Finnish primary school books still depict foreigners stereotypically

by , under Enrique

It is quite incredible that one of the best school systems in the world still portrays people from different cultures in a stereotypic manner. Eeva Rinna, a doctoral researcher from Tampere University, claims that textbooks in primary school still depict Africans as bongo players, Cubans as happy and sociable and Germans as hard-working, reports YLE in English

”In Africa people are playing bongo drums and maybe wearing loincloths. Finland is embodied by Christmas elves.  This is interesting… this Australian. He has a loincloth and traditional instruments, but he’s western-looking,” said Rinna.

Considering that Finland has done a lot to bridge the gender gap between men and women, it’s odd that we’re still seeing in primary school books stereotypical descriptions of other cultures that only serve to fuel prejudice.

One of the matters that Rinne noted in such textbooks was that Russia is often portrayed as a threat to Finland.

“In geography books Russia is almost invisible in terms of Finland. Russia is not necessarily mentioned at all as Finland’s neighboring country,” she said.

It pretty easy to find the source of our present-day prejudices.

Kuvankaappaus 2013-8-12 kello 12.26.22


Read full story here.
Formerly Finnish children were taught the n-word at school.
This picture was used in elementary school books up to the 1970s. It says that the n-word’s face doesn’t whiten no matter how much it is washed.