Posts Tagged: inclusion

QUOTE OF THE DAY: What must be done to speed up adaption?

There are many things that one can do to retard or facilitate adaption of newcomers to Finland. One of the worst is constant suspicion by politicians who have no qualifications or understanding of migration. Good examples are National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma who does not have the faintest idea about migrants but is still

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KOTOUTUMINEN #14: Disseminate and vanish

Remember back in the 1990s when Finland brought Vietnamese refugees and dispersed them like pepper throughout Finland? It appeared back then that the main goal of the migration authorities was to disseminate newcomers and make them vanish. One matter that this type of coercive assimilation aimed at doing was to ensure that these Vietnamese boat

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: How to celebrate Finland’s Independence Day

The best present that we can receive on Finland’s Independence Day is an inclusive society that respects everyone irrespective of their background. Mutual respect is the bridge that unites this society. So set aside your medals, distinctions, and invitations to the President’s Independence Day ball because social equality and respect for diversity is the only

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No Labels No Walls to premiere in Helsinki 23rd-24th September

The Festival is organized by the group, No Labels No Walls, which consists of over 30 organizations from five different countries and brilliant individuals, whose idea is that separation is never equal, and who want to promote, activate and empower everyone to participate in life and society.

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Part I: Racism causes trauma and mental suffering

Maailman Kuvalehti, a periodical which often takes up issues of xenophobia and racism in Finland more bravely than the mainstream media, cited the article Häpeää, itsesyytöksiä, masennusta – toistuvan rasismin vaikutukset mielenterveyteen voivat olla vakavat (Shame, self-blame, and depression – continuous racism encounter impact on mental wellbeing can be severe). Dated April 24th to a study by Robert T. Carter (University of Columbia), it stated that day-to-day exclusion encounters cause mental depression and symptoms similar to war trauma. Read the article here.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Finnish identity isn’t a monolithic slab held together by power, privilege, prejudice, and bigotry

The biggest challenge facing our culturally and ethnically (non-white) community this century is the narrow definition of who we are.  As long as our definition excludes others,  all efforts at “integrating” newcomers and ensuring that they become members of society will fail. The aims of our schools to teach children of foreign parents to become

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Naapuriäidit: I am a refugee, but I also have another story

Michelle Kaila   Friba Majeed Friba Majeed was born in Balkh, Afghanistan. She came to Finland in 2014 as a refugee. She is presently doing a work practice at Nicehearts in Vantaa, mainly to practice her Finnish language skills. These are the kinds of details we, as migrants, might often exchange with others upon meeting.

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Included – not integrated

Inclusion is when everyone is along per se. In Finland we are still struggling with integration issues. We need programmes and policies so that developmentally disabled people can live where other people are living. We need special laws to make sure that they can have the services they need. But those does not matter when

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Defining white Finnish privilege #21: Who can be a Finn?

A Finn is anyone with Finnish citizenship, right?  Citizenship can be obtained through birth (jus sanguinis) or naturalization. Even if this should be clear as day, certain public services like the police continue to group Finns according to their so-called “foreign” or “immigrant” backgrounds. I don’t have any problems with my foreign background even if

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Racism, children and football in Finland

If you want to find a short cut into racism in Finland, read the anonymous comments after a news story on the topic. One such story, published Monday by Turku-based daily Turun Sanomat, is a perfect example. The news story is about a group of 10-11-year-old boys who were returning by ship to the mainland

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World Café ponders if Porvoo, Finland, is a multicultural city

Migrant Tales insight:  The World Café concept is an excellent way to empower and encourage people to participate and promote active citizenship. This World Café session, which took place in Porvoo on May 17, and asked participants to give their views on how cultural diversity is faring in the city. One of the important findings

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Foreign Student editorial (February 1981): On immigrants living in Finland

The Foreign Student was a short-lived but courageous newsletter of the Foreign Student Club of Helsinki. The humble publication appeared from January 1981 to January 1982 and lasted 11 issues. Much of the things the newsletter wrote about 35 years ago are still valid today.  Surprisingly those that opposed what we wrote weren’t officials or Finns, but

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I, too, am Finland!

During Europe’s action week against racism (March 15-23), wouldn’t it be appropriate to post something that promotes inclusion and respect? One posting drives home a very important and long overdue message in Finland: #itooamfinland. Read full story (in Finnish) here. What’s the biggest challenge that our country faces during this century? It’s living in an ever-culturally diverse

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Statement: EU elections 2014: the way towards more equality in Europe, 7 demands from ENAR

The next European Parliament to be elected in May 2014 has a crucial role to play when it comes to reducing the entrenched inequalities faced by its citizens and residents. Among these are ethnic minorities and migrants who often face discrimination on multiple grounds: ethnic origin, nationality, social status, income, gender or age. The European

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Do “mamu” an “maahanmuuttajataustainen” downgrade people in Finland into “us” and “them?”

There are two words I’d be very careful with in Finland: mamu and maahanmuuttajataustainen especially at schools to single out third-culture children. The first label is the shortened word for maahanmuuttaja, or immigrant, while the second one means person with immigrant background.  Migrant Tales has written previously about the use of mamu like this blog entry above. Both

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My naïvity and the Finns

When I moved to Finland in December 1978, I wasn’t naïve about Finland, but super naïve. I was so confiding that I actually believed all Finns were honest. If happiness were a spider, it would spin a web to catch our good thoughts. Apart from a strong admiration for the forests and people who inhabited

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Mulitucltural Ireland’s vision should be ours as well

Why is it that we don’t hear Finnish politicians speaking in the same manner as Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins, who said that a major task of the country’s EU presidency should be to remove ignorance and misunderstanding, which lead to “incipient forms of racism,” writes the Irishtimes.com.  Speaking at the launch of the Neighborhood

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Migrant Tales to celebrate its fifth anniversary in May

Migrant Tales will celebrate its fifth year in existence on May 30. By then we’ll have passed the 1,000 posts mark and have received and responded to well over 30,000 comments, the lion’s share of which we have got in the past two years. Migrant Tales is a community of writers: JusticeDemon, Mark, Peter, eyeopener, Jonas, D4R, Sasu, BlandaUpp, Foreigner and many, many others.

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"Real" Finns were, are and will be culturally diverse Finns

People who think that only white Finns are “real” Finns are, in my opinion, seriously mistaken. They represent a modern segregated view of society we saw in the United States before the 1960s and in worst cases in South Africa before 1994. The “Only Whites” sign isn’t posted on doors these days but shines constantly in their minds.

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