Talouselämä: Suurin osa maahanmuuttajista on suomalaisia

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: Here is a story in the business weekly Talouselemä that reveals that one third, or the biggest group of immigrants that moved to Finland in 2000-08, were none other than Finnish expatriates. This sounds a bit like in early 1980 when the biggest group of “foreigners” living in the country were Finns who had Swedish citizenship.

If this is true, what are anti-immigration parties like the True Finns and groups like Hommaforum talking about if the biggest group of “foreigners” that moved to this country were their own countrymen and women?

It’s pretty incredible that the immigration issue has not surfaced in any of the recent YLE election debates. Is it such a hot potato that YLE has preferred not to bring it up?

The April 17 election has shown that a part of Finland is seriously challenged when it comes to relating to cultural diversity, immigrants and immigration. Some of them even go as far as claiming that they are indigenous and that immigrants are colonlizing their land.

This type of extremism and xenophobia has a lot to do with Finland being a shut society during most of the cold war. Anti-immigration and Islamophobic groups want to take Finland back to the time when the shadow of the Soviet Union hung deep over this land.

Do you agree?

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Hanna Rajalahti

Perussuomalaisten suosio mielipidemittauksissa on houkutellut vaalien alla päivänvaloon kaikenlaisia kansalliskiihkoilevia porukoita.

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  1. Jaakko

    “Some of them even go as far as claiming that they are indigenous and that immigrants are colonlizing their land. ”

    I’m not sure if you are referring to my earlier comment but if you do, I called Saami and even Roma people of Finland indigenous. Maybe that was a bit bad word choise since some claim only minority groups can be called indigenous, native is better, meaning original inhabitant. So I would call Finns native people of this country. I don’t know why claiming that is somehow extremism or xenophobic. Finns have lived here for ages, thousands of years. They are related to the Saami people that also are original people of Fennoscandia, and these populations have mixed during time. Then of course new waves of movers have come from West, East and South, like everywhere in the world. The early history of Finland is foggy but it is certain that most ancestors of modern Finns lived here before Jesus was even born. I would call that indigenousness (is that even a word). Then again, I would even call the Roma native since they have lived here for centuries. Why are you so eager to denounce the rights of the Roma, Saami or Finns (Swedish speaking or Finnish speaking) to this land? “Oh it’s not their country anyway, they have only lived there for 500/1000/2500 years”. You could go tell to the Palestinians that their whining is pointless and rasist, they don’t have any more right to the land than the Israeli settlers coming to West Bank.

    Maybe only the Neanderthals could call themselves indigenous people of Europe. Let’s call Finns and all other racist folks that claim themselves indigenous/original people “well-rooted-settlers”. So Finns are well-rooted-settlers of this particular piece of soil, I would think that since they are a little better rooted than some others after having lived here for centuries and having established a society here, they would have some right to tell how the things roll around here. Or are you a supporter of the conquistador model, one noble and civilized man coming to tell to the savages how they ought to live. “They are dim-witted and challenged by the complex world, it is my duty to make them live like I feel is the right way”.

    From 2000 to 2008 one third of the immigration was Finns returning back, according Talouselämä. Do you think that because of one third of them was Finns returning, one shouldn’t be allowed to discuss about the two thirds that weren’t Finnish and moved to a completely strange country? “Why should we talk about the problems of nuclear energy if the majority of plants haven’t blown up?” “Why do we need the police when the majority of citizens behave well?” What sort of difficulties you think Finns returning Finland after some years abroad cause or experience?

    • Enrique

      In English we call it a storm in a tea cup.

      The racism and xenophobia that has emerged in Finland is shameful. I know it has always been there lurking in the background ready to lash out. I know that most of the Finns don’t think that way, however, because they are sensible.

      Risto Laakkonen and others have said that whenever you start to speak of Finns as an indigenous group you start to flirt with racism. I agree. The main aim here is exclude others with walls of mistrust and suspcion. It’s a lot of eugenics baloney by the likes of Rolf Nordenstreng. Much of this type of thought is still around because it hasn’t been challenged in Finland. Try reading Nordenstreng’s “Euroopan ihmisrodut ja kansat” (1929) and you will understand the problem. Whenever a Finns speaks of himself as “an indigenous tribe” he is opening a page from Nordenstreng’s book. The thought has been adapted to this century but it is the message is the same: “us” and “them.”

      And Jaakko, don’t you think parties like the True Finns are pushing it a bit too far by exaggerating the immigrant-refugee problem? Hey, 2.9% of the population… Is that a lot?

  2. Tiwaz

    So, Enrique, is speaking of ANY group of humans as indigenous to ANY region flirting with racism? Or is this once again example of double standards you and other multiculturalists like to play with.

    “All animals are equal, some are just more equal than others.”

    Or perhaps in this case, your view is that Finns are lesser creatures than the rest. Hmm… Sounds familiar ideology…

  3. Jonas

    I dread 18.4.2011. I fear it will be a day of international embarrassment for our country in the world’s media if we somehow manage to let the True/Basic Finns come in the top four in our parliamentary elections, with a significant number of seats. Already we were in the most watched news programme in our western neighbour yesterday evening for all of the wrong reasons (online: http://svtplay.se/v/2379292/finland_demonstration_mot_svenskan). We are not about to do our nation’s image any favours.

    • Enrique

      Hi Jonas, whatever happens the fight continues. But don’t worry, Timo Soini said he is going to go to Brussels by himself and set things right for Finland. LOL!

