The role of Finnish language in discrimination

by , under All categories, Enrique

I was speaking today with a woman from an African country who had been in Finland for five years and had never held a job. She said that she had tried to find work as a cleaner but, surprisingly, she said that she could not because her Finnish wasn’t good enough.

We had a short chat about her studies and the difficulties of finding work in Finland. This took place in Finnish.

In my opinion, her Finnish was good enough to work as a cleaner. Why, then, wasn’t a black woman from Africa employed as a cleaner in eastern Finland?

I am convinced that since language plays a special role in this country historically and culturally (mother tongue is even tabulated in the census), it is used in the same context as skin color in the United States.

This may reflect that some Finns feel less bothered by skin color than by non-native Finnish. But if you have the wrong skin color (not white) and do not speak Finnish as a near-native, then you get hit by a double discrimination whammy in Finland.

Hence, when a Finnish employer says that you do not speak Finnish well enough, he or she may be saying that you are an outsider and we do not employ these kinds of people.

If language plays such an important role in the perception some Finns have of non-native Finns, then it suggests that they will never be accepted as an equal in the Nordic sense by our society.

Addressing the issue of language discrimination in Finland may shed light on a totally hitherto-unknown culprit.

  1. Tiwaz

    And how well you understand need of Finnish in her desired job? What makes you, journalist, qualified in any way to define how good Finnish skills you need as cleaner?

    Does she also READ and WRITE Finnish?

    You may convey your rough thoughts with “Mita kulu?” “Mina ei sada tuo tasa masa ku minu ei huva somi.”

    But at work…

    She HAS to understand Finnish instructions when given in normal spoken Finnish.

    “Joo, tota. Neukkari kolmeviis ei tartte siivoust ny. Meil on myöhänen neuvottelu joten jätä välii ku tuut sil käytäväl.”

    How do you think it would reflect to her employer if she either:

    A) Nodded that she understood when she didn’t get heads or tails about it.

    B) Had to ask customer repeatedly to repeat instructions slowly and extremely simply.

    Or what if it was there just in written form?

    Or the joys of having alarm systems present. To which there are FINNISH instructions given.

    If you bother to think, it is not all that simple being cleaner without fluent Finnish, because she has to be able to work independently in most cases.

    There is rarely possibility to have another cleaner there to keep an eye on her. And any customer contact WILL be in Finnish.

    We Finns have every right in our nation to expect service to come fluently in our preferred language. It is problem of immigrants to learn the language sufficiently well to be able to deliver.

    • Enrique

      –Does she also READ and WRITE Finnish?

      Things are deliberately made complicated in order to exclude people from the workforce. But since you think most immigrants have “below normal IQ levels,” then there is no chance that they would ever be employed. Certainly we have to learn how to use and read instructions. Do you ever read instructions? Have you almost killed yourself or put other people´s lives in danger?
      For a country with only 5 million plus people who speak our language, we sure put a lot of condtions to accept others.
      By the way, did you read about the record number of Finns (about 80,000) who retired from the workforce? It will start growing from this year. If we continue to stress how different we are and how difficult our language is, we are going to lose out in the end. That is something that Finland cannot afford.
      Finnish society and culture must be accessible to others who want to be a part of it.

  2. Tiwaz

    -“Things are deliberately made complicated in order to exclude people from the workforce.”

    Idiots are making thins complicated for themselves. Since you cannot say that she had FLUENT skills in Finnish, she clearly spoke broken Finnish. It does NOT do good at work.

    It is again HER fault for not putting more effort into learning. Employers are not there to provide her with shelter job because she feels herself a failure, employers are there to get things done. If her language skills are insufficient, they are. She is only one to blame.

    Nobody is keeping her away from workforce, she is preventing herself from being potential worker.

    -“Certainly we have to learn how to use and read instructions.”

    So can SHE read even long and less clear written instructions IN FINNISH? If answer is no, SHE is again failure.

    -“Do you ever read instructions?”
    Yes, daily. In multiple languages.
    And, above all else, fluently.

    -“Have you almost killed yourself or put other people´s lives in danger?”
    What is relevance of this? Is this again another sob story how she escaped from horrible shithole of country and because of that she is so special that same requirements which are put to native Finns (IE, speak and read fluent Finnish) should not apply to her?

    -“For a country with only 5 million plus people who speak our language, we sure put a lot of condtions to accept others.”

    It is our country. It is our right to demand that over here things are done in Finnish. If you or someone else has issues with that, you are quite free to fuck off.

    If we start to forfeit our culture and language because “there are only 5 million of you” we definitely will lose both.

    In this country, way over 90% of people you meet on street speak and read fluent Finnish. So over here it is you miserable few immigrants who are odd ones and must adjust to conditions set by majority.

    That means, learn Finnish.

    -“By the way, did you read about the record number of Finns (about 80,000) who retired from the workforce? It will start growing from this year.”

    Have you noticed that we have increasing unemployment too. There is no worker shortage, there is WORK shortage. It is NOT fixed by importing someone from Africa who cannot speak Finnish, who easily might be unable to read or write AND who has ZERO useful professional skills.

    It might be bit difficult for you to grasp, considering that being journalist apparently requires rather little education, but when engineer retires, he cannot be replaced by importing goat herder from Somalia.

    IF we need immigrants, we do NOT need immigrants like woman in your example. We need people who have SKILLS WHICH ARE USEFUL IN OUR SOCIETY.

    That means, professionally educated people.

    -“f we continue to stress how different we are and how difficult our language is, we are going to lose out in the end. ”

    So instead you, foreigner I might add, want us native Finns to lose our language and culture since they ARE difficult for foreigners?

    Have you ever stopped thinking how arrogant your attitude is?

    If we go your way, we lose Finnish culture and identity, and at that point loss we have suffered is far greater than anything we might lose by sticking to them.

    THAT is something Finland cannot afford.

    -“Finnish society and culture must be accessible to others who want to be a part of it.”

    They are accessible. If you are gifted with average intelligence and you do not have huge attitude problem…

    You can learn how Finnish culture works. Many foreigners HAVE done that. They came to country, learned how to behave properly and they are doing FINE.

    It is those who are not prepared to accept that Finland works according to Finnish cultural norms who have issues. And they are themselves to blame for their issues. Expecting us natives to appease their foreign asses is not smart or even valid expectation.

  3. Tony Garcia

    “Do you ever read instructions?”

    If he doesn’t and for that he causes an accident, he’ll be held accountable for that, however in her case if she doesn’t because she can’t she can easily turn the table and sue the company for expose her and other to danger. Common Enrique…

    Just two articles ago you kind of criticized patronizing. It didn’t take long, did it?

    • Enrique

      –If he doesn’t and for that he causes an accident, he’ll be held accountable for that, however in her case if she doesn’t because she can’t she can easily turn the table and sue the company for expose her and other to danger. Common Enrique…

      Tony, my point here is that there are too many restrictions and question marks to do something easy like understanding the instructions. My point was that in our real life we never read instructions because (1) we already have been told how to use the product and (2) because usually the person writing the instruction complicates an easy task. Under this type of thinking we should worry about all the minorities in the United States doing cleaning work. The real reason why language is an issue is: (1) because unions want to limit competition (new workers) and (2) because some employers do not want to hire foreigners.

  4. Tony Garcia

    BTW…

    “By the way, did you read about the record number of Finns (about 80,000) who retired from the workforce?”

    One problem doesn’t justify creating other.

    “Finnish society and culture must be accessible to others who want to be a part of it.”

    ?!?!?!?!

  5. hannu

    “Under this type of thinking we should worry about all the minorities in the United States doing cleaning work.”

    Well they are dispensable so why worry? Or what you mean?

  6. Tony Garcia

    “My point was that in our real life we never read instructions because (1) we already have been told how to use the product and (2) because usually the person writing the instruction complicates an easy task.”

    You are absolutely right, however you know that this means nothing in a court of law. If she causes an accident because she can’t read properly any lawyer could make a case and win easily. Common Enrique, you know that.

    That’s one of my problems with liberals, you guys think that companies have some social obligation with people, it doesn’t. Companies exists for one purpose only – profit. I come to work every day to make my boos richer, in exchange he share with me a tiny part of his wealth. And that’s how things are. You like it or not.

    The recruiter job is to choose the person who will make the company profit more with the less risk, not promote social justice. That’s why I’m for anti-discrimination laws. The more qualified will achieve that, however qualification is a broader concept with involve many different skills.

