Posts Tagged: Immigrants

Authorities should look at factors like social exclusion, third culture and school bullying for what happened in Munich

As the dust settles over what happened in Munich on Friday, when Ali Sonboly took the lives of nine people and injured tens of others, there are a lot of questions that are taking our eyes off the ball. Instead of talking about “Islamic terrorism,” why are we not talking about some other motives that could have played important roles in the tragedy?

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UPDATE (October 6): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. October 6 A2 Pakolais-ilta (YLE) What was wrong with this television debate? Even if one of the hosts on the program was Wali Hashi, it was

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Finland’s attitude and experience of cultural diversity lag thirty years behind other European countries

Watching YLE’s A-studio, which was aired Wednesday, is a prime example why we are still far away in Finland of having an inclusive society that is fair to everyone irrespective of their background. Spotting the red herrings in the debate on such a talk show isn’t easy but not impossible. If National Coalition Party MP

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Using the term “immigrant background” in a bigoted country

In a country like Finland, where even politicians can make political careers with their bigotry, what impact does the label “immigrant background” have in reinforcing intolerance and prejudices?  This question is an important one because, like racism, the label rarely if ever affects white Finns. The tragic rape of a woman this week by a group

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UPDATE (Jan. 24): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Fame of poor journalism

Migrant Tales’2015 Hall of Fame of poor journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.  Jan. 24 Suomi ei vedä maahanmuuttajia (Helsingin Sanomat) What was left out? Today’s editorial on Helsingin Sanomat headlined, “Finland doesn’t attract migrants,” defends the country’s tightening of family

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Sweden Democrats openly attack cultural diversity – will the PS of Finland follow their example?

In a clear attempt to cash in on the anti-immigration sentiment, Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder said that minorities like the Saami could never be Swedes and was willing to pay immigrants to leave the country, reports The Local. The mere suggestion that Sweden is only a country of white Swedes reveals the racist

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Time warp Fazer of Finland: Stereotyping Mediterranean “gigolos” to sell salt licorice

I was surprised to see Fazer, a Finnish foodservice company, advertising salt licorice on television with the help of a 1980s stereotype of a Southern European gigolo  who speaks Finnish with a me-Tarzan-you-Jane accent.  Migrant Tales sent an email to Fazer Monday morning about the ad but never got a reply. I did, however, get in touch

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Four in five Swedes express concern over xenophobia

Swedes are more worried about the rise of xenophobia in their country than the ever-growing number of immigrants, according to The Local, citing a study by the SOM Institute of Gothenburg University. The survey revealed that while 49% expressed concern over immigration levels, 78% were worried about the rise of xenophobia.  Read full story here.

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Migrant Tales (March 21, 2013): Some immigrants adapt so well to Finland that they even parrot the language of the racist

Intolerance doesn’t only originate from the majority group, but is alive and kicking among some immigrants as well. White immigrants may have prejudices against their fellow black ones, gays against heterosexuals, religion x against religion y.  In sum, there’s a lot of intolerance promoted out there that reveals itself in the most surprising places.  Read

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Dana: Why doesn’t President Sauli Niinistö care about immigrants? What’s his stand on racism?

Dana Finland is a small country but a very proud one about its political and legal system. Some Finns believe they are, however, so different from other people on this planet and they can’t explain why. For example…in Finland the law functions like magic; they believe that the law is so comprehensive that no-one in

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Migrants’ life in Finland: Some endure intolerance better than others – some hit back, others don’t

The ocean is a desert, with it’s life underground And a perfect disguise above. Under the cities lies, a heart made of ground, But the human will give no love. A Horse with No name, America Intolerance, bigotry, racism, prejudice and a list of other social ills strike their victims in different ways. Some of

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Migrant Tales Literary: Foreigner

By Musimenta Dansila you call me in your eyes a foreigner I am to mother earth are we not all? as a foreigner I stand declare mother earth to be mine as a foreigner you despise me you segregate me you scorn me but isn’t mother earth for all? as a foreigner I refuse to

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Does Finland promote two-way or one-way adaption of immigrants?

Our integration law promotes two-way adaption as opposed to assimilation, which is a one-way process. Section 17 of the Finnish Constitution states that each person living in this country has the right to maintain and develop their own language and culture. What do these two important laws mean in practice and how are they applied? Sensible Finns

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Why is the immigration debate in Finland so distorted?

