware of ‘how things are done’. This is just more important if that person is from another country, as you cannot assume that they understand how things are done in Finland. Showing sensitivity and trying to help foreigners become a valued part of the work community is not racism Farang, just because it takes account of the fact that foreigners are ‘different’ to Finns.

      Your understanding of what constitutes racism is twisted and diseased and is designed only to discredit people who would point out the failings of some Finns to show friendliness and respect to foreigners working in Finland.

  18. Farang

    It’s not a CUSTOM in Finland Farang. There is obviously some variation in how things are done in different workplaces. Dana is in the best place to decide how things are done in her workplace, but you give no respect to her ability to evaluate this – assuming and claiming falsely that it is done this WAY throughout Finland. You are making excuses to exclude racism as a possible cause, without even beginning to do a proper investigation of the matter.

    There is NOTHING that suggests that there was racism involved. It is people like you and Dana who only thinks there is racism because the person involved is a foreigner. That itself is racist way of thinking.

    It’s same case in crimes. Whenever there is a crime made against foreigner, your first assumption is that it MUST be a racist crime. And then you expect others to prove that it isn’t. In Dana’s case there was absolutely nothing that suggests that her treatment had anything to do with her being foreigner.

    • Mark

      Farang

      There is NOTHING that suggests that there was racism involved.

      That’s a bit like saying, if you close your eyes, it’s DARK! The point is, you closed your eyes to seeing any racism from the word go. And you have made no effort to open your eyes or to let Dana open your eyes. You made your judgements immediately. There was no discussion, no dialogue and no investigation on your part. None. You simply do not deserve to pass comment on this situation. You have made no genuine and sincere effort to find out more about her experiences. You cannot. What you might learn is too difficult for you to open your eyes to.

      It’s same case in crimes. Whenever there is a crime made against foreigner, your first assumption is that it MUST be a racist crime.

      Rubbish. But if you KEEP saying this, you pollute the public space in such a way that when we DO claim it was a racist crime or strongly suspect it, you simply say ‘You always do that’. You attempt to remove any freedom or authority we have to talk about racism in Finland. And I for one will not let you do that.

      Time and again I have shown that you are the ONLY one using absolutes in these discussions. Time and again you present our position as being ‘absolute’, when we have repeated over and over and over till we are blue in our faces that we do NOT think like this. There are few if any absolutes in my writing. Yet time and again I pull you up for saying things like ‘everybody’, ‘anyone’, ‘never’, ‘always’, ‘absolutely nothing’ and ‘must’.

      But this is serious. This is not a game of semantics. There is a real person here, Dana, who is extremely unhappy. The reasons for that unhappiness need to be properly and thoroughly explored, with sympathy and with thoroughness. You cannot simply dismiss people’s wellbeing by just calling them a ‘racist’.

  19. Farang

    Rather than even try to find out more about Dana’s situation and why SHE thought it was racism and not something else, you instead immediately started to call her a racist, for feeling angry towards ‘Finns’. Like I said, you are asking for people scarred by racism to hide their scars. It is normal that she would be angry, and while it is important to work through that anger and not let it close our minds or to overly generalise, it is also very important to validate and understand her experience.

    What else can you say to a person who claims that 99% of Finns are racists?

    • Mark

      Farang

      What else can you say to a person who claims that 99% of Finns are racists?

      Dana is wrong to think that, if she thinks that, which I actually seriously doubt. But you could start by asking her why she thinks that. The point is, she is potentially the victim here of a serious form of abuse – do you immediately attack a woman who starts to hate men because she suffers physical abuse from several different men? The point is, by all means tackle Dana on her generalisations, but don’t use that as an excuse to ignore, discredit or dismiss the abuse that led to that very negative generalisation in the first place.

      This is quite a different thing from armchair racists in Finland that have never so much as said hello to a black person and yet type all sorts of negative crap about them on their keyboards. Dana is LIVING in this foreign culture, trying to survive here. These experiences are not cerebral games in trying to create some sense of Iranian nationalism here in Finland. She is a woman who is lonely and disconnected from her work colleagues and feeling very frustrated by it. Trying to make her out to be the same kind of racist as a white supremacist in Finland is just totally out of touch with what it means to be a human being living a life in the everyday world. What you are doing in calling her a racist is completely unfair to her and her situation.

      Talk to her properly Farang. Like she was your sister! Then maybe you would get somewhere and even at the end of the conversation, you would both arrive at the conclusion too that 99% of Finns are not racist.

  20. Farang

    Mark, please read this and answer:

    You have a house and you live in it with your family. One day someone comes to the door and wants to move in. You have not invited him, but you let him in because you are kind.