    You are a journalist, you know your job, so do I know my, and so do a recruiter his/hers.

    Before question their decision shouldn’t you ask they opinion? Wasn’t you who said that an article with doesn’t show both parts is biased, serve no purpose and you disrespect it? (or something like that)

    • Enrique

      Tony, this is not the issue I was speaking of. I was pointing out how language plays a role in discrimination in Finland. Now, my friend, if you were to come to live in this country and work at a Finnish company, you would be in a totally different ball park.

      Why do you call me a liberal? I have not said that I am one. We live in liberal, Western democratic societies. Moreover, I don’t read the Guardian on a regular basis. I like my news “raw” not “well done” with different political slants and views. One of the best publications that I enjoy reading is the New York Book Review.

      –That’s one of my problems with liberals, you guys think that companies have some social obligation with people, it doesn’t.

      Of course companies hire whom they want and do everything possible under the law to increase profits. However, I disagree with you: companies do play an important social role in our countries. But if you believe in laissez fair capitalism then that is another story.

    • Enrique

      Hannu, even though unions have played an important role in Finland in raising working conditions they have created a labor market of people who have work (staffers and get all the benefits) and another part of the population that lives on the fringes. With respect to immigrants, these differences are even greater. As unemployment rises the differences will get greater and more pronounced. My point is that we should start to look at language discrimination in Finland because it too plays an important role in excluding people. One way of doing it is finding out how many people who speak mother tongues other than Finnish and Swedish are employed. I am certain that the findings would be very revealing.

  7. hannu

    Exactly what is problem with labour market if we dont count unemployment?
    And why employers should hire someone without needed skills if there is better ones available?
    If you didnt understand that news they said they have 50 000 applications to cleaner positions only from web + letters… And eastern finland is one of high unemployment areas.

    All of your texts seem have “point” to find discrimation even in places where it doesnt occur.

    I can list few “discriminations”.
    – eyesight
    – weight
    – height
    – how you look
    – how you speak
    – sociality
    – language skills
    – work history
    – background
    – education
    – strenght
    – agility
    – health
    – education
    – nationality
    – credit rating
    – sex

    and list goes on…

    Did you knew that tall mans are more often bosses than short, how we should help short man discrimation?

  8. Tiwaz

    -“My point is that we should start to look at language discrimination in Finland because it too plays an important role in excluding people.”

    Or how about we start doing what is sensible, beating into thick heads of foreigners that learning Finnish is NOT OPTIONAL!

    There is no fucking way every company will have everything written in Finnish AND English and in pictograms so that every imbecile can understand instructions.

    Finland is society which works on Finnish.

    Learn it or fuck off.

    There is no discrimination, Finnish language is simply essential for jobs at practically every level. Only those who have very niche skillset which is highly sought after can avoid that issue.

    Your African friend does not. She should spend more time learning Finnish fluently, less doing something else.

    Enrique, when you volunteer to go to operating theater and have operation done on you by surgeon who cannot communicate FLUENTLY with his/her staff, live in house where there is no communication ability between builders (and some of them perhaps no idea on how to read blueprints, standards or practices) and have your medication provided to you by doctor who has no grasp of what you are saying (even fake doctor has better chance of getting drugs reasonably right than doctor who has no grasp of what is being told to them) you might have a point.

    Though I still would refuse to do those things, because it is idiotic to do so.

    Finnish is essential skill at work. If immigrant does not have it, it is not discrimination any more than it is discrimination not to hire person without other professional competence.

  9. Kanemochi!

    Tiwaz, you have to note that the level of Finnish skill required varies a lot depending on the job. Surely you don’t think that someone doing cleaning work must have the same language skills that, for example, a surgeon or a doctor must have?

    In a case like this it is clear that the employers do not have any incentive to be fair and give her a job opportunity because of her visibly immigrant background. (Not saying it is necessarily the only reason but certainly that one that seems to weight most.)

    • Enrique

      Hi Kanemochi! Thank you for your comment and welcome to Migrant Tales. I am happy that one person understood this. It is easy to make excuses and putting off things.

  10. Tony Garcia

    “Why do you call me a liberal? I have not said that I am one.”

    My apologies, I wasn’t trying to be offensive. You seem to be very favourable to liberal ideas that’s why I consider you centre-left. I’m though, without a doubt, a conservative, so that puts me in the right side of the aisle.

    “Now, my friend, if you were to come to live in this country and work at a Finnish company, you would be in a totally different ball park.”

    That’s where you loses me, if language is an issue, and I don’t speak it, how can it be different with me? BTW I didn’t work only for Nokia when there, I worked for Nethawk in Oulu and OpusCapita in Tampere. Go and check their profiles, you’ll see that they are not mega-international-corporations like Nokia.

    “But if you believe in laissez fair capitalism”

    Not completely but quite close, capitalism with less regulations possible. The bigger the state the smaller the individual. Capitalism is the only way to produce wealth, and without it we can’t live. I would like to see socialism distributing wealth that doesn’t exist. I also would like to see how the European welfare state would survive without having, since the first war, the capitalist American military power around to keep things spinning.

  11. Tony Garcia

    Sorry but let me hijack this for a moment. Let’s have an practical example here, 4 women applying for a job, 3 white Finns and 1 back African. All of them with exactly the same qualification. All have been unemployed for the same amount of time, and all have the same family situation. So…

    Why is more fair (or fairer, don’t know the right term) to employ a black and let the 3 white unemployed then employ one white and let the 2 whites and the black unemployed? In saying so you are applying that the African deserves more the job than the Finns, If so why?

    With is clearly different than if the black is the only one applying for a job and she doesn’t get it.

    The first case is a classical example of patronization, one of the cornerstones of multiculturalism. That’s why it will ever fail.

    • Enrique

      –Why is more fair (or fairer, don’t know the right term) to employ a black and let the 3 white unemployed then employ one white and let the 2 whites and the black unemployed? In saying so you are applying that the African deserves more the job than the Finns, If so why?

      The answer to your question is very simple: Unemployment among Finnish women is 7% (December 2009) but the AFrican woman’s group most likely +50%. What does this say about our hiring practices or equality if ALL (99%) or great majority are Finns and only a very small minority are immigrants with African backgrounds (or none)? It shows in my opinion unfair hring practices and a total lack of interest by the government and other agencies to ensure that there is equal opportunity in employment.

  12. Kanemochi!

    Tony, I agree with you that it is no way “more fair” to employ someone just because she’s black. Now after I said that, let’s have another thought experiment:

    Let’s assume that the situation is ideal – there is no racism and a white person and a black person have both equally high chance to get a job assuming other variables are equal.

    Now what are the chances that, when five years pass, the black person still has not found a job. And we are talking about an occupation that seems to have a shortage of labor all the time.

    What does that say about the case mentioned in the original post?

  13. Tony Garcia

    Kanemochi,

    First thanks for tell me that it’s “more fair” than “fairest”. Sometimes I get confused with English words.

    Good point mate, but your question needs another one. Can a Finn stay 5 years unemployed as well? If so the problem is not racism.

    The problem here is that we are only having once side of the story to make a judgment, with I think is unfair. I, in any moment, regarded her story as untrue, however I can’t accepted it either without more information. For me, so far, this is her story, only.

    The whole point here is that language is being used to discriminate, but as I said before, Enrique knows journalism, I know engineering, to make this post fair we would need someone with recruiting experience to tell us why language can be an issue when selecting a candidate.

    This is something that, frankly, I know quite well. I started to work 28 days after set foot in there for the very first time, and to this date I still don’t speak the language. And honestly, job is no more problem for me than for any other Finn.

    Once Enrique told me that if he started to mess around with computers it could lead to a disaster, maybe it could do the same messing around with recruiting.

  14. Tony Garcia

    Very well Enrique, you like numbers, so you should see them right. I made a quick homework about it. I’ve got some numbers from 2008 so we can put all this under perspective.

    Finland had 2,006K woman between 14-74 years old from with 4,047 were Africans. The government calculates that 63% are in the labour force, that makes 1,276K total and 2,550 Africans. Very well now the statistics…

    From the main women population 6.2% were unemployed that makes 79K, I don’t know from where you got the 50%, but I assume you are more interested in the truth than in multiculturalism, so I’ll believe that you have a reliable official source. The 50% will make 1,275 Africans unemployed.

    What do we take from that?

    Well if 79K can find a job in they own country what makes you believe that 1K could in a strange country?

