By Enrique Tessieri
Those who play down the impact and poison of racism and indifference in our society know nothing of the plight of Multicultural Finns. Who are they?
A Multicultural Finn is any person who may have grown up in Finland but one or both of his or her parents were born in another country. They can also be native Finns with Finnish parents who grew up in foreign countries.
Like any group that grew up in two or more cultures, prejudice and society’s indifference have been felt especially hard by them.
Groups that have declared war on Finland’s cultural diversity, like many MPs of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, associations like Suomen Sisu and others, impact Multicultural Finns especially hard with their message of indifference.
Whenever these groups point out that Finns should not marry foreigners, or that Finland should remain “white,” they are by the same token denying Multicultural Finns of their rightful and long-overdue acceptance by society.
Acceptance by them of Multicultural Finns would be a death-blow to their myopic view of Finnishness and who has the right to belong to it.
Multicultural Finns are one of the most disenfranchised groups in this country. In school some face constant ridicule and exclusion not only by some of their classmates but with the help of their teachers’ silence.
The damage hits their self-esteem because they are denied a part of their identity, or both in many cases.
They are eternal outsiders due to society’s indifference and denial of their history and identity.
Their acceptance, however, will grow in Finland during this century as our society becomes more culturally diverse.
Why do I write about them and why do I care?
Because I am one of them. We are the future of Finland today.