Cultural diversity in Finland: A letter from Ida, Abdulah and Joseph

by , under Enrique

COMMENT: Migrant Tales has always been interested in publishing the experiences of Finns with multicultural backgrounds. The letter by “Ida” below is one of the first we ever published on this blog in September 2008.

There are others ones aboutSomali-Finn Abdulah, Living in no-man’s land, and Joseph, What being Finnish means to me.

While all of these people come from different backgrounds, their experiences in Finland are pretty much the same since all three of them have had to struggle with racism and rejection.

The question isn’t whether racism is alive and well in our society, but what must we do to challenge this social ill that threatens us.


By “Ida”

I am an immigrant. Sometimes I feel so frustrated in Finland that I just wanted to ‘give it back to the society’. Hence the crime. People like me (hypothetically) acting out of frustration. If the mentality here is that no foreigners are good and only a tiny fraction of people like Juha, the social worker, understands and/or appreciates diversity it doesn’t help much because the general society isn’t open=minded. I would even call racist.

If a person like Juha comes to ask me how do I like it in Finland, I wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings. A guy who works so hard for us. What do you expect me to say? that I am so frustrated that I can leave this second to another place where I feel more comfortable?

I would reverse those numbers. 95% prejudiced and 4% nonchalant, 0.5% don’t care, 0.001% welcoming (and the rest 0.499% lost in statistics).

Good welfare system is like a double-edged sword for immigrants. We are taken care of but we are also blamed for using them. And so you have to be ever-thankful that you are here, Finland. Because you are given shelter and food, now you can take this mental abuse in the form of institutionalized racism.

Any CONSTRUCTIVE comments?

  1. Farang

    That person is a pure racist. That is an example case of immigrants who should never be allowed to cross our borders. Arrogant, unthankful, who justifies crimes with frustration.

    If any Finn would talk similar way about immigrants, you would judge them as racists.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Farang, you are only offering us a knee-jerk reaction without reading the posts.

      Do you think it is “arrogant and unthankful” for a person to speak out against injustice?

      I think it is brave and exemplary behavior. I hope that their example catches on.