Seriously, #HelsinginSanomat, let it go!

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Finland’s biggest daily Helsingin Sanomat published a story about a Finnish woman who impersonated a Japanese tourist asking dumb questions to Finns. The show was so popular that it even won a Venla award, a Finnish version of the USAmerican Emmy Award.

That was in 2014.

Why would Helsingin Sanomat, a newspaper with vast resources and power, like to commemorate a Finn that impersonates a Japanese tourist? What’s the joke, and isn’t this racist and embarrassing that a daily wouldn’t even ask if this show is offensive to the Asian community in Finland?

Is this racist? Sure it is because it spreads stereotypes of the Japanese. It is also shameful considering that Finland’s most prominent daily still publishes these types of stories in 2019 uncritically.

In the Helsingin Sanomat story, there is no mention if this is racist and if it insults Asian communities of Finland. Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

One may ask why such stories ever get past the copy editors and why no one at the daily asked if these types of stories were ever ok?

Helsingin Sanomat recently celebrated its 130h anniversary. See any people of color or minorities, even if about 16% of Helsinki’s population are not white Finns? Source: Helsingin Sanomat.

The answer to that question could probably be found in the picture above, where there isn’t a single visible minority on the Helsingin Sanomat staff, even if about 16% of Helsinki’s population comprises of migrants and non-white Finns.

Seriously, #Finland, let it go!