    Also, with such a small population it’s very ease to have high numbers, you need 12,760 to add 1 percentage to the main statistic, but only 25 Africans to theirs, so the representatively of each African unemployed in the statistics is 500.46 times the ordinary Finn.

    As you can see you can’t use the raw unemployment number to substantiate your theory of discrimination. Anyone can easily debunk it.

    But that’s not all, how about…

    How many of those 1,2K Africans can read and write? HS reported that majority Somalis coming to Finland use fingerprints as signature.

    How many doesn’t go after jobs because husband culture doesn’t allow? Or this is only a myth?

    How many doesn’t go after job because they prefer few sorry for themselves? Or you think this is a Finnish characteristic only?

    How many are just lazy? Or you also think this is another Finnish only characteristic?

    After removing all those people from the statistics how many real unemployed Africans will we have? How would the 50% be after that?

    • Enrique

      Good going Tony. I am glad that you have tapped into statistical information.

      –more interested in the truth than in multiculturalism..

      Was this comment necessary?

      –As you can see you can’t use the raw unemployment number to substantiate your theory of discrimination. Anyone can easily debunk it.

      I still don’t understand your logic. It is very simple: what percentage of the economically active population is unemployed.

      When did HS say that the majority of the Somalis use fingerprints as signature? I would like to investigate this claim. Even though such a claim appears highly fishy, it is a bit like Sarah Palin who said that Obama’s health plan will send people to their death; i.e. outright misinformation.

      My figures on immigrant unemployment in Finland come from the following link: http://www.mol.fi/mol/fi/99_pdf/fi/04_maahanmuutto/08_maahanmuuttotilastot/wulktyoll.pdf. They are from 2007 before the crash of September 2008. I have tried to get newer statistics but this has been hard. It is not due to my laziness but probably to the government wanting to make such data harder to find because it is pretty shameful.

      One of the challenges that immigrants have to do in Finland is to put an end to age-old stereotypes that you mention at the bottom (cultural difference, laziness etc). The human spirit is to survive and even succeed irrespective of one’s cultural background. Those Somalis you normally question are probably the most ambitious of the lot. At least they had the common sense to get out of their failed country and try their luck somewhere else. Even though they are not in a civil war, they are living in a hostile environment where each and every step is placed under close scrutiny. Tell me, Tony, why do some make it so hard on others to be themselves and follow the laws of the land? Are our liberal democratic values only applicable to us and the others are seen and ruled by other laws?

    • Enrique

      –“Kiuru näkee työssään myös kotouttamisen haasteet: moni aikuisista somaleista ei osaa edes kirjoittaa nimeään. Allekirjoitus on yhtä kuin sormenjälki. “

      That is his perception of things. Furthermore, isn’t an advanced country as ours supposed to offer better opportunities for those that come from countries such as Somalia? I think the problem in the whole one-sided debate is that you have 99% Finns giving their opinions on the matter without really understanding it or seeing immigration/refugees as a threat. All most do are sound alarm bells, fuel suspicion, hatred and exclusion. After this, they wonder why people have not “integrated” into our society. Do you know why, Hannu? Because many people in this society want them out and will do everything possible to make their lives difficult. That, in my opinion, is the bottom line. Address this question and we will start to make progress.

      I will debate and try to find out if the claim “majority/over 50%” of the Somalis don’t know how to read or write. My great grandparents who moved to Argentina in the 1890s were probably illiterate. Was it their fault if they lived in feudal countries? Was it their fault if they wanted a better life for their children and themselves? Was it their problem because they were illiterate that after three generations their great grandson would interview presidents and work for world class newspapers such as the Financial Times, bring up three children and work?

      Why was I able to accomplish these things in my life? Because I was given an opportunity and people who believed in me.

      The difference what you want is not to even give these people the light of day. You are ready to exclude and pack them back to where they came from.

    • Enrique

      –Somaliasta tulevista perheenjäsenistä jo lähes 90 prosenttia on luku- ja kirjoitustaidottomia.

      Just because it is in print does not mean it is true. I will check into this matter. But let say that a noticeable number of them cannot read and write… What does that mean? Does it mean we should refuse them entry into our country, label them as rejects or maybe teach them to read and write? It is not such a big deal to do that. In other words what’s the big deal?!

  15. hannu

    Australia

    “Employment
    Among Somalia-born people aged 15 years
    and over, the participation rate in the labour
    force was 41.7 per cent and the unemployment
    rate was 30.8 per cent. The corresponding
    rates in the total Australian population were
    64.6 and 5.2 per cent respectively.”

    USA

    “The largest barrier to employment for many new Somali residents of Lewiston and Auburn is a lack of English language skills, according to a new report by a Bates College research group.”

    “According to the MDOL report, unemployment during 2006 was about 6.2 percent in the state, but 51 percent among Somali residents of the twin cities.”

    Canada

    “Unemployment rates were also much higher. In the Somali community, the unemployment rate was estimated to be 23.6 per cent in 1996; employment amongst Torontonians of European ancestry was seven per cent.”

    Goddammit there is some weird conspiracy of discrimination or is it something else?

  16. Tuomas

    In Finland’s case it has been mentioned several times that there is not enough room for all willing people, when it comes to language teaching to immigrants.

    How can we demand proper language skills if people can’t get any teaching on the matter?

    Like they say, “Mitä ei ole koulutettu, sitä ei voi vaatia.”

    • Enrique

      Hi Tuomas, I think the government has a lot of good intentions to make immigrants/refugees feel at home. However, there are the following problems that I believe will make future integration programs fail in the same way as now:

      (1) Lack of input from immigrants or people with immigrant backgrounds in these program on how to “integrate” newcomers;
      (2) Authorities and these integration planners think that the whole process only takes a few Finnish classes and history lessons (from the official point of view) without addressing or giving these newcomers the chance to influence their environment. Instead many end up social welfare recipients, or at the lowest level of society;
      (3) Then there is society that has little or no idea never mind the willingness to accept them as equal members.
      (4) Lack of leadership from Finnish politicians and policy makers because the amount of immigrants living in Finland are so few;
      (5) Unions that live in this country as if it were still the 1980s.

      The integration process is more complex than a few classes on the Finnish language or history. This a social change and a totally new way of thinking about ourselves as a nation and our culture.

  17. Tuomas

    Mentioned in Finnish media. Also, I meant that there is not enough room in the courses for all that want to study the language. Didn’t refer to teachers there.

  18. hannu

    Ah sorry, misunterstood/misread.

    Yes there isnt enough courses but that is easily solved, they can hire a teacher if they want.
    Problem in here is again money, we have currently more who need courses than councils/goverment can afford or no available teachers.

  19. hannu

    (1) What groups we should ask? Should some groups be able to dictate how things are in here?
    (2) What groups should dictate and who funds it?
    (3) There is groups of immigrants who dont accept finland and those are ones with most problems, how that can be fixed?
    (4) yep, they are assclowns who just chant “diversity is possibily and richness” withouth any understanding what is happening.
    (5) What you mean?

    • Enrique

      –(1) What groups we should ask? Should some groups be able to dictate how things are in here?
      We have qualified immigrants or people with immigrant backgrounds that could be used. In order to understand a spider’s problem it would be advisable to speak to a spider.
      –(2) What groups should dictate and who funds it?
      There’s nothing to do with “dictating” matters. It is being resourceful and intelligent. Use people from different groups represented in this country.
      –(3) There is groups of immigrants who dont accept finland and those are ones with most problems, how that can be fixed?
      I’ll contest the fact that they “don’t accept Finland.” Listen to what they have to say. Don’t disenfranchise them. It is not the Nordic way of doing things.
      –(4) yep, they are assclowns who just chant “diversity is possibily and richness” withouth any understanding what is happening.
      That is why I said QUALIFIED people who have worked with immigrants or have been immigrants themselves.

  20. hannu

    “Listen to what they have to say.”

    Problem is that i have listened. This is heathen country with no morals so i send my childrens in still dangerous country where i fleed to learn proper ways…

    And about teaching we can only give tools.
    Lets say there is group of somali, afgan, swede, engish, german, indian and thai. What you would suggest that would fit them all?

    • Enrique

      –This is heathen country with no morals so i send my childrens in still dangerous country where i fleed to learn proper ways…

      Who said this?! Come on, Hannu, you have to be joking. It’s like I am going to ask someone to form an opinion of the Finns because of a few nuts…

  21. Tuomas

    While I don’t really know anything about the realities inside the immigration service, I do really agree that immigrants should be asked for input whenever possible.