Here’s a question that needs serious debating in Finland: If refugees account for a minority of all immigrants, why do they get so much attention in the media? Why do anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) constantly speak of them and give us the impression that all of Finland’s immigrants are mostly refugees and Muslims

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The Stockholm riots reveal in the raw our prejudices and loathing for cultural diversity

Apart from being a wake-up call to ever-growing social exclusion, discrimination and outright intolerance that is alive and kicking in Sweden, the riots in the northern suburb of Stockholm have revealed in Finland our prejudices and loathing for cultural diversity.  The Local writes: “Stockholm is not on fire. Let’s get that clear immediately.” Read full

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City of Helsinki shouldn’t contract companies exploiting foreign workers

By Zuzeeko Tegha Abeng Foreign workers in the cleaning services sector in Finland face exploitation and abuse from employers and sometimes from customers. The authorities, including city councils that award cleaning contracts to companies that violate employment rules and collective agreements share the blame. Image: The Copenhagen Post According to a Yle report, work safety inspections conducted in

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Fighting racism in Finland the Ricky Ghansah way

Ricky Ghansah is a young African who was being harassed by a “super racist”at a Helsinki bus stop. On entering the bus, Ghansah noticed that the man had forgotten at home his wallet and bus pass. He went to the bus driver and paid the man’s ticket.  Read Facebook thread here. The man, who had

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Assaulted Helsinki, Finland, black bus driver: Immigrants are treated unfairly by the police and law

Ali Dahir, the black bus driver who was assaulted Tuesday in Helsinki by a white Finn, claims that the police and the law treat foreigners differently from Finns. The bus driver, who is a Finnish citizen and a native of Somalia, was attacked while at work and suffered concussions. While the police and government officials

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Migrant Tales Literary: Boycott تحریم

By Dana نه رفیق و خانواده                  چهره ها پر از افاده نه در و نه پنجره، راه        مهر وموم و قفل و هم چاه نه کلید و رحمت و نور           همه کس بگویدت زور تازیانه می زند هار                 دیو زشت موذی

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Migrant Tales (November 28, 2011): Who is Finland’s Uncle Tom?

Comment: This blog entry was first published on November 28, 2011. For some reason, it’s impossible to access this posting from the old Migrant Tales site.  I have reposted it on www.migranttales.net. _____________________ Is there such a concept as Uncle Tom in Finland? @HelsinkiObs helped me out with this question: “It’s Setä Tuomo (older style)

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Some immigrants adapt so well to Finland that they even parrot the language of the racist

Intolerance doesn’t only originate from the majority group, but is alive and kicking among some immigrants as well. White immigrants may have prejudices against their fellow black ones, gays against heterosexuals, religion x against religion y.  In sum, there’s a lot of intolerance promoted out there that reveals itself in the most surprising places.  One

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How minority athletes rise to victory – Interview with Star Athletics Winner Nooralotta Neziri

Çelen Oben and Sheila Riikonen  In Finland where finance and politics are no longer barriers to achieve star status in sports, what challenges do minorities face? Do female athletes, persons with disabilities, or those coming from immigrant backgrounds have equal opportunities in Finnish society? You can visit Nooralotta Neziri official website here. Nooralotta Neziri just won

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Pia Grochowski: The other side of ethnic cuisine

By Pia Grochwoski This month Six Degrees magazine ran multiple features on the theme of ethnic food and restaurants, “Dining with an Ethnic Twist: The popularity of ethnic restaurants in Finland continues to grow swiftly”. The proportion of ethnic restaurants in Finland continues to grow, making up 20% of the restaurant sector in Finland. It

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What does Finland’s integration law reveal about our society and expectations?

A good question we can ask about Finland’s integration act is what it reflects about our views and expectations of newcomers. Can any law integrate people effectively?   If you want to speak of one- or two-way adaption, one should ask some of Finland’s oldest minorities like the Roma and Saami what memories such a

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A cartoon that reveals a truth about integration and diversity in Europe

Sometimes when I read about how immigrants, their children and grandchildren are treated in some European countries, this cartoon comes to mind.  After the first warning and after you understand fully the but after the ” we’re a very tolerant society…” line,  many will encounter the wall of  institutional racism, the final icing of your integration cake

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Ajankohtainen kakkonen: Four immigrant candidates

There’s an interesting news documentary this week on Ajankohtainen kakkonen about immigrant candidates taking part in the October 28 municipal elections. One matter that bothered me about the program was the use of the word mamu by the reporters when referring to the candidates. Mamu is the shortened word for maahanmuuttajia, or immigrant. There are mixed opinions

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Pasta macaroni: a 1-2-euro meal in Finland

Asylum seekers and immigrants are very resourceful people when it comes to stretching their small allowances. Pasta macaroni is a common meal among some immigrants and doesn’t cost very much to make. You can feed yourself for only 1-2 euros.  Taking into account the high cost of living and low allowances that asylum seekers and

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A-Studio’s immigrant rape report: A prejudiced storm in a tea cup

An A-Studio report on the “high” amount of rape convictions of foreigners in Finland is not only another unfortunate example of arbitrary reporting by the Finnish media, but reinforces the perception of how hate groups in this country use crime statistics against immigrants.   Migrant Tales encountered another similar story about foreign rape cases in April

