Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from December 28, 1992

by , under Enrique

Migrant Tales will begin to publish Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how they reflected some people’s xenophobic and racist views.  

We apologize to readers for the racist and xenophobic content of the material. Our intention is not to spread these social ills but to exposed it.

One of the good things that former President Mauno Koivisto did during his term (1982-92) was the long-overdue recognition of the Ingrians as part of the Finnish ethnic family.  The first question that many asked at the time was who are the Ingrians? They are Finnish-speakers who were settled in the St Petersberg area and surroundings when Finland was a part of the Swedish Empire (1150-1809).

The cold war had buried these people from our collective memory.

During World War 2, or the Continuation War (1941-44), many Ingrians fought in the Finnish army against the Soviet Union. After the war ended, Finland was required to return an estimated 55,000 Ingrians back to the former Soviet Union.  Some of these ended up in Siberia.

Despite the wrongdoings of history, Ilta-Sanomat showed how some were making money off the Ingrians at 1,000-mark daily rates for dwellings offered to the newly arrived immigrants.

While I did not have access to the story, JusticeDemon and Joku cleared the matter up for me. Thank you.

*Migration Institute archive. 

  1. Riiko

    Mr. Tessieri. And the racism beeing where? If some criminal made huge money with the scheme involving these people should the newspaper not tell this? Should they only publish crimes involving Finns?

    Grow up Mr. Tessieri.

  2. justicedemon


    Do you have any more details of the story behind this Ilta-Sanomat billboard?

    My immediate reaction is that it probably refers to illegal profiteering by unscrupulous landlords seeking to exploit the ignorance of their newly-arrived immigrant tenants. We should bear in mind that statutory rent controls still applied in the early 1990s, and that tenants could apply to the housing court for rent reviews and retroactive damages where rents were found to be excessive.

    This was also one of the illegal cheap labour scams used by some employers to misrepresent the salaries of their migrant workers in work permit applications. By greatly inflating the rent for job-related accommodation, it was possible to offer the threshold remuneration level that the Ministry of Labour required before issuing a work permit for a certain occupation (i.e. usually the collective agreement rate). The declared salary was nevertheless fictitious, because the employer would deduct the inflated rent from the employee’s salary at source. In at least a few cases there was even a clause in the employment contract requiring the employee to live in the rented dwelling concerned. Even without such a clause, it was difficult for immigrants to find alternative accommodation.

    Concerning use of language on the billboard, the term inkeriläinen both reveals and conceals. The full expression inkerinsuomalainen says more about the target group of the immigration policy concerned.

    • Migrant Tales

      –Do you have any more details of the story behind this Ilta-Sanomat billboard?

      JusticeDemon, I don’t have the original story only the tabloid ad. Let me do a little bit of searching…

  3. Farang

    I can only draw a conclusion that Enrique doesn’t understand Finnish. This whole blog entry seems like it’s based on incorrect translation:

    1) “Rajua bisnestä” -> “violent business”. That’s totally wrong
    2) “inkeriläisten asunnoilla” -> “going on at an Ingrian’s home”. That’s totally wrong also

    But I think you speak Finnish very well and you know what that tabloid ad is about, but you just intentionally want to give the wrong impression. How low can a man go in driving his own agenda, which in your case is trying to slag Finns and Finland. Shame on you.

  4. joku

    Your translation “violent business was going on at an Ingrian’s home” is not correct. It’s not a good idea to distort facts- even if your intentions are good. And that of course refers to anyone trying to further their own agenda.

    • Migrant Tales

      Joku, thank you for pointing that out. Please translate it for me.

  5. Joku

    “raju bisnes” does not suggest “violence” as such – I would read that to mean business activity where someone makes a lot of money, hard bargaining etc. And “raju bisnes inkeriläisten asunnoilla” means that this business somehow involved Ingrians’ apartments/dwellings/homes – ie someone made money WITH the homes, not IN them.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Joku, you may be right. I read it too literally and in a semi-rush to work. Thank you.

  6. Seppo

    “My immediate reaction is that it probably refers to illegal profiteering by unscrupulous landlords seeking to exploit the ignorance of their newly-arrived immigrant tenants.”

    JD is right, this is exactly the case. Reading it carefully and knowing that Ingrian Finns always needed an apartment before they could move in to Finland makes this obvious.

    I don’t entirely understand this search of racism from everywhere so eagerly that there isn’t even time to read a headline properly.

    • Migrant Tales

      Thank you Seppo. I think we got this one sorted out.

      Taking advantage of our own group is stooping pretty low. But you are right, not everything is racism although we shouldn’t let these tabloids off the hook for what they wrote about other groups in the 1990s.