    It’s common sense in schools and universities here that there exists a student body that consists of normal students of the school system. Those are positions that anyone can apply in and while doing so, influence the decision making process and pass on input from his or her peers to the administration. If such system doesn’t exist in immigration education it’s just silly and one of the things that should be fixed asap.

    This might not apply to anything below jr. high school level but do we really think that immigrants, literate or not, are like little kids?

    • Enrique

      Tuomas, you don’t need to know a lot but to use your common sense. For a person that claims that he does not know a lot, I would say you know quite a lot.

  22. hannu

    -“Who said this?! Come on, Hannu, you have to be joking.”

    Chehab Khodr, same guy said 13 is good age to marry and he isnt just “some nuts”

  23. Tiwaz

    -“Tiwaz, you have to note that the level of Finnish skill required varies a lot depending on the job. Surely you don’t think that someone doing cleaning work must have the same language skills that, for example, a surgeon or a doctor must have?”

    Actually, she needs more Finnish than higher education positions would. Highly educated Finns are fluent in English and thus helps with communication issues.

    Low level jobs with low education requirements do not have people who have fluent English skills.

    Also, ALL customer contact must be in Finnish. It is basic principle that you use preferred language of customer if at all possible.

    -“In a case like this it is clear that the employers do not have any incentive to be fair and give her a job opportunity because of her visibly immigrant background. (Not saying it is necessarily the only reason but certainly that one that seems to weight most.)”

    Fair? As it was noted earlier here… We have only her side of story. Was there 3 white ladies applying as well but only one position?

    And if there was… Did she have equal SKILLS as her competitors? If not, what is her excuse for expecting to get the job where she was in terms of skills inferior candidate?

    As it has been proven, people of African descent have far inferior education. Lots of illiterate people in Somalians etc.

    Finland is SKILL driven nation. If you do not have equal skills, you will not be hired over guy who has all the other qualities you have and more skills.

    Employers are not some kind of fucking charity system. Unless guy with better skills outprices himself, guy with less skills is not hired.

    And many immigrants suffer from condition of not having any useful skills.

    -“Tell me, Tony, why do some make it so hard on others to be themselves and follow the laws of the land? ”

    You have got to be fucking joking here… Are you accusing us Finns of forcing Somalians to commit crime?

    YAY! I never dreamed to see this day…

    Sorry Enrique, we are not to blame that Somalians are disproportionately represented in crime statistics. It is THEIR fault.

    Laws are available for everyone to see, Finlex website is excellent source, and ignorance of them is NEVER an excuse.

    It is not fault of Finns that Somalians and rest are unable to compete in heavily competed field of Finnish employment where your skills make or break you.

    It is their own fault for not kicking themselves on the ass and LEARNING.

    In my job, I can’t sit and whine how my job demands more skills from me than I have right now. I have to LEARN new skills. I have to learn new programming languages and practices.

    I can never just sit on my fat ass and wait for someone to appease me by only handing me jobs I can do with my existing knowledge.

    I am even taking this to another level and contemplating on trying to enroll myself to TTY for further studies.

    Learning is not something that can be injected to you with syringe or done by others. We all must do it ourselves.

  24. Tony Garcia

    “Was this comment necessary?”

    No, I’m sorry.

    “I still don’t understand your logic”

    You can’t use the raw number to support this theory. There are many other variables in it, making your case very weak. As far as I remember it’s the second time you try and in both case is has been easily debunked. You can’t compare apple and bananas. Sorry.

    “When did HS say that the majority of the Somalis use fingerprints as signature? I would like to investigate this claim.”

    Migrant Tales, “Whose fault is high immigrant unemployment is Finland?”, comment 16.

    “Are our liberal democratic values only applicable to us and the others are seen and ruled by other laws?”

    That’s precisely why I prefer writing than saying, it keep things on the record. That’s your position not mine, particularly when it comes to Muslims. But nevertheless, good try…

  25. Tony Garcia

    Enrique, you gave five reasons why integration programs doesn’t work. All about what Finland/Finns are doing wrong. Very well…

    Now I wonder, isn’t anything that immigrants are going wrong or that could/should be improved from our side?

    If so, why haven’t you put it on your list?

    • Enrique

      –Now I wonder, isn’t anything that immigrants are going wrong or that could/should be improved from our side?

      Immigrants should take a more “hand-on” approach and really waste no time in learning the ropes of Finnish society. I would blame apathy as one of the biggest culprits and accepting things as they are.

  26. Tony Garcia

    Hi Enrique,

    Have you ever had times when you look around and ask yourself “What a hell am I doing here?” ?

    You have a wish to go home but you just don’t know where this “home” is anymore.

    • Enrique

      –You have a wish to go home but you just don’t know where this “home” is anymore.

      Hi Tony, this is exactly what some immigrants feel. Some may ask this question and over-romanticize their home, or live in two countries at the same time. I have decided that I will live the the fullest in the country I call home. Home is a temporary matter, though. I think a good name for that longing could be “restless yearning.”

  27. Tony Garcia

    Wow, Is that all? Really?

    You listed 5 major problems from the Finnish side but from ours we just need to be more pro-active? Nothing else?

    I’m proud. What a great group we are, aren’t we?

  28. Martin-Éric

    I’m not buying the insufficient language skills statement.

    Since 2003, immigrants get sent to language classes in a systematic way soon after they’ve arrived to Finland and those classes are full-time enrollments at 20h/week for a full schoolyear. Also, the teaching methodology has vastly improved and is properly targeted towards adults who need to quickly assimilate everyday language in order to integrate. It works. Most immigrants I’ve met who arrived during the last few years quickly get a graps of basic everyday phrases and gradually build their vocabulary over time.

    Contrast this to how it was 12 years ago when I moved here: you’d be lucky to find anything more than an evening class for a couple of hours per week and the teaching was the usual crappy lecturing with excessive emphasis on written skills. Sure enough, it produced epic failures. Most of the people who moved to Finland before 2003 are completely lacking in Finnish language skills; this even includes people who were granted Finnish citizenship on the basis of family ties (read: common children with a Finnish spouse).

    However, as others in this comment thread have posted, there is a larger demand for the Finnish language courses than what this country has resources to organize. This is doubly the case in the Helsinki metropolitan area, where there are waiting lists to get admitted to the basic level class. The scarcity of Finnish language integration courses in PK-seutu is such a big issue that the Government is constantly allocating extra earmarked funding just for that.

    So, while there is a slight setback due to insufficient resources, what’s available nowadays works.

    PS: I’d really appreciate if people stopped portraying all immigrants as Somalians. Please bear in mind that the three largest groups of immigrants are Russians, Estonians and English speakers, and that most immigrants come here because of marriage or work.

    • Enrique

      Martin-Éric, I am glad you are also not buying the insufficient skills statement.

      One interesting matter that this society will have to do in order to enable people to form part of this society is first and foremost a positive attitude. That favorable attitude does not, however, exist or at least it isn´t very prevalent. On the contrary, we can now be negative and racist to outsiders because we are in a recession. Officials are always pointing to this even though they should be fighting against such destructive attitudes.

      Apart from these negative stances there is another important matter that has to be done: leadership to welcome those that live with us and speak out forcibly against those stereotypes that feed such attitudes.

      The truth of the matter is that many immigrants are ambitious, want to accomplish something in ther lives and are hard-working. All of these aspirations are severely dashed by unemployment, suspicion and prejudice.

    • Enrique

      Hi Tuomas, thank you for the link. The HS article shows very well what we have known all the time: the plight of African immigrants/residents in Finland. I recommend it to Tony to look at. One of the interesting questions that this article poses is why are we in this situation? Why aren’t their politicians, policy makers etc. speaking out? This may be the reason why matters are changing so slowly in Finland.

  29. Tiwaz

    -“Most immigrants I’ve met who arrived during the last few years quickly get a graps of basic everyday phrases and gradually build their vocabulary over time.”

    Define “basic everyday phrases” and how long it takes to build vocabulary to level where they can hold their own on actual proper discussion.

    “Many money porkchop” might be level of basic phrase or “Good day me Matti”.

    But it does NOT make you good candidate to any job where you have to work independently.

    -“The truth of the matter is that many immigrants are ambitious, want to accomplish something in ther lives and are hard-working. All of these aspirations are severely dashed by unemployment, suspicion and prejudice.”

    And do they have skills which are in demand in FINNISH society? Can they fluently communicate with Finns in FINNISH and do they know how to act according to FINNISH cultural tradition?

