KOTOUTUMINEN #13: There is no good Finnish word for inclusion just like with integration before

by , under Enrique Tessieri

For decades, Finland has been such a far-flung country that it still does not have any good word for inclusion, never mind any willingness to promote it to newcomers. The same happened to the word “integration,” which became part of the Finnish language in the late-1990s.

Those were the good old days when foreigners and minorities were excluded and how white Finnish society monopolized all social, political, and economic power.

In Finland, we too often confuse these two words: equality (yhdenvertaisuus) and equity (oikeudenmukaisuus). Without equity, there is no social equality. Source: MF.

I would go as far as to state that a good Finnish term for inclusion does not exist because outsiders are expected to be indefinite outsiders.

A word like “inclusion” reveals volumes about Finnish society and how we see Others and keep them excluded. If you want people to integrate or be equal members of society, Finland should promote inclusion instead of integration.

But that is a tall order. By promoting inclusion, you are effectively giving real power, whereas, by integration, people accept the status quo.

See also:

*Kotoutiminen is the Finnish term for integration. It came about in the late-1990s because there was no such term in the Finnish language.

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