  4. Klay_Immigrant

    Why is everyone obsessed with image? Are you really naive enough to think that image alone will affect a country’s prospects? Take China, Russia and Saudi Arabia for example, three countries that have horrendous records when it comes to political oppression, human rights, and freedom of the media, yet that hasn’t affected in anyway their trade with Western countries. Where there is money and needed goods or resources to be bought and sold, as illustrated with Libya just before the uprising, Western governments will happily turn a blind eye.

    That being said the True Finns party isn’t viewed by other countries as a classical nationalistic party with neo fascist roots but rather as a bit of an oddball with right-wing political views but with a left-wing domestic economic ideology so a success in the upcoming elections won’t taint Finland’s reputation in the slightest. For instance can you honestly say that the Netherlands’ reputation has been damaged to the point of affecting trade and foreign relations by the rise of the Party for Freedom with the controversial Geert Wilders at the helm who is substantially more outspoken than Timo Soini?

    Enrique just out of curiousity and completely irrelevent to my above points, are there any Western countries in your opinion with an immigration problem or is it a simple case that immigration has no flaws and the more the merrier?

    • Enrique

      –Enrique just out of curiousity and completely irrelevent to my above points, are there any Western countries in your opinion with an immigration problem or is it a simple case that immigration has no flaws and the more the merrier?

      Name a perfect society without any problems? Whenever humans are at work there is nothing perfect. Since we are not perfect it means that we can change, like our society. It is pretty funny how some think that immigrants as a group must be “perfect” pr “problem-free.” That’s hogwash and you know it. The question is why do some make a bigger problem out of it than it actually is? If you want, I can start pointing out some pretty horrible things about our society without immigrants. Should we start kicking outthe locals? I have mentioned before that Soini supports with his silence a group of Islamophobists who belong to the far-right branch. But these people are going to be Soini’s biggest headache when they try to work as a group. It will put the whole party in jeopardy. There are already visible cracks in the TF that are starting to show.

  5. Jaakko

    “I have mentioned before that Soini supports with his silence a group of Islamophobists who belong to the far-right branch. But these people are going to be Soini’s biggest headache when they try to work as a group. It will put the whole party in jeopardy.”

    Who are the people you are referring to? And the truth is every party is heterogeneous, and a member of the coalition party can be closer to a member of christian democrats than they are to their party leaders. Finland’s swedish party exists mainly to keep Swedish obligatory to all Finns, but the party’s members have their own opinions about everything else too. When you do one of those election tests on the Internet you don’t get straight line of one party, then another, then another. Instead you get maybe a member of Kok, then PS, KD, PS, M11, PP, Kok, KD, SDP, etc. The candidates who actually think almost identically have ended up in different parties, when they have compromised and given weight to slightly different goals. Ryhmäkuri (party discipline?) is actually against the law. In Finland people vote for the candidate, not for the party, and it’s more democratic when individual MPs vote like they think is right, not like their leader thinks.

  6. Seppo

    Interesting discussion. Enrique, I still have to ask one thing. Who are allowed to call themselves natives or indigenious and why? In your own words, please.

  7. Seppo

    Yes, that’s the official deal. But why? There isn’t a shred of evidence of Sámi being here before proto-Finns.

    The Sámi have a terrible history of being oppressed and stuff, but that is not the topic. It’s a she term indigenous is nowadays a political tool.

    • Enrique

      Seppo: I believe the consensus is that Finns are not indigenous like, say, the Inuits or Mapuches of Chile. But I do believe that identifying yourself as an “indigenous group” is fooling around with racism. Why? Because that classification is used to exclude others. Throw away all those eugenics books you may have in your mind and try to understand that identity is inclusive, flexible and open to “others.” We are ALL influenced by each other. We all commit “cultural plagiarism.”

  8. JusticeDemon

    A sustained traditional livelihood and culture is also part of the definition.

    The proto-Finns are extinct. The Sámi are not.

    A history of oppression by a nation State can also be an element in determining the status of an indigenous people.

    It can be hard for racists to see past the purely biological aspect when identifying a people in this sense.

    Hope this helps.

  9. Tiwaz

    False, proto-Finns are not extinct. They have become modern Finns. Lineage culturally and biologically is undeniable. Even if allegedly different group of Lapps (not to be mistaken with Sami who are called such in error) has been assimilated into Finns as known today.
    Just like Sami are not like their ancestors.

    Thus, Finns are indigenous.

    -“Throw away all those eugenics books you may have in your mind and try to understand that identity is inclusive, flexible and open to “others.” We are ALL influenced by each other. We all commit “cultural plagiarism.””

    False again. You should stop making such offensive remarks like “eugenics” if you want to receive polite responses. Also, I spot that you are still failing to address insulting behaivor of people you at least partially agree with. What does this tell about your ability to be impartial?

    You know, racists would not interfere with actions of other racists in their “own” camp.

    Or are you exluding people here?

    First of all, identity is not inclusive and it is not open for all. Any “membership” which is open without any requirement of adjusting to norms and principles of group is worthless. That is why concept of “we are all humans kumbaya” fails.

    You cannot be freemason without giving at least apparance of acceptance and respect of rules.
    Same way you cannot be included in any community until you show sufficient apparance of respect and adherence to rules, norms and traditions of the community.

    Integration and adjustment comes first, then comes inclusion.

    Enrique, here is a little test for you. Declare yourself to be of somali identity and go meet completely unknonw group of somalis and demand to be included on those basis.

    It might be rather awakening experience to you.

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