    If more than one of those is no, then they are useless on most positions. And for these “plighted” African immigrants, let’s say straight away refugees, it tends to be three answers of no.

    No useful skills as their country of origin has educational system which sucks donkey balls.
    No fluent Finnish because they have never had proper education and thus they have never really learned how to learn at school (surprisingly it is skill by itself)
    And no to understanding Finnish culture, as they are not explicitly told to get off their ass and learn how to act properly.

    Add to this huge cultural gap and recipe for failure is ready. Yes, Russians and Estonians are far more numerous. But they are also far more integrated. They are not way overrepresented in crime, their cultural gap is much smaller so they can step over it. And they actually have at least half-decent schools which give them useful skills!

    What needs fighting is immigrant attitude that Finland somehow is place where you can be successful without speaking fluently local language.

    Do you know how many immigrants I have seen in certain forum who write “Hey, where I can get job without speaking Finnish?”

    Props to them for wanting to work, but these idiots in most cases are already IN Finland and have never bothered to figure out that there is no need for foreigners without language skills in Finland.

  30. Martin-Éric

    Do FINNS have what FINLAND needs? No, they don’t. That’s why we have to import workforce massively.

    Actually, Estonians ARE over-represented in crimes. Meanwhile, contrary to what some people imply, Somalians are not.

    Yes, there’s always gonna be the odd idiot coming here seeking fortune and fame without having to make the least effort. In the end, it turns out that these are the minority and they soon leave the country on their own.

    Meanwhile, those like me that came with the firm intention of staying here learned their Finnish (and, because of the sheer lack of adequate language courses that prevailed back then, had to do it on their own).

    We ARE well-integrated. We ARE white. We HAVE a profession and several years of experience in our field. In many cases, we speak even more languages that the Finns do. That doesn’t make it any easier for us to find work, in a society that doesn’t hire the best candidate for the job, but rather hires the Finnish one regardless.

    Heck, the mentality here reminds me of this ad they had on bus stops for the hockey finals a couple of years ago:

    What matters is not that Finland wins, but that Sweden loses.

    The exact same mentality exists on the labor market:

    What matters is not that the Finn gets the job, but that the foreigner doesn’t.

  31. Tiwaz

    -“No, they don’t. That’s why we have to import workforce massively.”

    Proof of this? I hear this ludicrous stupidity often from pro-multiculturalists. But our unemployment has not reached 5% in as long time as I can remember. It tends to be around 10%.

    So we clearly do not massively need immigrants.

    -“Actually, Estonians ARE over-represented in crimes.”

    Usually in petty crimes.

    -“Meanwhile, contrary to what some people imply, Somalians are not.”

    Check rape statistics. For some reason I find losing my wallet to be far less damaging to my overall happiness than having my female relative raped.

    -“We ARE well-integrated. We ARE white. We HAVE a profession and several years of experience in our field. In many cases, we speak even more languages that the Finns do. That doesn’t make it any easier for us to find work, in a society that doesn’t hire the best candidate for the job, but rather hires the Finnish one regardless.”

    Who are “you”?

    Average well educated Finn knows at least 3 languages. Most more. (Finnish, Swedish and English being absolute minimum)

    Do you have any proof that you are discriminated against in job interviews? Are you CLEARLY more competent than all Finnish candidates? Do you have ALL the skills of Finn and then more?

    Finnish IS the official language of the land. Finnish IS the only language most employers use in their office.

    If you do not speak it fluently, your usefulness takes a dip. And if your skills cannot compensate for that handicap, Finn who has roughly same qualifications but speaks his native language gets the job.

    It is not discrimination, it is your lack of skills.

    -“What matters is not that the Finn gets the job, but that the foreigner doesn’t.”

    Yes, because employers do not want to make money but just participate in grand conspiracy against foreigners.

    Do you realize how stupid you sound like? Employers are not part of some grand brotherhood of “Keep foreigners unemployed”. Fuck, lots of them have TRIED importing foreigners to cut costs, by hiring foreign nurses who work for peanuts.

    Problem is… Foreign nurses just did not manage to do the job properly. Instead of acting as nurses, they ended up doing menial tasks which require little to no knowledge like emptying bedpans.

    Employers have no reason not to hire foreigner, if they have enough skills. If you do not speak fluent Finnish, then your other skills have to be that much higher to compensate. If they do not, then guy who has same skills but speaks Finnish wins. Not because of conspiracy, but because you are worse than he is in terms of employer profit expectations.

    Remember, this is Finland. One of the nations in the world where education is extremely high quality. You are not going against some illiterate Mexican or Algerian in your job interview. Odds are that there are dozen Finns lined up for good job offer who have same or even better credentials as you.

    Our system produces so much Bachelor’s and Master’s degree holders we don’t know where to dump them since there often aren’t enough jobs for them all in many fields.

    Best bet for foreigner to get a job in Finland is IT or engineering business. Those are fields where you are least likely to have Finnish as absolutely essential skill.

    But if you are in financing, advertisement… Has it ever occurred to you that you will most likely be working with Finns, specially in customer contact, who want things to be done in Finnish? And who need advertisement to appeal to Finnish taste?

    Oh gosh… Your massive experience of advertising used cars in Alabama just became far less useful.

    Oh, and by the way, when you get washed out from interview… It might be because you did not understand what Finnish employer wants to see in employee. You went to interview like you would at “home”, arrogance or stupidity preventing you from remembering that you are no longer in Kansas Dorothy…

  32. Tony Garcia

    “I’d really appreciate if people stopped portraying all immigrants as Somalians”

    Martin, you are very right, I, more than anyone, would like this to be very clear. However as far as I understand we were not talking about general immigration, but why some groups just can’t integrate.

    First I know, probably so you, a score of Americans, west Europeans and South East Asians who are doing just fine in Finland. With, according to you, and I agree, account for the majority of immigrants there, that alone debunks the “Finland discriminate against foreigners” theory.

    But of course we still have the so called “pilgrim of Africans”. Why is that?

    When talking about Africans we, unavoidable, are talking about Somalis. So we saw that their unemployed rates about 50%. Very well, how about UK? A country considerate by Trevor Phillips the best place to live if you have a dark skin colour. Channel 4 research already posted in this blog counts that Somali unemployment in the UK is about 80%. So they are doing better in the “racist” Finland than in the “tolerant” UK. I think there is 3 reason for that.

    First, some just can’t do it. Plenty of report here proved that majority adult Somalis can’t read and write in their own language. So it’s not just about teaching Finnish, they lack very elementary education. In a country where even to milk a cow you need to operate a high tech machine education is fundamental.

    Second, some just don’t want to. For that don’t take my work but Ed Husain’s comment from the Times.

    “Britain’s mosques are run by men who are physically in Britain, but psychologically in Pakistan. They retain their village rituals and sectarianism, and prevent the growth of an indigenous British Islam. And for as long as young Muslims are confused about whether they belong in Britain or elsewhere, we risk handing them over to preying extremists in our midst.”

    You just can’t integrate who doesn’t want to.

    And third there is a also some who just prefer a easy ride on the dole. I know many Finns who do that, why are Somalis different?

    Do you really want to solve integration problems? I my opinion first we need to look within our community and see what is wrong. I know the Enrique has a good intention but I keep saying to him patronizing just won’t help.

  33. hannu

    Martin-Éric When was last time when in news about multiculturalism and immigration they interviewed Horst from Germany, Borje from Sweden and Bob from England?

    Youre one of “not actual immigrant” so they cant pamper you and pity you so youre worthless for flowerhats.

  34. Tony Garcia

    Could this, by any change, have any influence in integration?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/02/soyinka-england-cesspit-islamists

    “The man (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab) did not get radicalised in Nigeria. It happened in England, where he went to university.

    England is a cesspit. England is the breeding ground of fundamentalist ¬Muslims. Its social logic is to allow all religions to preach openly. But this is illogic, because none of the other religions preach apocalyptic violence.”

  35. Tony Garcia

    Or maybe this…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6971098.ece

    “Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, a former president of the Islamic Society at University College London, advertised speakers including political figures, human rights lawyers and former Guantánamo detainees.”

    “Security sources are concerned that the picture emerging of his undergraduate years suggests that he was recruited by al-Qaeda in London. Security sources said that Islamist radicalisation was rife on university campuses, especially in London, and that college authorities had “a patchy record in facing up to the problem”. Previous anti-terrorist inquiries have uncovered evidence of extremists using political meetings and religious study circles to identify potential recruits.”

