It is sad, even unfortunate, that some of our future political leaders of the National Coalition Party (NCP) see Finland’s ever-growing cultural diversity as a threat and the adaption of these newcomers and their children as an ethnocentric one-way affair.
One of the first matters that these youth leaders would learn about the over 1.2 million Finns that emigrated from this country between 1860 and 1999 is that they were keen on maintaining in faraway lands their roots and ties with this country. They did this by establishing newspapers, printing presses, associations and even getting involved in labor movements in countries such as the United States.
Migrant Tales has written a lot about the Susanna Koski and the Youth League of the NCP. Read full story here.
If we look up to those Finnish immigrants for not forgetting their cultural and linguistic roots, why are NCP and Perussuomalaiset (PS)* youth leaders hostile to migrants in this country who want to do the same?
Migrant Tales spoke briefly on the phone with Susanna Koski, the head of the Youth League of the NCP, which listed as two of its political aims in 2014 to do away with ethnic agitation laws and the ombudsman for minorities office. The Youth League of the NCP will meet on November 7-9 to draft a new set of goals for 2015, according to Koski.
“No comment,” she said concerning her stand on the ethnic agitation law and whether it should be included in the 2015 program.
It is surprising that youth leaders of Finland’s largest and third-largest political bloc in parliament, the NCP and PS, respectively, see cultural diversity as a threat.
Both the youth leagues of the NCP and PS lobbied to demote Finland’s second-official language, Swedish, to elective status at schools.
Meanwhile, the ministry of education and culture announced that it will grant the youth leagues of the NCP and PS 650,000 and under 30,000 euros, respectively, in aid, according to YLE.
One of the reasons why the Youth League of the PS was granted such a small sum of money was because their values concerning multiculturalism, or cultural diversity, wasn’t in line with state policy. The same question could be asked of the Youth League of the NCP and if its position on multiculturalism are in conflict with our official values.
The Youth League of the PS will appeal the matter.
If there is a factor that threatens to retard Finland’s progress as a modern Nordic welfare state in this century, it’s the provincial and intolerant world view of youth leagues of the NCP and PS.
Not understanding the role of immigration, integration and the need to integrate and make our society more inclusive to newcomers is like shooting oneself in the leg big time.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.