Yesterday was a dark black day but a blessed one even if it brought so much sadness. A racist couldn’t kill who I am and yet again, like so many times before in my life, God helped me to overcome a very difficult situation. For you racists out there, and those who support you, even those who are racist but yet don’t know it, even those of you who are racist but are still in denial, let me tell you the following: I can hear your thoughts and hate.
Here’s what happened to me at work a day before Vappu, or Labor Day:
I began work on Tuesday in the morning and I knew that the following day would be Vappu. I don’t need to prove to anyone how good of a worker I am. I’m just as good as any of my Finnish coworkers. Even so, I still don’t understand how people can be so cruel and rude to anyone before a day like Vappu.
My coworkers were in a festive mood and already partying in the kitchen and I heard their laughs all the way from there. Their joy brought me to them. It was wonderful to see my people in such a happy mood. There was food on the kitchen table: cakes, sweets and fruits.
To my surprise, the Vappu they were celebrating a day before was not for me because I was not like them. I’m a foreigner. It was hard blow being excluded. Oh my God, I said to myself, how could they hurt me in such a way?
It was clear that they didn’t want to be with me. Their clear “you’re not one of us” look and their laughs told me that loud and clearly.
When I returned to the kitchen a little later for my lunch break, I saw them eating ice cream on the other side of the room. It was the same message over again: This ice cream is for us and not for you.
How did I know?
Because nobody in the room was considerate enough to ask me to join them.
It’s not the first time I’ve been in these types of situations. Only 1% of all the Finns I have met have accepted me and been kind to me.
Sitting as I usually do in the kitchen and eating my lunch by myself, I was careful not place my food on the table because I didn’t want their food to touch mine. Everybody could see I was in the room but no one cared to notice.
I finished eating lunch and went back to work.
Even while I was working, nobody called me to join my fellow coworkers in the kitchen. I felt that I had turned into a ghost before them and Vappu. I didn’t exist.
When I left work I wanted to scream at the top of my voice but where and to whom? In the market? On the street? In shops? At Lidl?
I’ve had it with you Finns! I’ve lived here for five years and I give up!
Believe it or not, I’m actually happy that I gave up on the Finns because I won’t waste my time anymore on false expectations.
Enough is enough!
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