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Sweden convicts Peter Mangs for Malmö immigrant murders

A Malmö District Court convicted Peter Mangs, 40, of two counts of murder and four attempted murders, according to the Guardian. The man, who is a Swede of Finnish descent, killed his first victim in 2003 and terrorized Malmö during 2009-10. All of his victims were immigrants. Mangs will undergo psychiatric evaluation before his sentencing

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Migrant Tales Literary:ما بی من شد We was without i

By Dana چشمه اشکم خدا خشکیده شد       جمله شبهایم خدا پوسیده شد The river of my tears oh GOD was seared All my nights oh GOD were rotten آن دلاور یار پاک خاطرم          در نگاه عاشقم ژولیده شد That brave holy friend of my memories Unkempt in my lover’s look بال و پر ده ای

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Migrant Tales Literary: Poetic essay for tomatoes and cucumbers

By Dana در دام اگرافتادی،  جنگ مکن         بیهوده به جان خود وما رشک مکن If u fall in a trap, don’t fight back              Vanity and envy won’t help you to be free آشی که تو خود پزی، اول تو خوری          پس بر سر خود مزن، برو، خشم مکن The porridge u cook , first

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Migrant Tales Literary: Summer blooms in Finland*

Growing up and being a Finn in the last century was especially tough. If wars and conflicts didn’t do you in, it was the option of being an immigrant and living with that near-constant yearning and separation in faraway lands. Between 1860 and1999, over 1.2 million Finns emigrated mainly to North America and Sweden. I

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Have the PS and MP Tossavainen of Finland ever heard of the Non-Discrimination Act?

If the future of Finland were ever left to the populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, it’s quite certain that this country would be doomed. The ones that would suffer the most would be immigrants and visible minorities. Outright discrimination would be  the rule. The PS, who should know better, sent a formal request to the council

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Is Aamulehti’s claim of high rape convictions by foreigners in Finland correct?

Thirty-four percent of convicted rape crimes committed during 2006-09 in Finland were by foreigners, according to Tampere-based Aamulehti. What is surprising, however, is that Aamulehti chose not to mention 2009 and 2010 suspected rape crimes, which totaled 141 (27.5% of all rape cases) and 109 (26%) in 2010 and 2011, respectively, according to Hannu Niemi of the Justice Ministry.

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Foreign Student front cover from April 1981

Migrant Tales publishes on and off stuff from the past like magazine stories and Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish). The Foreign Student was a short-lived but courageous newsletter of the Foreign Student Club of Helsinki. The humble publication existed from January 1981 to January 1982 and lasted 11 issues. It was probably the first-ever publication in Finland that spoke out critically against Finland’s then non-existent and arbitrary immigration policy.

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Stateless persons do not have the right to open a bank account in Finland

Here is a pretty odd case that I encountered Monday when I went to Nordea bank in Mikkeli to open an account for a stateless person. After a few questions, the bank employee said that the person needs a valid passport to open an account at that bank. But if on that passport it reads “his/her identity cannot be confirmed,” the person can never open an account at Nordea.

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La Prórroga: 500 euros para desmontar mitos racistas

El anuncio salió en el diario local La Garrotxa y contaba con el respaldo del abogado Joan Capdevila. Es decir, quien quisiera comprobar que el anuncio iba en serio podía llamar a este despacho en Olot, y si las pruebas aprobadas eran irrefutables, el abogado se encargaría de pagarle su premio. El diario La Garrotxa, a su vez, se comprometía a publicar la historia -con las pruebas conseguidas por el ganador- siempre respetando el anonimato del participante.

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The Finnish media and Länsiväylä should follow Migrant Tales

Migrant Tales was way ahead of the ball of the Finnish media when it scooped the ethnic backgrounds of the violent killing that occurred on Friday February 17 after a naturalized Finn who was born in Somalia went to his high school prom. Länsiväylä claims incorrectly that the police have now confirmed the ethnic backgrounds of the victim and the suspect, who is a white Finn.

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Forgiving our past enemies and mending relations with new ones in Finland

I have never understood why some Finns are capable of expressing so much hatred for religious groups like Muslims, Somalis, blacks, and especially the Romany minority and Russians. Even if the Continuation War (1941-44) ended 67 years ago, some of us still sound as if we were in those trenches waiting for the enemy to attack.

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Monitori: Maahanmuuttajista vain viidennes löytää vaaliuurnille

Maahanmuuttajien äänestysaktiivisuus on pysynyt Suomessa alhaisena siitä asti, kun ulkomaan kansalaiset saivat ensimmäisen kerran äänestää kunnallisvaaleissa vuonna 1992. ”On huolestuttavaa, jos äänestämättä jättäminen ei perustu päätökseen vaan tiedonpuutteeseen tai syrjäytymiseen”, toteaa oikeusministeriön erikoissuunnittelija Niklas Wilhelmsson.