    “He is the fourth president of a London student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years. One is facing a retrial on charges that he was involved in the 2006 liquid bomb plot to blow up airliners. Two others have been convicted of terrorist offences since 2007.”

  36. Martin-Éric

    Yup, I very much speak fluent Finnish, on top of a dozen other languages at either intermediate or conversational level.

    Yup, I have proof that, for equal skills, employers often found it easier to simply take the Finn.

    Yup, Tiwaz very much remains a stupid troll.

  37. Martin-Éric

    Hannu, you’ve put your finger right on it. Successful stories of integration like mine spoil the game, both for rednecks and for multicultural hippies, because we fail to be marginalized as people since we integrate seamlessly into the mass.

  38. Tiwaz

    -“Yup, I very much speak fluent Finnish, on top of a dozen other languages at either intermediate or conversational level.”

    Yup. You are idiot fake most likely.

    -“Yup, I have proof that, for equal skills, employers often found it easier to simply take the Finn.”

    Any proof of this? And since you state that EQUAL skills gives edge to Finn… Care to prove any nation where this is not true?

    -“Yup, Tiwaz very much remains a stupid troll.”

    Yup. As said, you are idiot fake. Dozen languages? Yeah right.

  39. Martin-Éric

    Tiwaz, if you had half a brain, you’d bother Goggling me up. If you did, you’d come across this:

    “Helsinkiläinen Martin-Éric Racine muutti laajan kielitaitonsa takia Lappeenrantaan vuonna 1998 Québecista työskentelemään huipputeknologia-alalle.”

    What part of laaja kielitaito don’t you understand?

    • Enrique

      Martin-Éric, I would not worry to much about Tiwaz. He rambles on like a broken record. One of the improvements I would like to make in this blog is prohibit this type of behavior especially from a person who makes such insulting comments anonymously. He is a good example of how some Finns still think and react to immigrants/immigration.

  40. Tiwaz

    And if you had half a brain, you would have figured that I have zero reason to presume you are actually Martin-Eric.

    And even if you were, you would still be total idiot since you presume that out of immigrants present in Finland more than tiny handful, calculated with one hand fingers most likely, has anything remotely similar to your language skills.

    Most are limited to one or two languages. Often only one of them in any way fluent and neither of them native to Finland.

    And apparently you have somehow managed to get a job, despite being foreigner and thus automatically refused because whole Finland is involved in huge conspiracy against immigrants.

    Imagine that.

  41. hannu

    Enrique thats you who rambles like broken record.
    Tiwaz just shoots you down everytime and you deny and dont take on count what he says but you continue to ramble.
    And that Martin-Éric “case”, we have heard enough “brain-surgeons” and “astronauts” with papers from friendly counterfeit factory to be really sceptic about any claim.
    And his claim to speak 12 languages… Of course i believe… I speak 54 languages and have 6 doctorates and im prince of malawi.

    • Enrique

      –Enrique how many romas you know?

      Quite a few and for many decades. I know exactly how Finns saw these people from the 1960s. Think of making a statement that ALL Roma are mistrustful? That is the bigotry that existed and continues to exist in Finland. The problem, Hannu, today is that there are more voices exposing such injustices.

  42. hannu

    Tell that to my roma friend who was excluded because he was too “white” and studied, tell that to my friends who were robbed by romas because its OK to steal from finns (they were about 90 then).
    Tell that to quards and police who see their tendency to steal from “not us”.
    Tell that to my friend who was stabbed when he didnt want to give phone to them.

    Where is injustice?

    Tell that to romas who speak against their system and get life threats.

    Who is to blame? I recon romas has to look in mirror.

    • Enrique

      –Tell that to my roma friend who was excluded because he was too “white” and studied, tell that to my friends who were robbed by romas because its OK to steal from finns (they were about 90 then).

      If nobody has told you before, you always walk on thin ice when you generalize. What happened to your friend is probably an outcome of society. If you exclude people you will reinforce similar action among other groups. Did you read Antero’s comment about the Aamulehti editor?

      Let me make this very very clear to you: I am against all type of bigotry irrespective of where it comes from. If people live in a society comprising of different cultures, they should ate least try to deal with their bigotry demons, recognize them and not let them get the best of them. This is not impossible. It does take, however, a lot of courage.

  43. hannu

    Exclude? How in hell i again exclude?
    They themself exclude themself by their total disregard of common values and rules. And of course their own “rules” or as you wish “culture” restrict them even more.
    1/5th wont get thru basic schooling, others dont apply or drop out from secondary schooling.
    18% of robberies are done by them.
    How come thats my fault?

    And yes its outcome of society, roma society what totally disregards it has not only rights but responsibilities also.

    • Enrique

      –They themself exclude themself by their total disregard of common values and rules.

      When you speak of “common values and rules” you are referring to your values. So, Hannu, you answered your own question.

      This is a good example why assimilation (forcing people to give up their culture) does not work and why it is such a traumatic process. You speak of how the “white man” has imposed his culture on indigenous populations, which is true. However, don’t you notice something contradictory in your affirmation? Or do you mean that people who come from different backgrounds in Europe must assimilate while in other parts of the world this is considered amoral?

  44. Tiwaz

    -“Martin-Éric, I would not worry to much about Tiwaz. He rambles on like a broken record. One of the improvements I would like to make in this blog is prohibit this type of behavior especially from a person who makes such insulting comments anonymously. He is a good example of how some Finns still think and react to immigrants/immigration.”

    As stated, it is you who are broken record. You keep spewing out multicultural bullshit which is then shot down as lies and falsehoods by me, Tony, Hannu and DeTant.

    Never have you managed to make your case stand up against criticism, but you still try to build your houses of cards and claim that they are solid.

    Your obsession on names is another thing which shows how ridiculous your thinking is. You are obsessed about my preference to use nick I have used for years in many locations, which has become practically another name for me, because you cannot fight my arguments.

    -“When you speak of “common values and rules” you are referring to your values. So, Hannu, you answered your own question. ”

    They are the values of COMMUNITY as whole. In case you did not figure it out, Hannu is Finn. So of course he speaks of his values. Because he is part community which forms this country by percentage of well over 90%.

    -“This is a good example why assimilation (forcing people to give up their culture) does not work and why it is such a traumatic process.”

    Assimilation is only process which produces functional society, as proven by huge laboratory called Earth.

    -“You speak of how the “white man” has imposed his culture on indigenous populations, which is true.”

    Is it difficult to grasp that point about indigenous populations? You know, Finns ARE the indigenous population in Finland.

    -“Or do you mean that people who come from different backgrounds in Europe must assimilate while in other parts of the world this is considered amoral?”

    I would think that point is so obvious it should not need clarifying.

    It is wrong when foreigner comes to another land and demands it’s native population to live according to his foreign culture.
    It is not wrong when natives expect those who come to their nation to live according to native culture.

    Simple, eloquent and above all else… It works!

    • Enrique

      –As stated, it is you who are broken record. You keep spewing out multicultural bullshit which is then shot down as lies and falsehoods by me, Tony, Hannu and DeTant.

      Tiwaz, I think your choice of words is not only improper but totally out of place. If you think of it, you are the only one (and anonymously, in fact!) spewing out words such as “bullshit” and “lies” at those who are kind enough to comment. A little bit of respect would go a long way and give more credibility to your posts.

  45. Tiwaz

    -“Tiwaz, I think your choice of words is not only improper but totally out of place. If you think of it, you are the only one (and anonymously, in fact!) spewing out words such as “bullshit” and “lies” at those who are kind enough to comment. A little bit of respect would go a long way and give more credibility to your posts.”

    Can you prove that your claims have not been proven to be such?

    Credibility of my posts rests not on how warm and fuzzy they make you feel, but on how they rely on reality and facts.

    Facts like multicultural “heavens” presented here suffer from far higher rates of cultural conflict crime than Finland who is still monocultural by and large. (or Japan)

    Sweden and particularly Malmö are PROVEN to suffer greatly from their multiculturalism. All you have to do is watch the news. Same for UK, France etc.

    It is proven fact through official statistics that rapists come disproportionately from certain cultural and religious background. Again, that is fact.

    It has been clearly pointed out that issue of immigrants not getting work is not because of some ludicrous secret conspiracy where all Finnish employers are involved.
    It is because immigrants can’t speak properly, can’t act properly or have no recognized education for the job. Or several of those.

