Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from May 13, 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 a tabloids 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.

This tabloid ad below warns readers that mafia gangs are making their way into Finland as refugees. Back in the 1990s, the term refugee, or pakolainen in Finnishwas seen in a very negative light. Some Finns back then could not even make the distinction between refugee and foreigner. They were seen as one group.

As a social illness, xenophobia and racism leave open wounds and scars on society. We don’t have to search far to find them because they exist right under our noses. Xenophobia and racism leave lots of witnesses. The only question is if we want to hear their evidence in society’s witness box.

*Migration Institute archive.  

  1. D4R

    Thank you Migrant tales for considering to publish the tabloids, i can’t wait to read them. I was a little child when these tabloids were published, and knowing that, these tabloids wrote negative stuff about us just saddens me.

  2. Peter of Finland

    Sadly some people still can’t distinguish between a migrant (or foreigner as stated in the above) and a refugee or asylum seeker.

    The overtly racist views of the media back in the 80s and 90s informed the views of many people and ingrained in them certain negative stereotypes of the other that are extremely hard to shake.

    Only by meeting newcomers on a day-to-day basis (with sustained interaction) will such view be discovered to be false. I encourage newcomers of ALL backgrounds to get out there and change the perspective of the other that was spoon-fed to the majority in the past.

    Newcomers MUST help people to see dfference for what it really is: that is, the celebration of our shared humanity.

    The element of our society from which hatred is spewed should NOT be allowed to define our country. We ALL should take a stand together!

    I thank Enrique for his tireless efforts to bring about such changes. Thank you!

  3. joku

    Thanks Enrique, finally we can feel that Finland has really come a long way!

    This 20-year-old flashback helps put racism in modern Finland in proper perspective. You can see how the general attitude has profoundly changed (and yes OF COURSE I know there still are people who are bigoted, but now they are a tiny minority, not a majority!)

    .Although Finland is still in many places fairly narrowly monocultural, still in the big picture the nation is much more globally-minded and aware nowadays.

    Glad to see that prgress has been made 🙂