  7. justicedemon


    Ingrian Finns always needed an apartment before they could move to Finland

    That’s not really true. The requirement to have accommodation arranged in Finland before arrival was introduced at a relatively late stage, and only then as a lower-order administrative rule with no specific statutory basis of any kind.

    It’s important to bear in mind that the first legislation specifically governing the Ingrian migration programme took effect on 1 August 1996 (amendment no 511 of 1996 enacting section 18 a of the Aliens Act on the conditions for granting a residence permit to persons of Finnish ethnic origin from the territory of the former USSR). This was more than six years after President Koivisto’s famous “invitation” (10 April 1990), and the early history of the Ingrian migration programme was a clear demonstration that Presidential diktat is no substitute for proper parliamentary preparation of public policy.

    If the history of this mess interests you, then I suggest that you take a look at the government bill for that amendment. It’s only a couple of pages.

  8. Farang

    Migrant Tales. Now that your errors were corrected, what’s the point of this whole post?

    And does it make sense that you make these posts about Finns being racist and all by analysing the tabloid ads which are in Finnish language, which you clearly don’t understand? The sentences in those are many times short and with sloppy translation might give an impression which is far from truth. And this post (original, which is now edited) just proves that.

    Or is it so that “never mind the real truth, as long as it supports my agenda?”

    • Migrant Tales

      Farang, one thing about being responsible for what you write is admitting mistakes. Do you have enough guts to do the same, especially with your double democratic standards?

      Think of the mistake you make every time you push an urban tale and argue democratic double standards for Finland?

      The more you hit us the more we grow. That, Farang, is the history and magic of Migrant Tales.

  9. Seppo

    OK, JusticeDemon, thanks. I hadn’t read any legislation concerning this matter, the apartment thing had just come up when I was reading about the Ingrian Finns. Sometimes they’ve had, even recently, adds in newspapers looking for flats specifically for Ingrians.

    Funny how the legislation came so late even though the Ingrians started moving in quite quickly after Koivisto’s invitation.

  10. Farang

    Migrant Tales, I don’t have double democratic standards. It’s just simply same and equal treatment for all citizens. If immigrant is not a citizen, then he should not have any more rights than a tourist.

    • Migrant Tales

      Farang, your double standards shine through. We have glasses that spot red herrings. Your arguments are red herrings of something highly worrying about what kind of a society you want to build.

  11. Farang

    Migrant Tales. My opinions don’t become red herring just because you say so and can’t handle them. I am not suggesting double standard, just one. No society can work in anyway if it accepts and lets in everyone who just wants to come. If we go by your logic, 10 million somalis could just move here and immediately by democracy vote against Finns and change the rules for the whole country. That is insane and you know it, so why can’t you handle my opinion? We can’t give all the same rights and benefits to just everybody who crosses borders.

    • Migrant Tales

      –If we go by your logic, 10 million somalis could just move here and immediately by democracy vote against Finns and change the rules for the whole country.

      Seriously, do you think that 10 million Somalis would invade Finland? Maybe in your Finnish xenophobic view of the world (very common in some Finns due to our history with Russia) this is a scenario but I can assure you it’s a ludicrous claim.

      –We can’t give all the same rights and benefits to just everybody who crosses borders.

      Farang, caught you again! Another red herring. What you are saying here, in fact, is that we should not offer the same rights. You ready to sacrifice our Nordic values such as social equality to implement your plan. If you ever implemented it, it would be a Pyrrhic victory.

  12. Farang

    Migrant Tales

    I’m sorry, but I can only feel sorry for you. You are so lost. You seem to always miss the obvious point. Ofcourse 10 million somalis won’t come here, that was an example to illustrate how your logic fails. You could switch that figure (10 millions) to just any figure and then think if the situation would be realistic and acceptable? Where do you draw the line?

    And about giving same rights. Why is that so hard to understand? Do you really think that if I jump to the plane and go to which ever country I should immediately get ALL the same benefits and rights in that country as all the citizens in that country? Great, then why do we even have borders between countries? Why do we even have countries, let’s just all live happily in this one and same country called Earth 🙂 That would really would, wouldn’t it? I can’t believe some people are so naive.

    • Migrant Tales

      Farang, no need to feel sorry for me. I am a big boy and can take care of myself. I can stand on my own two feet.

      We have laws in this countries (you should acquaint yourself with them) and stop throwing fear scenarios on us. Certainly we control who comes to this country but once they have a legal residence, they are members of our community. Is that too difficult for you to understand?

  13. Farang

    Migrant Tales, let’s just agree to disagree on that one 🙂 You draw the line there: legal residence is enough to be a full member of community. I just draw the line further, I’d require a citizenship before being a full member of community.

    And I understand there is no point in arguing about this or trying to convince each other, since this is a matter of opinion, or values, and seems that my values are a bit harder than yours. I recognise you as more human person than myself 🙂