    Then this person eats your food and says he don’t like it and demands you to make different kind of food for him.

    In the evening you are watching television with your family. The visitor comes to the living room where you are, doesn’t say anything and then goes back to bedroom. Later on he complains your wife that he wasn’t invited to
    watch TV.

    What would you think of this person?

    • Mark

      Farang

      Anyone who sees immigration through this prism is seriously lacking in humanity!

    • Farang

      Anyone who sees it like this, is a person with common sense. Everyone else are fools.

      But anyway you are biased to answer, because you are immigrant yourself.

    • Mark

      No it is not common sense. You put forward a scenario where immigrants are unwelcome, uninvited, where they take advantage of people’s kindness, take essential resources, make constant demands, and are hysterical and paranoid.

      Constructing such a ridiculously negative image of immigrants is racist and totally indefensible.

      By constructing such a picture of immigrants, you create an atmosphere of hostility within Finland towards immigrants and that in itself is xenophobic and probably racist, particulary the minute you start to home in on particular ethnicities, like you have been known to do.

      So, no, not common sense at all – the twisted workings of a twisted mind trying to exploit the sanctity of family to spread hatred and hostility towards in immigrants in Finland. The despicable actions of a despicable man!

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Two immigrants raped a Finnish child. Do you approve that kind of immigrants?

      Where does it state in the story that “two immigrants” raped a minor?

    • Mark

      Another comment like that and you are suspended from this site for one month. No-one in their right mind would approve of something like this and asking us if we approve is about as insulting as it gets. So behave yourself or you will be suspended.

      Now, in answer to your incredibly racist comment – why are you here ethnicising crimes against children? Have you any idea how that makes immigrants feel, to see you focusing on their ‘immigrant’ status as if this is somehow the causal factor in child abuse. It’s about as despicable a form of racism as you could possibly practice, deliberately trying to associate immigrants with child molestation. Why not just ask ‘do you approve of these kind of people’ and refer to the crime as a crime of two people raping a child? Even that is unacceptably insulting to any normal person. And on top of that, you choose to be a racist in deliberately seeking to vilify immigrants and associate them with the most disgusting human behaviour and crimes.

      We will not stand for that kind of despicable racism on this site, Farang. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, in the strongest terms. I would tread very carefully – perhaps think a little before you reply!

    • Farang

      Mark, my intention was not to blame ALL immigrant, but ask you what do you think of THIS KIND of immigrants, who get an new home from Finland and in return they act like this? And if you re-read my question, you would notice that even in that post I clearly referred ONLY to these immigrants, as it’s mentioned in my question: “Do you approve that kind of immigrants”

      Enrique, I have the names of the perpetrators from the court documents. Do you want me to post the names here?

    • Mark

      Farang

      Mark, my intention was not to blame ALL immigrant,

      Hijacking child abuse to denigrate immigrants is absolutely unforgiveable, Farang. You prefaced the molestors as immigrants, when in reality, monsters like these sadly exist in all populations. There is just no excuse for this kind of incitement to hatred, Farang.

      And no, your excuses and sophistry did not justify what you wrote. You are making the connection with their immigrant status specifically, even in your reply, and that reinforcing of immigrant status and child molestation is absolutely typical of the gutless, morally decrepit tactics of the Far Right.

      For attempting to justify and reinforce your despicable behaviour, you are now suspended until 5/6/2013

      Suspended

    • Farang

      Mark, what was racist in my comment? In my comment there were only 3 sentences. Which one of those were racist?

      1st sentence was only a question if you could comment
      2nd sentence was stating a fact
      3rd sentence was a question if you approve that

      So, which one was racist and why?

      I admit I went a bit out of line with the last question by asking if you approve that. Proper question would have been “What do you think of…” instead of “Do you approve…”. I am sorry about that.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Mark, what was racist in my comment? In my comment there were only 3 sentences. Which one of those were racist?
      efus
      1st sentence was only a question if you could comment

      Your ‘question’ was clearly designed to send out a message that immigrants are child molestors. This isn’t ‘news’ or ‘facts’ in the sense of being something that people need to be ‘told’. Child abuse is a criminal issue, NOT an immigration issue. Every population sadly has child molestors, including Finns. So what right do you have to bring that kind of news to the attention of people in the frame of ‘immigration’, unless you were deliberately trying to show immigrants in a bad light?

      Their immigration status is irrelevant, and by choosing to make it relevant, you were guilty of inciting hatred against immigrants.

      Open and shut, case. That behaviour will not be tolerated on this blog! You were warned. You apologised for asking me if I approve, but refused to take away your ethnicising of child abuse, actually suggesting that you could offer names. So, no remorse or thought to the consequences, so no choice for me but to suspend you.

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