One of the biggest challenges and shortfalls of Finland’s integration law is that it is one-sided: Here is a list of things you must do to adapt to our society. This aim is very general, and if you start to study it closer, you will find no answers. While language is essential, and Finland placesRead on »
Posts Tagged: integration
KOTOUTUMINEN #13: There is no good Finnish word for inclusion just like with integration before
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 andRead on »
KOTOUTUMINEN #12: Integration is as easy as 1 + 1 = 2. NOT!
THE STORY WAS UPDATED Having taught many students about Finnish society for many years, two matters surprise me about this teaching line: Are the people giving these courses qualified and simple, 1 + 1 = 2, explanations to a complex matter as adaption. If the integration model is overly simplistic, treat it with tweezers becauseRead on »
Kotoutuminen* #9: Spreading half-truths about integration
If the learn-Finnish-and-you’re-integrated promise is misleading, so are many others spread by people who should know better. “The best way to eliminate racism is to get people to know each other,” goes the affirmation. It is like the claim that traveling opens your eyes to the world. After we do all these things, will weRead on »
Kotoutuminen #3: To touch or not to touch
Many times I wonder where people who work and assist asylum seekers and migrants get their cultural training. If you are a teacher, is it stated, for example, in the national curriculum, how cultural diversity is supposed to work in the classroom? If you are a social worker, how do you promote two-way adaption? TheseRead on »
Kotoutuminen* #2: A tool of white fragility to rule you
Migrant Tales launches a new series called kotoutuminen, or integration. Readers are encouraged to send their personal experiences, comments on integration programs, and policies. Send your comments and observations to [email protected] KOTOUTUMINEN #2 Kotoutuminen, or integration, functions in many ways like white fragility. It is a weapon and tool to subjugate newcomers and migrants whoRead on »
Kotoutuminen* #1: A good synonym for kotoutuminen is too many times the reinforcement of structural racism
Migrant Tales launches a new series called kotoutuminen, or integration. Readers are encouraged to send their personal experiences, comments on integration programs, and policies. Send your comments and observations to [email protected] KOTOUTUMINEN #1 A suitable synonym for kotoutuminen is structural racism. In the process of integrating into Finnish society, newcomers are rarely taught the racismRead on »
Finland’s integration program discriminates and offers fairy tale views of our society
If there is one matter that the sexual assault cases of Oulu have exposed in the raw is a false expectation about migrants. If we listen to the media, police and politicians, migrants cannot commit crimes because Finns rarely do if ever break the law. White Finns are model humans, asylum seekers are not.Read on »
Ministers Petteri Orpo and Kai Mykkänen are geniuses in migrant integration. Not.
As a sociologist and anti-racism activist, I was not surprised by the banality of Finance Minister Petteri Orpo’s and Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen’s model to better integrate migrants and do away with migrant crime. The answer? A test!Read on »
White Finnish privilege #55: It is that time of the year – Christmas!
Far-right poliicians and Islamophobes of varying hues commonly blame Muslims for banning traditional Christmas parties at school. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Those wanting to remove Christmas parties are Finns who believe that religion should not play a role in our schools since we are officially a secular state. What happens when mostRead on »
Adaption of migrants in Finland is a one-way (assimilation) process
What do politicians and public officials in Finland mean when they claim that integration is a two-way process? Is it only political correctness that motivates them to make up such claims or is it code that means one-way adaption, or assimilation?Read on »
Helsingin Sanomat survey on migrants reveals expectations that adaption in Finland is and will be a one-way process
Finland’s largest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, published a survey Friday about the minimum requirements that foreigners should adapt to if living here. Seventy-seven percent fully agreed that white Finns should be able to shake hands with both sexes. The survey showed as well that 52% were against women’s-only swimming hours and that 37% felt that one should bathe naked in the sauna.Read on »
Migrants’ Right Network: Saving the gains of the Schengen agreement requires European solidarity on protection for refugees
Much of the news commentary on Europe seems to assume that the Schengen open borders arrangement will vanish in the next few months. That would be a disaster. Saving it will require a reversal of the current refusal of solidarity with countries at the frontline of the refugee flows.Read on »
Defining white Finnish privilege #25: This land is my land, this land isn’t your land
It’s disturbing to watch in Finland journalists who maintain and promote urban tales and racism. One of these is Tuomas Enbuske who invited Lenita Aristo to his television talk show to speak about Muslims. When Aristo opens her mouth and gives her opinions about cultural diversity, it’s evident that she still lives is a provincial and stuffy time warp of pre-1990s Finland.Read on »
Migrants’ Rights Network: Frontier anxiety: Living with the stress of the everyday border
What happens when we bring the anxieties of life at the border into the heart of our all our communities? How can we contend with life in a space where identity is constantly checked and people subjected to the question: Why are you really here? MRN director Don Flynn asks this in an article published this month in Soundings, a journal of cultural politics and simultaneously on the website of Eurozine. The full article can be accessed here.Read on »
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 wasRead on »
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 whenRead on »
Integration by perkele
Some have heard of the expression of management by perkele, which means swift decision-making by management and where your opinion as an employee counts little. In Finland the goal is integration, or two-way adaption, but what happens on too many occasions is integration by perkele. Integration by perkele has a clear message: This is our country, perkele,Read on »
Migrants’ Rights Network: Living in an Age of Migration
Don Flynn* Immigration studies has emerged as an important discipline in colleges and universities across the world, with scores of research centres being established in the UK alone over the last decade or so. Contributions have come from sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, political scientist, economists and philosophers over this time, giving anyone whoRead on »