    That is not failure of Finns, that we do not hire people who lack competence to do the work they would be hired to do. It is again failure of immigrants, PROVEN by how those immigrants who DO speak Finnish, act Finnish and/or have skills in need are hired in large numbers.

    These are facts of life.

  46. Tiwaz

    And facts are facts regardless of person preferring to use alias or presumed name in forum.

    Your obsession with names is result of your inability to fight facts with facts.

  47. BalkanGuy

    I read some of the comments, I came by accident to this forum, but this so-called Tiwaz is so annoying in his or her posts. Don’t worry dude, cos Finland is not appealing or attractive to move or make home, cos its too north, plus language wierd, not European, weather terrible, autumn and winter grey, cold and dark with very short windy and cold summer too!! Tell me who likes such a weather or place and if Finns are smart as you pretend that you are, why Finns didn’t settle in today’s Italy or France or Uk long time ago, but in this cold place when they came from Siberia?!! Finns are very rustic/rural people in mind.

    I don’t believe that hype that Finnish education is the best in the world, haha and that Finns can speak 3 languages or more, that’s not true neither, very few Finns speak Swedish fluently, and when they speak English, they meet difficulties in expressing themselves clear and fast so Finns are just Scandinavian wanna-bes nothing else…

  48. Martin-Éric

    Tiwaz, come down to Earth and smell the coffee. None of your statements are based on facts. Rather, they are based on the endless rehashing of racial prejudices and on the false belief that every foreigner refuses to integrate and contribute to society.

  49. Tiwaz

    -“Tiwaz, come down to Earth and smell the coffee. None of your statements are based on facts. Rather, they are based on the endless rehashing of racial prejudices and on the false belief that every foreigner refuses to integrate and contribute to society.”

    Really? Perhaps you would like to point to me evidence that Malmö, the multiculturalist sanctuary of Sweden is their least violent and criminal area?

    And statistics, available for everyone in stat.fi have proven that the disproportionate amount of sex offenders in certain immigrant groups.

    All I have stated are facts proven repeatedly in this blog. Go dig little deeper and find it yourself.

    Enrique just lives in denial that immigrants are responsible for their own troubles in most cases.

    As for every foreigner, where have I said, or anyone else who is critical about Enriques fantasy of multiculturalist wonders, that EVERY foreigner refuses to integrate?

    Nowhere. But far too many do. And this issue is NOT fixed by demanding Finns to appease your foreign asses. It is fixed by teaching that idiot portion of immigrants who want to live in Finland same way they would in their native land to live properly in Finnish society.

    Smell the proper coffee yourself Martin. Finland has problems, but vast conspiracy against immigrants is not one. Problem of immigrants is self made by refusal to learn language and culture of Finland. Because those who do that, end up integrated well and find jobs just as well as natives.

  50. Martin-Éric

    Learning the language is not enough. A major change of attitude among the Fins is required, as your own neverending trolling shows, seeing how you refuse to believe the fact that immigrants nowadays learn to speak fluent Finnish within one year from their arrival.

    Btw, statistics about how wrong things have gone with immigrants in foreign countries don’t say anything about how things are here, in Finland.

    Statistics for sex crimes also show an alarming proportion of Finns as the perpetrators. Shouldn’t we deport them too? How about a nice one-way ticket to the Urals?

    • Enrique

      Martin-Éric, I believe in your professional background, which is quite impressive. Or should I say — we should all believe in ourselves and not those that want to pacify and destroy us.

  51. Tuomas

    Funny that he mentioned Japan as an exemplary country, or “monocultural”.

    Reading Debito Arudou’s blog I see some familiar points that have been made here also. For example:
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20080805ad.html

    Sorry for sidetracking but I find it fascinating how the right-wingers here and there spew the same “facts” based on their bigoted view of the world and “us vs. them” mentality.

  52. Tiwaz

    -“Learning the language is not enough. A major change of attitude among the Fins is required, as your own neverending trolling shows, seeing how you refuse to believe the fact that immigrants nowadays learn to speak fluent Finnish within one year from their arrival.”

    Where is your proof that immigrant learns to speak FLUENT Finnish within one year?

    Or are you claiming “Moni raha ranskanleipä” fluent?

    -“Btw, statistics about how wrong things have gone with immigrants in foreign countries don’t say anything about how things are here, in Finland.”

    No, not yet. But trend is clear. Attempt of multiculturalist approach is failure everywhere where it is attempted.

    There is zero reason to presume that Finland would somehow perform miracle and build functional society from disfunctional premises of multiculturalism.

    -“Statistics for sex crimes also show an alarming proportion of Finns as the perpetrators. Shouldn’t we deport them too? How about a nice one-way ticket to the Urals?”

    No, actually Finns are largest group in terms of pure numbers. However, when we calculate per capita rapists, we see that certain cultural groups who are in terms of portion of population in single digit percentage, are in double digit percentage in terms of rapes.

    Furthermore, we should remember that Finland lists only nationality. Thus, foreigner who manages to obtain passport of Finland is there adding to Finnish crimerates while they culturally are still foreigners.

    But if you manage to negotiate treaty with Russia to deport criminals with Finnish passport (or without one for all I care) to Urals, I will sign that paper in a heartbeat.

    Tuomas. Japan is strongly monocultural. And because of this they have avoided issues of cultural conflicts.

    Yes, Japanese society has other problems. But very few if any of those would be SOLVED by multiculturalism.

    Multiculturalism fails to solve existing problems, it only increases problems by adding more. This is what I strongly oppose.

    Finland has enough problems without trying to import more from abroad.

    Enrique here may speak of alcoholism, suicides or domestic violence as problem of Finland.

    All are true. But which ones of these would disappear with multiculturalism?

    None!

    We solve nothing, but add more problems. Unless multiculturalism can solve and remove more and bigger issues than it causes, it is something we should and must not accept in our nation.

    And multiculturalism cannot do that.

  53. Tuomas

    “Japan is strongly monocultural. And because of this they have avoided issues of cultural conflicts.”

    Japan is by no means a truly homogeneous society whether talking about ethnic groups or culture. The Yamato people form the bulk of the population but there are other native ethnic groups also, such as the Ainu or Ryukyuans that have suffered for centuries from the racism and assimilation attempts. Also don’t get me started on the treatment of ethnic Korean and Chinese people in Japan..

    “Yes, Japanese society has other problems. But very few if any of those would be SOLVED by multiculturalism.”

    While multiculturalism itself may not seem to ‘solve’ any problems we have to remember one of the problems facing Finland (and Japan, especially) is the aging population problem. At this point immigration is the best solution in maintaining the competitiveness of our country. This brings in the multiculturalism aspect.

    A person born in the middle east, for example, can learn to speak perfect Finnish. He can learn the Finnish culture and customs, get a Finnish spouse, raise a Finnish family with Finnish values. But he can’t become 100% “Finnish”. Because he looks like an outsider he will never be accepted by some of the people that demand absolute ethnic and cultural homogeneity of this country. I don’t think I have to explain what this leads to, as it has been mentioned countless times.

    • Enrique

      –Japan is by no means a truly homogeneous society whether talking about ethnic groups or culture.

      Thank you, Tuomas, for your insight on Japanese culture, which I found very interesting. I think that it is fair enough to say that there are no cultures that are “pure” as some would like us to believe. Cultures and humankind have always built roads because they never believed in isolation. Why, then, do we build such myths of cultural purity? We know what happened in Germany with Hitler and where it led to. Probably the answer is in exclusion and keeping out others because those myths would be questioned and lost.

      When we speak of “multiculturalism” I believe it is a very misunderstood term. For example, in Finland, where there are few foreigners, we use this term a lot. But in Canada, where multiculturalism as a social policy began, it is rarely used. Multiculturalism means to me the right to practice one’s culture and for society to respect this; a sort of tailor-made integration model for different groups not a one-size-fits-all solution like integration.

  54. Tiwaz

    -“Japan is by no means a truly homogeneous society whether talking about ethnic groups or culture. The Yamato people form the bulk of the population but there are other native ethnic groups also, such as the Ainu or Ryukyuans that have suffered for centuries from the racism and assimilation attempts. Also don’t get me started on the treatment of ethnic Korean and Chinese people in Japan..”

    Are Korean and Chinese people natives? No. So do not pretend they are.

    Ainu and Ryukyu populations are very similar in their condition to Finnish populations of Swedish speakers, Tatars and Jews. They were and still are distinct groups, but they have been all but assimilated to Japanese society.

