By Enrique Tessieri
One of the most important matters for immigrants and their children is to find a place in society. This can be done through work, equal opportunity and most importantly by acceptance by the host society. In the same way, some immigrants that move to Finland have to adjust to a new type of society based on cultural diversity.
Reading many of the comments on the Internet by some Finns can be revealing. For me they show that those that write these posts don’t understand the minimal basics of how their own society works never mind what immigration is.
They resemble laymen trying to build a nuclear reactor on their own. All of the pieces that go together are placed based on hearsay, ignorance and prejudice. When the nuclear reactor is built, they close their eyes and leave the rest to chance: Kaboom!
How many of those that work with immigrants in Finland really understand the dynamics never mind have a proper background that orients them effectively to such work? I believe we’d be surprised.
Of all the claims made by laymen on immigration, one of the most incredible is that they believe that all the rights (civil liberties, job opportunities to name a few) are only theirs. This other mass of legal immigrants living in Finland should not and cannot aspire to these rights because the latter group mistakenly believes that all these rights are only theirs.
If that were the case, could they please show us where they have legally more rights than immigrants when it comes to civil liberties and opportunities? If you are going to create a society that systematically excludes certain groups you will end up with the same problems as in other countries.
If one wants to speed up the integration process of immigrants and refugees in Finland, a massive integration program would have to be instigated for a part of the population. Too many are still in the dark about living in a modern, globalized and culturally diverse society.
The first matter they should study is our Constitution and Non-Discrimination Act.
Integration is a two-way street and should involve as well the integration of Finns into the mainstream of our society.