A few weeks before the election in April, I visited a group of third-graders at a local elementary school in eastern Finland. Like many schools in this country, the class was made up of a few kids with African, Middle Eastern and other European backgrounds.Read on »
Posts Tagged: Multiculturalism in Finland
Two different centuries: A new Finland awakens
If we look very generally at the previous century, Finns worked hard at building a sense of national unity: surnames were Finnicized and personal histories about our “foreign” background were erased for the common national good.Read on »
Keskisuomalainen’s incredulous editorial on immigration
Here is a good example of an editorial in Jyäskylä-based Keskisuomalainen that shows how little the top editors of the newspaper understand immigration. If the editorial were written in the Washington Post, Financial Times or El País of Madrid, the editor would probably get the boot for making negligent statements and for practising lazy opinionated journalism.Read on »
EDITORIAL: Finnish immigration debate
Is the present one-sided and passionate debate on immigration in Finland going to turn ugly? Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb poured some needed cold water on the debate by stating that it “reeks of racism, nationalism, populism, and xenophobia.”Read on »
What Finland’s immigration policy lacks
If we look at the dismal amount of immigrants and refugees as well as high unemployment one can reach only one conclusion: a policy that has failed miserably. Certainly progress has been made: the number of immigrants has risen albeit slowly to 143,256 today from 12,670 in 1981 while unemployment has come down officially from 53% in 1994 to over 20%.Read on »
Whose fault is high immigrant unemployment in Finland?
Even though Finland has been generous about investing on language- and culture-training course for immigrants, one should rightfully ask if the money is being spent effectively. Why is there still high unemployment among immigrants in Finland if we are spending hefty summs of tax-payers money on these types of courses?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 »
Finnish identity in the new century
Forging Finnish identity was important in the 20th century. Even so, it narrowed our perception of who is a Finn. The dual citizenship law of 2003 was one important matter that started to change matters.Read on »
The Equality Act and Finnish Independence Day
What better time than to bring up the Equality Act of 2004 during Finland’s Independence Day. One of the matters that makes me happy about being a member of this society is that after December 6, 1917, Finland did not become an autocratic country that had no respect for human rights. Despite all the challengesRead on »
A neat quote by Topelius about who are the Finns
Zacharias Topelius , a Finnish cultural heavyweight who lived in the 19th century, embraced multiculturalism in the following manner below. When I read such a quote, I am more convinced that 1939-1995 was an anomaly for this country. Finland was always multicultural — not a “monocultural” nation that fought tooth and nail to exclude peopleRead on »
Is Finland prepared for multiculturalism?
In an interesting article published by Siirtolaisuus – Migration issue 2/1996, social psychologist Professor J. W. Berry asks what factors have to be in place to establish reasonable harmonious relationships between diverse groups. Ethnocentrism is a theory devised by Sumner in 1906 and means when “one’s group is the center of everything, and all othersRead on »
Foreigners in Finland: Integration or conversation?
I recently had a very interesting chat with a colleague of mine over how much foreigners should integrate or assimilate into Finnish society. He felt that it was definitely not a matter of assimilation and that integration should only apply to the workplace. “Integration is important if you want to take part in the FinnishRead on »
Placing Finnish immigration policy on an effective path
I never thought that a few posts trying to look at such an issue like discrimination in Finland could inflame debate. If anything, it shows that there is a problem in this area. I have lived long enough in Finland and studied its culture since a child to know the challenges facing this country. IfRead on »