    They speak Japanese, they can act Japanese… Essentially, they are Japanese in every way that matters.

    -“While multiculturalism itself may not seem to ’solve’ any problems we have to remember one of the problems facing Finland (and Japan, especially) is the aging population problem. At this point immigration is the best solution in maintaining the competitiveness of our country. This brings in the multiculturalism aspect.”

    Are you aware that this is not first time some imaginary problem like “aging” has been used as excuse to import people who do not integrate?

    Germany had “work shortage” and had to import lots of immigrants in short period of time. Well, actual shortage never manifested itself, but to fix temporary problem, they used solution which created PERMANENT problem.

    Our aging population is issue only if we make it an issue.

    It can be solved easily without multiculturalism or permitting anyone in who wants. State should support families more to create more births in Finland, and help people stay in worklife longer. Those solutions will sort out our issue of aging without causing more problems!

    Furthermore, Finland does NOT need just anyone. We need SKILLED and EDUCATED immigrants, not waste of space from Dark Africa who cannot read or write.

    Issue with immigration as solution to worker shortage or aging population is idiotic unless it is VERY restrictive form of immigration.

    Your average immigrant without useful skills is not useful for Finland, but strain to our economy as they start to leech off benefits.

    If we were to start solving issue of aging population through immigration, first thing to go must be ALL social security benefits for immigrants and practice where every immigrant found committing crime will be deported without possibility of complaint regardless of conditions in their destination of deportation.

    Why? For two reasons. First, by removing all social security benefits we remove strain from Finnish society. That will make certain that only immigrants are ones who are prepared to bust their asses to become productive members of our society, thus bringing benefit to Finland.
    Second, we have to deport them because when they have no social security to leech off, more will take option of committing crime as means of living. Immediate and merciless deportation policy will first act as deterrent and second it will remove those who are not deterred.

    Brutal? Absolutely. But it is YOU guys who want to import these people here to “fix the society”.

    -“A person born in the middle east, for example, can learn to speak perfect Finnish. He can learn the Finnish culture and customs, get a Finnish spouse, raise a Finnish family with Finnish values. But he can’t become 100% “Finnish”. Because he looks like an outsider he will never be accepted by some of the people that demand absolute ethnic and cultural homogeneity of this country. I don’t think I have to explain what this leads to, as it has been mentioned countless times.”

    So? Perhaps he will never be Finn. Why should he be? Is he not happy being who he is, working and living in Finland as contributor to this society?

    Him adopting Finnish language and culture to function in Finland should not be about him wanting to be Finn, but to make himself able to comfortably and successfully live in Finland.

    It cuts two ways. I am Finn. I will die as Finn. I might live rest of my days in Guatemala, learning local culture and language to be able to live my every day life as fully as possible there. But I will not be Guatemalan. I might have Guatemalan citizenship, but I am still Finn (at least by my identity) with Guatemalan passport.

    It is not wrong not to be Finn in Finland.
    It is wrong not to want to adjust to conditions and requirements of Finland if you intend to live there.

    • Enrique

      –Are Korean and Chinese people natives? No. So do not pretend they are.

      Bingo, Tiwaz. You just exposed yourself again behind the intentions of your opinions. I totally, emphatically, disagree with you that because someone is from somewhere else he/she has to shut up and suck in everything that others wish. In your line of thinking nothing changes:culture is static, ideals are static and people don’t even age and live suspended by myths kept afloat by suspicion. Those ideas, in my opinion, are what CAUSE ethnic strife and give birth to many former Yugoslavias and Auschwitzes in the most extreme cases.

      Tony, I disagree that Tiwaz line is protection of his values. His values represent a minority and are highly exclusive.

  55. Tiwaz

    -“Bingo, Tiwaz. You just exposed yourself again behind the intentions of your opinions. I totally, emphatically, disagree with you that because someone is from somewhere else he/she has to shut up and suck in everything that others wish.”

    Really? So what is your alternative? Disfunctional society where there are no common values, no common rules… No common anything but mutual distrust and hatred!

    Societies without unifying cultural framework DO NOT WORK! It is proven repeatedly in the history of this world. Try to bring totally different groups together and they FIGHT. They do not hold hands, they fight until only one stands and that one WILL dictate terms to rest.

    -“In your line of thinking nothing changes:culture is static, ideals are static and people don’t even age and live suspended by myths kept afloat by suspicion.”

    No, culture changes but only natives of that culture can decide HOW. You foreigners have no business telling what or how Finns should act and what our culture should be like.

    You may OFFER something from your culture, and if it fits out existing culture and does not conflict with it… We may adjust and incorporate it to our culture.

    But if it does not, do not hold your breath waiting for us to appease your foreign ass by tearing apart our culture to make addition YOU want.

    -“Those ideas, in my opinion, are what CAUSE ethnic strife and give birth to many former Yugoslavias and Auschwitzes in the most extreme cases.”

    Your opinion is false.

    Auschwitz, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda…

    All are proof that DIVIDED societies fail. Jews being strongly divided from rest of German population made it possible to use them as scapegoat for problems of Germany.

    Incompatible and conflicting wants of different cultures in Yugoslavia made that something doomed to fail.

    Division between hutus and tutsis led to Rwanda massacre.

    Dividing lines between tribes and cultures in Somalia have turned that place into shithole. Only northern parts, which ARE culturally very uniform, are in anything resembling order.

    Unified societies do not fight with themselves. And culture is very much unifier of people. It makes it possible for people to interact with minimal risk of miscommunication and conflict.

    -“Tony, I disagree that Tiwaz line is protection of his values. His values represent a minority and are highly exclusive.”

    Enrique, go outside your house and open your eyes. Who do you see? FINNS! Those dirty, unwashed barbarians who have inhabited this land since around 7000BC.

    We are no minority, we are extremely large majority.

    Yes, if you want to pretend that you are world hugging hippie my values are very exclusive, because they are limited to values of us 5 million Finns who nearly all live in Finland.

    But if you want to be world hugger hippie, I recommend you stop speaking English and learn Mandarin, because globally China is the biggest culture and thus it means that you have to want to belong to that.

    • Enrique

      –Use of finnish language is mark of rasism! Only use of foreigner languages in Finnland is mark of multiculturalism.

      Says who? Do you know what multiculturalism is?

  56. tuula kahilahti

    I am a naturalized Canadian who arrived here in 1952.Having lived in both countries in addition to Sweden I can truthfully say that discrimination happens everywhere.The Finnish language is a threatened animal in the world of linguistics.Not all Finns know this probably but the onus is on being able to speak english or perish.To adapt to the world stauts quo and lose one’s ethnic identity which has been a source of pride since conception.Finland has its supply of idiots as all countries do.The black peoiple have had a raw deal since the whites found them.Is this really something new and worth writing about page after page?

    • Enrique

      Hi tuula kahilahti, so you think that since discrimination has existed we should just turn our back to it? If you look at history, the black people did get a raw deal. Slavery is the worst form of exploitation.

      I disagree that the Finnish language is in danger of extinction. Maybe in Canada but not in Finland.

  57. hannu

    “Slavery is the worst form of exploitation. ”

    Thats just red herring, you dont care about slavery at all but spew hatred against other cultures and use that just as excuse to do so.
    Blacks and arabs have full right to keep slaves as they have always done, its part of their culture and should be seen as richness. It shouldnt be so that when whites decided that keeping slaves isnt cool anymore that we act like cultural imperialists and shovel our culture to others.

  58. tuula kahilahti

    Whenever an immigrant enters a country with the aim of working and settling there ,that country’s language must be learnt.Finland is no different from Canada or United States just because it is not in the new world.The only exceptions have occurred when the white man began his conquest of the Americas,Africa and Australia.Today we see his actions as a crime against the native peoples whose languages and cultures were wiped away andwhich we are trying to reconstruct today for posterity and ourselves.Finland is a small country.It has had to defend itself against all of its neighbours for a long time.That today it is an independent country with its own language and culture,be it whatever is,is testimony to our love of what is our heritage and what we want to keep.
    Learning any new language is difficult in the beginning.It just takes persistance.When in Rome do as the Romans do.The same goes for Finland.

    • Enrique

      Hi Tuula, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Learning the language is important but how much does one have to learn? What about if a person reaches a certain level and cannot improve it from there? Do you believe that assimilation should be the way immigrants integrate into society?

      Integration is a two-way process. What role do you see acceptance playing in the immigrants’ integration?