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CEO Whalroos claims the social welfare system marginalizes Finns

Björn Wahlroos, chairman of the board of banks Sampo Group, Nordea and forest group UPM-Kymnmene, was quoted on Sunday’s Helsingin Sanomat as stating that the present social welfare state system is the main culprit for marginalizing Finns. He said that outgoing President Tarja Halonen had put a dent in the credibility of the executive branch by polarizing Finnish society.

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Labor immigrants in Finland: Who exploits whom?

Remember when some politicians pointed the finger accusingly at labor immigrants because they would fuel racism? Remember how these politicians claimed that immigrants would work for a pittance and thereby drive wages down? A story published by Kauhajoki-lehti reveals how Swedish construction group Skanska exploited its employees at a construction site by paying them 4-euro hourly wages and a bowl of rice every day.

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Lip service or action by Finnish municipal authorities?

The role of accepting refugees in remote municipalities as a way of slowing the number of people who move out of the community is a half-way solution to the challenging demographic problem facing many parts of Finland. While there is a lot of good will to accommodate refugees in their municipality, many of these people end up moving to bigger cities like Helsinki after short stay.

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Why did you come here? (3/4) “Omar Hussein: At last peace”

This is the third of four short biographies that were published in an English reader called Why did you come here? The book, which was published in 1994 by WSOY. It was authored by Russell Snyder and myself. Omar Hussein is the first Somali friend I had in Finland. I met him in the early 1990s when Mikkeli opened up its first refugee center.

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La Nación (Argentina): La escuela es donde más se discrimina

Siete de cada diez adolescentes argentinos fueron testigos de alguna forma de discriminación, y cuatro de cada diez la sufrieron en carne propia. El escenario: la escuela, en primer lugar, en forma abrumadora, y en segundo lugar, la calle. Así lo revela una encuesta realizada entre 900 chicos de siete provincias, divulgada ayer por Unicef Argentina.

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Migrant Tales literary blog?

Would launching a separate “little” literary blog (Migrant Tales “Little”?) be a good idea? It would publish poetry, short stories, short plays, drawings. anecdotes, and pictures of our lives in Finland and elsewhere. Depending on how this lifts off, we could even organize contests.

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HS: Study finds immigrants and native Finns treated differently in foster care cases

A fresh study has found that Finnish administrative courts treat immigrant families and native Finns differently in cases involving decisions on placing children in foster care. Initial results of the yet-to-be released doctoral thesis of Tampere University social scientist Johanna Hiitola were presented at a child welfare seminar in MIkkeli on Wednesday. In her study Hiitola examined documents related to decisions in 343 cases in administrative court involving involuntary foster care in 2008. She found clear differences in how the matters of native Finnish and immigrant families were handled.

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guardian.co.uk: France’s minorities under fire

The recent local elections in France witnessed not only increased pressure from the extreme right National Front (FN), but also division within the conservative party in power, the UMP, which fluctuated uncertainly between an alliance with the FN and one with the opposition parties. As for the left, it can hardly be seen as a credible alternative. The situation for minorities in France has therefore become more than difficult. It has become critical.

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YLE: Maahanmuutto jakaa edustajaehdokkaita

Maahanmuuttajien vastaanottaminen ja tukeminen verovaroin jakaa kansanedustajaehdokkaita. YLEn vaalikoneen perusteella perussuomalaisten vanavedessä tiukennuksia kaipaavat erityisesti oikeistopuolueet, kuten kokoomus. Liberaalimpaa mielipidettä ylläpitävät RKP, vasemmisto ja vihreät. SDP seilaa muiden välissä.

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Success stories of immigrants in Finland

Migrant Tales would be interested in publishing cases of immigrants and refugees that have succeeded and adapted well to Finland. There are many cases out there and we’d like to hear your story. Why? Because your example would take steam off anti-immigrant parties like the True Finns and other ones who only see red when you mention the word maahanmuuttaja.

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A disfavor to Finland’s future

With the April 2011 election approaching, parties in Finland are feverishly searching for ways to lure voters. One campaign issue that has the ability to move voters and inflame passions are immigrants and immigration to Finland. I personally feel that Finns are not going to be led by rhetoric and false arguments.

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EDITORIAL: Has racism inflicted Finland?

Taking into account the underwhelming size of the immigrant and refugee community, what have we done wrong and why are we the focus of daily insults, racism and abuse? Even the Social Democrats, the party that has championed for the rights of the working man, has aligned itself close to the True Finns in immigration policy.

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Finnishness is taboo to the Swedes

By JusticeDemon* Dr Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki Department of Geography, had the following letter printed in the Opinions column of Finland’s leading national daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday 23 August 2009. The sub-editor chose to print this letter under the heading Finnishness is taboo to the Swedes. The

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