Finnish-language courses reveal part of the challenges that migrants face in Finland
Migrant Tales was happy to see one of our readers and contributors, Stephen Penny, on YLE Suora Linja Monday and Tuesday talking about the challenges some migrants face in learning the Finnish language. While Penny and Emma Kwegyir-Afful offer some good advice on how to improve Finnish-language training, the program raised two important issues that shouldRead on »
Language plays an important role in migrant adaption but so do acceptance, respect and equal opportunities
With the help of migrants, YLE Uutiset Suoralinja television program Monday at 7.20 pm wants to find out how much do Finnish and Swedish language skills help you integrate and find employment. When teaching migrants one of Finland’s two official languages, what works and what doesn’t? One interesting question that we could ask is why areRead on »
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 FinnsRead on »
Government announces Future of Migration 2020 Strategy
The government published Thursday its Future of Migration 2020 Strategy. While these types of official strategy reports are important and offer a general view, the big question is if they gives us a bigger picture of the direction our society is heading in this century. Read the white paper (in Finnish) here. An English-language version will beRead on »
Buenos Aires Herald (February 12, 1987): The old-new frontier*
Comment: It’s sad to point out 25 years after writing this opinion piece that Argentina has become a poorer country. Emigration continues to be the rule, not the exception. The opening up of the economy to foreign investment during the 1990s was a disaster. Too many foreign companies did not invest in Argentina to makeRead on »
We speak of two-way integration but too many still believe in assimilation
Finland’s integration law is exemplary in many respects because it aims to integrate newcomers as equals in our society. No law is, however, written in stone and is only as good as the institutions and people that enforce it. One of the matters that some have a difficult time grasping is what two-way adaption, or integration,Read on »
Sport is one of your best passports to acceptance in a new country
Since sports can be your passport to acceptance in a new country, its role should never be underetimated never mind undermined. It’s clear that we need to do more work in Finland to promote sports in order to include more immigrants and their children in this activity. In the United States I played basketball, trackRead on »
Labels that fuel discrimination and racism in Finland
When will Finns drop this discriminatory term: Finns with immigrant backgrounds? Many, I suspect, are and should be proud of their background. I am but what happens if these labels and terms ensure that you will continue to be treated as something less equal? What do you do if being labeled in such a wayRead on »
What are immigrants supposed to adapt to?
One of the biggest questions when speaking of the integration of immigrants and visible minorities in Europe and Finland is what are they supposed to adapt to. In theory everything sounds perfect in our law books. What happens on the ground, however, is a totally different story. This abandoned Cadillac reveals the crude face ofRead on »
Language is not always your passport to inclusion and acceptance
Some politicians and social workers in this country believe that integration is only possible when an immigrant learns the Finnish or Swedish language. This may be true but there are other factors that play equally important roles in the integration process of an immigrant.Read on »
Is Finland ready for cultural diversity?
In light of social ills like racism and social exclusion in Finland, J. W. Berry of Queen’s University of Canada offers us an opportunity to ask a very important question: Are we in Finland ready for cultural diversity? If we still aren’t quite there yet, how long will it take?Read on »
Who needs integration: immigrants or natives?
We must ask hard questions if we want our new integration program, which came into force in September, to do what it sets out to: effectively integrate new immigrants as equal members of society. But one of the many challenges of the program aren’t resources and immigrants but the attitudes of the native population.Read on »
Speigel Online International: Study (on Muslims in Germany) Hints that Mutual Suspicion Is Slowing Integration
A new integration study released on Thursday has triggered yet another debate about the role of Islam in Germany. The report found that a surprising number of non-German Muslims are skeptical about integrating into society. But the country’s own doubts about immigration may have muddied the data.Read on »
Multiculturalism: An outlook on life that dare not speak its name…..
Remember the prime minister’s speech in Munich attacking multiculturalism exactly one year ago? We take a look here at the way opponents of his ‘muscular liberalism’ thesis have been considering the issue in the 12 months since..Read on »
A good immigration integration policy for Finland and Europe
One of the biggest challenges to Finland’s new integration program is how well it promotes what it set out to do. How passionate are we Finns about ethnic and minority equality in this country if the most important piece of the puzzle is still missing: the big picture and what place new Finns and their children have in our society.Read on »
Migrant integration: Can we learn from European experiences?
A new UK government policy on migrant integration is expected to be announced any day now. To date migrant community organisations have had no input into the way this has been developed by the government departments. But may be a new toolkit on migrant integration, just published by the European Network Against Racism, will give us some pointers on how groups working at the local level can regain some control over migrant integration projects.Read on »
Is multiculturalism good for Finland?
One of the surprising matters about the debate on multiculturalism is how little we understand the basic terms. Take for instance the term multicultural. Does it only mean a society comprised physically of many (multi) cultures? Or is it a policy that facilitates the participation of immigrants and ethnic minorities in a society?Read on »
Is the sauna a good integrator?
If a person asked me what is one of the most important cultural institutions enjoyed by a great number of Finns, I’d respond: the sauna. The sauna is more than a room where people bathe and sweat naked in 80-100 Celsius (176-212 Fahrenheit) temperatures. It’s a way of life for some Finns – so muchRead on »
Is there racism in Finland?
One of the most successful posts of this blog is, Are you a target of racism in Finland? In my opinion the reason why so many have read it is because there is a racism problem in Finland. A Niko wrote a recent comment, where he states, “there are some real problems in Finnish societyRead on »